I was told that I had the Best Life

The following was submitted by Beverly via email. It is shared here with permission.

I was born and raised on both Principia Campuses, Upper School and College, in the late 1940’s.  We lived in a tiny Faculty House, very isolated, on the Prin College Campus where my Dad (WWII Veteran) was a Professor of Political Science.  Both my parents were also raised in C.S. Dysfunctional Families and my Dad’s mom was a very weird, 300 Lbs. overweight C.S. Practitioner.

When I was 9 yrs. old we moved to the Prin Upper School Campus where my Mom taught Pre-School.  Again, very isolated community….you had to be a C.S. to live in our Neighborhood behind the School.

I remember that whenever any of us kids (5) got sick – we were told that we really weren’t sick and often felt guilty just for getting sick.  We got no Medical or Doctor attention (if my folks had gone to the medical, they probably would have lost their jobs at Prin.)  Also, since they didn’t have much money, my parents hardly ever called C.S. Practitioners – we little kids just had to “tough it out” on our own!  We all remember lying in bed with Fevers, etc. and getting no relief or help at all.  They just put on a Record of C.S. Hymns.

When my oldest sister was 10 she contracted Polio, but my folks just thought she had a headache and put her to bed.  They may have called some dinky little practitioner in Elsah for a while…..but nothing was really done for her and she had to endure a lot of pain, screaming at night, on her own.  When she finally got out of bed, one of her legs was withered and she has hobbled with a disfigured leg ever since.  No wheelchair or aides for her!  Now, her leg has deteriorated so much that she really can’t walk at all.

I suffered from periods of Deep Depression when I attended Prin College, but had no idea why.  Then I got my first Flashback and broke down crying, saying “I don’t think I love Mom and Dad any more.”  I had no idea why I was saying that.
Fast forward to my late 40’s.  Again I was very Depressed, and thought maybe it’s because I had left C.S. years ago and maybe I should start studying it again.  As I did…..thru a series of “Higher Power” orchestrated events….it was finally revealed to me that I had been sexually abused by my Dad when I was about 4 or 5 – in my bed at night.  My Mom knew about it, but did nothing, as she needed to stay married to Dad and they needed the money from Prin.

I found Co-Dependents Anonymous and a Fabulous Sponsor which saved my Life!  I’ve been a 12-Stepper every since!  My problem is I still find it difficult to completely leave C.S. and get hooked back into it.  I have done some Therapy, but no Therapist really understands how C.S. works and what it does to you…especially a child!

I’m so grateful to have found this website and could really use the support that is offered here.  

Anyway, that’s basically my story and I still have a hard time believing that I was raised and abused in a Cult – when all the time I was told that I had the Best Life because I was being raised in C.S. and going to Principia!


  • Chris

    Beverly: One sentence you said in your posting really resonated with me all the way…’…no Therapist really understands how C.S. works and what it does to you…especially a child!” I can relate to that so well. Besides growing up with odd guidance from a strange/bizarre mother, when I really wanted to completely free myself of this religion, and think for myself…as an adult…I found I was mentally yoked to it, and was dealing with daily depression and upset…and felt I had no one to turn to. We were taught in C.S. that psychologists/psychiatrists were not only harmful, they were dangerous!

    This was during a time when there was no Internet, no way of communicating with others who had had the same experience. I knew in my reasoning mind that there HAD to be other people who were going through the same thing as I was, but how to find them. I really felt I was alone in the desert.

    But there are many like us. It is really sad when you grow up in such confusion as a child. Reading of your growing up experiences, they would seem cult-like to an outsider.

    But, thankfully, we do have the Internet, and an incredible website like this, which lets people such as ourselves know that we are not alone. Stay with this website. It can only help you.

  • Chrystal C.

    Dear Beverly,

    I am so glad you have found this site. I am so sorry you have had to endure so much. My heart breaks for you and also for your sister, and your other 3 siblings. Wow. Your dad belongs in jail for what he did to you. It disturbs me so greatly that Principia would have that kind of hold on a mom who couldn’t leave her husband, for fear of not having money.

    So many women and children are abused by men who have power over them. It completely breaks my heart. I am so sorry. Your sister never deserved that kind of “treatment.” (ugh. I hate that word because of the Christian Science connotations.)

    And you didn’t either. It hurts like a hell no one can fathom for us to hate our own parents. I am so sorry.

    Again, I am so glad you have found this website and I hope you feel a bit less alone now, finding the rest of us here too. Our hearts are broken with yours. We understand the unique pain and torment of growing up in the cult that taught us from the get go: “It’s not a cult.”

    Big hugs,

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