IT HURTS to discover you were deceived that what you thought was the “one true religion,” the “path to total freedom,” or “truth” was, in reality, a cult.
IT HURTS when you learn that people you trusted implicitly whom you were taught not to question were “pulling the wool over your eyes” albeit unwittingly.
IT HURTS when you learn that those you were taught were your “enemies” were telling the truth after all but you had been told they were liars, deceivers, repressive, satanic, etc., and not to listen to them.
IT HURTS when you know your faith in God hasn’t changed only your trust in an organization yet you are accused of apostasy, being a trouble maker, a “Judas”. It hurts even more when it is your family and friends making these accusations.
IT HURTS to realize their love and acceptance were conditional on you remaining a member of good standing. This cuts so deeply you try and suppress it. All you want to do is forget but how can you forget your family and friends?
IT HURTS to see the looks of hatred coming from the faces of those you love to hear the deafening silence when you try and talk to them. It cuts deeply when you try and give your child a hug and they stand like a statue, pretending you aren’t there. It stabs like a knife when you know your spouse looks upon you as demonized and teaches your children to hate you.
IT HURTS to know you must start all over again. You feel you have wasted so much time. You feel betrayed, disillusioned, and suspicious of everyone including family, friends and other former members.
IT HURTS when you find yourself feeling guilty or ashamed of what you were even about leaving them. You feel depressed, confused, and lonely. You find it difficult to make decisions. You don’t know what to do with yourself because you have so much time on your hands now yet you still feel guilty for spending time on recreation.
IT HURTS when you feel as though you have lost touch with reality. You feel as though you are “floating” and wonder if you really are better off and long for the security you had in the organization and yet you know you cannot go back.
IT HURTS when you feel you are all alone and that no one seems to understand what you are feeling. It hurts when you realize your self-confidence and self-worth are almost nonexistent.
IT HURTS when you have to front up to friends and family to hear their “I told you so” whether that statement is verbal or not. It makes you feel even more stupid than you already do your confidence and self-worth plummet even further.
IT HURTS when you realize you gave up everything for the cult your education, career, finances, time and energy and now have to seek employment or restart your education. How do you explain all those missing years?
IT HURTS because you know that even though you were deceived, you are responsible for being taken in–all that wasted time.