Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Grief of Being Shamed and/or Shunned

          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.

Karen,
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
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          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.

28 comments:

  1. Dear Karen ~ I trust your instincts and your efforts to do what is best for you and your children. Divorce is painful and yet sometimes it is the only emotionally healthy thing to do whether you are a Christian or not; if relationship breaks down and discord and cruelty prevail in the marital home then divorce may be inevitable and best for everyone's long term emotional health.
    Can I offer you a word of encouragement re English men? I've been married to one for more than 30 years and so far he hasn't bankrupted me or run off to the USA to bankrupt any unsuspecting American ladies either.
    It seems to me that the last few painful years have helped you learn to be more emotionally healthy, and more discerning in your relationships; I hope this will help you navigate your new relationship with Ross ~ wishing you well my friend, you and your lovely children ~ Helen x

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    1. Thank you Helen. I appreciate you and your thoughts.

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  2. All the Englishmen I know would not do this and in fact they aer horrified the America is even entertaining the idea of electing a man who thinks it is manly to grab a womans pussy without permission.

    As to spreading lies about Christians there is no need too as they bt their very actions show themselves up for what they are. Not all I know but a quite large proportion.

    Karen, you are not a bad person because you no longer believe what you were once taught.

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    1. Thank you Sarah. You amaze me perpetually.

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  3. It's always very easy for people on the outside of a relationship to judge what it's like from the inside. Sadly, being a Christian, or saying you are, or going to church, or anything similar, doesn't magically fix a marriage. Karen, you did what was right for you to do, you have grown and you are continuing to grow.
    I'm afraid your Aunt is quite mistaken about English men running such scams though! I live in the UK, and I can vouch that there certainly don't appear to be a dearth of American brides bringing over their fortunes only to have them stolen away!
    I'm extremely sad to hear the harmful rhetoric that God will somehow 'punish' you for not agreeing with your families view. Very sad indeed. You are not a bad person, and you do not need punishing. Your aunt is simply mistaken.
    Wishing you strength and happiness, Karen x

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    1. DrG, you teach me every time you type. :)

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  4. I really hope this woman can get her mind right. What you do is your business. The end! Butt out, woman!

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    1. Her opinions on Ross and the English are just stellar.

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  6. Also... I've been to England several times, and it is wonderful. This is pure judgemental nonsense. I know Ross personally and I'd trust him with my life. Crock....of.....need I say more?

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    1. Thank you. Ross, England, and his friends are all lovely

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  7. Well, isn't that special! One thing some of the Christians do is sink that saccharine sweet blade in your back and twist it as they whisper about love and tell you its for your own good. I lost every important relationship in my life within a year of admitting I was an atheist. Lifelong relationships, family, all of it- gone. One thing you have to look forward to: these relationships will all go silent. If you just stop responding to the emotional warfare there will be nothing left for them and they will turn away for good and you can get on with rebuilding your life without all that negativity and manipulation. In my experience, as long as you defend yourself they will keep coming back to do what they much: enforce the social sanctions required by there religion. Stop responding completely and you will eventually gain silence.

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    1. That brings some comfort. I loved these people. Sigh. They suck though.

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    2. note to self: always proof read before posting!

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    3. I loved most of my friends and family too. It is tough and tragic to find yourself in the situation that almost all the people you trusted and depended on have turned against you. Who do you turn to when the ones you turn to forsake you? It can an isolating experience. Big changes are tough, even tougher when your whole support system now actively works against you and tears you down.

      The first step is one of self defense: cut of the pipes on the nastiness and manipulation. I look back now and realize those relationships were always tainted and destructive to my life. Every day spent in them was an extra day I'd have to work in recovery, reflection, healing, and rebuilding. I have so little in common with my old family and friends now that it is kind of amazing that I ever lived in that world. Most of us who walk this path did not choose that world but inherited it by birth or childhood circumstance.

      Put as much emotional distance between you and these people as you can, and do it as quickly as you can!


      Atheist squirrels unite ;)

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  9. Karen, you know I love you and Ross. This is insanity if I've ever seen it. I'll never understand how someone could write such bullshit to a person they supposedly care about. It makes me sick.

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    1. it is a requirement of religion. Those who rebel must be sanctioned, punished, and eventually ostracized.

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  10. It always grieves my heart when folks use Christianity as a right to judge, oust, and harm another human being. It is even more grievous when those blows come from a family member, spiritual leader, or close friend. (Been there)
    I am by no means perfect and have made dumb, blanketed, judgemental statements to and about others. One thing I have learned is that EVERYONE desires and deserves to be loved, and everyone should be treated with kindness and respect no matter what our personal life choices are.
    I am a believer in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but it saddens me that the majority of believers that you have encountered have caused you great pain.

    I am a believer in miracles and keeping families together. However, that requires willingness from everyone involved. Sometimes one partner is too stuck in their own muck to be able to choose to love over being right. Even the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that faith, hope, and love will last forever.... but the greatest of these is LOVE. Not righteousness. Not moral standards. Not religious regulations... LOVE!
    I hope that you know that I love you by my actions toward you regardless of your personal choices. I wish you much happiness, joy, and peace. :)

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  11. Thanks to all of you who are so supportive and lovely.

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  12. Where in the gospel (good news) does it say to treat your family members with cruelty? Your aunt, and people like her, turn it all into bad news, very bad news. What happened to binding up the wounds of the hurting, cuz you know, divorce hurts. Sheesh! Kate Hammerquist

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    1. That is precisely what I felt about and finally thought it was best to show all of what is happening to me.

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  13. Where in the gospel (good news) does it say to treat your family members with cruelty? Your aunt, and people like her, turn it all into bad news, very bad news. What happened to binding up the wounds of the hurting, cuz you know, divorce hurts. Sheesh! Kate Hammerquist

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