Bethany Joy Lenz got candid about the “breaking point” that led her to leave the cult she was a part of for a decade.
“There’s a lot of highs and lots of lows and at some point, you just are like, ‘Can I get off this ride, please? What’s wrong with me? Why am I so up and down all the time?’” Lenz, 42, explained to E! News on Thursday, September 7. “And sometimes it just takes a few people at the right moment saying, ‘It might not be anything wrong with you.’ And that can be a relief.”
The One Tree Hill alum also shared that she experienced “wild, vivid dreams” before her exit from the cult and felt “frustrated in [her] faith.”
“I had lost a lot of [my faith] along the way,” she admitted. “And one of my prayers was just sort of like, ‘You have to just meet me where I am because I don’t even know if I know who you are anymore,’ and that’s how God just kept showing up for me in spite of the fact that I was thrusting a middle finger up in the air and being like, ‘Screw you!’
“I was in a cult for 10 years,” the actress shared with her cohosts Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton Morgan as the former costars discussed potential memoirs. “That would be a really valuable experience to write about, and the recovery — 10 years of recovery after that. So there’s a lot to tell.”
At the time, Lenz said that she “for sure” wanted to pen a book one day and write about her experience, however, she worried about “the pressure of getting it right.”
“Also, I don’t know how much I can say because there are still people and legal things in place that make it more complicated for the timing of that,” Lenz added. “But I do write. I write all the time.”
One month later, Lenz shared that the cast and crew of One Tree Hill tried to get her out of the cult while filming the show — but she didn’t escape the organization until “shortly after” the series ended in 2012.
“For a while, they were all trying to save me and rescue me, which is lovely and so amazing to be care about in that way. But I was very stubborn,” the “Strawberries” singer said in an August interview with Variety. “I was really committed to what I believed were the best choices I could make. … The nature of a group like that is isolation; they have to make you distrust everyone around you so that the only people you trust are, first and foremost, the leadership and then, people within the group if the leadership approves of them, and isn’t in the middle of pitting you against each other, which happens all the time also.”