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It Is Our Story - We Own It

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It Is Our Story - We Own It:

Sharing one's story is an important part of mentally disconnecting from a destructive cult. Though many stories of escape are very similar, each personal testimony is unique to each person. Former members often share their experiences with one another after awakening, and find it to be therapeutic as others relate with their own similar experiences. As former cult members express the thoughts and emotions they experienced during their difficult and painful journey to freedom, they begin to identify individual milestones of success. These milestones become foundations for establishing their individuality.

They must be careful with whom they share these experiences, and in what setting. Former members who give their testimony in public settings often see the group they escaped attack their milestones of success or try to make them seem less significant than they really are. Others mistakenly share their testimonies with new acquaintances who do not have interest in their personal affairs, and suddenly become cold or distant. These types of negative experiences can sometimes outweigh the positive milestones of success they shared.

Each personal success after escaping a cult is a building block from which to stack other building blocks of success. Each positive experience is a new component in the makeup of the individual identity being formed. Combined, they give strength and courage to face the challenges that are common to all former members of a destructive cult. When problems come -- and they will -- these milestones of success give former cult members a reminder that they do not need the cult structure to succeed. It is a memory that the cult did not create and does not control. It is a memory of success that they created, without assistance from the cult. It is a building block of success that they control, and they own. It is an essential part of the person they will become.