Another tactic of Joan and Adrian was to critique every minute detail of our lives. So it never really mattered what I actually did because what I did would be the “wrong” thing to them. Sometimes I would be openly criticized and made to feel stupid and bad in front of everyone else. Other times I would be whisked away to “the room” to be shredded by them. I remember once when I needed a new phone so I got a cordless one since I could just carry it with me in my pocket while I was schooling the kids and cleaning. Well Joan got wind of my recent purchase and took me aside and looked right at me and said, “Who do you think you are?”  I began to stutter, trying to figure out what my answer should be. She asked again, shaking her hand at me. She went on to tell me that I must have really thought something of myself to have bought a “cordless” phone!! She then tells me that I was lazy in making this decision. I tried to tell her that it was just an inexpensive phone…. no big deal. But the words wouldn’t come. I walked out from my chastisement feeling like a small child bereft of friends. This is only one instance, there are thousands. I was chided regularly for things such as; wearing sunglasses, using a food processor, using bug spray, using sunscreen, not getting the correct butter spray, putting ranch dressing mix in a pasta salad, allowing my kids to ask what I am making for dinner, allowing my kids to ask any questions, having something spilled in my refrigerator, styling my daughter’s hair too curly,  This list could go on and on. Some of these things I was chided for; some of them, I was split apart in front of everyone to drill her point home. We were humiliated often. It didn’t matter by this point. I was so beat down that I knew I would never find God. I remember one instance in particular. I was at a point of a complete mental breakdown. I couldn’t get my thoughts together. I was a complete mess. It was an evening service. No one spoke to me. I was evil to them. It had been weeks since anyone really talked to me. As I sat there in the circle, Joan looks at me and hurls an accusation at me. I tried to answer her question, but honestly I was on the verge of losing it. She then laid into me siting multiple wrongs I had committed and showing all how evil I was. When she laid down her gauntlet; another picked it up. This continued on thru the night.One after the other, telling me that i am far from God. That I don’t love God. I sat there absorbing every blow until It was done. I went home and put my kids to bed and laid on my floor and cried.

 

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