A new butterfly. Or something. (sylvanscion) wrote in nolongerxian,
A new butterfly. Or something.

  • Mood:

*inhales deeply*

So back in August, I created a Yahoo group for ex-members of the cult I grew up in. I sent an email to my family, hoping that if they were in touch with others that they'd get them to join, and pass the word along, and so on.

Only my parents joined. *lol* Since then, there has been zero activity.

This morning, I decided to make a post there about this whole freakout thing I had last week. Not mentioning the freakout, just explaining some stuff... Neither of my parents have Yahoo email, so the post will be delivered to their home email. *bites nails* I don't know what their reaction will be.

Anyway, the text of the post will be behind that cut...

Growing up in a cult and how Paganism makes the most sense for me now.

We were taught from an early age, to deny the flesh. To die to Self. That our actions were carved into Jesus' body with the lash, that every sin adds a fresh painful slash to him. This isn't metaphor when you are small. It is literal. You fear to do *anything*, in case it is bad in some way and causes Jesus more pain.

The pleasures of the flesh. Which are of course, sinful. We are made of flesh and bone and blood, and so every pleasure, no matter how innocent, is a sin. Is shameful. I am starting to think that possibly, anytime I started to experience pleasure, happiness, that my subconscious couldn't stand the thought of the imagined sin, and so would sabotage it.

8th birthday party? I was having a good time, finally had friends? And so I threw up. Honeymoon in DisneyWorld? Cranky and footsore, I made it miserable.

One can imagine the effect that these ingrained teachings would have on a person's libido once they grow to adulthood. Remember, all actions are written in Jesus' flesh, in pain and suffering. It's worse than Santa seeing you when you're sleeping, knowing when you're awake. Even if one moves away from the religion that caused the harm, it doesn't matter. The reason behind the shame and guilt is forgotten, and only the bad feelings are felt anymore.

There is nowhere to go with this. People who join cults as adults have their previous life to remember, to fall back on. Thinking back to how things used to be, they can change their minds, throw off the shackles that the cult put on their minds. For children who grow up with the cult's teachings, there *is* no previous life to hearken back to. Therapists who deal with cult refugees have no idea how to deal with the grown-up children. We're just too different. We can't be treated the same as the adults, and trying to convert us to another similarly-based religion is like trying to get a child to go swimming when they've nearly drowned in the past.

I began looking into other religions and Paganism as a rebellion, I'm sure. Just go with something, *anything* that was completely opposite from what I grew up with. For years, it was rebellion. Then it became a more logical choice.

Recently, I had an epiphany that explained my attraction to Paganism even further, and has firmly closed the door behind me.

It started with the realization of much of the above- the whole pleasure = shame/guilt thing. And then I thought some more. There is an excerpt from a popular poem that is used quite often in Wiccan ritual. The poem is "The Charge of the Goddess", and the excerpt is this:

"All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals."

There is no sin, no guilt, no shame in happiness, in love, in pleasure, in Paganism. These qualities are embraced, encouraged, even sanctified, by these words of the Goddess.

Yes, I have some major stuff that I won't be able to get over quickly. This excerpt from this poem is but a small thing, but it gives great freedom.

I could not go back to Christianity now. Even non-cults will condemn pleasure, will press the guilt back in, will bring the shame to the forefront again. I am not asking anyone to join me. There is no need for me to proselytize. I am simply explaining my choice. My decision. All I ask is for tolerance. Understanding. "Well, now I see where she's coming from. I don't agree with her, but I can understand how she reached that point."

Thank you....

So, that's it. Hope they don't freak too badly...

X-posted to personal LJ
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