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The Gift of Giving Support

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The Gift of Giving Support:

The loss of a support network resulting from years or even decades of investment is by far the limiting factor for success in former cult members. Not only were they trained to rely upon the support of the cult and its members for survival, many former members were trained not to rely upon people or resources outside the group.

Former cult members who experienced a transfer during high school often compare the similarities between post-cult life and new school life. All of their friends, the people they relied upon, are no longer part of their lives. The new people in their lives seem cold, distant, and unreachable. Fear that they will not be accepted, or that they will be perceived as "different" creates a mental barrier between their new life and the life they desire. As school children, it seemed much easier.

While comparing these two experiences, some former members notice the similarities in the problem, yet overlook the similarities in the solution. Because new support networks could easily be found under one single roof of the school building, former members struggle to see the opportunities of doing the same their city of residence. There are many opportunities to build a new support group, from people in the same industry, to people with similar hobbies, to people with similar interests. Events are held for special interest groups almost weekly in the larger cities, and are frequently held non-formally in the smaller towns or rural areas.

Former members must learn to focus on giving value to others with similar interests, even if that value is simply being present to show support. Though it feels uncomfortable, they must learn to ask others for invitations. There are many people who are eager to connect, but they must first be aware that there is a desire to be connected. Once a new support network is established, former members feel a sense of control in their lives through a feeling of self sufficiency.