Good to Know When You're Leaving!

by brunnhilde 5 Replies latest jw experiences

  • brunnhilde


    The Emotional Pain Of Leaving A Cult
    by Jan Groenveld

    The following is how former cult members and members of spiritually
    abusive systems described how they felt when they finally left their
    group. This may give you some insight into their pain and why there
    are no easy answers for them.

    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"
    albeit unwittingly.

    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 these accusations.

    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 friends?

    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 recreation.

    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 further.

    It Hurts when you realize you gave up eveything 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 and

    There is life after the cult.

    Copyright 1985, 1995 Jan Groenveld
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Cult Awareness & Information Centre,
    PO Box 2444,
    Mansfield, 4122

    Web Page: http://caic. htm

  • DJK
    Yes - It hurts but the hurts will heal with time, patience and
    understanding. There is life after the cult.

    Well put, that alone speaks volumes.

  • hubert

    I often wonder how my j.w. daughter will react when she finds out she and her husband are in a cult, and they were duped. I really feel bad for them. They have no idea.

    Thanks for posting this, Brunn.


  • lavendar


    I often wonder the same thing about my son and his wife. I can't wait for the day when they realize it's nothing but a cult (I hope soon!), but at the same time I know the realization will hurt them terribly. But, at least my husband and I will be there for them.....


  • I Know what I like, and I like what I know
    I Know what I like, and I like what I know

    Heading for the great escape
    Heading for the rave
    Heading for the permanent holiday

    Heading for the winter trip
    Heading for the slide
    Heading for the dignified walk away

    Heading for the open road
    Goodbye to all that
    Heading for the automatic overload

    Standing in the open boat
    Standing in the swing
    Waiting for the ringing and the bright light

    Waiting to be recognised
    Quiet applause will do
    They shower you with flowers when they bury you

    You're holding on, you're holding on ...

    Just when I thought I'd seen the last of you
    You come here scratchin' at my door
    Your pain and anger's in the howling dark
    Of every corridor I walk

    So tell me more about the love that you rejected
    Tell me more about the trust you disrespected
    I still don't know, why did you hurt the very one
    Why did you hurt the very one
    That you should have protected?

    Don't ask me why I'm doing this
    You wouldn't understand
    You're asking the wrong questions
    You couldn't understand

    A bridge is not a high place
    The fifty-second floor
    Icarus would know
    A mountain isn't far to fall

    When you've fallen
    When you've fallen from the moon

    There's murder on the street
    I'm ashes on the water now, somewhere far away
    I have fallen, fallen from the moon

  • tijkmo
    There'll come a time when all of this is over
    Something else will grow and take it's place
    The brand new car: scrap metal in a junkyard
    The children playing will grow up and leave home
    Put it away this dream you can't stop dreaming
    Put it away this anger and desire
    The open road is infinitely hopeful
    Take all those memories and throw them in the fire

    And don't hurt yourself
    Don't hurt yourself
    Don't hurt yourself anymore

    There's old man on a warm and sunny island
    No job, no money, just a smile to call his own
    Know what he says?
    "The past will only haunt you.
    Live for today. Each day's an open door

    Don't hurt yourself
    Don't hurt yourself
    Don't hurt yourself anymore"

    Nothing to lose is nothing to fight over
    The shining stars!
    They've seen it all before.

    Don't hurt yourself
    Don't hurt yourself
    Don't hurt yourself anymore

    Dust keeps coming. Rust keeps coming. Weeds keep growing. Seeds keep growing
    Where you going?

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