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You Are Your Own: A Reckoning with the Religious Trauma of Evangelical Christianity

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  504 ratings  ·  88 reviews
ebook, 82 pages
Published March 2019
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  504 ratings  ·  88 reviews


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Start your review of You Are Your Own: A Reckoning with the Religious Trauma of Evangelical Christianity
Rachel
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: socialwork
An easy read, but not worth the time. Jamie Lee Finch is doing good work in the world, but I’d suggest just listening to her podcasts and interviews instead of reading this book. I really enjoyed listening to her- I now think I’ll enjoy those podcasts much less since reading this book.

My main critique of this book is there are so many sweeping generalizations about trauma, PTSD, psychotherapy, and religion and faith- and don’t get me wrong, a lot of research points to evangelicalism being incre
...more
Jana
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book shined light in dark corners of my soul I didn't know where still there.
Abigail Hobbs
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jamie Lee Finch has managed to clearly express so many things that I've been trying to say, but couldn't figure out how to put into words. She captures and describes the whole mindset of a person raised in the Evangelical environment. She describes the shame and the pain that come with it and the experiences of leaving it and learning to let go of everything you've been taught. This book is a hell of a ride!
Brady Hardin
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life changing. This book read me.
Amanda Mercedes
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Gosh, I really wanted this to be better. Jamie is a beautiful, poetic writer in her poetry and on social media, but that beauty didn't come through in the ways I assumed it would here. That is probably part of the problem: misaligned expectations.

With a title like "You Are Your Own," I, as an exvangelical reader, expected to be the audience. Instead, it was her thesis adviser. This is a master's thesis in book form, unfortunately unedited, and paradoxically too academic and too generalized to h
...more
Hannah
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
At the end of this eBook, Finch acknowledges that this is simply the first step in her larger goals and work in Religious Trauma and the body. I am ready for her to be publishing more.

While this book is short, it packs a punch. It is able to put words to the painful, confusing experience of working through trauma. While it reads a bit more like a proposal than a self help book, the bones are here for some incredibly interesting work.

The points she makes are believable and relatable. I wish she s
...more
Becky
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Helped me explore my own religious indoctrination, the trauma from growing up in it, and leaving it behind. I never felt like I could call what happened to me trauma, until reading this book. Jamie is passionate about helping women heal and reconnect with their bodies...a much needed topic for those leaving religion.
Alex
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
If you want to learn how and why Evangelicalism is harmful, read this book. If you want to learn how to actually heal from that harm, you're going to be disappointed. The section on healing is a small portion of the book, and while the information in it may be helpful for some, I found it lacked in practical advice and relied a bit too heavily on anecdotal data. Ironically, the claims about healing one's body from illness sounded a lot like what I've heard from faith healing health and prosperit ...more
Charlotte
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book... several parts of the book hit me really hard, and I really needed to hear some of what the author wrote. But at the same time it’s not a very well written or put together book. I am looking forward to more writings from the author in the future.
Tara Cavett
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
An essential read for those leaving Evangelical Christianity!
Justin A Stover
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Important Book

This is a helpful and informative book about the dangers of purity culture, a sort of “confrontation” of it, and Jamie offers instructive ways to heal from all the hurt it has come to so many of us.
Sami Perkins
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: deconstruction
Really great and important work- I wish there was more here- more details about Jamie’s story, more of other people’s stories too. I hope you keep writing Jamie!
Lee Osborne
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by a friend who has gone through similar experiences to me in struggling with the toxic after-effects of evangelicalism. I'm glad she suggested it - it was a useful and interesting read, that I ploughed through very quickly.

The book itself is quite short, and in it the author summarises the key aspects of modern evangelical belief, and then discusses the extremely damaging effects they can have, with particular reference to her own experience of attempting to fit
...more
Rose Peterson
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
If I were one of the fish in David Foster Wallace's "This is Water" commencement speech analogy, You Are Your Own would be a book detailing the origins, behaviors, and consequences of my "water," what I've been swimming in--without necessarily noticing the minute details of--for the majority of my life. As such, this book was a balm for me in many ways.

Though the provocative cover may suggest otherwise, this book is not overly focused on sexuality. Instead, it mainly discusses how Evangelicalis
...more
Elle
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First things first. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who grew up in an evangelical home, and has left those beliefs behind.

For the past few years I’ve been on what you might call a “healing journey”. I am so much better off than I was years ago, but I still struggle with anxiety, depression, unnecessary shame and guilt, and feeling unworthy of taking up space in this world. Reading someone put into words what it was like growing up evangelical, and how incredibly heavy that was...I fe
...more
Jessica Rodriguez
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I discovered Jamie Lee Finch when she was a featured guest on The Liturgists podcast. I listen to every episode so listened to hers. She is a fascinating person with a very interesting background that she goes into detail about in her book. She was raised in a fundamentalist Evangelical Christian setting and details why she believes these teachings are inherently traumatic. Listening to her story echoed a lot of what I was taught in church growing up and validated and even revealed a lot of my o ...more
Hannah Bevis
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Listening to Jamie Lee Finch talk about religious trauma was an eye openening experience. While I grew up Catholic, not Evangelical, there was some overlap where I found myself nodding along while reading, especially about purity culture. While the book is informative, I found that I was getting more helpful and meaningful information by listening to the MANY podcasts she guested on. I'd suggest listening to her on the Chatty Broads podcast and The Life After podcast to start.
Ashley Gwaltney
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jamie Lee Finch’s story was very eye-opening. I was not raised in an Evangelical (or any type of religion) household (though I am now a follower of Jesus) so I can’t fully empathize with her experience, but it was very helpful for me to read to have grace for my friends whose stories are similar to hers.
Sarah Bollinger
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an important topic, and I'm eager to hear more voices who are willing to unpack this. Jamie Lee Finch starts the conversation... this book is short and a bit confusing at times. Is it a memoir? Is it an academic study? I wanted to hear more of her authentic voice, but the writing felt a bit confined, like a glorified research thesis. But overall, she touches on a very important issue, and I fully support the effort and insight. The next step is talking about how to heal.
Elizabeth S
OWL Reading Challenge: Defense Against the Dark Arts
Jamie Lee Finch may have a reputation as a self-proclaimed sex witch and the kind of person that radiates 8 energy on her Twitter but she is also a talented writer. This book is validating to anyone growing up in a religious home where the theology itself was incredibly traumatizing. For those who grew up in homes where talking about hell, eternal damnation, the rapture, and purity culture were rarely if never present, Finch may seem to be exag
...more
Jess Holdaway
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book really helpful in it's larger view of trauma and the evangelical church. Clear connections are made and some really helpful summaries are made of concepts that can feel disjointed. Her personal stories are helpful to hear and make her knowledge about trauma feel lived and real. It's short, sharp and super helpful in understanding Religious Trauma.
Michelle
Great content! However, I’ve listened to many of her podcast interviews and expected there to be a larger amount of new information in here.
Naphtali
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Did you know that religious trauma exists? Religious Trauma Syndrome is very similar to complex PTSD and is becoming more widely recognized as the number of people working their way out of harmful religious environments increases.
This book is part autobiography - the author talks about her own experiences with religious trauma and working her way out of it - and part a manual on religious trauma syndrome - she discusses common symptoms and the root causes of those issues and how and why certain
...more
Alice Greczyn
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for anyone who feels they were traumatized by religion! Author Jamie Lee Finch helps to legitimize the trauma - yes, trauma - many people experience within religious communities. No, you don't have to be in a cult to be spiritually abused. No, you don't have to be physically hurt to experience trauma. Yes, you have the right to say you suffer after-effects from harmful religious teachings (PTSD, sexual dysfunction, panic and anxiety disorders, and more.). While Finch writes from her ...more
Noel
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
So Jamie Lee Finch popped up in my twitter feed three weeks ago responding to a headline about that I Kissed Dating Goodbye guy. I’d never come across her or the idea of a sex witch. And then suddenly she was everywhere. She was on The Liturgists podcast sharing poetry and where she is headed on her journey. Most groundbreaking to me is that she calls her body her/she instead of it. So, I bought her book this morning when I woke up at 4 am unable to sleep. And I read it all today. And it was not ...more
Jess
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an exvangelical turned sex-positive Unitarian Universalist, I wanted to love this book. I connected with the material instantly and yet it took me months to motivate myself through reading it. What should have been a memoir, was more like non-narrative advice in an poorly organized stream of consciousness.
Señor Chiqui
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
My critique of this book is essentially the same one I have for most of the “exvangelical” books published in the post-Trump years. Its strength and power are found in Ms. Finch’s honesty about her feelings of fear, loneliness, shame, depression, etc. whilst growing up in an evangelical environment and even after leaving it behind. These are feelings that many of us who grew up in the evangelical movement shared and still share, and there is something cathartic about giving voice to them when so ...more
Eugene
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really have nothing but good things to say about this work, which in my opinion is one of a kind when it comes to books addressing religious trauma from the perspective of one who is a former insider and now an outsider to mainstream Evangelicalism. At a time when church leaders are doubling down on gaslighting and misrepresenting those who were once in their faith communities and political demagogues who continue to use religion as a means to gain populist support, this work serves as an inva ...more
Jacob Turnquist
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I struggled with this one. I believe Finch’s work on embodiment is absolutely critical. The memoir portion of this book is beautifully written. As an ex-vangelical myself, the breakdown of the failures and traumas of evangelical Christianity are spot on. Her personal story is heart-breaking and her work on moving beyond is moving and inspiring.

Unfortunately, I fear she overplayed the role that trauma has on the body. I am a military physician experienced in PTSD, and I have been a specialist in
...more
Colin Howard
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some favorite quotes:

“Often times, the marker of a traumatized person is that when asked how they feel or how an emotion feels within their body, they tell you what they think or what they cognitively know about that emotion instead.”

“People need to know that what they were taught to believe under evangelical doctrine can legitimately be defined as trauma”

“The repression of sexuality and the administration of corporal punishment during formative years can be identified as physical and sexual abu
...more
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25 followers
As a survivor of both childhood trauma and religious trauma, I have a deep familiarity with the language used by those who come from authoritarian backgrounds and desire to return to a feeling of wholeness within their bodies — after years of assimilating to a belief that required them to separate from themselves.

I specialize in reframing the reality of embodiment through that language of relatio
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“For many, losing god feels like losing a parent, and that loss has the potential to be devastating (Winell 4). The loss of god is an extremely complicated grief. People feel shame for their grief, believing they should be able to get over the loss of god quickly or they should not feel so devastated. They may feel that their devotion was simply a set of cognitive beliefs, when in reality their belief had deep emotional and relational impact.” 4 likes
“People must be able to reconstruct their own pattern of meaning, regardless of what it looks like or how long it takes—it simply must be all their own. Experiencing depression or numbness is normal during this phase of recovery (Winell 23). I have had clients who have even gone so far as to describe it by saying, “I don’t feel alive.” Losing a former faith story means losing the meaning-making method by which a person made sense of their life and the world around them.” 4 likes
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