Support Groups

Do you know of a support group, either online or in real life, for former members of your church? Please let me know about about it.

Go here to join a Facebook group for Extoots. For private Facebook groups for former OALC or LLC members, contact me (here) with your name, request, and reason for joining.

There is no need to go it alone. Let others support you on your journey!

—Free

11 comments:

  1. I recently left the OALC and am struggling with how to maintaina relationship with my family and to not live in fear of going to hell.

    Seeking

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    1. Maintaining the relationship with family may be difficult if they are strict about being in or out. But it will sort out eventually, when everyone realizes that you are still you. Fear of hell will diminish as you do and live outside of church and realize that you're fine. You need to see a therapist to talk these things through. Good Luck and don't worry--take it a day at a time. Flora

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    2. Seeking - I can say from my experience that it takes time. I left in '02 and my family didn't talk to me for 2 years. I pray this isn't the case for you. I don't know why my family began talking to me again (maybe they realized not talking to me wasn't making me return to the church?) but I chose to forgive them because they are well, FAMILY. I did, however, choose not to try to re-connect with "friends" in the church. I am saddened my brothers and I don't have the close relationships we once had, but I am open to whatever they are willing to offer and they cannot give me more. I know fear plays a big part in the "shunning" also, for we are now "worldly", family or not. I am now invited to most, though not all, family functions.
      As for feeling like you're going to hell, that too gets better. I still have days when I fear I may be hell-bound but I find the more I read the Bible the more I see what I was told my whole life is not true. God's Word is very clear as to how we are saved. Bible-reading isn't something I ever did when I was OALC and I am stunned to find how much of what we are taught is not God's Word at all.
      I would love to talk to you more if you feel the need or just wanna. :) My email is: ericren@itctel.com
      God Bless you!
      Amy

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    3. Seeking. Come back, we worry!

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  2. Seeking, I hope you will join our Facebook support group. It helps to talk with others who have gone through the same thing.

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  3. I dont understand you people... be content with yourselves and the decision you have made. I have never understood why "ex-laestadians" feel the need for bashing and justifying. I am content with my decision to leave. Live and let live! No need to be crude and then be offended when "they" supposedly make crude comments. i don't believe ill see this comment get posted but that just proves you arent content with the decision you have made. You dont have to believe that the laestadians are the only ones going to heaven but i cant imagine you believe you are going there with the astonishingly rude comments and "jokes" you make and the bitterness you hold in your heart! i hope you sleep well at night with the rotten attitudes you all have!

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    1. Strange, I'm not seeing the bashing, justifying, rudeness, or bitterness that you see. Is this site a Rorschach's test? What does our reaction to diversity of thought tell us about our own beliefs?
      I hope your comment illustrates for those unfamiliar with the religion why it is so difficult for people to talk about it. There is pressure from every quarter to "shut up and put up" or "just move on."
      Not a recipe for good mental health. And if it worked for you, you wouldn't be reading this site, right?
      I wish you well on your journey. I wish all of us the grace to see that everyone is on a journey, and it may not be the same as ours.

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    2. Everyone is different. Everyone responds to what happened to them differently. Why are you so defensive about the fact that you left without "bashing and justifying"? We were certainly "bashed" and it was "justified" while we were in the church. How about you "Live and let Live"!!!??

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  4. Hello. I've really appreciated this blog. Not sure where to post, but I wanted to reach out. I could use some support. I have reached out to a couple others I know personally that have left. I'm in the "preparation phase" of leaving the IALC. Love the people, don't love the exclusivity. Greeting "believers" and then not greeting others in a room has never felt good to me. I grew up in this church, so the roots go deep. In fact, it's so much a part of me I've considered not leaving just because leaving seems like so much work and turmoil. But having just gone through a lot of other personal turmoil (and surviving and thriving), it seems silly to carry on with this. It has gotten to the point for me where I am feeling bitter about having to drive there, or wake up on a Sunday and get ready. Going through the motions for something I don't feel a part of. I appreciate the community, and I know I will miss the social aspect. The other major hurdle will be telling my family. My parents and siblings are very hardcore. I anticipate some major emotional outbursts, guilt trips, and the like. Basically, I'm scared. Any tips are welcome. I worry that I'll be like an animal that has been raised in a zoo, and is set free into the wild and just stands there, not knowing how to live free. :( – LookingForWings

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