I was talking to my therapist about how it is easier to feel good about yourself when you get external validation but I’ve learned through therapy I have to build up internal validation, which is hard work. And then I just imitated some of my former therapists and our interactions around trying to build up my sense of self by doing things I enjoy that are good for me such as writing, taking classes, going to writer events, launching into Orthodox Judaism, reading books, and pursuing healthy activities instead of sewer activities. And we both started laughing for about 10 minutes.
The great thing about cults is that they are welcoming. They don’t care about your past as much as they care about what you can contribute in the future to their cause. I’m susceptible to cults because I want to feel part of a family but my stubborn independent streak always dooms me for these insular societies.
A friend of mine was unhappy with his life. His marriage was falling apart. He went to therapy. His therapist asked what he would enjoy doing for work. He said stand-up comedy. She said, why don’t you take some classes in stand-up comedy? He did that and pursued that career for several years, spending all of his money until finally giving up and becoming a pornographer to make his alimony payments. He kept telling me that “therapist” is just another way of saying “the rapist.”