People Can Be So Cruel!!!!!

Something unusual has been happening to me and I thought I’d write about it for what it’s worth…

I’ve been posting on here how a big step in my recovery was when I decided to reveal the truth about my porn addiction.  I have been completely unashamed to tell anyone and everyone who I felt God wanted me to share with about my experience.  But, telling others has it’s drawbacks as I am now finding out.

There was a group at my church who wanted to start a Celebrate Recovery program.  I was asked to be a part of it and to be a co-leader.  The main leader is also a recovering addict but she has been in recovery longer than I have.  As I openly shared with her the process of my recovery, she was sizing up my recovery.  I didn’t know it at the time, but all along I was being judged by her because she questioned my recovery (mainly because I think she questions her own).  Eventually, I began to notice an attitude shift coming from her.  She started holding me more at arms length.  As time went on, I started noticing that she was trying to suggest other people to fill in my position–I could tell she was trying to get me out of leadership.

While this was going on, I was also meeting with a leader from another Celebrate Recovery in town.  He was also suggesting that I should step out of leadership.  I believe that he and the other leader had been discussing my situation together.  His reason was that I hadn’t experienced enough time in recovery.  It had only been about four months.  But, I’m a pretty intense person and when I set my mind to something, I really pursue it.  I’ve been working very hard on my recovery.  I’ve been following the steps, spending all kinds of time in prayer over it, spending a lot of time searching my heart for answers and blogging.  It’s been a priority.

The attitude I’ve been getting from these two people has been very hard to deal with.  I know I can’t change people.  I know I don’t have to prove myself to anyone.  But, it has been really intensely hurtful to be judged wrongly by these two people who I am looking to as mentors.  It seems like they see me as trash.  I’m not valuable until I’ve had a year of recovery?  The only reason for them to think that is because that is how long it took THEM.  But, is everybody the same?  Can God not do a work in someone in less time than it takes others?  Who has the right to judge?  Am I being unreasonable here?

I guess I look at it like this…  I have been really excited about doing something to help others with the struggles that I’ve experienced using the answers I’ve found.  But, I’m being pushed away because I haven’t fulfilled some magic timeline.  Imagine a new Christian who begins to experience God’s grace and they want to go out and tell the world.  But, the leaders of the church tell them that they can’t be involved because they haven’t been Christians long enough–in fact, the leaders are doubting whether they are actually even really a Christian.  He feels he is having a genuine experience, but the leaders are telling him that he shouldn’t be so sure.  Is that okay?  Don’t you think the new Christian would just give up on it possibly?

These people have hurt me.  I don’t know how, but they got to me.  At one point, the leader of our group suggested to my Pastor that I’m living a double life.  She accused me of taking trips to Santa Barbara to cheat on my wife.  The truth is, I’m commuting to school weekly.  I drive down there, go to my class, and then immediately drive home.  I can’t believe this accusation!!

I’ve never done anything to these people except be willing to help.  I don’t know why I’m being treated like this–honestly I can’t think of any other time in my life when I’ve ever been disrespected or falsely accused in this manner.  And that it’s coming from two people at the same time is bewildering to me.  For some reason, these supposed Christians are acting just like Satan–the accuser of the brethren.

The moral of the story is this…  If you know someone who’s in recovery, support them.  Your encouraging words go a long way.  But, your doubt and accusations go a long way to send them backwards as well.  I can’t figure out why, but these two make me want to give up.  Not that I’m going to, but those are the feelings I’m feeling because of them.  Who are they to do that to me?  I JUST DON’T GET IT!

Writing this post is making me so angry.  I need to go take some time to pray.  Any thoughts about this from any of you?

One more thing, it might be wise to be a little bit careful about who you tell and how much you tell them.  It could be that they will use it against you.  And although, at first, you might feel like you could care less about what people think of you–I’ve found that it can sting a little bit.  So much so that I’m deciding that I’m not going to be helping start our Celebrate Recovery which is something I’ve really been looking forward to.  That sucks!!!!!!

This entry was posted in Addiction, Christianity, Church, hypocrisy, Pornography Addiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to People Can Be So Cruel!!!!!

  1. Can you go to the pastor of your church to ask for their advise? Request a meeting with the leader of the group in your church along with the pastor and discuss the accusations openly with the pastor as a moderator?

  2. torik89 says:

    I completely agree with Samantha. A moderator for this would be a really good idea. Someone who is not biased and would not allow anyone to be petty and mean.

    Also, if your leadership and authority believes you should spend a little more time being “recovered” all you can really do is submit to your authority. They may not always be right, but the best thing you can do is submit (given that they are not asking you to do something against God). It is really frustrating though and I am sorry to hear that this is their response to your honesty.

  3. Justin says:

    My heat goes out to you for your situation brother. I can understand that being very hard by feeling that these people are doubting you and doubting God’s work in your life. But the truth is that God has done an amazing work with you and your testimony is proof of this. You will be an excellent recovery mentor to many and God will place you in the right place at the right time. As far as this situation stay in prayer and remain/react in love. I’m praying that you’ll have all the grace you need to endure this trial.

  4. I can so relate to what you are explaining here. My husband was asked to leave our church when the found out about his addiction. I was mortified! Not surprised though. It’s very sad when we have people out there representing God who are unable to love and offer grace and acceptance like God does. I feel, because it’s such a “taboo” topic, it freaks everyone out, people want no part of it. To me, maybe there’s something inside them that needs looking at.
    I feel what you are doing is awesome. God is truly turning something ugly into something so good. Keep going forward.

  5. Thanks for all your comments… To fill in some of the details: When the church board decided to allow this ministry to start, the church board voted in favor of it, but only if I was going to be involved because they wanted some oversight from church staff. I’m the Ministries Coord. of my church. so the only “leadership” and “authority” above me is the church board and the Pastor. The Pastor has been behind me all the way. In fact, he DID get involved in moderating this thing. He had the other party that I’ve been referring to “supposedly” convinced that my recovery is much different from hers. With her mouth she agreed with the Pastor that my recovery is likely genuine–but her actions speak otherwise. Only a week after that moderation, we had another meeting where she was, again, indirectly trying to oust me. The moderation didn’t seem to get an honest response from her.

  6. This reminds me of my own recovery within Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve been clean and sober now for over twenty years. I remember when I began the recovery journey. We get “chips,” to signify the time we’ve been sober. Someone sober under a year is still looked upon as a “newcomer.” Perhaps these folks are looking at this recovery period of yours in a similar way?

    There is no offense meant in considering someone new in recovery to be a newcomer. Newcomers are basically supposed to learn from the OT’s (Old Timers) and are told none too gently, “to take the cotton of of their ears and put it into their mouths.” lol… Or in other words, just listen and be slow to speak. Some sponsors in AA will not allow their sponsee’s to speak in meetings until they have at least one year sober.

    I think you may be being a little oversensitive, but I understand why. I agree with praying about this matter and waiting to hear what the Lord thinks about keeping you in a leadership position. I believe things in our lives happen for a reason, in church and otherwise. God will reveal His plan for you and to you in His time.

    Pray for your brethren in Christ whom you are dealing with about this, and turn this understandable angst and resentment over to God to deal with. He will help you with it because He is the only one who can. And remember this:

    You won’t be a newcomer to recovery forever 😉 and there is plenty of time for leadership opportunities. If God wants you in a leadership position, you’ll be in one. (big hugs). No getting discouraged now.. keep that chin up!

    In Christ,

    Adrienne

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