I was wondering, have you been able to adjust to having non-familial relationships (i.e. friendships). I dont mean "dating" necessarily, but have you been able to make friends at your university, to provide you with the emotional support you may not be getting from your family? - Natalie
It's been very hard for me to adjust to non-familial relationships. I am always hesitant to trust (which is why my therapist recommended this blog). After twenty years of being told, daily, that the world was a horrible, sin-filled place with people who "walked with Satan", it's hard to see the world as anything other than that. I am getting better every day, but it takes time. The thing is, within your family, you miss out on introductions. I have the hardest time just walking up to someone and joining a conversation. It's foreign for me. My entire life, I knew everyone in my life (with few exceptions) from birth (theirs or mine). My friends were my siblings and a few others who were in our church. Our conversations with non-family members were closely guarded. As a result, I didn't learn that social thing that kids learn from getting to know complete strangers in school.
Strangers are referenced to as "the wolves". When you hear a fundamental parent say "we're not going to throw our children to the wolves", they're not referring to pedophiles or criminals. They are referring to you,...and me. The wolves are the general public. ATI families, especially, believe that it's the "normal" people you have to fear the most because "they are everywhere" and they "look harmless". It's the influence of normality that they fear because they know (most parents having been "average" themselves at one point), in their hearts, that there's nothing WRONG with being an everyday, non-ATI Christian or family. It's the non-control that they fear. That's why ATI kids don't go anywhere alone. You can be tempted to believe that that girl in line is a nice, normal person if you don't have another ATI kid to keep you focused on "the right".
My date didn't go very well. It was my fault. I'm just not ready for it.