“I knew I was shut down to her when I stopped praying for her every day.” My sister said.
I’ve never prayed for her. I don’t pray period. I’m non-religious, humanist, truther, but pray to an invisible entity? Not for me. I don’t even think of her fondly like I used to. I just think of what the cult formed her to be; a hardened, judgmental, passive aggressive, Narcissistic woman we called Mother.
Yesterday was her birthday, and it never crossed mine or my sister’s minds. We are just miles from her grave and feel no urge to go and visit it. We are closed off now. She is ashes to ashes, dust to dust, cycled back into the dark matter. Did she come from there; meant to return to the nothingness she was formed into after Sam Fife’s Move of God cult took control of her mind?
As I write the sequel to Cult Child, the reality of who my mother became boils to the surface like a volcano. Stories I once thought funny now churn with the sadness and hurt of a woman who lost her spirit to an intricate ring of religious fanatics. They starved her, then criticized her when she got fat again. They treated our family like we were infected because we had no father. They urged her to divorce my dad, then abused her for being an unmarried woman. The mind control enacted on my mother, causing her to participate in and validate horrific abuses against her children, is deeper than any ocean ever dove into. Some call it a rabbit hole. I call it a bottomless abyss.
Every once in a while an ex-cult member will exclaim how wonderful my mother was, and I shake my head silently. As most narcissistic people are she was a fake angel to those she wanted to impress or gain something from and a human of passive aggressive and manipulative behavior behind closed doors.
It’s easier to talk about it. I can keep things short and sweet, tell the story in skeleton form so the listener gets it, and move on. Writing it out is much different. I am traveling deeply into this abyss, using ankle weights to sink me as far as my lungs can manage. I am examining every angle to see and understand how fragmented our Mother became leaving pieces of evil to follow us kids into life after the cult. She was so fragmented that she remained friends with the wife of my sister’s rapist up until my mother died.
What kind of mother does that to a child?
What kind of intense shattering did it take for the cult leaders to convince her to let them have her children?
These answers, I’ll never know from my mother directly. She is dead. What I have is acceptance of what was and a long journey of memories still left to purge from my body.
Yesterday was my mother’s birthday, and I didn’t remember.
Yesterday was my mother’s birthday, and I don’t feel a thing. No sadness. No angst. It’s a flat lake of nothingness in my feeling spaces.
I cannot succumb to the ridiculous notion of honoring parents just because she hosted my birth onto this planet. I was dying in her stomach before I even arrived. Does she deserve honor? Does she deserve respect? Some might say yes, she does.
I say no. She does not. There is no forgiveness without accountability, and that is something she can never give to me now. I do not believe in the notion that forgiveness is needed in order to heal and thrive. Just acceptance that there are malevolent humans wandering soulless through this planetary plane, and one of them end up being my Mother.
This was the last photo taken of me before the cult sucked her into their claws. I wonder if she ever thought about how small my hands were, the dimples in my fingers, or how tiny my face was inside of those curls. I never heard fond stories of my babyhood or reminiscing of when I was small. Maybe she stayed silent because then the questions would come; questions that spawned answers which didn’t fit into the truth of what happened to us. I look at my face, and I weep for a little girl who only had two years of happiness before spending the rest of her childhood in hell.
and it would be a long and winding road out of it; a road my feet still travel heavily on.