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203 Breaking Free from Therapist Abuse with Amy Nordhues author of “Prayed Upon”
Episode 20316th June 2022 • The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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She is a speaker and an author of the book entitled ‘Preyed Upon: Breaking Free From Therapist Abuse.’

Preyed Upon is a book that was written for three groups. The first one is for the victims of abuse, in hopes to let them know that they are not alone. The second one is for the people who can’t relate to abuse, those who judge people and their stories. This is to let them know how hard the experience is, and how hard it is to come forward with what happened. Lastly is for everyone, especially those people who are currently struggling to connect with God. Amy wants the people to know that these problems may have occurred, but it does not mean that God left us to suffer in pain. It wasn’t God that did this to you.  

Amy Nordhues was a victim of abuse. She approached a therapist in hopes to recover from the abuse, depression, and issues with parenting and marriage. However, her therapist took advantage of her weaknesses and manipulated her to fit into his narrative. 

She didn’t know what to do at first. She was so confused, not knowing what to do. She experienced doubts, especially about God. 

Thankfully, she was able to fight her abuser. She was able to ask for help from others. She was able to speak up and tell the truth. She stood up and fought against her abuser. 

Episode 203 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is for those people who experienced abuse. This is for you to know that you are not alone. You are not fighting this on your own. 

This episode discusses all the abuse and adversity that Amy had in her life as well as how she was able to overcome it.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose. 

https://amynordhues.com/

Book – Prayed Upon: Breaking Free from Therapist Abuse: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08SR1HTL6

Email: amynordhues@gmail.com  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-nordhues-636806225/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amy_Nordhues

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amynordhuesauthor/

Transcripts

Dr. Brad Miller::

Our author guest, Amy Nordhues is the author of Preyed Upon: Breaking

Dr. Brad Miller::

Free from Therapist Abuse. She has quite a story to tell about surviving abuse,

Dr. Brad Miller::

coming through it with a great story in and of her own right.

Dr. Brad Miller::

She has something to teach to you, our good listeners, through her book Preyed Upon.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Amy, welcome to Beyond Adversity.

Amy Nordhues::

Thank you, I'm excited to be here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It's an honor to have you with us, you do have quite a story to tell.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You come from a faith based background as I do. But one of the things I've

Dr. Brad Miller::

learned in my faith based life is things are not always just kind of peachy keen

Dr. Brad Miller::

as some people may think they were, they would, would be. So tell us a little bit

Dr. Brad Miller::

about your story, what led you to write your book Preyed Upon, and

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of the foundation of the adverse situation you found yourself in?

Amy Nordhues::

Sure, in 2013, I sought out a counselor, it was really kind of brought to me.

Amy Nordhues::

A friend had an appointment that she didn't need and offered it to me.

Amy Nordhues::

I was dealing with issues surrounding you know, parenting, and my

Amy Nordhues::

marriage was disconnected. I wanted to work on that, and issues surrounding

Amy Nordhues::

depression that just kind of seemed to follow me my whole life, stemming from

Amy Nordhues::

past sexual abuse. So when she offered me her appointment, I thought, you

Amy Nordhues::

know, sure, why not, you know, and I thought it might be a God thing that she's

Amy Nordhues::

even offering. Because I had become, I say, a new believer in around 2012, just

Amy Nordhues::

meaning that my faith really had come alive for me at that point. So knowing

Amy Nordhues::

that this therapist was highly recommended, and he was an elder at my church,

Amy Nordhues::

I felt like this is a God thing.We're going to work on this depression, and this is

Amy Nordhues::

going to be it, I'm going to find the healing that I've always longed for. So I start

Amy Nordhues::

to see him in therapy weekly. And, you know, he was kind of a father figure,

Amy Nordhues::

grandfatherly type person in my life and just really seemed to be rooting

Amy Nordhues::

for me and wanting to know me, and help me and support me. So it was

Amy Nordhues::

really helpful in the beginning, just having kind of somebody there, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

that I could talk to and that built me up. And it wasn't until I'd been seeing

Amy Nordhues::

him maybe six or seven months. I had grown quite attached to him by then, that

Amy Nordhues::

he kind of made what I say is, you know, his first major move, or first red flag, and

Amy Nordhues::

that was that he offered to rub my feet or my shoulders for a Christmas present.

Amy Nordhues::

It was very startling, and alarming. I froze, as I have done in my lifetime, when

Amy Nordhues::

I've been in other abuse situations. And, you know, in my panic, I just felt like,

Amy Nordhues::

pick one or the other, Amy just, this is awkward, this is uncomfortable. And, you

Amy Nordhues::

know, childhood abuse, kind of takes away our know, and takes away our right to

Amy Nordhues::

it became just kind of a no big deal thing. And that is how grooming works.

Amy Nordhues::

There's then a period of kind of normalcy, where they're letting you adjust to

Amy Nordhues::

this advancement that they have made. And then when they feel that you are able,

Amy Nordhues::

they will up the ante a little more and a little more. And eventually, he found a way

Amy Nordhues::

to sit closer to me on my side of the room, and that eventually he sat next to me and

Amy Nordhues::

you know, as scary as each red flag was, it made me feel incredibly special. And it

Amy Nordhues::

made me feel good that I was more like a daughter and less of a client. And you

Amy Nordhues::

know, the sessions were all about Jesus and we opened up the sessions in prayer. And

Amy Nordhues::

the Holy Spirit He said was his boss and so I felt like all of this was a good thing and

Amy Nordhues::

that God was blessing me through it, and that it was helping me and that, you

Amy Nordhues::

know, as silly as it may sound that you know God was kind of loving on me in

Amy Nordhues::

this way like letting me know you are special. You are deserving. You know, you're not just

Amy Nordhues::

use it. And I felt like I couldn't say no to this person in authority, and this person

Dr. Brad Miller::

coming across in a kind of a paternal way and things like a comforting. So you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of classic signs of someone who's trying to groom you really in lots of ways.

Amy Nordhues::

that I thought cared about me, I thought, you know, he wouldn't be offering if it

Amy Nordhues::

wasn't for my benefit. So I, I picked shoulders, and then I quickly changed it to feet,

Amy Nordhues::

and I and I was able to just kind of get through that. Eventually, I decided that it was

Amy Nordhues::

just a kind gesture. And I kind of minimized it, rationalized it, you know, blew it off, and

Dr. Brad Miller::

So he was couching his grooming in, in faith lingo, God language, if you will. And he was

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, but you know, sadly, having just kind of become this new believer, I was very

Amy Nordhues::

naive, I didn't know a lot about the spiritual world and, and I really did think that

Amy Nordhues::

God was blessing me in in big ways and trying to make me feel loved and, and

Amy Nordhues::

that that was probably true. That's not he was not doing it through this man. But

Amy Nordhues::

this man made me feel as if he was. So at the same time I'm, this is happening. I'm

Amy Nordhues::

like thanking God for this experience and for giving me this safe, paternal figure,

Amy Nordhues::

you know, and so it was very confusing. And after about a year, I realized that I

Amy Nordhues::

thought he was luring me into an emotional affair, which I want to know, part of,

Amy Nordhues::

I had no idea the track that I was on, I had no idea that he was grooming me for

Amy Nordhues::

sexual abuse. And, you know, by the time I knew I was in deep trouble, I was also

Amy Nordhues::

extremely attached and he had made himself he'd played on my empathy and

Amy Nordhues::

my guilt, and I felt sorry for him. And I felt he was this fragile creature and needed

Amy Nordhues::

me as much as I needed him. And that would, you know, he told me, it would kill

Amy Nordhues::

him if I ever left so I felt I felt like damned if I do damned if I don't. I felt like I can't

Amy Nordhues::

stay and I can't leave. And it was just very confusing to be an intelligent adult

Amy Nordhues::

and be in this situation.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Sure. You're familiar with the term codependent. It sounds like

Dr. Brad Miller::

a developing a codependent type relationship here.

Amy Nordhues::

Yes, by telling me about his childhood and his marriage and things like

Amy Nordhues::

that which a therapist that is ethical would never do. But, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

predators prey on people that have very high levels of empathy. Because

Amy Nordhues::

they know that they can get a lot out of that.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Wow. So I knew it sounds like you were meeting with him on a pretty regular

Dr. Brad Miller::

basis, once a week or so or whatever it was, it was a regular thing, right?

Amy Nordhues::

It was once a week, for an hour once a week for, I don't know, five-six months,

Amy Nordhues::

at least. And then he all of a sudden, I showed up for an appointment and the

Amy Nordhues::

appointment was two hours. Okay. And I was very thrown by that. And he said,

Amy Nordhues::

Oh, I was able to get us an extra hour. But again, I after I got over the initial panic,

Amy Nordhues::

I thought, Oh, well. Cool. You know, I probably need two hours. And then it was two

Amy Nordhues::

hours once a week at the very end, it became three.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay. And then this process, you must have been also getting something out of it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

What I mean by that there were flags going up, but there was also attachments

Dr. Brad Miller::

happening and you were getting some benefit from it. You were feeling or you

Dr. Brad Miller::

wouldn't have kept coming back. You weren't just having the the repelling type

Dr. Brad Miller::

thing you were having the attractive type of thing. So the process here have

Dr. Brad Miller::

kept you going Is that Is that fair to terminate in that way?

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, I mean, I would say I was extremely attached to feeling special, I was

Amy Nordhues::

extremely attached to having a father figure. I was extremely attached to

Amy Nordhues::

having somebody that I thought was kind of in my corner. And you know, I

Amy Nordhues::

didn't have many close relationships. And I felt like this was, you know, that

Amy Nordhues::

closeness and that bond was something I felt like I desperately needed. And

Amy Nordhues::

especially considering that I thought it was a God thing at first. At the end. My

Amy Nordhues::

prayer was this is how confused I was. I was literally asking God, are you telling

Amy Nordhues::

me to get away from this situation? Or is Satan trying to take away something

Amy Nordhues::

good that you gave me? So it was just mind boggling. So yes, they don't make

Amy Nordhues::

a move until they know that you are very attached. And they use many

Amy Nordhues::

methods to gain that attachment.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So and then you also had a bit of a history of some sexual abuse is my

Dr. Brad Miller::

understanding what you said as well. So this is somewhat of a pattern

Dr. Brad Miller::

that's happened in your life. So you had some sensibility about it. Okay.

Dr. Brad Miller::

All right, Amy, let's is your situation you found yourself in. You found yourself

Dr. Brad Miller::

in this adverse life event and being involved with a therapist, who is using

Dr. Brad Miller::

Christianity to lower you to attack you in his own way and to manipulate you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that's not a place you've had to come to some realization, some aha

Dr. Brad Miller::

moment that okay, this is not right. I gotta do something about it. Tell us

Dr. Brad Miller::

about that pivotal moment. When you said I got to break out of this and

Dr. Brad Miller::

then what were some of the acts that you took from that point.

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, I had the realization that what he was doing to me was wrong,

Amy Nordhues::

before I was able to actually leave. And the reason is that I thought that

Amy Nordhues::

his actions were stemming from a loving or caring place, and that he had

Amy Nordhues::

just taken it too far or, you know, he was attempting to do right by me and

Amy Nordhues::

make me feel loved in an appropriate way and then got tripped up. And so

Amy Nordhues::

my mind could not grasp this level of evil sitting in front of me. And so I gave

Amy Nordhues::

him the benefit of the doubt, and I didn't want to give up on somebody that,

Amy Nordhues::

you know, just inadvertently began to hurt me if that makes sense. And so I

Amy Nordhues::

hung on longer than I should, and the aha moments kind of piled up. But what

Amy Nordhues::

I needed to see was the true evil and there was finally a moment where, and

Amy Nordhues::

it's hard for me to say these words out loud, but I literally asked my therapist,

Amy Nordhues::

could we just leave clothes on and talk? Well, you just talk to me, the fact that I

Amy Nordhues::

even have to ask, that is just pitiful to me. But his response was so cold and so

Amy Nordhues::

callous, that I saw what I needed to see. I needed to see just pure cruelty, pure,

Amy Nordhues::

you know, no interest for my regard at all. And I saw that in that moment.

Amy Nordhues::

And that is the moment that switch flipped that I knew 100% that his man

Amy Nordhues::

does not care about you. He never did.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So if you'll forgive the kind of the framework, and I'll just say in this is terrible.

Dr. Brad Miller::

If I'm not aligned, you let me nobody, in a way, you almost literally had to

Dr. Brad Miller::

bear all, you know, in order to have this brought forth to you, you had to

Dr. Brad Miller::

see his crude nature in its utmost in order to break free or to have this

Dr. Brad Miller::

moment. Is that fair?

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, because I couldn't believe it could possibly be true. I was willing to

Amy Nordhues::

be patient with somebody that, you know, got tripped up and was hurting

Amy Nordhues::

me or was when they realized they were hurting me, they would stop.

Amy Nordhues::

And I, you know, I was beginning to rise up to it. But yes, I needed to see it.

Amy Nordhues::

I feel like it was like almost looking Satan in the eyes. I just needed to see it for myself.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay, so at that point, and what I love to tell people to process

Dr. Brad Miller::

and help our listeners to process there comes these moments, he's almost

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, you're in the middle of the wilderness experience of use a biblical

Dr. Brad Miller::

metaphor. And then, but what are you going to do, you're gonna stay stuck in

Dr. Brad Miller::

the wilderness? Are you going to do something about it now? So you kind

Dr. Brad Miller::

of realize I'm in trouble. So I really am an advocate of what are the actions

Dr. Brad Miller::

that you took in this particular situation to break free of that? What are

Dr. Brad Miller::

some of the actions that you took from that point on?

Amy Nordhues::

Well, I had already gone to a close friend and mentor. She was the

Amy Nordhues::

pastor's wife, and she had recommended this doctor to me. And she

Amy Nordhues::

had chosen to blow me off and not believe me, she didn't want to deal

Amy Nordhues::

with it. So I went back to her and tried to tell her and when she wasn't

Amy Nordhues::

really hearing me, or choosing to hear me, I told her husband, the pastor,

Amy Nordhues::

and I told him everything. He asked me, you know, what do you need?

Amy Nordhues::

And I said, I just need you to sit with me during one of these three hour

Amy Nordhues::

sessions because I know he'll call me he'll cry he'll weasel his way back in

Amy Nordhues::

or and I'll cave and I'll you know, return and so I had an appointment the

Amy Nordhues::

following Monday and I went to their house and sat there and cried for

Amy Nordhues::

three hours. The doctor called nine times and the first two hours and

Amy Nordhues::

I could even hearing the sadness in his voice. I could even feel myself caving.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So let me just a clear, you went back but you had yourself and the therapist

Dr. Brad Miller::

and your pastor serves three of you in the room. Is that right?

Amy Nordhues::

No, I did not. No, I did not go back. I sat at my pastor's house.

Amy Nordhues::

Okay. During that three hour session. I did not call and cancel.

Amy Nordhues::

I just did not show up. I went to their house, my pastor's house

Amy Nordhues::

and they sat with me.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You were a no show.

Amy Nordhues::

I was a no show.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay. All right.

Amy Nordhues::

Being the conscientious person that I am I thought well I need to at least

Amy Nordhues::

tell the secretary I'm not coming and they were like No, you're not calling.

Amy Nordhues::

So yes, I needed their help. I needed outside help to break me break that

Amy Nordhues::

helped me break that tie initially.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay, I just want to be clear about this. So did you you said he called

Dr. Brad Miller::

nine times did you take the calls? Did you speak to him? Are you just

Dr. Brad Miller::

hear like voicemails or something like that?

Amy Nordhues::

Just voicemails

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay

Amy Nordhues::

And towards the end I even felt like I just at least need to call them.

Amy Nordhues::

And of course they said no, you're absolutely not

Dr. Brad Miller::

The other two folks, a pastor's wife heard these voicemails so you

Dr. Brad Miller::

were able to correct validate your situation. And they understood that

Dr. Brad Miller::

that's the case. Okay. All right. Yeah, thank you for clarifying that. And I

Dr. Brad Miller::

think that that's important, super big steps that you took to get other

Dr. Brad Miller::

people involved. So great. So now you had this happen? So what do you

Dr. Brad Miller::

do then? Or what were some of the actions that you took to really get the

Dr. Brad Miller::

healing part going on? That's kind of the art of where you're kind of analyzing

Dr. Brad Miller::

the problem, you're kind of diagnosing the problem. And now you got to heal.

Amy Nordhues::

Right, I had a pre planned vacation with a friend a week later, which was a

Amy Nordhues::

blessing. I spent that week, just analyzing the whole situation and looking

Amy Nordhues::

at what took place and realizing you were groomed. You were manipulated

Amy Nordhues::

from day one, and just kind of processing it. The next action step that I took,

Amy Nordhues::

you know, when I came back, and I'll tell you, it was terrifying. I didn't want to

Amy Nordhues::

tell anyone, I didn't want to tell my husband, because how is he going to

Amy Nordhues::

understand when I don't even understand, you know, if the world finds out,

Amy Nordhues::

I'm going to be judged and mocked and blamed and who's going to believe

Amy Nordhues::

an adult. But I knew to heal that I needed to speak up. And so when I came

Amy Nordhues::

back, I shared everything with my husband, and then I made the decision to

Amy Nordhues::

report this abuser to the medical board in my state.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So he was an actual MD, is that right? I just want to be clear, but

Amy Nordhues::

he was a psychiatrist that did therapy.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay. All right.

Amy Nordhues::

So I filed that complaint and began that process. There was healing, just

Amy Nordhues::

in speaking up for myself for the first time. And there was great healing

Amy Nordhues::

and being believed and fought for the first time, I couldn't believe that

Amy Nordhues::

these medical board investigators and the medical board doctors, I was a

Amy Nordhues::

total stranger to them, yet they seem to really care. And that gave me great

Amy Nordhues::

healing. And then, you know, the next stage, I would say, was just realizing

Amy Nordhues::

that I wasn't the only one. I wasn't alone, I had to find other adult victims.

Amy Nordhues::

So that, you know, because I thought I was the only one on the planet. And

Amy Nordhues::

that was hugely helpful. I found an organization that just supports adult

Amy Nordhues::

victims of therapist and clergy abuse. And from there, I made the decision

Amy Nordhues::

to file a civil suit, medical malpractice suit, because only 50% of the states

Amy Nordhues::

in our country consider therapist abuse a crime. And it is not considered

Amy Nordhues::

a crime in my state. So I did the next best thing, and that was to file a civil

Amy Nordhues::

suit again, it was hard, but it was healing and rewarding to feel like I have a

Amy Nordhues::

voice and I'm fighting back to, you know, standing up to a bully.

Amy Nordhues::

Because I wasn't the only victim. You know, there were many victims.

Amy Nordhues::

And I felt like I did it for me, and I did it for everyone that he'd ever hurt or will hurt.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay, just to be clear, you're trying there were many victims of this particular doctor.

Amy Nordhues::

Correct.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay, because there was a lot of victims out there all over the place of clergy,

Dr. Brad Miller::

therapists abuse. Okay. So you've been then to gather other like minded people,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and to gain collegiality and commonality and community with others. That's great.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And then eventually, I had to write a book about it, right?

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, I needed to, in order to forgive myself, I needed to understand what happened.

Amy Nordhues::

I'm very hard on myself. And I just couldn't accept that I could be manipulated,

Amy Nordhues::

and I couldn't forgive myself for, you know, staying as long as I did, and for

Amy Nordhues::

falling for it and becoming attached. And so I wrote, I wrote it out originally,

Amy Nordhues::

just so that I could see it for myself and began to be gentler with myself. And it

Amy Nordhues::

was very helpful to see it kind of unfold on the page. And, you know, it was after

Amy Nordhues::

I wrote it, that I realized, I want other adult victims to know that they're not alone.

Amy Nordhues::

Because there's not a lot written about adult abuse. There's not a lot written

Amy Nordhues::

about therapist abuse. And so that is when I decided to share my story. I feel

Amy Nordhues::

like God wanted me to share it. And I promised him that I wouldn't write a book

Amy Nordhues::

that didn't glorify him. It wasn't going to be a book about revenge or, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

or anything like that it needed to have value and and glorify Him to be worthwhile.

Amy Nordhues::

And so it took me years of healing to be able to to produce a book like that, I

Amy Nordhues::

had to have the healing under my belt before I could really write the ending to the story.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It's interesting when you're terming things here, Amy, that you wanted to

Dr. Brad Miller::

make sure your book and your story glorify God, and was honoring, and

Dr. Brad Miller::

not a situation where God was diminished. And yet the framework, the

Dr. Brad Miller::

circumstances that you found yourself abused, were connected through

Dr. Brad Miller::

And then the healing going forward?

Dr. Brad Miller::

your references for through church and your counselor, your doctor called

Dr. Brad Miller::

himself a person of faith. And there was a framework of, you know, I'm

Dr. Brad Miller::

called the Holy Spirit or whatever terminology he used, that for many

Dr. Brad Miller::

folks, could be a can be a way that they can be really, really hurt by a

Dr. Brad Miller::

whole sensibility about their, the church world and people of faith and

Dr. Brad Miller::

so on. And that could help them to go away from faith. So I'm going to

Dr. Brad Miller::

talk to you about that for just a second here. How did this whole episode

Dr. Brad Miller::

have an impact your faith? Did it get your faith? Did it assault your faith?

Dr. Brad Miller::

That your did you have to make sure you had a different way to connect

Dr. Brad Miller::

with God or a higher power in order to navigate this? tells what about

Dr. Brad Miller::

your faith journey through this whole process of the abuse?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Tell us a little bit about your story, what led you to write your book?

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, and that's a huge question, or huge dilemma for most victims.

Amy Nordhues::

But I spent the first 40 years of my life, depressed and angry with God.

Amy Nordhues::

And I didn't think he could communicate with us. I didn't like his whole,

Amy Nordhues::

I didn't like this whole idea of being put here on Earth, without, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

giving my permission and having to endure whatever we have to endure.

Amy Nordhues::

I had a lot of anger and bitterness towards him. And so in 2012, when I

Amy Nordhues::

began attending a Celebrate Recovery at my church, and that's when I

Amy Nordhues::

had mentioned that my faith really came alive. And I feel like that

Amy Nordhues::

realization that God is close to me, and that I can talk to him and that

Amy Nordhues::

he can answer me was such a huge revelation for me that it was it felt life

Amy Nordhues::

I have extreme hurt towards the church. I, my pastor did behave,

Amy Nordhues::

you know, responsibly, I guess you could say and helped me in the

Amy Nordhues::

beginning, and I very much appreciate that. But then he turned into

Amy Nordhues::

it turned into political correct mode. And then the doctor and I were

Amy Nordhues::

just two sinners in need of help, and it was very, very painful and hurtful.

Amy Nordhues::

I felt disregarded. And really, I had to leave the church and there was

Amy Nordhues::

no follow up. When I reached out to my pastor, you know, like, a couple

Amy Nordhues::

years later to talk to him, he said, You need to talk to the pastor at your

Amy Nordhues::

own church, your new church, as if there was going to be a new church.

Amy Nordhues::

And, you know, sadly, I had tried to find another church and I was attending.

Amy Nordhues::

And I met with a pastor in it and I don't know what my attempt was going to

Amy Nordhues::

be. I just needed to tell him how I was struggling with being in church. Like as

Amy Nordhues::

if he knew it would somehow be better. He could pray for me and before I

Amy Nordhues::

could even get the story out, he said, don't bring drama from your old

Amy Nordhues::

church to this church. and I've pretty, pretty much been done with

Amy Nordhues::

church, okay, ever since.

Amy Nordhues::

changing for me, that had I not had that experience right before

Amy Nordhues::

this abuse, I feel like this abuse could have brought me down for

Amy Nordhues::

good, taking the under for good, but it didn't, because I refused to

Amy Nordhues::

lose what I had just gained. And so I never did, like suspect God or

Amy Nordhues::

turn on God, I knew he was trying to reach out to me during this

Amy Nordhues::

experience, I knew he was calling out to me, trying to help me.

Amy Nordhues::

And it was me that was saying, Well, God, I'll fix it, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

just give me some more time, and I can fix this. So I never felt, you

Amy Nordhues::

know, abandoned. And then afterwards, when I had that vacation in

Amy Nordhues::

Canada, God showed up for me in the most magnificent ways.

Amy Nordhues::

I'll let people read about that in the book. But he just lavished his

Amy Nordhues::

love on me, because he knew the journey that I had ahead of me.

Amy Nordhues::

I did not want the journey, I did not think I could survive the journey.

Amy Nordhues::

And by journey, I mean, I did not think that I could come home and

Amy Nordhues::

admit what happened, tell my husband, tell the world, report the

Amy Nordhues::

doctor, I wanted to just crawl under a rock. So it was with God's,

Amy Nordhues::

you know, kind of supernatural love during that time, that kind of

Amy Nordhues::

gave me what I needed to continue forward. And then to answer

Amy Nordhues::

your question, because I don't want it to sound so you know, Rosy,

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, this is the kind of stuff that I'll be honest with you to helps

Dr. Brad Miller::

define the difference between a spiritual relationship and a

Dr. Brad Miller::

relationship in an unhealthy or toxic church or, or situation.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Church can be the greatest, greatest place in the world to

Dr. Brad Miller::

experience you know, the, the wonder of community and

Dr. Brad Miller::

community with Christ. But it can also be a place where unhealthy

Dr. Brad Miller::

people go when to prey on others. And I know, part of the process

Dr. Brad Miller::

that you talk about here of people preyed on, you know, as in

Dr. Brad Miller::

P-R-E-Y-E-D can also be preyed upon P-R-A-Y-E-D. I know that's

Dr. Brad Miller::

a kind of play on words you have in some of your your work.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so, you know, I come from a world, I'm a retired pastor and

Dr. Brad Miller::

I know that this thing kind of thing happens, I've witnessed it myself,

Dr. Brad Miller::

I have colleagues have been embroiled in it. And church folks, I know,

Dr. Brad Miller::

some pretty well who've been embroiled in this type of thing, and even

Dr. Brad Miller::

family members who, for not that for this particular reason, but

Dr. Brad Miller::

because of their own crimes with the church, not understanding

Dr. Brad Miller::

their lifestyle, have moved on to the church is no longer relevant

Dr. Brad Miller::

to their life. And so what am I, you know, I just want to say, from

Dr. Brad Miller::

my part, as a clergy person, that I apologize to what has happened

Dr. Brad Miller::

to you, it shouldn't have happened, he was wrong, it was a sin. And

Dr. Brad Miller::

then God will deal with that situation. But it is tragic that you had

Dr. Brad Miller::

to go through and so many people do go on for so many levels,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and the church can do better. I hope that these type of conversations

Dr. Brad Miller::

can help that to happen, and but what I want to say to you also is

Dr. Brad Miller::

that, you know, yay, God that you have chosen a path that is no

Dr. Brad Miller::

longer still does not deny God, but as using this tool as a resource

Dr. Brad Miller::

to help you with your healing. For that healing, where I want to go

Dr. Brad Miller::

to now and there I believe, really a big believer in a process. Amy,

Dr. Brad Miller::

where people to get healing have to take some action, like you did

Dr. Brad Miller::

have to somehow connect and process the spiritual life, the inner life.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But then they have to make the cognitive the thinking part, the application

Dr. Brad Miller::

part, how you live your life. So what I'm getting at now, how are some

Dr. Brad Miller::

things in life changed in terms of new disciplines, new routines, new ways

Dr. Brad Miller::

of doing life, new awareness, in your life, new processes? What are some

Dr. Brad Miller::

things you do now you maybe didn't do? Before? That you're more healed?

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, the first one we kind of touched on and that is, I am much more

Amy Nordhues::

confident in my personal relationship with Christ. I'm much less anxious

Amy Nordhues::

that if I'm not in church every Sunday, I'm a bad person, you know, my

Amy Nordhues::

faith is stronger and more relational than it was before this experience.

Amy Nordhues::

I in this doesn't maybe exactly answer your question. But I had to,

Amy Nordhues::

cognitively, I had to make the decision to forgive my abuser, and

Amy Nordhues::

forgive those that, you know, hurt me in this process. Because I

Amy Nordhues::

refuse to be, you know, imprisoned by bitterness and anger, and

Amy Nordhues::

unforgiveness, I'd lived in that most of my life, I was not going to

Amy Nordhues::

go back to that. And so a lot of it with, you know, forgiveness, which

Amy Nordhues::

is really hard for all of us, especially victims of clergy type abuse, but

Amy Nordhues::

it was a decision to not give my abuser any more power, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

over me or take up any more rent in my head. And so that was another

Amy Nordhues::

thing that I did. I would say that I am a little bit gentler with myself now.

Amy Nordhues::

Again, I had a lot of, I guess, like, guilt based faith, you know, like I, you

Amy Nordhues::

know, if I don't do my devotional in the morning, or if I do my devotional,

Amy Nordhues::

and I don't read the scriptures that go with it, I am just a complete

Amy Nordhues::

disappointment, you know, and I, you know, I don't operate that way

Amy Nordhues::

anymore. I know that God loves me, even if I'm doing nothing.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So like grace and forgiveness are more part of your life now

Dr. Brad Miller::

than perhaps they were before. That to guilt, obligation and

Dr. Brad Miller::

religion were part of what was before more so and that's a

Dr. Brad Miller::

good thing. I would say I'm sensing that you have loving spirit

Dr. Brad Miller::

now to share your story with others to try to be helpful,

Dr. Brad Miller::

because you've seen what happened to you. You know,

Dr. Brad Miller::

it's also helping others because you you got connected

Dr. Brad Miller::

with the community of other people that this has happened

Dr. Brad Miller::

to,. As you're giving back and you've given back by writing

Dr. Brad Miller::

your book, Preyed Upon: Breaking Free from Therapist Abuse.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so who is his book for? What's it all about? I know you said

Dr. Brad Miller::

a little bit while you wrote it your own process. But let's talk about

Dr. Brad Miller::

that person you're writing it for now. Tell us about that.

Amy Nordhues::

Yeah, I'm writing it for, you know, kind of three different groups,

Amy Nordhues::

I'm writing it, for victims of abuse, especially adults to know that

Amy Nordhues::

they are not alone, that it is not their fault, and that there is no

Amy Nordhues::

consent in relationships with an imbalance of power. So many

Amy Nordhues::

victims feel so guilty, and that will, did they participate will did

Amy Nordhues::

they want that. And it's just crucial to understand that, you know,

Amy Nordhues::

for them to understand that they would not be able to properly

Amy Nordhues::

give consent in a relationship where they hold none of the

Amy Nordhues::

power. I also wrote the book because I wanted the audience

Amy Nordhues::

who cannot relate to abuse at all. Who Judge victims in a harsh

Amy Nordhues::

light, you know, when especially when they come forward, and

Amy Nordhues::

they're older, to be able to understand how sneaky and insidious

Amy Nordhues::

the grooming process is, and how adults can be manipulated

Amy Nordhues::

and taken advantage of, I wanted them to, you know, read it

Amy Nordhues::

just so that they could, they don't have to 100% Get it, but

Amy Nordhues::

maybe they could be a little gentler, the next time somebody

Amy Nordhues::

comes forward or somebody you know, even in their own circle

Amy Nordhues::

comes forward, that they don't immediately jump to that judgment.

Amy Nordhues::

then third, I wrote the book because I wanted everyone to know,

Amy Nordhues::

especially those that are struggling with their relationship with God,

Amy Nordhues::

that these tragedies can happen. God can still be loving and present.

Amy Nordhues::

He did not cause them, he did not turn his back on us. He is pained

Amy Nordhues::

by these experiences, and just longing to help us and free us and be

Amy Nordhues::

there for us afterwards. And I think that's one of the biggest hopes

Amy Nordhues::

that I have for the book. Because when you're taken advantage of by

Amy Nordhues::

anybody, but especially by somebody pretending to represent God.

Amy Nordhues::

Not only have they taken, you know everything from you and left you

Amy Nordhues::

with shame and self hatred and guilt, but they have then taken your

Amy Nordhues::

faith, they have taken your only hope, away from you. And to me,

Amy Nordhues::

that's just the ultimate. You know, the cruelest thing you could

Amy Nordhues::

do to another human.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It's abuse, even the deepest of levels. And so, one last kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

question here for you in this whole process. How's that happened?

Dr. Brad Miller::

What I mean by that, as you said, You've written for these folks,

Dr. Brad Miller::

particularly the third group there? Have you had any opportunity

Dr. Brad Miller::

to talk to folks who have read your book or you've been able to be

Dr. Brad Miller::

able to be helpful to in personal conversation or coaching?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Tell us a story. If you have one about someone your work has

Dr. Brad Miller::

impacted them and made a difference?

Amy Nordhues::

Yes, one of my favorites is I had a younger gentleman,

Amy Nordhues::

before my book, even came out, find my website and was

Amy Nordhues::

reading my blog posts and emailed me and was just so thrilled

Amy Nordhues::

that I emailed back. He just said, you know, thank you so much,

Amy Nordhues::

because I was taken advantage of by I think it was an uncle and

Amy Nordhues::

he was a teenager, and he felt like, it was just so despicable.

Amy Nordhues::

He was such a despicable human being that this would happen

Amy Nordhues::

to him when he's that old, and how, you know, he has to be

Amy Nordhues::

somewhat responsible. I mean, after all, he was like a teenager,

Amy Nordhues::

and I was able to say yes, and I was 40 years old. And it is not

Amy Nordhues::

my fault either. And it just gave me such joy that he could begin

Amy Nordhues::

to look at himself for the very first time as maybe just maybe it wasn't his fault.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, and I'm sure there's more and more stories about that I'm

Dr. Brad Miller::

well I haven't I know their stories of the abuse, but it's helped there's

Dr. Brad Miller::

more and more stories, where your book and your work can be helpful

Dr. Brad Miller::

to people to navigate this whole process because it is an issue I know it is.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I just know that it is personally. Amy, how can folks find your book

Dr. Brad Miller::

and find you on your website or your book tell us how people can find you.

Amy Nordhues::

Okay, it's you know, a minorities.com you can purchase a signed paperback

Amy Nordhues::

from my website or you can buy an ebook or paperback from Amazon and

Amy Nordhues::

the paperback is also available wherever books are sold. You can email me

Amy Nordhues::

through my website and I also have as many resources as I have been

Amy Nordhues::

able to accrue are on my website. And I'm also I should say, I'm on

Amy Nordhues::

social media. And those links are there as well.

Dr. Brad Miller::

We'll make connections to all of that at our website, drbradmiller.com.

Dr. Brad Miller::

She is Amy Nordhues. Her website is amynordhues.com.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Her book Preyed Upon: Breaking Free from Therapist Abuse.

Dr. Brad Miller::

We thank you for being our guest today, Amy on the

Dr. Brad Miller::

Beyond Adversity podcast with Dr Brad Miller.

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