Author Topic: damaged beyond repair  (Read 3553 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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« on: January 24, 2006, 05:12:00 PM »
I just returned from a trip to see my family where dynamics and a conversation about the seed, in which I struggled to get my mom to hear me say that I do indeed know that she didn't know what to do with me, so she might possibly hear what a scam the seed was, did me in.

I never mean to talk about that stuff. I know it's pointless but sometimes it just happens like a sore I can't stop picking at.  On the car ride home I became increasingly sensitive, irritable and couldn't stop obsessing on the conversation. Now that I am home I feel worthless and hopeless.  I  know I'll feel better in a few days but I have to keep thousands of miles away from my family to feel I am whole.  And that in itself makes me feel weak, hollow, broken.


Will this ever be over for good?
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Offline NOT12NOW

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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 05:17:00 PM »
Oops, didn't mean to post anon.
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 05:52:00 PM »
Gosh, I just don't know.  This subject divides many families to the point they dont get along, hence my statement that the seed tears families apart.

I think, for me, it was very important that my family understood my position, and that I can back up my position way beyond any of their naked assertions such as "however you would be dead..we saved your life" or shit like that.

However, once they understand that you arent with the program anymore and that you aren't intimidated by their statements about you as a 12 year old and that you won't be bullied into accepting the warped premises they present as justification, it is probably time to let the topic die a natural death.  Don't force them to agree with you or you will just build resentment.  Don't let them do the same to you. State your case as unemotionally and as intellectually as you can, and smile and move off the topic.  Only discuss it from then on out when they challenge your closely held beliefs about what happened, and do it again..unemotionally as you can.

This works for me.
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2006, 05:54:00 PM »
And my dear friend, you are neither worthless or hopeless. Nor are you alone in this difficulty. It is common with adults who went thru these programs.  The experience becomes a dividing point in the family.  Don't beat yourself up over it, and try not to beat your mom up for not seeing your side.
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Offline shanlea

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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2006, 07:13:00 PM »
It's interesting you bring this up.  I came to this site over a year ago in an attempt to make sense of that part of my life (I went to CEDU).  It validated everything I ever felt about CEDU, and I was happy I found people who could relate.  (I split the program, so I was cut off from former peers and could not discuss it with "civilians"--they simply could not understand.)  I am a very sensitive person, so even though I knew CEDU was fucked, it affected me deeply.  And it was the one topic I could never address with my parents. In fact, my CEDU experience was made worse by the fact I could never talk about it.

I am extremely close to my Mom and consider her my favorite person, bar none, to be around. I can also talk to her about anything... except CEDU.   One night last summer, we went out to dinner and I told her exactly what happened there. I didn't blame her at all--she had no idea, but I told her everything.  And she resented the hell out of it.  She was pissed. She didn't dispute anything I said, but she resented the messenger and not the school.   It was years ago, and since we are so close, I think she resented that I had to remove any illusion she had about the place. It was another way she felt she failed me. And I think she just wished I would just shut the hell up about something that can't be changed, since it occurred over 15 years ago. we weren't close in any ways, I would be angry.

But also, I think there is only so much guilt a person can take.  She already felt extremely guilty for many things, like not protecting me better, and to find out the place she sent me to in order to help me only exacerbated my sense of isolation made it worse. So I forgive her for it, and know it's one of those things in life you just can't understand unless you've been through it--like depression, rape, or heck, even parenthood.  

Being older and having gone through a lot, and now, being a mother of two small boys, I can only hope I can give them what they need to feel safe and loved in this world.  That I never have an overriding sense of guilt, like my mothers', that I didn't protect them enough. I remember when I had boys being grateful that I didn't have to worry about protecting a little girl from some of the things I went through. Though logically I know this doesn't make much sense.  All children are vulnerable.

At any rate, I know that pain of guilt is  powerful and your family may be better equipped to deal with denial than guilt.  Most of us are.

What happened happened, and there are ways to cope better, but it will always be woven into your psyche.
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hanlea

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2006, 07:56:00 PM »
I think, Shanlea, that something you said rings very true with some parents, and that is they are much better equipped to deal with denial then guilt.

Sometimes however, for our own good, our own validation, and to define our own boundaries, the topic must be broached with our parents. It is NOT healthy to let them perpetuate the lie that we were worthless dying fuckups that deserved a brain washing in order to save us.

The problem arises when we get stuck in the conflict of it.

I believe we MUST state our case to our parents if we want this dealt with effectively, but  when do we need to  deal with the issues in a way where we don't confront them mostly emotionally, but instead we confront them mostly intellectually, and then once the case is stated and the boundary is set, we hold the boundary only when necessary.  Your parents do not need to hear about this everytime you talk to them or at every family gathering.  It will only further divide you and them.

Also, don't go to them seeking emotional comfort over what happened, do it in order to validate what you know is true and to set the record straight (so to speak). Chances are they will betray you again emotionally if you ask for complete understanding. They, as Shanlea pointed out, are embracing denial in order to protect themselves from the horrifying reality that they may be responsible for   a defining negative event in your life.  Countless people, including me, have elicited apologies only to have our parents quip behind our backs that they needed to do commit us to save our lives and then to further justify what happened by denying any knowledge of abuse.  I know better but guess what?  I really don't care.  I have gained the upper hand in the conversation because I have prepared myself with logical arguments and facts and mostly abandoned the emotional teenage argument that ALWAYS failed when I brought it to my father.  He is stuck in the emotional argument and we have an understanding now that would never have been possible had I remained stuck there as well.

 
The urban legends don't just fall over and die when confronted with the truth, they tend to perpetuate in that environment of guilt and denial your parents have embraced.

So, I think if you don't want to feel betrayed again, or over and over again, I want you to prepare yourself to approach the topic with your parents without accusing them, without being overly emotional, and be prepared to argue your points with calm facts, not from the perspective of a teenager.


Also, prepare yourself for the possible train wreck that may ensue.  They may get pissed, they may refuse to discuss, they may do any number of things that you don't expect or appreciate.  

Remember, the real reason  you should  do this is to set the boundary....no longer will you let them define who you were in negative terms before they commmitted you to the program..no longer will you let them say they  saved or helped you, that you were doomed and needed that "therapy".  You know the truth, and you want them to understand exactly how you feel, and more importantly, why.

Good luck to any and all that go down this path.
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Offline shanlea

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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2006, 08:14:00 PM »
Yes, I absolutely concur that you should not deny what happened or you may feel powerless over what happened to you.  When I discussed this with my Mom, I told her logically, factually, and assertively what happened.  I did not over emote.  I did not blame.  (Really, she thought she was sending me to a bucolic boarding school that would give me all the self esteem I didn't have.  The brochure looked good, and she was referred by a kindly pastor/counselor who never visited the place.)  She was the one who had an emotional reaction, but to her credit, she did not deny my experience. In fact, she admitted she sent me there because SHE was unequipped to parent--at that time, she just needed me gone. It did set a tense tone for the remainder of her visit, but I got it out and said what I always wanted to say, and I don't have to pretend the place did any good at all anymore. And I'm okay with the fact she had trouble coping with the info, so I don't need to shove it down her throat.  Having said that, I would be right pissed if she denied my experience and said it saved me. But she didn't.  

But what Greg said about keeping calm and stating the facts, not letting anyone bulldoze you, but also maintaining emotional control is true.  It's just that it takes time to do that--it's hard to discuss what happened intellectually when it fucked you over so bad emotionally.
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hanlea

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2006, 08:20:00 PM »
:tup:
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Offline NOT12NOW

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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2006, 09:25:00 AM »
Damn,  I just spent a half hour writing a reply only to have it lost in cyberspace and now I am all rung out.

Thank you both of you for your comments I'll reply a bit later when I have time again.
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Offline Stripe

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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2006, 12:22:00 PM »
Here's how I did it...and am still doing it...

Prefacing the conversation with an acknowledgment that their decision was based only on the information made available to them in 1973, I kept my statements factually oriented as to the experience then tried to keep the focus of the conversation in the present.  Doing this helped me to explain to my parents how hurtful, in the longterm, the seed experience was for me - because I could give them present-life examples of where application and use of the seed philosopy had damaged me.  I was in there in 1973 and I did not have this conversation with them until December of 2004.  That's a long time to keep trying to embrace a lie, but try like hell I did.

Of course, over this past year I have dealt with a flood of emotions as a result of confronting the seed experience.  These have included fear, anger, and shame - as well as joy.  It was hard to confront my life choices and see where it went wrong: I was angry about the lies I was told about myself (that I was worthless, addicted, would never amount to anything etc., etc>).  Until just recently, I had felt such a sense of shame over the entire event.  Shame for accepting the punishment, shame for hurting others, and shame for hurting myself trying to believe and embrace the lies foisted on me by the seed as my own personal truth.  

Forgivenss is not easy, but I found it easier to think rationally and less emotionally about the experience only after I forgave myself for my participation in it> I had to forgive myself for not speaking up about the lies that were perpetuated about me by the program and the lies that were perpetrated by me by my own words - I never did the things I admitted to, but I had to say those things to be left alone, to be able to sit down, to move to the next phase and to get out.

Sure, it's fine for a drug addict to premise their life on powerlessness and addiction, but if you are not powerless and are not an addict, it's a false premise.  As I have found out, no matter what I did in life, so long as I believed I was powerless, I never ever felt I was deserving of the success or rewards that were the result of all my hard work. All that I acheived I have felt was a sham - at least up until this past year.  This past year has been harder and better than any year of my life.

It's definitely hard when you change the way you look at the world - when you switch the paradigm.  It's easier said than done. And it's harder still when your family and those closest to you still have you type-cast as something else and your change screws up their world. That sounds like what you have expericenced.  But they will eventually, come to accept you.  They may not believe what you tell them about your experience, but they will see the results in your life that come from speaking your truth.  Just try as best as you can to stay true to your heart.  It will not be easy, but your heart will be lighter than it has ever been before - I'm pretty sure of that.

PM me if you have more questions. I'd be glad to share some of my personal experience with you but not in the public fourm discussion.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
The person who stands up and says, ``This is stupid,\'\' either is asked to `behave\' or, worse, is greeted with a cheerful ``Yes, we know! Isn\'t it terrific ?\'\' -- Frank Zappa

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2006, 01:25:00 PM »
Great post stripe, but this most of all rings the bells of truth, as I understand truth and apply to it my own situation...

Quote
On 2006-01-25 09:22:00, Stripe wrote:

 but if you are not powerless and are not an addict, it's a false premise.



and living your life under a false premise may not ruin your life, but it closes so many doors to personal growth and real self-awareness that I found it totally necessary to reject the seed in order to find myself.  

Some people seem to have found themselves within those confines, but to me I might as well have been smothered by a giant pillow.
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Offline marshall

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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2006, 10:54:00 PM »
stripe wrote:
-----------------
"Sure, it's fine for a drug addict to premise their life on powerlessness and addiction, but if you are not powerless and are not an addict, it's a false premise."
---------------

Great post Stripe. Just wanted to add to Greg's comment about this line.  I've mentioned here that I have been addicted to some degree to several substances during my youth. All were legal. I became addicted to prescribed valium at one point. This went on for over a year. I also developed an addiction to codeine in a prescribed cough syrup that lasted for months. I was able to stop both of these on my own before I ever went to the Seed. How could this be possible? Wasn't I supposed to be a powerless druggie in need of a group and program to overcome such dependencies? Like many others I also became strongly addicted to cigarettes before and especially during my program...at one point smoking over 2 1/2  packs of Kool per day.  I was able to quit this 5 year addiction too all by myself a few months after I graduated the Seed. (quiting during the program would have been extremely difficult) These are the only true addictions that I've ever had (discounting my ongoing daily use of caffeine) and none were 'cured' via the seed or any other program. So what did the Seed cure me of? An addiction to pot? Beer? Those were the only drugs I used habitually (aside from tobacco) during my preseed days. All the rest could best be categorized as experimentation or curiosity. I took speed 5 or 6 times over 3 years. Qualudes a few times less than that. The rest consisted of hallucinogenic drugs...none of which are addictive or even habit forming for the average person. I used mescaline once, what we called THC  20 or 30 times over 3 years, LSD 5 times and mushrooms 20 or so times and hashish a dozen or so times.  Is this what the Seed cured me of? I was already tired of daily pot use by the time I went to the seed. Since I was able to quit all 3 of those truly addictive drugs, I can't imagine why I wouldn't have also been capable of stopping the use of cannibis or other hallucinogens without any program as well.

For me, this brings the whole program lie into focus. I am definitely not powerless over drugs or alcohol...and despite program assertions to the contrary, apparently never was. And why does someone such as myself not use drugs & rarely use alcohol...while so many of those who still embrace the party-line of powerlessness still battle on-going addiction issues? Does the dogma of powerlessness somehow encourage the very behaviour it seeks to end? I think this is very likely. If I truly believed I was powerless over alcohol, after the first time I drank a beer with my father I may have thought 'what's the use? I took a drink...oh god! Now I'm a worthless piece of shit. Might as well get drunk every day now.' I can see how this very premise might have caused me to become an alcoholic. Or the one time well over a decade ago that I decided to smoke a joint. If I believed I was powerless I would have had similar thoughts and concluded that I was now a hopeless druggie so why not get high every day and go find some smack or coke? I can be around groups of people smoking pot now and feel no desire to smoke it. I don't run out of the room, seedlike, in a panic to escape lest I succumb to my supposed 'powerlessness'. IMO, the doctrine of powerlessness is all a bunch of hooey. Not only false, but probably actually harmful.[ This Message was edited by: marshall on 2006-01-25 19:59 ]
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Offline Stripe

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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2006, 12:41:00 AM »
MARSHALL WROTE:

And why does someone such as myself not use drugs & rarely use alcohol...while so many of those who still embrace the party-line of powerlessness still battle on-going addiction issues? Does the dogma of powerlessness somehow encourage the very behaviour it seeks to end?


Marshall, I think the answer to your quesiton is yes.      

Not12now has to know that what might be aching to get out of her and causing her anguish and uncertainty is the truth that she is not what her mother or the seed believed her to be.

N12N, if you were truly powerless you would be fully at peace with believing that or whatever the teaching was that you embraced about yourself. You would have no questions, no doubts and most certianly, no conflicts. But that's not the case.  

And like many more of us who went through that program and have tired in vain to reconcile and embrace the teachings and have come to that same conclusion, you are now finding more questions than answers in the seed teachings.

It's perfectly okay to reject what does not work. That is logical, normal human behavior. It's actually the right thing to do. Here's a twist for ya:
 :grin:
As those in "recovery" say...the definition of insanity is repeating the same act over and over over again with the expectation of a different result.  

Well, there you have it.

Obviously, for some of us, seed addiction philosophy did not work and when the pain of the continued "insanity" became greater than the fear of letting it go, well, what's left but to let it go and reject that which is harmful?  I mean how much worse can it be?  For me, it's not bad at all. It's quite nice, really. It may be a much more difficult path at first, filled with resistence and doubt and emotion, but one which in the end brings peace.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
The person who stands up and says, ``This is stupid,\'\' either is asked to `behave\' or, worse, is greeted with a cheerful ``Yes, we know! Isn\'t it terrific ?\'\' -- Frank Zappa

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2006, 09:40:00 AM »
Quote
On 2006-01-25 19:54:00, marshall
? Does the dogma of powerlessness somehow encourage the very behaviour it seeks to end?


For all but a very few, I believe this is  very true.

Oh, there are the skid row type winos, the chronic destructive on-the-steets drug injectors, the alcoholics that chug off the bottle at every opportunity...these people seem to choose their addiction or complusions over almost every thing else, and  The argument for their powerlessness makes some sense...at least temporarily until they gain back the power they have given the bottle or the substance.  Then I offer they usually have regained the power they need and they need to use it, and wallowing in their former powerlessness is counterproductive and keeps them sucking at the teat of treatment.
 
But powerlessness as a concept or as a one size fits all treatment modality is sorcery.
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Offline Johnny G

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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2006, 08:53:00 PM »
The concept of powerlessness was expanded to include anything outside the seed; that combined with the paranoia embodied in the concept of anyone outside the program being a "druggie" contributed greatly to the experience of the 80's and 90's.

As Cleveland pointed out in another thread, it was like the frog in the pot of water - after a while I realized how much control over my life I had really given up.  It was a gradual process, but it got to where I felt really trapped.  There was a certain amount of rebellion in some of my activities at work and watching the house, etc.  but in the end I felt like anything I said or did that could be interpreted as anything less than total assent to the program would incur the wrath of Staff.  I had no car, and I envisioned being booted out with whatever I could carry (I never thought they would drive me to the airport, or give me more more notice than the time it took to blast me)

I have come to terms with my parents decision to put me on the program (I looked at it as the best of several bad options, so I chose to be there, they just wrote the check), I have let them know what it was about and that there are clones out there, now we just leave it alone.

I think they got sucked into the hysteria of the time like so many other parents did and did the best with what they had - good intentions did the rest...

now we know better -

G
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