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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. They soon reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to do an interview with them.

Last month we chatted over Skype for over five hours. Tears of laughter and tears of pain were shared. I told parts of my story I’ve never told publicly before, and found it to be a cathartic release. Chronic illness and PTSD are vulnerable topics, and ones not commonly discussed. However, I firmly believe that secrets are a breeding ground for shame, and when one is willing to boldly state the truth, the fear behind the pain slowly fades.

In addition to explaining my own inward turmoil, I wasn’t afraid of confronting my abusers. My point wasn’t to slander; I told my story very carefully, from more of a factual standpoint, allowing the future listeners to drawn some of their own conclusions. My point here is to tell what happened to me and how the trauma I endured later manifested in long-lasting physical, emotional, and mental effects, in hopes of spreading awareness to outsiders and bringing relatability to those who have walked in similar shoes. We have managed to cut down our five hour of audio into two, one hour episodes, and both have been officially released.

In part one I explained how I got involved with my cult and my personal experience with the cult leader, Bill Gothard. Many laughs were shared as I explained some of the more extreme teachings from Gothard and what life was like growing up so sheltered.

In part two things gets a bit more raw. I explain how I got involved in a lawsuit against Gothard how I found my way into my first counseling appointment (which became my first Freedom Day!). We continued on to discuss how I began to deconstruct my faith and build it back again, and what it was like when I was diagnosed with PTSD and my journey with that. And finally, I share on a happy note who how I met my Prince Charming and what life looks like today. ?

If you’d like to listen you can search for “The Modesty Files” wherever you listen to podcasts. Click HERE to listen on Spotify.

I want to be a safe place for survivors. For those who are in the midst of grief and for those who have long-since healed. If you want to reach out to chat, I’d love to be a set of open and willing ears, as well as a place of empathy and understanding.
Love you all. ?



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About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

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