A few nights ago the following message popped up on my screen, from a friend who’s walked a few of the same paths I have. I read these words quickly, and found in them a voice that sounds unmistakably familiar.

Sometimes I don’t know whether or not I’m losing my mind, but at least it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. With my friend’s permission, I’m sharing her words with you. Because maybe you need to know you’re not alone too.

________________________

I have a question for you.

You blog a lot about your past, the cult you grew up in, the brainwashing, and the fallout of all of that. But do you ever miss it?

I know that sounds crazy, because my own words look crazy on the screen. I wouldn’t ever go back to that, not for anything or anyone. I wouldn’t trade my life right now, the right to my own heart and mind, no matter how convincing a case they could present.

But sometimes, on nights like tonight, when I can’t sleep because of the nightmares, and I can’t breathe because of the anxiety, when life is crushing me, and I’m lonely and terrified…. Sometimes I miss it.

I mean, I don’t really miss it. But that blindness that I despise so much in its aftermath? It was horrifyingly beautiful in that moment.

There were years when I had all the answers. There was a time when there were no decisions to be made, no opinions to be formed, no choices to agonize over. There was a time when every next step was set out for me, when my reactions and responses followed a blueprint that was exact in its plans for my life. There were years when I trusted in a great sovereign, that was both terrible and good, righteous and loving.

And that god was my answer to everything. He made all things work together for good, if I loved him. He punished me, if I didn’t. And if I loved him and bad things still happened, he was refining me with his fire.

When men in my church and family took so much from me, I didn’t have to wonder what to do. My church had already told me to submit to authority. God had commanded me to forgive. And that all worked, in a twisted way. That whole setting kept the pieces of me together, like a Lego set in a box. Not whole. But not exactly broken, yet.

And then all the pieces were dumped out and jumbled and scattered. I stepped on a few of them — in my attempt to ignore them — and cut up the bottoms of my feet. And stepping on Legos hurts. It fucking hurts. And now I’m trying to put them together, like the picture on the box, but I lost the instructions somewhere along the way, and it seems that most of the pieces were melted in that fire, instead of refined.

They don’t fit together anymore.

And I miss it. Goddamnit, I miss the false.

I miss the false friendships. I miss the bubble I existed in where everything was black and white. I miss the numbness that hid the pain. I miss being a Lego set in a box.

I just wondered if I’m crazy, or if sometimes you miss it too.

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