My father has been on my mind quite alot lately. He and I were so alike. He shaped my mind, for better or worse, and it is his bloodline that brought me into the cult. There are so many reasons I could hate him. I loved him, though, and I pitied him. His biggest mistake was the same as mine, actually– we were born to the wrong family.
My father did horrible things. He was a top member of a powerful and purely evil cult. He hurt so many people, including my mother, sister and me. He did what was expected of him without question, exactly as a cult member is trained to do. In his later yeas, he also took my best friend along for birthday celebrations with my mother and me. He shared ice cream with us, told jokes that had everyone laughing hysterically, and became a better person. He was changing, becoming a person is his own right, and breaking away (albeit to a small extent) from the cult.
His life was hard. I don’t know a great deal about his childhood, but since he grew up in the cult as well, I can’t imagine it was great. I know he got shuffled about between trainers and was taken from his parents at an early age. We had only just started talking about these things when he died, but he told me he had never felt truly loved or wanted. He thought of himself as a complete and utter failure, and he expressed regret at what had happened.
My father grew up in the cult, did the jobs that were expected of him, and took the role he was supposed to fill. In turn, he offered his children to the cult, and I can imagine our lives started quite similarly to his. For whatever reason, I was able to break that cycle and refuse my role in the cult. It’s unfortunate for my siblings and me that my father couldn’t. However, I understand why he did what he did. That makes all the difference.