In my own case I nearly had a nervous breakdown upon leaving TF , in fact , the near nervous breakdown was just as I was pondering leaving.
The Family and other groups have a very strong hold on it’s membership and this strong hold is what keeps many members from leaving.
It is also the fear of being dealt with by an angry God for one thing, and there are also fears of dealing with the outside world. I found it quite comfortable at times in TF, to the point of shuddering at the thought of ever leaving TF.
I do have a desire for people leaving or pondering to leave The Family, who still desire to have a relationship with God to know that God will not be angry at their choice to leave. It helped me tremendously to realize that God is much much wider, higher, longer, deeper and more powerful and loving than the God and Jesus which is portrayed in the many publications of The Family, and to see all of the marvelous and miraculous ways He is moving OUTSIDE of The Family. Information that we never had access to before.
Could it be true that when we feel this fear or condemnation, guilty feeling or feeling of despising ourselves for quitting and this feeling of being a failure comes, that it is because we are measuring our relationship to God on a basis of the standard we have set for ourselves or have allowed others to set for us, but is not realistically in line with the truth contained in the Word of God?
Could it be possible that the healing process would be faster if people can understand that God loves us NOT based upon our performance, but because of the simple fact that He IS Love?
It seems that when we try to tie God’s love for us to some kind of good works of our own, and we know that we have failed in fulfilling the expectations we or others have for us in that aspect, then we think we have also failed God, and so how can we have fellowship with God when we think He does not want to fellowship with us because of our failures, in that case there may be a tendency to get discouraged and stop seeking God altogether, thinking we can never live up to His expectations. Especially for those who have been in TF for many years and feel that their faith and spiritual life has plateaued, or gone downhill without hope of ever seeing their dreams fulfilled .
This is, of course, not realizing ourselves that we, or others, put these expectations upon us, which we allowed for many years, and that in actuality, they were not put upon us by God Himself.
Since the trauma is an emotional problem, linked to fear, bitterness, possibly unforgiveness, a fear that we are not who we thought we were, and a fear that we don’t know how to get out of this emotional state, or if we ever will, can it help someone to build their faith again with the positive effects of God’s Word, should they choose to still be a Christian?
I believe that it has helped me tremendously to strengthen my faith in God and His word rather than reject it as the reasons for my being deceived for many years.
The thing I realize I was deceived in was not the truth in God’s Word , but how it was presented to us, how it was taught and the mis-application of it that became a part of my life for many years, and affected every aspect of it.
My wife and I are involved in helping some ex members who are nationals in the country we are in, and one thing that has helped is to show the unconditional love and grace of God, and that He is most willing to accept us, and does not expect us to try to win His love for them through service.
If we desire to serve the Lord , this will come as a by product , or fruit of our relationship with Him. It is not to be a requirement in order to have fellowship with God.
This has helped me, I know, and my wife also those we minister to not to be under any pressure but has helped us to be willing to just accept His love as an unconditional gift, which I feel makes a relationship with God more meaningful.
This journey that we choose, of course can only be realistic if we have a desire to continue in the Christian faith without the filter of The Family and David Berg’s teachings, as those teachings have been the cause for much misappropriation and misattribution of God and His Word, which caused the emotional stress and problems of many former members and I dare say, current members.
I know I cannot offer that kind of therapy to those who are so deeply wounded that they may not accept anything to do with religion or the Bible, but I found that I could help others by being understanding and offer them the same thing that helped me. I mean this is what we do when we share God’s Word with whoever it may be , anyway, whether they were in an abusive group or not, so there has to be some positive effect , if the person is ready in their heart to accept it and respond positively and providing that they are not in a totally burned out emotional state.
Thanks again and sorry for my lengthy question. I can’t claim to be totally healed myself, but in the process I feel I can share what has worked for me so far, as I see and experience the positive effects of it.