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In the 70's my mother found herself a part of twi.    She's still with this cult.   I've got serious anxiety discussing this at all as I have been so brainwashed that anyone outside of  twi is wrong.    But as a child who started faithfully attending twigs in the 90s as mom lost track of regular fellowships some time in the 80's during what was referred to as "the dark ages"   I don't know if that's what mom called it or everyone I was never good enough.    I watched children be born out of wedlock, teenagers get pregnant and given immense support.   While I was an honor student and a virgin I was "unequally yolked" because I was dating a boy who wasn't quite sure he wanted to be involved and by dating I talked to him over the phone for 4 years and met with him maybe 5 times in that period.  My father was an alcoholic and rarely visited twi until the end when he was pressured to make sure he'd be there for the "gathering together".   I now wonder if most of his demons were that he knew his wife was raising his children in a cult and didn't know how to combat the strong will of this Godly woman.   My father died and strangely enough she felt supported but I was not.    That was my last straw.   I suffer severe anxiety and depression and it was untreated until recently because I was supposed to pray it away and renew my mind.   I'm still very suppressed and scared to seek therapy because I've been brainwashed to believe there's nothing wrong with me so what would I actually talk about?   Ok I'm taking a deep breath and posting this and praying this never gets back to my mother because I don't know how to deal with that conflict. 

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Welcome, Less Than.  Praise the Lord you are less than TWI would turn you into, and More Than anything they could offer.  Making you feel "less than" and not good enough is standard TWI technique, and it leaves big scars and holes in one's self-respect.  You will find others here who were kids raised in TWI - I think you as a group have your own particular issues to exorcise. 

Actually, what Rocky posted just yesterday, a TED talk, could be really helpful for you.  The speaker is a young woman who was raised in an abusive cult.

Meantime, this is a great place for you to vent your anger, frustrations, and hang-ups.  We've all been there. 

It's also very much okay for you to seek help from a therapist.  If you had a broken leg, you'd seek help from a doctor, wouldn't you?  Right.  So seek help for your broken thinking.  Say how you felt unsupported when your father died.  Let it meander on from there.  Maybe your therapist will be able to offer some strategies to help you "deal with" the anticipated conflict with your mum.

Edited by Twinky
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Welcome to Grease Spot, Less Than – I am sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad and the tension with your Mom. Family conflicts can be messy and complicated all by themselves and even more so when you have a cult in the mix – I think it may be because a cult has its own set of weird interpersonal dynamics – which gets superimposed…injected…mixed in with whatever particular dysfunctionalities are already present in a family - every family has them - - there is no “perfect” or  “normal” family.  

On the anxiety / depression thing you brought up – I can relate on how I use to believe if I worked at renewing my mind, praying, reading the Bible, etc. I would be over my depression. I suffered from it before TWI – then while in TWI it eventually got worse (please refer to my previous paragraph – mental health issues and a cult are never a good mix).  I finally went to a psychiatrist – even though I was wondering the same thing as you “what would I actually talk about?”. My first session was more like stream of consciousness writing  :biglaugh:   –    I was flitting from thing to thing – going over various incidents, worries, fears, people in my life, failures, decisions I made, etc.

His great words of wisdom were “you’ve got to stop beating yourself up over all that stuff.” There were a lot more helpful discussions of details in the following sessions, of course and I found a great book to help me manage depression -  it’s Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy  by David Burns ...The book gets into      cognitive distortions  which are "exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that are believed to perpetuate the effects of psychopathological states, especially depression and anxiety"…funny thing though – while I was reading this book I began to realize that there were a lot of cognitive distortions built into the mindset that The Way International encourages its followers to have. I think that’s some of what my psychiatrist was addressing when he told me to stop beating myself up over things…yeah I  sort of got the idea that some of the mental habits I learned in TWI actually made me my own worst enemy, if you can believe that.

Hope to see you around, check out the About the Way forum you’ll probably find some stories in there of folks you can relate to.

And let me offer you a cup of our finest cappuccino.

Edited by T-Bone
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9 hours ago, Less than said:

In the 70's my mother found herself a part of twi.    She's still with this cult.   I've got serious anxiety discussing this at all as I have been so brainwashed that anyone outside of  twi is wrong.    But as a child who started faithfully attending twigs in the 90s as mom lost track of regular fellowships some time in the 80's during what was referred to as "the dark ages"   I don't know if that's what mom called it or everyone I was never good enough.    I watched children be born out of wedlock, teenagers get pregnant and given immense support.   While I was an honor student and a virgin I was "unequally yolked" because I was dating a boy who wasn't quite sure he wanted to be involved and by dating I talked to him over the phone for 4 years and met with him maybe 5 times in that period.  My father was an alcoholic and rarely visited twi until the end when he was pressured to make sure he'd be there for the "gathering together".   I now wonder if most of his demons were that he knew his wife was raising his children in a cult and didn't know how to combat the strong will of this Godly woman.   My father died and strangely enough she felt supported but I was not.    That was my last straw.   I suffer severe anxiety and depression and it was untreated until recently because I was supposed to pray it away and renew my mind.   I'm still very suppressed and scared to seek therapy because I've been brainwashed to believe there's nothing wrong with me so what would I actually talk about?   Ok I'm taking a deep breath and posting this and praying this never gets back to my mother because I don't know how to deal with that conflict. 

First and foremost -- you are not alone!

As far as going to therapy, the good thing is that all you have to do is respond to the questions posed by the therapist. I realize you probably already know that, so I hope you don't mind that I said it.

Also, here's the video Twinky mentioned (that I posted the other day in another forum on this website).

The labels are different for other cults, but the template is essentially the same as what we were subjected to in twi.

You are also far from alone in dealing with depression and anxiety. It can get better for you.

We're on your side. :knuddel:

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21 hours ago, Less than said:

. . . mom lost track of regular fellowships some time in the 80's during what was referred to as "the dark ages"   . . .

You might mean fog years? 

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On 3/19/2018 at 12:51 PM, Less than said:

In the 70's my mother found herself a part of twi.    She's still with this cult.   I've got serious anxiety discussing this at all as I have been so brainwashed that anyone outside of  twi is wrong.    But as a child who started faithfully attending twigs in the 90s as mom lost track of regular fellowships some time in the 80's during what was referred to as "the dark ages"   I don't know if that's what mom called it or everyone I was never good enough.    I watched children be born out of wedlock, teenagers get pregnant and given immense support.   While I was an honor student and a virgin I was "unequally yolked" because I was dating a boy who wasn't quite sure he wanted to be involved and by dating I talked to him over the phone for 4 years and met with him maybe 5 times in that period.  My father was an alcoholic and rarely visited twi until the end when he was pressured to make sure he'd be there for the "gathering together".   I now wonder if most of his demons were that he knew his wife was raising his children in a cult and didn't know how to combat the strong will of this Godly woman.   My father died and strangely enough she felt supported but I was not.    That was my last straw.   I suffer severe anxiety and depression and it was untreated until recently because I was supposed to pray it away and renew my mind.   I'm still very suppressed and scared to seek therapy because I've been brainwashed to believe there's nothing wrong with me so what would I actually talk about?   Ok I'm taking a deep breath and posting this and praying this never gets back to my mother because I don't know how to deal with that conflict. 

Less, greetings to you, and welcome to the GSC.  If I may make a suggestion to you; I would start reading the GSC, from the first page, and read it, over, and over.  Many people here have been in your situation.  Also, thank God you are getting "professional help."  I would encourage you to do what your Mental Health workers suggest for you to do; take your Meds, and go to your appointments.  I too suffer from depression, and anxiety.  In my opinion, the DCVAMC has good mental health care, if the patient takes his/her medication, and follows up with their appointments.  I don't know how old you are, but you sound like a young person/young adult to me.  What your mother does, is her business.  She is responsible for her actions.  Thank God, you got out of TWI; that was the first step.  I have been reading, and posting here at the GSC for perhaps 18 months(?.)  What a revelation it has been!!  I thought I was alone, and I was the only one who had problems with TWI.  Wow!!  There are thousands(?) of people here, who have had good, and bad experiences with TWI.  God bless you, and I pray that you will find answers here.

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43 minutes ago, Less than said:

Likely what was up with that time? 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” 

That's from Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities".

Welcome to the 'Spot.  Pull up a chair and chat a while.  I'm sorry about your childhood - being a child in the Way was a particular kind of hell.   

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4 minutes ago, chockfull said:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” 

That's from Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities".

Welcome to the 'Spot.  Pull up a chair and chat a while.  I'm sorry about your childhood - being a child in the Way was a particular kind of hell.   

Chock, for years and years I thought kids raised in "Way World," had easy, carefree childhoods.  Then I read here at the GSC, that many of the kids raised in TWI, had less-than-perfect childhoods.  OMG, some of the kids suffered from various forms of abuse.  I realize that some of the kids perhaps had normal childhoods, but many of them didn't.  I never realized how many kids growing up in cults, suffer various types of abuse.  Poor kids!

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22 hours ago, Twinky said:

It's also very much okay for you to seek help from a therapist.  If you had a broken leg, you'd seek help from a doctor, wouldn't you?  Right.  So seek help for your broken thinking.  Say how you felt unsupported when your father died.  Let it meander on from there.  Maybe your therapist will be able to offer some strategies to help you "deal with" the anticipated conflict with your mum.

If it helps, I have gone to a therapist and done psychotherapy sessions regarding the cult.  

My therapist was cool.  Ex Catholic priest, had done that for 25 yrs, then decided to get married and quit, raised a family, then when his 2 boys moved out his wife developed a relationship with another woman and divorced him.  So he used his education in Catholic divinity and pursued a doctorate degree in psychology and counseling specialties.  Cool dude.  Cognitive behaviorist.  

It did help me put things in perspective.  And I actually learned a lot too.  It helped me gain self confidence and to see that they are the ones with the problem not me.  They try to put that monkey on everyone's back with their Pharisee behavior.   One interesting thing I saw from his teaching was that the changes introduced, especially to the Way Corps, were not from zero to way extreme, they were always incremental, kind of like boiling a frog from cold water.  So I think I gained a better self image out of it overall anyway.  

Do you need it?  Who knows.  Everybody's recovery is unique and their own.

And as everyone around here can evidence, I'm certainly not fixed yet.  LOL

:dance:

 

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27 minutes ago, chockfull said:

If it helps, I have gone to a therapist and done psychotherapy sessions regarding the cult.  

My therapist was cool.  Ex Catholic priest, had done that for 25 yrs, then decided to get married and quit, raised a family, then when his 2 boys moved out his wife developed a relationship with another woman and divorced him.  So he used his education in Catholic divinity and pursued a doctorate degree in psychology and counseling specialties.  Cool dude.  Cognitive behaviorist.  

It did help me put things in perspective.  And I actually learned a lot too.  It helped me gain self confidence and to see that they are the ones with the problem not me.  They try to put that monkey on everyone's back with their Pharisee behavior.   One interesting thing I saw from his teaching was that the changes introduced, especially to the Way Corps, were not from zero to way extreme, they were always incremental, kind of like boiling a frog from cold water.  So I think I gained a better self image out of it overall anyway.  

Do you need it?  Who knows.  Everybody's recovery is unique and their own.

And as everyone around here can evidence, I'm certainly not fixed yet.  LOL

:dance:

 

Chock, perhaps you are not "fixed", but your posts are thoughtful, and informative.:knuddel:

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1 hour ago, chockfull said:

I'm certainly not fixed yet.  LOL

:dance:

Chockfull, neither you nor any of us will be "fixed" until Christ returns and fixes us.  Meantime, we just keep doing our best and look to him to cover the rest.

I'm very thankful for the love and patience shown to us specifically whilst we're recovering from Waydaze.  The kindness shown by some people is more healing than they could ever know.

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Less Than, there are lots of archived old documents elsewhere on this site - unfortunately not as easily accessible as they used to be when the site was hosted differently.  However, you might find this thread really helpful and very enlightening:

And Grace, I'm not sure if you've looked at this old threads etc yet.  You'd find them interesting too.

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39 minutes ago, Twinky said:

Less Than, there are lots of archived old documents elsewhere on this site - unfortunately not as easily accessible as they used to be when the site was hosted differently.  However, you might find this thread really helpful and very enlightening:

And Grace, I'm not sure if you've looked at this old threads etc yet.  You'd find them interesting too.

Twinky, you are right.  They are very intresting; wow!  

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3 hours ago, Less than said:

Likely what was up with that time? 

The Fog?  Folks couldn't see the hazing for what it was.  They were all misty eyed. 

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5 minutes ago, Grace Valerie Claire said:

Twinky, you are right.  They are very intresting; wow!  

Twinky, I can't believe how poorly paid most of the staff was.  I realize most of them had food, and housing at "Way World," but still, the pay was dismal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow! Your story matches mine a lot! I always felt like I wasn’t good enough. My mother and stepfather (married when I was 15) were really strict with me. They had harsh rules and I felt like I was being punished for things I hadn’t done or didn’t even think of doing.

My father (also an alcoholic) died when I was a senior in high school. She had cut off all contact with him and also any contact with my sister and I. So, she didn’t even let us know that he passed until it was too late to make arrangements to go to his funeral. At the time, they believed that nothing good would come of it.

anyway, I am still working through all of the issues from growing up TWI. Know that you’re not alone!

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On 3/20/2018 at 3:11 PM, Less than said:

Likely what was up with that time? 

The fog, according to my understanding:

Beginning about the mid-to-late 80's, The Way was beginning to split apart. Much of this was due to Reverend Martindale's (LCM) having been made President by VP before he died. (And many who thought they were "more qualified" for the position were very jealous of him because of it. I just call it sibling rivalry.)

It seems that "many new and different doctrines" were forming by those others. (And much of the "hidden stuff" was being exposed and confronted --- like all of the adultery among those at HQ, etc.) Although at first, this increasing rift among the members wasn't divulged to the mainstream believers, certainly the Corps and other "inner-circle people" at HQ were all aware of it.)

I finally became aware of this shortly after returning home from the Advanced Class at Emporia Kansas in '89. (And I still wasn't aware that the ministry had already begun to split.)

Anyway, some of the "bigwigs" (John Lynn, John Shoenheit, Vince Finnegan, Chris Geer and others) had left the ministry --- taking many believers with them.

Things were in great disarray among those remaining with TWI, who were referred to as the faithful remnant. And there was much confusion as to why all this decline had happened within The Way. LCM deemed this time as the fog, alluding to the fact that it was "hard to see" just why the ministry was about cut in half in so short a time.

From then on, The Way was hard-pressed on many fronts to conduct the ministry as before. Financially, they were becoming most desperate; and sold many of the Wierwille properties for ready cash, just to keep things going. And today, they're only a smattering of what they once were.

Less than: I hope this clarifies "the fog" a bit for you. Don't worry...you're just fine! If this is of any help, remember Ro 14:22b ...happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

SO: Don't worry about what The Way taught you --- which made you afraid when you didn't conform to their demented reasoning of what constitutes "a faithful relationship" with your heavenly Father. Allow yourself to be comfortable in your shortcomings!

Face it: You can't be perfect no matter what you do --- so why try? Because if you do, you'll never be good enough by your own works anyway. God accepts you just as you are. As the verse said, STOP putting yourself down; and quit measuring yourself according to the (false) standard of living which TWI shoved down your throat.

Bless you, and have a cup of coffee on me. Welcome to GS! :beer: (Spec) 

Edited by spectrum49
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"The fog" was actually a time of great clarity for many TWI people.  It was a time to wake up and realize they could leave. 

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Oh and by the way, I have been in therapy for years for a psychiatric condition I've had that needed treatment and medication that I did not think I needed while in TWI. (Renew your mind yada yada yada)  So I went untreated and subjected to any episode that might come up,  Now I go to sessions (only once every 6 months) and take my meds consistently.  So now I'm stable and doing ok.

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