Suffering is built into the theology of many religions. The Christianity and the church know a lot about suffering. Unfortunately, my experience and the experience of many has been that this is often used against us rather than for us.
I will share from my own experiences and observations:
I believed I was worthless. I didn’t feel I had much value. Then I was introduced to a Lord who taught me that suffering was my lot in life. You know: Take up your cross daily! Then I often found myself in churches that used this to manage me.
The more I suffered, the better I felt. The happier I was, the guiltier I became. Something was wrong if I wasn’t suffering… if not externally then at least internally.
This theology became so engrained in my psyche that it’s taken many years to pry myself free from it. I still wrestle with not feeling valued and slipping into the mentality that this is somehow the most noble attitude to have. As a result, this would cause me to allow myself to submit to being disrespected, hurt, and even abused. Somehow I was a spiritual person by letting other people walk all over me. I used to think there was dignity in undignifying myself and, by extension, letting others undignify me.
You deserve to be who you are! And you deserve to be happy!
You don’t have to submit to harm.