2. I am an ex-member. How can you
After leaving a group, ex-members often want to talk with someone about what is happening to them and how they are adjusting to life outside their group.
We can provide someone to listen to you, so you can talk about things confidentially. We can make available to you helpful information, and the chance to consider other ways of thinking about your experiences and your decisions. If you wish, we also can help you explore the question, "What do I do next?" and offer you personal support as you re-integrate into the outside world.
Common questions include things like:
- "Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. Am I? Will it always be like this?"
- "How do I face my family and friends again, after all that has happened?"
- "Can I trust you not to tell anyone — not even my family — what I say to you?"
- "What if the Group try to stop me from leaving, or try to get me to come back?"
- "I feel so guilty for leaving my friends and abandoning the Group. What if they were right?"
- "I have trouble sleeping, and when I do sleep, sometimes I have nightmares. What can I do?"
- "I'm afraid of meeting new people and being in new situations. What can I do?"
- "I was taught that our Group was unique, and that I had a special mission to carry out. How can I live a meaningful life now?"
- "Some people call my former Group a cult. What are they talking about? Is it alright if I don't feel comfortable with that word?"
Your experiences in the Group may hinder your ability to feel comfortable in the world outside your Group. This can include making you unsure of yourself when you try to:
- make sense of the culture of the culture outside the Group.
- learn how to fit into society, and decide how much you want to fit in.
- work out how to relate to family and others from your past.
- find a job and choose a career.
- meet new people and make new friends.
- pursue an education or other training.
- make necessary psychological adjustments and come to terms with the emotions involved in emerging from the Group.
- reconsider what to do with various questions of personal beliefs, values and choices.
- get care for health needs and maintain health and fitness.
- solve financial problems.
- get legal help if necessary.
We can help you as you re-evaluate:
- your experience of being in the Group following its teaching;
- feelings of alienation that may be making you uncomfortable with the people you meet outside the Group;
- a continuing sense of loss, grief, anger or guilt after leaving;
- feelings of fear or anxiety or guilt for seeking help from outsiders for personal needs, or simply for talking about the group and its leaders to outsiders;
- difficulty accepting medical or psychological help, because of the Group's teachings;
- discomfort discussing spiritual issues with outsiders, because the Group teaches they are "unspiritual" or "evil" or "degraded"; and
- the implications for your ability to function in the world around you.
If you would like to discuss any of these things further, please contact us. Our contact details may be found at the bottom of the page.