Been There, Done That
I just read your e-mail letter and can I relate to you. I was also four years old when my mother joined Worldwide Church of God. She was maybe the 2000th person to receive the Plain Truth and literature published at that time. 1975 in Prophecy scared the daylights out of me. I was so afraid of doing anything wrong. The nightmares I had as a child still haunt me to this day. I often wonder who I would have become if I had not been raised in a cult. I am a good person, I've tried to live a good life but no matter how hard I tried there was always something missing. I know now that it was the GRACE that Christ provided for me but something I never experienced until I left Worldwide Church of God.
I write this with tears flowing down my face because I realize how much was wrong in my life. I am told not to be angry, hurt or upset and to get on with my life. If one of my loved ones had died or a mayor hurt had occurred in my life I would be allowed to grieve. Being part of a cult is a major hurt in your life, let me feel my pain, my anger and even my hate for what was put into my small mind at such a tender age.
I can understand why my mother bought into Herbert W. Armstrong's twisted thinking. She had several small children and she did not want them to be taken captive by the Germans who were going to invade the United States in the next major war. She wanted only to protect us and did what she felt was right. One has to go back in history and understand the times she was experiencing so we can have mercy on her and all the others who bought into this warped reasoning some forty three years ago.
To get over the hurt I try to dwell on the positive things that happened in my life. I did meet one wonderful man at the feast in the Pocono Mountains. We have been together for over thirty years and we have four grown children who do not hate us because of our former belief system. We have been able to teach them to use their minds and don't let anyone control them against their will. This goes for every walk of life not just religion. I have also made some lovely friends through the church, but so many of them are at such great distances. I need a friend, my own age, in my own community who I can go out with and have a simple cup of coffee. It is not so easy to get on with life once you have left a cult. It still feels like you don't belong, you don't fit, and no one understands what you have gone through. I feel as though I am from another planet or time zone. People in their fifties have their group of friends that time has nurtured and developed. They don't need this strange being that speaks almost a different language, whose mind seems a bit mixed up and confused. Where do we belong?
Today I did some deep house cleaning. I found some more of Herbert W. Armstrong's books. I thought that I had gotten rid of everything in 1997. I ripped the covers off; he sure made sure that those covers would not come off easy. I must apologize, I spit on his picture and threw everything in the garbage. Needless to say, I wish I could have thrown them in his face or taken him to trial for his wrong doing. I think I have nearly cleaned all the garbage out of our home. I thought I had gotten rid of everything two years ago but every once in awhile I find some more garbage. It sure feels good to have a clean home and I hope I will not uncover any more of his trash. Good riddance to the past, welcome to the future.
I am glad that you wrote your letter. As I read it I cried and felt the pain that I know you are going through and have lived in the past. I have walked in your moccasins and I want to take them off and throw them far far away. I never want to walk that walk again and I rejoice when I hear another sister or brother in Christ find FREEDOM from the cult control that we lived under. There is a new life out there, just let me catch my breath, wrap up my wounds so they can heal and then watch out because here I come. I don't know where my journey will take me but I do know it will be a lot more pleasant than the past has been.
Thanks so much for writing the words that I wanted to write but could not. Would love to hear from you again.
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