Who am I? After leaving a religion or cult You may not Know who you are. You may have been living with very strict guidelines or rules that Were part of your life. Now life feels Uneasy Scary And uncomfortable. Before you were told exactly how to live how to think how to be what to dream whatnot to dream every little step in life.
Now you have choices. Something some of you may never have had. What the h*** do you do now. Where do I even start with my life? Who am I? What do I like? What do I dislike? Where do I even start? Some may have lost all friends and family. I know for myself; I was a Jehovah’s witness and when you leave or are disfellowshipped they shun you. All of the congregations as well as any believing family. It can be a very lonely time. It can be devastating.Leaving you feeling hopeless. Questioning your choice to no longer participate in that cult or religion.
You are not alone!! There is lots of us out here. I am an Ex JW I have found many face book groups who offer support. Specifically, for ex JW. I personally invite you to my page religious trauma recovery on facebook.In the recovery process it is important to first discover who you are and what you like. It is very likely that if you came from a high controlled organization/religion you were given very specific rules. For example, as an ex JW we were to make friends with other JW’S. We could be friendly to what they referred to as worldly people.
People who were not JW. However, we were highly discouraged from eating or socializing with them. They did not out and out say we could not however you were considered weak and marked so others looked down on you and you felt huge amounts of guilt and shame. So, in essence as a JW we were controlled by guilt and shame as to who we could make friends with. As I left the religion, I found myself struggling with who I was what kind of people did I want to make friends with? I didn’t even know what kinds of things I liked to do because most likely I had not explored many things or ideas. I also found that because I was judged so harshly as a JW I was Judging other people for their likes and dislikes.
Not even knowing much about it. It was programmed into my subconscious to automatically judge. When you leave a high controlled group, you do have to become open to new ideas and experiences. It does help you to move on in your life. You may be thinking right now I am so devastated I can’t even get off the couch. I don’t even care what I like. I don’t have anyone to share it with.
Any of us out here that have left a controlled religion or cult, or group can relate to those feelings. Fear, guilt, maybe shame, loneliness. The best thing you can do to get past all that is figure out who YOU are. Stick around we will explore some ways to do just that!