This post overlaps with last week’s post but I felt the need to expand on it a little more.

It’s been over four years now since I left the church that brought so much pain, depression, guilt and anxiety into my own and my family’s lives.  It was one of the most significant moments of my life yet, I didn’t actually start telling people about it until long after that. 

I kept my cult experience a secret for over two years.  I tried to forget it and live my life as a “normal” person, but as each day passed I came to realize that I couldn’t just walk away from it.  I couldn’t ignore something that is so deeply rooted inside of me.

As I would meet new people in college I’d introduce myself and explain who I was, talked about my childhood, what my hobbies are, but I left out those years of my life in a cult.  YEARS!  It’s like I didn’t exist from 2007-2010.  People could know part of me, but not all of me.  I always felt like there was the elephant in the room.  No one knew who I really was.  I was living in the shadows, not accepting who I really was.

That’s when I decided to start talking to people about it, a select few I could trust and relate to.  Then a few more.  Then a few more.  Then I went public with my book.  To say the least, it was nerve racking and scary exposing my past to world, but it had to be done.  Now, I realize it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I feel like the world can get to know who Jesse really is.  I’m no longer keeping secrets.

“Keeping secrets will always lead to unhappiness and communication is the key to love.”- Laura Esquivel

secret-lies-

Are you keeping any secrets?

I bet they’re not as “dark” as you may think.  I assumed no one would be able to relate to my story, now all kinds of people come to me talking about themselves or someone they know that went through something similar.

It may be hard at first but I promise it’s for the best.  Being honest with yourself and everyone around you is the healthiest way to live.  It allows you to love yourself.  Talk with a close friend at first, a counselor, or another neutral figure.  Hey, you can even talk to me.

Some people may not like your secrets but who cares?  They’re what makes you who you are, and if people don’t like you for who you are then that’s their own fault.