My brainwashed mind knew it wanted free…

No 15 year old wants to spend several hours into the night being preached to and threatened with burning in hell for an eternity. “Snow Camp” might sound fun for a secular kid, but for me it meant paying for my skiing and sightseeing in Leavenworth with brow beatings into the wee hours.

photo by Dark Arts

It must have been the 5 millionth time in my life I’d heard the high-priced stage puppet’s cliche demand: “All you kids raise your sinner’s arms, repent and feel the holy spirit cleansing your soul! Stand up! Raise your arms!” My eyes rolled back into my heavy eyelids, slumped in the pew half awake. For fuck sake, it was almost 1am… this was the last place I wanted to be, but it was the only place I was allowed to be…

photo by Shoot Bare

Suddenly I felt a grip around my tiny wrist, yanking me upwards and damn near pulling my shoulder out of socket. Not to my surprise, it was Sandy, the youth pastor’s wife. She had been stalking me all year, trying to “save” me. How could she not know her rudeness was pushing me away? I was forced to stand and raise my arms and go through the motions… for the million and one’th time.

photo by Shoot Bare

My youth was very challenging after I decided I wanted freedom from my strict environment. When your bounds are all psychological, it’s harder to understand them, which makes it like a mental torture… If I were literally tied up, at least I would have been able to understand what was happening. I suppose I can applpy this anguish similarly to other relationships in life where I was being emotionally, intellectually, financially, or sexually abused… A smack to the face would have been easier to comprehend.

pic of me at this age (15)

I wrote this poem about the grief process of the ending of my way of life- I knew I had to escape that cult but I had no support system. I would be shunned by my circle of people if they knew I rejected their collective beliefs. So I began to plan my exit plan…

Poem age 15 (Nov 2003)
“Cedar Park”
I was young, innocent
A virgin to cruelty and
Emotional toil.
Under a homely roof
Living like all was bliss.
But I did not realize
This life was fake.


My friend, the spike
And I were close.
People would always say,
“Look how great they get along!
How sweet! Those two!”
The days grew long.
I began to fatigue.


Then I noticed a small pain
In my side.
I tried to ignore it.
“It will go away”
But the days went on.
It hurt more and more.
And for once I realized-
It was the spike.


It was him the whole time.
This thorn in my side…
This sudden point of view-
This realization
Only made the pain worse.
I asked quietly, and politely,
“Will you please leave?”
But the spike did not hear-
He thought I liked it.


The spike caused such pain
I knew he must be removed.
Ever so carefully- tenderly,
I grabbed hold of it’s end.
Waves of agony
Pulsated through my body.


As I gripped;
Steadily, I increased the pressure
And began to pull outwards.
The feeling was so excruciating.
“Will I survive?
Can I live without the spike?”
Still I continued to pull.
The spike was determined
To stay in my side.


He tried to dig in more.
“Don’t you love me?”
The spike asked, angelically.
“We were the best of friends,
The kind only found in fairytales!
We loved each other!
How can you just pull me out?”


Through the barrier
Of all my pain-
I heard the spike’s pleas
And they pierced my heart-
And drew tears to my eyes.
“But I do love you…”
I admitted to the spike.


With this there was hesitance.
Should I pull out the spike,
Until he is gone forever?

*Kristy Jessica


XoXo

2 Responses

  1. Overbearing for the sake of caring, pushing you away by holding you too close. To harsh to be love, to fanatical for logic and ultimately a nightmare at the promise of paradise. The reality of the zealot.

  2. I am so saddened you went through this. And I am so honored to know you found your inner champion and outer support system to be free from this. You are a hero. You are your hero.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.