I am feeling profoundly challenged by my latest question from a reader. This has got to be the most complex and troubling issue I’ve tackled. “I got drunk and fucked my boss” is a serious problem to have, but not like this.
As I wrote yesterday in this blog, my continuing conversation with a woman (“Leah”) necessitated that I delay publication. Every email exchange led us deeper down a rabbit hole and her initial problem (dealing with a flakey friend) paled in comparison to her history.
Ah, but both are related! And I shall get to that soon.
The problem is, we are still chatting back and forth and I am learning more and more each hour. I simply cannot write this to completion today. It may need to wait until next week.
In the interest of defending myself against false allegations of laziness, here is a small taste of what Leah has disclosed to me thus far:
- Leah was in the cult twice: first for two years in the late 1960s and then for five years in the early 2000s when she rejoined for her husband.
- Leah was a young victim of child molestation. Her father abused her as a child and she was relieved at the age of 13 when he killed himself in a military plane crash.
- He made the crash look like an accident but to those in the know it was clear he could have ejected from the plane and saved himself.
- After his death he was celebrated as a hero. It shouldn’t surprise you all to learn the military played along with (and probably promoted heavily) that false narrative.
- Leah never confronted her dad about his frequent late night visits.
- After her father’s death, her mother began dating almost immediately.
- Leah was (understandably) pretty messed up at this time and one day slashed her arm. Her mother’s reaction? She packed a small suitcase for Leah and checked her into a mental hospital. Leah did not disclose the molestation to her psychiatrist.
- When her mother remarried (9 months after the suicide crash) Leah refused to speak to or acknowledge her stepfather.
- Stepdad finally sat her down with her mom present and asked why she was behaving that way when he had only been kind to her.
- Leah said, “My father did things to me I didn’t like and I’m scared it will happen again.”
- Her stepfather assured Leah she did not have to worry and that he would never do anything to hurt her.
- When Leah finally spoke her truth, her mother became upset and left the table. The subject was never discussed again until many years later when Leah was trying to understand why her life was so fucked up (her words, not mine!). That conversation went like this:
Leah: I’m having some trouble in my life that I believe is connected to what daddy did.
Mom: Get over it!
Leah: I’m trying to.
Mom: It’s part of growing up a girl.
Leah (to herself): WTF!!??? WTF??!!
So I think you can see I have my plate full here. I will endeavor to answer this question soon, but until then, please take a walk over to an old blog I wrote here:
I wanted so badly to edit the shit out of that post this morning but I didn’t. This was either the first or second I wrote and I am sharing it with you in all its imperfect glory because I think it shows my growth as a writer and a thinker. Plus it’s pretty funny, even if it is somewhat poorly written.
I read it this morning and was thrilled to return to the halcyon days when the weirdest politician on the national scene was Anthony “Dick Pic” Weiner.
Please enjoy, and tune in later today when I post my first YouTube video.
P.S. Makeup artists in Portland, please come visit before I film and I’ll pour you drinks to make me purdy.