My best friend and I, as I have mentioned before on this blog, text every night. Between 8:00-10:00-ish, we talk about our days and anything else that happens to come up. It’s a great time, even when the subject matter is dark, because we are together.
Tuesday night was different. Tuesday night found me unsure of his feelings toward me and terrified that I’d done something to push him away. He wasn’t joking around about anything. He wasn’t laughing, so to speak, via text. He was simply answering me in terse phrases. I was scared.
I asked if he was ok, and he answered in the affirmative. A few texts later, I told him I felt like I was texting an acquaintance. He said he didn’t know what to tell me. Through the rest of the conversation, he had to assure me time and again that he was fine with me and fine himself. I’m sure it tested his patience, but he stayed right with me. I love him for that and many reasons.
This conversation makes me angry, now that time has passed. Within the confines of the cult, I learnt that no one would like me other than my ‘family,’ those responsible for my training. I was taught that the people who profess to love you would leave any time they wanted. I avoided getting close to anyone, because I knew they’d leave anyway. And it was always me. I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, fast enough. Or I was too good and punished for showing up the others. Whatever the reason, love brought pain.
Now, many years later, I find myself falling in to that trap of not trusting people. Trust is so hard. For a while, it was impossible. I met my best friend in January 2001. Almost 17 years later, I had such a hard time trusting him that, in one conversation, I assumed he was ready to end our friendship. This is SRA. The systemised method of breaking down your natural sense of trust and rebuilding it with a sense of suspicion toward anyone you were not programmed to love.
I often wonder what happens next. Will my lack of trust run off my FOC sometime? Will I ever be able to relax enough to accept that they truly do accept me? SRA is so damaging on so many levels. Even now, some 17 years after escaping, I bear the scars, and I am devastated to know these scars affect the ones I love the most.