Exit and Support Network

Leaving WCG Allowed Me to Discover the Real Me

Because of being in a toxic faith for 29 years, I had submerged my real self in order to comply with the status quo. I learned to be somewhat of a robot and not feel the real feelings I felt. God forbid, if I ever expressed publicly to anyone feelings of anger or any other legitimate feelings of even grief or sorrow. My real emotional life had been kidnapped for a pseudo-compliant one that didn't cause any waves and was non-confrontational.

I remember being honest about how I felt about one minister and writing him a brief letter explaining what I saw about him that could help him. The attitude was about loving others as we love ourselves. I then mentioned how one's self image, although not the total of it, plays an important part of how we interact with each other. Clearly, my attitude was one of sincere Christian love and the desire to help him. Well, did I ever pay dearly for that!

I was confronted by him and his obese sidekick minister who told me I was in a bad attitude and that he expected a change of heart. They threatened me with disfellowshipping and I yielded to them. I was shaken. To me it was like a death sentence to be put out of the "True Church." They then gave to me several articles to read about the dangers and consequences of having self-worth. I still have them and the letter I wrote him. Here are just a couple of their titles: "What is Your Self-Concept?" "What Are You?" The last paragraph of that one reads, "Far from being fond of ourselves, let us, like Job, come to see ourselves from God's-eye view, so that the next time you ask yourself the question, 'What am I?' you can say, 'I'm carnal, I'm selfish, I hate myself!' and really mean it."1 Maalox on me! Another one written by him was, "Coming to Grips With Pride." And finally one more. "Do You Understand Church Discipline?" Heave, heave.

I read them more than once and underlined and made notes of my own. Rereading them, I can see exactly how much I complied and agreed with them. I was totally indoctrinated with all that garbage. From that day forward, I was extremely cautious of telling anyone how I really felt. In fact, I didn't allow myself to feel any feelings I thought were wrong. I thought it was wrong feeling like that and I submerged my (I thought) incorrect feelings for the ones I was supposed to feel according to the teachings of the "church" I was in.

Now after nearly 8 years of having exited the Worldwide Church of God, I have discovered the real me and who I really am. I can now feel deeply, the feelings I feel and am not afraid to express them. I can be the person God created me to be and no longer worry about how some may think. Of course, I use wisdom and discretion realizing I still need to recognize who's a safe person or an unsafe person. To some people who may ask me a question I think is inappropriate, I can say, "It's none of your business!" I will put them on notice of what my boundaries are in personal areas. I still will not let certain people know how I really feel about certain things unless confronted. Having said that, they better watch out if they ever do. I will express how I feel in no uncertain terms.

If I am triggered by them, I will express displeasure and the anger I feel if/whenever possible. There are still some self-righteous Pharisee types around our relatively grace-filled [mainstream] church.

The bottom line is about being the real, authentic person you really are. Being you--an unique wonderful creation of God.

By Brenton
July 7, 2010 

Footnote by ESN:

1 These words from this "minister" are spiritually abusive. Because of what Christ has done for us, we are able to stand before God in the righteousness of Christ, which has been made over to us. (II Corinthians 5:21: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.")

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