I’m not ashamed to admit I’m still a victim of a cult from which I faded. How else am I supposed to explain that I have next to no friends from my past. That I don’t decorate my home on Halloween/Christmas? That I don’t see certain people in my family?
The shame lies with the cult, the abusers, not the victim. All I can do now is do the best with the situation that I have. How can I be ashamed of that?
Besides, I have other things in my life that I’m proud of. I’m a good father and husband. I’ve provided help to family and friends through the years and have shown to be a good person with people around me. I’m highly skilled in my profession and helped my wife in that regard as well. Yet, I’m a simple man whose idea of a great meal is fast food.
If you want to be around people who appreciate you for who you are, they need to know about both your qualities and your challenges. In my case, JWs is a big deal.
But the key is to celebrate your winnings and acknowledge your loses. For many of us, raised as JWs, it feels wrong to “celebrate our winnings”. We’ve been thought that even if we excel, we’re still “good for nothing slaves”. And that even if we’re generous with others, we shouldn’t boast about it: “let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing”! Basically, not allowing you to be proud in anything!
Well, now that I’ve left that group, I understand that this way of thinking is simply abusive and designed to keep you down. I left that group and now I’m proud of the good things I do and unashamed of the bad things that happened to me.