7 thoughts on “Religious Abuse and the “Duggar Effect”

  • May 9, 2019 at 1:30 am

    There is a third category: the people who are neither perfect nor always happy nor very unhappy nor put upon but who reside in that big bulge of the bell shaped curve. They were neither super into the more cultic parts nor particularly disaffected. This is just the way things are in their life and they just get on with it. They tend to get overlooked by both sides.

    • May 9, 2019 at 6:24 am

      How I wish I was in the Group #3 you describe. It’s my bane in life to take everything way too seriously!

  • May 9, 2019 at 6:20 am

    It’s so sad to see abuse in all its forms and contexts. It’s found in dysfunctional as well as functional autocratic as well as permissive homes. It’s silence is also found in every corner. It’s the human condition. The Duggers although I’m sure suffer the same issues that all do seem a beautiful and well rounded family. They should be applauded and either followed or respected. I’m a believer in respecting and celebrating family and happy coexistence. Blessings

  • May 9, 2019 at 6:22 am

    It’s because they are brainwashed, you ask “dont they know?” No, they do not… that’s kinda cult 101

  • May 9, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I know what you’re talking about can be true. I also know, in the middle of all that, can be the genuine, real, and peace with God. My parents were genuine. Everything they thought, did or said, came from a real and healthy love for God. So when I heard and saw the garbage you’re talking about, I disregarded it. It had no lasting effect on me.
    Yeah, I can see why you think what you do about the Duggar’s. I don’t know them. But no matter what things look like, you can have peace with God. You can live a life different from others around you, and not have lost your mind.

  • May 9, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I grew up in a toxic abusive Christian family. I was definitely a group 2 but in mnay ways my sister was group 1. She was damaged by the abuse, but it did not cause her to feel anger or resentment towards God. She loves Jesus passionately. people comment on her strong faith and she sometimes unintentionally shames me by saying” why don’t yopu have more faith” or “you wouldn’t have this problem if you believed Jesus has healed you already on the cross” etc….from a young age we were raised Christian. But whereas I grew up to have BPD and serious anger and self harm issues, my sister had clinical depression very badly and like me was also suicidal, BUT she was unselfish and considerate of others. Me on the other hand, I was very needy, demanding and difficult. Also had very high anxiety and “acted out” a lot as a child. My sister was generally well behaved and kind to people, not a bully-victim type like me.

    I drank excessively, had a shoping addiction, had eating disorders, went from extreme of being very shy and fearful (my default self) to very reckless when trigered or feeling empty or bored. My sister was a good kid. She lacked close friendships, and ws bullied, same as me, but was not shy. just quiet and calm. Me, I would go from being shy and shame filled to very angry.

    I had a concept of God from age 7 as an angry person who was displeased with me and could never love me. I knew i was bad inside, even at that young age i had a bitter angry jealous heart. My sister accepted Jesus and the Bible and as a child and teenager her faith was rock like. i grew up hating God and leaving the church for a few years then coming back and becoming a “strong” Christian but i went the other way- i developed Scrupulosity (I have always had OCD, was quite bad with it in my childhood but parents thought i was naughty and took me until adulthood to get diagnosed and medicated) and developed terrible fears that i was still unclean befpre God and going to hell (I had rituals to cope with this up until very recently- thank God am getting better) even after coming back to the fold and repenting of my sins.

    recently though, my sister and I were talking and it became clear that although she did not have the extremes of doubt and torment regarding her Faith, she still could be very hard on herself and she seems to fear making decisions due to displeasing God. I had not realise she struggled with this issue too, but considering we had same father, it makes sense! my sister’s faith is still strong, but i am beginning to see she isn’t some Christian Wonderwoman- she has fears and insecurities too and is beginning to connect the dots as to how our upbringing has effected us.

    My sister holds down a job, albeit with some depression symptoms, my BPD has made that imposssible (also i also have physical disability which limits me), my sister desires marriage and children and socialises with others although she not an extrovert. Me, i either isolate from or cling to people and as for men and marriage??? am terrified of trusting anyone that much. You would look at my sister and think that she is the functional one, the “Normal” one. Yet she still has hurts and trauma, she has been deeply scarred too, it just manifests in different ways much of the time. I was not abused any worse than she was. we are just different people. but yeah, am starting to see that we have m,any of the same conflicts as each other, however differntly expressed. Because I am considerd the “problem child” in the family, I could see how troubled I was and ended up needing intense therapy. I think taht is why I was able to connect the dots and realise our family was messed up. My sister when we were young often minimised what our dad was doing to us “He is our father, he loves us. we have to obey him, the bible says so.” Me, I felt a lot of shame and self hate but at same time I knew I was not the only bad one. i feared and resented my dad and although I kinda felt bad about it I just did not know how to feel or behave otherwise. I could not toe the party line and pretend we were a normal family even though I knew I should do. I appeared to be compliant but inside i was seething and when i was older started to rebel as much as i could get away with it.

    I think my sister and I both have a sensitive conscience and are sensitive people, but my sister is sensitive to doing the right thing and living as part of a community (i never saw myself as part of a family, i felt like an outsider and a loner even though we were abused and inavlidated and rejected) and I am sensitive to fear that I may be harmed in some way- my fear is God being angry with me and punishing me, my sister fears God being angry with her and being disappointed in her. Am afraid my fears are very self centered- I always fear for my own safety, i fear being harmed or shamed. My sister fears being a bad Christian, causing God pain. Both of us seem to fear rejection and disapproval from God (And others) but for different reasons maybe?

  • May 12, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Not all Christ followers are the same, within a group or without. Pls check out “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp. I find in her a kindred soul.


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