The Modest Files Podcast -- Part Two

Part Two of my interview with The Modesty Files podcast is live! 
In part one I explained how I got involved with my cult and my personal experience with the cult leader, Bill Gothard.
In this final episode things gets a bit more raw. I briefly explain how I got involved in a lawsuit against Gothard, how I found my way...
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Freedom Day 2020

Five years ago today, I began my journey out of a cult. 
I walked into a counselors office for the first time in my life and asked for help. 
I didn’t fully understand what kind of trauma I had endured; after all, it was my “normal”. 
I began the incredibly hard work of facing the reality of my trauma. I got angry. I grieved. I accepted. I healed. 
I then began to deconstruct everything I had been taught about God. Was He a God who only loved me if I did...
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The Modesty Files: A New Podcast on Toxic Fundamentalism

I woke up just a touch nervous today. This morning a podcast episode has been released where I talk quite frankly about the messy details of my trauma story. 
A few months ago I received an email from a group of three sisters who run a new podcast called The Modesty Files. They found Thriving Forward on a whim while doing research on the Christian Fundamentalists culture and they began to read my story.
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You Can't Always Choose How You Respond to Trauma

Why are victims told they can control how their body responds to stress? Why is the burden put on them? The four involuntary responses to stress, Flight, Fight, Freeze, and Fawn, are just that —involuntary. They are *God-given* response you were created with to keep you alive in a life-threatening situation...
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Called To Peace Ministries

Living in a marriage with domestic violence is terrifying; wondering how to protect your children is even more frightening. Many women choose to stay, believing that it’s better to attempt to hold on the marriage for the sake of the children. They believe the stress of divorce would be worse.  
That is usually not the case, however...
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When Victims Take The Blame

My heart has been heavy this week. In February 2019 during a live interview with NRP, I took a public stand against a wolf in my family and community. Over a year and one half later, I am *still* being attacked and ostracized by some people for “trash talking” this individual.  
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Lawsuit Update: It Is Finished!!!

1,604 Days
That’s how many days I have been fighting in a court for legal justice against my ex cult leader, Bill Gothard.
One thousand, six hundred and four long, exhausting, treacherous, grief-filled, gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, healing, redemptive, beautiful, victorious days.
In January 2019 I at last sat in the witness stand of a Chicago court room and told my story before a judge.  Bill Gothard had filed sanctions
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Finding Hope in Unconditional Love

“Your past is too much baggage.”
It was one of the most hurtful things someone has ever said to me.  
We had been dating for almost three months and it was a whirlwind relationship with a bond growing fast.  He appeared to be everything I wanted: he was a committed Christian, he had the “perfect” family, we had similar goals and values, and we shared the same sense of humor.  I ignored that warning signs of strong arrogance, pride, and a controlling behavior because I believed this guy perfectly fit the mold...
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"Why Didn't You Walk Away?"

As I have started sharing my story with more and more people of how I was raised in a cult and eventually finding my way out, I inevitably get asked quite a few follow-up questions. 
One of the most common questions I receive, after finding out that my cult did not consist of a secluded compound where all the families lived together, is “How were you controlled if you weren’t physically being imprisoned?  Why didn’t you just walk away?“
You don’t have to be physically confined to be imprisoned.  There is another way...
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Emotional Abuse is Physical Abuse

Emotional abuse IS physical abuse.
 
I was dying for most of my teenage years.  I mean literally, in a hospital, 73 pounds, not enough blood running through my veins, dying.  
 
When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  The doctor said it was the worst case he’d ever seen...
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