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Getting Through : Dealing


from daydreamer - Wednesday, June 20, 2007
accessed 788 times

This was originally going to be a comment on Bluesky’s article “Can I ever belong??” but it turned into quite a long rant. So I am posting as a separate article.

I feel I am finally in the frame of mind to be able express myself on this site; it’s been a long time coming.

Like a lot of people on here I’m sure, I have also felt like I didn't belong anywhere for a very long time. I felt the same way when I was in TF. I know I'm not an unattractive person, but I have never been a small girl and didn't get much attention in the TF from anyone. I always felt that if you weren't sexy by TF standards you were made to feel pretty much worthless.

When I left and went to public school at the age of 15, I certainly didn’t fit in with any crowd or type of people especially since it was junior high, and because I was extremely shy and had such low self esteem. Not to mention I didn’t have cool clothes and hadn’t seen any of the TV shows or movies or listened to any music that kids my age where all into. I eventually did make some friends in high school but even then I always felt as if I was an outsider, I played it off like I didn’t care but all I ever wanted is too feel like a belonged. I was envious of my friends that had lived in the same area I lived their entire lives and grew up with all the people around, and the same background in pop culture that I was clueless about. I sometimes opened up about my past a bit, but my friends just thought it was cool that I got to travel so much growing up.

After many years of living in regular society I am finally starting to feel like a ‘normal’ person and discover my self worth. I finally feel like I deserve respect, and demand to be treated as such. For so many years I have shied away from confrontation, I used to let people push me around and walk all over me, but no more! I have pulled my self up off the floor and ready to face life and whatever and whomever it throws at me. I have no more room in my life for people that thrive on creating drama want to and drag me down to that level with them.

Or course I don’t assume that all of the damage that has been done from the years of physiological and physical abuse has just disappeared. Every so often I run into something or someone says something that triggers a memory from TF and it hits me like ton of bricks. Like a while ago I was out for a friend’s birthday at a Karaoke bar, and some random couple decided it was a good idea to sing “la Bamba”. It took everything I had to stay in my seat and not reach over and choke both of them or at least run out of the bar screaming (I was made to perform that song on the streets as a young child, as I’m sure many of us where) but I remained calm and when it was over I went back to having a great time with my friends.

All of this is to say that I think there is life after TF and it is possible to become a healthy happy person. TF says over and over again that you have to forgive and forget our abusers, I completely disagree with that, I think the key though is not to forgive and forget but to accept that it happened and that there is nothing you can do to change the past. There is, however something we can do change our future, and that is live our lives. If we stop living and enjoying life because of what has happened to us, our childhoods or even adult years lost, we are the one robbing our selves of our futures.I know I lot of people are tying to very hard to bring the people responsible for the horrible crimes we were all subjected to at some point or another (whether we chose to admit it or not, and some a lot worse than others, and by others I mean me, I know), to justice and I completely and fully support their efforts! There is nothing I would love more than to see all the disgusting, psychotic, pedophiles rot in jail for the rest of their lives, but please don’t let it consume your lives. Get out every once in while and enjoy yourselves. What good is freedom if we don’t use it!

Reader's comments on this article

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from rainy
Friday, June 22, 2007 - 04:32

I feel like I know you. I certainly know where you're coming from, and admire how young you left and how far you've come.
(reply to this comment)
from madly
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 20:39

Nicely said and rightly spoken. I have stated similar thoughts in a previous article about my feelings on “living our lives”, explaining… meh… too much work to say it all over again. I will just C&P it here for you. :)

“I may feel broke inside, but I won’t admit; even though, I know that the reality of my given strength lies within my brokenness, which has inevitably made me strong. It is all in me and is all the same, strength from brokenness; a simple part of who I am and what my life has made me. I must learn to not be ashamed, but to accept it as a gift that has made me thus; knowing that if it had not been mine, I would not be me.

I have since moved on and have learned that I have to let it all go, all the hate, bitterness, anger, fear, resentment, in order to not waste the rest of my life. They took 18 years from me and they will not get anymore. They don’t deserve it and I am not their property that they can torment with their memory. If I dwell on my past; I am giving them my future and how does this make sense or benefit me in anyway? You cannot move forward, while looking back and you cannot grab onto something new while holding on to something old.

I had to let it go, bury it, and let it die. It may haunt me now and again, but it is only a ghost. They should see me now, how strong they made me. It would make them cry to see how they failed in breaking me. By me living a happy and beautiful life is the best way I could ever get back at them. How could my being miserable, hurt anyone but me: thus, proving them right about how I would fail and how unhappy my life would be? They were wrong, my life is beautiful and they can have no part of that now. “
(reply to this comment)

From Crazy cat lady
Thursday, June 21, 2007, 10:13


Ok, but this is what scares me: I have not been out of TF very long (3-4 yrs) and i believe i have done well for myself, i have a good job, my own flat and, while there is never enough money, i do have enough to get by and most of the time i am quite happy. The thing that gets me down is the fact that i have NO friends (I know a couple other exers in the area, but they dont really count as far as making me feel "normal"). I have plenty of aquaintences at work and a couple girls i might go out with for a drink once in a while (not to frequently cuz then it gets awkward... I am not comfortable with telling the truth, and i hate having to fabricate things and am worried i will let myself slip and out the whole thing comes... i dont want my past whispered about over the water cooler) but i dont have any real friends whom i feel comfortable with. I used to have plenty in TF but after i left things went sour, and sometimes i just wonder if i am just not normal. I mean, there are losers in "the system" too... old cat ladies and internet creeps, and i sometimes wonder if thats what i will end up as, someone who dies and isnt found till the rent is due.

Anyways, i am sorta rambling here, but what i am trying to say is, what if it has nothing to do with TF and my upbringing... this not being able to relate. If it was i would feel better, because it would have been the result of something outside of my control. What realy scares me is, what if thats just the way I am, someone who will never belong, and its nothing to do with the way i was raised its just part of me. Argh.

K, i have had my moan now... can anyone relate?(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Friday, June 22, 2007, 07:47


Not to undermine any of the fine views and emotional perspectives that have been given so far, but I think sometimes we need to take a pragmatic view on the situation. The kind of friendships you talk about not having are the sort that are very often forged during either childhood or university, on reaching adulthood it typically takes rather extraordinary circumstances to forge the type of friendship that you refer to - and even in those instances, they will very often be built on a shared heritage or experience (such as being from the same school, town, etc).

Ruling out these factors, I would say that I have a broadly comparable network of friends to the majority of my friends and colleagues. Like you, I wouldn't consider any of them to be 'close' friends, but then again why should I? So, I work with them, or I socialise with them, or whatever the context of my relationship, but what is the impetus to take it to the next level - on either of our parts?

So often when I hear comments like this from ex-members I wonder if they have a somewhat unrealistic notion of what that sort of friendship is, and how rare in fact it is. I also wonder if they might be missing the obvious source of such solid friendships - those who have been through the same (and incidentally the same ones who they are entrusting with their concern).

To varying degrees, and for myriad reasons, many ex-members choose to insulate themselves from their peers - something which often proves beneficial in allowing them to forge their own identity and even circles of friends. But not recognising that by doing so they are also cutting themselves off from relationships that have been forged through extraordinary circumstances, and often over many years. Although new friendships and relationships can be forged, it's almost impossible to replicate that sort of relationship, and so it isn't too realistic expecting to find that sort of friend "ready-made", as it were.

Anyhow, I know this was rather rambling, and I've probably not phrased it the best, but just some thoughts on the matter.(reply to this comment

From daydreamer
Friday, June 22, 2007, 11:39


While I agree with a lot of what you've said Ne Oublie, I don't think this is always nessisarly the case. From my personal experiance people change thier close friends many times over in their lives and often end up 'best friends' with people they would never accociate with a few years previous.

Friendships can be forged under the most unusual cirucumstances. I am cirtianly no expert in this subject and have spent quite a few years with no friends at all, but I have found that a lot of people, espcialy people who live in large citys are very lonely, no matter what background they've come from. True freinds are very hard to find for everyone. People are drawn to other people that have similar experiances as themselves, that is true, but from what I've seen it is not a requirement for close friendship.

Having confedence and a sense of humor is a huge (reply to this comment

From daydreamer
Friday, June 22, 2007, 11:46


I pressed submit by accident! I wasn’t finished typing nor did spell check my comment so please excuse the many errors.

I was saying that .. Having confidence and a sense of humour is a huge help in meeting new people and making friends, as well as having similar tastes and interests.

I know that lots of people are very cliquish and don't easily welcome new-comers, but there are decent people out there that you can have meaningful friendships with you just have look long hard to find them.(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Friday, June 22, 2007, 16:38

Ok, my browser froze, so I'm having to start again, shame as now I've lost my train of thought...
I don't think that what we're saying is necessarily contradictory, daydreamer. Yes, people do form new friendships throughout their lives, but in my experience (of my non-exer friends) the vast majority are begun in the conditions I described.
You touched on the point of many people in big cities being lonely, I would attribute this to exactly that reason - the very nature of cities is the transience of their populations, people move to them to build new lives, typically centred around their career meaning that the move is made as an individual, rather than accompanied by friends.
There are all sorts of people, some make friends easily and quickly, some seldom make close friendships, and yes, some close themselves off entirely to new friends. It is a recognition of that which prompted my comment that some people may have an unrealistic concept of what 'real friendships' are, being influenced by the kind of friends in books or films creating somewhat of an idyll that is seldom, if ever, a reality.(reply to this comment
From madly
Thursday, June 21, 2007, 11:49

Well, in these situations, I believe you must find comfort in knowing that you will always have your cats. :P Okay, sorry, bad joke.

Seriously though, I have a theory on why so many of us feel this way. Not to belittle or underestimate the effects our past has had on our lives, the damage it has caused us, etc, but the main issue, as I see it, is how we view ourselves. We tend to forget that most people in this world deal with similar issues regarding feelings of inadequacy, not fitting in, unable to form deep friendships, and a lack a sense of belonging.

I think inevitably we believe ourselves to be very special and although our situation was unique and special in a sense, it does not make us a different bread of human. People that were not born into our cult have also had their own hardships they have had to face that would make them feel like the outsider in the very same way we do. A person who was sexually abused growing up, a foster child, a person from a foreign third world country moving to a brand new way of life, people with disabilities or deformities and the list could go on forever proving that we are hardly the only ones who feel this way. Who is to say that anyone ever really feels a sense of belonging?

It is how we view ourselves that matters. If you see yourself as a “cult freak”, subconsciously, you will believe that others view you in this way and they just might. If you walk around feeling like a freak, people will perceive you as such, but it is your fault, not theirs. If you have a chip on your shoulder about how no one will ever understand you or your past, then you are inevitably not letting anyone get close enough, only fulfilling your deep seated anxieties that you have about yourself. In the same way if you feel comfortable with yourself, at ease and you know you have a lot to offer in a friendship, then you will attract people to your confidence. It is all about you… feel attractive and you will be seen that way, walk with your head up and people will take notice, hide away for fear of rejection and no one will even notice you are there. You are the one that will reflect a mirror of what you feel, you are, right back at yourself.

Unfortunately, so many of us only see the damage and we feel forever different and uncomfortable with ourselves. We don’t know how to be normal, but forget that normal doesn’t exist. We must learn to be comfortable in our own skin. We must learn that most others often feel the way we do and although our lives may have been unique, we all share similar feelings. We can relate with others, who don’t share our exact past in a lot more ways than we realize. The heart of human nature will always be the same and in that sense, we all belong. Is it just you, you ask, or is it your past? It comes from having a past such as ours, yes, but I believe that it is how you view yourself that matters now. It is about who you are now, not what you were or what you came from…only now is a part of now, so let the past be where it belongs, in your past.
I don’t know if this will help you, but it is just how I see it.(reply to this comment
from moon beam
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 15:10

Beautifully said dreamer
Adjusting to who you are is far better than trying to be 'normal'.
(reply to this comment)

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