Dear Johnny,

You know what’s worst than knowing something bad? Doubt.

While I was getting ready to move away from the Guru, another captive pulled on my shackles and told me that I wasn’t chained at all, so I didn’t have to leave. I sat back down, crushed by pity. Of course, I can still see the chains, but I started thinking of the others I was abandoning. I know I’m going to hurt them all badly by running away. They don’t deserve any pain and I know I’m not responsible for inflicting it. But I’m still the one that will hurt them, and I have a very hard time dealing with that.

There is no manual on how to deal with such situations. You can talk to specialists of course but they’re kind of hard to find when you’re chained in a dark basement. So, you need to proceed without knowing how to deal with the situation which is like walking through traffic with your eyes closed.

But when you turn around and see the dismay and sorrow in the eyes of those who share your captivity, you can’t help but feel bad. Should I just endure this, so the others can get a break? Could I just keep pretending everything is OK? The simple thought of it makes me want to puke. But running away makes me want to just disappear. Not die as I’m motivated by my survival instinct. Just disappear. Like nothing ever happened. Maybe go to a place when I don’t have that choice to make.

I’m paralyzed. I can’t do anything and as long I don’t act I feel safe. Like when you see a spider and it just stops moving. Of course, you can still crush it, but it feels safer for it to just not move. That’s how I feel. I’m safe if I stand motionless. It’s just an illusion of course.

Until I move I remain in a state of doubt… and I can’t get closure. I’ve never been good with being in between things. Now I’m finding unwholesome comfort in it. That’s not a good thing.

-Dean