If a loved one who wasn’t a member died, we told ourselves that we would see them again when they would learn the truth, so we felt that we didn’t have that much to be sad about. Members would tell us that we really seemed to be taking it well and were holding up good. But it was all buried deep down inside. We were taught to cancel out any thoughts in our mind which we learned shouldn’t be there. Forget the past. We weren’t allowed to grieve normally.
After I left the cult and it finally hit me, I grieved for a long time over my mother’s death that had occurred many years before. I walked back in the woods one time for almost two hours, where no one else was, talking to her about everything, while I sobbed over every last thing I had lost and all the times I could have spent with her and didn’t. Those were all emotions that were stuck down inside at the time and which I thought I was handling so well.
This “church” caused so much suffering that it is nearly impossible to comprehend all of it. It is only afterwards that we keenly feel how it all has affected us personally. We can experience a very deep grief when we fail to draw close to the ones that should matter the most–our own families. The times of closeness we could have had with them we forfeited because of a pseudo family that we gave our time and our life to. Ones that can never be our true families. If you leave, they leave you. that is not true love. Their “love” was only based on how everyone performed and measured up.
By P. L.
Exit & Support Network™
Also read: Lost Years (by P. L.)
The Love of Others (free verse)