Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: December 12, 2009 06:18AM

Has your cult experience affected your ability to find and keep a good job? I have found that mine has, in several ways. One is in having to explain those stretches of time spent in recovery, and another is the problem of resentful cult members finding ways to contact a boss or clients with their malicious gossip.

Even when I have gotten past those obstacles, there have been the misunderstandings with people who don't respect privacy, especially when they notice I deliberately chose an apparently less desirable job out of concern for my own privacy. I wonder how many of us have this problem and for how long after we exitted.

Any good ideas on how to cope with a cult-tainted resume, or how to cope with the stupid questions of co-workers who just want to have fun driving you into a corner with nosy questions?

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Re: Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: Confused7609 ()
Date: December 12, 2009 01:42PM

In my experience, in the past I have frequently felt uncomfortable when co-workers have asked me about my religion or spiritual beliefs. I think maybe they were just trying to get to know me, but I always felt on the spot, worried, unsafe or even fearful. I have always felt that I have to be sort of secretive about my self. One time someone asked me how I would describe my personality and I said, "well basically I wouldn't". I do think it has affected my ability to stay in one job. I didn't really realize this until recently but several times I have left jobs due to fear, semi paranoia, lack of trust and low self esteem. I did attribute it to other things, but now I realize the stress I felt about other things, was compounded because of the impact of the cult. I guess this makes for a "cult tainted cult" resume because employers wonder why I have left so many jobs. I don't know what to do about this. It is a dilemma.

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Re: Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: December 13, 2009 02:38AM

It is exactly the problem I face, and it gets worse for me as I get older because now it is compounded by the bigotry we face as "agism". In some ways that helps, actually, and I have decided to keep my grey hair because the younger people just don't take an interest, but older people do want to know everyone's life story.

I think my anxiety is only half due to cult anxiety. Half is due to so many Oprah-addicts who want to be entertained by personal stories. I just want to be sarcastic to them, and that is not good for job retention, either

It is not realistic to place this in the realm of just psychological damage to my ability to trust, either. The cults that have been involved in criminal activities for years have strong roots in that world and I do live under the protective wing of law enforcement being aware of them. To quote one detective who came to my family's assistance over a stalker, "You know, your story is crazy and makes no sense at all. But you have named a couple of people we're watching and I want to know how you know them." He was a narc-homicide squad member, years ago. I described the cult dinners and meetings at which these people were key players. NatLFed is a major money launderer in the interesting world of politics and the underclass, after all. When the veil is finally pulled off that organization, people will see how much worse it was for NatLFed's victims in the "communities" and won't really care that much about all the wasted energy of the college trust-fund kids who holed up in New York to pretend to be revolutionary labor organizers.

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Re: Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: Sallie ()
Date: December 13, 2009 08:43AM

Americans are so transient, we move, divorce and change jobs so often. I don't know your exact situation but I bet that in and of itself, not being able to defend and explain every day of your past would be typical of any American. Everyone has skeletons.
But I do know what you mean about that awkward feeling when a person or people focus on you. Suddenly the spotlight is on and you're thinking ''what do I say?''
One thing I am learning to do is change the subject when conversations get too personal. It's not easy for me because I am one of those people that tends to be very blunt and just says what I think but, in some situations the less said the better.
There is no harm in talking about the weather or a great new recipe on the internet or the latest trend in fashion. I'm learning that it's relatively easy to transition into conversation about these things without offending anyone. Or you could go to the other extreme and change the subject to some dark character that was recently spotlighted on the T.V.
For example, someone is drilling you about your past so you just say something like...'' oh I used to love burgers until I decided to go vegetarian...hey...talk about eating weird stuff ....did anyone see that Jeff Dahmer special''....

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Re: Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: December 13, 2009 10:59AM

Good point, Sallie... but I don't think I'll be using the Dahmer ploy! *lol*

But I think we all have more problems because of the current culture of "reality tv" which encourages people to believe they have a right to know personal details of everyone around them. Those kind of people notice the subject changes and that just alerts them more.

Anyway, I shared my employment issues with a counselor and he opened up a very good recovery strategy that I hope will be effective. I am going to start putting agencies between me and specific jobs because most agencies have written agreements with their employer clients that cover confidentiality. I just spent a few hours yesterday on the first stage of developing a personal profile to set alongside my skills profile so that I can find the right agency.

This service was actually offered to me some years ago but I did not take advantage of it because I did not believe the problem would continue the way it has.

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Re: Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 13, 2009 11:13AM

It depends on the part of the country you are in.

I just smile and say, very firmly, 'I am already taken care of' and either keep on walking, or switch the coversation elsewhere.

If you are out walking on the street and spy someone pushing literature, and you dont
want to take it, keep one hand on your briefcase or shopping bag and put your other
hand in a pocket.

Sometimes if I find I am about to pass Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons, or people pushing Marxist newsletters, I keep em away by pulling out my rosary and fingering it.

(I use it to fidget with when tense)

Dont feel obligated to disclose anything. All that does is provide one side of a Velcro
surface that folks can then cling on to and you will have a much harder time getting away.

And I think its right--lots of Americans are transient and are more worried about their own stuff, anyway.

Another cover is, have interests that can be shared and have zero to do with cults or religion. Cooking and baking are great ones, or some other handicraft.

Sports are good too.

Get people onto those topics and they'll usually forget the religious stuff unless they're so lacking in social skills that theyve already annoyed lots of others before getting around to quizzing you.

(Note: so very few people have time or know how to bake that they act like you're a
wizard if you know how to make bread or other things by hand. Look how popular various food shows have become.)

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Re: Employment issues, recovery techniques?
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: December 13, 2009 01:00PM

I use quilting as a simple pastime that is portable. The chance encounters are not as problematic as the work-related ones, for me.

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