By Justine Lieberman
I just shared this on my page and thought some of you might feel similarly.
When I share my story about being in an abusive relationship nobody says, “but you never talk about the good parts!” When I share how I was hit regularly by my ex’s brothers, how I was verbally abused and raped repeatedly both vaginally and anally, nobody is bothered that I didn’t stay. When I share how my boyfriend demanded my paychecks and followed me when I left the house, how he unplugged wires in my car so I couldn’t leave without his permission, nobody is asks me to remember why I loved him. When I share how his brothers threatened my life and eventually tried to kill me, nobody wants to know how positive qualities.
But when I talk about the cult I was raised in, how I was verbally abused, molested and brainwashed, former and current members question why I don’t talk about the “good” parts of the church.
My longest most abusive relationship was with this cult. Any semblance of identity was smashed to pieces by this cult. I don’t speak out about this place for any other reason than to bring awareness, to stop the abuse, to save others. So, no. I don’t talk about the “positive” or “fun” times very often. Those times are clouded by remembering the fear, the pain, the inability to be myself, to find myself. Stop asking me about the “good” parts of the cult. Yes I have lifelong friends who grew up with me, and were abused alongside me. That’s called trauma bonding. The biggest reason we are still close is because we suffered together. Asking me to hold onto the good is gaslighting. The “good” doesn’t outweigh the bad. The bad was bad, and I don’t wish it on anyone. If your experience was different… Lucky you.