Dear Alice,

I’m leaving the church. It might come as a shock to you (and probably everyone reading this), but I don’t think I can, in good faith, continue to be associated with the Christian Church anymore. After all I’ve endured in it, I need to step away, maybe just for a time, in order to heal and find myself outside of the Church.

I’ve been pretty open about my experiences in the church, but I didn’t have the language to properly identify what I endured. I am a victim of spiritual abuse. The people who were supposed to care for me and guide me on my spiritual path instead decided to use their power to judge and mistreat me. They chose to make comments about my body and make assumptions about me. Instead of receiving me with love, they decided to see me as someone to be controlled and reduced.

I’m angry. Not because I have to leave, but because I was robbed of so much because of this. I used to love Christianity. I used to be so enamored by the message of Christ and the things found in the Bible, but now I can’t separate that and the actions of the Church. The message of Christ has been tainted by the people of Christ.

I’m sad because I feel like I’m leaving an entire life behind me, but I’m excited for a future where I can be free of all this. I want to be free from all this pain and hurt and trauma, and the only way I can do that is by cutting the ties I have to the Church. I am leaving, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come back.

I don’t know if I’ll subscribe to a specific religious belief. I won’t change one view of God for another, at least not now. I think that before I have to devote myself to a religious belief, I need to relearn how to trust myself and my body. I need to learn how to see me before I can be seen by a religion.

I’m not sure what this new future holds, but I know that, whatever happens, I will be okay.



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