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Religion Trauma Syndrome

It's real.


This is something you should think about before letting your children go to just any church...

I was raised in a Pentacostal/Holiness/Apostolic church that was named as non-denominational. I was lied on, mentally and physically abused. Even sexually used at one point, nothing was ever done about any of these things because "God had a plan for their life."

Being treated daily like I wasn't good enough, I wasn't pretty enough, and like I didn't even exist was hard for a child growing up.

There were so many rules, many of them came from the preacher, not the bible, but if we didn't follow every one of them, we were going to hell. I had to wear long blue jean skirts and dresses, wasn't allowed to wear makeup, earrings, or paint my nails. Everything had to be the preacher's way or the highway.

Growing up I was an only child who was locked in a room daily alone doing my schoolwork because "God" didn't want me to go to school. I wasn't allowed to get a job, drive, go out with friends alone, or date until I was eighteen. We went to church almost every single night and when we weren't in church we would pray, read our bible, or do something like that. We didn't have a TV, video games, or anything like that.

Several of the girls in the church were molested by a musician at the church. The preacher was informed about it but told them to keep it quiet because he had prayed for him and God had delivered him from the "demon." To this day that man is still on the pulpit and still no one knows. He brings candy to church for the kids every Sunday so all of the kids love him... RED FLAG!!! If I were a parent there I would've had him in jail after I beat him.

I have faced so much depression and anxiety, feeling alone and like I couldn't talk to anyone. Even if I tried, my friends out of the church didn't understand and the adults always called me a liar and treated me like crap. To this day people don't understand how much trauma it causes the children. I mean hearing every day that if you don't wear the right clothes and don't do a certain thing then you're going to hell... Who wouldn't be traumatized??

Actually when I was seventeen and in the choir the preacher came in and called a meeting for everyone who ever got on the pulpit... At this meeting he made them sign a contract telling them how they had to dress, the type of shoes they could and could not wear, the way they fixed their hair and several other things. That's the day I quit the choir and I got in so much trouble for quitting but I couldn't sign that. I already wasn't allowed to be myself I was told how to look and how to act and that was hard enough.

When you go through things like that no one understands the impact it leaves on your life. I've been out of the church for about six years now and I still have severe depression, anxiety, and nightmares. I see a psychiatrist regularly and most of it links back to me growing up and the way I was dealt with.

Once I shared the way it traumatized me, others from the church that are around my age came out and started saying they have dealt with the same thing. When I got out in to the real world I had no idea what to do or how to deal with it. I was a complete wreck. I had to learn as I went. My first job I was terrified because I didn't know what to do or say or how to interact with people in the world. When I finally learned who I was outside of the church and actually became ME I met my husband and he has helped me SO MUCH. I am so thankful for him because there is no telling just how deep my depression would have taken me without him.

Not every church is like this, I'm sure... but I can't stand to think of these innocent children going through what I went through and dealing with everything that I did. It's just cruel and it's NOT a church. It's a cult and that's all there is to it. You can't pick and choose what you want to preach and add your own rules or else you'll burn for eternity and be a church. It is wrong and something needs to be done about all of these men getting away with sexually assaulting these girls and getting away with it just because they go to church on a regular basis.

End the cruelty and end the trauma. RTS is real and it will mess with your mind and mess you up. I am here to raise awareness by sharing my personal story and just how much RTS has affected me.

Catrina Palko
Catrina Palko

I am a 24yr old stay at home mom and wife. My 2yr old daughter is my entire world. I love writing, cooking and watching TV. I’m a pretty open book so just ask anything you’d like to know. Follow me on Instagram catrina_palko94   MuchLove!!

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