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Hand holding please - About to throw my whole life overboard.

(255 Posts)
MissGarth Tue 24-Sep-13 13:23:27

Tonight me and DH are leaving an organisation that is basically our whole life- all our friends are there, we spend all our free time there, we use our gifts in a voluntary capacity there and the long term plan was that the organisation would be our employer, in a field we have wanted to work in all our lives.

And now we are leaving.

Can't say more about the organisation until we have told them.

I feel so sick and so frightened.

We have no doubt we will be cut off from all our friends and never hear from anyone again. It is going to be very lonely. There are lots of people there we genuinely love.

I'm also frightened about what they will say about us when we leave. We know of other people who have left and they all seem to have left after extremely poor/ shockingly bad behaviour...which we now realise, of course, is crap.

Thank God for DH.

sisterofmercy Tue 24-Sep-13 13:57:47

Whether it's a cultish religious community or something else, they all tend to operate on similar lines. You should not be ashamed for being deceived. I have known a few people who have left closed communities for a variety of reasons and gone on to make very worthwhile and content lives for themselves in their new open communities.

You will always have love in your heart for those that deserve it so even if you cannot see them again they are there with you in spirit.

You will meet new people to love too and your lives will be the richer for it.

I am sure you know but there are support organisations and charities out there that will be able to help you with a variety of issues. Good luck.

WafflyVersatile Tue 24-Sep-13 13:58:34

Sending you good wishes.

I'd also suggest that you report the stuff you found out to the relevant authorities, which does not mean someone a bit higher up the chain in the same organisation, who will probably cover it up.

Maybe you can also contact other people who have left, although it sounds like, bridges might have been burnt there.

TheArmadillo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:59:24

Go easy on yourself.

It is often difficult to comprehend others behaving in a way we would never ever consider. That's why it's difficult to realise what they are doing. Also it's easy to have 20/20 vision with hindsight.

You and dh have each other. Think about the opportunities that are are going to be open to you, things you will be able to do that you haven't been able to up to now. Focus on the positives.

Have you got family outside the organisation you can look to for support, old friends you can get in touch with?

Sittingbull Tue 24-Sep-13 14:00:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CinnabarRed Tue 24-Sep-13 14:10:09

I just wanted to say how much I admire you. And your DH.

JohFlow Tue 24-Sep-13 14:11:51

Seems that you have invested many areas of your life in this organisation - time, friends, voluntary work etc. The difficulty with this is when you are ready to leave - how do you fill those areas again. This can be a series of changes and take a little time. You will attract a better set of circumstances to yourselves in time.

I hope I can offer some reassurance (and benefit of experience) after making the brave decision to leave the church that I grew up in and was heavily involved in (to a similar extend to yourselves).

Let's look at the fact first that you have changed and are more aware of the situation which you have objections to. I am guessing (please tell me if I am wrong) that the situation you are protesting about goes against the organisations own ethics/moral code. You may then have conflict between loving the people there and disapproving of actions. Is there a cover-up going on which you cannot support? That's real pressure.

In many relationships we change and grow and sometimes that creates a gap between us and the people that are left behind. It may be that you are just more aware of what is going on than others. I am not sure if the organisation also has a swing on how people accept others that are different. They may also have a strong 'public face' which makes people evasive about dealing with in-house problems.

If you cannot tolerate what is going on (and everyone does) then you are likely to leave over time. You sound like you are blessed with intuition - follow what it says. Try not to worry what people think of you - your true friends will try to stay in touch.

There are other places and organisations that could use your skills and enthusiasm.

VioletHunter Tue 24-Sep-13 14:16:25

You are being very brave, op. You WILL come through this and make new friends.

nicename Tue 24-Sep-13 14:29:04

Remind yourself why you are doing this. You won't have made such a decision lightly. Keep each other focussed on this. Sometimes you may feel that its easier to go back and say 'sorry, all a mistake, can we come home please' but recall why you felt that leaving was your only option.

They may try to win you back with bribary or threats.

Don't open any letters or enails from them. Block numbers and email addresses where necessary. Return mail to sender unopened.

As for your friends - don't get into reasons with them and say that you won't discuss it. If they are your friends then they will respect this. If you feel that you need to sever all ties, then do so. You don't want a drip drip drip of their words. If you are doubtful that friends won't try to persuade you back then you have to turn your back on them.

MadBusLady Tue 24-Sep-13 14:29:31

I have an inkling of the kind of organization you might mean, OP.

Don't beat yourself up over being "taken in". Big voluntary-based groups with common goals and ideals are seductive in a number of ways - there's a feeling of working towards a common cause, you know you're all giving up your free time which gives you a sort of collective glow of virtue, you all want to get on with each other, you all nurture the things you have in common and it makes you feel connected.

These are powerful forces, and mostly they tap into all that's best about people. Unfortunately, it only takes a few bad apples to exploit it all, and if you find out it either makes you panic and close your mind to it (as your colleagues left behind presumably do) or it makes you ashamed of your participation. But you shouldn't be. You were doing a good thing then, you are doing a good thing now.

flyingwidow Tue 24-Sep-13 14:40:25

Please you like the comparison to emigrating! You'll be fine OP, honestly, truly. What doesn't kill you, definitely makes you stronger.

You'll be stronger as an individual and as a couple. It is these sorts of life events that really prove to you that you are more solid and resilient than you thought you were. Is your DH as keen to leave as you are?

AnInfiniteNumberofMonkeys Tue 24-Sep-13 14:46:44

Is it the Conservative Party?

Good luck.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:55:53

* hands to hold and cake and brew *

Having your DH will make it easier, having a stable core to rebuild around. My big practically from scratch life events were eased thanks to mine. I immigrated and this year I left an...organization that I'd given over a decade and built my worldview and life around in a similar manner to the way you're talking. The knock out of it threw me for six, it was a while before I felt "normal" again and I'm still working on fitting pieces back together. For me, I had to look at what pieces were missing with the vacuum suddenly being there and work towards finding better pieces. Still working through it but being out from under it and into the light has made things a lot better in the end. I wish you the best in your journey through this.

Fluffythefish Tue 24-Sep-13 15:20:07

This must be such a hard thing for you to do - but I admire you and your husband so much for making this decision and also making the break in a public way. I'll be thinking and praying for you tonight. And I hope that people will come to understand why you are doing this and rekindle friendships

JesuslovesmethisIknow Tue 24-Sep-13 15:28:07

I think I know what you are talking about <been there got the tshirt>

its is hard but you will start over and it will be BETTER in the long run.

less corruption

FairPhyllis Tue 24-Sep-13 15:28:23

Don't beat yourself up over your judgement - the important thing is that you have realised what it is like now and acted properly. It's often very hard to recognise dysfunctional/unhealthy structures especially in a religious/voluntary environment that superficially appears to be wholly altruistic. You can easily be made to feel unreasonable/disruptive/ungrateful for questioning things when there's supposedly a common benevolent goal everyone is working towards.

The BIG positive here is that you have each other - you're in agreement about what to do, neither of you is still remaining in the organisation. Your marriage is still intact.

If you've invested a lot of your time and emotional energy in this organisation you will go through a mourning period. Take your time and be kind to yourselves.

lougle Tue 24-Sep-13 19:53:43

Well done, OP. You are living integrity. It will get easier. I've made a few difficult choices in life and whilst the fall out is terrible, I can sleep at night as a result.

WafflyVersatile Tue 24-Sep-13 23:52:41

How did it go and how are you both?

MissGarth Wed 25-Sep-13 08:13:26

After all that we didn't do it...there was not the opportunity to do it in an appropriate manner (strangers unconnected to the thing were also there).

We got all geared up for it and then came home with nothing different so we were really in a state last night, but then this morning I am beginning to wonder if that was actually a blessing in disguise.

Speaking to my mother this morning she thinks it is completely mad to do it in person, she would send a letter of resignation setting out why we are leaving and leave it at that.

I wonder if that is quite cowardly but she thinks (a) they might talk us out of it and (b) we are leaving because of lies and a cover up so it is not exactly as though they are going to agree with us, they will probably argue and it might get quite nasty and (c) it does leave a track record of why we are going. So afterwards if for example they tried to allege something bad about us we could at least show we left voluntarily and why.

I can see the sense in what she says (because she also knows the details of the lines we have been told about other people that left) but I wonder if it is a bit cowardly- and if I don't do it face to face then is it really sort of aggressive? i.e. not allowing them a chance to respond? I don't know.

I'm not sure if that is my better self talking, or the fact that emotionally I'm very entangled with them.

We can't do it in person now until Sunday, if we were going to go the letter route, we'd have to deliver it on Saturday. So I've got a bit of time to ponder. In many ways I just wish it was over already as it is hard having it hang over me.

WafflyVersatile Wed 25-Sep-13 08:28:25

Maybe do a letter and is there a way to get your side out to others and you know you will be slandered as others have been? Recorded delivery or email?

crabbyoldbat Wed 25-Sep-13 08:28:37

You mother sounds very wise

If you 'give them a chance to respond', will their response make any difference to the reasons you're leaving? From what you've said, it doesn't sound like it will. Is there anything they could say that would make you change your mind?

If it would make no difference what they say, I don't think you need to talk to them at all (particularly if they'll try to talk you round) . Your underlying reasons for leaving will still stand.

MissGarth Wed 25-Sep-13 08:40:05

I don't think they will be able to talk us round, if they admitted their problem and asked for help we would of course stay and help, but I think that is extremely unlikely, they will probably just give us reasons to doubt our own judgement.

Having said that there are biblical suggestions that you do go and state your problem in the hope that they will admit and ask for help, that possibly I shouldn't take away?

I would only ever send the letter to them (the leaders) not other people there, would never circulate in an email etc. which to us would be seen as gossip.

If they lie about why us, well, we are pretty much resigned to that happening, but don't want to get into a public slanging match with them.

My mum was thinking the value of the letter is more for outsiders, if for example one day we found the police on our doorstep, because we are alleged to have done some random thing, (there was a strange thing once about a man who had punched them which was unlikely sounding) then we have a defence iyswim.

This whole has got so far from what it was supposed to be and our hopes for it.

I think you should definitely do the letter, it will give you a chance to set out everything clearly, especially if there are several issues. If you tried to talk about all of them, people will forget some of them, you'll get interrupted and contradicted... it just won't be as effective.

And it will serve as a record, as you say.

mrsdowneyjnr Wed 25-Sep-13 08:49:06

If you feel that a face to face would help you feel that you have given them a chance to respond you could finish the letter with an option to meet, with an independent mediator to give them the option to respond. Although sounds unlikely given what you have posted.

JesuslovesmethisIknow Wed 25-Sep-13 09:08:55

have pm'd you miss garth smile as have WALKED in your current shoes.

ILoveMakeUp Wed 25-Sep-13 09:22:19

Your mum is right. Don't meet with them.

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