all the best,Kerry
Click here (However, the link may be stale.)
Hello and thanks for sharing your story here. I know from my own experience that leaving the cult is a process that is different for everyone and all our experiences are unique. As everyone else has said, just take care of yourself and do what feels comfortable. I joined the cult in 1975 when I was 26 years old and exited in 2005. 30 years in and now 17 years out. I was already feeling alienated by many things when I found this forum in early 2005 and did a deep dive into the many posts and exiting stories. I had been an "active" premie involved in raising money for M and the organization. So the main reason I decided to respond to your posts is that it made me realize something about my life today. It took a long time, many years, to finally be rid of lingering concepts and ideas that were from cult programming and not really from the core of me. It was as if, at 57 years old, I was still emotionally (and financially) in my 20s. What I am now realizing is the impact of the 30 stolen years on the course of my life. I had a bachelors degree from 1970, but left academia to go wandering and then joined the cult, became a single mom for 20 years. Spending all my extra money to travel to programs, I never saved anything or invested in myself. So from 2005 to 2017 I had a series of semi-decent jobs in nonprofit, accumulated credit card debt from going to programs, but never really pursued writing and studying which was a passion. In 2017 I moved and finally went back to school (in my late 60s), first getting an MFA in creative nonfiction (took 2 years) and then another MFA in poetry (another 2 years) and am currently half way through an Masters Degree in History program. When I complete this Masters I will be close to 75 years old and the inner me, if I was younger and healthier, would keep going to a PhD program and then teaching but I may be dead by then!! Haha. The point is that the 30 years given to rawat, both physically and financially, robbed me of 30 years that I can never get back. I am just so happy that I eventually found my inner curiosity about the world and about writing my thoughts about everything. One of the final "drips" that booted me out of the cult was my last event in spring of 2005 when I went to New York to a program and walked out half way through his " rant" after listening to him say, "Don't be curious," because I always thought curiosity was one of my best qualities. At that point I said to myself, "I don't really like M anymore." He was not someone I wanted to spend any more time with. It was like a veil fell away and I saw a mean little man and heard a room of zombies laughing at everything he said. It was weird. So anyway, hopefully you are young enough to have much of your life left to discover who you are and what you are attracted to and be able to follow that. These first steps away are just a beginning and you have a long and rich life ahead of you. Sounds like there are deep challenges in your particular situation, but I sense a strength in your words, and know you will be ok. As everyone else has said, this forum is here for you to come to for inspiration, help, and a place to vent if you need to. I have read here for long periods of time without posting but have had my spirit lifted by reading.
all the best,Kerry