Thank you for the reply I appreciate it!
I feel really torn with church. I know and believe in jesus. But I hate the church. I really hate it. But at the same time I feel lost without it sometimes.
Because of my sexuality, Gender identity and mental health I’ve experienced ongoing trauma and abuse from the church. From leaders having to check it was okay for me to work or be in church. Like somehow my queer self was going to dirty up their environment. People telling me I need to change or I’m going to hell, because I happened to be a different gender and love different genders.
Several times I became suicidal because I couldn’t cope with the theology I was being told. It was a case of be celibate or be damned a lot of the time. And it drove me to a point where I just wanted out.
But even that wasn’t the worst. I went away to do an internship with a worship organisation and church and I was so excited because it would mean I’d finally get to serve musically. Oh boy was I in for a world of pain. All the time I was there the leaders kept saying “we love you, we are for you” but then they wouldnt treat me in loving ways. And worst of all they didn’t even see that it was t loving. I had a panic attack in one intern meeting because there was a conversation about sexual abuse going on. The response from a leader was to try to forecably remove me from the room, at least it felt that way. My mental health got worse and worse as I realised new things about my own past too. And because the way the churhch and the leaders kept reacting to me was so unhelpful. They wanted to control everything! Even once when I gave a piece of spoken word at church, I prayed beforehand and the next day I was told off in a review for doing so.
I was also living with a host family who I knew were homiphobic and it would appear in subtle ways. The guy would invite me to lunch and then quiz me about my thoughts on it. Telling me I was playing a dangerous social experiment, that I was braking the fabric of society etc. He got quite verbally angry at one point and that triggered a ptsd response for me from the abusive and anger I felt as a kid at home.
I became so unwell I was self harming almost constantly just to cope and was nearly always suicidal.
The church leaders then told me to contact them if I needed to and so I did. I was then told I would need to only contact emergency contacts and they gave me a list, so I did.
A few days later I was brought into another leadership meeting and was told that it was in appropriate to contact them. Like wtf! That’s what I was told to do!
The leaders then said I should go to the doctor and if I needed to, one of them could go with me. Tbh I said yes because I thought maybe that support would be helpful and I’m so annoyed I didn’t say no. A leader came with me and without asking me came into the Dr’s office! She spoke on my behalf and talked about my struggles and part of me was like this is good because I wouldn’t have been able to be honest but in hindsight it was such an abuse of power. I ended up being given medication that I wasn’t sure I wanted because I felt like I had to do as I was asked and the leader said I should.
Now I’m still on meds and I’m grateful for them but I still regret that day.
It got to a point where the leader of the whole church was joking about taking over the counter medication bexause it gave him a buzz and that’s how he dealt with anxiety. When I raised it as innappropriate I was told it was just the way they were.
It all culminated in the end in me being extremely suicidal and trying to hang myself. Shortly after I realised I wasn’t going to ever be a part of the internship I wanted or hoped for and so I left. The next weekend my mum and me came back and picked up my stuff and then I was gone for good.
In some ways it made me realise how much abuse I’d suffered before that point too. And in left hugely wounded by it now. And worst of all because it was always wrapped in a layer of we are for you and we love you, sometimes I find myself wondering whether it was just me all along and it was all my own fault. Which is not true. It was abuse. I just have to keep reiterating that to myself when I believe otherwise.
Sorry that was a long vent. Ive talked to people about this before. I guess it just still bothers me. And ever since then I’ve never recovered the faith I was had. It’s broken. Even more so than before.
I have work this morning. Looking forward to getting it over with and coming back to nap!
Ive been given more hours too. Which is good because it’s more money but also its tiring work and its a combination of I just don’t want to to so much and the genuine anxiety about doing it well enough and being able to cope with the physical requirements of it. Nevermind hopefully soon it’ll be over.
Boy I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t get the PhD. But that’s and if so eh
Thanks for reading my rambling, sorry its so long
And thanks for the reply.