Exit and Support Network

Deeply Scarred

I was raised in WCG from age 7 until about 14 or 15 years old. My parents were very strict in their beliefs. While most of our congregation was white, we were one of 3 or 4 black families. I remember not being able to wait until I could join Y.E.S. Then when I attended my first Y.E.S. dance at the FOT, I was pulled to the side by a minister who said I should dance with someone of my own race. Since I was well-liked by the other kids, and the other two black mothers were chaperones for the dance, the dance definitely took a turn when my friends protested and stopped dancing. The minister then changed his mind and said it was ok for us to dance together.

My existence in the WCG was filled with parental abuse masquerading as discipline, alcoholism, mental illness, and spousal abuse. While most of the members were rich, we were poor, often struggling to pay our bills each month. Often we were sent to bed hungry while my stepfather ate well. We were often raggedy, unkempt, shabbily clothed, and kept away from people outside of the WCG, because they were considered heathen. I also had few friends and was generally mocked and laughed at, and called weird. When I began to run away from home, I was considered disobedient and made to sleep outside my parents home on the deck.

I am 47 years old now. Even today, I still go through bouts of low self-esteem and self doubt. I have few friends, and prefer it that way. I am deeply scarred. I am just beginning to allow myself to be a part of a church, but it still is very hard for me.

I applaud whoever began this site. I am finally able to vent and explain what happened to me, in a so-called "church." I pray that my fellow survivors find peace and normalcy in this world, for my life has been anything but normal. God bless and keep each of us.

By Bethany
August 14, 2012

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