Spiritual abuse can feel confusing and crazymaking. Because spiritual abusers are typically in a position of trust and authority, a victim of spiritual abuse can feel isolated and often questions whether what they are experiencing is real, or if it’s only their perception. Adding to the confusion, abusive leaders use religious authorities, such as sacred texts (aka, the Bible), elder boards, supernatural events, and calling and giftings to back up their actions. A spiritual abuser may not be purposefully intending to abuse someone, and it can be hard for a victim to come to terms with their experience as spiritual abuse because of their one-time affinity for the leader. However, abuse doesn’t require intention, and the trusted relationship is what creates the opportunity and environment for abuse.