feeling picked on

by Denise Tombs ()

A few years ago I had a breakdown and my mother severely bullied me to the point that I almost committed suicide. At the same time, my sister had a huge go at me. All my life my family scapegoated me- and I ended up pushing my husband away because they made me think I didn’t deserve him and that he deserved better. I have not had the confidence to work since the breakdown, but am going to do some voluntary work at our local church soon ( not the one where the pastor ignores us)
We have redone our vows and are strong. I am learning to grow stronger- my parents used to bully me together but my Mum left my Dad and lives 100 miles away now. He still tries to bully me, but I just say that I know it’s not about me and that what’s in someone’s heart is what makes them say mean things! My sister is enmeshed with her and my Mum controls her, so I feel I cant have a relationship with my sister. My brother is controlled by his wife, our Mum and our sister. There is a family gathering coming up, which I really want to avoid but I have agreed to go. I feel like I need to say we can’t come because Im afraid of their negativity.
Because of bullying and scapegoating in my past I am not really coping in my new church. The pastor keeps asking me in front of the whole housegroup if I got a job yet and making suggestions of what jobs I could do. I find it humiliating as I have not asked for this and everyone else has a job and also owns a home ( we rent) but so far I have not ever managed to stand up for myself. The pastoral care is non existant and we really feel the pastor has a teaching gift as no compassion etc ( but we have not said this to anyone)
Although I can’t see why, I actually feel like the pastor dislikes me as they keep ignoring me and only ask me humiliating things in front of the group. I really feel like there is no compassion and haven’t been able to share any of my problems because it feels really unwelcome and threatening.
I do enjoy the sunday services but have to rush off at the end because of caring for my Mother in law who has dementia. BUT, I have started to dread the bible study group- and know its abuse in my past that is needing healing . I would like to feel accepted at church, but I really feel that my postcode/ lack of financial wealth may be the issue as many people are very well off. It may also be that I don’t engage in their gossip and haven’t seen all the films / bands they talk about. I maybe make them uncomfortable but I don’t mean to. Since we joined the church a single Mum on benefits was bullied out of the church and an older man with learning difficulties was forced to change housegroup because the pastor found him annoying. We would really like God’s direction, we feel inclined to give up- but don’t know if that’s God’s will. My husband doesn’t feel accepted at the church either, so it’s not just me. The real question is, do we stay and pray for the situation – or do we get out? We don’t know if it’s God wanting us to work on relationships or sign to leave, but we don’t want to just give up. We never seem to get time to chat to the pastor and messages go unanswered, so it’s a puzzle.
Obviously, bigger picture- we would love to be emotionally healed from bullying and own a house one day- but we know God accepts us as we are- and would love to be accepted by others in the church. We dont believe anyone should be bullied out of a church for any reason and pray that love covers all.

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