- It Hurts
IT HURTS to discover you were deceived -
that what you thought was the "one true religion," the "path to total
freedom," or "truth" was in reality a cult.
IT HURTS when you learn that people you trusted implicitly
- whom you were taught not to question - were "pulling the wool over your eyes"
IT HURTS when you learn that those you were taught were
your "enemies" were telling the truth after all -- but you had been told they
were liars, deceivers, repressive, satanic etc and not to listen to them.
IT HURTS when you know your faith in God hasn't changed -
only your trust in an organization - yet you are accused of apostasy, being a trouble
maker, a "Judas". It hurts even more when it is your family and friends making
IT HURTS to realize their love and acceptance was
conditional on you remaining a member of good standing. This cuts so deeply you try and
suppress it. All you want to do is forget - but how can you forget your family and
IT HURTS to see the looks of hatred coming from the faces
of those you love - to hear the deafening silence when you try and talk to them. It cuts
deeply when you try and give your child a hug and they stand like a statue, pretending you
aren't there. It stabs like a knife when you know your spouse looks upon you as demonised
and teaches your children to hate you.
IT HURTS to know you must start all over again. You feel
you have wasted so much time. You feel betrayed, disillusioned, suspicious of everyone
including family, friends and other former members.
IT HURTS when you find yourself feeling guilty or ashamed
of what you were - even about leaving them. You feel depressed, confused, lonely. You find
it difficult to make decisions. You don't know what to do with yourself because you have
so much time on your hands now - yet you still feel guilty for spending time on
IT HURTS when you feel as though you have lost touch with
reality. You feel as though you are "floating" and wonder if you really are
better off and long for the security you had in the organization and yet you know you
cannot go back.
IT HURTS when you feel you are all alone - that no one
seems to understand what you are feeling. It hurts when you realize your self confidence
and self worth are almost non-existent.
IT HURTS when you have to front up to friends and family to
hear their "I told you so" whether that statement is verbal or not. It makes you
feel even more stupid than you already do - your confidence and self worth plummet even
IT HURTS when you realize you gave up everything for the
cult - your education, career, finances, time and energy - and now have to seek employment
or restart your education. How do you explain all those missing years?
IT HURTS because you know that even though you were
deceived, you are responsible for being taken in. All that wasted time........ at least
that is what it seems to you - wasted time.
THE PAIN OF GRIEF
Leaving a cult is like experiencing the death of a close
relative or a broken relationship. The feeling is often described as like having been
betrayed by someone with whom you were in love. You feel you were simply used.
There is a grieving process to pass through. Whereas most
people understand that a person must grieve after a death etc, they find it difficult to
understand the same applies in this situation. There is no instant cure for the grief,
confusion and pain. Like all grieving periods, time is the healer. Some feel guilty, or
wrong about this grief. They shouldn't -- It IS normal. It is NOT wrong to feel confused,
uncertain, disillusioned, guilty, angry, untrusting - these are all part of the process.
In time the negative feelings will be replaced with clear thinking, joy, peace, and trust.
YES - IT HURTS BUT THE HURTS WILL HEAL WITH TIME, PATIENCE
There is life after the cult.
Copyright (c) Jan Groenveld
Cult Awareness & Information Centre
PO Box 2444,Mansfield,4122,Australia
(61-(0)7- 343 8116)