I came across a paper yesterday that I had filed away for a decade. The paper, entitled RESIDUAL EFFECTS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE, was paper-clipped to another document with the ominous heading WARNING SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE. With yet another Harry Potter and Voldemort feud on my Blue Ray as background noise (We Graysons had a three-day Harry Potter movie marathon), I read through the first paper, intermittently smiling and feeling pangs of remorse.
According to the paper, I have been in a cult for 39 years. If, say, my physical, beating heart were the cult leader. I mean, I can't do anything without him and actually have little choice in the matter where his interests are concerned. Below I've recorded fifteen symptoms of what it means to be a cult member of your physical heart.
1. DIFFICULTY FORMING NEW FRIENDSHIPS OR INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS. Yes, were you to leave your physical heart behind to form a new friendship or relationship with another, say, heart, then that would be stupid and you would die.
2. A LOSS OF IDENTITY. Yes, were you to leave your physical heart to "be someone" other than the boring person you are, you would die.
3. DIFFICULTY MAKING SIMPLE DECISIONS AND CHOICES. Yes, were you to leave your physical heart, it would be hard to make simple decisions and choices because you would be dead.
4. PERSISTENT DEPRESSION. "Persistent depression" is one creative way to say that you would be dead. Yeah "persistently depressed into the earth."
5. FEELINGS OF ISOLATION, LONELINESS, GUILT AND CYNICISM. Would these feelings precede or follow the abandonment of your physical heart? Good question. I vote both. You would be isolated without a heart, lonely, guilty (if you did it on purpose), and cynical had you done it and were reading this.
6. A RETURN TO THE EMOTIONAL UNCERTAINTY OF ADOLESCENCE. Yes, giving up your physical heart is adolescent, though it sometimes sounds romantic.
7.SHORT-TERM MEMORY LOSS. It follows that the death of your physical brain would follow the death of your physical heart.
8. DESPAIR--FEELING THAT THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO BELIEVE IN. Clearly, even though "believing in" your physical heart merely means not doing anything to jeopardize its function.
9.RECURRENT FEELINGS OF ANGER AND RAGE TOWARDS THE ABUSIVE HEART. Ever felt self-hatred but never actually harmed yourself? That is the control-freakish nature of your physical heart that has scripted you to forever consider the consequences of living without him.
10. NIGHTMARES OR UNPLEASANT DREAMS. What can be more unpleasant than dying? Really? (And don't say "Not having really lived", because your physical heart doesn't believe that any more than you do).
11. INABILITY TO STOP MENTAL OR OTHER RITUALISTIC PRACTICES TAUGHT BY THE ABUSIVE HEART. Like breathing.
12. FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES CREATED BY OBLIGATIONS TO THE ABUSIVE HEART. Like having to provide for yourself.
13.SHAME ABOUT HAVING BEEN DUPED. Duped into being "you."
14. UNCERTAINTY AND ANXIETY IN SOCIAL SETTINGS. Who would you be without your heart? (Damn him!).
15. TENDENCY TO SEEK OUT YET ANOTHER ABUSIVE GROUP. Like getting high or watching reality TV as an alternative to being reminded that you are you.
Absurd, of course. Cult leaders (no matter who they are) are equally ridiculous. For each tries to pass himself off as an indispensable (aka, intrinsic) system (like your lungs or your brain) all the while trying to be indispensable while calling themselves indispensable, hahaha.
Cut them off and you might risk limping for a little while without those pseudo-vital organs, but it's worse if you "give them time." You never know, their batteries might last like the Energizer Bunny. And you just might find yourself wrinkled and toothless before you ever have a chance to breathe another breath of fresh air again.
Do you even remember the last time that you breathed fresh air? DOWN WITH THE TYRANT!