Date: November 06, 2019 04:15PM
Aaaccckkkkgghhh the cult is so...ICKY!!! Why did I EVER feel happy about being part of an organization that poisons families and rips down boundaries? Who can just toss their kid out in public to preach? Keep their son in a shoebox until he's 19, the magic number for chucking him into the world alone to sell a cult? Ick!!!
My parents weren't Mos, but one of my father's very good friends was, and he would often give us reading material and share Mo culture, and for a while we had this nonMo FHE sort of thing, compulsory family time where we played Scrabble or talked about big subjects like stranger danger, drugs, lying, whatever moral strictures seemed important at the time. It was always more lecture and interrogation than fun. My father never took the baptismal dunk but he really seemed to dig the message and wanted a captive audience to expound to, so from the time I was about four to age nine we did an amateur FHE most weeks.
When I was about seven, my sister had this Holly Hobby diary I thought was so incredibly cool. It had a lock and everything. You could wear the key on a little necklace that came with the package. It was irresistible little girl crack, so I begged my mom for one, and even though I wasn't really writing that well at the time and the pages were small, (5×7ish inches), she bought one for me. She knew I just wanted to be like my big sister and the idea that I could have something secret seemed neat. So when she gave it to me, one of the first things I wrote was a big secret, how much I hated my father. Wow, didn't that feel good, to be able to say that? I wrote all sorts of angry stuff, and even though I didn't know the word 'cathartic' at seven, that's what it was. I wrote almost every day for probably a month, and since I wrote larger than the lines, I was filling a lot of pages.
At our heathen FHE one night, my father arrived at the dinner table with a Holly Hobby diary in hand. My sister and I both froze. The diaries looked exactly the same, neither of us knew whose it was. I remember thinking, "but I LOCKED it!!!" ALL I could think of was the bad stuff I'd written about him. You didn't say that in my house, ever. You never even let your facial expression show disapproval towards him. And at seven years old, I knew what I'd done was foolishly dangerous. I'd already been belted for small infractions. I thought if he saw the crap I'd spewed about him in that diary, I might end up dead.
It turns out my sister was the intended victim. He demonstrated how, with a pin, you could pop the little lock right open, rendering the key useless, and then he proceeded to read some of the most ordinary 9-year-old kid thoughts you've ever heard. "I want a pony! I will call her Butterscotch and ride her every day! Math is so boring. Lori is my best best friend and when we grow up I want to live next door to her."
Nothing came out remotely like what I'd written, no older child's narrative about how we were living with an evil man, no confessions of misbehavior he always insisted we were up to, nothing but innocent kid stuff. But my sister was so mortified that her private thoughts were being read out in front of the whole family that she just slumped half off her chair, bright red in the face, just shaking. I reached for her hand but she slapped it away. Later, she said, "I wish it was you."
The second that "FHE" was over, I disappeared into my room and ripped every page out of my diary I'd written on. But what to do with the dangerous pages? If I tore them up Mom might see the pieces, and I'd get in trouble for mistreating my things. So I crept into the kitchen and found Mom's little stapler and clicked all the pages together all around the border. Then I was too afraid to throw them out, he might see the bundle in the trash. So I ended up hiding them under my mattress until my parents went to work, and disposed of them by taking out the middle drawer of my dresser and duct taping the bundle to the back side of it. I hid it so well I forgot its existence, but I never forgot the lesson, and I never wrote anything, anywhere, that indicated how I really felt about my father.
So there the bundle stayed, I kid you not, for 20 years. I kept that dresser the whole time. Finally as a married woman with kids of my own, I took the drawers out of the dresser so I could move it by myself, and happened to find the bundle. I opened it up and pried out the staples. Duct tape is a great preservative, everything was in perfect condition. There, in barely legible child scrawl, I read such gems as, "Sometimes I like my dad and sometimes I don't...Dad is a butt, a big smelly butt...Dad's so lazy and makes me do everything, I don't want to always change the TV channel...I hate dad, he's always mad, he is a mean poop. Poop poop poop." I laughed at my little self's idea of hardcore venting. If I was going to risk my skin like that, I should've gone big with a death curse.
I still don't keep a diary.
Mormonism is a destructive, narcissistic, child traumatizing cult. My father was never officially a member, but plenty of cult practices infected our family, empowering a sociopath. His personality disorder and the cult went together like apple pie and ice cream. I can't imagine what my life might've been like if I was BIC and my heart goes out to all of you who were.