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Monday, May 01, 2006


This is not a post generally addressed to all ex-members. I am not trying to make a statement under the pretense of being an online diety. I don't think anyone should listen to me or obey me. I am afraid of the possibility that the things I say might affect others negatively, so I watch what I say. I'm not very good at it, but I try...
That's sort of a meandering way to start, but I have so many things to be sure that I say, to not leave unsaid, to round off my thoughts, to leave no room for misunderstanding... (How's that for a second stab at a meandering paragraph.)

I don't have anything against ex-members, and it scares me when I see people mistakenly refer to all apostates as detractors, all ex-members as losers, all americans as idiots, all men as stupid...etc. It's called generalization, and it's generally a bad idea.
I have one brother and two sisters who are no longer in the Family. I don't think I need to beat the dead horse by inserting phrases like "I respect their decisions". I'm their younger sister, and even if I didn't respect their decisions, I don't know if they'd care. Anyway, I love them so much, and they know it too.
And that's what's admirable about the majority of ex-members. They take the bad, the criticism, the past, the wrong, and they carry all of it on strong, strong shoulders. Regardless of what you may or may not believe in, the things anyone goes through in the Family, and the equally terrible things anyone may go through outside of the Family, are the things that make you storng. Make you who you are. (I love you so much, Sun!)
If you like who you are, you have nothing but you and your life to thank. You can be happy with yourself, and you can make other people happy for you. I would like to be happy for you. You have a nice job? Great, me too! You're fulfilled? Wow, so am I! You have a happy family? Great friends? You wake up every morning anticipating the new day? You have everything you need? You have a splendid boss? Hooray! So do I! See? We're not that different.

I have a friend who left the Family and decided to stay a nice person. We talk, and whilst we did this once, he accused the Family at large of "religious bigotry. You express sadness at people having left the Family as a way of rubbing in the fact that you still believe that the Family is the best and only place to be, and that you can no longer be proud of us because we aren't doing what we're ultimately 'supposed to do'."
I thought about this a lot.
But to be honest, the largest portion of the reason why I would be sad if one of my friends decided to leave the Family, is because I am afraid that they will become alienated from me--in the morass of bitterness, in the abundance of things that may be true and may not be true, in the confusion and imminent distortion of truth. I don't know about any evil done consciously or subconsciously against the Family, where it comes from and what motivates people to want to do it. I'm speaking from my frame of reference--I'm looking to defend me and my friends.

I'm not going to apolgize for any of my fellow Family members who don't seem to display so much wisdom in the things they say or they way they treat you, because it's not my place to know why they feel the way they do, or what's made them become so defensive. If it's a psychological instinct of self-defense or protection, then it stands to reason that we have just as much right to be defensive of our lifestyle as you have of yours.
But this is a personal plea to you who read my blog. This is something from me to you.This is a plea for you to not diss my life or my friends. I do not represent the Family nor anyone who wronged you, and I don't understand why you would want to post anything on my blog demonstrating the evils of my organization, except to make me feel bad. Why would you want to do that? What are your reasons?

I am persuaded that the Family is the place for me to be. I have considered other options in the past. I have a natural tendency toward other occupations that I reasoned might interest me for a while. I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted to be a psychiatrist, I wanted to go to college, I wanted to be a singer...I have had my share of aspirations...I have had my share of varying sentiments and weighed in the balances things that would make me happy, a lifestyle that would fulfill me. I'd like you to know that even through all of this head-scratching, I am still in the Family, and I do not, at this point in time, feel compelled to leave it. Regardless of whether or not you may or may not think I have chosen the "right" or "wrong" lifestyle, I have CHOSEN. That is MY choice. I have lots and lots of reasons for chosing the way I have. But it all comes down to age old love, kindness, respect for my choices. I am thankful for the respect I am shown, and I want to show you the same respect.

I can't help but be angry at people when they post sickeningly cruel things on the blogs of my friends. How do you expect me to feel?
I can't help but feel like I want to take down all the links on my page, because I wouldn't want anymore mean ex-members to post terrible things on the blogs of any of my other friends. How do you expect me to feel?
I can't help but feel a little bitterness toward, not only the specific people who say these things, but the ex-member circles, the people who can't seem to move on from their lives, even the people who comment kindly but with thinly veiled cynicism and intellectual egotism. I ask you again, how do you expect me to feel?


Blogger ditzydevil said...

yeah, why do they horass me and not you?? maybe its cuz you're smarter than i am. hm...
luv u flo.

5/01/2006 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They dont harrass you because you're in the Family.
You need to look outside the box.

5/01/2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Joan said...

nicely said.

5/02/2006 5:43 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

I meant, what florence posted...yea!

5/02/2006 5:44 AM  
Blogger Florence said...

are you talking to me...anonymous?

5/02/2006 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/02/2006 8:47 AM  
Blogger Florence said...

thaaaaaaaaank you for that.

5/02/2006 8:48 AM  
Anonymous ZERO said...

Nothin' like a comment dictator.

I love it.

5/02/2006 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Sun said...

Thanks for the nod, Flo. Nicely written.

5/02/2006 9:28 AM  
Blogger lils said...

I like it flo.
well said, It's like solving the world problems really..
Tolerence of multiculturism, tolerance of religions, age, income brackets..

Respect is the only thing that makes this world go round and that enables everyone from different walks of life to live side by side and not being anons on random blogs flaming....

It is to be expected on the net, where people feel they have the right to be assholes because they won't get caught. Well..2 words slander and libel-

and other words for you in the fam,
God bless, keep up the good work! Stay strong and live your life the way you want as you're abiding by the law...ALL GOOD!!

5/02/2006 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think anonymous was referring to ditzydevil....

5/02/2006 2:10 PM  
Blogger Florence said...

I initially thought so too...except that Ryan's not in the Family...
So what was your point, Anonymous? Or did you just make a mistake?

5/02/2006 4:48 PM  
Anonymous perfect circle said...

God bless you flo, praying for you..remember..

If ye were of the World, the World would love his own: but because ye are not of the World, but I have chosen you out of the World, therefore the World JN 15:19

5/02/2006 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Cosa said...

Well said, well done, I admire your conviction. God bless you.

5/03/2006 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what if anonymous doesn't know that ditzydevil isn't in the family?

5/05/2006 9:01 PM  
Blogger ditzydevil said...

than Anonymous has made a mistake.
gasp! is that really possible??
but they're all so smart...

5/05/2006 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Someone you don't know said...

Its very well written with lots of conviction.

5/05/2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger aiko said...

Well said, Flo. I nod in agreement.

5/06/2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger Sam-my said...

Flo, thats like totally cool, the family liek PWNS big time man. don't like listen to the other n00bs who like think their cool and stuff, they don't even pwn at all.
roc on!

5/07/2006 12:38 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

........that box thing didnt make much sense.

5/07/2006 5:35 AM  
Blogger Das None said...

Good God I haven't been on here in ages to much has happened. Have no idea half of what you just said. Haven't had coffee yet but, love yeah and I do glance at your blog every once in a long time. Oh and congrats on your assention to dietiship isn't it just the same as guru? hrmm-

5/07/2006 10:48 PM  
Anonymous diana said...

I can tell you put a lot of thought into your post. Thank you for not making generalizations. What I have experienced in my life in The Family is not a generalizatoin and I appreciate that you didn't treat it as such.

I may know you personally or not know you--I am about the age of your older siblings so maybe I took care of you: made up games at Get Out, went over reading words, fed you lunch. I am not a faceless apostate wishing you ill. My spiritual self is not a blood-dripping demon. I hope you can understand that.

Last night, I held my dearest friend in my arms as she faced her choices. See cannot conceive. The doctors she went to said her womb is scarred by extreme trauma to the uterus caused by repeated sexual abuse in her childhood.

I realize this happens to many girls around the world. But my best friend's experiences are different because she was abused by various men in many different Family homes in 6 countries. I am sorry if this offends you. I just want justice for my friend. I love her very much. It has nothign at all to do with you. You are too young to know what went on when we were children. You never saw it. An apology, no matter how heartfelt, is not justice. A day in court is justice. Please understand.

5/30/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger Florence said...

I don't feel like my life is a generalization either. Thanks for your nicely worded comment.
I sympathize with people who have problems like that. Whether they're in the Family or not.
I'll pray for your friend.

6/02/2006 5:49 PM  

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