During one of those frustrating introspective moments I questioned how I ended up in my current position. To remain anonymous and aloof I will spare the details, but essentially I am living in a location that is surrounded by unhealthy relationships, trying to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage, friendless, and questioning my religion at every turn.

How did I get here?

My family moved across the nation, homeschooling me through most of high school. At about 17 years old I participated in what could only be described as a Christian-extremist cult. The whole family was in it, but I moved in with the leader in order to gain insight and “wisdom” from a “man of God.” This is really where my story leaves the well-worn path of the average middle class Evangelical kid.

Skip past the long days working for free, spreading this heretical propaganda to whoever would listen and you’ll find me confused, depressed and angry at the world. Normal teenager stuff to be honest. Normal until you consider that teenagers have a social baseline, set by their families and confirmed by the American culture.  I don’t want you to think I had a bad raising, in fact, I consider myself lucky to have such open and honest parents. My family is never to blame, and I alone take responsibility for my formative years. I had opportunities to live like everyone else. I had doors opened for me into careers and strong relationships. I even had the opportunity to get ahead of the curve since homeschooling had set me a year ahead of my age group.

Intuition is a wonderful curse.

I left the cult, passed the final SAT, and started working 40-60 hours a week at 18. Sometimes I would help out with groceries and chores, but mostly I decided to race around in my Mom’s car, smoking hookah and watching previously forbidden movies with my new friends at work. I claimed to be going to church, but in reality I was hopping from building to building, comparing the performance. I never really did anything very rebellious, I respected my Dad enough to heed his warnings. I didn’t drink or do drugs. I didn’t even date because I didn’t want to dishonor my family in front of their cult.

Along came Little Red Riding Hood, my first love, my first girlfriend, my first sex, my wife (for now).

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