I am a 2nd generation adult survivor of a closed high-demand religious group attempting to understand and adapt to the strange world I find myself in, with joy, if I can find it.
"Like all visitors to a foreign land, [2nd gen adults] may, in time, develop a unique understanding of and sensitivity to social customs that others merely take for granted." source
Excerpt of “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley
It’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands.
The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing [to remember] is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.