Leaving an abusive cult or relationship is difficult enough, but for those who were born or raised in a totalist environment, the transition into “mainstream” culture can be daunting. The regular “life maintenance” tasks most of us take for granted – opening a checking account, finding work or a place to live, or simply fitting into the culture – can be overwhelming and seem even impossible for someone who has grown up inside the world of a high-control group.
Livia Bardin, M.S.W., a clinical social worker who has engaged with cult victims and their families for more than fifteen years, in partnership with ICSA, has created Starting Out in Mainstream America, a free, online guide providing practical solutions for people with needs like:
- getting a driver’s license
- finding a place to live
- finding a job or job training
- getting health care
- finding your way around the legal system
and information about broader concepts like
- Abuse and neglect
- Communications skills
- Parenting skills
- Aspects of mainstream culture like music, movies, and sports
For all these issues and more, Starting Out in Mainstream America is a valuable resource with a wealth of helpful information. Be sure to check it out, as well as the other sites listed in our resource section.