1. So I need to process my therapy session today (aka process my processing), so this is me doing that. But I'm a little scared to write it down.

Anyway. Here goes... a thread, probably helpful for the #Exvangelical and #EmptyThePews Fam
2. My therapist and I were discussing the girl I just started dating and how I still deal with internalized homophobia when we are together. She told me that when we are scared, stressed, or even excited our brains retreat back to things that are safe, even if they're harmful.
3. In essence, we are trying to survive and in times of stress (good or bad) often our reaction is to retreat to safety. Sometimes the safety is a thought, belief, place, community, people. Sometimes those things are harmful but because they are what we know, it feels safe.
4. I'm scared to date someone seriously again and so I think my brain is retreating to the beliefs of the past. I'm scared to date someone of the same sex publicly so I retreat to the messages inside because it is known, it is safe, it is easier.
5. Despite these beliefs being harmful and me rejecting them for everyone else, they give me some comfort because then I don't have to face the unknown. I can just stop dating her. I don't have to face the messiness of dating someone of the same sex.
6. My therapist gave the example of how survivors of abuse often go back to their abusers many times because it is what is known. It may be physically unsafe, but emotionally safe compared to facing what is unknown. Whether it is the abuser's reaction or the steps to independence
7. I know this bc I'm a victim advocate & I literally just had that conversation w/ someone currently in an abusive relationship trying to leave. But I never thought of it for me. I won't compare my situation to being in an abusive relationship, but the same principle applies
8. She explained that our brains are all about survival. Even though the church, my old community, my old beliefs are harmful, I know what they will say there. I know the answer. I know how to fit in. I don't have to face the unknown. So I retreat back there.
9. I think it goes further than that too. W/ the element of the system demonizing everything outside the church & Bible, it is hard not to retreat back there. To constantly wonder if they're right about you. If younger you is right about you. That you're lost and damned to hell.
10. So the known of having the answers, playing by the rules of everything I was taught for 25 years is easier and safer than exploring the world outside that.
11. Breaking away is hard. Not knowing if you're really going down a bad path, disappointing people, being disappointed by people. So you stay, or you retreat back there even if that place was suffocating or harmful.
12. On a bigger scale, the unknown is scary as shit and we retreat back to knowns as human nature because we want to survive, even if where we are is harmful. This is a super scary thought.
13. What are we staying in or retreating back to in order to stay safe? How is that harming is in the process? And I don't want to belittle this because truly staying can actually be safER than leaving.
14. But it is terrifying to me that our brains think harming ourselves is safety or worse yet, in some cases it is actually safER.
15. This does give me hope though. Knowing this helps me see clearer for venturing out. For creating new community. For breaking away from other people's opinions and standards. For facing the unknown. For dating a same sex partner. There is hope out there.

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More from @aslipperyslope2

Sep 7, 2018
A quick thread to progressive Christian's, from your neighborhood #exvangelical, #exChristian.

When we talk about faith, faith crisis, lack of faith, our journey, our pain, our experience, anything basically, please stop telling us to:
-keep the faith
-find the real Jesus
-have faith in God
-find a different church
Stop insisting:

-God is real
-When we find healing we can find the real God
-Your church/experience is better or unlike ours
Read 13 tweets

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