What follows is a short excerpt from what I’ll claim as a fictional work. It comes from a story about a young man who’s dealing with his childhood experience of having been in a cult. In the excerpt he’s considering how he can tell his intensely personal and painful story without reliving his past. If you want to read more, you can go to http://www.danerickson.net
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Cult life is the same thing, day in, day out, day in, day out. For most, this kind of repetition is too much to bear. Yet, the epic nature of a cult story seems impossible to recreate. The story could easily have 100 characters. It could easily span twenty years. It’s monumental.
I glance across the river and look up to the hills.
The emotions attached to cult experiences are heavy. The subjects, sometimes shocking, extreme. How can I share ugliness with grace?
I run my fingers through the rocks and sand along the riverbank.
My own struggles, the voices, the fear, all distract me from the task. Yet, they are both a part of, and a result from, my experience.
I reflect on my predicament while watching little glints of light reflect on the water.
I can only share my story be disconnecting myself from it, by deconstructing it, and then reconstructing it in a way that allows me to write the story without reliving it. That won’t be an easy task. It will be drudge work at best and sheer hell at worst.
So, I’ll break the story into little bits and bites, tiny digestible pieces of poetry and prose, jumping between the life that is and the life that was, while looking forward to the life that’s yet to come.
I sit. I think. I watch the river flow.
I ride my bicycle, and today, the voices still ride with me. Perhaps, they always will.