As we have just passed a couple of major religious holidays, it has me reflecting on the relationship between trauma and religion.
For some people, religion can be a source of comfort, community and healing in their trauma journey. But this is not the case for everyone.
For some people, their religion or house of faith, is where their trauma occurred. For some they were abused in their religious community, or their abuser was a religious leader, and for some their religion was used against who they are or who they love.
For some, religion has been used to excuse their abuser or to minimize harm done. Some people have been told to simply forgive their abuser. Some have been told that they are somehow to blame for what happened because of a lack of faith.
This is why making suggestions to turn to religion, prayer or faith communities, while well intentioned, are not always well received.
If you are someone who has been hurt by or in your faith please know that you are not alone and that it is okay if you no longer want any part of it.
It is also important to know that if you are feeling a loss because of it, there are different faith communities, religious teaching and leaders in each religion. The ones who hurt you aren’t the only representatives of their faith. There are communities that can and will support and affirm you and your experience. You don’t have to give up your faith if you don’t want to.