At 11 years of age I started to question the faith that permeated our home and our community.
I grew up inside a secretive sect, a 4th generation believer inside a large extended family. I rarely saw children other than my sisters and cousins, and almost everyone I knew was a follower of our faith.
I left at 19, and 'assimilated' into mainstream society in order to survive. I got an education, built a career & tried to forget about the world I'd been raised in.
In 20 years I'd barely mentioned my past - determined that it should be kept secret. However, after years leading teams & undergoing personal development, I realised I can not stay silent about where I came from. My life inside the secretive world of The Truth has shaped me, and if i'm to be a good and authentic leader and human - I have a duty to speak up.
I have been left with scars from a childhood inside The Truth, suffering PTSD after what I now realise to have been shunning, emotional and spiritual abuse. I lost my extended family, and have had to process ongoing grief and loss as well as build a life in mainstream society.
My health has suffered - from anxiety, to eating disorders and migraines - trauma continually reminds me of The Truth's legacy in the lives of those who leave.
I gather anecdotally that there is angst about me sharing my experiences, and using my name openly. My aim in sharing my experiences is not to shame, embarass or humilate - it is to raise awareness and to provide hope to others.