This is by far one of the hardest things to write about. The amount of information needed for anyone to get even a tiny dust speck of what my life was like being in a cult would frankly be somewhat impossible. I don’t think anyone would truly be able to understand unless they have been in a cult themselves but I want to at least try and shed some insight and tell my story…

Cutting a long story short, I didn’t choose to be in a cult. Nobody does. I was a kid (around 6 or 7 to be exact) and was just doing what I was told to do by those that should of known better. It’s a shame really… because if I had known what I knew now… I would of ran for the hills and never looked back… but how could I? I was just a kid. Where would I be running to exactly? It’s funny, because even as I write this, I still worry about what I should say and what would be best to leave out… and believe me… I have left a lot out! The only reason I managed to begin to ‘escape’ was because my mental health went into a complete and utter meltdown which basically left me hospitalised for 5 months and then shortly after, for a whole straight year. It cut me off from everyone and everything… including ‘them.’ Anyway, a few difficult years had passed and I was older and wiser or so I thought… but it still didn’t stop me from going back. There were 2 reasons I went back…

Armageddon
My childhood was full of images depicting armageddon and destruction.

The first and the greatest one was fear. I guess fear is one of the easiest ways to control and manipulate a bunch of people. I finally get that now. No one should ever have to live in a constant state of fear for their lives or for the lives of those they love. I openly admit, I lived in fear that the end of the world was coming at any given time. I was shown images that terrified me. I was shown the ‘prophecies’. It was constantly talked about during those meetings I had little choice but to attend. It was so bad at one point, even a thunder storm or a loud bang would send me into a full blown panic attack and it sadly still does at times. The other one was that I needed to see it for what it was and decide for myself. A cult is never gonna admit what it truly is. They will always discourage you and stop you from trying to find out the real truth. Going against anything they say and seeking your own answers is not allowed. I often remember all those sleepless nights I had, tossing and turning, wrapped up in my own guilt that I was bad, that I was wrong, that I was betraying those closest to me and what I had been taught for all those years. It weighed heavy on my shoulders that I shouldn’t be questioning things and that I was the problem, not them. They even had a name for people like me. With everything I was already trying to deal with and make sense of in my life, it was absolute hell. I was going against everything I believed in but at least I was finally starting to think for myself. Cults will always manage to distort the truth and twist your ways of thinking. I guess what makes it even harder is having nobody in the outside world to turn to. You might as well of spent your whole life growing up in a cocoon void of all reality, only having the one the cult chooses to drip feed you. It’s quite sad really.

Armageddon
Images like this will haunt me forever. No child should ever have to be indoctrinated like this.

Emotional manipulation prevents members from leaving and often leads them to surrender their entire lives to the organisation. I have spoken to people who say the only reason they stayed is solely because of family and friends and they would of lost all contact had they of left. Those that do find the strength to leave are often inadequately prepared for life and lack a support group that would normally be developed in a healthy upbringing. I know people that have been shunned by thier own family members due to being ‘disfellowshipped’ and even as a kid, I was given no choice but to shun the very people I would have called my friends. It was heartbreaking, seeing families being destroyed in front of my very eyes and not being able to do anything about it. You could see the hurt glisten in the eyes of those mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who couldn’t even get up and say hello or embrace their fellow family member because it would be going against the rules and they would also suffer the consequences. It was absolute nuts!

Some might ask… but how would you know that you are in a cult? Click here for a list of what to look out for… but bear in mind, if you had showed me this list 10 years ago… I probably would of refused to of even looked at it… it’s sad really… because I can tick every god damn box. (Not pun intended) It was pure cognitive dissonance.

c27b662f37594a17f6b0305ec3fa30be5ea47593-620-350-25-4-786-444
“Don’t drink the kool aid guys!”

When I look back on things, I’m glad that I was finally able to find the strength to leave and never go back. I found that life in the ‘real’ world was incredibly difficult. I felt like I didn’t belong in normal society. It was most definetly one of the most bravest and hardest things I’ve ever done and perhaps will ever do. Like many other ex-members, I suffered from depression and severe anxiety. A lot of damage has been caused but all I can do is keep moving forward. I will never, ever look back.

2 thoughts on “Escaping A Cult: I Will Never Look Back!

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