Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Get Over It and Move On!"

How many times over the years have you been told to "get over it and move on" when you talk about the abuses in Armstrongism.  It is a common catch phrase of those still entrenched in the the destructive nature of so much of the church.  They do not understand that those who have walked free from the abuse, lies and manipulation go through many stages of recovery. 

I am on a private Facebook group that is filled with hundreds and hundreds of former COG members who have left the cult behind, but still need to process through it.  It includes kids of  ministers, elders, deacons and even one of HWA's grandchildren.  The stories of abuse these people tell they suffered through at the hands of ministers and splinter cults of Armstrongism are appalling.  There are former PCG, LCG, UCG, WCG, COGWA and people from Wade Cox's and Coulter's personality cults.

One of them pointed out a web site that discusses the snarky saying of "get over it and move on."

"Just get over it and move on with God." We hear this phrase way too many times coming from well-intentioned people regarding our spiritually abusive experiences. It sounds great on paper, but in reality it is impossible. You will never "get over" spiritual abuse - you just need to get through it. For example, a rape victim cannot just "get over it and move on". They need to process their grief, and deal with the pain and emotional trauma. It's the same for spiritual abuse victims. You cannot just stuff it all to be "religiously correct", because it will never go away.

The phrase "get over it and move on" is a term that was authored and abused by authoritarian spiritual abusers to get their followers to turn their brains off so that they won't think for themselves. I can remember this phrase being used on me so many times. Whenever I showed any human emotion whatsoever, I was told to "rise up" and "get over it and move on". I would choke back my pain and grief, and stuff my emotions. While it may be the only way to win on a battlefield, it is simply not a healthy way to deal with all of life's issues. It simply serves to get you to stop analyzing and thinking for yourself.
Let's face it, if there really was a healthy way to "get over it and move on", there would not be a need for websites like this one. In my opinion, you cannot just "move on" or escape from a spiritually abusive experience. You must go through it (the recovery process), and eventually you get to the other side. It's a journey that takes time. The only way to "move on" would be to go back and erase the abuse that you experienced. Since you cannot do that, you just go through it. I think of it as a withdrawal from a dangerous addictive drug.

I have found that before I was able to go through a grieving process, I had to allow myself to become angry about the abuse I suffered. In the group that I was involved with, we were taught to passively allow someone to use and abuse us. Through this process we learn to stuff all of our emotions. This can result in people not allowing themselves to get angry when someone violates your personal boundaries - or when they do, it becomes passive/aggressive. I'm not talking about going out and beating your abuser with a ball bat, but rather, just getting mad enough inside to evict the passivity that we allowed to rule us. This passivity is the force that caused us to not only allow the abuse, but also to stuff sadness, anger, grief, and even our ability to be analytical and skeptical about what we were being taught.

Once we begin thinking for ourselves again and getting our ability to say "no" back, a flood of emotions may come back to us: anger, grief, and sometimes even hate. Anger will turn to grief, and then we can process the grief to get rid of the anger. Tolerance of our abuse will turn to hate, and then we can process the hate to bring about true forgiveness and build healthy boundaries to keep it from happening again. Sadness about being a victim will drive us to break out of our isolation, and we can begin to trust again.


Byker Bob said...

Pretty much says it all. "Get over it" = zero empathy, zero compassion, and zero attempt to understand one's fellow human being. Basically, it's a selfish shut-off device, an attempt to compartmentalize, blowing off another, and acting as if they cannot have a place in your perfect world.

It is most unspiritual.


Anonymous said...

Anger is more useful than despair, and a heck of a lot better than the injustice and stupidity of forgiving the obstinately wicked.

Corky said...

Private Facebook Group?