While growing up in the cult I knew from a very young age that I was different compared to all the other kids in my neighborhood. I was dressed differently, we didn’t have a tv and didn’t listen to the radio other than the Christian channel and news. I had some friends but I always felt alone feeling like being the ugly duckling. I don’t really know why skirts were looked at as descend and trousers as men’s clothing not fit for a lady when I always had to watch out how I sat. That the wind didn’t blow under. I experienced at school that boys would lay down on the floor to look under my skirt. It made biking a struggle to keep the skirt down, not showing any of the knees and not to get caught between the wheel. When I think about it now, I never felt safe.
Schools were from Satan. Trying to brainwash our kids and take them from us.
Some parents even homeschooled their kids so they wouldn’t have to expose them to the world. Going to school it was this constant battle against the system. Even when going to a Christian school, I don’t know how many times I was in the principles office, pushed by my parents to complain about what they taught us in our books. Some school projects and activities I was not allowed to attend. Like when they had a music project with dance included or school camp. While others would connect in such activities I would be on the outside since I was never allowed to join them.
Boyfriends outside of the cult weren’t allowed. I never felt I could be a normal teenager. It was hard not having a boyfriend at school when all of my friends had one. It was hard when I was in love and wasn’t allowed to act on it. At the age of 14, I got my first boyfriend. It lasted for 2 weeks I think. I had to lie and hide the relationship. It made me feel so filthy and guilty even when we never kissed (touching was not allowed and not even holding hands). And when my parents found out because someone at school had said something to my aunt and she went to my parents, it was like I had done the worst thing that I could do. It was so much drama, so much pain that it almost destroyed me.
Standing out like that gives you this feeling you don’t belong. I felt so isolated and so lonely. The only place where I was happy and didn’t feel that alone was at church. When you are together with those that believe, dress and behave the same way as your self, you feel really connected. And it gives you this identity. A place you belong to.
It was nice to go on the youth camps arranged by a Message Church. I didn’t need to tell them “I am sorry I am not allowed to participate”. But it also fed the “us and them” mentality.
Us and them mentality gets stronger when the pastor is preaching division from the pulpit.
It was always us against the world. We were the ones that had the truth. We were that special group of people that would go into the rapture while the rest of the world would persecute the Christians that had been left behind and turning it into a living hell.
They made us look down on the rest of the people. And we would lose respect for others. We would comment on their clothing, the way they were living. The movies they watched. The music they listened too. People like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson were agents of hell. They would push all their fans with them to hell.
We were the Kings and Queens. We would rule heaven. The other Christians that had to give their lives for Christ in the tribulation, would be our servants. The rest of the world was doomed and would go to hell. They weren’t worth much in our eyes. It didn’t matter if you are a nice person. That you love and support those that are around you. If you don’t believe the same as they do, you are lost. And they can basically do what they want, ask for forgiveness and all will be forgiven and they’ll be a part of that special group again. A lot of corruption and sexual abuse got hidden. People that stood up against it got shunned.
They would preach against authorities. They were our enemies. They want to take our kids from us since we tried to isolate them from their worldly influence. We couldn’t trust the police or banks. We would get cut off completely from our money so we couldn’t buy or sell without the mark of the beast. Everything got twisted to make us afraid for authorities and make us feel safe and special being a part of that special group.
That “us and them” mentality, I see it everywhere. Countries, extremists, terrorists, people standing face to face with their weapons ready. When one human starts to feel better than another, it creates these dangerous situations where even lives get lost. When terror strikes it feels like the world is crazy. That humanity is lost. But it is never too late to turn things around.
We as humans need to stand together. Standing hand in hand no matter where we come from or what religion we have. Start looking at each other as humans instead of dividing us into different groups. Teaching our children how to respect each other and how to live peacefully side by side and hope and pray that they won’t make the same mistakes as we did. The world is what we make of it and we have more power than we are aware of.
I think every human has a longing inside to find happiness and enjoy life. And that is one of the things that connects us all together and there shouldn’t be the need for division.
If you liked this blog-post you might also like: