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Getting Out : Generations

I've certainly found counselling to have helped me.

from cathy - Friday, January 30, 2004
accessed 1203 times

I've had quite a bit of counselling to help get over my experiences in the Family, and have found it to be really helpful. So much that I am now training to become a counsellor myself.

I want one day to specialize in counseling ex-members, as I am an ex-member myself and see that there is such a need for people in this field. Most counselors have no idea about how these groups work, and although they can be sympathetic up to a point, they don't always understand about the psychology that these groups use to manipulate, control and exploit!

Going to a counselor/therapist who is not experienced in these things, can still be helpful though as one can still get some support and understanding provided that you are still allowed to remain in control and learn to become autonomous. Just having someone there for you, to listen and to be with you as you explore your own options can really help! -Being around people who have never been in the cult can also really help one to learn to integrate into normal society again although at first this can feel really strange and is difficult, as the Family culture is so different and just weird! I know this from my own experience!! It does get better with time though!

Anyway, if there's anyway that I could be of help to anyone here, just by being a listening ear, I'd be happy to. Note, I am of your parent's generation (aged 46/7) was in the family for 20 yrs (1975-1995), and have had 8 kids, most of whom have left the family! -I only wish that I could turn the clock back in some way, and that I hadn't subjected my kids to the abuse that they went through in the group. But thankfully I was able to make the choice to leave and take most of them with me, and I've been trying to give them a better life ever since! I understand that a lot of people would be quite pissed off at my generation (and rightfully so in the majority of cases!!) -My own kids have often expressed their anger and disgust at me for letting them grow up in the Family, and I really do understand that! I'm so glad that there is a site like this one to offer understanding and support, and that so many young people are deciding to leave the family and decide how their lives should be for themselves!

Some of my kids have had counseling, and some found it helpful and some not. -They rather prefer not to talk about the Family and their experiences in it, and perhaps are not yet ready to want to deal with that part of their lives yet, and I think that's OK! -They are now free to choose what to do for themselves, even whether or not they think that they need counseling etc.

As a parent I've had to learn a lot! I was out of the cult yes, but it's taken a while to get the cult out of me, and I most probably still have some things there left over from it, ugh!

Visiting this site really encourages me and helps me to get rid of some of the guilt that I feel when I see how people can recover and get on with their lives again in spite of the bad that's happened to them. I've apologized to my kids so many times and still feel bad for the things that happened to them, and some of them have told me that it's now all in the past, and that they're thankful that they're now free to choose their own lives. There's hope, and it encourages me that there are now more and more people who are leaving the Family!

Anyway, just wanted to write and get things off my chest!

-Sincerely, Cathy!

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from sim44
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 07:51

I am 51 years old, spent 30 years in the Family. I finally figured out at the end of 2001, that being FM was not the answer, either. Now I have two teens who have left the family, my daughter is anorexic and has been hospitalized 9 times. Trying to make her mom pay by trying to destroy herself, but mom doesn't care, doesn't see it. Everything is rationalized in the cult. Nothing is her fault and that keeps the rage burning in my daughter. My son is also on prozac for mood disorder. I still have 4 kids being molded in the image of the cult. It's no fun at all. As soon as I am able I will try to "rescue" the other kids, but it's not an easy road. Anyone with experience helping young teens to find their way in the world without the cult, I would appreciate hearing from you.
(reply to this comment)
from cyborcosmic
Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 05:40

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

You are right, with time things do get better because you make your own choices and experience your life in your own way. Still I can say that it is one big adjustment. So much trust is needed to know that you will be ok in the world you learned to fear. It takes so much trust to know that you will not be taken for a freak show when you express your feelings to someone who has no idea what you experienced. I think the fear of expressing emotion to a counceller is caused by the fear of me not being understood by them. A therapist I went to after a death in the family (a very emotional time for me) just didn't show Empathy towards my past. It was like I was talking about another planet and all she could do was picture the outer surface in her mind with no idea of all the deeper issues. Councelling only goes so deep, I know!On the other hand, It did help me to release all the emotions, like the guilt, the shame, all the mixed up emotions coming out and become more aware about all these things inside of me.

I am glad that you are open and honest enough towards yourself to let your children express what they are feeling towards you. This is so important for them, to be heard and acknowledged by be treated like they actually matter. Not everyone in the Family treated us like we were worth any attention, sometimes we just need to be listened to. And it takes trust, trust, trust! This part takes time.
(reply to this comment)

From farmer
Tuesday, February 03, 2004, 15:16

It's painful to read that, not being worth any attention...TF
published huge amounts of lit (often reprints...summmaries etc.
of experts in such matters) on how to listen to people, how to treat others, to win friends & all the rest, not to speak of the cildcare-lit. & yet they failed to listen to the second generation with empathy...I guess as FGAs we always had a "drawer" where we put the behaviour of someone, in or out of TF, some verse, some quote...some label...seldom it was: I understand how you feel, something uplifting or some apology, to show how human we all are...I assume, TF was disgusted with
adults & teens alike, who didn't see, how "wonderful" their
lifestyle is, so either they became harsh with them like the teens or they lost interest in them, the so called sheep (outsiders)mutated into a goat.(reply to this comment
from frmrjoyish
Monday, February 02, 2004 - 22:08


I went to a counselor years ago after a boyfriend died in an accident. I quit going after a few weeks since it didn't seem to be helping. I now realize that I was looking for the counselor to say the "magic words" to make all the pain go away..needles to say, that didn't happen.

I went through some pretty bad stuff in TF but I don't think I could ever talk to a counselor about it. Someone who was never in TF would never understand, and someone who was,'d be to weird for me. It's nice, though, to see an FGA who actually has regrets and is doing something about them. What I wouldn't give for my parents to say, "I'm sorry! I understand what I allowed to happen to you and I'm so sorry. I get it." Yeah right! That'll be the day!
(reply to this comment)

From farmer
Tuesday, February 03, 2004, 15:33

I sincerely hope for you, that you'll see that day & may it rather be sooner than know, when adults think, that
they're mighty idealistic, then it comes like a super shock to find out, you actually followed quite a lot of rubbish.It takes
a good amount of courage, to confess that, to ask to be looks for many to be easier to pass the buck & blame the other side, the SGAs or whomever...but I assume that
plenty in TF (or even out!!?) are still floating around in some
dreamworld, sound asleep, not wanting to be woken up, as reality could come as a "cold" shock, so they go on in their
routines, thinking to serve the world etc.So the question would
be in the case of your parents: when are they ready to be woken
up...I presume, there is a perfect there was for me...before that I couldn't be confused with the facts.Wish you
all the best!!!(reply to this comment

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