I finished my book and emailed it to my editor. One minute later I freaked out. It was like giving birth and then mailing off your baby. I've been wandering around for a week in a daze. I have anxiety. I keep staring off into space. I feel...bereft. While I was writing my book, I lost touch with everything real. I was in such intense emotional pain--the kind that saps your appetite, won't let you sleep. But I didn't seem to mind--at least, not while I was writing my book. I had purpose. I had a project.
Now I don't have a project.
Except, well, I have a mess to clean up. While I was writing my book, my marriage suffered a direct hit. There it is. I wrote it. Look at me being all honest.
There's really nothing like writing about life in a cult to unearth all the dysfunction in your relationship. The very foundation of our marriage was built in the cult. And the sad truth is that despite leaving the cult, the cult was inside us.
So, there it is. Our marriage crashed on the rocky shoals. But we're not abandoning the ship, we're trying to repair it.
I guess the good news is that writing this book forced me to take a hard, honest look at everything. I faced it head-on. Unflinching. I learned that I want to be real. And I want to be in a real relationship with real honesty.
We're in therapy. Double sessions, sometimes. Because we won't let the cult take everything. A friend said, "Well, at least being raised in a cult gives you an obvious source for your dysfunction." Which insight was so true, I laughed. There's a gift in that, I suppose. At least I didn't have to spend years in therapy just trying to figure out why I'm screwed up. That part is fairly obvious, har-har.
The hard part is feeling my way out of it. (Yes, feeeeeeeling my way out. Over-thinking and rationalizing and "soldier-ing through" got me into this mess).
Still, I can see hope glinting. It is dark but I'm not despairing.
My shadow days are over.