Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trying to Find Myself

I have been through a whole hell of a lot of social and behavioral conditioning. Right now at this moment, now that I have been almost entirely removed from that environment for several months I feel lost. For two decades I had solid, if unsound, structure in my life. I was forcibly ejected from that environment and away from my immediate family when I had gone online to seek out help with the questions I had about the religion in which I had been raised.

I was taught how to do everything, from how to properly eat food to how to tie my shoes and brush my teeth and even how to speak to people. The difference between my childhood and others is: I was not taught any of this by my parents. I was taught by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology and the writer of the book Dianetics.

The religion itself has been labeled by many as a cult or mafia or business enterprise. In reality I am not sure what to call it. The IRS labels it as a religious or charitable entity providing it with questionable tax exemption status through a secret agreement which even today remains sealed. Happily that agreement may be called into question the near future.

There are many front groups that the church operates under: Narconon, Criminon, Applied Scholastics, CCHR and WISE to name a few. They deal with drug addiction, criminal behavior, tutoring programs, human rights abuses committed by psychiatrists and introducing the Hubbardian scriptures to businesses.

It all sounds very nice on the surface. All of these groups, some of which attempt to hide their connection to Scientology to deceive interested clientele, are a reflection of the religion from which they stem. The scriptures that Hubbard wrote extend into every part of life. They cover everything from how to manage your business and marriage to how to properly raise your kids and how to choose the right friends.

The end result of all this, which I have been suffering for the last 8 years on and off is that once you renounce those beliefs you are lost in a sea of uncertainty. Things which you were convinced were absolutes and which you were completely confident were true and right fall by the wayside and you are left with nothing to cling to.

Lately I have been riding an emotional roller coaster. A question that I continually ask myself is, "How should I feel about this?" It's something that most people would think should come naturally. Sometimes things make you angry, sometimes they make you sad, right? In my case, coming from the background I was born into it is not so simple.

Sometimes things happen and I respond with the entirely wrong emotion or I just freeze up emotionally because I don't know how to feel. This is a direct result of my behavioral programming from the Scriptures of Scientology. They teach you or tell you how to feel about everything.

Very new to me recently is the idea that you can actually feel two ways about the same thing. I didn't even know that was possible because Scientology teaches you that you are only allowed to feel one emotion at a time and there is even a list of emotions that a person is supposed to be able to feel.

I don't want to feel how my programming tells me to feel anymore. I want to feel how I feel. It sounds so strange to say that I am trying to find myself but that is exactly what I am doing. Scientology turned me into something that I wasn't when I started. It denied me a lot of natural human experiences and destroyed my critical thinking abilities. I have been struggling and probably will keep struggling for years to gain all that back.

I am hoping that eventually I will find emotional stability for myself. I wake up every morning in a different mood: hateful, angry, sad, happy and relieved are just a few of the emotions I feel. Some days I literally have to force myself through the day, just so I can make it to the end and go to sleep hoping to wake up in a better mood.

Some days I just want to stop caring, but unfortunately nothing is that simple. If only it were that simple.


  1. Oh, Derek, this explains so much that I've been wondering about (since I was never in myself). I've heard other exes mention having to learn how to feel for themselves but it never made sense to me before. It amazes me that anyone in there manages to act or produce art of any kind, since those things are ALL about emotion.

    If it makes you feel even a little comfort, even people who have never been indoctrinated into anything have to find themselves, especially in the teens and 20s. I have never met someone under 30 who has a clue who they are yet, and there's plenty over 30 who are just as mystified still. Yes, you have WAY more of yourself to explore than most due to programming, but you are also experiencing a very normal human thing.

    I hope this blog not only helps spread your story but allows you to learn even more about yourself. Writing is excellent for that!

  2. Thank you CraftLass. It has been very comforting to find that my experience in Scientology has not made me weird. It is relieving to know that even people who have never been involved go through the same problems I am having today.

  3. Derek
    Everyone is weird!!!

    I really like this post.
    Emotion is layered and fibrous, contradictory, a mystery.
    The thing I have had to fight is the inclination to just let things be the way others say they are----even if it hurts my heart badly. When someone says "reality is SUCH AND SUCH" and punishes you for having a different view, how can that not hurt? Especially if that person is important to you.
    I do not live in anger---but I have learned not to fear it anymore, in myself or others. And I liked this quote from, what is the Al Pacino film where he's the devil....he says "Hold on to the rage, it's your last fig leaf."


Comments, questions or suggestions? Leave them here!