Stigma?

If you truly wish to be delivered to any extent possible from same sex attraction (hereinafter “SSA”), is it stigmatizing yourself and your situation to be in a group with similar men?  Is being part of a group aimed at SSA giving the sin more of a stigma than it deserves?

The Thursday night SSA group that met at Mars Hill is no more in its current iteration.  The plan is to start a group where men with SSA and men who have been sexually abused, meet in the same place, same time.

Yeah, I hear you.  My SAY WHAT?!? meter is running on overload.  I can’t think straight about this.

The man who led our group, K., is getting married soon, so he’s on hiatus from leading groups on this matter.  He has just come back from a training session in Texas, teaching people how to work through early hurts and vows that we take, to find forgiveness and repentance, and to work through the emotions that may or may not have been dealt with.

Conflicting emotions runneth amok.

Part of me says that hey! I am doing just fine right now.  I have come to a comfortable love and acceptance of my foolish, neurotic, silly old inner man and I am at peace.  Of course I am not perfect.  What a foolish thing to desire; that won’t be completed until I reach Heaven, but God is working on me such that I am.  I am good, I am strong, and I love Jesus.  Who’d wanna mess with that?

Yeah.  But see, that’s the point.

There is deep stuff that has lain untouched for a very long time.  The happy, alive part of me says that the pain and suffering that is buried deep and gathering silt is just fine where it is, and to bring it all up again and dredge up old wounds and emotions (let alone publicly confessing some sins connected thereto) is ugly, nasty, brutal and perhaps needless stuff.  I don’t much care for counseling situations that make people into victims, even temporarily, in order to find eventual healing and strength.  The wounds that can be brought up during stuff like that may take a long time, if ever, to properly heal.

But what if those buried emotions are like the toxic waste capsules they buried at Hanford?  What if at the time of the burying you thought that container was safe and nothing would ever happen to cause a leak and an accident — but the process of just existing in a fallen, sinful world makes tiny cracks in that capsule and causes the toxic crap to leech into the groundwater and make you sick?  If you could repair that capsule — even though you would have to dig and dig and bring up all sorts of ick, and keep that capsule from making you any sicker, wouldn’t you want to do that?

Stigma.  The process of being marked.

Or in my case, re-marked.

I don’t know.  I have to pray about this some (no, much) and think about the mechanics of all of this.  I have some serious, serious concerns about some of the details of this process, and I have to think about it some more.  I have never shied away from doing the work that is necessary for the healing I long for.  I have already fought some bloody battles and more will and must be fought.

But is every battle necessary and every fight wise?

The story continues.

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~ by WriterRand on February 21, 2006.

3 Responses to “Stigma?”

  1. what is the difference betwen being vulnerable and being a victim?

  2. Trust, darlin’. And the wisdom to know when to pull it.

  3. I think there is a difference between confessing, acknowledging and putting behind you that which was denied and suppressed and the error of constantly picking at scabs that you need to leave alone and allow to heal.

    What am I saying? I have it found it beneficial, for a season, to acknowledge the truth of what has happened to me and how I have sinfully reacted to it. But, once having done that I must not keep picking at the emotional wounds and reliving past sins so that I can heal and move on as a healthy Christian.

    The danger is when people find that constantly being the “victim,” (one with a “stigma”) which is then followed by an emotional reaction of one’s peers or fellow-strugglers. can itself become a sort of addiction. Reliving and retelling the same story over and over becomes a means to get attention and a form of emotional affection from others. The result is that you can devlop a need to ride on one’s eb and flow of emotions followed by the attention it gets from others.

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