Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Once Again, I See The Effects Of Control

Hey friends,
I haven't written a post in a while, but I stay connected with my blog on a regular basis. I always respond to comments and I check to see which posts people seem to be reading. It's very interesting that most people find my blog by googling words such as controlling, manipulative people and narcissistic pastors. I think there are a lot more people dealing with this than we know.

I received a heart wrenching comment yesterday on a post titled, "The Controlling, Abusive Pastor," and I want to share it with you.

"These are some of the qualities that my pastor has too. He keeps threatening that anybody who leaves the church without his decision would die and go to hell and God himself would take vengeance against such a member. I feel I'm into spiritual slavery . I have felt many times that he has manipulated scripture to meet his selfish motives. Now he wants me to move closer to his house so that he can control me more (though he gives different excuses). There are forced covenants that he has made us take regarding a business that the church should start. We are only 6 members and it's a home church. I'm frustrated and can not even talk back for the fear of speaking against authority. There are times when I thought suicide would be a way out. But suicide I believe would be a direct ticket to hell so I don't dare to take such a step. On the other hand I want to fulfill the plan and purpose for which God has sent me to the world. I'm crying out to the Lord to help me. Can I ask you guys for prayers though."

This comment greatly concerned me and this is why my blog is so important to me. Once again I see the effects and the devastation that being under a controlling leader has on people and I hope something I say can help. This dear person is suffering under the hand of a man who calls himself a pastor but is so far from what a true pastor really is. I hope the person who left this comment finds the courage to leave this ungodly control and find peace.

This "pastor," and many others like him, use fear and manipulation to keep people under their rule. They go to extremes by saying that bad things will happen to you and your family if you leave. You have to realize they are just bullies and you must not allow them to manipulate you. They only want to use you so they can have their own selfish way. It's never been and never will be about what is best for you. It's all about what will benefit him - the selfish pastor. When people who call themselves leaders treat people this way, it is the total OPPOSITE of the way God treats people.

Being under a controlling leader strips you of who you are. It takes away your voice and you find yourself living only to please the leader. You lay aside your own wants and dreams to fulfill his. That is NOT what was intended for your life! When a man takes control over you in the name of God it's wrong. God Himself doesn't even take control over us. He gave us our free will to choose. How can a man claiming to be a voice for God do something that even God can't do? The answer is...he can't unless we allow him to. We have to be strong and stand up to these kind of controlling people and say enough is enough. And be warned...when a pastor says if you speak against him you are speaking against authority, he is hiding something. No one person is higher than another and when a pastor tries to make you feel lower than he is, he is a narcissist with wrong motives.

To the person who wrote this comment, I hope you read this post and realize that you need to run from this situation. It's unhealthy and it is sucking the very life out of you. I know it's hard, but God will give you the courage. I have been there and I had to stand up and take my life back from a controlling, narcissistic tyrant. Being in this type of situation only hurts you and no good will come from it. Your life is basically on hold until you free yourself. You can truly start to live again when you get out from under the control. I hope you find your voice and start to enjoy your life. You have a friend in me and I would love to talk to you. You can get through this. I did and I know of many others who have too. You are not alone.

If there are others who have a word of encouragement for this hurting person, please feel free to comment here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spiritual Abuse Resources

January is Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month. I'm glad to know that there are people out there trying to raise the awareness of this travesty that affects so many lives.

Dr. Barb Orlowski has compiled a list of spiritual abuse blogs and websites. Barb looked at over 130 sites and picked the best of the bunch. These sites provide insights into people's lives and experience of spiritual abuse. Some of them may speak to you more than others, but you can pick the ones that are your personal favorites.

I have linked the sites for you, so all you have to do is click on the title.

*Church Exiters

*Setting The Captives Free

*Pure Provender

*Futurist Guy

*Spiritual Abuse In the Church

*Spiritual Abuse

*Christian Survivors

*The Hope Of Survivors

*Kingdom Grace

*Battered Sheep

*Spiritual Abuse Recovery resources

*The National Association Of Christian Recovery

*Recovery From Abuse

*VM Life Resources

*The Wartburg Watch

*Church Abuse

*John Mark Ministries

*Apologetics Index

*Stop Spiritual Abuse

*Reflections On Spiritual Abuse

*Rick Ross Institute

*Wittenberg Gate

*The Barnabas Ministry

*Word Of Faith Recovery Forum

*Ministry From Two Poles

*Ruby's Emporium

*Wicked Shepherds

*We Survived Abuse

*Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are You Dealing With A Manipulator?

I have found myself caught in the web of manipulation a few times in my life and I am determined to never find myself there again. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are dealing with a manipulator.....

1. Does this person always play the role of the victim? Do this person believe he/she can "do no wrong?" Is it always someone else's fault?

2. Does this person often get angry and throw temper tantrums? Have you felt threatened during this person's angry outbursts?

3. Does this person try to make you feel guilty when you have done nothing wrong?

4. Does this person try to confuse your thinking in order to get you to do what they want? Does it seem as if it is a game to them? Have you ever wondered if this person has actually researched how to manipulate people?

5. Does this person pivot off of lies? Have you noticed that everything this person says is tainted with untruths? Even if you don't realize it at the moment, do you eventually see that this person seems to lie about everything? Do you basically dismiss everything this person says?

6. Does this person try to divert your attention from the truth? Would you identify him/her as an expert liar? Does this person talk in circles?

7. Is it always "all about them?"

8. Do you find yourself doing things you really wish you hadn't? Does this person try to get you outside your comfort zone, because then they can pull your string and get one over on you? Do you often feel agitated after being around this person?

9. Is this person very insecure? Do they talk about themselves and try to build themselves up? Have you noticed that this person subtly puts you down?

10. Does this person try to get you to cut off your support systems so he/she can gain dominance over you? Do they act sweet and innocent in front of you, while they talk about you behind your back?

11. Does this person make promises to change, but never follow through? (It is very rare that a manipulator makes any changes.)

12. Have you always had a question about this person in the back of your mind?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you are dealing with a manipulator. In most cases manipulators will not change. You need to be alert and very aware of who you are dealing with. It is easy to forget and allow yourself to fall back into their trap, so keep your guard up.

(If you found this post to be helpful, you may also want to read The Manipulators Behavior Defined and Dealing With Manipulative People.)