Did the Cult Really Suck? (Part 1)

It turns out that, aside from movie reviews, the last series of posts about Hotness and me were pretty much the most popular pages on this site recently. Given this, I’ve decided to work on another short series in which I will explore whether or not the cult life really sucked. I mean, on the face of it, cult life generally was lame.

But I’ve been wanting to know what it is was about the cult that inspired such disgust, disdain, and disappointment in my life. I figure that the best way for me to do that is to write about it and see if I can use this tool and gift to come to some revelations about my past. I’ve realized lately that I have forgotten/suppressed a lot about growing up the way I did. I need those things to be fresh if I’m going to be able to refine my second novel, The Cabin, with any kind of success.

I am going to need to be careful with these posts, because I will be trying to dredge thoughts, feelings, and events up from my memory. I don’t want to exaggerate at all, nor do I want to fill in gaps with imagination instead of truth. But be comforted; I’m not going to pull punches. And I probably won’t change names to protect the innocent. Because as far as I’m concerned, none of the people involved were innocent.

That doesn’t mean I’m bitter about it all. I’ve been blessed with the help of my Savior to find near total forgiveness for all those who did what they did to make a mess of my and my dear friends’ lives and childhood. That being said, I can sit here and identify plenty of what makes up me as a product of my unique upbringing. Some examples:

*Zero desire to have furry animals in the house.

*A view of adults and kids as two sides in a war.

*No idea how to be a son.

*Often very false ideas about how to be a father (universal, sure, but mine are more skewed than I’ve seen elsewhere).

*Inability (in a good way) to take people for granted.

*A constant need to fight a feeling of separation and need for isolation.

*Way too meta far too much of the time.

*Extremely skeptical combined with dangerously naive.

*A deep-seated, fundamental dislike of the names Lucia and Gabriel.

*Sometimes paralyzed by overthinking the smallest of things.

*Mother issues.

I’ll stop there. I’ll also keep these posts shorter, I hope. Part 2 of this series will be up in a couple of days. I’ll talk about some early memories and try to identify the wrongness that was apparent from an early age.

Also, any requests? What would you like to know about growing up in a communal cult?

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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