Rise of Sila

Vennie is currently writing RISE OF SILA, the sequel to CULT CHILD.

Follow Sila Caprin’s post-cult life in this fast-paced, first person account of navigating the world as a teenager. Spending eleven years of her childhood sequestered in an end-times, evangelical cult, as recounted in Cult Child, Sila is cast into the very world she has been programmed to believe is evil.  Running straight into the very arena which held the darkest spaces of her fears and caged under the rule of her controlling mother, Sila continues to escape danger. Until living on the edge brings Sila to a life-changing turning point.

Rise of Sila book cover reveal


I find my lack of knowledge about current trends to be a constant slap in my face.  I don’t know which magazines are popular or what kind of makeup is cool. I do a lot of listening, soaking in and learning while quietly observing.  One day I open my big mouth, and re-affirm my fool status,  when before Reading class, which is full of kids I don’t like anyway, snotty, stuck up kids who never wear the same thing twice, I decide to brave the quicksand of infusing myself into a conversation.

Steve Burber is talking about John Cougar Mellancamp.  I don’t know what kind of cougar that is, but I do know animals.  Wanting desperately to be included in the conversation, I blurt a fact that comes from nowhere in my head.

Those only live in hot areas.” I say suddenly.

Steve turns as soon as I speak.

What do?” He asks, half smirking at me.

Those types of cougars.” I reply.

What are you even talking about? Do you not know who John Cougar Mellancamp is?” Steve starts laughing along with the other kids who are all now listening to our conversation.

My face is turning red.  I want to crawl beneath the desk and never come out.

Yeah, I do.” I mumble. “I thought you were talking about something else.”

I try and smooth it over.  Steve shakes his head.

Yeah, whatever, blondie.” He says.

Class begins, and I vow to keep my damn mouth shut from now on.  On one of my visits to Sandi’s house, which I have taken to walking down the road to sometimes, she plays John Cougar Mellencamp’s  “Hurt So Good” and “Jack and Diane”, both which make me feel uncomfortable because of their sexual content.  But I like their beat, and I can’t stop listening.

My mind is in a war between the echoing sounds of the sin of this world I have been thrust into.  This adjustment from life on the farm, where everything was slow and controlled, someone always watching, and sneaking off to be alone so no one could watch us, to this new space of freedom, has my insides heaving every which way.

There is so much to learn, so much culture to catch up with, and I despise the constant hiding of my life before arriving to this town.  But, I am learning quickly.  I am feeling everything and nothing, all at the same time.  I have lumps in my throat sometimes at night, but I fall asleep silent, not wanting Leis to hear me cry.  I don’t know why I feel sad. I miss Laurie more than anything. My best friend, far away in Alaska, in the quiet of the woods, she would understand me. I could tell her anything.

2 thoughts on “Rise of Sila

  1. I’m currently reading Cult Child and can’t wait for Rise of Sila. Listening to Sila tell her story, I feel like I’m there, right beside her. I understand her. I know her. I am her. The backdrop of my upbringing was different. But the players were the same. I felt out of place, not seen, not wanted, not accepted, unloved, misunderstood, awkward, not cool, never good enough. Thank you, Vennie, for sharing your story. It takes immense courage and strength to bring up the pain of trauma, to relive it and let it out. Thank you for being vulnerable and willing to share with us, your fellow survivors of childhood trauma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Laura. I am always very appreciative to hear the thoughts from readers. I’m so glad that you can relate. Well, not glad you went through trauma. I’m sorry for that. When I read messages like this, I know I did what I set out to do, and that is to let others know you are not alone. You have reminded me I’m not alone either. Much love to you. ❤


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