What a loss it is for so many to have been abused by their church, their parents and others in positions of power! This, and the presentation of God as a vindictive super-human who holds us hostage has actually given many a distrust of the term "God". These people are often also afraid of accepting assistance, believing that vulnerability automatically leads to abuse.
In my lifetime, the western church has changed the accepted face of God to a Loving Being who wants all to come home. This is not the historic interpretation of the involvement of The Almighty, who sought to smite all who made mistakes.
There must be sacred stories other than those we have seen in the Bible. There must be manifestations of The Infinite Almighty that we have not heard about from those in positions of power. Certainly there are alternative interpretations of sacred scripture.
A young woman I know who had very little religious training, upon reading Genesis for the first time as a young adult, declared that she thought many people had the Creation story wrong. She thought that God didn't banish Adam and Eve, but that God told them what they were doing wasn't allowed in the Garden of Eden. Her interpretation is that they then chose to leave, and that God, like the loving, hurting, and hopeful parent of a wayward teenager, continues to stand at the gate with open arms believing that they will one day return. I like to believe she saw this in the way she was parented, and that became her manifestation of The Almighty.
When we start with this premise, the whole story of humanity takes on a different light. Our willful desire for independence becomes the villain that leads us to continue making the same mistakes in every generation. Humankind blames much on God, as two-year-olds and teenagers blame their parents who are waiting in the wings to provide support when asked. Maybe we're doing these destructive things to ourselves and others. If we want help, all we have to do is humble ourselves enough to ask.