This is the crux of my anxiety. I’ve been hurrying up and waiting for too long. It’s been putting me into such a lousy mental state, it ain’t no bag of clowns. I wanted to title this entry, Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Which would better capture how I really feel. Because, while the world passes me by, I’m left here, sitting on my hands looking like a coward, and perhaps I am. Or, at least I have been until now. What do I mean by that? Well, brace yourself, because this is the bomb before the book.
NOTE THIS: This post was inspired by this YouTube video from Victoria Locke.
I’ve said it a 100 times how I started this God forsaken book–10 years ago–and how I’ve finished it several times over. And while each version had a different sentiment on what happened to me in the past, my attitude toward Scientology, former friends, and family, I came upon countless moments of wanting to trash it, not publish it, and considered publishing it on my blog many times: one chapter at a time. I wanted to do that so I could cut the cord and stop hiding behind the shadows.
But my desire to get my story “out there,” as scared as I was to do it, began to get stronger at the end of 2015.
I wasn’t writing the year before, because I’d been working on the Exodus Project, which would amount in an exhibition at Shulamit Gallery that spring. Once that finished, I knew I’d get right back on the horn, finish the book and try to get it published asap. There was a fire under my ass, because of the Going Clear documentary, which aired earlier that year.
After that, I kept watching more people come out of Scientology. I’d been “flying under the radar” for the last 15 years by then. Fifteen years! But now, more and more inspired. Tons of press had been coming out and it seemed, by the time my book was released, I’d be fully supported. I wouldn’t have to worry anymore. Then, later that year, Leah Remini put her book out, Troublemaker. I was ecstatic and jealous at the same time. Now I really wanted to join the shindig and help by putting my story out into the world.
But the book needed work. A lot of work. And I had to work with an editor. Next up was something that was extremely difficult for me: patience, of which I have none.
Meanwhile, time is still passing. The people with whom I’ve built new relationships over the last 16 years have absolutely no idea I was ever involved with Scientology. I’d always kept this to myself for fear of looking like a complete idiot. I wanted to wait until the book was out. I thought everyone that knew me could find out in one fell swoop–how and why I got involved, how it really wasn’t all my fault because of how young I was. I wanted to share all the psychology I’d learned over the last decade since, and the inter-working of how all cults work. Now I was educated and knew why people get sucked in, the nature of mind control, and what keeps people controlled.
Having had previous, multiple sexual abuses and trauma made matters worse, so by the time I left the cult, I was left with a thing called Complex PTSD, and I felt I needed to explain all of this in the book.
But I kept waiting, because the book wasn’t ready. The writing wasn’t good enough.
Another year goes by, and Leah and Mike Rinder produce the Aftermath show, the #metoo movement begins and still, I am silent. I am going into a deep depression. I am disassociating. This is a symptom of C-PTSD, an aspect of leaving Scientology (or any cult). It a feeling of depersonalization. I’d already been diagnosed with a Disassociative Identity Disorder, which, like autism has a spectrum. Some people have extreme splitting off of alter-personalities, some that act out that they are not even aware of, and some people, way on the other side of the spectrum just feel disconnected from reality. So, DID doesn’t mean Multiple personality disorder, FYI.
On the Aftermath show, I watched ex-cult members get interviewed and bravely share their stories. It got easier and easier to push forward. Again. I was inspired. The #metoo movement gained strength in numbers. It really was a movement. Some shift was actually happening. Still, I was waiting until the book was “better.” Until then, I had it in my mind that I would speak little about my molestations, my rape, or my time in Scientology, if at all.
I made a goal to publish the book by the Aftermath’s second season. I thought it would be good timing; it would be “relevant” and get the attention of publishers. I’d also been speaking with one of the producers of the show about the inter-workings of Narconon, Scientology’s drug “rehabilitation” centers, which I worked for a few years. At that point, I was asked to appear on the show, but I refused, like an idiot. I wanted to wait until my book was published and I thought I was too fat. I didn’t want to give any of my old Scientology “friends” ammunition to put me down. I still cared what they thought about me. What a maroon I was! A coward!
So I finished the book sometime before 2017 and sent it to a copy editor, which turned into a catastrophe. I decided not to publish it and quit the whole project. I didn’t write for six months.
In that time, major changes occurred in my closest relationships, and clocks sped along. More ex-Scientologists published memoirs. More joined the online forums. More were posting on the Underground Bunker. More people, more supporters, more activists. And where was I in all of this?
So, at the beginning of 2018, I re-wrote the entire book with a new perspective, which oddly enough, only took a couple of months. Afterward, I tried to shop it, but ultimately started my own publishing company. Now I’m waiting til April. However, while I wait, I can’t stand it! More people are having an open dialogue, and I was feeling so left out, but I am so ready and inspired. I want to turn my impatience into empowerment goddamit! The injustices that are happening right now make me want to explode! I too had to “take responsibility” for a rape that occurred in my 20s. My rapist was another Scientologist who I wouldn’t dare go against. Instead, I had to speak about it in a confessional as a transgression that I perpetrated.
Maybe I’ve been waiting to drop the bomb that is Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley, but I don’t know why I’ve been waiting ALONE without friends that could be lending an ear. And I should be letting them know; I am here too. To borrow Victoria Locke‘s words, “Let’s be friends.”