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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.

BillyBanter Thu 03-Oct-13 19:57:04

Any advisor on leaving abusive relationships will say just leave. Get your self out of there and go no contact.

There is a reason for this.

this was an abusive relationship. You know why he wants to see you and you know why the advice is always GO NO CONTACT.

thanksamillion Thu 03-Oct-13 19:57:54

Delurking here smile.

I totally agree with what everyone is saying - you don't owe them any further explanation and you know that he is manipulative so I would strongly advise meeting with him. There is nothing further to discuss (unless he has had a massive change of heart and is standing down hmm).

His wife being upset is unfortunate but not unforeseen. If (and only if) you wanted to could you try to meet with her on her own? I don't know if this is wise and I don't know how you could avoid it turning into an ambush by him. Perhaps leave it for now but with the possibility a little while down the line.

I think someone else said that you were effectively grieving now and I'm pretty sure that anger is one of the stages of working through grief so I wouldn't worry about that - just don't take it out on your DH grin

itsatiggerday Thu 03-Oct-13 20:12:22

Hi MissG smile

Just to bring you some sisterly hugs and say I think you're both being really brave. Just keep remembering that we are called to follow Jesus, not Paul, Apollos, Cephas or anyone else who puts their own name in the list. Not a decision you've taken lightly so don't be emotionally pressured into believing you've been glib and deliberately hurtful.

Take care. x

MissBattleaxe Fri 04-Oct-13 11:47:52

MissG, People use the name of God for their own ends. Often it gives Christianity a bad name.

Stay true to your own faith and don't let anyone come between you and God.

You have done the right thing. Don't go back. Don't look back. Don't contact them.

Nobody should ever be so afraid of leaving a situation they no longer feel comfortable with.

You can see we're pretty much unanimous on this thread! Let that give you strength and believe in yourself again. Take your power back.

MissGarth Fri 04-Oct-13 12:14:01

Hi everyone,

OK today I am feeling stronger again, thanks for all the messages yesterday (and this morning, missbattleaxe) and I am not going to reply to them.

I have realised that the email got me so worked up I couldn't really cope with a meeting at the moment, plus, I don't see how any good can come of it, everyone is right about that.

After a bit of soul searching I have also realised that it is partly pride on my part that is causing me to be so upset- I worry if I don't reply then we will seem petty and unkind to lots of our friends when he tells them, so I want to reply partly so I won't look so mean, - I just have to let go of that, it is prideful. God knows our heart and if other people judge us for that then we have to let them, not try and make them like us by doing something we know isn't right.

My DH has also gone a lot more resolute about this (before we sent the email resigning it was him wavering, not me) but now he is really sure we need to leave completely alone. The last paragraph of the reply we got basically said 'if you do leave you will be an assset anywhere you go' and my DH said, well, lets reply, 'thank you for the reference it is appreciated, we will give it to our new pastor' grin which obviously we won't do but did give us a bit of a giggle.

I think Sat when I used to do all the prep and Sunday when we won't be there are going to be tricky, but not a lot we can do about that.

We have heard he is preaching on Sunday evening on 'how to deal with disappointments' so we have no doubt what that will cover <gulp>.

MissGarth Fri 04-Oct-13 12:15:01

sorry that reads really oddly, meant thank you for the messages, and I am not going to reply to the people who want a meet, not I'm not going to reply to your messages!

MrsCakesPremonition Fri 04-Oct-13 12:32:41

I'm glad to hear you are feeling stronger, I think you are a very wise person. I'm also pleased that you and your DH are supporting each other and that you are managing to keep your sense of humour.
Could you make special plans for this weekend, to keep your mind off things? Visit somewhere new or do something a little different - just to distract yourselves a little.

BettyBotter Fri 04-Oct-13 13:21:07

I'm so pleased that you and dh are both able to support each other on this.

Can I ask if contacting those people you consider real friends on just a personal note would be an option? I don't mean trying to put your 'side of the story' or any information that isn't already public knowledge but just to say something along the lines of what they mean to you...
Dear Fred/Jane/Ahmed
As you will now have heard we have decided to leave XYZ but we just wanted to say how very much we will miss you and that we have always loved you and valued our friendship with you.
Love Miss garth and dh

or something...

Would it make you feel better to express your appreciation and love to your friends?

MudCity Fri 04-Oct-13 15:41:39

I agree with MrsCakes...organise something special for you and DH (and the dog!) for the weekend. Something to mark the start of your new life.

This is not an end. It is a beginning.

Very good luck to you both!

MissGarth Fri 04-Oct-13 17:20:38

Mrs Cakes and Mud: Yes doing something different is a really nice idea, thank you. DH is working all day tomorrow and on Sunday he is going round to his parents in the day to do some bits they need sorting out, so it would have to be of an evening.

I was emailing a friend who lives in Devon yesterday and we were discussing looking at the sea, and it gave me a hankering for some sea air, so I wonder if we could drive down for Brighton for a stroll on the front and fish and chips, or maybe Eastbourne, which is a bit further, but generally we find Brighton a bit too racy for us. If everyone else is 30 years older than us we kind of fit in better smile

From Sunday I am dog sitting three dogs for my friend as well as my own and they are all hilariously insane in their own individual ways (for example one is scared of post boxes for which means crouching, growing and barking past each one) which I think will keep me very occupied for the next ten days...generally I draw a crowd when I've got all four with me because I'm so clearly fighting a losing battle.

Betty- we have been thinking about this (contacting people). We don't know what the correct thing to do is. I think at the moment we might wait till after sunday, where our leaving will no doubt be announced, and then contact them early next week.

itsatiggerday Fri 04-Oct-13 18:30:19

Have a great weekend. Glad you're feeling better about things. And I think it's plain freaky if Sun eve's sermon even mentions you or your decision plainly, would make me glad not to be listening to gossip dressed up as a sermon, if that doesn't sound too brutal.

Enjoy the seaside!

MudCity Fri 04-Oct-13 20:13:47

MissGarth The seaside is a great idea! I love being by the is very therapeutic. Mind you, it sounds as though you will have your hands full with all the dogs. They will certainly help take your mind off everything.

It is always good to have a plan for your weekends when you are no longer doing something that once occupied a big part of it. So, whatever you do, enjoy it!

Herisson Fri 04-Oct-13 20:41:37

Good luck, MissGarth. I think you have done what you needed to brilliantly. And the dogs sound like they will take your mind off things admirably, which is just what you need.

MissGarth Sun 06-Oct-13 16:37:25

Anyone about?

Just got this text from one of the elders and feel quite low...

"Don't let the devil steal your love and blind u with false allegations.
I have done worse than x has been accused of!
Don't let the devil fool you and take you away from the church that love you."

BoreOfWhabylon Sun 06-Oct-13 16:46:28

They are trying to mess with your head. Don't reply.

And he 'has done worse than x has been accused of'? Are they all at it then, these oh so Christian 'Elders'?

I think I would get a new phone (or simcard) and only give the number to people I wished to be in contact with.

I hope the dog-sitting is helping to take your mind off all this.


AnnieLobeseder Sun 06-Oct-13 16:48:23

WTAF? An elder is admitting to you that he has done "worse" than the child protection issues you are leaving for and he thinks the devil is influencing you?

Run, run like the wind. Change your phone numbers, ignore all contact from them. Report them to the police for harassment if they continue.

You have done the right thing in leaving.

MudCity Sun 06-Oct-13 16:50:03

MissGarth - Delete the text. Delete the person's number. Change your mobile telephone number if you want.

You have done nothing wrong.

How dare anyone make you feel that leaving is the devil's work. How utterly ridiculous.

You have every right to leave your church, for ANY reason you choose. God gave you free will to be where you want to be and to express your love for him, wherever and however you choose.

The elder is purely seeing things from his (biased) perspective. He is not God.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 06-Oct-13 16:54:50

He has 'done worse' than x - and he is proud of that??

There are lots of things you could reply to that, but honestly, you will be far better off simply ignoring it. It is rubbish.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 06-Oct-13 16:56:45

Don't change phone numbers. The troublesome ones will soon stop and you may get support/contact from your old friends, maybe not immediately - but in time and it would be a shame to miss those texts/calls.

I am sorry this text has shaken you, but honestly, just ignore it.

Longtallsally Sun 06-Oct-13 17:02:11

If the church loves you MissG, they will let you go. Love does not restrict us, it sets us free. Your relationship is with God who is much bigger than one church group. You can worship and serve Him in another church, or even just in the world He created.

This church has, presumably, taught you something about to pray. You have prayed about this decision and come to your conclusions in the light of that. Be at peace with your decision, and know that God uses all things to the good, for those who love Him - ie: anything you do can be used by God to bless you and to bless others.

And yy - enjoy your dogwalking!

BettyBotter Sun 06-Oct-13 17:12:33

Can you work out why it's making you feel low?
Is it making you wonder if you really have been 'blinded by the devil?' (Then remember the reasons you made the decision. You didn't make the decision lightly.) Or is it making you realise how 'blinded' you and they have been? (Then remember there are many ways to follow the right path and you're taking a better route.) Or is it just that your heart is sinking a bit because you know that this is the beginning of a sustained campaign by the elders to paint you as the ones in the wrong. (Then go out and buy a big bar of chocolate, have a bath and give yourself and dh a bit of tlc. You will need to look after yourselves now.)

Be strong.

Ruprekt Sun 06-Oct-13 17:14:20

I am sure that lots of people are thinking that this is about Jehovah's Witnesses......just to let you know.....I really do not think it is. smile

Hope you are ok, MissGarth.

BillyBanter Sun 06-Oct-13 17:29:15

Why would you think that? I'm sure people will have many ideas about it.

She's in London too. There are about 5 different flavours of church within a few minutes walk of my house. could be any one of them as far as I'm concerned.

Try not to worry about it. I expect there will be a few more. You are secure in your reasons for leaving and this does not change them.

thanksamillion Sun 06-Oct-13 17:36:27

Stand firm MissGarth! You are in the right, you have done the right thing and everyone on here who has heard what you have said has 100% agreed with your decision. You didn't take that decision lightly so a text is not going to change your mind.

Take care of yourself (and your DH).

MissGarth Sun 06-Oct-13 17:40:59

Thanks everyone.

I went out and walked round the block to stop myself answering in a knee jerk fashion.

Am back now & I have not replied.

First of all it is not JW...sorry if I have accidentally led people to that conclusion by not naming the church, not my intention to cause any disrepute to anyone's church, I was just trying not to out myself....doesn't matter so much now is an independent group of churches all led by one leadership team and one head pastor in charge. I apologise if I have hurt anyone's feelings by not being more explanatory.

I think the elder thinks he has 'done worse' because he has not been told the truth about things, everyone has been manipulated (am tempted to say 'groomed') by the pastor to believe things are much less serious than they are. He literally lied to our faces about the extent of things. Plus he tells everyone the 'allegations' are made up so should be ignored. This elder is a really good man and would never have even thought of doing anything similar, he just doesn't really understand what it is he is claiming to have done worse iyswim...

Can I just say that it makes me so flipping FURIOUS that they keep referring to it as 'allegations' all the time. As if someone has said something mean and that is the extent of it....following the 'allegations' this person was subject to a full professional misconduct hearing with an independent investigation, police interviews and legal support and the allegation were found proven and he was therefore banned from contact by the sec of state...a prohibition order is not just a flipping allegation that should be dismissed as horrid gossip.....<and breathe>

Betty, that was really helpful to think about and I think the answer is (C) I feel so annoyed to realise what their spin on us leaving is going to be

They are obviously going with 'poor x and y, they have let the devil lead them astray when we could have helped them so much if they had let themselves progress here'...

He did a sermon recently when some other people left which was basically about how sad he was because they were obviously really in need of help and he knew how much he could have helped them....and I just think, you lying little toad, you are a hypocrite...I don't need your need flipping help.

sorry I know that is a bit strong!

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