A former member of the Legion of Christ, a cultic organization within the Roman Catholic Church, details the difficulties of re-entering normal life after being in the Legion from the age of sixteen to twenty. Lots of parallels.
What Are the Recovery Issues Following a Cultic Experience?
- Identity Crisis
- Who am I now?
- What do I believe? (Take your time with this one!)
- Integrate cultic experience into prior personality
- What are my interests? Talents? Relationships? Education? Hobbies? Even favorite color is a starting point
- Sense of anomie (defined by Webster as
"personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of
purpose or ideals")
- People you left behind
- Loss of a cause
- Loss of “belonging”
- Losses you had to give up in order to join group
- Loss of innocence
- Loss of career goals; finances; belongings
- Missing the “buzz”; looking for it elsewhere
- Rebuild healthy boundaries
- It’s okay not to divulge everything to everyone
- Learn how the group tore down your boundaries between you and other group members/leaders
- Learn how the group built up unhealthy boundaries between you and the outside world
- Test the waters, build up a relationship before you trust someone
- Beef up your critical thinking skills!
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disorders
- Inability to make decisions
- Inability to concentrate
- Fears not grounded in reality – fear the group was “right”
- Difficulty with relationships and authority figures
PATIENCE! PATIENCE! PATIENCE!