Memorizing Scripture, Part II (Memorizing Longer Texts, Using What You’ve Memorized)

July 25, 2006

continued from here
Memorization Type #2: Long-text memorization (paragraphs, psalms, chapters, books)

The other kind, and in my opinion the more fruitful kind, of memorization is to memorize longer passages of Scripture, even up to whole books.

I am certain that the method I am about to describe is not the slickest or most glamorous way of memorizing longer passages of Scripture. But it’s what I stumbled upon in my own efforts to try to get more of God’s Word into my heart, and being a creature of habit, I’d have a hard time switching to a better method, of which I am sure there must be many. Again, a googling of Bible memorization or Scripture memorization will turn up abundant results, most of them superior, I’m sure.

After briefly surveying some of the alternate methods, one of the striking differences between my approach and theirs is that I do not bother trying to remember the chapter-and-verse references for each verse in the case of “long-text” memorization. My reasons for this are threefold.

1. I personally don’t find knowing all the exact references very valuable, except for showing off. If you’re memorizing a whole chapter or book, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where each verse fits in relatively speaking. Who cares about the exact numbers?
2. The chapter and verse divisions, while invaluable for reference, are not part of the original text, and can get in the way of reading it and hearing it. We rely too heavily on the numbers to parse the text for us, rather than the logic and flow of the text itself.
3. (most importantly) I memorize longer passages of Scripture in part so I can recite them (either aloud or silently) as a devotional practice. So for me it significantly defeats the purpose if I have to recite a verse number before every verse.

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Memorizing Scripture, Part I (Why Memorize, Memorizing Individual Verses)

July 25, 2006

A reader asked that I say a little more about Scripture memorization, which I mentioned fondly as part of my experience in the residential program. So, with some trepidation, I interrupt your regularly scheduled All Exgay All The Time programming to bring you my thoughts on that subject. Exgay-obsessed blogging will resume tomorrow (God willing) with a post on the “healing” talk.

I’m a little wary of writing about it, because I’m not an expert. These are just my crude trial-and-error experimental efforts which have borne fruit for me. Many smarter, wiser, more experienced, and holier people have written on this subject, and I encourage you to Google “Bible memorization” or “memorize Scripture” or anything like that to REALLY learn how it is done. A great starting point would be this pdf of an excerpt from John Piper’s book When I Don’t Desire God posted online. (Chapters 7-10 are in the excerpt–chapter 8 deals specifically with Scripture memorization.) All I have to offer here is my own experience of mucking through with it.

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Responses to Responses on Ex-gay Stuff (Celibacy, interpreting the Vatican, etc.)

July 17, 2006

Quoth Noli Irritare Leones :

On the one hand, I do tend to default to assuming that people are struggling sexually, they weren’t meant to be celibate.

I think in a lot of cases this is true. I think most people are supposed to be married. I think far more people should get married than actually are. I don’t think everyone is cut out for celibacy. I think that Paul guy was onto something when he wrote to those people in Corinth on the subject.

But I just worry that for too many evangelicals, this idea that if you’re struggling you weren’t meant to be celibate is a driving force behind bad theology and worse decisions. On the one hand it is taken by some pro-gay Christians to mean that gay people who don’t enjoy celibacy should form same-sex partnerships. (i.e, “I am struggling, so I am not supposed to be celibate. I am not interested in hetero marriage. Therefore, I should enter into a gay relationship, regardless of those other verses. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best I can muster. If it is better to marry than to burn with lust, then surely it must be better to be in a committed monogamous same-sex relationship than to struggle so precariously, right? Even if it’s not “God’s best” for me.”) On the other hand, it is taken by certain exgays and their allies to mean that God absolutely WILL change anyone who’s having a rough time with celibacy or will miraculously take aware their sexual desires, which I think fosters a whole range of false expectations and resulting disappointment or worse.

What we need to remember to balance all of this, I think, is that God’s commands are His enablings. We need to trust, as Augustine prayed, that God will grant what He commands. When we see commandments and moral teachings in Scripture, we don’t need to ask, “Gee, am I really cut out for all that?” If He commands it, by His grace He will strengthen us to do it if we seek to obey. It may not be pretty, but it will be possible. We need to embrace strenuous spiritual struggle as part of life. I do not believe that God will call someone to celibacy if they are absolutely incapable of it. But I think we all far underestimate what we are capable of with the grace of God working in us. It’s kind of like exercising, when you’re running or doing situps or whatever and you’re feeling like you’re at your limit, and you think, “I absolutely cannot do any more!” But if you have a friend encouraging you and pushing you onward, you find that you can often do a lot more than you thought you could. Our limits are rarely where we think they are.


From And Also With You:

Where things get tricky is with her comments on the ex-gay movement as a Protestant phenomenon. First, she characterizes the recent Vatican document on homosexuals in seminaries as declaring that “homosexual attractions are necessarily a manifestation of spiritual and emotional immaturity.” I’m not sure that the Vatican document says that; on the other hand, I’m not sure it isnt true.

Perhaps I’m erring in the conclusions I’ve drawn. I must admit that I do not read many Vatican documents, nor am I as up-to-date on Catholic discussion of homosexuality as I might be.

But it seems to me that the logic of the statement was: A certain degree of maturity is necessary to be a priest. Therefore, men with non-transitory homosexual attractions should not apply for the priesthood. Now, there’s a missing premise needed to make the argument make any sense, and that premise is: Men with non-transitory homosexual attractions lack the necessary maturity. I don’t know how else to read it. I’ve read the statement several times. I’ve read a few commentaries on it and discussions of it. I understand that this topic is soooo last December, so I’ll refrain from posting abundant quotes to support my interpretation. But that’s how it looks from this outsider’s vantage point. If I’m missing something that I should be getting, I’d be grateful for explanation, either via the comments or email to disputedmutability (at) yahoo (dot) com.
I don’t object so much to the Vatican’s decision to bar gays from entering the priesthood, given the circumstances. But my own opinion is that the real reasons for doing so, the possibly legitimate reasons, have nothing to do with this Freudian stuff. Readers of this blog will soon discover (if they haven’t already) how deep my antipathy for that stuff goes.  To elucidate my position a little bit, it’s not that I deny that parental issues or other environmental factors may play a role.  For all I know they might.  What I do deny, with every fiber of my being, is that persistent homosexual attraction is conclusive evidence of stunted development.  I say this not because of myself, but because of others.  I have known people who through therapy and/or spiritual practice have healed whatever issues they may have had, and yet remain as same-sex attracted as they ever were.  And besides that there’s the fact that I’ve never really noticed much of a correlation between sexual orientation and maturity of any sort.

Apology for “Catholics!”

July 15, 2006

While trying to express my amused befuddlement over the concept of Catholic saints, I said some stuff that in retrospect sounds rather snarky to my ear. Sigh.  My better judgment consistently trails my mouth (or my fingers in this case) by about 48 hours.

Nobody complained to me about it or anything.  It just struck me late last night as I tried to put on my sympathy hat and imagine how I would read what I had written if I felt the way that some Catholics appear to feel about their saints, that it might sound disrespectful and insulting.

I’m truly sorry about that, and I’ve amended the post accordingly.

Reflections on Tushnet’s Thoughts about Exgay Ministries

July 12, 2006

As I said a couple of posts ago, I thoroughly enjoyed Eve Tushnet’s blog posts about her visit to a Love Won Out conference and her thoughts on the ex-gay movement. Now that I finally have a little spare time, I’m going to use her thoughts as a springboard for some thinking aloud of my own. (Note: I’m not discussing what I thought was the most interesting part of her posts–her thoughts on same-sex attraction, alienation, and beauty. I tried, but I’m simply unequal to the task–it’s too lofty and intimidating a subject for me right now. So I devote myself to these humbler and more trivial matters instead: eschaton immanentization, salvation-through-pantyhose, parental reactions to their child’s homosexuality, why the ex-gay movement is a Protestant thing, and putting homosexuality on the back burner.)

1. Eschaton immanentization

Yeah it’s a problem. I wouldn’t say that those exgays try to “yank Heaven down” by force. It’s more that they genuinely believe that this is what God is doing now, that these really are special and awesome times, and you can either get with the program or miss out on the blessing. It’s not that you can “make” God “fix” you, it’s that God really really wants to “fix” you, if only you’d cooperate in faith. (Look at all the other people He’s fixing! Why not you?!) Now, maybe they’re subconsciously “yanking Heaven down” in leaning toward the interpretations that they do. But I don’t think they consciously see themselves as manipulating God.

Still, the perspective is problematic because (in my humble opinion) it sets an unrealistic goal for many of us, and it blames our failure to achieve it on our spiritual state. This is partly why exgay “failure” to change can be a really painful thing, I think. The implication is often that change would happen if you really had true faith, if you really trusted God, if you really desired to please Him, if you were really obedient in stewarding your sexual desires, if you were really earnest in pursuing holiness–in other words, if you were really His child, if you were really saved. I know ex-gay ministries don’t explicitly say or believe this, but isn’t it a logical conclusion to draw from things they do say, about change being possible for everyone, about change being something God wants to work in the life of every same-sex attracted believer, about change being a product of intimacy with Christ?

I suspect that there are at least four factors contributing to this problem: (1) the influence of Charismatic/Pentecostal beliefs to the effect that healing and miracles are available to all with sufficient faith; (2) a bad exegesis of 1 Cor. 6:11 where “And such were some of you” is read by many exgays, in defiance of all logic and reason, as talking about a change in sexual attraction rather than a change in sexual behavior; (3) a split-mindedness within the exgay movement over whether homosexual attraction is a spiritual issue or merely a psychological one (and therefore capable of being psychologically “cured”); and (4) a sense of entitlement and conviction that God wants His people to be happy and successful. I think there’s an implicit view sometimes that being a good witness means having a life that is attractive in the world’s eyes, so that they’ll want to be just like you. (I personally was more drawn to the faith by those total losers who gave up everything for Jesus, but what do I know?)

In any case, I dissent from that view. I do not believe that God has promised everyone attraction change. I feel kind of Scrooge-like saying this, after having been blessed as I have, but the evidence seems compelling to me. I simply know too many men and women who tried too hard, men and women who followed the exgay teaching far more assiduously and wholeheartedly than I. I will not dishonor them by claiming that they just didn’t have enough faith, or pray the right prayer, or try hard enough.

2. “Salvation-through-pantyhose”

From what I’ve seen, there is considerable disagreement among exgays on this issue. I am officially on the “anti-pantyhose” side. I think the emphasis on gender stereotypes is misguided even by mainstream exgay theology’s own lights. After all, they believe that a key cause of same-sex attraction is feeling insecure in one’s gender as a child. Well, what better way to make kids (or adults) feel insecure and inadequate in their gender than to set forth a very rigid notion of what it means to be a woman or a man, which will likely be hard for them to live up to or feel comfortable with?

Nonetheless, I think there’s a kernel of truth in the pro-pantyhose position for some women, probably including Ms. Fryrear. I know there are many women who are cool with themselves as women but just don’t like the girly stuff, and that’s great. But I also know that there are some other women who don’t like the girly stuff because they are uncomfortable with themselves as women. For these women, I think their discomfort with pantyhose (or whatever) might be a dragon that needs slaying, as part of embracing and accepting themselves as women, as God created them. Of course, I wouldn’t put any pressure on anyone. God showed me what I needed to do when I needed to do it, in no uncertain terms.

3. Parental reactions to a child’s homosexuality.

Like Tushnet, my intuitive sympathies are with the kid, for obvious reasons. I get pretty agitated by parents who are devastated by and mourn and grieve over their child’s gaiety. I want to grab them by the neck and yell all kinds of stuff at them, like about how being a queer kid is plenty stressful enough without having to worry about dealing with your parents while they’re self-indulgently bewailing the demise of their bourgeois fantasies of normalcy and grandparenthood….GRRRRRRR.

<deep, cleansing breaths>

But, all that being said, the fact is that parents do have those kinds of ridiculously overblown feelings and reactions. I don’t fully understand why they do, and I sure wish they didn’t, but there it is. And if I’ve learned anything from observing the homo-struggle, surely it’s that Beating Up On People For Feeling What They Shouldn’t Feel isn’t terribly productive. Sure, if she really had it together as she ought to, the mother of a gay son wouldn’t feel that his being gay was tantamount to his being dead. And if I really had it together as I ought to, Zhang Ziyi wouldn’t do that thing she does to my insides. So I need to restrain my killer instincts, and cut unto others the slack I would have them cut unto me.

Tushnet’s take seems to be “well, the kid will be able to tell how you feel anyway, so why bother telling them?” My take is more “well, since the kid is probably going to be able to tell how you feel anyway, don’t b.s. them about how you’re taking it.” To illustrate, I offer a not-so-hypothetical tale of two parents.

When I came out to my mom, she appeared to take it just fine. Sure, she looked a little stunned, but her voice was composed and moderate as she shared her extraordinarily low opinions of the female genitalia and cunnilingus, and informed me that I needed go out and get some sexual experience with boys before coming to any conclusions. I breathed a huge sigh of relief over how well she handled it. But she then proceeded to spend the next three years passive-aggressively snarking at me over the subject at every opportunity, all the while insisting that she “didn’t have a problem with it,” until one day she just snapped and her sorrow, fear, frustration, and horror exploded all over me like a slime-filled balloon. (If anyone’s trying to piece together a chronology, this was about a year before before she asked God to kill me on account of my queerness.)

In contrast, when I came out to my father, I (and the rest of my family) expected him to react angrily, kick me out of the house, and disown me. Well, that didn’t happen, but what did happen was even more horrifying to me at the time. He cried. I don’t mean a wistful solitary tear streaking down his rugged, stoic, masculine cheek. I mean he bawled hysterically and incoherently like a little girl. For a loooong time. I had never seen anything like that from him in my entire life, and I hope never to again. But all the same, his pain and anguish and sense of unfathomable loss were palpably real. Trying to cover them up would have been both futile and insulting.

Anyway, I guess my point is simply that I preferred my father’s handling of the news to my mother’s. So yeah it would be fantastic if parents could be level-headed and control themselves, if they could successfully protect their kids from their emotions. But I worry that expecting that of parents in general would be a little bit like, well, immanentizing the eschaton.

4. Why the Ex-Gay Movement is a Protestant Phenomenon

So some guy named John wrote to Tushnet wondering about why the ex-gay movement is overwhelmingly a Protestant thing. (But let’s not forget Joseph Nicolosi! And that lovely jewel of a statement from the Vatican a while back–as far as I’m concerned, once you’ve declared that homosexual attractions are necessarily a manifestation of spiritual and emotional immaturity, you’re nine-tenths of the way to the very worst kind of ex-gay viewpoint.)

He was specifically wondering whether it had something to do with a Reformation view that homosexual desire itself was sin. So, the thinking might run: because the desire is sin, the desire must be got rid of, which brings us to ex-gay ministries.

I am pretty certain this is not the case. For a few different reasons, but I’ll just give the simplest one: The explicit view of every exgay leader I have ever heard is that homosexual desire is not sin. They are quite emphatic and unequivocal about that.

Do I have an alternative answer? I don’t claim to know the exact whys and wherefores, but in my humble opinion the biggest reason by far is this:

Protestants have no meaningfully fleshed-out concept of intentional, joyful celibacy to work with. Period.

Thus, we have to change homosexuals’ orientations and marry them off, because we don’t have any real alternatives for them.

The Reformers and their heirs were so eager to uphold and exalt the holiness and sanctity and spiritual excellences of marriage that celibacy got buried and was largely forgotten. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe with all my heart that the Reformers were wonderfully and profoundly right about emphasizing the highness of the calling of marriage and the spiritual importance of “ordinary” secular life. But, there’s a problem lurking in the neighborhood.

Traditionally, Protestants have held that the solution to sexual temptation is sex in marriage. This was a claim Luther and Calvin made, and it is repeated over and over again throughout our history. If you are sexually struggling and you are unmarried, then you need to get married. If you are sexually struggling and you are married, then you and your spouse need to be having more and/or better sex. (The Reformers and Puritans were very insistent upon the value of sexual pleasure and the importance of mutual satisfaction in the marriage bed.) The general feeling one gets from reading them is that sexual desire cannot be tamed or subdued at all, but only corralled in marriage.
The problem of course is that this approach has nothing to offer those who don’t see hetero marriage as a viable option, but who still find themselves excruciatingly sexually tempted–i.e., the exclusively homosexually attracted. Unless it can make heteros out of them.

I would love to be proven wrong on this–I’d love for someone to point me to secret treasure troves of Reformed teaching on the subject of celibacy. But this is my impression as someone who spent several years earnestly trying to find support and resources for celibacy from the evangelical Protestant traditions and coming up empty-handed. There is simply not much of a place in the evangelical church for someone who isn’t trying to get married. Our great celibate role-models (Amy Carmichael, John Stott, etc.) were all accidental celibates who were earnestly hoping to get married until it was simply too late.

Evangelicals do acknowledge that a tiny handful of people are called to lifelong “singleness”, but we generally seem to think that those people will have such special grace and revelation from the Lord (in accordance with their exceedingly rare and special calling) that they will know what to do and how to handle it themselves without any advice from mere mortals. So it’s treated like a mysterious superpower, and not spoken about much. If you’re struggling sexually, you weren’t meant to be celibate. A suitable spouse will be coming along shortly, have no fear.

Given all this, I think it’s not hard to see why the ex-gay movement is the primary evangelical method of helping homosexually-attracted believers. It’s also not hard to see why this is a difficult context for homosexually attracted people to try to exist in. This is another reason why I think ex-gay “failure” (or lack of “success”) can be so painful: the Church doesn’t know what to do with you!

On top of this, exgays are sometimes told that their “healing” will not be complete if they don’t go onto heterosexual attraction and marriage. (See this Exodus article and this one as well.) That they are cowards for not desiring or pursuing hetero marriage, afraid to step out of their same-sex attracted comfort zone. So sometimes I wonder if the exgay movement seems reluctant to offer “too much” support for celibate chastity, lest exgays become too comfortable in that place without pursuing further change. In any case, I blame the historic Protestant discomfort with celibacy for the whole darn mess. And I do think it is a mess, a mess that needs to be cleaned up if we’re going to effectively minister to gay people.

5. Putting homosexuality on the back burner

“She also said–to much applause–that the Christian who made the biggest impression on her when she was still a lesbian “put homosexuality on the back burner,” presenting Christ as her Savior first rather than talking about her sexuality. It is not my impression that the ex-gay movement, in general, actually takes this approach.”

For what it’s worth, my own experience is that the ex-gay movement, in general, actually does take that approach. I spent a lot of time before becoming a Christian conversing online with many exgays and exgay leaders. Without exception, they all put Christ front-and-center and never brought up my sexuality issues.

It is certainly true that plenty of other Christians fail to put Christ ahead of a person’s homosexuality in talking to them. But I have never seen that in the ex-gay movement. Which makes me very glad. Because really, it’s stupid. As a pastor involved in exgay ministry said affectionately to me shortly after my conversion “Jesus has to catch the fish before He can clean them.” And as I’ve said before:

The way to lead gays to Christ is not through arguing with them about homosexuality. If I know you have one deaf ear, I won’t speak in it if I’m trying to get you to hear me. If I know you have a blind spot, I won’t display something in front of it if I’m trying to get you to see. “But they must be convinced of their sin before they will see their need for a Savior!” True enough. But it’s not as though homosexual sex is the only sin that gay people commit. On the contrary, like everybody else, most of them struggle with many things that they themselves wouldn’t hesitate to call wrong. So why not address those matters instead?

Speaking personally, when I first keenly felt my need for a Savior, I felt it because of my pride, because of my greed, because of my hatred, because of my lack of self-control, because of my selfishness, because of my unrighteous anger, because of my impatience, because of how I had hardened my heart against the Lord of the Universe and blasphemed His name. These things condemned me. I did not yet see the sinfulness of homosexuality, or any [consensual] sexual sin for that matter. It was not until after I became a Christian by God’s grace that my eyes were more fully opened and I could see the truth in the Scriptures and in the witness of the Holy Spirit within my heart.


July 12, 2006

So I got some random linkage attention from Catholics a little while ago. Anyway, some of them seem interested in drawing out what they perceive to be the differences between Catholics and Evangelicals on these issues.

From the Catholic Report (July 5th):

The Catholic Church takes a unique postion within the world of faith. While Evangelical Christians believe God would never create someone this way and liberal Christians believe people should act upon their feelings, the Catholic Church takes a different approach. The Church believes these feelings may be there for some but they are not to be acted on. This means the Church gets attacked from all sides. Evangelicals say God would never create anyone this way and liberal Christians think we are terrible for not letting people act on their feelings. The Church believes that in the Fall (Garden of Eden) disordered parts of nature came into being. Therefore, they are not to be acted on whether they be homosexuality, pornography, addictions of all sorts etc.

In response to this I’d just note that there is a lot of diversity among us evangelicals regarding what to make of homosexual attractions. Many of us do believe, similarly to Catholics (I think), that a homosexual predisposition could be a result of the Fall. I don’t necessarily see that competing with other origin stories though–I see it as complementing them.

I simply don’t think we understand sexuality or its causes very well yet. It might turn out that the tendency to homosexual attractions is inborn. It might turn out that it is caused some other way. It might be different for different people. I am agnostic on the subject, and cannot understand all the dogmatic proclamations about it being made on all sides.

And somebody wrote into Catholic and Enjoying It, saying among other things:

PS. It’s interesting that a lot of what she describes has been written about by the Saints, and indeed, it seems to me that perhaps the Evangelical world does not quite have the vocabulary to describe it.

Um, I’m not sure this person is saying this, but just to be clear, let’s not blame my own ignorance and/or lack of eloquence on The Evangelical World. 🙂 They have enough to answer for, like that Statue of Liberation Through Christ monstrosity and Touchdown Jesus, without being taken to task for my shortcomings.

Also, I am familiar with a small handful of these Saint characters. I’ve read stuff by Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, John of the Cross, and Teresa of Avila. I also have been greatly blessed by the one volume of the four-volume version of the Philokalia that I own. There are some Saint types in there (Mark the Ascetic, John Cassian, Hesychios the Priest, Neilos the Ascetic, Diadochos of Photiki, John of Karpathos) although I don’t know if they count as Catholic saints or just Orthodox ones. Also, thanks to John the commenter who dropped me a note about the Ignatian Exercises, I’m now learning about Ignatius of Loyola. Who seems like a cool guy. But maybe not quite as cool as that other Ignatius, the one who said, “I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God.” Now THAT makes me shiver.

Anyway, where was I? Yeah, so, I’m not totally oblivious to the existence of these people who experienced astounding depths of intimacy with God, who had amazingly penetrating understandings of certain spiritual truths, who wrote down their wisdom to share it with the rest of us. I’m really grateful for them. I don’t really get the whole veneration/devotion thing, or a lot of other things about the Catholic view of their saints, but I’m grateful for them nonetheless.

It’s just that I feel awkward using their spiritual vocabulary to talk about my own experience. So, for example, I guess I feel that calling some of my spiritually rough and dry times a “dark night of the soul” would be kind of like calling the sonnet-shaped drivel I churned out daily for my beloved in high school “poetry.” Or like calling the clumsy comedic routine my husband and I perform with a ball on a court under a hoop raised ten feet off the ground “playing basketball.” I think it calls for giant scare-quote gestures at least.

Like Going To War In Iraq With No Body Armor (But In A Good Way)

July 7, 2006

I’m going to devote this post to the positives of my residential program experience. I feel I’ve been somewhat hard on the program in previous posts, not wanting to give a sugar-coated Candy Land picture of it, so I’d like to balance that out by just kicking back and singing its praises unreservedly for a little while. (After this, I promise I’ll shut up about the program. At least until I start reviewing Tanya Erzen’s Straight to Jesus, when I’m sure I won’t be able to resist comparing my program to New Hope, the program she studied.)

The title of this post comes from a recent post by exexgay Peterson Toscano commenting on his Love In Action residential program experience. Responding to Love In Action / Refuge‘s suggestion that forcing a child to attend a residential program really isn’t all that different from making a child go to church, he offers the following “SAT-style” analogy:

Church attendance is to participanting in an LIA/R program
Visiting an army recruiter’s office is to going to war in Iraq with no body armor.

One thing I find interesting about reading pro-gay/exexgay stories is how much we agree on. I didn’t attend the same program Peterson did, but both programs seem to have been brutally powerful experiences. I sympathize with the “going to Iraq without body armor” analogy completely.

Going to a program meant rendering myself extremely vulnerable. It meant submitting myself to people and to the program. It was drastic, radical, and invasive. It meant being stripped of my rationalizations and defenses and self-deceptive attempts to hang onto my old self and my old life. Before I entered the program my old self and my new self were deadlocked in their battle over my heart. Entering the program was like bringing in massive reinforcements for the new self. The old self proceeded to get her butt kicked something awful, and she did not like it one bit.

So yeah, it was painful. But from my perspective, at least, it was a very good thing. Anyway, here are some of the positives of my residential program experience:

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