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Cult survivor, scared of losing everything again


Forum: Inlaws

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  #1  
August 11th, 2017, 08:34 AM
Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
  • Hello, I'm new here. I just signed up because I have nowhere to turn to talk about this.
  • I posted this in the venting room at first, but it's pretty dead over there.
  • I need advice about how to defend my right to have a normal life. It sounds weird... okay, it is weird, but let me explain:
    I grew up in the military, but also as part of a religious cult called ATI... so on top of moving every 2 years, we were super strange and no one wanted to be friends with me.

  • My mother was an emotionally abusive, narcissistic perfectionist who got us into that cult to begin with, had 11 kids, and she just recently (this year) abandoned the whole family and is now living with a new boyfriend as if none of us ever existed.
  • That's my past. No home, no real love, no roots.

  • When I met my husband, he was the first person who ever told me I had a right to the way I felt, the right to cry, the right to be loved.

  • He was the one who showed me our lifestyle was not healthy (I had been brainwashed into thinking it was God's will)

  • We got married and moved away. I have only seen my family 3 times in the last 8 years, and that's because we put out the money to come see them. Any time I extended an invitation for them to come see us, they immediately had an excuse and it never happened.

  • I have accepted that my family is emotionless and don't miss me, and I have been trying to find a way to move on and live a "normal" happy life.

  • I have 3 kids, there will be no more, we watch movies, listen to music, I wear pants and sleeveless shirts, my husband loves me, listens to me, helps me around the house, treats me like an equal and we hug our kids alot. (Simple, but all things I didn't have before).

  • The only thing we couldn't nail down is a home. My husband was in the oilfield up until recently, and we moved around just like I did growing up. Every time I would start to feel comfortable somewhere, his job would move us to a new town.

    When the oilfield crashed, I can't really say I was sad. My husband bounced from job to job for a little bit, but now has landed in a nice office, selling houses.
  • He is home every evening, has 2 days a week off, he's not stressed or angry when we see him and he's happy and chatty when he Wakes up in the mornings.

  • I love where we live now. Our next door neighbors are 2 elderly sisters who treat our kids like their grandkids and love babysitting them every chance they get.
    With all this new found free time, I have, for the first time in my life, been able to get involved in things I enjoy. I've joined a charity group that trains service dogs, my husband and I play in pokemon tournaments (not everyone's type of thing, but he enjoyed it as a kid and he's basically giving me the childhood I missed). We've made friends! Real friends who actually like us and have things in common with us.

  • We've only been living like this for just over a year, but I have fallen in love with everyone and everything here.
    Of course it was too good to last...

  • My husband's family lives 3 hours away, and his mother has some health problems. Her doctor suggested a surgery that would help, but she doesn't want it. She wants us to move to her town and take care of her.

  • I love her. She is the kind of woman who will bend over backwards to make sure everyone is happy. She never tells you what she wants or needs until she is in so much pain she can't stand up anymore. She is the exact opposite to my own mother in every way and if anyone deserved to be pampered and taken care of, it's her.

  • If this had come up a year ago, it would be a no brainer. We would move and I would start a new life in her little town, just like I always have. But this is home now. It shocked me that I found a place so welcoming after my whole life of feeling like an outcast. I don't know how to feel.
    My mother in law tried to tell me that if we moved close to her, she could watch the kids for me to go out and make new friends (she's sensitive to other people and knew I would miss that) but of course she can't take care of herself, there's no way I would ask her to watch my kids.

  • Her husband is a bum. He has a job, but when he comes home, he sits in a chair and gets on the Internet and let's her wait on him hand and foot (quite literally). If things aren't exactly right, he yells at her. He's morbidly obese (but other than that, perfectly healthy, which he brags about). He sits in that chair and orders her around.

  • Just recently they sold some land, and the money was supposed to go toward her medical bills to help her out, but he spent the whole thing on his hobbies. No joke.

  • I can't stand the man. He is the biggest chauvinist I have ever met, thinking it is her job as his wife to serve him. Exactly like the men in the cult I left. She is too sweet to object.
  • If I go down there and end up in the kitchen making that man's dinner,... I'm not sure what I'll do. She'll do it if I don't. I can't stop her. I would just hate myself for rewarding his behavior like that though!

  • So I don't know if I've made any sense at all.
    Basically, I'm a muddle of emotions. I've finally found the life I've always dreamed of, but I have to move again. Of course.
    I love my mother in law, but if I'm going to be doing the work, I would want to establish some different ways of doing it...
    Basically I guess I'm terrified of going back to the way I used to live. Isolated, serving a man who doesn't see me as a human... trapped...


    I have suggested to my husband that we just stay here and travel the 3 hours once or twice a month to help her mow the grass or reorganize the storage shed, etc. but he feels responsible to be there for her every day.
    (Also, we lived with them the first year of our marriage... it did not go well. Living with such a selfless person is harder than you would think because you have to watch out for all their needs they're not telling you they have.)


    Anyway, this is my problem... any advice is very welcome... I am silently crying myself to sleep every night at the thought of leaving the home I finally found. Seriously sinking into depression and hopelessness and feeling super guilty but I do love her, so I guess we'll go. Idk. Help. Lol. Even a different view point would be nice to hear.
(P.S. I'm not sure why the post added bullet points. That was an accident.)

Last edited by Differentshine; August 11th, 2017 at 08:39 AM.
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  #2  
August 13th, 2017, 12:00 PM
Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1
Hi Differentshine. I like your username. When I read that you were raised in ATI my heart literally broke for you. :'( I am familiar with ATI from reading stories written by people like yourself who have grown up in it. :'( I am so sorry you grew up feeling unworthy and unloved, strange and friendless. I won't pretend to understand all that you have been through but I care and I am so glad!! you have a loving husband now, roots of your very own with your very own family , and a place where you finally feel you fit in. That must feel amazing! I also love that you have joined a charity and are training service dogs. That is so wonderful too! So many things you wrote about and you are enjoying now are such wonderful things. I am truly happy for you!! I hope you know you have always deserved it! I'm sorry you are silently crying every night at the thought of leaving this home you have found and love. If you and your husband decide it is best to move to take care of your MIL, have you considered talking to your husband about setting up visits to go back and see the new friends you have made and love? Would it be possible for you and your family to get your own place so you don't have to move in with MIL since your last experience living there wasn't a good one, even though I know you love her very much? Have you considered counseling to help with your depression? I have talked to my pastor and I've seen a Christian counselor and they were both very helpful to me. I wonder if they might be able to help you too. No matter where you and your husband chose to live, you matter! I'll be praying for you this week, that God (not the one of the ATI cult but the creator of this world and the one who loves you dearly) will give you direction, peace with you and your husband's decision, and total emotional healing. I just ordered and received a DVD series by Charles Stanley called, "Healing Damaged Emotions". I heard part of it on the radio the other day and I thought it might help me with some issues I have from my family of origin so I ordered the whole thing. You should check it out too. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will keep me posted. Here's a heartfelt hug for you! <3

Last edited by Snflwrgrl; August 13th, 2017 at 12:05 PM.
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  #3  
August 15th, 2017, 06:27 PM
Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snflwrgrl View Post
Hi Differentshine. I like your username. When I read that you were raised in ATI my heart literally broke for you. :'( I am familiar with ATI from reading stories written by people like yourself who have grown up in it. :'( I am so sorry you grew up feeling unworthy and unloved, strange and friendless. I won't pretend to understand all that you have been through but I care and I am so glad!! you have a loving husband now, roots of your very own with your very own family , and a place where you finally feel you fit in. That must feel amazing! I also love that you have joined a charity and are training service dogs. That is so wonderful too! So many things you wrote about and you are enjoying now are such wonderful things. I am truly happy for you!! I hope you know you have always deserved it! I'm sorry you are silently crying every night at the thought of leaving this home you have found and love. If you and your husband decide it is best to move to take care of your MIL, have you considered talking to your husband about setting up visits to go back and see the new friends you have made and love? Would it be possible for you and your family to get your own place so you don't have to move in with MIL since your last experience living there wasn't a good one, even though I know you love her very much? Have you considered counseling to help with your depression? I have talked to my pastor and I've seen a Christian counselor and they were both very helpful to me. I wonder if they might be able to help you too. No matter where you and your husband chose to live, you matter! I'll be praying for you this week, that God (not the one of the ATI cult but the creator of this world and the one who loves you dearly) will give you direction, peace with you and your husband's decision, and total emotional healing. I just ordered and received a DVD series by Charles Stanley called, "Healing Damaged Emotions". I heard part of it on the radio the other day and I thought it might help me with some issues I have from my family of origin so I ordered the whole thing. You should check it out too. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will keep me posted. Here's a heartfelt hug for you! <3


Thank you so much for such a sweet and understanding post! You seriously made me cry! Lol
I was afraid of the replies I might get because every time I've tried to open up about my past, people have acted like I was making up problems. Your reaction was a totally unexpected blessing!!


I will talk to my husband about arranging visits to see my friends. That's a good suggestion.
I have also been looking for houses to move to apart from my fil, but it's such a small town, there aren't really many options. They literally have one grocery store and one restaurant in the whole place.
I suggested we live one town over, (just 20 to 30 minutes away) and my husband hated that idea. But I hate the idea of being in eachother's back yards, so... idk. We'll work it out.
I just know if I am forced to deal with my fil on a daily basis, I am going to snap and say something rude.
I like the idea of finding some counseling somewhere. I'll look into prices and try to find someone familiar with ATI. That would make a huge difference I think.
Thank you so much for your support! It meant more than you could know!
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