Hate Themselves Enough
A pastor says to his leadership team: "If I can our people to hate themselves enough and feel completely powerless then they will let us get away with anything!"
No, I don't think any pastor will literally say this. Although sometimes I wouldn't be surprised.
However, I do believe this is partly how the system works.
There needs to be a certain atmosphere carefully built for abuse to occur. And part of that atmosphere is making your victim feel unworthy and unable to do anything about it. It helps abusers and abusive systems when victims hate themselves and think they are powerless to change things.
Abusers continue and escalate when their victims think they deserve it and there's nothing to be done.
The feelings of unworthiness and powerlessness and hopelessness delight abusive systems and those who lead them.
Like the church.
Of course, the cure is to love yourself and figure out a way to change your situation if you safely can.
For many people this means walking out of the abusive system, relationship, or situation.
If this speaks to you and you follow through with this, I hope you feel free and safe enough to share it here. We’re all here to support you.