Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Trip to the Library - Another scene

This is a short interlude between longer scenes in Chapter One but I wanted to let it stand on its own. This was a pivotal point for me in starting to take back my mind from the cult. Thank God for libraries!

Soon after we arrive, I take the kids to the public library. When we return, Joshua runs into the house, almost slipping on the snow, arms full of books.

"Look, Nana," he says. "Trucks!"

Mom leans over and examines each title as Josh holds them up. She smiles and exclaims over his brilliant choices. It is hard to know who is more excited. When I was young, Mom would bring home presents from work, large colorful children's books newly released by her publishing house. I hoarded them like jewels, the cherished signs of my mother's love. They were proof that she thought of me when she was gone, that she thought of me at all. This nurtured a love of books that followed me into adulthood. Once in The Way however, my choices became limited only to Christian literature, focusing primarily on The Bible and the Doctor's writings. Mom's letters to me over the past fifteen years included impassioned lectures against the cult's censorship. Of course, I denied it. Now that I was home and free to read whatever I wanted, it seemed logical that one of my first stops would be to the local library.

"And what did you get?" She turns to me.

I show her the titles. She picks one out and flips through its pages.
The Battered Woman. I edited this book, worked with Lenore Walker on it. It was the first book ever published on the subject of wife abuse. I had to really fight and convince my bosses that there was a market for it. Now it's a classic."

"Yeah, well, I thought I should read up on it and figure out what's been happening to me."

Mom looks down then back up at me, her eyes clouded with concern. She lowers her voice. "I suspected that was the case."


Chris Cushingham, Sr. said...

No one knows you like your mom. She watches you fly! and catches you should you fall. Mom's, "Ya gotta love 'em."

Billy said...

This makes me think of my earlier realizing that there are common threads that run through abuse cases, even cases from widely differing backgrounds. Last week our local paper ran a front page series on problems that people, especially children, face on the Indian reservations in South Dakota. One of the daily features dealt with sexual and domestic abuse, and among other things explained that some of the abused do well in later life, and some don't, with the eventual result usually depending on who is there to help. And it's hard to find someone better than...well, see Chris' post above.

Billy said...

Forgive me as I have a long post that is not getting on, even though it was below the character limit. Want to see it this short one will make it, maybe I have do do it in pieces.

Billy said...

Part 1...

After my extraction from The Way at the end of 1979, it took me over 20 years to believe that the abuse Kristen and others were put through even might have happened. I didn't know specifically about what happened until "Losing the Way" came out, but I had heard and read people talking about the abuse in general. My deprogramming affected me to a degree, but I think the main reason why many didn't...and still don't accept it...relates to what Kristen said about abusers taking pains to hide the abuse. I'm not talking only about the lockbox...keeping it a secret...but also about hiding the abuse with the trust Wierwille and others gained from us. Simply put, we couldn't...and many still don't...believe that he and other leaders , our "men of God", were capable of such abuse. In my case, this was despite the numerous clues I had that I did not recognize because of my trust mindset. Finally, after the turn of the century, I got to where I acknowledged that such abuse MIGHT have happened, and decided I really needed to know one way or another. I could not accept all the talk about how it happened to others; I felt I needed what I couldn't ask for and didn't deserve...first hand testimony. When I mentally put myself in a victim's place, I could recognize that it could be extremely painful to discuss such experiences, especially personally. Yet I couldn't accept that such was happening without such testimony. My attitude, right or wrong, is obviously a problem for most or all abuse victims; convincing others of the hell they went through.

Billy said...

Part 2...just one more to go.

When Kristen published "Losing the Way, I got the personal testimony I couldn't personally ask for. I got the bonus of getting it not only from someone else who was in the Way, but from someone who was, for a while, in the same Way Corps at the same place and time I was in. Perhaps more importantly, I got it from someone, Kristen, who gave her account as she lived it...real testimony...and not as a virulent anti-cult diatribe on the Way, something that would have turned me off alltogether. still having deely imprinted effects of my deprogramming almost 30 years before. Kristen of course did not write "Losing the Way" for me personally. She doesn't owe me anything and I don't owe her anything, except the respect for each other's personal lives, and how they may be affected by what we say and do, maybe even by what we don't say and do. I'll get to that again shortly. however, i cannot help but give her my deep and humble thanks, not only for unlocking my hard-headed mind about the abuse, but for indirectly giving me a much greater understanding of that part of my own life, much greater than she will ever know. I was helped by some other things. including another Wierwille abuse victim who said to me one of the most helping things I have ever been told.

Billy said...

part 3...last

I am posting this here because I recognize some things from this post of Kristen's and her post that immediately follows. I recognized what Kristen was saying when she made these posts almost a year ago, but they have shown up to me much more plainly recently. I guess that happens when you are trying to put yourself in someone else's place and you realize that you've only been doing an okay job of it. Like in the Way Corps, being told you did a good job at something is a curse that stands out, because you know more surely than night follows day that you're about to be reamed out because your good job wasn't the BEST. I relation to what I said above, I owe her...we all owe her...a clear road to moving forward with her life, because that is what Thriving Reality is all about. In fact, I owe myself the same thing, if i am really saying that Kristen's book and blog have helped me, to move forward with my own life. Naturally we are all interested in her success, but except for this respect for each others' personal lives, none of us owes one another anything, the same as it was before her book.