If you don’t know what Spiritual abuse is you can learn about it in my first blog-post about this subject: Spiritual abuse: Some abuse is not physical. In my last blog-post Spiritual abuse: our first encounter I told about our first encounter with our last pastor and his elder. For me, that was the first and last meeting I was called in for. Johan told me that I love to provoke people. Though I love a healthy discussion I don’t think it was about provoking them the way I responded to these two men. They put me in a corner. They gave me the feeling I did something wrong. They wanted to put me in place and I got my claws out to defend myself. I am just not this humble, silent person they wanted me to be in the Message. I always get judged and accused just because of who I am. After all the confrontations I had to endure to make me a different person I get really worked up and intense quickly when I feel attacked. I still do.
In my time in “the Message” there aren’t a lot of Sundays I didn’t go to church. If you didn’t have a really good excuse why not to go they would look at it as truancy. Even when you had the flue or didn’t feel well, you were supposed to go to church.
I loved going to church
As a teen I actually liked it going to church. I loved to have this feeling that I belonged to something. The singing and worshiping we did together with the other believers and listening to the sermons that in one way would make us feel worse about ourselves but made us love God more. I never stayed at home voluntarily. Even today I actually miss that affiliation though I would never return back to it ever again.
But when the time came I got my own family things changed. I got two wonderful kids with only 13 months between and having Fibromyalgia (fatigue disease) really wore me out that period when they were small. I loved it being a housewife and taking care of my family. But some periods I would be so tired, tears would run out of my eyes non-stop and the only thing I wanted to do was to go to bed and get some sleep. But it was still expected from me to go to church every Thursday evening and Sunday mornings and play the piano during song service.
Got in trouble because I stayed at home from church
The Thursday evenings I dropped pretty quickly. When my son started school I didn’t want to drag him to church, let him sleep on the floor and then wake him up to go back to bed again and then the next morning he had to go to school. Since I just moved there I didn’t know anyone who could babysit but I also didn’t try that hard to get a babysitter since I was just too exhausted to sit there for 2 hours. It was just torture. The pastor really didn’t like me staying at home. He tried to push me to come. But I just refused to give in.
Because of all the stress, my condition got worse. Especially when I had this one week in the month where I wouldn’t sleep more than a few hours a night. After a while I stopped pushing myself and gave in to the defeat and stayed at home on these Sundays I felt too exhausted and it was kind of nice being home alone without the kids to get some me time. The pastor and his elder didn’t say anything about it but the problem started when suddenly the first day of my period became on a Sunday. In that period I got really bad cramps and would feel so nauseous I could throw up and painkillers didn’t help much. So I would just lay down with a bottle with warm water on my stomach and try to work through the pain.
They called in my husband to talk about me without me
After some weeks Johan got called in by the pastor for a talk together with him and the elder after a church meeting when I was at home. They asked him where I was and why I didn’t attend the church meeting that day. Johan told them I got really sick on the first day of my period. They told Johan they had been tracking my period and it wasn’t always then when I stayed at home.
It made me feel so humiliated and naked at the same time. I can’t describe how devastated it made me feel. You might want to ask me now why in the world did we stay? I just tried to accept that they were humans and made mistakes like the rest of us. We had to forgive and obey God by going to the Message church. If we would choose not to go to that church anymore we had to move again to another part of Norway. I liked it where we lived and I didn’t like the idea of moving around just to find the right church. So for the next 2 years, we kept on fighting against those who tried to control us but still had a church to go to.