“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and it’s desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
I’ve been watching “A&E’s “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” for the past 3 seasons. Although I’ve never belonged to a formal established cult per se, I understand about Stockholm syndrome, brainwashing, love-bombing, gas-lighting and other techniques that are employed by cults. Remini frequently talks on the show about how when she was in Scientology she truly believed in it, and also thought that people on the outside weren’t as evolved. This had much to do with being submersed in a subculture that is insular in nature, designed to promote itself and keep its members in.
When I first entered into a relationship with my ex, who I later discovered was a sociopath and sexual sadist, he convinced me to “try out” BDSM. The way he introduced the concept was cunning. He said that of course he would be my Dominant and the one in charge and that I would be his submissive and the one responsible for attending to his needs. That was never off-putting as I am a very caring person and it’s in my nature to want to be a care-taker. The thing that he pitched to me is that I would have complete control over what we did. The ever so clever ‘illusion of control’. Nothing would happen that I didn’t want.
This, as I would later find out was a flagrant lie. As time pressed forward he never respected my no. I would come to find out I didn’t even have one. He did as he pleased. Think “50 shades of Gray” but with Ted Bundy cast in the leading role.
I don’t think I would have entered into it at all, save for the fact that I was desperate to feel loved. He was saying all the right things at just the right time. I was in an extremely vulnerable place. I had just come out of a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship. My son’s father had been cheating on me which had paralleled nearly our entire relationship, I lost part of my cervix due to his cheating. He had beaten me so badly once, my tooth had gone through my lip. He had locked me in rooms and refused to let me out to use the bathroom. He had locked me out of the house in the winter in freezing temperatures without a coat. He threw a razor at my head leaving me bleeding, crawling out of the house searching for help from passing cars on the street. I ended up with staples in my head to suture the wound.
Looking back when I left my son’s father, it was as if I was swimming in shark infested waters with a fresh wound. I was a beacon for a sociopath like the sadist narc with whom I became involved. .
Somewhere during my relationship with my son’s father is when I had stopped going to church and praying. I felt so lost. I felt so abandoned. When I met the narcopath I was like a deer in headlights. He appealed to my intellect as he told me, “this may sound crazy but an alternative relationship when done right can, because of the risky situations it entails, actually forge a stronger and closer bond between a man and a woman than a typical “vanilla” relationship ever could.” It sounded so good! Closer I thought? Well slap me silly then sign me up for that. Me the girl who has been starving for love and attention her whole life. It almost sounded like the promise of coming home. He encouraged me to do my research online. I did. It seemed like it may actually work at the theoretical level.
Boy was I wrong. I will have to repost the horror show of what happened during that relationship at another time.
Like Leah Remini while she was in Scientology, when I was living the BDSM “lifestyle” via this D/s relationship I believed that it was a more self-actualized way of being. A small part of me actually felt superior to others. That I had discovered that by giving into hedonism, and accepting carnal, visceral pleasures that I had reached a higher plane of understanding somehow. That I had let go of the entrapment and bondage of guilt and shame that my Catholic upbringing had pummeled into me.
It has taken 7 years of distance from that BDSM D/s lifestyle, therapy, emptiness and utter despair to realize some things:
One, the so called bondage I thought I was leaving behind of shame and guilt, I ended up trading for actual leather straps being chained to this sicko’s bed getting whipped, caned, spanked, or otherwise beaten so that he could get an erection. He was sexually impotent without the use of violence as he was a sexual predator.
The truth is the guilt and shame was always there in me because the goodness of God had never left me and I felt ashamed about what I was doing as I knew God would be disappointed. I was also disappointed in myself. I secretly wanted a better life but never believed I deserved it.
Secondly, I was not better than vanilla and/ or God fearing people. Quite the opposite, I was falling deeper into sin and sexual immorality but just could not see it at that time. Many in that subculture are atheists, agnostics or living very compartmentalized lives; it is my belief they don’t see themselves as sinning. A sort of denial I guess.
Finally, the good news isn’t too good to be true. Even a sinner like me can change. That sound of the promise of coming home? That has to do with salvation. No one but God knows who will be saved but Scripture is pretty clear on one fact:
”Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “
John 14:6 NIV
It has taken a long time for me to see more clearly, I am beginning to see more clearly. I have a long long way to go. What I find ironic is that I was partly on the right track. I should have been on my knees, but in prayer. I should have been being a submissive, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus can save me from despair, He can heal me from my sorrow, He can show me an enduring love like no one here in this world can. Reconciling and restoring the strong relationship with Christ that I once had is the best decision I have decided to make.
I’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. God was always there ready and willing to love me.