If you've ever had a loved one in or still coping with the effects of a spiritually abusive group, you've probably had "interesting" discussions a few times, the type that make you feel like this:
For me, it comes when the person in question still sees things through spiritually abusive group-tinted glasses. Discussions about ordinary, healthy parts of living a Christian life are somewhat marred by relating everything to their VERY limited experiences.
As an outsider (i.e. not raised in or having been involved with an abusive religious group) looking in, it's frustrating because I can't totally see their side of things. In all fairness, I realize they probably can't see my side, either.
What grieves me the most about it is that this person had such a rigid upbringing that, even though they reject much of the mindset they were raised with, they are still held captive by these beliefs. It's saddening to see someone possibly having gone through life never really knowing Jesus because of all the baggage someone else put on them. I hope and pray that it won't always be so for them.
Interestingly enough, my first (and it possibly won't be my only
) private confession had to do with fearing that I was a failure as a Christian witness due to some rash words on my part. Maybe we sometimes end up taking on more blame than we can rightfully claim.
What are your particular struggles with loved ones in a toxic group or still dealing with issues?