Posted by WC on June 11, 2010 at 11:03:35
When I first decided to start up this site some 10 years ago with the aim of providing a service to ex-members and the general public, it was quite a shock to be met with so much detestation and suspicion by SGs. We had launched just about the same time as their new gathering place, movingon.org, which turned out to be quite educational as to the reasons why they were justified in feeling this way.
There were reasons for my naiveté. Although I had seen some occasional inappropriate or abusive behavior during my time in the cult—mostly in the form of spankings but very little that was sexual—I had never actually witnessed firsthand or even heard of much else going on along those lines, which would make me understand just how instituionalized and wide and far-reaching the scope of the abuse had been. I knew the life of a child growing up in the cult was not a good one, but I had no idea as to the extent of how badly some had been or were about to be treated. I had left the cult just before some of the worst began happening to SGs. It was also at a time when there was a big hush going on, with the local leaders in my area being extremely paranoid. Everyone was a suspect and not to be trusted with information about anything happening outside the home—nobody talked about anything, and I had been subject to a news blackout quite some time.
Although I had intended for this site to be for all generations, it was understandable that SGs flocked to movingon.org and declared it a much-needed SG space. The interactions I had with some vocal and influential SGs there led me to understand that I, as an FG, was practically seen as the enemy, as another one of the ones responsible for starting and causing everything they suffered. I was by default a collaborator guilty of enabling Berg. In some instances, I was attacked, even accused of things I had no hand in doing. Another understandable reason for their mistrust was my anonymity and rumor of my having been in WS. Besides reminding them of the "selah" shit they'd endured, some SGs really had no idea if I really wasn't one of their abusers in hiding. Unfortunately, even though my choosing to remain anonymous rubbed many people the wrong way, it was (and is) the only way I could afford to keep running this site.
And so I was led to believe that what we were doing here on exFamily.org was largley ignored, barely respected, not really trusted, and mostly just tolerated.
Then recently, I started up a Facebook account for the purpose of networking with those concerned with TFI issues, and cautiously began to add some SGs as friends... and I was driven to tears. I wasn't prepared for how well I'd be received by some of them.
It began with one of the most influential-vocal of these SGs, apologizing for the way they had treated me, admitting that their anger had been misdirected. It was so touching it was beyond words.
Then a small trickle of emails from SGs started coming in, thanking me for this site, saying that it helped them to leave, that reading all the dialogues here really helped them get their own minds together, that our site had been a source of information and inspiration for them and others, that they constantly refer people to our site... I was mindblown and driven to tears with each mail!
One of them wrote: So, even though you need to be "anonymous" on here...a need I totally understand and relate with...know that there are people out here who do "see" you and appreciate who you are and where you've been.
In the past year, we/I've had a few of these appreciative emails from FGs and SGs as well as the general public. I want to thank those of you who wrote, and I am just really glad that we've been able to be of any help, that our hard work is paying off, and the staff and I and really appreciate the appreciation.
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