Jump to content
GreaseSpot Cafe
Sign in to follow this  
lindyhopper

Leaving on my own terms

Recommended Posts

I guess occasionally something still comes up in life and I feel like coming back here and getting it off my chest...

There has been discussion over the years here about how one has left or was kicked out etc and whether standing up to the perceived wrongs of the Way was better or more noble or whatever than just leaving without a fight. I was one that left without explanation, without a philosophical show down, or a heart to heart with those closest to me. There are times that I have felt bad for doing this to family and friends and fleeting moments that I have felt ashamed while feeling cowardly, but those times have passed and I have no regrets, no shame, and would do it the same way given the unimaginable opportunity to do it over again.

Recently I was talking with someone about a close family friend who is in The Way, who's wife had up and left with their child one day while he was at work. If it wasn't about leaving the Way then there was certainly something else going on very wrong in that marriage. That got me thinking about when I left the Way. Leaving without an explanation or discussion in any situation or any relationship should raise the eyebrows of anyone thinking correctly. Rarely is a move like that a case where you look at the person leaving and ask yourself, "what the hell is wrong with them?" It should always make you wonder about the situation or the relationship they were leaving.

In the Way, there was a variation of this that followers would often take. They would start with the well known fact that being in the Way was "challenging", but would then assume or were told the person leaving either couldn't take the heat, was resistant to change, needed time to "work on some things," or was outright rebellious. Of course, there were the subcategories or being weak, gay, or possessed. In spite of the many people that would leave quietly and without notice, most in the Way would never think of it as a screwed up situation that this person needed escape from. Of course not.

In the mid 90's the girl I was dating, who was in the midst of the first few sessions of the foundational class, left me and the Way at the same time without warning or explanation. I came home one day, my roommate had let her in earlier in the day, and found all her Way materials left on my bed. She would not respond to my calls or agree to discuss it when I saw her (we lived in the same building and worked at the same place.) That was rough. A very tough emotional time for me and had me questioning many things about the Way and it's teachings. It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. It took many more years but those questions, which no one could sufficiently answer for me, eventually led me to the point where I too was ready to leave TWI. "Believers" would probably say that her actions planted seeds of doubt in my mind that I let take root. Whatever. Her actions were out of self preservation and my reaction was a natural response yielding reasonable questions which "the greatest church since the first century" could not answer.

So when I decided to leave, as I wrote in my first post here, I determined to leave quietly... to fade away after I went back to school and move out of the apartment I was sharing with my fellowship coordinator, and leave the job I had with another fellowship coordinator. My plan was sped up due to my inability to sit through another confrontation with those two people. Yes, I was lying in my personal life with them. I was in a bad place. A place where I could not be myself or speak my mind in my own house or at work without, in my mind, risking being kicked out of the way, my apartment, and possibly my job. So I kept my thoughts and my plan to myself until I was ready. I knew all their responses anyways. So they unknowingly forced my hand and I told them I was leaving TWI during said confrontation. I gave them no reason. I just told them after they told me all that they thought I was doing wrong, that I needed to take some time off from the Way and that it was not about any personal relationships I had outside of TWI. This was the truth. In the following 24 hours I got calls from family and from the limb coordinator, all asking me to talk and to reconsider my decision. I refused to talk and obviously did not reconsider.

In my first post here, my "my story" post, I said I refused to talk to family, Way friends, and leadership in part as an FU to them. A subtle way of letting them know they don't have and won't know all the answers. That was definitely part of it on some level. I also didn't want them to take what I said and spin it to fit TWI's narrative on how screwed up I was, twisting my words to make them dislike me more, pity me more, or what ever. I had seen so many scenarios like that in the past and I didn't want to give TWI anything and felt I didn't owe any of them anything. I definitely was concerned about whether I would ever see or speak to my family much after leaving and there was a very real fear that me saying anything would cement that possibility all the more. The fear of never seeing them again proved to be unfounded. After a year or so, family ties began to mend in spite of the fact that I still have not discussed this with 2/3's of them.

Since then, one brother has left the corps and the Way with his family, the other is heading into the corps with his, while my parents show no signs of ever leaving. In spite of my original thoughts of trying to figure out a way to help them realize how bad TWI is, I again have said nothing. They have made their own choices in their own time. I don't know how much my decision to leave without explaining things to them has affected their paths in any way, but I know that if it caused them any pain, any confusion, any doubt, any discomfort... I can't say I'm sorry. When you are comfortable in a screwed up organization, those thoughts and feelings are not the worst thing that could happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Keep your stick on the ice.

Remember, I'm pulling for you.

We're all in this together."...............Red Green

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is a "right" way to go about leaving them. We owe them nothing, not even an explanation. In some ways I think not giving them an explanation is a statement that a person is taking their freedom back and denying the way international authority they don't rightfully posses in the first place.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, OS. I can't think of another group one would belong to where the normal response to leaving would simply to wish one well. I guess I'm too far removed from absolutist authoritarian group think.

I guess this post was also largely about explaining it to others like close friends and family. Regardless, for me, this was the best way to go.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did the same thing, lindy. Just dropped out with no explanation. I didn't owe them one, and I really didn't think I would change anyone else's mind if I did give an explanation. All it would cause me was more pain than I already had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the following 24 hours I got calls from family and from the limb coordinator, all asking me to talk and to reconsider my decision.
Amazing hat anybody bothered to contact you - but then you left them. If they'd kicked you out, nobody would've contacted you.

Yep, it's all about control. Who's in control? You were! Well done.

I also didn't want them to take what I said and spin it to fit TWI's narrative on how screwed up I was, twisting my words to make them dislike me more, pity me more, or what ever.
Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

Yeah, that would've happened too. They would have snared you with your own words. Another way to exercize control/damage limitation.

You can be sure that if your name came up, your reputation was blackened anyway.

I'm glad for you that you can maintain a relationship with the rest of your family still in TWI.

It must be difficult at times. For all of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is a "right" way to go about leaving them. We owe them nothing, not even an explanation. In some ways I think not giving them an explanation is a statement that a person is taking their freedom back and denying the way international authority they don't rightfully posses in the first place.

[/quo

Well said OldSkool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is a "right" way to go about leaving them. We owe them nothing, not even an explanation. In some ways I think not giving them an explanation is a statement that a person is taking their freedom back and denying the way international authority they don't rightfully posses in the first place.

Agree. I also don't think there is a wrong way to leave either. As long as it is on your own terms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...