Getting Through : Dealing
from Uncomfortably Numb - Monday, July 18, 2005
accessed 1606 times
I know that no one here has the answers. I just really need to rant for a bit or else I will freak. I need help. It’s midnight and I’m so confused and upset I can’t think straight. I need to know when this will all be over. Does it ever get better?
I have been out for seven years now. Seven fucking years. I have worked my ass off and built a life for myself. I have a 4.0 GPA, a decent job, a husband who loves me and numerous friends. Yet despite everything, it just gets worse. I don’t even know what is fucking with my head, it’s like I have a thick cloud around me that I can’t define. Most people would consider me a happy person. I laugh a lot and make friends easily but I can’t seem to get anything below the surface. I always feel like the outsider. Every time I see happy people and happy families I start to cry.
I have been seeing a therapist for a few years now. I have tried medication. I just don’t know what else I can do for myself. How much longer will I have to struggle? I don’t mean like I’m just sad, this goes much deeper than that. Every day I have to give myself a reason to live and I’m scared because I’m running out of reasons.
Apparently I am unable to have a close relationship with anyone. About six months ago I started losing my religion as well. I know most of you on this site lost yours when you left the family but I didn’t. I substituted it for another religion. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I was holding onto a dream to make myself feel better. It made me feel good to think that there was someone that loved me and had a plan for me. Over time I realized that there is no plan. I don’t know why I’m taking that news so hard. Most of you seem so comfortable with your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) but I just feel like someone I used to know real well has died. I’ve lost a part of me and I don’t know what to replace it with.
I applied for my gun permit on Friday. I think it will make me feel better just to know that I can have some control over my life. It’s not necessarily that I’m going to use it but I just need to know that I have an out. It can’t always be this hard. I am so sick of struggling. If I was a stupid dead-beat who didn’t work hard then I can understand why I have so many issues, but I’m not. I just don’t know what more I can do to stay in this rat race.
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Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 02:36
From someone who has also been out of TF for 7 years, worked at over 7 kinds of jobs, worked hard to earn a few diplomas and who has been seeing a therapist for almost a year now I think I understand at least a part of what your saying. - As sad as it sounds it makes me feel at least a notch less lonely hearing I’m not the only one who feels that despite having been out for this amount of time and putting the effort in, its still hard to feel “a part” of the rest of everything going on, like your still on “the outside” looking in. - Like “the world” (whatever that is) hasn’t yet given you a place, like your in limbo waiting to be assigned a voice, or an entity, something other than what our parents tried to tell us we were, but we’re not sure just what.
I’ve tried to explain to myself the reasons for this feeling. For want of a better explanation I am for now accepting one possible explanation that it is in a large part because TF taught us that we were “not of this world”, and “better than the evil systemites”, that regardless of what we tell ourselves to the contrary, there is a basic element (of memory of fantasy) that holds as truth on an subconscious level that we are “different” or “better” than the world, and this has affected how we have constructed our identities and perspective on “the world”.
Further, the way in which we have formed our perspective of the world our entire childhood has been forced through the coloured glasses of “group fantasy”, who, because they rejected of societal norms of behaviour, actually became the outcasts they imagined in fantasy that they were.
Firstly on the point of feeling as an outsider, although the feeling or thought does not go away immediately, for me I’ve found that looking at the possible cause for feeling or thinking that way seems to help me feel less contracted by those thoughts, and hopefully give me a bit of space to work with a thought or anxious feeling like that when it arises.
On the second point of being disillusioned with life, I’ve been through at least two times where I contemplated suicide. Again although this could be due to any number of causes (chemical imbalance, major trauma etc), I personally found that my deep seated unrest and want to give up seemed to originate from the elemental thought or feeling, taught in TF that “life was not worth living unless you were a slave for christ”. - Whether it was on a subconscious level guilt or anxiety I’m not sure but the more I realised that this dissatisfaction to life stemmed from the same “group fantasy” taught to me as a child, it became clear to me just how much TF wants you to feel dissatisfied with “normal life” - its what their group is constructed of, how they ensnare their members, and the only way in which they have any semblance of “power”.
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|from Rain Child|
Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 05:14
I have a little story for you. A few years ago, shortly after I had left TF, I was a wild party girl, and one morning, after clubbing all night high on ecstasy, We were all having a "recovery party" at a friends place. anyway, this girl pulls out these Tarot cards, and says, "now each of you are going to pick a card and I'm going to tell you your future." The cards were face down and I knew before I picked mine what it was. Death. I couldn't believe I'd known it with such certainty. Everyone looked a little horrified, especially when I said, "I knew it." But the girl explained that in Tarots death is not literal, but a complete change. A laying down of your life as you know it, and the begininng of something new. Turns out that card was absolutely right. Shortly after that I became pregnant and my entire world was turned on its head. I have not been near a nightclub or a drug since then, in fact, nothing in my life bears any similarity to my life then. I now have a precious three-year-old reason to get up in the morning. My life has definitely been hell, but a part of it is heaven. That part is my hope for the future and my little boy. What I'm thinking is that maybe what your heart is trying to tell you is not that you literally need to end it all- but perhaps you need a spiritual death -or a death to the way you've been living and thinking-so that you can be free to find the real you. This could all be gobbledygook, feel free to completely ignore me. But don't ignore yourself. Your psyche is trying to get through. Take some time alone. Put off all your responsibilities and find out what is really worth living for. Believe me, it's there. DON'T GIVE UP!
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Thursday, July 21, 2005 - 18:09
I don't mean to sound cold. I go through the same thing all the time but it's getting better. Two things:
1. Loose your faith if it means abandoning Christianity or any other religion. Don't partake of something that consumes you from the inside. Believe if what your heart tells you. Don't believe what some group of people tell you.
2. Don't get a gun. What will is help? It's just an open window for trouble to find it's way in. Watch Bowling for Columbine. I may not always agree with Michael Moore but I've seen the damage guns do to our society.
Be careful and don't let shit get to you. Water off a duck's back sister. Water off a duck's back.
Much love. Safe. Respect.
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|from Sir Rantalot|
Thursday, July 21, 2005 - 10:36
Heimat haben ist gut,
Süß der Schlummer unter eigenem Dach,
Kinder, Garten und Hund. Aber ach,
Kaum hast du vom letzten, Wandern geruht,
Geht dir die Ferne mit neuer Verlockung nach.
Besser ist Heimweh leiden
Und unter den hohen Sternen allein
Mit seiner Sehnsucht sein.
Haben und rasten kann nur der,
Dessen Herz gelassen schlägt,
Während der Wandrer Mühsal und Reisebeschwer
In immer getäuschter Hoffnung trägt.
Leichter wahrlich ist alle Wanderqual,
Leichter als Friedefinden im Heimattal,
Wo in heimischer Freuden und Sorgen Kreis
Nur der Weise sein Glück zu bauen weiß.
Mir ist besser, zu suchen und nie zu finden,
Statt mich eng und warm an das Nahe zu binden,
Denn auch im Glücke kann ich auf Erden
Doch nur ein Gast und niemals ein Bürger werden.
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| From jack420|
Thursday, July 21, 2005, 18:06
Are good, sweet of the Schlummer under own roof, children, garden and dog have homeland. But oh, hardly you rested from the latter, moving, follow to you the distance with new temptation. Is better homesickness suffer and under the high stars alone with its longing its. Credit and to rest can only that, whose heart strikes calmly, while the Wandrer Muehsal and travelweight in hope always deceived carries. All moving agony, lighter than peace finding is more easily true in the homeland valley, where in domestic joys and concerns circle knows only for the way its luck to build. Me is better to search and never find to bind place me closely and warmly to the close because also in the Gluecke I can become never on ground connection nevertheless only one guest and a citizen. Hessian(reply to this comment)
| From Sir Rantalot|
Friday, July 22, 2005, 03:31
Home is good
Sweet is the sleep under ones’ own roof
Family, garden and dog.
But as soon as you have rested from your latest journey
The far-off places haunt you with new flatteries.
It is better to feel homesick
Under the stars, alone
To rest with your restless nostalgia.
To have and to rest
Is for those of a tranquil heart alone.
While the wanderer with deluded hope
Bears fatigue and difficulty.
Indeed the torment of going away
Is lighter than finding peace
In the homeland valley,
Where with it’s daily preoccupations and comforts
Only the wise can find his success.
As for me, I wish to search and never find,
Than to bind myself
Close and warm, to things around me
For even in good fortune, on this earth I am
A guest, never a citizen.(reply to this comment)
Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 10:06
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|from don't give up!|
Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 09:23
"Morning, come quickly" by Wanda Karrika
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|from I understand|
Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 20:45
All I can say is “don’t give up.” I also left seven years ago, and ever since I feel like my life has been a nonstop rush to some undefined destination. I’ve been trying to forget, to erase, to rebuild my life. And yes, I have had “success.” I graduated magna cum laude from college, went to grad school on a fellowship, and I have plenty of job prospects. But I never stopped to think about what I was doing. I just wanted to get as far away from my past by working my a#$% off. I’ve been afraid to stop working, but it’s killing me. Sometimes, I’m so tired I don’t know how I keep going. BUT I do hope that all my work will eventually pay off. I want to devote my professional career to something that I care about--a good "cause"--in a way it will be like a new religion...something WORTH live for.
(reply to this comment)
Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 20:18
I don't know that I don't go a month without hitting a true depression, and recently it seems to have gotten worse. I hit a point where I have absolutely no desire to communicate, to do anything, to apply myself to anything. At those times my children are the only thing that pull me through and force me to not give up and call it quits, but it's truly starting to scare me and I've often wondered if I need to see someone about it. I have some wonderful people in my life whom I know truly care about me, and I'm not stupid, but I feel very frustrated and overall let-down.
I wonder if some of it also has to do with being raised in such a high-accomplisment oriented society, that moving into secular society where you don't have to be so driven, nor do you live with this constant delusion that you're part of a 'chosen group' takes away some of the excitement your life may have previously had, no matter how false or group-generated that excitement was. We lived in constant fear of the authorities, the devil, the bad spirits, persecution, the ET, the AC, and we thought we were chosen to overcome the world and rein it one day, some sort of fairy-tale straight out of a book. But to wake up to the facts of life can be a rude-awakening.
Slowing down has been hard, I find it very hard to just sit in the garden for a few hours reading a book, to spend an entire day playing games with my kids. Next month I will have no work, and I am totally worried about money, but I've promised to take it easy, to focus on home-life, to be there with my kids, doing whatever we find to do together.
Anyway, my comment doesn't make much sense I know, but if all else fails, remember your children, they need you and they will always be a piece of you. If you left them you would kill a part of their spirits.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 18:42
[Removed at author's request]
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| From Uncomfortably Numb|
Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 21:35
First of all, I appreciate everyone's comments. I've been reading them and it is nice to know that other people have gone through similar things. I actually don't have any children of my own. I have siblings that I care for but they aren't my own. I have been trying to detach from everything that is reliant on me (i.e. my siblings, husband etc.) because I don't want it to be difficult for them. I think it's great that all those with children are able to give them the life you should have had. Children deserve every happiness.
My coping mechanism of choice is just not dealing with it. I shrug it off and laugh because I don't want to upset anyone and I don't want to look like I'm looking for attention. Golden Mic I actually have been trying to get in touch with my past and I find that it has been more difficult as a result. Do you find that that is something that happens initially and then it gets better? The only thing that works is cutting. It's a good thing I post anonymously because people tend to freak when I talk about that. It is the only way that I can make it through the day. It is the wierdest thing--when I feel like I am going to explode a silly little cut will give me the strength to laugh and smile. I don't know why that is. The only downside is that it's summer and I can't wear shorts. Anyway, I don't mean to be depressing. Sorry. (reply to this comment)
| From GoldenMic|
Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 23:57
Hi U-Numb, My experience, and that of most of my friends who have taken this road to self-improvement, is that the process certainly does start out feeling worse before it gets better. Not only that, but there are times along the way where it feels that the worst thing of all is all this work. However, almost all of my friends and I agree, in the long run it has been the greatest and most difficult and most liberating experience we have had. For all the pain and the horror of remembering, and for all of the people that attempt to convince you that you're just wallowing in it and should move on, the way through has invariably been through, not going around or running away.
I will tell you though, doing this work on your own is relatively dangerous, since such opening up is frightening and makes a person feel extremely isolated at times; support seems very necessary. With adequate support and people around that know what you're going through, and the assistance of true experts, it is really worth it. Also, frankly, even though I am a licensed therapist of 20 years, I have found that most (not all) therapists generally spend all their time wanting you to teach them about your cult experience, or they just can't believe you aren't exaggerating. Only counselors who have been there, actually been in cults or worked with many cult victims, seem to be any real help in this particular aspect of therapy. That is, counselors can help a lot in many areas, but when it comes to specifically dealing with the cult experience, it appears that cult specialists, particularly ex-culties, really make a big difference. Cult literature also helps, and I cannot say enough about the value of the conferences and the workshops. It has been amazing what a difference this has made in my life, and in the life of many dozens of fellow survivors.
One other thing, I know this website sometimes seems filled with pettiness, profanity, and mean-spiritedness but I strongly recommend you keep on coming back here, speaking of your feelings as honestly and openly as you dare. Ignore the smart-alecks (or even try to appreciate and celebrate their newfound right to be such smart-asses now that they're free from cult domination) and keep on writing. For every demeaning and insulting comment I have received here, even as a sometimes-unwelcome outsider from another cult, I continue to be amazed at the warmth and the support that dominates. If you keep it real and don't start preaching, which you seem very unlikely to do, you will find dozens of people willing to meet you right where you are, with caring and open reactions, advise, and the sense that you are not alone, just as has happened with your comments here.(reply to this comment)
| From gragon|
Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 11:30
Actually, there would be no regret in death for her, it's over! The only thing that keeps me from making that plunge is knowing that while death is what I want, and IMO would be most desireable for me, the torture that I would cause to others would be such that it would be inexplicibly cruel to give my pain out ten fold. While I would fall into forever peace those that I have left behind will take on my pain plus the guilt of not being able to have alleviated mine.
After Ricky's death I did start dealing with my issues, and I have noticed that they have felt much worse. I hadn't even thought about suicide for a while. The other night I wanted death more than anything else. I also wondered if they are going to continue to get worse now or if they will get better. I'm hoping for the latter.
It's amazing how while in extreme depression you forget the impact that you do have on others. You don't think anyone will actually miss you or care. Hearing of the many suicides as of late has helped to change that prespective. They have been people that I maybe only knew for a short time, perhaps years ago, and yet I feel an extreme sense of loss knowing of their departure. Just read xchrisl's posting today and I cried. I didn't know Sam but I knew Josh and Tim even better. While Tim did not take his life I am still grieving at the horrendous loss for him and his family. It seems that everytime I hear of someone else gone they take a little bit of me with them.
My line of work has a slight tinge of danger to it and I get cut and banged up all the time. One of my friends asked me the other day why I was always showing off my new wounds. Had to think about it for a while as I wasn't actually sure. The best thing that I could come up with was that physical pain is maybe the one thing that I know. It is the one thing that when I feel it I can brush it off. Feeling pain makes me not feel so weak and helpless because I know that I can handle it so much better than anyone I know. In that way pain is almost euphoric.
I have been rambling, probably not much of a help, except maybe to know that you are not alone. (reply to this comment)
| From thinker711|
Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 14:24
You are correct about the externalities of suicide. While the one who commits suicide may be at rest (I say “may” because I do not know), those who are left behind are left with incredible pain, guilt, sorrow and anger. Losing a loved one is always a painful experience, but knowing that it was by choice makes it so much harder on those who are left. My brother took his live five years ago. Since then, I have lost another brother and a close friend (both accidental deaths). However, it was much more difficult to deal with the suicide than the other deaths. After my brother died I felt that I was partly responsible for not seeing it coming. I was angry at him for being so selfish. His suffering was gone, but he left his family is pain and confusion.
I sincerely hope that you do not take your life. I hope that your life will take a turn for the better. I cannot offer you specific advice about how to conqueror your demons (not that you expect such advise from me). But I am sure that there are people who love you and would be irreversibly hurt if you did end your life. I will keep you in my thoughts and wish you the best.
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| From gragon|
Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 15:47
I'm sorry to hear about your brothers and friend. It seems that not only suicide but just death in general are not easy for me these days. I had a cousin commit suicide, never in TF, a few of years ago and I thought that was when I was able to put those demons to rest. What I frustrating is that I have been out for over 9 years now and all of a sudden this pops up again.
I think the catalyst for it all has been having way too many triggers lately due to opening up all those "little boxes" I've kept stored. Never the same one so I can't desensitize myself to it. I never know when or where the next one will come, how long it will last or what I may do during that time frame. It can be something as simple as smelling or tasting something, and then the wave comes crashing. I just want to be past this point. I am not making any kind of plans, or actively seeking it, it is seeking me and I'm trying to avoid it. For the most part mainly just venting. Sometimes being able to talk to someone who won't pass judgement on you for it helps with some of that.
I did not come here looking for some sort of answer. I am a firm believer that everyone needs to come to their own answers on life, simply following someone else's faith...well, we all know where that leads. (reply to this comment)
Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:18
One path that may have value for you is to "lean in" to your cult experience. That is, after years and years of trying to get over it, trying to ignore it (and being a suicidal mess despite having obtained a college degree, raising two children, and having a successful business), I finally started about four years ago to analyze and try to understand the meaning of my cult past. I started attending the excellent conferences of the International Cultic Studies Association (formerly the AFF), meeting many others who had been in and studied cults, and I have gone for four years in a row to the Cult Survivor's Workshop the ICSA puts on each year. I have also spent the last four years getting a Ph.D. that allowed me to study and write about cults, including my almost-completed dissertation called "Cult Wounds; Cult Healing".
This work has allowed me to come into contact with many other cult survivor's, something I would have abhorred a few years ago, and yet, I have found a sense of peace and personal power as a result. Further, I have conducted six Survivor workshops for fellow exCulties from the cult of my past, Isot, and almost all the participants have stated that they, too, found major relief from the process.
Anyway, that's what has been working for me, and I have actually woken up most mornings in the last three years without wanting to end it all. In fact, I am even starting to truly enjoy living!
Hey, if you are interested, the people who have attended the workshops I set up have periodically asked to donate money, and since this is a work of the heart, I have set aside all such donations for fellow survivors to use as scholarships for the ICSA's workshops. If you need some help in the fee for the workshops, I can probably help.
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|from My goal is to encourage.|
Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 09:24
It’s sad to see someone want to end their life but I can identify with you completely. I’ve been out of TF for about 6 years now. I don’t have it that easy but I’m better off than a lot of people I know and yet, I’m still “miserable”. For the last few years, I can’t remember a single week when I didn’t think about wanting to die. Why is it so hard to be happy? I don’t know if this is going to help you at all but I’ve answered this question to myself with the following:
We grew up believing that there was a reason we were put on earth. We grew up thinking there was a great calling for each of us, we were told over and over and again that there was a meaning to it all, it was ingrained in our brains from a very young age (in my case, since I was born). We finally grew up and realized that the “meaning, calling, silver lining, etc.” that we grew up believing is most definitely not achieved by being in TF. We decided to go our own ways and find our own calling. The problem now is this: We may have changed our path in life (because we didn’t agree with being in TF should be our reason to live) but we still believe that there is a meaning to it all. We still vigorously try and find this meaning to life. On the other hand, most normal people (forgive my generalization) don’t feel so strongly about there being an answer to everything. They follow the masses and go about their lives without ever really feeling that they are missing out on this “calling”. They were programmed to be happier at a lower happiness level (think boiling and freezing point here) than we were. We can and have achieved many of the things that make them happy on a physical and emotional level but still feel frustrated because we feel there should be more. As a result, we feel we can’t be completely happy until we find this “calling” and we tend to be pretty miserable.
My result is this, find something you love doing (a hobby, a sport, a subject you like, etc…) and just get completely involved in it. Study about it, research it, find out everything you can about it, do it all the time and make it your reason to wake up every morning. Make it your “passion” (which I translate into TF terms as “calling”). I think once you find something that you love and just start to develop it, you’ll find that the meaning to life can be a lot simpler than you’ve always thought. You may find happiness where you didn’t realize that there could be. And you have children? If you can’t live your dreams, encourage them to live theirs, and through helping them achieve happiness you can be happy.
I hope this helps, if not, I’m sorry. Just remember though, that there are millions or even billions of people who would give anything to have what you have, and they would be happy with it. There are so many people who would be “in heaven” if they could achieve what you have achieved. We should all be proud of ourselves; we’ve done so much with the little that was given to us.
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| From WOW|
Friday, July 22, 2005, 15:28
I think the above comment just saved my life. I'm posting anonymously because many people on here know me and I don't seem to be the type who's depressed and/or suicidal. I'm not exactly successful, and am sort of struggling to get by. But my depression/suicide oriented thoughts don't stem from either of those sources. I think you may have nailed the root of the burning question that seems to daily consume me whether I think about it or not.
It's not like I'm afraid to fail, far from it, but feel as though I have to excel at anything and everything I do to try and 'prove' something to someone. Who I'm trying to achieve for however eludes me. I have friends and family who are out and I think they would all agree quickly when describing me as well adjusted, but it's all on the surface. And yes, it has been getting worse. I've had bouts of insomnia off and on for the last few years, but never as bad as it has been for me these last few weeks. I don't know what it is, but the longer I lay in bed awake, I find myself contemplating more ways to kill myself and trying to find a way to ease the pain of those who I know care for me who I'll leave behind. Ultimately, they're the only reason I haven't had the 'courage' to actually go for it. I'm not one to attempt suicide (I think). If I'm going to do it, then fuck it, I'm going all the way.
Deep down, I think that if I do end it all, they (TF) win. If I do (kill myself) then it looks as though they succeeded in sucking the life force out of me to the point that I was unable to find myself despite my having left at the age of 17.
It isn't much, but it's what I have that keeps me from losing my sanity and my grip on my on little reality; my pride. I refuse to let them defeat me and as such, if I die, it won't be until I've found a reason to be me in this insane life of ours in a way that makes me happy. I don't know if that can be described as keeping it together, but that's what's been 'working' so far for me.(reply to this comment)
|from I hear you|
Monday, July 18, 2005 - 22:52
I lost my religion quite a while ago, and it hurt like hell. I was still in the Family then too, and made a few good attempts to "resave" myself, but it didn't work.
I wish I had some advice to give you, but it sounds like we have a lot of the same problems. The only solution I've found is alcohol. I'm fine alone, but I can't be around normal people without something in my system.
You said you've talked to a therapist, was that ANY help? I was thinking of trying to do that myself, but I don't like talking to systemites.
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