A survivor, using words to fight injustice, and make a place in the world.
Football, golf, and wine
Life is quiet moments, followed by chaos followed by quiet moments. This week for me has been a series of football games, golf tournaments followed by football games. All had wine involved, or something stronger. One thing I have learned is alcohol is an interesting thing. I do not have anything against drinking or others drinking, but I have learned that my friends drink a lot. Its all within a responsible realm, no one got drunk, no one drove while tipsy, but every evening meal was accompanied by a drink. We drank beer and wine while we cheered for the different football teams. We cheered with drinks when the favorite golfers played well and a favorite won. There was never any conversation about how much someone was drinking or that drinking was wrong. The people around me joked and had fun and accepted the drinking as part of the fun. The conversation was around the events happening. We also teased about what wine tasted better and which foods were better for us and which we just wanted. There was no judgment, no fear, hate for things that just are.
A world gone crazy
This week has been the same as many of the others and now that the week has ended, I am fatigued. The election was an exhausting affair. The outcome though declared is still not set in stone and that in and of itself wears on a person more. Add in the exhaustion that comes with the pandemic and the depression of staring at the same four walls as one works plays and socializes online. We are trying to keep the world safe, but it seems not matter what measures are put in place the world takes one step forward only to take a giant wind caught breeze backwards. As a people, we need the hope of an end date of the pandemic, the nonsense that is the election aftermath, and the hope of an income. All those things are being denied us since they are outside, mainly, from the control of the general population.
Jealousy Since I escaped the cult I have been staying with an amazing family. They are the same age as my parents but have helped me start to set up my life outside of the constraints I have lived under for so long. They have one son of their own who is just a few months younger than I am who comes to visit about once a month or so. He is an amazing man and his wife even more so. They also have the most precocious daughter who is two. They were here this last week for the Halloween celebrations (going trick-or-treating at Nonnie and Granddaddies house as well as the aunts and great grandparents who live next door.) It was wonderful and they made the week special when otherwise it would have been spent at home watching horrible political news. We went to boo at the zoo, made dinner, and then a few days later they returned to where they live, letting us know that they would see us again at Thanksgiving.
This week I realized that I was angry more than anything else. The medical doctor I first saw when I left the cult, he decided to do a lot of blood work. He needed to see where my health was at since the nutrition inside the cult was questionable at the best of times. Food, at least good nutritious food, was not a priority. Inevitably this is never a good thing. This week I got the results of that blood work back, and they were not good.
Another one free
Week Six This week began with exceptionally good news. Adam is getting out! Adam also known as B. Francis was a man who entered just a few weeks before I did. He is also one of the sweetest men I have ever met. He was the brother who maintained the grounds, all the equipment, and the local wildlife population around the compound. He spent many days just removing the snakes so that the leadership would not see them. He saved rabbits and placed a dear fence to keep all the produce that was raised, safe.
Realization and church
Week Five A return to church, the same but way different I went back to a church this week. In some ways, it was remarkably similar to what I had just left. Yet it was so vastly different. I went with a friend because I was not sure that I would be able to go through the service without a panic attack, but I did not want it to have that kind of power over me either. It was beautiful. It was held in the high church fashion, the incense, and the sense of awe that comes from the early century worship style. It was all in English. I did not have to struggle to understand what was happening around me. People wanted to be there, and they were not in fear of what would happen if they said the wrong prayer or were not in perfect cadence with the people around them.
This week I have learned the fine art of binge watching. This is never a luxury that I have had. I have been sitting down and watching a TV series for the last week. It is a good one, crime, murder, and the good guy wins. It is interesting to me more because it is a show that would never be approved by the community.
I have found trying to do everything all at once is a good way to drown. I took a step back this week and asked for a few days to do nothing. I laid my head down on my pillow and slept. I slept for the most part of three days. I found that it did not really help. The exhaustion that I feel goes so much deeper than the physical. My very soul is tired. I look around our crazy world and realize I am not alone, and yet, I am so very alone. The drowning is beyond what I can describe, beyond my own comprehension.
Week Two Lethargy, mood swings and fear Uncertainty is a place where not many can live for long. Its very definition does not allow you to move back or move forward, everything is up in the air. The fear of the unknown wants to draw you back into the known, even though it is there that the abuse and hell lay. Your mood swings from happy that you are free to fearing that very freedom.
Leaving the cult
When you turn thirty-five your first thing to do is not usually decide you want to start over in life. You do not want to leave everything behind, hoping you can get out of your own personal hell with what you can carry in a suitcase and the clothes on your back. No money, no real contacts outside of the community you are leaving and an uneasy realization that you are likely going to spiritual hell because you can no longer live in the physical hell that you have been living.