There are too many unavoidable similarities between an abusive relationship and a religious relationship, a drug dependency and a religious dependency; living a lie requires coping mechanisms. Sometimes these mechanisms are a matter of survival for the host, sometime they are a matter of survival for the parasite.
This is why there are so many “born-agains” in recovery programs. They still need the fix, they still get the fix, they can’t live without the fix, they are submissive to their own fears … they’ve just switched to a different type of fix. A more culturally accepted one. One that says, “I like the fact that you feel terrible, now submit to me and all will be fine someday.”
But it is still a morally abusive and intellectually submissive relationship, built on dishonesty and fear. It is not a solution, it’s just another bad decision.
But, for some, freedom really is a terrifying concept.