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Lifted Up

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Everything posted by Lifted Up

  1. Waydale then Greasespot kept hammering reality about the Way at me until I was finally ripe for a trigger to stir reality in my mind, and y own memory. Full of resentment from being yanked involuntarily out of the Way, I simply refused to believe the bad things that I was hearing about....namely the sexual assaults then rapes. Finally the trigger came, in the form of "Losing the Way", written by a person I had been with in the Way Corps, even in the same state during my apprentice year. Empathizing with her and many who were subjected to rape and sexual assault, I finally believed them, Kristen's book striking so many bells and raising red flags like crazy in front of my face. All that, and help from a non Way related survivor friend, brught back the memory of my own sexual assault. So though it didn't bear fruit with me right away, Waydale, followed by Greasespot, laid the groundwork for recalling my trauma, for which I have been undergoing therapy since 2017. .
  2. My best survivor friend understood that idea, despite having little knowledge of TWI or any cults. She is a child abuse survivor who helped start a large national group to fight abuse. She suggested to me that a book written specifically for male child abuse survivors might help me heal from my Way sexual assault (at 29). She was right. This was after she helped me fully recall everything and break my silence. Her help sort of culminated my waking up that probably started with Kristen Skedgell's "Losing the Way". Didn't end my healing; still working on that.
  3. Yes, and it was those times, while he was trying to show us his "loving father" self, that I think was supposed to keep us in obedience when we had to endure his not so fatherly wrath.
  4. Thanks for not simply giving your answer, but adding your own reasons. You take the "Edge" off of any doubts I had in saying that!. It took me 38 years to fullly eliminate my blindness and see that, thanks partly to my above mentioned friend. For decades I refused to believe anyone had been sexually assaulted, let alone myself.
  5. Nice to hear your perspectives as one who knew the guy in the corps. And I hope your recovery continues to go well; mine is doing OK, my sexual assault was not my only trauma. Interestingly, the friend who has been most helpful in my recovery has no Way or cult connections, but is a child abuse survivor. But she understands how it goes in a cult; in many ways we were treated as children. I just started a new therapist, there was nothing wrong with my other one, but we agreed it is time for me to explore new avenues.
  6. I think you gave some good reasons why your book is still going strong. One reason is that cult trauma, like any trauma, is lifelong. We old folks are still being affected, and I think others find the book relevant because cults and abusers, no matter how different from each other, use so many common techniques, so today's cult survivors find it relevant. Do you feel that in many ways we were treated as children in the Way? My best survivor friend is not Way or cult related, but a child abuse survivor who helped start a large national group to fight abuse. A few years ago she suggested a book written by Mike Lew for child abuse survivors to help in my recovery from my Way sexual assault, even though she knew it happened to me as an adult. She understood; it's amazing how much she knows. And I have found the relevance myself in my support group interactions with survivors of church and other child abuse.
  7. The only time I heard the subject mentioned (I was yanked out at the end of 1979 soon after my sexual assault) was at ROA 1978 when VPW called the corps going WOW into the woods for a chat. He basically advised us to watch ourselves sexually, as he has already had to pay for several abortions, claiming he didn't like abortions. But I never heard him utter anything else on the subject. He sure sounded like it was more of a matter of inconvenience than anything else.
  8. Unruhka, I dont get into these forums much, as I did years ago. I still can't believe you made this post almost a year ago before I noticed it. I know about flashbacks. Not just my own but from several survivor friends. My best survivor friend, the one who helped me break my silence in 2017 (about my 1979 assault). was raped repeatedly by her older brother, also decades ago. In the long process of her recovery, she eventually co-founded a national child abuse fighting organization, and knows a lot. She knew, for exakmple, that despite my assault taking place at age 29, the effects of this cult, even though she has no cult background, were as if it had been child abuse, and she correctly recommended a book accordingly. She also has great knowledge about special problems faced by male survivors. And there are LOTS of people in the group she helped start also fighting child abuse. Then in addition to her personal kelp, she also gives me lots of the most critical medicine...laughs and smiles, for she is also my favorite entertainer. IShe can give me that gift in the present...I just watched her entertain a couple hours ago...or from the past, in a role she is very well known for that she had...well, bck in the 70s when she ws being abuse. And I have some other wonderful survivor friends who suffered their hurts as children.Geez, it has been almost a year since you made this post. I hope you are doing well.
  9. Good question. I don't think we had any "playing around" in Philly, but we only had one family like that out of seven, plus one family of two married couples. My sexual assault ("loosening up") was to wait til the fall after that year when I was at HQ.
  10. Agreed; that is why I said it, it is what some others try to communicate to me.
  11. Grace, your heart is so beautiful. I was sexually assaulted in the Corps in 1979 by peers. I was being "loosened up" as per VPW "doctrine", and I know that was it because I overheard those exact words used about me. I only fully recalled my assault in 2017, thanks to my survivor friend who is amazing. I think of her when I read your post because she suffered repeated sexual abuse as a child from her older brother long ago. But she is also doing well, having helped co found a national child àbuse fighting group. And she knows lots about the subject: her compassion and knowledge of problems façed by us male survivors is what helped me. But perhaps even more importantly, despite never being in a cult, she knows we were in many ways treated as children. She recommended a book by Mike Lew for male child abuse survivors despite knowing my assault happened as an adult. When I told her the book was helping me, she replied that she knew it would. She also gives me a very vital medicine for recovery: laughter. You have probably seen her sometimes on tv.
  12. Oh, no argument. Of course it wasn't written down as official, which would be admitting to the actual practice. No more than my friend's brother would admit to what he thought was his right to abuse her. And no more than VPW would officially admit to what he thought was his right to rape and/or assault so many women. But verbally he sure promoted the idea of Way leaders being entitled to have their sexual needs met. And for many, even some women, there was a duty and even willingness to act according to what our MOGFOT said and did. I was not immune to that idea of course, in many ways discarding my own personal values to obeying what I thought was God's will as spoken by our leader. But that assault was so strongly against my values that I froze in a very confusedand ashamed state, until the fear of an even greater shame prompted me to escape to my bunk on the men's side of the trailer and freeze there. As it turned out, the shame was enhanced again when some of the others arrived in the dark, not knowing I was there in my upper bunk, and unknowingly revealed to me all that the two women had told them about their "playing around", and, yes, they specifically used the words "loosened up" about me. I could give even more details. BTW, as a side factor, IMO we in many ways were treated as children in the corps, even though we were supposed to be adult leaders. That is why my non Way friend, who helped me break my silence, knew to suggest a book written (by Mike Lew) for male child abuse survivors, despite knowing my assault happened as an adult. But she co-founded a national organization to fight child abuse and knows a lot on the subject. Oh yeah, I wil give one more detail here; the two women who assaulted me were alone on their side; as most or all of the others were away on LEAD at the time. Again, you are right, loosening up was not official doctrine (maybe effective doctrine from the practrive) as that would have been admitting to, among other things, VPW's abuse and promotion thereof among his followers.
  13. Healing IS possible, but a sexual assault victim never "gets over it". I haven't. Sad.
  14. I guess at the time of my HQ assault in 1979, which was not too long after Rome City was acquired, the "loosening up" doctrine had been given to most of the corps, and I suppose staff that weren't corps. In "Undertow" Charlene Edge notes that when she learned that VPW had many women, and that many had been hurt, she notes that she also learned that there were women willing to go along with this doctrine. I figure that included helping to loosen up some of the men. I had not heard specifically about anybody, female or male, as young as you were being hurt, but it doesn't shock me. Yes, when something like that happens, it takes a long time to recognize all we went through, when, as was certainly the case with me, the idea that our leaders could do no wrong was so ingrained in my mind. And, cult or no cult, rape and other sexual assault can do terrible things inside one's mind, even if and while the victim does not consciously recall the event. My non Way (female) friend who helped me was repeatedly raped by her older brother, even while she was filming the TV show in which she was a child actor. In later years, when she reached a slack time in her life, the prior abuse hit her hard. She is doing well now and thus was able to help me, but no one ever "gets over it". Something else...people all around may have a terribly erroneous conception that males cannot be hurt by sex. This attitude was extra cruel in the Way. My main assaulter still thinks it was all just a game, playing around, and I think STILL has no conception how much she hurt me. You would think that people would understand better the hurting of someone in the 7th grade, with with old Way attitudes still in place in many people, I'm not so sure. I commend you for your courage in speaking up.
  15. "Loosening up" was a doctrine reflecting VPW's preaching that the man of God should have his sexual needs fulfilled so he could do the work of the ministry. That filtered down to me when I was sexually assaulted at HQ in 1979. Yes, it was just a game to my two female assaulters, and had I gone along with this "game' no doubt all would have been well. After I slinked away and froze in my upper bunk...after lights out...the rest of the guys came in the room bit by bit. Of course, lights out in the corps meant.....just that, so they started talking about me, because the two women (the others on the women's side were away on LEAD) had told the guys all about their "game" and how they had enjoyed it. I didn't, contrary to what I was supposed to feel, but the talk centered on how it was good that I got "loosened up". The guys soon went off to sleep, never realizing I was there all the time. It took me 38 years to fully wake up and break my silence, though the process started back in 2008 with the publication of "Losing the Way" It was actually a non Way/cult person who was a child abuse survivor who helped me fully remember in 2017 . The effects of VPW's sexual doctrines had far reaching effects, as many know, but, yes, there were some males affected too....at least one anyway. And of course Martindale sure did "loosen up".
  16. 40 years and three months ago was my sexual assault at HQ.
  17. I have forgiven myself; I hear it too many times not to listen, from my counselor, male survivor support group, my faith resources, and a few pertinent online pages. I don;t worry about closure with the ex-Way community, or anyone acknowledging this male being sexually assaulted. But I am very active in the general community; my non Way related friend who helped me break my silence also having co founded a national abuse prevention group, and helping me to laugh and smile (That's her job with everybody). But being loosened up (I heard those words specifically used about me) was not a loosening up, or playing around. And of course that loosening up term was one of VPW's.
  18. I decided that what good things the Way contributed to in my life had to be re-evaluated. When I was sexually assaulted in the name of the "love of God" all things, good and bad, had to be reviewed because the good, whatever there might have been, was used to hurt. Intent doesn't matter. Like one thing I participated in, using believing to degrade and belittle others, the most obvious example being chastising people for not believing...and therefore not being faithful to God...because they had incurred some illness, in many cases things as minor as mild sniffles. Anyway, I know I am far from alone in having to associate big hurts with what was presumably God's Love being taught, and ex-Way people are not alone: I have come across some in my male survivor support group who have somewhat the same problem, being sexually abused in church, often as children. Therefore, I am re-learning God with the help of my sexual assault counselor and faith based support. Of course this wipes out the ,myth of the Way being the only place God could be really taught. I think I have covered this before on posts elsewhere, but briefly, the teachnig by VPW that leaders (such as corps men) were entitled to have their sexual needs fulfilled (for the good of the ministry) was the reason why I was sexually assaulted by two women. Easy to understand, especially after reading Charlene Edge's account (in "Undertow") of how she discovered that even VPW had women around who went along with his sexual "doctrine". Maybe a little irony in how I am now learning abut our Real God, and considering forgiveness, even as I have recieved recent indications that my main assaulter still doesn't think she could have hurt me. Men, in the Way and in the world, are often perceived as sex starved animals who cannot be hurt by sex and so my "loosening up" (I overheard clearly that term being used specifically about me i the event) and it still was just "playing around" to her. I think I can extend forgiveness because I have learned from my counselor and others what it is, and more importantly what it is NOT. I just wonder if it can be accepted. But I understand also it is for ME, not them.
  19. I am pretty open online and non anonymous, but feel it is best to stick with my handle here. Well, here and in my male survivor group, were we are supposed to stay anonymous. I can relate to others who have been hurt in the name of "God's love", some of them were abused as children in their churches.
  20. Yes, I remember now loads of details from my Way time, even though it took time to remember some of them , including my "loosening up". But that disclaimer is actually what helped keep my mind glued onto Way like thinking, even after my body was yanked out of the cult.
  21. That is what FINALLY started to wake me up was the multitude of testimonies. I finally admitted that yes, the abuse COULD have happened, but I said I needed first person testimony, still unaware that I could have looked for it in the mirror. That testimony came in the form of "Losing the Way". Later, with the help of a wonderful survivor (and non Way related) friend, I remembered my own sexual assault. Nnot by VPW of course, but due IMO to hhis doctrine that corps men should "loosen up" ( or be loosened up). And I agree,he fully believed he WAS "THE man of God" BTW am I doing better on my post quoting? Seriously. I don;t want to confuse.
  22. The problem with the presumed "good" is that IMO it is what got so many of us into trouble. Like his "humble souding" disclaimer at ROA 1976 after he elicited the automatic "NO" shout to "Finally, my brethren, be strong in VP Wierwille". IMO it is just one of many things he did to delude HIMSELF into thinking he was THE "Man of God." That is why teaching about God and the bible with the same methods used in TWI is of little value IMO. That comment may be better suited for the "offshoots" topic. But this thread mentions the abuse. and that abuse is what sours survivors, and should sour others, on the motives behind the "good".
  23. Yep. In any event, we corps were not going to question him, even in just our own minds.
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