this seems to be the popular strategy for surviving accusations of abuse

"Strategy for Surviving Abuse Accusations" by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Strategy for Surviving Abuse Accusations” by nakedpastor David Hayward


All of these seem very true these days.

I do believe M.L. King Jr. that the arc of the universe is towards justice. But it sure does seem to take a long time sometimes.

It is also very difficult to watch bullies and abusers continue on as if nothing happened, leaving victims in their wake.

Pressing on is all I can do, believing in the manifestation of this justice.


17 Replies to “this seems to be the popular strategy for surviving accusations of abuse”

  1. This is so ridiculously, incredibly true I’m slightly blinded by the light. Extremely well said, David.

  2. “Believing in the manifestation of justice” got me thinking of the phrase “what goes around, comes around” which led to images of a vinyl record spinning on a turntable which got me thinking about abuse which goes around and comes around and goes around and comes around … and, at certain points when the needle hits that same spot in the grooves, for just a moment we can hear the abuser roar and the victim scream. But then things keep on turning … and we second guess what we just heard. The tempo changes; the rhythm lulls; we can forget the momentary cacophony. The record keeps on spinning. Eventually … when the needle hits that spot (or a similar spot on the record), we once again clearly hear that insufferable roar-scream. But then it’s buried in other music again as the record turns. It goes around. It comes around. It goes around. It comes around. But maybe, in order to escape the scratchy parts, we need to change the record.

    I believe that eventually the Divine intervenes. Eventually the record gets changed. But sometimes it feels necessary to tie the abusers to chairs, crank up the volume, stop the record right at the point where their bullshit and the agony of their victims squeals the loudest, and play that part over and over and over and over ad nauseum until it becomes an eternal ear worm they beg the Great Physician to remove. When we love people, it is difficult to see the innocent suffer and the guilty oppress.

  3. Thank you for this…this is the spin cycle I find myself in. And I realize that if it is happening to me as an educated person who works as a therapist – well then it’s happening to people all over he place. The crazy making is in how the abuser acts as if everything is fine and normal – leaving the victim spinning and dizzy with confusion. I recently heard this described as “spiritual vertigo” in a book by Eleanor Payson called The Wizard of Oz and other Narcussists.

    Thank you for speaking truth. I am working at being brave enough to speak my truth. This helps.

  4. Hi Karen,

    Kudos to you, and likely in your journey you’ve found that we’re trying to live our lives, the narcissists in our lives are trying to live through us–work us like an angle rather than try to relate to us as separate, autonomous beings.

    It helped me also to remember when you remove yourself from a narcissist’s Wizard-of-Oz-like cyclone, you are no longer feeding their ‘habit’. When I thought of their backlash as their experience of ‘withdrawal’, it stabilized my decisions to move forward to a healthier life. Best of luck to you!

  5. No, there is always a small number of abusers who give us all a black eye, but not ALL leadership is and there is definately no conspiracy against one poor victim by scores of people with otherwise clean records except in ONE case…that doesn’t even make sense…logic suggests that the story is much more complex than any blog or cartoon could express. Why is it important to label one side or another? Why is it our business? I am sure most all situations have SHIT on both sides…shouldn’t we as Christians be called to pray for reconciliation and wholeness instead of demanding justice (our brand and to our satisfation)? Who are we to DEMAND an admission of guilt from anyone???? Doesn’t that imply that we have become judge and are not trusting the Holy Spirit to be at work in the lives of our friends and enemies. How much more of a disciple is it to reach out to both sides as the beloved? How much more of a disciple is it to NOT be a whistle-blower but to be a bridge builder? How can you restore the humanity of one side of a terrible situation by dehumanizing the other? I promise you…shit does NOT get this far out of control without full participation of everyone. Maybe we should all do a group study of Freedman’s Generation to Generation. Or at least google Family Systems Theory.

  6. Hypothetically, if you were among that 1 percent of people accused of abuse who were accused falsely or unfairly, how _should_ you survive it?

  7. Connie, disciples of Jesus Christ are whistleblowers for the sake of the abused and oppressed. We can’t work on building bridges without first recognizing that there’s a problem going on that would require a bridge to begin with. Denial of actual abuse doesn’t build bridges, but widens the chasm that’s already begun forming. That’s the problem with institutional church: we point fingers at abuse outside the Church while doing nothing to address abuse inside the Church.

    Some folks may say things that are not entirely true as it pertains to claims of abuse; but until both sides are fully heard, we don’t know for sure either way.

    When people are too afraid of being accused of dehumanizing others to come forward and say that so-and-so hurt them, even if it is only a misunderstanding, there can be no further understanding and no bridge built. The hurt party will have no choice but to leave hurt and propagate their story of pain to other believers in other churches because no one was willing to hear them out when they tried to address the issue with the original party.

    As for only one case coming forward, until we have the facts, we don’t know what has been going on. In many abusive churches, quite a few people will leave confused or be too frightened or intimidated to speak up. So, when there is only one allegation, there may only be one; or the one may be representative of many, many others, but the one wounded witness just a bit braver in daring to speak up.

  8. Paul, I think that’s an excellent, fair point. I think the trick is listening to both sides and dialoguing — being sure that both parties are fully heard and understood. That’s no easy task, I realize.

  9. If anyone is interested in my paper, Society’s Hidden Pandemic, Verbal Abuse…Precursor to Physical Violence and a Form of Biochemical Assault, I would be happy to send it to you. I presented it at my State’s Counseling Association. it is the result of living with abuse as a child and in a 31 year “marriage” of mostly verbal abuse…..and research. I was fortunate to have a researcher at Harvard Medical School share brain images of the brain’s physical change with verbal abuse alone. It is my mission and passion to speak on National Television regarding this terrible shredding of souls……I wrote about my life and won a scholarship at 60 and am a Sophomore (counseling) at 68.

    On another tactic; regarding spiritual abuse; my poetry website was what poured out o me as the result of an 18-month nightmare. My name was put up on a big screen (on my birthday) 12 years ago, followed by the words, “Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God.”—This was because I let the x live in my house after the divorce for awhile….called to a meeting of deacons (not allowed to have a woman present) and asked, “Are you still having sex with your ex?” No boundaries.

    However, I stood up in front of the whole congregation and said, “Wow, I didn’t think this many people would show up to help me celebrate my birthday.” I was smiling…..they were silent. I will never be silent in the face of injustice. My poetry book and my memoir: Elie Wiesel, Wayne Dyer, Nikki Giovanni, Drs. Alice Miller, Larry Dossey….and 14 ohters endorsed my poetry and story… humbling.

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