Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shame


I was introduced to this video on a message board that I visit often. I had started a thread questioning the efficacy of drug based therapy treatments. Someone thought this video was appropriate in relation to how the community on that board feels.

It is very appropriate because in Scientology your number one fear is disconnection just as she mentions in this video. Carrying around shame with themselves is something Scientologists do on a day to day basis. You constantly live under the threat of losing people you love and care about simply because you did something disagreeable.



In my particular instance I was ashamed of who I was. I was never allowed to sprout my own roots and grow in whatever direction I wanted. This is just now something that I am learning I can do.

When I first started making friends outside of Scientology it was awkward. I thought that if I did anything to upset them for even just a second I would lose their friendship. This was a remnant of my time in Scientology where such a thing was entirely possible and did eventually happen to me.

As my social circle outside of the church grew larger, I started to see that everyone around me thought about things differently. Not everyone agreed with each other. That was such a strange thing because inside Scientology there is no such thing as disagreement. There is only the party line and everyone toes it.

It was amazing to see people who came from such different backgrounds be able to disagree on things without being judged or accused. It was at that point that I started to realize life away from Scientology was so much more realistic and happy. People didn't live in fear or try to conform to some kind of authority. They lived their own lives and made their own decisions.

At home it was a different story. My dad had gained a very high status in the church and my family would just agree with whatever he said, or when they disagreed about important things they just kept quiet. He was the go to guy when you needed to know about politics or conspiracies or "natural" treatments. He was a control freak who wanted to keep everyone under his thumb and tried to nose up in everyone's business.

As an example, when my car was stolen I was 25 years old. I called my dad to tell him what happened and he actually had the nerve to say to me, "I let you do whatever you want and look at what happens." He also threatened to have me arrested in that conversation, which I doubt would have played out like he thought but the idea was disconcerting to say the least. He made me feel ashamed that my car was stolen (which was something completely out of my control) and even tried to tell me this only happened because I am gay.

Living in shame was something I was used to when spending time with people at the church. When I started to make friends outside of the church I came to realize that I didn't have to be ashamed of who I was and I didn't have to live up to anyone's expectations except my own.