Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaving a Cult


So today I did something that I have been putting off for a long time.  I told my parents I wasn’t ‘healed’ of something I was supposed to have been healed from nearly seven years ago.  I have been worried of telling them for awhile, just wondering what they would say or do.  But at this point in my life, I have a mantra: “I don’t care what the fuck anyone thinks” and I begin to move forward.
I’m so tired of being in the spotlight.  Fishbowl syndrome.  Everything I have said or happened to me eventually would spread through the grapevine: around to the missionary ‘family', churches, and friends and supporters.  Everyone is watching you!  So, when I was ‘healed,’ my parents took it upon themselves to repeat the ‘healing’ story over and over in churches and houses everywhere, until I had to tell them to stop, rather bluntly.  Well , seven years later, here I am, coming to grips with my illness, and hoping my family can too.  But I’m ready to deal with the consequences, if they fight me on it, or tell me that the demons have returned.
So.  I did it.  I am happier for it.  I didn’t just declare “I was never healed.” No, I explained very carefully what had happened, what the doctors said, etc.  I was pretty thorough and respectful.  Hopefully they will respect me, too.  That’s all I ask of anyone.  Mutual respect.
The reason this ‘healing’ came about was due to a difficult time in my life.  I had been ‘falling away’ from the Faith for awhile, but as a last resort I agreed to go to this certain church my mom suggested.  There, they ‘cast out the demons’ (apparently I had several hundred thousand of them in me), and declared me healed.  I was so desperate for change in my life, and for healing that I went with it.  I gave my last attempt at Christianity.  I ended up pretty much going along with the teachings of this church, including becoming a ‘deliverance minister’ (exorcist).  I believed in faith healings with a passion.  I began to follow their rules.  And then suddenly I was jolted with doubt.  I had been encouraged by my mentor to go ahead and attempt this 'deliverance’ upon a girl who had a severe physical and psychological issues.  It ended badly, and in an awful terror I realized I had crossed a line.  I began to feel pushed around, manipulated, and as though my illness still existed.  Fortunately I escaped and regained my mind.  It was actually a big reason I finally began to doubt everything and question things more vehemently.  Cults do that to you, if you escape.
However, my family still somewhat endorses that cult.  Of course they do not see it as a cult.  Anyway, I have heard it said that MK’s fall into cults very easily.  I know several other friends of mine that have been in one, or are still in one.  I believe my sister is in one at the moment, from the descriptions of what she tells me they do and say.  Interesting, I say.  Anthropologically speaking, it sort of makes sense.  The Third Culture Kid doesn’t fit in home or host country, so they seek solace in a tight community, a ‘Family’ so tightly knit that it’s almost impossible to get out of without social suicide or the threat of Hell.  But they have family, a community that replaces their missionary community and are bent on a specific purpose in life.
I have tried almost every aspect of Christianity.  I know too much to believe anymore.  I couldn’t even try to believe even if I wanted to.  And I’m the happier for it.

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