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Scars Of A Cult Left Behind


I just stepped off the stage from sharing, for the first time, my story of recovery from the abuse and effects of a cult. I had never been this honest with this many people and I felt very exposed. I was glad it was over.

After, while in a restroom stall, I heard two women say, loudly, how shocking my story had been. How weak we were. How could we fall for that? They decided we must have been very new believers. Or perhaps uneducated. Not raised in the “church.” (tsk-tsk-tsk) They were glad such EVIL would be readily evident to them.

“I would never—” I heard as I stepped out of the stall, and came face to face with the two women.

They froze. I stood there, looked them both in the eye. Stepped around them. Washed my hands and left.

The restroom full of women was so quiet you could’ve heard a pin drop.

While I understood the women’s attempts to reassure themselves that I was an anomaly and this would surely, certainly, never, ever happen to them, it stung. Apparently, more than I realized.

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*****

Six weeks ago, I said I would tell my story, share parts I haven’t before. Since then I’ve felt locked down in my writing. Why would I volunteer such deeply personal stories!?

I tracked my feelings back this incident 20 years ago.

When I write, God teaches me. He points out things I need to address. I’ve seen subtle ways shame has left a residue, shadows here and there, like the scars ivy leaves behind when pulled from the siding of a house.

I realized the enemy wanted me afraid of my story and shut down in the sharing. As Curt Thompson says in The Soul Of Shame, the shame attendant was keeping watch and pointing out potential encounters with shame; reminding me of the past. He wanted me to fear the risk required to share my story.

So this is your notice. The stories are going to start flowing. My intention is not to sensationalize, nor expose, nor unnecessarily relive any of the drama and trauma of those years. Only to say,

“I was blind but now, because of the grace of God, now I see.”

You are welcome to follow my journey, the process, and the fallout.

 


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