Spiritual Abuse Part 27__Shunning: The Aftermath and Rebellion ….Continued (2)….

Through the rise and fall of the eighteen months that followed, I rarely went to church, almost never contacted my family, and picked up some less than desirable habits. But that’s understated.

Ironically, it was at a Mennonite wedding, surrounded by white bonnets and plain suits, where I first got completely ‘plastered’ as my friends, unbeknownst to me, served me doubles from the bar. Not cool. I made an idiot of myself and had no idea what I was doing. I was brutally sick the next morning, flat on my back, still wearing a beautiful royal blue dress, nylons and shoes, with no memory of how I arrived in my bed. I never got that drunk again.

Friends introduced me to smoking and within months I was up to a pack a day. Drinking alcohol three nights a week, just for the party, wasn’t uncommon. I quickly learned that if you have a boyfriend, you don’t have to pay. Bonus. If you don’t have a boyfriend you accept offers from ‘gentlemen’, even from absolute strangers. (Usually that meant sharing at least one dance, even if he was not your type, or old enough to be your dad…. or grandpa. You did it for the freebie.)

I had no sense of personal identity or value, and simply did what I learned by watching society and culture, and adopting their ‘norms’. To use men in this way for the alcohol didn’t seem inappropriate at all. In fact, the thought never occurred to me that I was using people, or that even though it was culturally acceptable to do so, it lacked integrity. I had never been given the freedom to ‘think’, to weigh pros and cons, to make decisions based on what is right and wrong. I had only adopted a standard, a constitution. And society’s rules were very different.

All I had known was that the church constitution determined right and wrong within the context of religion, and I was no longer bound. If they were right, then I was going to hell. And if I was going to hell, I would party on the way down. No conscience. No rules. No constitution. If they were wrong, God would have to find me and prove Himself to be more than they made Him out to be. I wanted a Hero-God, not a villain.

Had I applied that same philosophy in relationships with men, I would have been better off. But I was so empty, so insecure, and so desperate for acceptance that I looked for only one qualifier in a man—he had to like me. That was it. If there was zero chemistry, that was fine, if he had nothing to speak of in looks, that was a non-issue, as long as he liked me.

Violence and death threats in our home had devalued me, and my culture had given me no reason to believe that I was liked, or even likable, so I craved validation. I even doubted that my best friends liked me. Was sure they just put up with me… pretended. When boys looked at me in church, and whispered, I was sure they were making fun of me, saying how ugly I was.

This is why, if a man could prove they liked me, or at least make me feel attractive, then he was good enough for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t sleep with every man I dated, nor did I hop in bed with them the instant they liked me. If a man liked me, the person that I am, with my quirky humour, my hyper personality, then I gave him my time, not my body. Even if I had given my body, at this point it wouldn’t make any difference. That was then, this is now. Then I was lost and hurting, now I am loved and valued by my wonderful husband. He knows every little secret, and looks beyond all the ‘stuff’, accepting me for who I am.

I don’t fear that you will judge me either, because most of us have crossed those boundaries before marriage, whether with our spouse or another lover. Sure, we pretend we didn’t… Wouldn’t… Never! But that’s an illusion. I get ‘the confession’ with well over 50% of Christians I meet with. Whether it’s the ‘almost did it’ confession, or the ‘went too far’ confession, or the ‘never meant to go all the way’ confession.  Even the seniors. So let’s not pretend. It does nothing positive for the next generation.



And, if you can look me in the eye and say, “Oh no I di’ent”, then bless you. You are not part of the majority, even in Christian circles… including in ‘plain’ cultures. Most of us were not so discreet.  Am I endorsing or encouraging sexual indiscretion? Heaven forbid! I am suggesting we drop the pretenses. There is power and freedom in truth and honest confessions. It is the best protection for your kids. If you’re hiding it, they’re probably doing it… and hiding it too. You’ve given that spirit power.

I admitted in that little prayer room that I was not a virgin, so I don’t write anything to mislead you into thinking I protected or kept my virginity. I didn’t . Didn’t really know it mattered. Religion had taught me that sex was bad. Sin. It takes you to hell if you’re not married. I was going to hell anyway. Nothing lost, nothing gained.  If only I had known the truth…

….. To Be Continued…

© Trudy Metzger 2012

Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/

NOTE: In a future ‘Parenting Series’ I will write about teaching our children about sex and equipping them to face the battle, to value themselves, their virginity and what they are really protecting when they wait. (I know….  ‘how ancient of me!’… it’s the twentieth century!) However outdated the concept, virginity is a beautiful thing and our kids deserve to know the truth about sex.

© Trudy Metzger 2012

Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/

5 thoughts on “Spiritual Abuse Part 27__Shunning: The Aftermath and Rebellion ….Continued (2)….

  1. persuaded2go June 21, 2012 / 2:51 pm

    I adore your honesty, and just realized that my daughter won a set of your books a couple of years ago at a gems conference. But I digress. I dated my husband for four years before we married and yet still seemed to manage to be a virgin when we married. However, saving myself didn’t make it magical on our wedding night, nor did it keep me from having an affair 15 years later. There is just something in all of us that are better when our story can be told…a freedom that rises up, and a cry for “love me still…”

    • You have said it well… We all long to be ‘fully known’ and yet fully loved. To tell my story publicly, in writing, is probably the most frightening thing… and yet the most freeing. (Especially scary to be spontaneous and ‘informal’. It’s very different than writing a book, for sure! And that’s true even with ‘holding back’ and editing out things.) When I read my Bible I wonder how have we wandered so far from ‘raw truth’ to pretentious Christianity. Some of what is written for people to read is totally embarrassing, by today’s standards of Christianity. Yet, there it is, in the Eternal Word. (King David, for example, Apostle Paul for another.) If we stopped pretending to live ‘perfect’ Christian lives, maybe we would impact our world… I hope so. That is why I tell my story, it is why I love to hear other’s tell their stories. People need to know that Jesus is bigger than our mistakes.

      (As for the books… they must have been someone else’s. Mine are in progress and I am only now looking for an agent.) 🙂

      • persuaded2go June 21, 2012 / 4:53 pm

        I know. And when you look at it from that angle, it’s just bizarre that we are so trapped in the box of what we think we are “supposed to be” (because someone said so) that we miss who we are…real. raw. searching. hungry.

        (Oops, you’re right about the books…I made the tie from the FaithGirlz prompt.)

      • If we would be more honest about our stories, and focus more on reaching to Jesus to heal our stories, to fill us, rather than pouring our energy into ‘looking together’. the body of Christ would be much healthier. Jesus would again be the answer, the centre, and not our own battle of good against evil. One testimony at a time we will get there.

      • persuaded2go June 22, 2012 / 4:44 pm

        Yes, indeed. One story at a time.

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