The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid:
“This book was not an easy read. I grew up in a UPC church as well and at times it all hits too close to home. The author is so brave in her telling of her story! This is a wonderful read for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Christian denominations that exist on the fringe. The author’s vulnerability allows us into a world that many people never see filled with rapture anxiety, purity culture, and the pressure to be good enough. Beyond the church and the damage, it caused is a story of hope, self-acceptance, and self-love. She touches on religion, family, love, lost love, and finding and accepting oneself. I’m grateful she shared her happy ending because it gives hope to all of us raised in that atmosphere. I can’t wait to read what she writes next!”
Check out: Surviving Church and Childhood Blog
A couple of weeks ago Dr. Clint Heacock of Mindshift Podcast interviewed me about The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid. The interview was a great experience because he put me at ease right away with his thoughtful curiosity and willingness to let our conversation unfold, despite the fact that the husband had to ransack the snack cupboard in the middle of recording!
Here it is: Interview Link
The owner of Spiritual Abuse.org is a staunch defender of my memoir and I am grateful. This is her Facebook post from yesterday (could be she is getting a little resistance?) My response to anyone upset about my book is: You’re welcome! I wrote it for you!
The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid can be ordered via the Spiritual Abuse Amazon page, if you are interested in supporting their mission. (link at bottom of post)
We’ve been plugging the book for a straight week- have you ordered your copy of The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell? I believe both former and current United Pentecostal Church members could learn some things by reading this memoir (as well as people from other groups). Many will find themselves relating in various ways to her story.
Some may be hesitant because there is some sexual material in the book, but that can mostly be easily avoided by skipping the first chapter. Others may be leery because Ronna is no longer a Christian, but you might be missing out on learning from her parent’s errors (that’s too mild of a word), something that could be helpful in raising your own children, especially if you are raising PKs. When you see what she went through for all of her childhood, I have to say that it isn’t surprising that she walked away from Christianity. I think she is a brave woman for putting her life out there for all to see and I have no hesitation in recommending her book.
I think she picked a perfect picture for the cover as to me it shows her unhappiness. Things in her life became more sad, lonely and troublesome as the years of her childhood went by. It is what can happen when one is raised in an unhealthy oppressive religious environment and neglected as the ministry and ones career become more important than the needs of ones own family and children.
The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid has taken approximately one and a half eternities to be conjured but we are finally to the countdown stage! Amazon moved up the ship date, so those of you who preordered should have your copy by the release date of April 4. Signed copies will be available shortly-message me directly to order. Signed copies are $20 including shipping (same total price if ordering from Amazon).
Stay tuned for reviews, events and giveaways!
Spiritual Abuse.org is a powerful website (and Facebook page) for those of us in recovery from the United Pentecostal church, The site’s creator, Lois Gibson works hard to share our stories and promote positive healing. She has been incredibly supportive of me for the last several years. She has kindly listed my memoir, The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid, on her book list and I am truly grateful. Please follow the links to check out Gibson’s website or the book title to order.
I remembered something. There was this weird thing that happened to me a lot in the Pentecostal church, so it must have happened to others, too. Maybe it happened to me more often since I ran wild on bible college campuses as a child. I don’t know.
Men would offer to be my boyfriend. They would call me their girlfriend in intimate and flirtatious ways and pretend to want to date me. I usually knew they were not serious, but to have the attention of grown men as a ten or twelve year old girl was confusing and head-turning stuff.
Now I know their words were sexual predation. Grooming, if you will. Had any of those men, most only eighteen or nineteen themselves, some older, had a more nefarious bent and tried to corner me in a dark room, I would have complied. I would not have thought to resist.
As #MeToo moments go, being noticed in sexually or romantically suggestive ways by men is “not that bad.” I was never raped, have no violence to report, no molestation, no physical contact, except for that once, but I knew no one would believe me. And yet… I remember them all.
My value as a human was defined from day one by my appearance and my sexual value. “You’re going to be beautiful when you grow up,” they would say, with a glance up and down, while everything sexual was condemned and shamed within the cult of the United Pentecostal Church. Sex education was non-existent, information forbidden, genitals unnamed, normal developmental desires were an unspeakable sin punishable by the fires of hell. They were not joking.
Add in the Biblical philosophy of the second class nature of women and the demand for their submission, acquiescence, and silence. The female body was vile and a dangerous threat; our shoulders and kneecaps an abomination to the eye, designed to tempt unwitting men. Scriptures seemed to be full of stories of women whose offense was to be curious or smart or beautiful (Eve, Lot’s wife, Jezebel) and they were always killed or banished for their infractions. Jezebel had the audacity to decorate herself and so was fed to dogs. Her story was a little more complicated than that, but the Sunday School literature blamed it on makeup and jewelry.
But, still, be pretty. Be pretty and wait to get laid by your future husband, a man of god who will pick you to have his children and play his piano. The scrutiny of every detail of females’ appearance played into this culture of sexualization, even of children. Our only value was sexual; our sexuality was also our shame. What a twisted fucking message.
In defense of those males, except for that one who knew better, they were victims of the same culture. I doubt any of them gave a second thought to the things they said to the Bible college campus child-pet and would probably be horrified to have their words marked as predatory or even inappropriate. Who knows what they got out of it.
“A woman’s body always stands on the outskirts of town, verging on uncivilization. A thin paper gown is all that separates it from the wilderness. Half of its whole being is devoted to remembering how to live in the woods. This is why Witch, this is why Whore, this is why Unlucky and this is why Unclean. This is why attempts to govern the female body always have the feeling of a last resort, because the female body is fundamentally ungovernable.” —from Priestdaddy, a memoir by Patrick Lockwood
Of all of the books I’ve read that I wish I had written, this is the one I wish I had written the most.
A reader kindly sent me the link below. If you think you or someone you love might be involved in a cult, this website will break it down for you. It lists, in plain English and straightforward detail, the warning signs of both leadership and followers. As an added bonus, there is also a list of healthy leadership indicators.
If I encounter any good advice for extricating a loved one, I will pass it on. If you need extricating, there is help available. Unfortunately, you will need to be prepared for the abuse and ostracism that will come. Please feel free to contact me if you need resources or click on Resources in the menu.