She is actually recovering from something much worse than growing up in a fundamental, controlling, born again, christian culture. She is the victim of a cruel cult masquerading as a christian church. She was able to persevere in leaving and beginning a new life. She found love, got married, gave birth to a beautiful son, has a successful career.
Other people who have left try to explain the difficulties of leaving; the isolation, the psychological issues, the fear, the guilt. Just one of the cult's cruel practices is shunning and ridiculing those who leave. But she did it. She did it courageously, gracefully, and demonstrating great strength.
I don't know the full story of what leaving cost her.
What would I say to her? I would say:
I'm sorry for your suffering. You are brave. You are powerful. You are strong. Strength, wholeness, and freedom define you. What seems impossible for others, you do with clarity. You have wisdom beyond my understanding.
Do I have any advice for her? Yes.
Stay strong. Do what's best for you and your new family. Love yourself. Love your husband. Don't lose yourself in being a mommy - aim for being a good enough mommy, don't try to be best mommy in the world. Drink wine and get regular facials. Or pedicures. Have fun. Have as much fun as you can.Now that I know what I would say to her, I'm going to finally read that article.