Don’t follow me

I’ve always been suspicious of followers.

I’m a leader myself not a follower. I have an over-active cynicism attenna and in my experience, human beings group themselves irrespective of flat structures, and much lauded encouragement ‘we’re all friends here’…

Bullshit.

Human beings organise themselves into groups and every group has a leader. Often self-appointed. In each group there is a coterie of ‘followers’ (for want of a better word) who pray God that the leader’s magnificence will rub off on them so that they can be seen!

Remember the gorgeous Barbie girl at school with the fat creepy looking best friend. Her foil no doubt.

So when groups (and I’m not talking about any particular group… settle petal) start organising themselves into groups and sub-groups and in-crowds and inner circles, I wonder albeit cynically ‘who made you God?’ and I start to ponder the mercurial structures that are group dynamics.

Sour grapes? Maybe.

But actually I think it has more to do with experience.

You see, many years ago when I was young (yes that long ago) I was involved in a Christian ‘cult’ (for want of a better word). So much of what I saw there has wounded me deeply. If you are an evangelical Christian, it might be a good thing to stop reading this post here.

I saw lives destroyed. I saw marriages made because the pastor said God had told him it should be so. I saw personalities squashed, sexual orientation questioned and belittled..

It was a horrible time. But I have healed and moved on. Part of that healing process was documenting some of my experiences in a novel I penned a few years ago. It took me eight years to write, and I finally put it in for editing in 2005. The editor (rightly so) came back with screeds of edits. Despite years of commercial writing and all the criticism that comes with it, I found it hard to deal with at that time. I was divorcing, my world was crumbling..I really didn’t need to feel I was crap at writing too.

Looking back over that manuscript today I am very grateful for the editor’s work and I have the strength now to rewite this story. I’ve put up an extract from Life After Death on the pages over there >>

It may explain why I’m oversensitive about groups, and followers.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you a follower? Or a leader?


About



'Don’t follow me' has 30 comments

  1. April 12, 2010 @ 3:56 pm jfb57

    I feel like a follower but have often been put into the leader role. However, whilst in that role, I've always hoped that I could be part of the group. Not always a good thing when you're a leader!!

    Reply

  2. April 12, 2010 @ 3:56 pm jfb57

    I feel like a follower but have often been put into the leader role. However, whilst in that role, I’ve always hoped that I could be part of the group. Not always a good thing when you’re a leader!!

    Reply

    • April 12, 2010 @ 3:58 pm vegemitevix

      I guess we all want to be part of a crowd deep down. It freaks me out when people use their leadership to inflict control over others though.

      Reply

      • April 12, 2010 @ 3:59 pm vegemitevix

        I guess I’m talking about leading from the back, and by example..

        Reply

  3. April 12, 2010 @ 5:19 pm Notes From Lapland

    oooh, good question. I think when young I wanted to be a leader but at the same time shunned groups. Maybe because i couldn’t be the leader?

    These days i’d much rather be a follower, it’s easier and less agro and you can skulk around at the back heckling and not taking any of too seriously.

    i think i do have a bit of a controlling nature though, and as such i don’t like to put myself in situations where i end up in control, because it never makes me happy and always ends up being more trouble than it’s worth and can lose me friends as my ego takes over.

    Reply

    • April 12, 2010 @ 5:24 pm vegemitevix

      Thanks for commenting. Are we twins separated at birth? So much like me. But I bet my ego is bigger than yours. Nah nah nah nah nah

      Reply

      • April 12, 2010 @ 5:27 pm Notes From Lapland

        nah ah, no way, mine is bigger that yours *put thumb on nose and waggles
        fingers*

        Reply

  4. April 12, 2010 @ 5:37 pm Josie

    Oh lordy, here’s where I struggle: I don’t like being either!

    I hate the pressure that comes with being a leader, the expectations, potential to disappoint.

    And yet my inner-rebel hates being a follower. If everyone’s doing something I instinctively want to back away from it, or do it differently. I panic in groups, or cliques, or trends, feel like I’m losing myself.

    So, overall, I’m just running round in circles I think!!

    Shall look forward to reading your novel extract when I have a spare ten minutes 🙂

    Reply

    • April 12, 2010 @ 5:41 pm vegemitevix

      I don’t panic in crowds I just wanna be the boss! LOL! And yes I am rebellious. Very very rebellious.

      Reply

  5. April 12, 2010 @ 5:48 pm Madmother

    A leader. Cause I am a control freak and no-one does it as well as I can (God complex much… yeah, but at least I acknowledge it, lol).

    Reply

  6. April 12, 2010 @ 6:47 pm mummymania

    I call myself The Enforcer at home – that may give you some indication of my personality type! Really, I just like to get things done, and more often than not, I end up being the one to instigate, organise, take the initiative. That said, I love sometimes to hang back, and let someone take charge and just go with the flow. It’s as energising and as freeing. Depening on the activity, the group, the plan, I might take the lead or I might be happy to follow. It took me a long time though to be at peace with both! good for you taking charge of your book again though – wishing you luck.

    Reply

  7. April 12, 2010 @ 8:48 pm Sharon

    Wouldn't call myself either, I just do my own thing and hope for the best!

    Reply

  8. April 12, 2010 @ 8:48 pm Sharon

    Wouldn’t call myself either, I just do my own thing and hope for the best!

    Reply

  9. April 12, 2010 @ 3:58 pm vegemitevix

    I guess we all want to be part of a crowd deep down. It freaks me out when people use their leadership to inflict control over others though.

    Reply

  10. April 12, 2010 @ 3:59 pm vegemitevix

    I guess I'm talking about leading from the back, and by example..

    Reply

  11. April 12, 2010 @ 5:19 pm notesfromlapland

    oooh, good question. I think when young I wanted to be a leader but at the same time shunned groups. Maybe because i couldn't be the leader?

    These days i'd much rather be a follower, it's easier and less agro and you can skulk around at the back heckling and not taking any of too seriously.

    i think i do have a bit of a controlling nature though, and as such i don't like to put myself in situations where i end up in control, because it never makes me happy and always ends up being more trouble than it's worth and can lose me friends as my ego takes over.

    Reply

  12. April 12, 2010 @ 5:24 pm vegemitevix

    Thanks for commenting. Are we twins separated at birth? So much like me. But I bet my ego is bigger than yours. Nah nah nah nah nah

    Reply

  13. April 12, 2010 @ 5:27 pm notesfromlapland

    nah ah, no way, mine is bigger that yours *put thumb on nose and waggles
    fingers*

    Reply

  14. April 12, 2010 @ 5:37 pm Josie

    Oh lordy, here's where I struggle: I don't like being either!

    I hate the pressure that comes with being a leader, the expectations, potential to disappoint.

    And yet my inner-rebel hates being a follower. If everyone's doing something I instinctively want to back away from it, or do it differently. I panic in groups, or cliques, or trends, feel like I'm losing myself.

    So, overall, I'm just running round in circles I think!!

    Shall look forward to reading your novel extract when I have a spare ten minutes 🙂

    Reply

  15. April 12, 2010 @ 5:41 pm vegemitevix

    I don't panic in crowds I just wanna be the boss! LOL! And yes I am rebellious. Very very rebellious.

    Reply

  16. April 12, 2010 @ 5:48 pm Madmother

    A leader. Cause I am a control freak and no-one does it as well as I can (God complex much… yeah, but at least I acknowledge it, lol).

    Reply

  17. April 12, 2010 @ 6:47 pm mummymania

    I call myself The Enforcer at home – that may give you some indication of my personality type! Really, I just like to get things done, and more often than not, I end up being the one to instigate, organise, take the initiative. That said, I love sometimes to hang back, and let someone take charge and just go with the flow. It's as energising and as freeing. Depening on the activity, the group, the plan, I might take the lead or I might be happy to follow. It took me a long time though to be at peace with both! good for you taking charge of your book again though – wishing you luck.

    Reply

  18. April 13, 2010 @ 3:40 am IotaM

    You’re so darn full of surprises.

    I’m a Christian, but not at all offended by what you say. I too have been very bruised by church experiences. And yes, they were to do with charismatic controlling leaders. I really think the church needs to wake up to this, and put in some checks and balances. Church leaders have huge influence over people’s lives, often when those people are vulnerable, and an insecure ego will find great satisfaction in that. But of course it’s all heavily disguised.

    I still go to church, but I see through things much more clearly now. A little healthy cynicism is a good thing, I think. (And can we still be friends, even though I’m still a Christian?)

    I’m like Josie. Don’t like being a leader, don’t like being a follower.

    Reply

    • April 13, 2010 @ 6:51 am vegemitevix

      Thanks Iota for commenting! I still call myself a Christian too. For a long time I wandered around unable to darken a church door, but then it all fell into place. It isn’t God who’s the problem it’s the church, and yes church leaders.

      I even remarried in a church and despite the vicar being completely loopy, the prayers and blessings he said brought both myself and my Englishman to tears. I pray daily, sometimes a couple of times a day.

      Of course we can still be friends!! Some of my best friends are Christians! LOL!

      I didn’t write this to hurt people with faith. It’s a kind of warning about the abuse of power. Unfortunately it is based on real life experience.

      Much love and thank you again for commenting!! I love it that you did. xx

      Reply

      • April 13, 2010 @ 1:06 pm IotaM

        I was kind of joking about the “can we still be friends?” thing. You don’t
        strike me as the kind of person who will strike someone off their list for
        having different religious beliefs (or similar ones, as it seems).

        Reply

  19. April 13, 2010 @ 3:40 am IotaM

    You're so darn full of surprises.

    I'm a Christian, but not at all offended by what you say. I too have been very bruised by church experiences. And yes, they were to do with charismatic controlling leaders. I really think the church needs to wake up to this, and put in some checks and balances. Church leaders have huge influence over people's lives, often when those people are vulnerable, and an insecure ego will find great satisfaction in that. But of course it's all heavily disguised.

    I still go to church, but I see through things much more clearly now. A little healthy cynicism is a good thing, I think. (And can we still be friends, even though I'm still a Christian?)

    I'm like Josie. Don't like being a leader, don't like being a follower.

    Reply

  20. April 13, 2010 @ 6:51 am vegemitevix

    Thanks Iota for commenting! I still call myself a Christian too. For a long time I wandered around unable to darken a church door, but then it all fell into place. It isn't God who's the problem it's the church, and yes church leaders.

    I even remarried in a church and despite the vicar being completely loopy, the prayers and blessings he said brought both myself and my Englishman to tears. I pray daily, sometimes a couple of times a day.

    Of course we can still be friends!! Some of my best friends are Christians! LOL!

    I didn't write this to hurt people with faith. It's a kind of warning about the abuse of power. Unfortunately it is based on real life experience.

    Much love and thank you again for commenting!! I love it that you did. xx

    Reply

  21. April 13, 2010 @ 1:06 pm IotaM

    I was kind of joking about the “can we still be friends?” thing. You don't
    strike me as the kind of person who will strike someone off their list for
    having different religious beliefs (or similar ones, as it seems).

    Reply

  22. April 13, 2010 @ 10:44 pm Peabee72

    Thought provoking post. Must come back and read your extract when my eyes are less titchy and tired.

    Which am I? Neither? Both? Argh! I have no problem with the idea of hierarchy and I think at any one time we are all at different places in many different structures, depending on what we bring to or take from that group. The 'cult' is a good example of where it all goes wrong, where devotion blinds 'followers' to the truth of a situation.

    I've always tried to be 'just me', obviously it has its ups and downs but it's working out ok so far… xx

    Reply

  23. April 13, 2010 @ 11:44 pm Peabee72

    Thought provoking post. Must come back and read your extract when my eyes are less titchy and tired.

    Which am I? Neither? Both? Argh! I have no problem with the idea of hierarchy and I think at any one time we are all at different places in many different structures, depending on what we bring to or take from that group. The 'cult' is a good example of where it all goes wrong, where devotion blinds 'followers' to the truth of a situation.

    I've always tried to be 'just me', obviously it has its ups and downs but it's working out ok so far… xx

    Reply


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