I was, and I'm going to talk about it right now. So, lucky you, I guess.

I'm going to walk you through it, as if it happened to you instead of me. Here we (you) go:

You are four or five years old. Your mother reads you Winnie the Pooh stories, which you love, but she also reads you bible stories, from a book made for kids. You learn about the Nephilim, Lot and his daughters, Jacob and Esau, the harlot Jezebel and how she paid with her own blood for mocking god's prophets.

When you are eight or so, you begin to realize that your family and friends will only continue to love you if you do certain things โ€” if you behave a certain way. This terrifies you. You are so tiny but you have fears that keep you up at night โ€” (I have to prove my dedication to my faith or my family will disown me) โ€” so you do it. Whatever it is.

The community you've grown to trust tells you that Armageddon is coming, soon. You don't make friends with anyone who doesn't embrace the message you preach because they will be destroyed at Armageddon and god will kill you, too, if he sees you talking to them.

You have no friends, only conditional friends, and you are about to graduate from high school. You've been told that the world will end soon, and making plans after high school is proof that you don't believe in god's new system of things.

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So you don't. You don't make plans.

But your mom is hella cool so she tries to send you to college, and you get shamed out of going, because you're brainwashed. (Elders say, "Don't worship Satan; You're better than that; don't go to college....")

Years later, you leave the cult. You have no friends, now. You have no family. Bye bye. They won't talk to you, anymore. You are an "apostate"; you are a disease. Toxic.

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Bye. Fucking. Bye.

THIS is what it's like to have family in a cult. To be in a cult. I got out, sure.

But I lost most of my family and all of my friends.