Disentangling from Others’ Opinions

I constantly wrestle with self-hatred and shame. The source of most of this is others' words, opinions, teachings, and assessments of me, compounded by my own critical inner voice. As an adult, I still particularly crave my parents' approval. It's painful when they disapprove of something I'm doing (or not doing), or when I know... Continue Reading →

When Christians Beg You to Remain Indoctrinated

When Christians express concern about those who have pulled away from organized religion - concern that we're not "being fed" - it seems what they're often really saying (from a subconscious level of thought) is "We just want to be sure you're getting indoctrinated...that you're vetted...that you still fit into a box we can understand.... Continue Reading →

Spankings and Sexuality – The Damage Done

Trigger and adult audience warning: This article discusses corporal punishment, unwanted sexual thoughts and experiences, trauma, and self-harm. In my childhood years, my parents were firm believers in using a thick, heavy wooden paddle (or a series of strong hand smacks from Dad) to keep their children in line. I have forgiven my parents. They... Continue Reading →

Are the Conservative Media Hypocritical?

My desire is not to make Former Captive a heavily political blog. However, a few thoughts were pressing on me today. As one raised in conservative evangelical culture (who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012), and is presently more of a semi-political, centrist libertarian, I feel I have a place to speak to this. The... Continue Reading →

Messy Christian = Good Christian

I'm exhausted, and have virtually no energy remaining to spend on people. It's hard knowing that not everyone always understands. But it can't be my problem that they take it personally. I'm human; I have limitations. People expect me to not be so messy because I'm a Christian. Believe me, I've tried and tried and... Continue Reading →

Religious PTSD

Research suggests that "spiritual struggle" - including "Punishing God Reappraisal," "Reappraisal of God's Powers," and "Spiritual Discontent" - may be a mediating factor between trauma and PTSD symptoms. Social-cognitive theorists postulate that PTSD symptoms result from trauma that shatters one’s basic assumptions about the invulnerability of the self and the safety of the world (Janoff-Bulman,... Continue Reading →

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