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BecomingMe

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BecomingMe last won the day on May 26

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  1. DWBH, what can I say? Thank you SO much for the love and your comments. I can’t quite find the words to tell you all how much I appreciate being welcome here. To answer a couple comments - I have 4 therapists and am on a battery of meds. I’ve been doing this latest round of hard work with said therapists for a year and a half. I think what has discouraged me is how deep the injuries go into my subconscious mind. But I am and will continue working. Being ME here is a big step I’ve wanted to take for years. Thanks again for the comfort <3
  2. Well, I only feel comfortable speaking for myself, and I’m not so great. Working on it, though. I have a life that is full and that I’m really grateful for - two little girls, a husband (also a former Way kid), a career that I love in education. Now if I can work out really detaching the old way programming from my head, I’ll be all right...
  3. Hey, all. It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped into the diner. I’m outing myself today because it’s too painful to keep my silence anymore, and I’m struggling right now. My name is Leah - I’m LCM’s oldest child. I don’t know what to do next...I feel like I need to speak, but I don’t know what to say. I’m just so tired of hurting. Penworthy, it’s lovely to “see” you here. I so appreciate your compassion...
  4. BecomingMe

    LCM

    Yes, he is.
  5. BecomingMe

    LCM

    Responding to WordWolf (sorry, i don’t have the “quote” thing down yet) - I do think there’s a style for everyone - meaning, he did appeal to a group of people, although much smaller than vp did. I’m not saying I disagree with your analysis; that’s all true, but a lot of people liked him and believed in him (misguidedly). Cult leaders are able to keep a certain number of followers, even if small, for a reason. But, to answer your question, it’s old wayfers with no group. Just listening to him specifically. And I don’t think he identifies with vp so much anymore. I think in his mind, he moved past vp in the 90s because I don’t remember him talking about vp much. I would guess he’s never stopped thinking of himself as THE man of God. WordWolf, just an observation, for what it’s worth: your post seems angry. LCM doing “phone hookups” upsets me because of all the people he’s messed up. Do I detect a similar feeling from you?
  6. BecomingMe

    LCM

    I hear from a reliable source that he’s doing phone hookups now. Which really ....es me off. I think this is evidence that the leopard hasn’t changed his spots. Still a predator. But when has mental illness ever fixed itself? Given his views on counseling (we don’t have to pay for someone to help us when the way has all the answers!), I doubt he’s sought out help.
  7. AOS both terrified and fascinated me as a child. I saw it live as a young kid and then me and my way friends were obsessed with learning the choreography - of the seed of the serpent. She fascinated us the most. Very healthy. Ugh.
  8. Ohmygod watching the one video on YouTube that I can find from athletes...I don’t even have the words. https://www.chron.com/entertainment/arts-theater/article/Art-Daybook-Inside-the-memory-of-a-cult-13066647.php This is a review of the installation. Sounds like he captured the confusion and darkness of cult life (sorry if someone else already posted this).
  9. Wow, you all are wonderful! I love that I’m engaging with people who understand!! I do have several people in my life that came out of the way, but many of you have a different perspective, which I find valuable. I’m so grateful for the level of insight and kindness you all share. I really appreciate all the book recommendations - I will add them to my list :-) When I was first half-in, half-out and trying to figure out what to do, Greasespot was so helpful, especially the documents that came directly from the way. By that time, I understood that I wanted to be part of things that practiced compassion and kindness; I came to see those qualities as moral. Reading LCM’s letters, etc, I realized how little compassion he practiced (yes, understatement of the century). It was a major help in my decision. So, thank you all for engaging with me, and thanks for keeping this cafe up and running! I’ll keep ramblin’ with you!
  10. 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.
  11. 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. :-)
  12. 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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