Religious Trauma

 Let’s talk trauma from the church, shall we? 

As many of you know, if you realllyyy know me, I grew up in a mega church. I grew up in a church that cared more about what you looked like than your character. I grew up in a church that was greedy. I grew up in a church that sweeps everything under the rug…. I grew up in a church that fucked me up, probably for life. 

My last blog was on purity culture. Purity culture was so heavy there. BUT. At the same time, I was sexually abused on church property, came back into the church, bruised, my lip swollen and bleeding, crying…. Did anyone ask? No. Did anyone help? No. Did anyone care? No. They tell you don’t have sex before marriage. But, if someone does something to you, if he’s someone important in the church, it’s okay, because we don’t want the church to look bad. To hell with you, we only care about the church’s reputation, essentially. Now, you may be thinking, “well did you tell anyone?” No, I didn’t. I knew it wouldn’t matter. I knew that his parents were a bug deal in the church and it wouldn’t matter what he did. But, did adults see me that day and still not ask anything? Yes, they did. Maybe they were afraid to ask. Maybe they were afraid of the answer…. That’s what’s wrong with our society. 

The church in a whole, every church, needs to work on being there for each other. It doesn’t matter what you look like, who you are, a church is somewhere you’re supposed to go and be yourself, not somewhere you’re supposed to go and pretend to have it all together. 

I met some of the worst people of my entire life at that church. I had two, on staff, “men” sexually assault me. The sad thing is, the first one, Rabbit we call him, I thought “he’s so good, he’s so high up in this church there’s no way someone like him could ever like me.” And I was right. He didn’t like ME. He just wanted to use me. And is now married with a baby, LOL at the irony. The second I don’t talk much about. I left the church after him. About a year ago a girl on Facebook posted a photo of him and her story saying she had been sexually assaulted by him and more, and in the comments there was dozens of women that said the same thing happened to them… he worked in the children’s ministry… I don’t know where he is, but I hope he rots in hell one day. 

But, I’ve also met a few good ones along the way. I worked in the church’s coffee shop, that’s the only thing that kept me there for as long as I was. I would do anything for that babe I was there with. We went through a lot together, a lot of hard days, a lot of crazy people during week long conferences… I’ve recently reconnected with a few people that I was in youth group with and I’m so thankful for those friendships. I wouldn’t have met them if I didn’t go there. 

I read recently “the church didn’t hurt you, the people did.” Yes and No. I feel like the church is the people. The people make us the entirety of the church. But, I know that the head pastors know nothing about anything that goes on in the congregation. 

Also, can we talk about bodyguards? You should be able to come and talk to other people in the church without having a bodyguard. You should be able to have your little sermon and then come talk to people, not run away to the back. 

I know I haven’t been there in a while, about 6 years, but the thought of going to any church just scares me. 

At the moment, I’m conflicted on what I believe on religion, I think I have been for a while.

Anything regarding the church makes me cringe. 

Anyways, Ted Talk is over.

-S

3 Comments

  1. kegarland says:

    I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. Are you in therapy?

    Like

    1. Sarah Wells says:

      I am! I feel like I just started working on things from this church in therapy but it’s been good so far!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kegarland says:

        This is good to hear ❤

        Like

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