Was I so controlled that I didn't realize the extent to which I was being abused? Or, are people who try to tell me these things actually the ones doing the manipulation? That is the issue I constantly find myself struggling with. ........... Being raised in the group with no comparison of "norms," I probably accepted things that would otherwise be considered abuse. ........Everyone has their own experiences that they have to deal with in their own ways I suppose.
Welcome aboard this rollar coaster of recovery. I honor your courage to speak forth your truth of your background, and ackowledging that you don't remember abuse in your background. As you state, w/o any norms around you, how could you know?
Your experience of watching your loved ones die on TV, while you sat quietly in school... that IS abusive! I am so very sorry. You probably remember with fondness the love and care of everyone taking care of one another, and helping w/ life's day to day needs. That group sweetness will never again be replicated, to my knowledge. How terrible to watch them die and be called evil, when you remembered their goodness. Yes, like you, the cult of my childhood was my dear family of loved ones.
Likewise, in my experience as a cult kid, I did not believe I'd experienced abuse. There were other kids around me who were abused... to the point of suicide.
It was decades later, long after leaving the group, that I was forced to acknowledge that I had normalized psychological abuse and manipulation as "love."
My daughter was the same age as you were, ten, when we left our group. I was 30. Like yourself, she's still dealing with issues of her childhood cult issues. We are recovering together. My parents however, are still in denial, and make their decisions based upon external 'guidance'.
It must be also painful for your parents to face what they had chosen as family lifestyle. And how painful for all to realize that by some good fortune you all were out before the disaster!
You have a valuable story to share. It may come out in bursts, or slowly over time. Hopefully you find the support and encouragement here, and elsewhere, to do so.