That’s the best way to describe how I’ve felt lately. Perhaps that’s been the best way for me to feel anyway.
One of the most effective methods used by cults is isolation. Make the cult member feel like they have no other options or no better options, and they’ll stay in the ‘family’ forever. Even though it might not seem so at times, I truly have made great strides in working through my SRA issues. For the most part, I’m no longer afraid of these people. I was being trained for a leadership role– not a great deal of people from that group who find their way into my life can say they’ve had higher training. It’s certainly not something I’m proud of. It is, however, a safeguard against them, and I need all the resources I can find.
Their fighting back has come in the form of isolation, and without my best friend at my side, that method would probably be incredibly effective on me. I work an online job, so I haven’t got face-to-face coworkers or students. My finances (like most everyone else’s these days) are dismal, so I’m not quite able to find my own place yet. It’s easy to see why I would be susceptible to the thought that I’m dependent on them for any sense of family or community. Frightening.
My fighting back is consciously and continuously replacing their thoughts with mine. I emailed my brother-of-choice recently asking for reassurance that our friendship would continue. He wrote back emphasising that we actually have a ‘familyship.’ He and his wife are truly like siblings to me, and I know I’m quite welcome in their family. At that moment, however, my confidence faltered. Sending that email and reading his response helped me overcome the cult broadcast thought that my FOC intended to step out of my life. We replaced cult darkness with truth.
Yesterday, the game was attacking the relationship I have with my best friend. It’s true that sometimes I wonder how he can put up with me and all the baggage I bring along, but I trust as much as I can that he’ll always be an important part of my life. Again, FOC. I’m so very fortunate to be surrounded by safe people who love me and who will help me counteract cult activity, even without being aware of exactly what they’re doing. After I had dealt with about six hours of psychological crap regarding cult-projected thoughts, I sent a text message to my best friend asking him to help me reorient myself to reality. We had a conversation via text message in which he reminded me of some of the great times we’ve had and reassured me that we’ll have more along the way. He reiterated his intention to stay a part of my life, and I believed him. He’d single-handedly set things right for me again.
Replacing those messages of impending isolation with reminders of my FOC and the love we all have for each other is my greatest weapon against the SRA-related activities that still pop up in my life. I know, because I am my father’s daughter, that the cult will *always* be a presence in my life. They won’t leave me alone entirely because my bloodline makes me too valuable to them. Their symbol is quite literally branded into my skin. In spite of their attempts, though, I still feel human emotion and have formed incredibly strong relationships with safe people who are much more my family than anyone I was related to biologically. Believing in those bonds and trusting the people I love, even when every shred of me says I should doubt them is what keeps me focused and situated in life outside the cult. I know what real family and real love is like, and I can always count on my FOC to remind me of that even in the worst of times. That knowledge is much more powerful than any programming still left lurking in my mind.