So I’ve been a silent follower of this feed for years now and only finding myself able to speak up about some of my experience with SMC Cumbernauld now.
I started going along to SMC Cumbernauld through their links with local Primary schools back in the late 90s and early 2000’s.
My journey with them was very much start stop, spending many years there, finding myself free before falling back into their clutches in my 20s.
I just wanted to pop on to say hello, I’ve recently started blogging about some of my experiences and I’d like to share just a quick post with you all. It’s sad to see so many impacted by the teachings at SMC to this day. I hope that one day their actions are uncovered and they are held account for the damage they have caused so many willing souls who pass through their doors.
‘ Sleepless Nights
Sometimes I lay in a dark room, trying to let my mind drift to sleep and an onrush of my past flashes, like pictures in the back of my eyelids. Taking my thoughts back to darker days when, unbeknown to me I was trapped in a world where nobody met ‘the standard’. Every small inadequacy was pinpointed and made it feel as though you were the worst person on this planet.
In my early twenties I found myself back in the midst of Struthers. I’d recently moved out, found juggling the worries of daily life, finances and a career overbearing and fell back into the one place I thought would help me find peace. Well wasn’t I wrong. But at first it felt good, back surrounded by the people who said they had your back.
I ended up back there for a few years, but there’s too many stories to tell for one post. But the one sticking out for me right now, the way I was made to feel ashamed for having a tipple. I was never a drinker so to speak, I’d take a few drinks at special occasions, let my hair down a bit and blow off steam. Never in the normal world would anyone say I had a drink problem. Struthers however aren’t part of a normal world, within weeks of returning I was shamed into not touching a drop of alcohol. Which was very easy for me as I was never that keen to binge on it anyways. Something changed though, and I was out with family at a 21st birthday. The following Sunday was the start of my wake up call. What the hell had I walked back into.
Now at this point in my life, I’ve got a degree, a mortgage, a career… and yet I felt like I was back in primary school behind scolded for missing classes. Before heading out to said 21st, some family gathered to travel together and we took some funny pictures. Me being the ‘goody toeshoes churchy’ at this point hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol since returning to Struthers. Had actually been shamed into pouring a fortune worth of alcohol down the sink. Things I’d gotten as gifts poured away to satisfy the leaders who seemed to know every little detail of my life. I pretended to be drinking some cheap alcohol someone had brought along, everybody finding this hilarious as I didn’t drink anymore. And even when I did I wasn’t a fan of the cheap stuff.
Anyways my family bought me a couple of normal drinks at the party, and really what was the harm in two or three rums to celebrate. There was no harm really. Nobody knew. I made sure nobody posted on socials with me holding anything other than a can of juice. There really was no shame in this.
The following Sunday came in a flash, with a wee text on Sunday morning from a youth leader asking for one of the dreaded ‘chats’. At this branch of Struthers the invitation for chats was frequent, normally kept until after meetings just so you were in as clean a place as possible for the forthcoming lecture. Now as a woman in her mid twenties who works at a large financial firm, having chats was nothing I wasn’t used to. But Struthers chats were like inflicting torture, sometimes you had days to wait, sometimes hours but the wait was always long and unnerving. What I never expected was to be told there had been complaints about my personal Snapchat story which showed me holding a bottle of cheap alcohol.
Now the people who had access to that story were very few, those who know me would immediately laugh as I wouldn’t be seen dead with such bottles. But here I was, sat down like a 5 year old and told off for having a laugh. Then came the fishing for information, the why, the where was I on Friday night. Do I think it’s appropriate to put myself in these situations knowing the problems I’ve had in the past… well looking back now I didn’t have any problems. But I literally left that church in bits. Felt like I had let the world down for simply spending time with my family rather than being present at the one Friday night I’d missed since returning to Struthers.
Looking back now I find it hard to understand why I let someone make me feel so low, so worthless. That the idea of me having one or two drinks in a safe environment made me an alcoholic. How absurd. But that’s exactly how I was made to feel. My worry now, looking at the big picture is how many others felt that way. How many are still trapped in those stereotypes brandished by SMC. In the Bible itself, Jesus drank wine. The key here, when did SMC change their interpretation of the works of Christ? When did they decide that what they believed was more important that what was written?
I will never understand their need to make individuals feel demoralised, never being enough, always finding fault. We are taught to love one another. Where are these basic Christian foundations in SMC? Buried somewhere deep in their policies, made to bully their members into retreat.
It’s one thing in a very long list of moments at SMC where I was at a cross roads, so many times I was ti scared to even speak my mind. To answer with my version of events, because if they weren’t what the leaders believed then who cared.
Well now I see, there are those who care out there. Care about you as a person and not moulding you into someone you are not.
For how, I will try again to drift off to sleep. This blog is a way for me to draw out the trauma caused by SMC over the course of my life. I’m sure there will be many more to come and I hope that someone finds some solace. You are not alone and please do not feel that way, be you and find the people out there who love you for that, rather than diminish you.’
If you’d like to follow and read more of my experiences with SMC Cumbernauld feel free to message me or follow my blog, [xx-kika-xx.wixsite.com
I hope by sharing my experiences I can both help others facing the same and find some peace in myself about my time with SMC.