Previously I picked up a used copy of a book on the subject of rape (Telling by Patricia Weaver Francisco). It is a first hand account of a woman who was violated. Something she wrote in the prologue caught my attention, as similar can be said about spiritual abuse. Here is what she wrote:
“Myths,” said Cassandra Thomas in talking about rape, “keep us from doing the work we need to do based on truth.” And one of the myths we live by is that rape doesn’t exist. Not really. Not like baseball and heart attacks and love affairs and taxes. Not like the things we talk about together in the evening and feel the need to understand. We don’t talk about rape partly because we are bound by superstition. I couldn’t survive it. I might feel differently about sex. These myths keep women and men from having the conversations that might save our lives, our loves.
Substitute ‘spiritual abuse‘ for ‘rape’ and see if you don’t see the similarity. There are definitely myths and misconceptions about spiritual abuse and it occurs with more frequency than many realize.
What are some myths and misconceptions about spiritual abuse that come to mind? One that I quickly thought of is those saying that people upset about the color of the paint or carpet in a church are crying abuse, in an attempt to make the thought of abuse in church appear ridiculous and frivolous. While some simpleton might attempt such, I have never had anyone contact me because they felt abused when the pastor had a church wall painted a color they didn’t want or like.
Another is that spiritual abuse is about people who are upset they didn’t get to do something, like teach Sunday School or sing in the choir. Or that it is some personal grudge about something. Again, the attempt is to make spiritual abuse seem frivolous and therefore discredit it, making people who have been abused to appear to be a bunch of whiners and complainers.