Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: August 18, 2018 06:40AM
Thanks for sharing all that Reveal. I don't know about anyone else, but it is therapeutic to hear other people's stories and experiences in TLWF. Just to know that someone else on earth knows what it was like gives me the feeling of not being alone in it. I know other people I have spoken to feel this way.
I feel like my number one suggestion to people who are out there, maybe reading this message board, and feeling alone, is try to reach out to people who have also left the cult, and find a network. The people I am in touch with are part of what I kinda call a support group. We get together, talk about our experience in TLWF, and help each other understand. It is such a specific experience (TLWF) that I feel like you need others to talk to who know what it was like. Find a network, and be a network for other people. I have often thought about how funny it is that we heard that saying "The Kingdom is relationships". And ya know what, I think in some ways that has come true, except, for that "word" to come to pass, people had to take it outside that god forsaken place, and walk it out as people. Relationships are important, and vital to our survival as people.
I could, and have, talked for hours about my experience in TLWF, and probably will do it some day here as well, but I have found the most shocking part of that whole experience happened when I left the cult. I've described to my therapist how I feel like I had a really good set of tools to exist within a cult environment, but I had no toolset to exist out in the real world. Having to think for myself, have my own motivations, discover who I actually am as a person. All of that was expressly forbidden in my cult world. I've had to relearn how people function outside the control of a soul-destroying cult. I feel like in many ways, they tried to destroy the people we were as kids raised in that thing. I am thankful to know that they didn't succeed. They couldn't turn us in to "zeros with the rim rubbed out". The human spirit persevered, and we came out on top.
The greatest liberation I have experienced is the feeling that they have no more control over me. I don't live under their thumb or influence any more. I still know people who are in the church, and I don't hesitate to tell them how I feel any more. I love the shit out of those people, and I won't stand by and be a spectator to the continued abuse.
We're free people. We escaped a cult. Be reminded every day that you did something truly courageous, bold, and powerful in your life, and that was your first step in to a new life. What a great way to enter a new life, with a bold move. We all did that, and that is an amazing thing we should never stop being proud of. Yes, we're cult survivors, and that will always be a part of us. But realize that we've got the opportunity now to make our lives about so much more than that place. Let's feel powerful, people!