My second book, He Talks To Me Too, found at https://jaclynhollandstrauss.com/my-writing/canadiannorth-american-culture/, has just been started, but it is going to be a look at organized religion. The metaphor of an island is going to be used to suggest a church that has a lot of rules and regulations. A young girl, Catherine, joins a community of people. She has been very lonely up until this point in her life, and thrives under the new system. She moves to an island as a commitment to her new faith and joins the membership there. Throughout her life, Catherine has struggled with sex addiction but joining the island and its people gives her the strength to overcome her addiction and she becomes essentially a new person. But then things start not working well for her.
When she first joins the community, she tells the two young men who told her about the island how, when she swims, her head grows to ten times the normal human size. There’s no way she can hide this when it happens; it is visible for everyone to see. She is assured this doesn’t matter. But on page 29 of the handbook that describes the island’s rules and regulations, it is said that no one can be a member if their head is above a certain size. Catherine is troubled, but she figures that since she told the proper people, she should be fine. However, eventually the truth comes out.
Up to the time the truth does come out, Catherine has been an exemplary member of the island. In fact, she even teaches others how to be good island members. However, once the truth comes out, she is cast out into the wilderness. She has the option of remaining on the island, but she is a visitor; she is not an official member. She lacks certain privileges because of this; for example, she can no longer teach. She continues to visit, and helps people in an informal, unofficial way. But then someone accuses her of a crime that she did not commit, and although she is not told to leave the island, she feels like she is abusing to the point that she cannot handle it anymore.
After she leaves the island, Catherine succumbs once more to her sexual addiction. She feels guilty and tries to overcome it. Eventually, in a message of hope and optimism about the capability of the human spirit, Catherine overcomes her addiction and accepts a middle ground where she is not part of an organized community but still has a deep and spiritual relationship with God.
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