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Myrkhoos

Tragic deconversion stories - depression, suicide, joining extremist groups, etc

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Hi,

 

I have been reading somethings about cults and listening to some videos and they talk about some very disturbing cases, when people left their organisations. Do you know stories like that, in your immediate circle or heard about personally? Or even here on the site? About when they left or tried to leave the group?

 

Asking because it sometimes seemed that hey, it is tough, but everybody makes it. Starting to find out that NOT everyone makes it.

 

Stefan

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I’m thankful not to have been involved with anything violent... but I was homeschooled with a few other kids in a church program. Some classes were at church with the other kids and others were at home with my mom and periodic supervision from a church official. That plus church services 4 times a week was pretty much the first 18 years of my life. We weren’t allowed to go to the movies, listen to music in head phones etc. at 18 I sold everything I had and left. I racked up about $800 and a car literally held together with zip ties and duct tape. The doors didn’t even work lol, I had to climb in the sunroof a couple times. I lived in that car for about 3 months and drove it completely to the other side of the country before it broke down and I went broke... then I bounced around a bit. Got a few jobs, traveled with a carnival business, stayed a while in a girlfriends parents rv... I eventually upgraded to a pretty sweet camper van which I live in now lol. I still have a long way to go but my credit score is getting pretty good, I’m almost finished with my MBA, and I got a pretty cool job. I was never and would never be threatened or anything like that. My parents pretty much refused to let me leave but I went anyway and actually have an okay relationship with them now. I haven’t told them I’m an atheist. I honestly don’t know what they’d do if I did... the hardest thing for me was leaving everything I knew. Literally all my friends and family were in that church. It’s really terrifying to leave everything and become homeless in an unfamiliar world, but that’s sometimes the only option for people like me who want to get out at a young age. Most people won’t ever leave what’s familiar to them even if they know it’s wrong. The fear of being shunned by everyone you know is horrible... and it’s that much more horrible because the idea of hell lingers in your mind even after you’ve left the faith.  I’m glad there wasn’t any violence or physical threats, but I’m still trying to get over the mental trauma I’ve gone through and am still going through. 

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When your book gets published, I want to read it!

I wish I could have done something this dramatic, in fact I used to fantasize about it, but for me it was more gradual.  But the same outcome in the end.

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They're all tragic.  Even success stories have to look back on years of wasted potential and private mental struggle and suffering.

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I just read a post about mental health after leaving Mormonism, and it prompted me to look up this term, religious trauma syndrome. I found this web site which looks like a plausible start. They write, "There are more and more websites to support the growing number of people leaving harmful religion." Without having studied it too carefully, I would venture one way to develop a traumatized sense is the following: you spend years committing your best self for a cause, then decide the cause was less worthy than you thought. As you depart, you realize that you have invested a lot of time in it, and are still surrounded by people who believe in it. So there's a lot of coming to terms, while reshaping your life in new directions, while surrounded by people who don't get it. Something like that.

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