Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Missing Hero

I just heard about the polygamist cult in Texas. How my heart goes out to those girls and women. I was not born into my cult. I had the good fortune of parents who rescued me when I was ready to leave. I can only imagine what it must be like to be raised in such an environment.

A few years I attended a workshop of SGA's (second generation adults) - people who were born into cults. I was invited because I joined at such an early age - 14. Still, I found myself sorely out of place. While the issues we confronted were similar - child sexual and psychological abuse, my experiences did not happen in the context of a cult. My experiences occurred in my family and neighborhood.

Trauma is trauma and recovery is recovery. But children born into cults face an unique and daunting hurdle. And that is to blossom into a self which is utterly at odds with their family, community, religion and even their own identity. They literally have to remake themselves.

I so respect the courage of that sixteen-year-old girl who went to the authorities to report the abuse in her cult family. She now seems to have disappeared. No one can find her. If it were me, I'd be hiding somewhere, holding on for dear life, afraid that the demons will overtake me. Hopefully, she hasn't done anything drastic.

I know of a sixteen year old who reported her father for psychological and verbal abuse. She reported him after he threw a slipper at her. Her father is now in prison. And she took her own life after going to the authorities. Her love for her father and guilt was that great.

I pray that that brave girl is safe. I pray that her courage extends to herself and her own survival as much as to others. A hero, may she get the help she needs and deserves.