Ep.42 – Resilient AF: Surviving Shame & Christian Fundamentalism | Trina Studebaker

CW: This episode contains reference to physical and sexual abuse, mental illness, and mention of suicide. Please listen with care. It takes a tremendous amount of self-inquiry to get to a place in recovery where you can finally use the four-letter word – cult – and Trina Studebaker has done the work. In this episode, Trina bravely shares her life story with us. It’s a story of cultic influence that starts early-in-life with sexual abuse and an ongoing battle with anorexia, culminating in an all-in devotion to Christian Fundamentalism. Trina shares how she first got involved with the group; how it hooked her, made use of her many talents, and why it felt impossible to leave despite the devastating toll it was taking on her family; courageous to the bone, Trina shares a number of shameful secrets for the first time. After 14 years, she and her family eventually left the group, only to find themselves in another non-religious-yet-culty situation that resulted in Trina being asked to testify against someone she’d long considered a friend, mentor, and respected leader in her community. Trina shares how she survived it all – including a suicide attempt in 2010 – and speaks poignantly about her continual path of healing – which has required a painful reckoning with chronic pain, shame, and bittersweet resiliency. This conversation is highly illustrative; together Candice & Trina touch upon many tools of ‘cult’ural indoctrination as identified in previous episodes, including: undue influence, control of language, and how we go about recovering a sense of inner authority when there’s so much good mixed in with the bad. It’s a must-listen.

You can find Trina Studebaker on her YouTube Channel, Growing Chronically Hopeful (link below), and/or message her directly at writetotrina@gmail.com.

December 28, 2022

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