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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.

bootsycollins Wed 25-Sep-13 09:25:51

Your mums very wise missgarth, I think the resignation letter followed by emigration is for the best thanks

idiot55 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:26:07

Your mum is right, glad you have family support,x

flyingwidow Wed 25-Sep-13 09:53:50

Agree with the others. Thank goodness for the wisdom of your mother. Type the letter- save it on the computer (this will date stamp it). Keep a hard copy for your own records and send it recorded delivery.

MissGarth Wed 25-Sep-13 10:05:41

Thanks everyone, a letter it is then.

I am realising that I am very invested in them, want them to approve of me, understand etc and I have to give up on this.

They are never going to congratulate me for this, are they?

I need to do the wisest thing and let go of wondering whether I have behaved appropriately or not.

On a more positive emigrating note, I have decided that the first thing I am going to do is go out today and buy a crochet hook. (I secretly stalk the wooly hugs ladies thread and want to be one of them). I haven't a clue how to crochet but I'm sure in my new life it is the sort of thing I'd be able to do smile

MissGarth Wed 25-Sep-13 10:07:08

sorry that didn't make sense, I meant to say, let go of wondering whether they believe I have behave appropriately

flyingwidow Wed 25-Sep-13 10:13:11

Miss Garth- if you live in the Surrey area I know a fantastic (aged!) crochet teacher!

MissGarth Wed 25-Sep-13 10:17:25

No, not in Surrey unfortunately. I have been entertaining myself watching it on you tube this morning.

My only foray into this world was school knitting years and years ago, when I could only make Barbie scarves as I could only do rectangles, so I think it might have to be a secret hobby for some time!!

becsbornunderadancingstar Wed 25-Sep-13 10:17:29

MissGarth - you will be fine, in fact you will be so much happier. Any group that badmouths people who leave it is just keeping you there by coercion. Whereas the new friends you make, you'll only be with them because you really truly like each other with no pressure on either side.

As for what you say - we must be terrible, terrible judges of character to have been taken in so utterly - no, I disagree. You are strong people to see what those around you are refusing to see and to have the courage to act on it. Most people like to imagine that they would be strong-minded enough not to be influenced by a group but endless psychological studies show how much we adapt our perceptions and choices according the the social environment we're in. It is not your fault.

The world is waiting for you with open arms - lots of new genuine friends, lots of new experiences, and careers that are your own calling, done your own way. I'm not saying it won't be scarey but everything in life that is truly good lies on the other side of fear.

passedgo Wed 25-Sep-13 10:21:28


When you possibly can, please read 'The Emotionally Abusive Relationship' by Beverley Engel. This sets out the way that some people manipulate others in order to gain control.

You will be eager to please, they will know this, they will do anything they can to keep you and play on your most vulnerable spots. They will be angry that you have left as it conflicts with their control, the only reason they exist in the first place.

Do keep it to a letter, just place it on the table and leave. Your mother will be so pleased to have you back, it would kill me to lose my child to a controlling group or person.

We have no doubt we will be cut off from all our friends and never hear from anyone again. This is not what friends do - they are not friends.

MissGarth Wed 25-Sep-13 10:27:41

I really appreciate all the support, thank you.

I have just bought that book on kindle, Passedgo, thanks for the rec.

Becs, thanks for that, it is very helpful because of course we worry that how can we trust our judgement about anyone in future if we have been so wrong here, so very helpful to think of it this way.

Rowlers Wed 25-Sep-13 10:29:06

Good luck Miss Garth on your new, exciting journey.

passedgo Wed 25-Sep-13 10:31:17

Actually don't write a letter, just go. Then write the letter later. Then treat yourself to the crochet hook. I feel you are subconsciously waiting to be found out and then will get drawn back in.

You have made the decision, there will never be a right time, just get out while you have the spirit in you. Don't even wait for them all to be out. Just say 'see you later' and don't go back, but do get your Mum to order that book on Amazon asap.

becsbornunderadancingstar Wed 25-Sep-13 10:49:24

I'm glad MissGarth. Honestly, cognitive dissonance is a very uncomfortable state to be in, so most human beings will pretend that things within a group are okay rather than cope with the extreme discomfort of seeing that the group they have chosen is not okay.

And when people leave that also creates cognitive dissonance within the group (ie "These people left and said things aren't okay, but we chose this, and we've said this is okay, so we need that to be true otherwise we've been supporting something bad, and that doesn't fit with our image of ourselves").

So in order for things to be comfortable again the group needs to label the people who have left as 'bad'. Then everything in the story fits neatly again 'well, they left but they were bad. So everything here is still okay.' The need for that belief is so powerful that they may well believe the story once they've said it enough times - they believe it because they need it.

Our need for group approval and to 'fit in' is hardwired as a survival instinct. That instinct will fight to the death - you will doubt, you will falter, it will be hard. But gradually you will build something real for yourselves. I wish you well, I truly do.

passedgo Wed 25-Sep-13 10:59:07

You will feel nauseous, you will probably be physically ill. This will be a symptom of the adrenalin you need to fire up in order to flee. Embrace it, it will pass when you are free. You may then feel euphoria.

JohFlow Wed 25-Sep-13 13:10:06

Right now I think you need to leave in a safe way. That is a way where you get to state your reasons but are not mocked, chastised or manipulated away from them. In a ideal world it would be nice to give a right to replay; but I am afraid these rules change if there is a chance that you could be exposed to more unsavoury behaviour.

I don't think you will be need to be overly concerned about other's reactions - I believe that people who speak ill of others only show themselves up. It sounds like others in the organisation are used to backstabbing when others go - many may not bat an eyelid. Just be truthful to yourselves - the truth always outs.

A letter is a great idea as it encourages to just stick to your facts and gives you free space to express what you really want to say. You are free also of seeing people's reactions when they read. If you decide away from it; it could also be a medium where you get to practice what you want to say. Its not a coward's choice; it a sensible resolution to 'express without the mess'.

MissGarth Sat 28-Sep-13 09:26:05

OK trying to write this bloody letter, we are delivering it this afternoon.

DH thinks we should put no particulars in, I think we should as evidence as to why we are really leaving iyswim.

But then I don't know how much is me wanting to seem that i've been 'fair' to them iyswim...

Anyone fancy proof reading it for me by PM (wouldn't want to put it on the page here)

TiredDog Sat 28-Sep-13 09:37:05

Miss Garth. I suspect I have done a similar thing to you. I emigrated by letter smile
It was important to me to give my reasons, to give them calmly and concisely without emotional derailing (my emotions mainly!). They could have responded in letter but chose not to.

Analyse your reasons for leaving and then analyse which bits are relevant to the organisation and to your personal feelings of integrity. It might help you clarify which bits stay in and out.

I'd also say you don't need to defend your decision based on evidence /truth or events. Your decision is fine based on how you feel. It's more important that your integrity is ok because you are being honest. It's probably therefore important to you that this group understands the risks they are taking in not addressing the issue. Those risks could be financial, criminal or just a moral duty to protect vulnerable people. You say your fears. You leave. It's up to them to act.

TiredDog Sat 28-Sep-13 09:39:12

I also should have said the big thing of reporting to relevant authorities if you have real suspicions of wrong doing.

I would proof read for you if you wanted btw but equally am happy if you think my advice is duff to be ignored smile

SavoyCabbage Sat 28-Sep-13 09:44:53

Miss Garth, one of the things I did when I emigrated was go to a crochet class! Spooky.

I was rubbish at it, but I had fun.

3littlefrogs Sat 28-Sep-13 09:51:53

DH and I did something similar years ago.

It was hard but the sense of relief was huge.

Strangely enough, our timing was fortuitous because the whole thing blew up not long afterwards and lots of stuff came out and the organisation was shut down.

I felt vindicated because it was me that had wanted to get out for some time and it took a while to convince DH.

You are doing the right thing op. Think of it as getting your lives back.

MissGarth Sat 28-Sep-13 13:18:31

TiredDog, thanks for the advice, having read it I have re-written the letter. Thanks for the offer to proofread, I have just pm'd it to you

Savoy Cabbage, that is spooky. My crochet so far has some interesting holes but I am enjoying myself.

3littlefrogs- I have wondered about it all blowing up here too, so that is useful, thanks.

MissGarth Sat 28-Sep-13 13:26:44

tired dog, forgot to say we have already reported our concerns to the local safeguarding team already. They have said they are looking into things but we won't be told what their findings are.

BillyBanter Sat 28-Sep-13 16:59:54

I'm glad you have reported that. What about the financial skulduggery?

I hope it goes ok and remember you've done the right thing and can get on with your life with a clear conscience.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:12

If you want to use the letter as some form of evidence in the future if necessary you would be better sending it by recorded tracked delivery and retain the evidence of delivery.

HappySunflower Sat 28-Sep-13 19:41:03

I wish you all the best, really hope that you managed to get it dropped off okay and that you feel some sense of relief that this it at least, is over.

The rest of your life starts now, hope you can enjoy your fresh start/new beginning.

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