The REVEAL Library: Re: ICC Retards Emotional & Intellectual Growth

Subject:      Re: ICC Retards Emotional & Intellectual Growth
From: (Catherine Hampton)
Date:         1996/12/08
Message-Id:   <58dqmj$>
[More Headers] wrote:

: For a long time I felt like I lost eight years of my life in the ICC --
: like when I came out, I was still stuck at 18, the age I was when I
: joined. This Time article helps me understand why. Anyone else relate to
: this?

Oh, yes.... Actually, one of the things that started me on my way out was when I started going to Alanon seriously, to deal with the issues left by alcoholic parents. One thing I read during this period was that drunks do not mature during the period they are getting drunk or using alcohol to avoid having to think and/or feel. My mother is an alcholic who was pretty much drunk from the time I was three or four years old until a year after I left college. She is 22 years older than me, and she was drunk for most of my life until I was 23. By your theory, Ovum, she should be roughly where I am mentally and emotionally.

And she is, to a great extent. It is =spooky= to realize that I relate to her these days much as I do with my peers. We share many of the same interests, and even when we disagree about a subject tend to approach it on a similar level. She doesn't think or act like a woman who raised four children in most respects, although she seems to enjoy being a grandmother when she gets a chance to borrow the grandkids for a day. But I borrow children from my friends all the time.... She acts like an unmarried, childless woman in her thirties who has built a solid, busy and mostly happy life around her work (she's an accountant with her own business), her community activities, and Alcoholics Anonymous, which functions in my mother's life in many ways like my church does in mine.

I actually get along quite well with her these days -- better than most of my friends who grew up in relatively happy, normal households get along with their mothers. And it is =wonderful= to see someone whose life has turned around so significantly. But it is not a mother/daughter relationship in most respects. I think she lost those years to alcohol, and the maturing, learning and growth that come from raising a family she largely bypassed.

Now, when I look at myself.... I'm doing fairly well, but I didn't really get started on a career until I was thirty. I didn't start graduate school until I was twenty seven, a year after I left the movement. I paid no attention to "worldly" issues like health care, retirement benefits, investing.... I'm not married, never have been, and have no kids. Further, while I've wanted to get married once, that didn't happen until a year ago. Before that, I never met anyone I both loved and trusted enough to take that kind of risk.

I'm really comfortable hanging out with college and graduate students. I like talking about religion, philosophy, all sorts of stuff in long bull sessions late at night at the local coffee shop... the kinds of things I couldn't allow myself to do when I was in the movement. After all, I already knew what I thought about all of this, and had no business wasting my time on idle talk when there was a world to be won! <wry grin> For ten years, in a number of significant areas I either didn't mature or matured considerably less than most people do....

I think you're onto something important. What do the rest of you think?


©1996 by Catherine Hampton <>. All rights reserved.

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