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Sunday, June 28, 2015

#REVIEW: Post Traumatic Church Syndrome by Reba Riley

Title: Post Traumatic Church Syndrome
Series:  none
Author:  Reba Riley
Published Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Howard Books
Format: ebook
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781501124037
Genre: nonfiction spirituality
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: Reba Riley's twenty-ninth birthday was not a good time to undertake a spiritual quest, but when chronic illness prompted her to focus on one thing she could fix - her whopping case of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome - she undertook a challenge: Visit thirty religions before her thirtieth birthday. This was transformation by spiritual shock therapy. Reba would find peace and healing ... if the search didn't kill her first. 
During her spiritual sojourn without leaving home, Reba: Danced the disco in a Buddhist temple; Went to church in virtual reality, a movie theater, a drive-in bar, and a basement; Was interrogated about her sex life by Amish grandmothers; Got audited by Scientologists, mobbed by NPR junkies, and killed (almost); Fasted for thirty days without food - or wine, dammit!; Washed her lady parts in a mosque bathroom; Learned to meditate with an Urban Monk, sucked mud in a sweat lodge with a Suburban Shaman, and snuck into Yom Kippur with a fake grandpa; Discovered she didn't have to choose religion to choose God ... or good. For everyone who has ever needed healing of body or soul, this poignant, funny memoir reminds us all that transformation is possible, brokenness can be beautiful, and sometimes we have to get lost to get found.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For anyone who has been so hurt by the church they were raised in that they ran away, or were kicked out, or were rejected, for anyone who believes if they walk even into the shadow of a church God will smite you down with lightening and thunderbolts, or swarms of locusts, this book is for YOU. For anyone to whom the idea of going to church sends you into cases of body hives, panic attacks and nausea, this book is for YOU. For me, who even after 18 years after the fact, wanted to reflex-throat-punch any Roman collar I saw, this book was for ME. I had a bad case of PTCS (Post Traumatic Church Syndrome), sometimes even now, my fellow church-goers will look at me knowingly if a certain subject comes up, knowing that it is certain to set me off.
The author’s Thirty by Thirty challenge was much more in-depth than the one I had done when I was rejected. It was both amusing and heart-breaking to read someone else’s journey into the depths of PTCS hell, but it helped me to see that I wasn’t the only one walking around, suffering from PTCS.

Overall, this is a wonderful, must-read for anyone, no matter what religion or non-religion you practice. I know I have been transformed by reading this book. You will be too.

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