Dear Blog readers, the following is a real letter from my mother’s cousin. I looked up to her as a role model, I treated her like an aunt to me, I included her in a family vacation, I was never once mean to her because I had deconverted. In short, I continued to respect and admire her. This is how she repaid my kindness. This week we are talking about the loss and grief that comes when your friends and family abandon you wholesale for being who you are. If this has not happened to you, you are blessed beyond measure with good friends and family. This is what happens to so many of us and is one of the biggest church crimes out there. “shunning” or in this case, “Shaming." I am writing out my responses to her for your benefit.
Dear Karen Elizabeth:
The last time you heard from me was when I wrote and thanked you for the beautiful Afghan you made and sent to me and I keep on my bed at all times.
*****What a lovely thing to say. I did agonize over colors and choose that which I thought would please you.
I am asking you as your Aunt and you being my Name Sake to please read the entire letter and not throw it down
*****I ask the same favor of you. I read every single scarring and horrifying line of your letter and am asking you to sit there and do the exact same thing. Please note the commanding tone. I am given no right to look away and no grounds to say that this is abuse and I do not have to hear it anymore.
but please hear me out as someone who loves you dearly and wants to very best for you and your beautiful family that God has created through you and Peter's genes and the Lord created inside your womb.
****How on earth could you possibly know what is best for my family? Did you know that Peter had a lying issue through our entire relationship? Did you know when I found evidence he became really mean? Did you know that he said of every single blog I have ever written whether it was Christian or not, “I ‘have’ to listen to you all day long. Why am I going to go to the effort to READ what your thoughts are online? No. I am not reading that I am tired of being bombarded by your ideas.” Did you know that as I would try to speak to him he would categorically ignore me? As if I was not even in the room at all. The last time he did this to me, he was reading the Bible as he did it and he knows how excruciatingly painful that is for me. I tried counseling, but that is a no go, he put all the fault on me. But boy does he love Jesus.
Right now you are very very angry and you feel that the way to get even is to put yourself first and Ross second.
*****Here you are just making stuff up out of thin air. I do not even know what you are talking about. If that were the case, I would already be permanently moved to England as neither of us want to live in this accursed state. His home in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire is lovely and 20 minutes outside of London. You know, the most amazing town in the ENTIRE WORLD? But please tell me how you know for a fact that Ross is second and my children don’t feature. I promise you, if that were the case, I would not be here at all, but already in his arms happily married and in England. VERY HAPPILY. But I’m not. He knows he comes third and has said time and time again that this makes him love me more. As I look over the history books of our family, it is you that put the needs of a really abusive man over your daughters and one of them bears addiction issues from it. But go ahead and tell me how I am so selfish. Tell me how I am failing my children.
Karen, you will not admit it but Satan has filled your mind with lies about Christians and your family.
*****No. My family has done and said EXCRUCIATINGLY, EXQUISITELY painful things like writing letters filled with really nasty assumptions that make me sound like a raving unloving whore. Thanks for that. I have evidence that this is not lies, but indeed the actual verifiable truth. You’re reading it.
You Don't know Ross Balmer except what he wants you to know.
*****Yup. Apparently, he does not want me to know what color his poos are because that is about the only topic we haven’t covered. I know his history, his life, his addictions, his fears, his damage, his brilliance and his preferred underpants. To be honest, he asks me to not bother loving him because he fears that it is all too much for me to handle right now as I am coming off a divorce. There is a bit of computer software called Skype. It enables us to sit and talk while looking at each other like we were in the same room. We sit and look at each other and bare every part of our broken hurting lives. You would say souls. The man is far from perfect but what he has going for him is he is terrifically kind, gentle, loving, peaceful, even tempered, patient, and intelligent.
If you would be willing to take the time and do research you will learn that men in England
******I did an extensive web crawl as you suggested and using bing, google, and yahoo found no such story of this being a thing **Englishmen** do. Nigerians have been trying this but there is no such record or known, established trend in the lives of English people. They actually love their home and see America as a tantrummy child. Especially now that Trump might actually become president.
and other countries are using American women to marry so that they can get to the United States, steal their bank accounts and then desert them leaving the boken [hoc] and destroyed.
*****Again, that is what my family has done about the destroyed part. But as to money. Peter is a really rich doctor. I have no job. No money. And I have very honestly stated I will be getting a meager 450$ a week in child support. Right now I have all of .40$ in my bank account. Peter cut me off completely and I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. If he is looking for money, there isn’t any. Even if I were in Mom and Dad’s will, they have nothing. NOTHING. There is not even a promise of inheritance. SO, again, you are making things up OUT OF THE AIR.
The Lord has blessed you and Peter with three beautiful children, Joey, Sarah and Ellanor who will blame themselves for your divorce and ask themselves down the road what they did to cause their Mommy and Daddy to unlove each other.
*****No. They don’t. You know who struggles with not blaming her mother for all the damage she still must process and the abuse from afore mentioned bully? YOUR daughters. I made a point of asking my kids if they felt to blame. All of them answered, “No.” I said, “Who is to blame for Mommy and Daddy’s divorce?” They all said, in unison, “Mommy and Daddy.” “That is right kids. You were not even alive when I decided to marry him and you have no part in our relationship or in the ending of it. You are loved and actually you make sure that Mommy and Daddy will always stay friends so that you know you are loved.”
I know that there are always two sides to every story in a divorce but ((The conjunction there tells us that she is completely disregarding my side as valid)) Karen the Lord can perform miracles in both you and Peter's hearts if you will give the Lord the chance.
*****I prayed for 5 years that God would heal our marriage and fix me and fix him. What if the miracle provided to change Peter’s cold heart is this divorce? He works in really really strange ways.
I know you are angry with God and blaming Him for a lot right now but the Lord has spared you a lot of problems; but my prayer is that you will wake up and realize that there is more to life than material things that you are wanting.
****Peter has all the material things. I have no idea what you are referencing. I will have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I will be working a job and hoping to make ends meet as I live pay check the paycheck. This was preferable to living any more with his ridiculous anger and silent treatment. Peter just inherited an island. Yes. A private island. Would have been mine too if I stayed. I don’t want a ridiculous island and this world’s wealth. I want to be emotionally safe and loved. WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE IT ISN’T ME! I have no idea where on earth you are getting your really really wrong information.
I am not angry with you but love you enough to sit down and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit write to you ((This absolves her of any abuse in the letter. It isn’t she that is saying all of these horrendous things, OH NO it is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit)) and pray you will read this and let the Holy Spirit open your eyes and your heart before you do anything more to destroy yourself and the precious family that the Lord has lent to you and can take away at any time and you then cannot go back and undo.
*******This is my very favorite part. If I do not do as you suggest, God will take my family away from me because he loves me. Really? You are threatening me. If you have to explain how your letter is loving so very much and so very hard, IT ISN’T LOVE AT ALL. And if God is willing to do that to me and my family after all I have been through, He is an asshole. Do not contact me again.
I love you and Jesus loves you more.
Love Aunt Karen Durr Crogan.
I will let you, the dear reader judge between us. This experience is so common to so many of you out there. I have found love, I am healing, I have found a way to cope. I wrote these responses out in July. I have come a long way since then and am willing to admit that I was a part of the problem. The cycle of toxicity had to be broken. I have ended it with my Aunt Karen as well for that very reason. She may be able to believe that nonsense, but I can’t. I love myself, my children, Ross, and you dear reader, more than that. If you need help with family that shun or shame you, please contact me today.