There is a lot of good that comes with religion – from the laid down beliefs and morals which give us a sense of purpose and direction in life, down to the community and systems in place that provide support religion can serve critical roles in our lives. However, religion is prone to becoming harmful – to the point of traumatising its members.
Trauma is an unpleasant psycho-physical response following an event (or series of events) that was perceived as a threat to a person’s physical or psychological well-being and surpasses their ability to cope (handle or adjust to it).
Think of it like being bitten by a snake. The initial bite may sting for a split second, but that is not the killer. The venom, which takes minutes or even hours to slowly deteriorates the cells and organs is what kills. So also, a traumatic event may last a few seconds or minutes and be unpleasant on its own, but it is the effects of it over the months or years that slowly wreck the traumatized person (i.e. the person who experienced the traumatic event).