For years when I didn’t seem to be able to ‘fit in’ in the cultic church that was my heritage, I would ask myself “is it just me?” Is it just me when it seems there is so little real friendship, or even so few real people? Is it just me when things just don’t make sense and I am unable to mindlessly just go along when everyone else seems ok? Is it just me when I feel shunned but don’t really understand why? Or when my beautiful well liked (everywhere but church) children are shunned? Is it just me when I feel I have no true friends in the church?
In viewing my life from this much older person vantage point, I think perhaps some of it was just me. When we first left the cult and found other escapees with similar experiences, there was great relief in thinking “Ok, it wasn’t just me!”
However, upon reflection, I am beginning to realize much of my unhappiness in the cult came from my own nature to not be a cliquey, groupy, type person. I remember as a 10 year old getting all the neighborhood girls together to form a club, but though they were all my friends, some didn’t know each other and had formed their own little cliques. My goal was to ‘bring us all together’. Then in high school, after lunch, I would go from clique to clique, being friendly to many different and differing groups. One friend asked me why I didn’t just pick one group to belong; I really didn’t know, it just didn’t fit ‘me’.
As an adult, my hubby and I would throw parties and I intentionally invited people from my eclectic groups of friends, neighbors, church friends, scouting friends, homeschool friends, etc. I would make up icebreaker questions so they could get to know each other. One of the funniest is when ‘I was a high school quarterback’ was answered by our little petite friend, Marsha 😀 (it was an all girl team, but still . . . .)
In the cult, having outside, different friends was discouraged unless you were attempting to bring them into ‘the truth’. Following the rules explicitly was expected, but most seemed more than a bit hypocritical in this. Another way it probably was just me; I abhorred hypocrisy, so it was either I really followed the belief or I really didn’t. I have always worked diligently at being the same person no matter where I was.
So maybe, at least a part of why I never seemed to really fit into a group and culture that I was literally 3rd generation born in was ‘it was just me’! The best part of me! The me that refused to be part of a clique, the me that loved people from all walks of life, the me that tried to forge friendships in diversity, the me that refused to be hypocritical, the me that God created me to be.
It is ok to be me .