Re: Why They Stay

I think it says a lot about the fear of being alone as well as the fear of “Well, I’ve been ‘this’ for so long, what will I be if I’m not ‘this’?” Not knowing what will happen if you stop doing something you’ve done for so long scares the snot out of most people. Humans, as a general rule, are a pack/herd/social animal. We don’t like to be “a lone.” There is safety in numbers. This is why it is so hard to stand against a group even when in your secret heart of hearts you don’t agree with them. It’s like the “group” is in the light (not necessarily the spiritual light ) and anything not in the group is in the dark.

The human eye is drawn to light and movement as is the human spirit/soul/being. Therefore when we are in the dark/”a lone”, we want to be in the light/group. Ever walk down the street at night and notice that your eyes are constantly drawn to the lighted windows and you feel a little tug like you want to be inside instead of out in the dark? Same thing. And once you’re inside/in the group/in the light, you look out at the darkness and remember what it felt like out there and it scares people to think that they might be out there “a lone” again so they engage in a little cognitive dissonance (Psychology; noun; anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs i.e. knowing smoking is bad for you but doing it anyway) by putting up with what they know is not okay or not good for them in order to have that comfort of not being “a lone.”

Add to that the “how to boil a frog” issue. If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out right away to save itself. If you put the frog in a pot of cold water and slowly turn up the heat, allowing the frog to adjust to each new temperature, the frog will eventually boil to death without ever trying to save itself. Hence, if we knew what pain etc. that being involved in TIP would cause, it is exceedingly unlikely that any of us would have been involved. But since that pan of cold water looked really inviting AND we all felt we were “a lone” we stepped right in.

And once in, of course the water got warmer gradually and we adapted our processes so that we could live with the situation because to not adapt would mean that we were once again out in the dark “a lone.” Eventually, it becomes a habit to do the TIP thing. Unlike frogs however, we humans have higher thought processes so once the water reached the temperature where we could no longer stand it and the cognitive dissonance became too much too bear, we left. For others, when the cognitive dissonance gets to be too much, they begin to justify why things must be the way they are in TIP; telling themselves all sorts of things; buying into the delusions because that quiets the dissonance in their heads, silences the voice that tells them this is wrong; that it’s scarier out there than it is to live in TIP.

But as the old saying goes, “There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.” It’s all about choice. Making the choice to “boil” in cognitive dissonance because one is too scared to brave the dark and the “a lone” or not able to see a way to stand against the tide. It’s a mob mentality in TIP. People feel safer in a mob. It’s easier to do what the group wants because that way they won’t turn on us. And we’ve all experienced our fair share of what it’s like to have TIP turn on us. All I feel for people who cannot make that choice to stand against the mob is a sad resignation, understanding and loss. It’s certainly not easy. And it hurts.

That may just be what hurts the most…that something that we’ve given a fair portion of our time, our money, our love and indeed our life to, can turn on us…push us out…damage us…cause us to doubt our very existence… to question our internal knowingness like those who have abused us before. It’s the want, the need to belong; to matter; to be part of something great; to leave a lasting impression on the world that drove us to join, the honest belief that we were doing good things. Unfortunately that was perverted by someone else’s delusions of grandeur.

Those still in TIP…I am sad for some…there are some truly beautiful, intelligent wonderful people in TIP that are being duped and damaged. There are days I grieve for friends that I probably will never interact with again. This is especially hard for friendships that had been in place for over half of my life, long before getting involved in TIP. Those I miss with almost a soul wrenching sense of loss and sadness.

It all comes down to choice…the choice to remain in the “a lone” or sacrifice and go through the lighted window. Some of us can make that choice and some of us are unable to choose. I’m not angry at them for being unable to choose…unable to see a way out…that the “a lone” is not as dark and scary as it looks. I cannot fault their right to choose. I wholly support their right to choose what works for them. If it works for you great. It wasn’t working for me. And I stand waiting for those who reach a hand into the “a lone” looking for something to hold on to as they step across.


October 2007