Monday, October 24, 2011

Leaving a cult

It's been a week since I last posted, although I have a running commentary going on in my mind at all times.  I just rarely ever get it down on paper.  Or computer.

A couple of days ago I ran into a former friend from my old fundie church at StuffMart, which is my most likely place of socialization these days.  She ran up to me acting like I was her best friend.  I was friendly but reserved.  I kept the cart between us because I didn't want a hug.  Not because I don't like her, but because with my fibromyalgia, I can't handle the squeezing hugs that fundies normally do.  Painful.

She made it sound like "God" had arranged our meeting because she had been working on Walk thru Bethlehem that morning. I was very closely associated with that play while there...I wrote one of the best plays they had ever had there.  Not bragging...just what I was told.  (Yet I wasn't allowed to get any credit for it publicly because that was seeking glory for myself although the pastor and the director got their names and pictures in the paper.)  Then she was gushing about the sunset, which was magnificent I will say.  But she had to go off on scientists for "trying to prove evolution was true" when it was obvious that "God" had created that sunset.

I was noncommital, but friendly.  I just couldn't fake enthusiasm.  Yes, I enjoyed the sunset and could do so even while believing in evolution.  I happen to think the gods created evolution, but there you are.

Today while perusing the internet (sans Sims Social which I had to delete because it was messing up my computer and turning me into an addict) I ran into a video about creating new socializations after leaving a cult.  Now the cult she was talking about was fundie-ville in Christianland.  And yes it is a cult.  I didn't listen to the video because my computer isn't a fan of long videos and creates a huge lag but the title alone gave me a lot of room for thought.  So, even acknowledging that I probably have social anxiety, it's conceivable that I developed it because I was in a cult.  I had no friends outside fundie-ville, didn't seek friends outside that locale, and was afraid to hear what anyone outside my compound might have to say.  I avoided any documentaries that questioned Christianity, wouldn't read any books that disagreed with my brand of it and avoided any conversations that required me to think out exactly what it is I believed.

And that, my friends, is what a cult is all about.  I heard from the pulpit, from the teachers in bible study, from casual conversations, from the internet to avoid anyone who would tell me things that didn't line up with what I was taught in church.  I knew what books to avoid and relied on the teachers to tell me what the bible meant and what I was to believe.

Until it came to Harry Potter.  Oh, I bought into it for a long time, believing all they said it was about until I actually read the books for myself.  I got to wondering just what it was they read because it was nothing like what they said Harry Potter was.  Then I tended to view other things they said with a more skeptical eye.  Still staying within the cult mentality though.

But since leaving, I don't know how to make friends.  I've got a few internet friends but they tend to come and go as interests change and people grow.  But in real life friends are impossible for me to make.  And I think it's because of the damage of living within a cult for 22 years or so.  That kind of stuff scars you...badly.

That being said, there may be a Pagan meetup in Madison in November that I'd like to go to as it's on the east side, which is all I know of Madison.  Pending reliable transportation, that is.  Zach has agreed to go with me so I'm not walking into the restaurant alone.

It's time to stop letting fundamentalism keep me from having a life.  It's time I stopped letting my fears rule me.  And I've got a few weeks to gain the courage to get in the truck and go.

I'll admit that I despise Christianity.  Not Christians per se, as not all of them are arrogant, whiney, assholes.  But the whole system itself is damaging, even within the liberal perspective.  You can't add sugar and chocolate to shit in order to make it more palatable.  It's still going to make you ill.  Or worse.

But then again, I am a bitter old crone.



  1. I hope you and Zach do meet some new people in Madison that you might have more in common with. And how cool is it that it was the "Harry Potter" books that started to lead you out of that fundie mindset! Awesome.

  2. Yeah...those evil books. LOL I was already having a crisis of faith and a sermon on the evils of Harry Potter didn't help in that regard. As I had read the books and the pastor hadn't, it boggled my mind how he was relying on those same critics to do his thinking for him. When he tried to get me to agree with him on it, I just told him he should read the books himself since the person he relied on apparently hadn't. It was one of our last Sundays there.