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BecomingMe

Lurker for Years, Joiner at Last

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So, I’ve lurked here for a long time, and now with my heart pounding, have created an account and am saying hello. I’ve been out of TWI for over 10 years; it took me almost 10 before that to work my way out. I grew up in twi, birth to twenties. Now I’m working my way through diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, all after I thought I’d dealt with the big stuff. I hope you all are faring better, but I’m guessing maybe not if you’re here.

A book that is really helping me understand all this is “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan. If you’re looking for a sometimes distressing but very revealing read, it’s excellent and totally relevant.

Happy to be here and hope to “meet” some of you soon. :-)

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Welcome, and have an interesting time here.  You'll find others that were raised in TWI too.  It must be hard for you to adjust to life in all its abundance outside the wails, sorry, walls, of Zion.  Many of us who have been out for a long time stay around to help newbies like you.  You can talk here about some of the things that happened to you and you don't need to explain too much.  We understand.  Have a cup of coffee and put your feet up!

coffee.jpg

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Welcome to Grease Spot, Becoming !

Hassan’s book is great...another great one (- which you’ve probably heard of since you say you’ve lurked here for awhile - ) is Penworks’ Undertow  I’ve found many of her experiences very relatable...

...as is Grease Spot - a great process of give and take goes on here...I left TWI in ‘86 - though a long time ago, I still want to share my experience as well as hear what others have to say...I think the insight, empathy, healing, encouragement, etc. that happens here goes along the lines of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts .

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6 hours ago, BecomingMe said:

So, I’ve lurked here for a long time, and now with my heart pounding, have created an account and am saying hello. I’ve been out of TWI for over 10 years; it took me almost 10 before that to work my way out. I grew up in twi, birth to twenties. Now I’m working my way through diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, all after I thought I’d dealt with the big stuff. I hope you all are faring better, but I’m guessing maybe not if you’re here.

A book that is really helping me understand all this is “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan. If you’re looking for a sometimes distressing but very revealing read, it’s excellent and totally relevant.

Happy to be here and hope to “meet” some of you soon. :-)

Hi BecomingMe,

Rest assured, it DOES get better. Some of us old timers still hang out here even though we're doing fine these days. :wave:

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I really just come here for the blueberry scones. Have one, if you like. They go well with Twinky's coffee.

 

YUM!

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I'm an old timer too. I come frequently and read the posts. I post infrequently but I'm here watching for those who seem to want help escaping from the cult. We are a solid, sane group of individuals. We are quite varied in our pursuits, but generally our love of God and obedience to the example of Jesus Christ unites us.

Welcome. BecomingMe.

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22 hours ago, BecomingMe said:

I’ve been out of TWI for over 10 years;

Welcome, and enjoy the eye opening discussions here.

One of the most relevant insights that helped me is the understanding that the body of Christ isn't exclusive to any one religious group.  In fact, it may not even include everyone from a particular group.  Rather, I'm finding it includes some people from every group, and some who have no group at all.  Whereas the perspective of TWI was "Us vs. Them", it actually is "Us AND Them".

When I realized - fortunately before becoming completely entrenched with them - that they didn't have all the answers, I began speaking with other Christians, reading works from other Christians, and listening to teachings from other Christians.  And then I found GSC.  It was exciting to combine what the folks here have to share with what those other folks have to share.

I'm sure you'll find some really interesting topics here, if you haven't already.  Please don't hesitate to share your views, and your questions.

T

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I would like to point out, for new arrivals, that being a Christian is not a requirement of this site. People from a wide variety of belief systems and those with no belief system at all are equally welcome here.

 

This public service announcement has been brought to you by the makers of.......

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17 minutes ago, waysider said:

being a Christian is not a requirement of this site

Understood.  I guess I just assumed, since she was with TWI.  But I do see how that could change as easily as stepping away from TWI.

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On 7/7/2018 at 8:48 PM, BecomingMe said:

So, I’ve lurked here for a long time, and now with my heart pounding, have created an account and am saying hello. I’ve been out of TWI for over 10 years; it took me almost 10 before that to work my way out. I grew up in twi, birth to twenties. Now I’m working my way through diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, all after I thought I’d dealt with the big stuff. I hope you all are faring better, but I’m guessing maybe not if you’re here.

A book that is really helping me understand all this is “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan. If you’re looking for a sometimes distressing but very revealing read, it’s excellent and totally relevant.

Happy to be here and hope to “meet” some of you soon. :-)

Hello!

I've been out of twi proper for about 25 years or so, with twi splinter groups being a few more years of personal history after that.   I'm doing great, thanks.

We're free to answer your questions. Keep in mind the answers will be a mixed bag. There's no mandatory POV here. So, the answers will range from erudite to frivolous, from deep to flighty, from casual to scientific, from reverent to blasphemous.   After twi, the chance to hear from all sides should be a welcome surprise! 

 

 

Why would we stick around after getting on with our lives?  Actually, I heard this one IN twi, but it made the rounds long before twi. In was probably published first in 1900 (it may have been published before that, however.)

The Bridge Builder

An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
 
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
 
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

 

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Thanks, everyone, for the welcome. I find that through these difficulties, others’ compassion is pure gold. I love that several of you are here to help the rest of us - thank you!

Taxidev and Waysider, I would say I’m atheist when I’m angry and agnostic when I’m calm. It’s wonderful that so many perspectives are represented here. That’s how we learn, right? 

I’m finding lately that some of the things I still struggle with have so much to do with cult practices - “us vs. them” being one of them. It seems to me that served the purpose of keeping people trapped. At the same time, I do believe the people that promoted these ideas - the leaders of the 90s, at least, were true believers. I’ve run into people who assume/believe they all had nefarious intentions, but in knowing some of them, they believed the, um, stuff they were spreading. Doesn’t really make me any less angry, but...perhaps slightly more compassionate.

T-Bone, I’ve read Undertow and really loved it. I think Penworks was both direct and compassionate in her telling, and I so appreciated that. Pretty much every person who has been a major influence in my early life is or was in twi. There’s so much of the love I’ve experienced mixed in with basically abuse and violation, and that’s incredibly difficult to separate.

Anyway, I tend to ramble, so, thank you all for welcoming me. :-)

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On 7/7/2018 at 7:48 PM, BecomingMe said:

So, I’ve lurked here for a long time, and now with my heart pounding, have created an account and am saying hello. I’ve been out of TWI for over 10 years; it took me almost 10 before that to work my way out. I grew up in twi, birth to twenties. Now I’m working my way through diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, all after I thought I’d dealt with the big stuff. I hope you all are faring better, but I’m guessing maybe not if you’re here.

A book that is really helping me understand all this is “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan. If you’re looking for a sometimes distressing but very revealing read, it’s excellent and totally relevant.

Happy to be here and hope to “meet” some of you soon. :-)

Me, hello!  The GSC is an intresting site; I hope that it can help you understand your time in TWI

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1 hour ago, BecomingMe said:

Thanks, everyone, for the welcome. I find that through these difficulties, others’ compassion is pure gold. I love that several of you are here to help the rest of us - thank you!

Taxidev and Waysider, I would say I’m atheist when I’m angry and agnostic when I’m calm. It’s wonderful that so many perspectives are represented here. That’s how we learn, right? 

I’m finding lately that some of the things I still struggle with have so much to do with cult practices - “us vs. them” being one of them. It seems to me that served the purpose of keeping people trapped. At the same time, I do believe the people that promoted these ideas - the leaders of the 90s, at least, were true believers. I’ve run into people who assume/believe they all had nefarious intentions, but in knowing some of them, they believed the, um, stuff they were spreading. Doesn’t really make me any less angry, but...perhaps slightly more compassionate.

T-Bone, I’ve read Undertow and really loved it. I think Penworks was both direct and compassionate in her telling, and I so appreciated that. Pretty much every person who has been a major influence in my early life is or was in twi. There’s so much of the love I’ve experienced mixed in with basically abuse and violation, and that’s incredibly difficult to separate.

Anyway, I tend to ramble, so, thank you all for welcoming me. :-)

By far, you're not alone in feeling like you ramble. So far, I don't think anyone else would characterize your posts as such. So, no need to be shy. :eusa_clap:

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I don't know about the rambling...

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Don't know about that poem, WW, too many connotations about the "fair haired youth" that danced around in tights.  It was really promoted, to boost up both Loy and the amazing leadership and preparation made by the lonely but visionary wise old grey-head.  I knew the poem before I'd ever heard of TWI, but (as ever), the twist TWI gave it has made it unpalatable.

However, I do like the idea of we older escapees being bridge-builders for the newer escaped, except that we're not aiding them at evening twilight, we're aiding them into the bright light of day, clearsightedness and FREEEEDDDDDOOOOMMMM!  :dance:  (note the sunnies, for the bright light; not wearing the rose-tinted glasses of PFAL).

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1 hour ago, waysider said:

Did somebody say ramblin'?

:dance: love that bit !!!!

 

...ya know...I've got just the car for you

 

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8 hours ago, waysider said:

Did somebody say ramblin'?

He's just a ramblin' guy.

But THIS is my friend Ramblin Dan. With his rendition of Ain't nobody's bidness if I do!  It's possible some of you might know him.
 

 

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9 hours ago, outandabout said:

Becoming Me, I would love to hear your story about growing up in TWI, rambling or otherwise. 

Ok, here goes.

I grew up mostly at HQ - not in the frying pan; in the fire. The standards for children there were ridiculous. Basically, be perfect. Listen, remember, obey. Be a good example. Don’t be a stumbling block. Dress appropriately. Speak respectfully. Don’t be angry. Don’t be sad, be thankful. I watched some kids, especially as teenagers, become angry and rebellious. Others, like me, became as compliant and people-pleasing as a person could possibly be. I was complimented often on my “meekness.”

In childhood, this meant a rather controlled atmosphere. As a teenager, it was absolutely suffocating. I’m now well into middle age, and I find that I have very little sense of self. The mental work I’m doing now is mostly about separating my “cult self” from my “authentic self” (as Steven Hassan labels it in Combatting Cult Mind Control) - I also think of it as new man vs. old man with the new man being false behaviors smothering my real personality. I’ve always thought I had pretty good self esteem. I realize now I feel fine about my cult self - being disciplined, keeping things clean, being a high achiever, serving others to the detriment of self. I have a deep self-loathing for that hidden authentic self that isn’t “perfect” - is spontaneous, joyful, sexual, angry, free, artistic, childlike, grieving. It’s taken months of counseling, thinking, reading, and agonizing just to realize this. Still working on how to let it out.

Another part of growing up that still affects me is hyper-vigilance about “danger.” The idea that the devil was out to get us; and if you are “out of alignment and harmony” you’ll be outside of God’ protection; and we were taught that people we knew had DIED because they didn’t follow their schedules or didn’t follow their leadership’s advice; this adds up to a brain trained to be alert to the smallest inconsistencies in the environment (PTSD). 

Then put in the strong imagery of Athletes of the Spirit. My friends and I were obsessed with it. We learned the seed of the serpent dance and would argue over who got to be her and which devil spirits we got to be. That imagery was so strong for our young minds. Taking the advanced class made it even more vivid and more urgent.

Then, if you were at HQ in the 90s, you remember lunch time. LCM would talk for hours every week sometimes, lecturing about the things God was “showing him” or about how we all needed to be so vigilant or about people - telling their personal lives and struggles to everyone and talking about how the “adversary” had gotten into their lives and how devil spirits were infiltrating their minds. Is it any wonder I was terrified to drink? To try drugs? That has seemed like a good thing to me for a long time, but I now realize I was so constrained by fear that the mere idea of losing control sends me into a near panic. It wasn’t good.

And along with all that came the underlying belief that if I wasn’t all those “good” things - a strong disciple, believing positively, behaving according to the Word, doing what my spiritual overseers told me to do, blah blah blah - I wouldn’t be loved. Discipline of children was so strongly emphasized (and LCM criticized parents so heavily) that as a child, I subconsciously picked up that I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t lovable if I wasn’t right in line. Now, as a parent, I really do think at least my mother loved me unconditionally, and she told me that when I left the way.

I have a lot of family left in the way. I stay anonymous because of it. Still afraid of losing their love over my “disobedience.” I guess posting here is one way for me to push back and not allow myself to be silenced, even if I’m not fully out there. Baby steps.

In a lot of ways I was lucky. I went to college instead of going Wow or Way Disciple right away. I of course wanted to go in the corps - because how else were you really somebody? - but was lucky enough to get through college and realize I didn’t want to do that. I spent my 20s wading through all the doctrines I tried so hard to keep believing in, but I just couldn’t get them to make sense with real life. I rejected them. And didn’t realize the mess all this has made of my psyche.

I was a true believer. I did the things you were supposed to do. I toed the line. I put my heart and soul into it. And all I got was this broken spirit.

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41 minutes ago, BecomingMe said:

I have a deep self-loathing for that hidden authentic self that isn’t “perfect” - is spontaneous, joyful, sexual, angry, free, artistic, childlike, grieving.

My heart aches for you.  That "spontaneous, joyful, sexual, angry, free, artistic, childlike, grieving" portion of you, along with the "being disciplined, keeping things clean, being a high achiever, serving others" portion of you, IS perfect.  It's exactly how God made man, with all the strengths and weaknesses of being a human.  That's why in the bible we are called earthen vessels.

Thanks for sharing, and being so open about it.

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5 hours ago, BecomingMe said:

Ok, here goes.

I grew up mostly at HQ - not in the frying pan; in the fire. The standards for children there were ridiculous. Basically, be perfect. Listen, remember, obey. Be a good example. Don’t be a stumbling block. Dress appropriately. Speak respectfully. Don’t be angry. Don’t be sad, be thankful. I watched some kids, especially as teenagers, become angry and rebellious. Others, like me, became as compliant and people-pleasing as a person could possibly be. I was complimented often on my “meekness.”

In childhood, this meant a rather controlled atmosphere. As a teenager, it was absolutely suffocating. I’m now well into middle age, and I find that I have very little sense of self. The mental work I’m doing now is mostly about separating my “cult self” from my “authentic self” (as Steven Hassan labels it in Combatting Cult Mind Control) - I also think of it as new man vs. old man with the new man being false behaviors smothering my real personality. I’ve always thought I had pretty good self esteem. I realize now I feel fine about my cult self - being disciplined, keeping things clean, being a high achiever, serving others to the detriment of self. I have a deep self-loathing for that hidden authentic self that isn’t “perfect” - is spontaneous, joyful, sexual, angry, free, artistic, childlike, grieving. It’s taken months of counseling, thinking, reading, and agonizing just to realize this. Still working on how to let it out.

Another part of growing up that still affects me is hyper-vigilance about “danger.” The idea that the devil was out to get us; and if you are “out of alignment and harmony” you’ll be outside of God’ protection; and we were taught that people we knew had DIED because they didn’t follow their schedules or didn’t follow their leadership’s advice; this adds up to a brain trained to be alert to the smallest inconsistencies in the environment (PTSD). 

Then put in the strong imagery of Athletes of the Spirit. My friends and I were obsessed with it. We learned the seed of the serpent dance and would argue over who got to be her and which devil spirits we got to be. That imagery was so strong for our young minds. Taking the advanced class made it even more vivid and more urgent.

Then, if you were at HQ in the 90s, you remember lunch time. LCM would talk for hours every week sometimes, lecturing about the things God was “showing him” or about how we all needed to be so vigilant or about people - telling their personal lives and struggles to everyone and talking about how the “adversary” had gotten into their lives and how devil spirits were infiltrating their minds. Is it any wonder I was terrified to drink? To try drugs? That has seemed like a good thing to me for a long time, but I now realize I was so constrained by fear that the mere idea of losing control sends me into a near panic. It wasn’t good.

And along with all that came the underlying belief that if I wasn’t all those “good” things - a strong disciple, believing positively, behaving according to the Word, doing what my spiritual overseers told me to do, blah blah blah - I wouldn’t be loved. Discipline of children was so strongly emphasized (and LCM criticized parents so heavily) that as a child, I subconsciously picked up that I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t lovable if I wasn’t right in line. Now, as a parent, I really do think at least my mother loved me unconditionally, and she told me that when I left the way.

I have a lot of family left in the way. I stay anonymous because of it. Still afraid of losing their love over my “disobedience.” I guess posting here is one way for me to push back and not allow myself to be silenced, even if I’m not fully out there. Baby steps.

In a lot of ways I was lucky. I went to college instead of going Wow or Way Disciple right away. I of course wanted to go in the corps - because how else were you really somebody? - but was lucky enough to get through college and realize I didn’t want to do that. I spent my 20s wading through all the doctrines I tried so hard to keep believing in, but I just couldn’t get them to make sense with real life. I rejected them. And didn’t realize the mess all this has made of my psyche.

I was a true believer. I did the things you were supposed to do. I toed the line. I put my heart and soul into it. And all I got was this broken spirit.

WOW! It must have taken a LOT of guts to get to where you are at this point in your recovery. You certainly described a PTSD-inducing environment.

I'm very proud of you and hope you're able to get supportive professional counseling. Your self-awareness and ability to reflect on your life experience is very commendable.

FWIW, several of the books of the late M. Scott Peck helped me tremendously, beginning in the early 1990s, to learn to reflect and re-evaluate. 

Just this evening, I read an excerpt from a writing by Plato in an Erich Fromm book. Perhaps many of us who did not grow up in TWI can relate to it and maybe you can too.

 

Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul; and we must take care, my friend, that the Sophist does not deceive us when he praises what he sells, like the dealers wholesale or retail who sell the food of the body; for they praise indiscriminately all their goods, without knowing what are really beneficial or hurtful: neither do their customers know, with the exception of any trainer or physician who may happen to buy of them. In like manner those who carry about the wares of knowledge, and make the round of the cities, and sell or retail them to any customer who is in want of them, praise them all alike; though I should not wonder, O my friend, if many of them were really ignorant of their effect upon the soul; and their customers equally ignorant, unless he who buys of them happens to be a physician of the soul. If, therefore, you have understanding of what is good and evil you may safely buy knowledge of Protagoras or any one; but if not, then, O my friend, pause, and do not hazard your dearest interests at a game of chance. For there is far greater peril in buying knowledge than in buying meat and drink. … Plato

Protagoras

Fromm, Erich. Man for Himself: An Inquiry Into the Psychology of Ethics (p. 3). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, BecomingMe said:

Ok, here goes.

I grew up mostly at HQ - not in the frying pan; in the fire. The standards for children there were ridiculous. Basically, be perfect. Listen, remember, obey. Be a good example. Don’t be a stumbling block. Dress appropriately. Speak respectfully. Don’t be angry. Don’t be sad, be thankful. I watched some kids, especially as teenagers, become angry and rebellious. Others, like me, became as compliant and people-pleasing as a person could possibly be. I was complimented often on my “meekness.”

In childhood, this meant a rather controlled atmosphere. As a teenager, it was absolutely suffocating. I’m now well into middle age, and I find that I have very little sense of self. The mental work I’m doing now is mostly about separating my “cult self” from my “authentic self” (as Steven Hassan labels it in Combatting Cult Mind Control) - I also think of it as new man vs. old man with the new man being false behaviors smothering my real personality. I’ve always thought I had pretty good self esteem. I realize now I feel fine about my cult self - being disciplined, keeping things clean, being a high achiever, serving others to the detriment of self. I have a deep self-loathing for that hidden authentic self that isn’t “perfect” - is spontaneous, joyful, sexual, angry, free, artistic, childlike, grieving. It’s taken months of counseling, thinking, reading, and agonizing just to realize this. Still working on how to let it out.

Another part of growing up that still affects me is hyper-vigilance about “danger.” The idea that the devil was out to get us; and if you are “out of alignment and harmony” you’ll be outside of God’ protection; and we were taught that people we knew had DIED because they didn’t follow their schedules or didn’t follow their leadership’s advice; this adds up to a brain trained to be alert to the smallest inconsistencies in the environment (PTSD). 

Then put in the strong imagery of Athletes of the Spirit. My friends and I were obsessed with it. We learned the seed of the serpent dance and would argue over who got to be her and which devil spirits we got to be. That imagery was so strong for our young minds. Taking the advanced class made it even more vivid and more urgent.

Then, if you were at HQ in the 90s, you remember lunch time. LCM would talk for hours every week sometimes, lecturing about the things God was “showing him” or about how we all needed to be so vigilant or about people - telling their personal lives and struggles to everyone and talking about how the “adversary” had gotten into their lives and how devil spirits were infiltrating their minds. Is it any wonder I was terrified to drink? To try drugs? That has seemed like a good thing to me for a long time, but I now realize I was so constrained by fear that the mere idea of losing control sends me into a near panic. It wasn’t good.

And along with all that came the underlying belief that if I wasn’t all those “good” things - a strong disciple, believing positively, behaving according to the Word, doing what my spiritual overseers told me to do, blah blah blah - I wouldn’t be loved. Discipline of children was so strongly emphasized (and LCM criticized parents so heavily) that as a child, I subconsciously picked up that I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t lovable if I wasn’t right in line. Now, as a parent, I really do think at least my mother loved me unconditionally, and she told me that when I left the way.

I have a lot of family left in the way. I stay anonymous because of it. Still afraid of losing their love over my “disobedience.” I guess posting here is one way for me to push back and not allow myself to be silenced, even if I’m not fully out there. Baby steps.

In a lot of ways I was lucky. I went to college instead of going Wow or Way Disciple right away. I of course wanted to go in the corps - because how else were you really somebody? - but was lucky enough to get through college and realize I didn’t want to do that. I spent my 20s wading through all the doctrines I tried so hard to keep believing in, but I just couldn’t get them to make sense with real life. I rejected them. And didn’t realize the mess all this has made of my psyche.

I was a true believer. I did the things you were supposed to do. I toed the line. I put my heart and soul into it. And all I got was this broken spirit.

Thanks for sharing, Becoming Me ! I love your name…it reminds me of what many of us strive for after leaving an homogenizing cult – allowing our authentic-self to disentangle us from TWI’s straitjacket...it can be a long and slow process - - it's different for everyone since we are all unique individuals.

Many things you’ve mentioned  in your post have resonated so much with me. One was mentioning counseling. It wasn’t until about 10 years after I left TWI that I went to a professional counselor.  I unloaded a ton of regrets, frustrations, failures…well…uhm - - let’s just say it was one huge messy pile of angst at my first session. The counselor’s wise words have stuck with me through the following sessions and beyond – to this very day; he said “you’ve got to stop beating yourself up over this stuff.” I think sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Alas, I have found the saboteur – it is me!  :biglaugh:

When you mentioned baby steps it reminded of one of my fav funny movies  What About Bob?  , Bill Murray plays Bob who tries to follow his psychoanalyst’s (Leo played by Richard Dreyfuss) “baby steps” advice – but as the story unfolds we see Bob relates better to other folks with their own problems than Leo does using his cold clinical approach; I love towards the latter part of the film where Bob misinterprets Leo acting out a grudge against him as “death therapy”…I think Grease Spot is a pretty cool environment where you may find someone sharing about trying baby steps at something new – a new career, new hobby, a new direction in their journey through life... whatever.

(here's some DVD bonus features)

What About Bob? Baby Steps 

What About Bob? I'm sailing 

...by the way, I'm not knocking the baby steps idea - I think it's smart to set small, realistic short term goals; and I'm not knocking professional counselors either - I appreciate first hand how they have really helped me...I just love the movie "What About Bob?" and wanted to bring some levity to a heavy talk...again, thanks for sharing and I look forward to your input at Grease Spot.

== == == ==

You mentioning the pseudo-vigilance is a big deal: “Another part of growing up that still affects me is hyper-vigilance about “danger.” The idea that the devil was out to get us; and if you are “out of alignment and harmony” you’ll be outside of God’ protection;” …I’ve spent most of my adult career in security and life-safety technology – and whenever I reflect on my former TWI mindset – I’m embarrassed to admit how naïve I was to ignore the security and safety concerns  / threats of the real world while having a false sense of security within my imaginary protective bubble.

 

On your last point: “I was a true believer. I did the things you were supposed to do. I toed the line. I put my heart and soul into it. And all I got was this broken spirit. “ I can totally relate to also. Years ago I broke my left hand in a rollover accident. I am right handed – but after therapy and healing over time – my left hand is stronger than my right hand. Go figure…my point is how you’ll find your critical thinking skills become stronger as you exercise them – sort of like therapy for atrophied muscles…

…and on a side note to that – not sure where you’re at on your beliefs right now – so I’m just sharing how I use what was “broken” in my faith here at Grease Spot or wherever I cross paths with a wounded soul. It’s kinda like Bill Murray’s Bob character – it’s the familiar experience of being hurt through betrayal, deception, manipulation and such that enables us to empathize with others who have gone through something similar or have felt the same emotions…I think when someone who has been in a cult talks about what it was like and how they were able to break free of that – their message…their compassion really connects with someone in need - - probably a lot more than some stuffy teaching on the false prophets and wolves of Matthew 7

 

Edited by T-Bone
formatting and clarity

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Thanks for sharing, Becoming Me.  It must have been hard growing up that way.  God loves us for our "authentic selves". Took me awhile to "become myself" after leaving TWI.  But I didn't grow up in it, so it was more like a reclamation.

Don't know if you have read The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse but that's a good one.

 

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Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse is a life changer.  I couldn't put it down when I first read it.  I could feel the oppression evaporating.  Within a very few hours, I was like a different person.  Not that all my problems disappeared; but the oppressiveness did.

I saw a therapist/counsellor for a short time.  She got me to talk about - can't remember now - and basically watched my body language as I talked.  What she said at that point stuck with me: "When you talk about your cats, your face lights up and you look happy.  Think about them when things get too much."   And I think maybe things progressed from there.  I remember that, when I started getting strung up about things after that, I thought about the cats. 

Therapist also wanted to explore parent-adult-child (P-A-C) responses.  I couldn't deal with that.  I told her that I felt I'd already been split into different people, characters; I was already fragmented; and I didn't need to fragment myself any more, I needed to be myself and become whole.  I doubt she had ever met a cultie before and was herself a little lost with what to do, hence this P-A-C suggestion.  Anyway, the short time I was attending her was enough to get me to begin to grasp hold of myself again, and with the help of loving, patient friends, many of whom are from a really supportive church, I thank God that so much has been restored to me and indeed, I have so much more to give to help others in dire circumstances.

 

BecomingMe, you can indeed become the You that God intended.  It's even okay to go off the rails a little bit, as your pendulum swings from oppression to a type of freedom.  You will find a balance.  You are safe, here, to explore the strange things that happened to you; your strange thinking patterns; your unusual behavior or responses; or whatever.  In a way, we're all recovering addicts here.  Some of us are just plain wacky in other areas.  Here.  Have a hug.  :knuddel:  And a good laugh.  :biglaugh:  Now let's have a bevvy.  :beer:  Waiter!!

 

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