Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speaking of Stress

As my COG "family" replaced my biological family, I naturally formed attachments to people I loved and respected. For my first 12 years in the group, I found myself in the position of caring for leaders and their children for years at a time; much of the time, it was just myself and maybe someone else with the leadership couple and their children. Of course, I grew to love the children as my own and develop attachments to their parents as pseudo-parent figures for myself. The people I served in this capacity were considerably older than I was, making feelings of parental affection somewhat natural.

As well, my parents had died not long after I moved away from the US, so now they were completely absent from my life. I had minimal contact with my siblings.

True to the core beliefs of "The Family" (new name for the COG), these situations would come to sudden and abrupt ends, leaving me emotionally distraught.

Any friendships we may have made within the group never lasted, as we were strongly discouraged from keeping in touch with people once our paths had diverged.

It appears this (among other things) caused me some sort of psychological damage, as from time to time when something would strike me funny, I would laugh uncontrollably for about 20 minutes straight. Although I would try to stop, all I could do was put my head down and try to stifle it and the inevitable tears that would fall.

Oddly, this was not a "red flag" to my wise, older "shepherds in the lord."

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