Diary of an active Landmark participant
Date: February 05, 2003 12:24AM
For several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, my older sister encouraged me to consider taking the Forum. I rejected the idea outright for a long time. Finally, to shut her up, I went to one of the special evenings (this was in 1990 or 1991). At the Landmark special evening, I concluded that the Forum was for kooks. As far as I was concerned, my sister's participation was evidence of my conclusion. I bristled at the hard sell and delighted in not registering. I was annoyed with my sister for inviting me.
Fast forward several years, to 1996. By now, the same older sister and I had become estranged (my choice). She had two children, including a brand new baby boy she adopted from Russia. Although I wanted very much to be in the children's lives, I was unwilling to be with my sister because she drove me nuts in so many ways. I complained constantly to my best friend. One day my best friend informed me that she had done the LF; having completed the LF, she asked me to please stop complaining to her about my sister and recommended that I take up my issues with my sister. I protested. She recommended the LF. I figured, what the hell. Suddenly someone in my life was recommending LF to me and it had credibility. I really wanted to have a realtionship with my sister and her kids.
I took the LF. I hated it. I got into a "match" with the Forum leader. I left Friday night mid-stream and didn't come back until Saturday afternoon. I hated the jargon. I was annoyed at the rules (which I also didn't follow) and was irritated by the sell, sell, sell. However, I figured I had paid my money and despite hating the course, might get somethng out of it.
During the course, I called my sister and told her that she had driven me crazy for years (she knew this) and that I spent all my energy thinking she was a controlling and critical person. I told her I couldn't hear the time of day from her without thinking she was trying to control me and criticize me. I also thanked her for all the time and effort she had expended when she was young taking care of me (she's 10 years older). I told her how much I loved her and how much I wanted to be an active part of her life and her children's lives.
Our relationship began anew that day. She hasn't changed herself or her behavior. She still says and does things that seem critical and controlling to me. However, I finally learned that I could accept her as she is, or spend the rest of my life being pissed off at her.
I didn't take the follow-up seminar, because I got what I came for out of LF. The only concept from LF that I carried forward into my life was the concept of a "story," i.e. a meaning or interpretation that I developed after something was said or happened. To me, it is the same thing as a cognitive distortion. It has been a useful tool these past several years.