In Reply to: Re: Matt - remember posted by mattkeeper on April 27, 2003 at 11:21:14:
I agree wholeheartedly with Achieck and I won't try to repeat what she said because she said it so well. You know Kerry, what we've all gone through in leaving the Family is what a lot of bonafide missionaries go through in leaving their mission field. They feel they're living the dream, yeah there're hardships but there's also the sustaining excitement of being out there on the front lines seeing things happen, and then they come back to North America or Europe and they try to plug back into the workaday world and they also feel like aliens in a strange culture.
One writer described it as similar to an astronaut on a ten-day stint in space, coming back into the atmosphere and landing on earth again. He wrote a book called "Re-Entry" to describe that experience. When I talked to him about what I had been through in the Family, he said that it sounded very similar to what he was describing for regular missionaries, only of course in my case it was quite a bit moreso becuase of the abuse and coercian in the Family.
But the exprience is similar. Not only is it "culture shock" in reverse, going from living quite unselfishly to try to get their brains back into a North American mindset, finding that you no longer agree with a lot of the values in Western Socieity, but in the case of the Family in particular, not just you but ALL OF US, were made to feel guilty for leaving, as if we had left God or backslidden. They told us we were like "God's Vomit" that Jesus spewed us out of His mouth becuase we were lukewarm in leaving. We were made to feel like 3rd rate citizens compared to the so-called "faithful" Family members. The only reason they showed any compassion to us was because they hoped we'd give them the shirts off our backs to support them. But we were ALL definitely made to feel inferior.
Think about this: you could literally leave the Family, start a missionary group, heal the sick and literally raise corpses back to life, but if you were no longer in the Family and no longer believed in Berg and Zerby as prophets, then lo and behold you had "backslidden." See their holier-than-thou little clique? It's so pathetic. When I left the Family and looked back, it was like looking back at a narrow-minded, weird hillbilly church from the hills of Kentucky or something. I had to laugh. THEY think they're the "apple of God's eye"? Not a chance.
Anyway Kerry, you're still "floating" becuase you miss the feel of outer space. But you gotta do like the old Singin' Sam song says and "Get your feet back down on the ground." It's not as exciting as being out there in space, or worse yet, lost in space, but it makes for a more solid walk.
You take care guy!