A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Thursday Thought — Lundy Bancroft: Strategies for Healing from Domestic Abuse & Avoiding Abusers

As many of you know we highly recommend Lundy Bancroft and his books.  (His books are listed on our Resources.) In addition to his books, we also have made our readers aware of youtube videos of presentations by Lundy.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns. 

Today we wanted to highlight a YouTube podcast Strategies for Healing from Domestic Abuse & Avoiding Abusers in which Lundy is interviewed by Stephani Roberts at the Audacious Life website.  This is a helpful interview, but we do include the following caveat.

Caveat

Lundy talks a bit about healing after a destructive relationship. We need to advise our readers that Lundy is not a Christian and he mentions yoga and meditation as healing modalities that some survivors have found helpful. He also mentions same sex relationships and how abuse can happen in those too.

As a Christian site, we do not recommend yoga or meditation and we certainly don’t recommend same-sex relationships. We know our readers already understand that, but we have to say it anyway so that our detractors can’t attack us for appearing to endorse those things. The rest of what Lundy say is very helpful, and we thank him very much for his contribution to helping victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

In the interview, Lundy talks about his book Daily Wisdom from Why Does He Do That?  [affiliate link*]. He also talks about red flags to watch out for in new relationships and danger signs that you might be dating an abuser. And he warns against the risk of getting into a new relationship without having processed the old one first.

There is a bit of promo material at the beginning and end of the program. By sharing this interview we do not wish to give the impression that we endorse (or don’t endorse) the Audacious Life site altogether. We simply haven’t checked it out.

Podcast

Lundy Bancroft: Strategies for Healing from Domestic Abuse & Avoiding Abusers

*Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link.

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14 Comments

  1. Jessica

    Lundy Bancroft has been very helpful to me.

  2. Liz

    I can see how you don’t recommend same sex relationships, but yoga and meditation? How are these “unchristain” activities?

    • Yoga comes out of hinduism. See my comment about it here.

      And meditation…. the thing is, what is meant by that word? Usually it is used to refer to the various meditation practices that come out of hinduism, buddhism and other eastern (pagan) religions.

      I know that some people talk about ‘christian meditation,’ but what is that? If they simply mean meditating on scripture, pondering what scripture means, dwelling on scripture to renew one’s mind and become more christlike, that’s okay.

      Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

      But in my observation, many folk who talk about ‘christian meditation’ are actually doing a form of meditation that has more in common with the eastern religious practices than Christianity.

      For many decades, ideas and practices from eastern religions have been infiltrating and become accepted in liberal churches. Many people are not aware of this and just accept the ideas and practices unthinkingly because so many other people around them are saying it’s okay. But for folks like me who used to be in the New Age before being converted to Christ, this pagan infection is obvious.

      Hope that explains it.

  3. anonymous

    Mr. Bancroft certainly has depth of insight and offers invaluable counsel. Many things he said resonate deeply with me…

    “Isolation.” This one was huge for me. I was completely and totally isolated… immediately after marriage we moved out of state and a lot of traveling abroad, to his country of birth!! I had completely forgotten what it was like to have coffee with a girlfriend, phone conversation with my family, 5 minutes out of his presence, or even just driving to the grocery store. I was NOT permitted to be out of his sight.

    “Abusers promise they are gonna change”, Lundy has heard this from abusers. I never once heard this from my ‘husband’ because he NEVER once acknowledged ANY wrongdoing. It was all ME. He was (and still is, post-divorce) in total denial, living in a delusional, made-up world of his own creation.

    Many victims of abuse will be familiar with the term Gaslighting. He would call me the most derogatory names and spew such filth toward me and then COMPLETELY DENY SAYING / DOING it. I really did start to question my sanity and I know now it was his psychological abuse of me to make me think I am crazy. It is the reason I begun to journal. In the morning after being terrorized all through the night and with total sleep deprivation, I would be in such a state of trauma that I could barely function. In fact, as I look back now I really was not functioning; I was merely existing, walking the landmines, just trying to get through the day, praying I would not “push his buttons.” And in this traumatized state of mind I would be gasping for air and ask myself, “Did all that horror really happen last night?” And you can bet I had better have a beautiful breakfast on the table as he would appear in the kitchen, as if NOTHING happened the night before!! And if he did not like the breakfast I prepared…white linen tablecloth, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh flowers, classical dining music, etc., he would pick up his plate and throw it in the trash can, call me a filthy name and exit the room (his Gaslighting me was more in-depth cruelty than what I will mention here).

    Lundy also speaks of getting surrounded with HEALTHY family/friends who really care and receive their love as part of our healing process. And this is certainly a good step forward to STOP the tapes we play over and over in our mind, reliving the horror of it all. For me, and I am not proud to admit this, but I put off doing this when I returned to my home state. And the reason I did was because it required “letting go” – letting go of the hope that my abuser was going to change and I would have the God-centered marriage I yearned for on my wedding day. I needed to wake up to reality and accept my shattered dream, a very bitter pill to swallow but with it comes peace, renewal, recovery, and a great hope for the future, humbled and grateful for being rescued from prison with a malignant narcissist terrorist husband.

    I recall being so surprised when others, whom I thought were good and decent and reasonable, God-fearing people, would come alongside my husband and begin to shun me. Took me a while to figure it out; they are part of the pack; these wolves recognize each other and run together. Both Pastor Crippen and Lundy Bancroft get right to the heart of this. And they nail it every time!

    • Sasanka

      So sorry, Anonymous…that is awful what happened to you. Congratulations on getting away from the wolves and healing with your family. My experience was similar to yours. Keep getting strong. And yes, Lundy Bancroft and Pastor Crippen were the hand of God to lead me out too. May God bless you and stay safe and sane.

      • Anonymous

        Sasanka, I echo the same sentiment back to you. Thank God we are free from these wolves but many still are not. And as Barbara Roberts would say, “The fire in my bones”. And so may the fire in our bones spur us on so that we continue to shed light upon and stand against evil and domestic violence. We must give our voices to those who are not heard. We must give back, because we have escaped, and we must pray for those who have not! Blessings to you Sasanka!

  4. Lea

    I thought this was a very good podcast!

    [Sidenote: Is yoga still considered not ok from a Christian perspective? I have found it very soothing and some studies seem to show that it can have a positive effect on mood]

    • My view is that it is not wise to do yoga. Even though in the western world many yoga classes may be just exercise classes without any explicit spiritual component from hinduism, there may be subtle spiritual things that are not good in such classes… and it’s likely the teachers will have a pagan worldview.

      I suspect that a regular routine of slow stretching exercises could have a calming effect and a positive effect on mood, without it having to involve yoga, and it would be healthy for the joints and muscles.

      • Anonymous

        I did Bikram (heated yoga for 90 minute sessions) for several months. It gave me relief from severe back problems however, I was never quite ‘settled’ within after I would leave the class. You know the feeling we get when something is “just not quite right.” That was the feeling I would have. I stopped doing yoga. Have not felt like that since.

  5. Sasanka

    I forgot to mention Barbara and the other guest posts that continue to bless me daily!!!! Thank you, guys 🙂

  6. kind of anonymous

    Hi Barb,
    Re the yoga thing, I am not sure what conclusions to make about that or about martial arts which is from a similar vein. Both to some degree have connections to eastern religions and spiritual forms of power. Power that is real, not imaginary.Some of that power just may be part of the normal capacity of a fit human being who is exceptionally disciplined and healthy, which many of us cannot claim. Some may be power of an occult nature. There is a sense in which both these disciplines promise a level of self control and personal development that allows you to rise above fear and the need for violence, which ironically makes you better able to defend yourself without vengeful motives, as well as bringing you health, peace and wholeness through self discipline. That appealed to me, to be so in control of my mind and body that I was fit, fearless and confident. I also felt a lot of fear towards abusive or intimidating, aggressive people and one of the biggest problems I had was knowing that I was too weak to defend myself when being bullied by certain types of aggressors. This fear caused me to live a rather limited life. So something that would help me be confident, strong and have power over my existence was certainly appealing. Often if I discussed these things with fellow Christians, it came across that the beliefs amongst Christians were that turning the other cheek meant self defense for the Christian was out and so studying anything that would allow you to confidently protect yourself was seen as an act of faithless disobedience to Jesus.

    I am not sure if those goals are entirely wrong. Or if Jesus would disapprove of a person achieving that level of physical development and emotional and mental control. It would certainly add a lot to your life as far as its quality and healthiness goes. The only concern I would have for anyone seriously getting involved in this, is the possibliy that by doing so, one might inadvertently be communing with something of a spiritual nature that is not of God or open spiritual doors in their lives by so doing. Also if one`s goal is to be so centered within themselves and self sufficient, one might also feel no need of God, having achieved a form of spiritual control that leaves Him entirely out. So I am not sure at this point, what to believe, whether one can redeem the training and development without partaking of something spiritually wrong, or not or if these practices could open one up to demonic intrusion. Some see this is a non issue, while others seem to have forgotten that the spiritual side of things is actually real, not just textually real.

    Anyhow, this is a side topic, but it does connect to the issue of empowering ourselves which brings healing, and defending ourselves against abuse, which I suppose is why some folks are interested in it. Perhaps at some point such things could be discussed separately.

    I know I have a lot of questions, having been taught for many years that it is unsubmissive, disobedient and ungodly to even think of defending oneself let alone actively studying how to be an effective warrior.

    • I think self-defence is appropriate for some situations, and that can include defending oneself physically. But I don’t think that it’s necessary to aquire the skill of self-defence from martial arts. As you say, martial arts have connections with eastern (pagan) religions.

      When I was training to be a nurse there was a mental health component in the basic training, and one of the things it included was a few classes in self-defence. Mental health professionals have to know how to protect themselves against the violence that some mentally ill people display, especially in acute psych wards. And they have to know how to safely restrain a physically violent person. Police have to know these skills too. So self defence and the use of appropriate physical force to prevent a violent person from harming others is vital in those kinds of jobs.

      When I did the self-defence workshop in the nursing training, it triggered me! Not because any of the skills we were taught were bad, but because it made me realise that if I had known those skills when I was with my first husband, he would not have been able to pin me and restrain me when he was being violent towards me. I would have known how to break his grip on my forearms, for example. I would have know how to respond with an action that de-stablised his centre of gravity so I would have been more likely to be able to get free and flee, at such times. I broke down in tears when I was triggered…. some of his violent assaults of me came back in a memory rush/flood. I just sat down at the edge of the room and wept… and once I’d wept and explained my weeping to the guy who was teaching the class, I was able to take part in the self-defence activities again.

      So KOA, and anyone else who wants to gain more physical confidence, I recommend self-defence classes that are not based on some eastern martial arts system. KOA, you might like to google “Womens Self Defence Classes” and see what you get.

      And for those folks who say all self-defence is unChristian, I would ignore them; or, if they are teachable, I would point them to 2 Corinthians in which Paul defends himself against the slanderous accusations of the false apostles.

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  1. Thursday Thought — Lundy Bancroft: Strategies for Healing from Domestic Abuse & Avoiding Abusers — A Cry For Justice – GBFSV SPIRITUAL ABUSE VICTIMS' RECOVERY

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