Many people upon learning that 2x2ism is comprised of a lot of lies and falsehoods, become angry. They feel duped. They are angry at 2x2 ministers. They are angry at themselves. They are ashamed of themselves for being duped. They feel guilty. They want to leave 2x2ism, but they don't want to lose their family or friends. They are confused. They feel lost outside of 2x2ism.
These are all normal natural thoughts and emotions. But if these thoughts and emotions aren't directed in the right direction, unhealthy things can happen. It is tempting to just go along with the status quo - go to meetings, play nice, keep your thoughts to yourself, etc. This is called Denial, and it is extremely unhealthy. Perhaps you will hear people tell you to 'just get over it' or 'move on' or 'forgive' - all of this is bad advice. Anger left unexpressed, held in, turns against you and becomes depression. Shame becomes insecurity and self-loathing. Not only will you suffer psychologically, but your physical body will also suffer. It's very important to deal with these things properly. Left untreated, it can potentially metastasize into very serious mental illnesses and personality disorders.
The very first thing to understand is that you have been spiritually abused. The very nature of the exclusivity doctrine of 2x2ism makes it spiritually abusive. Are you familiar with what spiritual abuse is? Examples of it, I mean? It's important that you understand exactly what events you experienced were spiritually abusive. There are excellent write ups here and here about 2x2 specific spiritual abuse.
Spiritual abuse, like any other type of abuse, is trauma. It will cause various forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is far more common than people realize. PTSD takes on many different forms of symptoms (depression, anger, anxiety, etc) but at the root of it is trauma. In other words there is anger because of a hurt because of an injustice done to the victim. It's very important to get to the root of this injustice and figure out how to deal with it.
Many of you, in addition to being spiritually abused, might also have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused by your parents, siblings, spouse, other family members, 2x2 ministers, etc. Perhaps you don't even know that you were abused, it was passed off as 'discipline'. Maybe you were in a bad accident of some kind, maybe you lost a loved one, maybe you suffered from a painful sickness, etc. All of this is trauma, and all of it needs to be treated so that you can avoid becoming very psychologically and physically unhealthy. When people suffer from PTSD, they develop coping strategies to help them get through life - most of these coping strategies are not healthy, things like drinking, smoking, illegal drugs, legal drugs, sexual promiscuity, workaholic, obsessions, raging, lying, abusive behavior, emotional deadness, overeating, eating disorders, etc. If you have any of these coping strategies, perhaps you didn't even realize that you were doing these things, you will need to recognize this and treat it as well.
The healing process has quite a few steps:
1) You must first educate yourself as to what sorts of trauma exist because at this stage you don't know what is normal and what is not. You can do this by reading books about trauma/abuse. I recommend: 'Toxic Parents', "Healing the Scars of of Emotional Abuse", "Soul Survivors", "The Body Keeps the Score", "Why Does He Do That","The Verbally Abusive Relationship", "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse ", "Churches that Abuse". There are also some excellent write ups about spiritual abuse on the Liberty Connection site with good recommendations for books.
2) As you read through the books about abuse, you will start to piece together how your background might be similar - what was abusive and what was normal. As a 2x2, part of the spiritual abuse was isolation from the normal society (this is called neglect). You will have also been robbed of a sense of identity other than being a 2x2 - you probably do not embrace your National identity or your Western Civilizational identity. As you explore your background and the way it made you feel at the time, you will be able to identify the trauma. For myself the 2x2 specific trauma was the following:
1) isolation from normal society, no concept of what life was like outside 2x2ism, was afraid of the 'worldly'.
2) no TV or radio, so could not relate to kids at school, was afraid of being teased by kids if they found out.
3) little access to books other than bible readings assigned by 2x2ism.
4) was afraid that leaving meetings meant destined to HELL. Was told I would be struck down by lightening.
5) no real friends because of isolation
6) didn't know anything about popular culture - always felt like an outsider, a fraud.
7) wasn't allowed to play sports, so no ability to relate to others about sports.
8) scared that other kids at school would find out I was part of this crazy no-name church and tease me.
9) no connection to the culture of our civilization - knew nothing about history other than 2x2 nonsense.
10) no appreciation for the great things of our civilization (classical music, art, opera, philosophy, classical literature, history, etc).
3) Now that you have a framework of what is 'normal' and what is not (abuse), write down all the things which you think were a problem in your background . Write your autobiography about your experiences of the abuse and how it made you feel/think. You can post it online if you want or not. The writing process will help you to organize your thoughts, to stop you from second guessing yourself about the past. Combined with what you learned from the books about abuse, you can now see the links between events in your past and current thoughts and behaviors you have.
4) Now it's time to find a therapist who specializes in trauma. Perhaps even a Christian one. A good type of therapy for PTSD is EMDR, so try to find a therapist in your region that is trained in EMDR. You will focus on the feelings you had during the trauma events and EMDR will 're-program' your thoughts and feelings about those events. You should also read as much as you can about EMDR so that you can understand how it works. Some other type of therapy are Internal Family Systems, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. You should also watch some of the interviews with Christian therapist Patrick Doyle.
5) As you use therapy to heal those open wounds, you will start to lose the need to use your old mal-adaptive coping strategies. The faster you get rid of those things the better, because they are crutches that have terrible side-effects. If you are a substance abuser (alcohol, drugs, etc), get enrolled in a 12 step program such as AA. You will also need a lot of physical exercise, 30 mins of cardio 4 times a week. Exercise is a huge part of recovery. I recommend the very simple and can be done indoors with very little space, 30 Day Shred. Yoga has proven to have both exercise and therapy benefits. In addition, you need to start eating healthy foods - go see a nutritionist or search the web. If you have chronic body pains, there is a good chance it is from the PTSD. Here is a great book about how to get rid of those chronic pains.
6) Get yourself as far away from 2x2s, 2x2ism, talk of 2x2s, etc as possible. If you suffered abuse from other people (family members, etc), also get away from them. All of those things are a trigger for you, they will just re-traumatize you. You need to heal. If you discover that your parents or siblings were causes of your trauma, you need to have no contact with them until you are healed and they have changed behavior. If they do not change behavior, you cannot be around them.
7) Surround yourself with loving normal people. Get the crazies out of your life. Join a church - a normal mainline one such as Episcopal/Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, or Roman Catholic. Become involved in their committees and groups. If you are inclined to be a non-believer, join a church anyways - you need the community, the loving people. Take any doctrine or theology courses they offer so that you can learn the basic concepts of what Christianity actually is, because 2x2ism definitely did not teach you that. The biggest mistake ex-2x2s make is in thinking that they can understand the Bible all by themselves, without ever considering the opinions of others who have spent their entire lives learning about the Bible. You need help, don't be a prideful ignoramus! Enroll in a Roman Catholic RCIA course. Start reading the Daily Office (or here) as it methodically goes through all the OT and NT readings over a 3 year period. Perhaps try the book, You Can Understand the Bible. Read GK Chesterton's The Everlasting Man. Read CS Lewis Mere Christianity. Listen to great works of sacred music. Here is a list of essential Christian books. Try watching some of the Journey Home series from EWTN. Watch some of Bishop Robert Barron's lectures or books. How about watching or listening to Fulton Sheen? Perhaps listen to a Christian service webcast everyday. Dig deep, there is a lot to learn.
8) Educate yourself about the history of your civilization so that you don't feel so adrift identity-wise. You can start by taking a course in the Foundations of Western Civilization at a local college or online. Watch Kenneth Clark's BBC Civilisation. Take a course on How to Look at Great Art and How to Listen to Great Music. Read the Western Canon of the Great Books! There are hundreds of wonderful courses you can watch or listen to in your home/car/etc from The Great Courses, courses which will give you a classical education. Including many courses about religion and Christianity.
9) Take control of your own life. It's your life to live, not someone else's. Live it the way you want to, and tell the rest of them to go to hell. Focus on the 5 key aspects to a healthy life: Deep Relationships, Parenting/Mentoring, Meaningful Work, Lifelong Learning, and Spirituality.
10) If you have a spouse in 2x2ism and you don't want to be in 2x2ism, please read How to Deal with a Divided Home. If you have relationship or parenting trouble, there is a lot of great books to help out! Start with the basics, How to Win Friends. Try Parenting With Grace. Here is a great website for moms with many books and readings for how to parent properly in a Christian way. If you are a child living with your parents and want to get out of 2x2ism, please Helping 2x2 Kids. If you are a 2x2 minister and need help getting out of 2x2ism because of lack of support, please visit this site or this site.