Rebekah's Story in 2008

Hi, I am an Assembly kid. I was born into the Assembly and was raised in the San Fernando Valley. My family left when I was 11 years old. When we left, I was in a lot of pain and confusion, but did not understand why. I knew I needed help but there was none for me. My parents were trying to figure out what had happened to them, and heal. They did not believe that counseling was something I should try.

The next four years were horrible for me. I had many nightmares and lots of inner turmoil. From the outside I was labeled a rebellious child.

When I was about fifteen, I began to modify my outward disobedience and turned inward with my pain. I would cry myself to sleep many nights and became depressed. When I was seventeen, I developed a close relationship with several girls in my church and with my youth group leader. This kept my head above water, and I thought I was going to make it. Over the next few years our friendship was strong, but we began to drift from church and began to hang out more with the wrong crowd. I would sneak out behind my parents back.

I started college during this time and felt lonely and unloved, due to low self-esteem. I met a man who was seven years older than I and I thought he was the answer to all my problems. This lasted only a short time and then it was over. Devastated, I left home and went to live with my sister.

A few months later I met a man who is now my husband. When I was four months pregnant with his baby we were married. I am so blessed - what the devil meant for evil God meant for good. My husband is now a Christian and we are both walking with God.

After my son was born, I went through a year of post-partum depression. At the time I was so lost and hurting I didn't know what to do. I didn't even know why I was so distressed. Near the end of that year I finally got counseling.

Wow, what a difference this made! Years of guilt and doubting were washed away. I am a good person and deserve love. This is hard to believe. I was taught that this kind of thinking is self-centered, prideful, and would lead to arrogance. We should be dead to ourselves and alive unto Christ. My husband and I have also been a part of Celebrate Recovery, a Christian program that deals with many issues from substance abuse to codependency etc. This, as well as the counseling, has helped us in our spiritual growth. I have PTSD and I have a long way to go in my recovery process, but God says that, "He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."

Well, just recently I have been doing a lot of reading about the Assembly and I am realizing that Betty and George's teaching has affected my whole life. I mention Betty because of her role in the leadership of what she called child training. The way I was raised from the moment I was born--on the mats; the spankings for twelve and a half years of my life; seclusion from the world; everything being black or white, either right or wrong; no room for feelings because feelings meant I obviously wasn't trusting God; fear that if I died and had forgotten to confess a sin I would go to hell; the perfection that I could never live up to.

Not to mention that once I was on my own, I had no concept of societal norms, how to function with simple things like managing my money, scheduling my time, organizing my home. I am overwhelmed with the number of things I am trying to work through in my own life all while raising my children. When my son was three our family was blessed with twin girls.

It is like I was raised in another culture. Issues come up constantly. There was never a time called "before the Assembly" for me. I don't have much to draw on from my childhood to help me now. There were wonderful family vacations to Mexico and reading Nancy Drew mysteries before bed with my mom. (Oh yeah, don't tell anyone. These were probably both big no, nos.) But in the main, I have to learn how to do life while I am raising my own children. I have a large support group through the Celebrate Recovery program", a mother's group, and through the co-operative preschool my twins are in. But sometimes I yearn to talk with other grown-up kids who have been through the stressful experiences that I went through by being born into and raised in a high demand perfectionist group - the Assembly. Other people don't understand what I went through. Perhaps this is just me, but if there are any others who struggle with how it was to be a kid raised in the Assembly, I would love to hear your story--struggles and successes included.

--Rebekah

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