Barbara’s Story

Thursday 24th November 2022
Abusive attitudes and beliefs aren’t built overnight, they’re not the result of one faulty doctrine or one bad preacher. It’s more complicated than that. Our ideas may seem good in principle but when applied to an abusive situation can be harmful. It can be just a small part of a teaching that’s blown out of the context of the rest of it, or it can be a throw-away comment made by a well meaning respected elder that cements an abusive idea, it may not even be a specific idea that causes a problem, but a general feeling, an ethos, such as (for example) the way that christian culture is so nuclear family focussed, this can be a real stumbling block for women contemplating leaving an abusive spouse.

Abusive beliefs are like stalagmites, they grow gradually, not from one notion, one thought, one person, but through constant little things over our lifetimes. It’s why they’re so hard to pin down, to address, and why those of us who may point out the words or actions that contribute to them can seem like we’re nit-picking, being easily offended, or blowing things up.

Let me share Barbara’s story as an example: