Monday, November 24, 2014

Loss and Guilt

I'm sure it's common among ex-cult members (as our brains gradually un-fog after leaving the group) to experience a feeling of loss at the lost years. The years of life, learning, and joy that could have been, but that were instead given to a cause of nonsense where we were merely used and abused with nothing to show for it. No savings for retirement. No education. Nothing.

Add to that negative the collateral damage heaped upon my children and the other children in the group. It's almost too horrible to face.

How important the decisions made in youth are, and how they set the trend for one's later years! Now, my later years are filled with the knowledge that my misguided decision to join the COG has not only robbed me of years of joy I could have had, but has marred the lives of my children - something I cannot undo. 

Yes, things could always have been worse, but that is little comfort in easing the guilt of my own bad decisions and the effect they have had on those I love.

So, I have learned to live with guilt, and in a way to make it my ally by taking comfort in the fact that my guilt at least shows that I am a kind-hearted person who cares for my children. I am not choosing to live in denial. And I am not psychopathic.

I've become aware of the need to be careful of the narrative I build for myself of my own image - am I really what I think I am?  As well, I want to take care about the images I form of other people. Is that person what I think they are - what I want them to be - or is it only a facade that they are presenting, or perhaps my projected idea is what I am seeing?  

My life's tendency has been to take a first impression of someone (and for me, this would generally be positive), or just as poignantly, a group, and then create my image of what that entity is like from my initial impression. Too often I have found out too late that I was incorrect. The person, or group, in question was not at all as I had conceived.

No comments:

Post a Comment