This piece by Mercy Survivor Chelsea was originally published on her personal blog, The Pink Propaganda, and can be viewed here.
I probably cannot tell you the number of people who have confessed the fear that envelopes them to be near Mercy Ministries staff after leaving the program. I am fortunate to have lived so far away.
It’s odd that I find this fear to be more prominent among those of us who have spoke out against Mercy Ministries, then those of us who are still with Mercy Ministries.
I often wonder if it’s because we feel that we are not perfect. That we have something to be ashamed of. That we have spoken up and spoken out and not followed the rules. That underneath it all we are still standing back at Mercy Ministries, waiting in the hallway for the staff to come out and punish us for our actions.
We didn’t follow Mercy’s rules. I mean, ultimately we betrayed them. At least in their eyes it’s seen this way. And in our minds, that have been torn down and built back up to worship Mercy Ministries, we see it this way too.
But it’s time to change. It’s time to take back our minds. It’s time to stop being afraid. It’s time to realize that what some of those staff members did, they should be hanging their heads when they walk past us. Not the other way around.
If they made you feel low for small things, don’t let them. If they told you, you were manipulative, rebellious, not following God’s plan. If they made it clear you were sinning. If they pointed out every flaw you made and called you a hypocrite. If they called you an attention seeker, a fool. If they ever told you you weren’t working hard enough, when you couldn’t possibly work any harder. If they condemned you for things you did in your past, or made you feel small for things you wanted to do in your future. They did the same to me.
You were sick, you went there for a reason, and maybe you even made mistakes. Mistakes happen, everybody makes them. Nobody is perfect. I made mistakes. Anyone who claims to have not made mistakes is lying. Stop running over them time and time again, about what YOU could have done differently. What could they have done differently? Blaming yourself over and over again, for something that is not your fault. How could they have educated themselves on your mental illness, or your sexuality, or your condition?
Did you betray them or did they betray you?
Take your mind back. It’s time to stop being afraid.