Every bit of research I’ve read on PTSD and religion is that those with some belief in a Supreme Being have the advantage. They believe there is something more, something bigger than this one moment. I had nightmares most of last night I woke up and was thankful to be awake. Sleep is highly overrated. So why is there an advantage to religion when abusers use it to punish, manipulate, and oppress their victims? Religious abuse is some of the most horrific forms of abuse. So where is the advantage?
Belief is a One-on-One relationship and no matter what the abuser does they cannot take away that relationship from the victim. A victim can give it up but it cannot be taken.
Joseph sold into Egypt is a classic example of God taking an evil act and turning it for good. His brother wanted to kill him but his other brothers persuaded him to sell Joseph into slavery. Old Joe’s life went from bad to worse when he wouldn’t accommodate his master’s wife. Prison, years of prison. Then he interpreted dreams for his fellow prisoners and then the pharaoh. Joseph became second only to the pharaoh and saved 2 nations Egypt and Israel. Big example of how God works to turn evil into good.
I appreciate that evil happening is not called good just that it can be turned to good. Sh*t becomes fertilizer. Being buried in darkness and split is an opportunity to grow like a seedling. Wrapped in a cocoon ends the life of a caterpillar but the beginning of a butterfly.
How does belief help a survivor?
Prayer, scripture reading, devotions remind us we are not alone. Faith can become a source of strength. A deterrent to self harm.
My counselor held similar religious beliefs that I did. He helped me pull apart and separate the lies and distortions that were wrapped and entwined with my thoughts. I learned that within my beliefs were the powers of eternity waiting to be tapped into. I recognized at a young age that my belief was very different from my abuser that professed religion but didn’t live what they preached. I read the New Testament before I was 12 years old. This is the same age when some of the worse abuse was happening to me. I prayed for protection but I wasn’t. Or was I? My mind shielded me from the worse parts. When my counselor helped me to remember some of the worse parts, I would talk in detail then stop. He encouraged me to continue. I felt puzzled. I went to the beach. I didn’t live anywhere near a beach. I always wondered why I had so many memories of going to a beach when I lived in desert. My protection was not what I expected. My strength was there but I didn’t recognize it for what it was. My counselor helped me to see that strength, protection, and faith are not always what we think they are. Sometimes faith is staying alive through the storm and a quiet resolve to continue tomorrow.
I watched in my own life as evil was used to my advantage…..not that the evil was advantageous but my Faith in a Loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, my Savior, led me to make something good of my life because I am His Child and He believes in me.