We know there’s trauma from childhood wounds. It could be from abandonment, neglect, poverty, harassment, bullying, domestic violence, racism, sexism, weight stigma, social isolation, parentification, emotional abuse, physical abuse, just to name a few. The one that you don’t hear often is Religious Trauma which some psychologists call a syndrome. This stems from raising a child in religion and telling the child they will go to hell and burn if they do things not pleasing to God.
Depending on the church, religion, or faith it can range from getting divorced to going to the movies. I’ve heard a list in my lifetime including Pokémon is the devil. The child has been raised in a fear-based doctrine that many times narcissists will adopt and hide behind but that’s another story. Telling a child that if they break the church “rules”, they are going to hell is traumatic. I know adults, including me that still have issues or had issues for 50 plus years.
Not only is it traumatic as a child and adult but the fear-based doctrine also isolates the child from socialization. If you can’t dance, go to the movies, listen to “devil music” and enjoy normal things with your peers, you become as different as the Mennonite or Amish. It’s a very cult-like environment that doesn’t embrace individuality, including sexuality preferences. I’ve seen certain churches throw homosexuals out of the church while they allow porn addicts to lead song services. It’s the epitome of hypocrisy. I know more people not going to church because of all the above than go to church.
I want to tell anyone who resonates with any of the above. First and foremost God is real. He’s real and he is full of love. My prayer is that you accept this and believe there is hope. Next, somehow, someway, and someday we need to heal from all the brainwashing we had for years. We have to face our fears, sit with our pains and trauma. Being spiritually healthy is vital to your healing just as physical health is to your body. And lastly, I’d like to say I’m sorry for your experience and exposure. It’s never too late to heal and let go of that fear and start all over with your religion.