DoubleVee’s Scientology Story

Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Voices In Unison | Comments Off on DoubleVee’s Scientology Story

Admin Note: Some names changed or shortened to initials.

I was born in 1981 to Scientologist parents. My mom had just left the SO, from CCI. I guess she was trying to raise my younger brother and I as if we were in the SO. We had a regimented schedule and strict rules. For example, we weren’t allowed to eat anything she deemed unhealthy, which was just about everything. We went to school starting when we were 3. She didn’t believe in things like summer vacation or spring break. She also didn’t believe in doctors, so we didn’t get any medical attention, vaccines, stuff like that. We were never given children’s Tylenol or anything. We were not allowed to watch TV or movies, except the very rare Disney movie. Basically she was a typical “in-ethics” Scientologist parent.

Mom wouldn’t let us go to friends houses to play, or have them over to our house, except on very rare occasions. She had white glove standards, and we spent a lot of time cleaning. She was a typical Scientologist parent in that she viewed us as “out exchange” by nature of being her children. She clothed and fed us, so we owed her. My dad spent most of his time working out of town, he wasn’t around much when I was younger. When he was, sometimes he was great. He would secretly break mom’s rules and give us ice cream, stuff like that. But he was also very temperamental and violent when it came to discipline. He wasn’t as much into Scientology as my mom was, even though he was the first one to get into it. He just left raising the kids up to her, and let her make the rules, choose our schools, etc. There were some really good moments, like swimming with Dad, or being at the beach (we lived in Florida when I was little). I was pretty happy when I was very little, it was later things changed.

Mom was kind of unhinged even for a Scientologist – she lost her temper and got really violent. She would do things like sit on me and spit in my face while she was punching me and calling me names at the top of her lungs. She would hit us until her hand hurt, then get mad because of that, and go on with a spoon or whatever was handy. She was pretty crazy. Now that I look back I realize that’s probably why we weren’t allowed to have friends. She made it clear that she didn’t want much to do with us. She spent a lot of time crying for no reason, I think she must have had pretty bad depression. But she covered it up by acting unnaturally happy in public. We learned to lie about how great everything was, just like her.

We also moved a lot – once a year, at least, and sometimes we would only live in a town for 6 months. So that made schooling and making friends kind of hard, too. My brother and I spent a lot of time reading and ignoring the rest of the world. We tried to take care of each other. He also had a lot of stress, and it manifested in things like constantly vomiting blood for no apparent reason. Mom did take him to the doctor eventually for that, but they said nothing was wrong with him (it stopped when we got there). Usually when we did go to a doc, it was to the Scientology doctors at Shaw Health Center in LA.

We went to Real School in Florida, I think we might have gone to Apple School very briefly. I really can’t recall all the schools I’ve been to. Sometimes it was only for a few weeks. We went to Delphi LA from about 1998 – 1990. We went to Gavilan Hills (a sort of bastard cousin of the Mojave Ranch school) around 1992. We went to the Learning Connection from 1994-ish to 1995ish. I’m the one that wanted to name the big kid school Neilson Academy. I actually got the best schooling there, I finally got a bit caught up.

The teachers were nice to me, too. A lot of the time we didn’t go to school at all, so I didn’t get much of an education. I never took a science class, or a computer class, and never really learned to multiply or do algebra until recently. My mom believed that school was completely unimportant. We needed to be on course at the org. I got her to let me go to a Catholic High School for a few months. It was great. It was an all-girl school, it felt calm and safe, and the kids were nice to me even though I was kind of weird. I even joined a running team. The problem was I couldn’t keep up in my classes. Other than English, I was slowly failing. I didn’t have the study tools that I needed. I knew all the tools to get along in a Scientology school, but things like how to write an essay were missing. I didn’t know what a topic statement was, or how to research for the paper. Math was a joke, I was failing the lowest level class that they had. I got really sick just before Finals, and when mom asked if I wanted to quit I said yes. To this day I regret it.

I was getting auditing when I was 4, just kid stuff. I did STCC and other small courses at CCI. I started the KTL when it first came out in 1998. I was only 7 and my brother was 6. We only made it to the beginning of Small Common Words, because it was way too hard. Then we were routed onto the Purif. I went on and off the purif over the next 2 years. I kept quitting because I hated it. I ended up on really high doses of niacin, more than most of the grownups, and then they finally realized that I was overrun. They told me I had finished in the first 2 weeks. I was only about 9 at the time. Then I think we went onto TRs and Objectives, and failed miserably. I couldn’t do 2 hours of OT TR 0 without starting to fall asleep. Trying to do TR 0 for 2 hours was impossible! Everything was just way too hard. My mom kept telling everyone how genius we both were, but it was sooo out gradient. I don’t really remember what we did after that, I know we bounced from course to course and sometimes got auditing, both in the field and at the org. I didn’t like any of it. Mom made me go even when I begged her not to.

I got in some trouble at CC. I was ALWAYS in Ethics, writing up O/Ws, doing conditions, stuff like that. I kicked and screamed and jumped out windows trying to escape, to no avail. One of my friends showed me how to steal candy from the canteen, that was like the worst thing I ever did. Eventually I confessed, paid back the like 8-10 dollars I owed, and did MEST work to make it up. Looking back, I don’t know why they thought I was such an awful child. My parents told them I was. I was horribly angry all the time. But that’s because they were hurting me. Of course I couldn’t articulate any of this at the time. I didn’t really know what was going on myself. I just knew I was MAD.

I went to Delphi LA from about 7 to 9 years old. I think my parents loved it because we were gone all day. School went from 8am to 5pm. Mom would sometimes forget to pick us up after school, she would show up around 6 or 7. After homework and chores we went straight to bed. That was a very bad school. I spent a lot of time in the classroom doing work, but I didn’t actually learn much. You see, I was already a big reader, I read for fun. But I had missed so much school that the math was too hard for me. I never could understand it. My teachers would tell me to find my MUs, and wouldn’t ever talk to me enough to realize that it was out gradient.

I finally gave up and accepted that I wouldn’t graduate the form and stopped trying. I was sent to ethics a lot. Diana G was the ethics officer then. She would tell me to write up my O/Ws and leave me in the closet room all day, no lunch break or anything. I would tell her that I was done and felt better, but she would always say “no you’re not” and make me write more. I started just making stuff up. They were very punishment-oriented there. Several of my friends were expelled after confessing to minor crimes/issues, even after being told that they would not be punished and that anything they said was confidential. The so-called confidential interview was read to the class by the teacher, so that we all knew how bad the kid was and why they were gone. That made me really upset and also scared. One day I told my teacher, I think it was Mrs. Hill, that I couldn’t sit down because my dad had beat me so bad. I had bruises all over my legs. She sent me to the principle and then they sent me to Diana. I thought I was in big trouble! Then they called my parents. That got me in really hot water at home. After that I didn’t go to Delphi anymore. I don’t know exactly what happened. My parents said that it was because Dad refused to do conditions for hitting me, that could have been true.

After that I was put in my room for a year. I just read my books and lived in an imaginary world inside my own head. Sometimes I ran away. But I didn’t know where to go, I had no friends, the only people I even knew were a long drive away. My mother had indoctrinated me thoroughly to distrust my own relatives, the police, anyone who could have helped me. So I would run away for a day or so and then come back when I was hungry and scared of the dark. Eventually dad put a deadbolt on my door and that stopped. Actually I’m not sure whether or not the year without school was before or after we lived in Arizona. We might have moved there after the incident at Delphi.

Then I disappeared for about a year, when my parents moved to Arizona and I went to boarding school in Riverside (Gavilan Hills). There we didn’t actually do any schoolwork. I just ran around in the dirt, got beat up by bigger kids, got in fights with the ones that I thought I could take, and ate very little. I shudder to think about my hygiene at that point. There was only one bathroom for the school (it was in their house) and never any hot water. Neither of the adults ever told us to shower anyway. So I never bathed or brushed my teeth. I fell in the stream sometimes but that was it for being clean. Ugh! Also, I really had no clothes. I remember at one point I only had one pair of jeans that didn’t fit right, they rubbed my legs raw on the inside seams. I only had a couple of t-shirts and some shoes that were the wrong size. Looking back, I didn’t ever complain to mom or dad about it. I didn’t think there was a point, and there wasn’t. Mom would have taken me to some stuffy grown-up store, like Nordstrom’s, and tried to make me wear adult-type dresses and things that I wouldn’t be caught dead in. I would have refused and it would have deteriorated to crying and going home with nothing. I was determined to be as much like a boy as possible, and she wanted me to dress like a 20 year old girly-girl.

This is the hardest thing to write, but it’s part of the story. I wouldn’t tell about it, but I have been reading other kids’ stories and finally realized that I’m not the only one who was being sexually abused. My rape didn’t happen in the SO though, it was when I was pretty young. I told my mom after the it happened (not that she could miss the marks from the belt and stuff) but she freaked. She told me it was my fault, and that I was lying, and no one would believe me anyway. Her logic sucked I know, but I was 6 so I believed her. She told me not to make things up.

I never told anyone else while I was living at home. After the incident at Delphi, and some other conversations I had where I was treated like I was at fault for being hit, I knew better than to tell anybody about it. Anyway he said he would kill me if I did. I believed him. I managed to push it all down and forget about it most of the time, just act like nothing happened as best as I could. Everyone said I was a bad kid, so I didn’t want them to know just how bad I was. I finally told an auditor later on, but they didn’t do anything. Now I hate knowing that that is all in my PC folder for anyone to find. Even my mom could look at it at any time. This bothers me still. I used to get worried that she was going to call me and start screaming at me about “telling lies” again. Since the org didn’t do anything about it, I’m pretty sure they didn’t believe me anyway. They all knew him, my auditor was his friend, which made talking about it hard. I don’t think she believed me either. But I’m getting out of order.

When I was about 13, we switched over to ASHO because mom started on the BC. Everything continued in about the same vein. I “volunteered” for the CF project (thanks mom!) and was getting my objectives in the HGC despite literally trying to run away every time I was in session. Sometimes they posted a guard outside the door. It sucked. I liked course much better, and I actually enjoyed switching to co-auditing. My twin was my age, and we got along very well. After I joined the SO I had to look out for him, because his mom was crazy and did things like drop him off at the org for 2 weeks with no food, no money, and nowhere to live. He was 14 or so at the time. (I ended up recruiting him into the SO, for which I am now sorry. He did leave, however, and is still a hard core Scientologist.)

One of the things that makes me mad, looking back, is how I kept telling people at the org about how my parents were hitting me and they didn’t care. In fact, I was always having to get it off as a withhold, so I was treated like it was something that I did wrong. No one ever pulled them in to ethics, and no one ever reported them. Of course that would have been against Scientology rules anyway.

I signed my first SO contract when I was 12. I didn’t want to join. Dave Horwedel and some other guy took me in a small room, the one off the lobby of ASHO that was at one point the chaplain’s office and once the SORO’s (after the renos it turned into the RTC front office). They said they wouldn’t let me go until I signed a contract. They wouldn’t let me get my mom. So I signed so that I could get away. My mom flipped and said I couldn’t join until I was 18. But I ended up changing my mind eventually. Looking back I realize that it was partly because my home life was so bad. I thought things would be better in the SO, and at least no one would hit me anymore. Plus I was really eager to be a grown-up. Also over those next several years, everyone at the orgs was working on me to join, telling me how I had to take responsibility for planet Earth, stuff like that.

I was working as a contracted volunteer for Pac Renos for about 6 months. I worked with some cool people in the Arts and Signs department. I really liked it. My brother and I both had a pretty rosy picture of what it was like in the SO. We thought it was like being a Jedi or something. You know, elite, special, and the uniforms were cool. Stacey Moxon was a friend of mine and although she wasn’t actively recruiting me, she told me lots of good stories about it.

My mom was cheating on my dad, she had her boyfriend move in with us. He was creepy. My dad was really sick at the time. He would get mad and leave home a lot. I really hated how life was there. She wasn’t hitting me really anymore, neither was my dad, because I had learned how to be their perfect kid. But they were both beating the crap out of my brother, throwing him across the room, choking him, over stupid things like not eating his spinach. I hated it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was doing really badly in school anyway, I knew I would be lucky to graduate high school and I had no idea what I would do with my life.

So one day I walked into the recruiter’s office and told them that I wanted to join. I got routed onto the EPF the next day, even though I was technically too young.

I liked the EPF. I was kept so busy running left and right that I had no time to think at all, much less miss my brother. (Now I know that they do that on purpose in the SO.) I got along really well with Mr. G. I did everything I was told to do with no back talk, I did the courses faster than checksheet time, I never once complained about the gross chores we had to do like scrub the dumpsters or empty the grease trap under the galley (that made me vomit involuntarily, though, it was so disgusting!) So Mr. G liked me and never yelled at me. He reminded me of my dad so I acted the way that worked to make my dad happy, and it worked for him, too.

At some point an SO exec came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to HCO. I didn’t know what it was. I was slated to go to the TTC. But I told her I didn’t care. I really didn’t. I didn’t know then what jobs were treated better or what orgs had more prestige. CMO and ASHO were actually fighting over me, but I didn’t care. CMO was supposed to get me, and I was told I would go to the Universe Corps, because Stacey was officially my recruiter. But ASHOD got me because they were under a mission to go St Hill size. (That never happened until right after I left, anyway.)

About a year after I joined, my little brother did too. But by then my parents had gone to the Freewinds and FSO, so he joined there. Oh yeah, and around my 16th birthday I got a day off, and that’s when my mom told me they were getting a divorce. They didn’t though because my dad didn’t want to. My mom left him, but he paid for her to go on the bridge full time, go to the Freewinds, stuff like that. He had a lot of money and she spent all of it. She got in really big trouble at the org for sleeping with her BC twin. But she and my dad both donated to Superpower, and the IAS, and sponsored a mission, so they loved her again.

So yeah, I went to HCO ASHOD. There I found out how much the SO could suck. I was yelled at all day every day. This is because I was not a good worker. I mean, I could happily do any job you told me to, but I couldn’t think for myself. If you told me to “get the staff hatted” [admin note: “hatted” means “trained”] it was too long range and complicated. I was like a robot. I was in such shock, anyway, that I just spaced out all the time. Also I was really tired. I never got any sleep, and when I did I had insomnia anyway. My seniors were positive that I was out ethics and out 2D [admin note: “out 2D” means “engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior”] and kept pulling me in for interviews and yelling at me. But I was just a stupid kid who was in over her head.

I still kind of feel bad about how much I frustrated the people I worked with. I just didn’t know any better, and I really was trying. Part of the problem with thinking that you are responsible for saving the planet is how heavy failure weighs on you. When I thought I had let the org down I was crushed beyond belief. That’s a lot for a teenager to carry, especially when the goals they were set were impossible to achieve. Nothing was ever good enough, and I felt every failure as proof that I was a bad person. Looking back, I understand why I got yelled at so much. My boss was also a teenager, who had joined up even younger than I did. She was getting screamed at by her seniors, and she didn’t know what to do either except pass it down to me. She shouldn’t have, but I understand and I’m not mad at her for it.

Probably one of the worst moments ever was being interviewed by an RTC guy, because I was named in a string-pull having to do with “enemy lines”. Oh man, if I ever wondered if I could be broken and confess to anything, that was the answer. If I had had any secrets about the SO I would have spilled my guts. He kept telling me I was being declared because I couldn’t remember who said what. I cried the whole time. Eventually I made something up, just to name a name. I feel bad about it now. That’s just an example of the kind of pressure you can be under.

Oh yeah, and I got married. I was 16 and we went to Vegas. I thought I was in love. I didn’t have a clue. I got my parents’ permission by blackmailing them. I knew if I got married, I would be emancipated, and they could never tell me what to do again. My mom was threatening to remove me from the SO and make me come home. I was terrified of that. I married a guy who I thought was cool. He was the first boy who ever asked me out. He was 19. He bought me roses. He listened to me babble on about stupid geeky things. But for some reason after we got married he did a 180.

He stopped talking to me. He wouldn’t let me sit with him in the mess hall or stand next to him at muster. He wouldn’t let me be with him on our days off, in fact he switched days off so we didn’t have the same ones. He pushed me around a lot in the name of playing, but it hurt. We would go weeks without speaking, just having random sex in the middle of the night, which confuses me to this day. He almost acted like it was forced or something, it was certainly not loving or fun. Maybe that was my fault, because of my history. I don’t know. I was really unhappy but I kept trying to be a good wife, do his laundry and stuff. I didn’t understand what was wrong and I still don’t really. I think maybe he thought I was cheating on him or something? I wasn’t though. A few years after the divorce I tried to talk to him, hoping for some sort of alleviation or understanding on both our parts, but he pretended he couldn’t see me or hear me. The whole thing perplexes me still, and I really wish I had an answer.

Eventually I retreaded the EPF, which was once again fine. I wished I could just stay on the EPF forever. I was very good at construction and loved it. Mr. G trusted me and let me work unsupervised, and once put me in charge of some problem people. Also, he made sure that we all ate well and got plenty of sleep, no matter what. If someone interfered with that, he yelled at them. It was quite a change for me. But unfortunately I graduated and went to Senior HCO WUS as an expeditor. Then they traded me to CCI for about a month, where I did room service, got about 1-2 hours of sleep every night, and never met a single one of the crew at the Manor because I was totally isolated. When I went on course I was so tired that I just slept with a dictionary open in front of me. I couldn’t help it, I tried to stay awake but I was barely able to see straight when I was moving around. As soon as I sat still I just crashed. That trade fell through anyway, and I went back to ASHO.

I had a bunch of posts for a while. Folder Admin, stuff like that. Years passed. The best time I ever had was when I was doing construction on the AO renovations or getting to carry a radio on Event Call-In. I smoked a lot, stayed up for days on end for mandatory all-hands, rarely ate even when there was decent food in the mess hall. For some reason I just couldn’t make myself eat. I was sick constantly but mostly ignored it. Even when I was so tired that I hallucinated. (We would all laugh about how the floor tiles moved up and down, and the walls would seem to breathe in and out. It was a big joke.)

Then I went on the TTC. I trained up through Pro Sup and Pro Word Clearer with RTC passes on everything, and in checksheet time. I was kind of proud of that. I also tried to help the younger kids on the TTC but they had a hard time, because they had grown up at the Sea Org ranch and were almost illiterate. (I was horrified by the conditions there when I visited to try and help tutor. I thought MY education was bad!) I was really good at learning theory and spitting it back out perfectly. Eventually I hit a wall. My problem was that I hadn’t done M1, which was a prerequisite for those courses, so I couldn’t actually finish and go on the internship. But I wasn’t okayed by the CS to get M1. No one knew what to do. I also kicked up some fuss about the fact that I was supposedly a last-lifetime OT and yet everyone ignored that. I thought that a lot of my problems were caused by that, because I didn’t know what else to blame them on. It couldn’t possibly be that I was unhappy with the SO! I was very confused.

At this point everything fell apart. I was getting no sleep. I was sick constantly. I remember being in isolation for over a month once. I had fevers every day. Because we weren’t allowed to take anything, no medication, no ibuprofen or anything, they just continued. I had fevers about 104 degrees. At one point I lay on a couch for about 9 hours totally paralysed, unable to speak or move, because my temp was so high. I literally thought I was dying. I was terrified. Everyone kept walking by and ignoring me, I think they thought I was asleep, but I literally couldn’t move a muscle. I didn’t expect to make it through that day.

When I finally felt better, I got up and checked and my temp was 105. But nothing was done about me being sick at that time. Sometimes I went to Shaw Health Center. I took a 3 hour bus ride to some slum hospital in the middle of nowhere, alone except for another sick girl who was about 16. At the hospital they said they couldn’t treat me without my parents. But my parents had moved to Flag [admin note: FLAG landbase in Florida, Scientology headquarters]. I think they might have been on the Freewinds at the point, actually. I don’t remember. But I told them I was married, so they sent me back to the adult area. (I had no ID or paperwork to show that, anyway.) But they kept sending me back and forth between Pediatrics and the ER. I was there all night and into the next day, with no money for food or anything. I was really scared but pretended I wasn’t. Finally a doctor gave me a test and said nothing was wrong with me. Everyone kept saying nothing was wrong with me. But I couldn’t stop puking, and fainting, all day long. I was way stressed out. I was seeing things. I was so tired I could barely get up. I kept begging for help, but everyone said to knock it off, because it was all in my head. I halfway believed them and that stressed me out more.

[On a side note, recently I found out that there WERE things wrong with me. I had asthma. I had ulcers and GI problems. I had a metabolic/endocrine problem that results in severe lack of energy. I had brain damage due to blows to the head and untreated high fevers. This resulted in hearing loss and auditory processing disorder where your nerves don’t communicate sound into words, short-term memory problems, and other fun things. I found out that I had Mono at some point, which would explain the exhaustion!! I also have really bad PTSD – full on flashbacks, nightmares, hyperventilating panic attacks, things like that.]

Finally I blew [admin note: “to blow” means “to leave without permission”]. I walked across Hollywood to a different city, about 12 miles, overnight. It was really scary, I thought every car was someone looking for me. I kept ducking and hiding and trying to stay off of busy streets. I knew all too well that anyone recognizing me would throw me in their car and take me back. Finally I ended up in a park by a house I had used to live in. I wanted to kill myself. I had a knife and everything. It was all planned in my head and I totally intended to follow through. I knew that I couldn’t go on halfway living life, that I needed to go one way or the other. But the sun came up, and then I was just really tired and changed my mind. I went back to PAC and turned myself in to security. I know it was dumb, but I had nowhere else to go. I didn’t have a single friend or relative to go to. I thought maybe I could try and find my half sister who was in Oregon somewhere, but I didn’t have any money for a bus ticket or a phone number for her. I just gave up. I went to bed and locked the door.

I came out the next day and was told to go back on post [admin note: “go back on post” means “go back to work”]. (The CO of ASHO liked me I think, we were sort of friendly to each other, and they were pushing to go St Hill size. Plus, they had so much invested in me as a TTCer.) I refused. I told them that I was not doing well, and that I needed help, whether it was ethics or auditing or whatever. I was told to retread the EPF again, but I told them that the EPF was not for downstats. Then they put me on a Sec check.

At first, I had an auditor that I hated. I don’t remember who he was. He would just hammer and hammer and hammer me until I cried. Then someone came in and stopped him and gave me a new auditor. I liked it because finally someone was listening to me. That was the first time that I started to relax and actually feel better after auditing. I was put on 24 hour watch, which sucked so bad!! I slept on a mattress in a closet behind Leb Hall auditorium. Another teenage girl whose name I forget followed me everywhere, even to the bathroom. It made me feel really degraded. They kept telling me I was, anyway. I wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone, even my husband. Not that I wanted to talk to him, anyway. The girl who was watching me was actually nice to me, for which I was very grateful.

Finally I confessed in session that I had been cutting my wrists. I had told them this before, but I guess someone watching on the camera finally figured out I was serious about the suicide thing and freaked. Some people came and interrupted the session. They told me I was leaving base and to pack my stuff. I just shrugged. I was really defeated and apathetic. I didn’t really take anything because I was planning on going to Venice beach, living out of my backpack, and figuring out a way to commit suicide that wouldn’t leave a mess for someone to clean up or traumatize some stranger who found my body. (I couldn’t think of a way to not do that.) Also I was afraid that if I killed myself, it would be “bad PR” and hurt the church, which would be the most awful thing I could do.

I thought if I left and waited a bit, then I could do it without any bad repercussions on Scientology. My main concern was for them, which now makes me kind of mad. They put me in an interview room and gave me a bunch of bonds and contracts to sign. I had to agree never to sue, never to tell any secrets I knew, stuff like that, I don’t really know because I didn’t read them. There wasn’t any point – they told me that I would be kept in the room until I signed, and I knew they meant it. Then Security called my parents, who were back in LA. They handed me over to them. I never said goodbye to anyone. It took about 2-3 hours total from start to finish.

I lived with them for a couple of years. Things started to get better. At least, I could get up off the floor in the morning. I got a job and started building a resume. I learned to drive and got a license. I didn’t see my mom much because she was living at Flag doing services full time (she still wanted a divorce). I started doing a lot of volunteer work at our local mission, trying to get myself out of lower conditions. I thought maybe I should go back, I was so lost as far as what to do with myself. I was trying to earn a way back into the good graces of everyone I had ever known.

Then my dad got sick. Dr. Denk from Shaw came. He said that my dad had cancer, that he had 3 weeks to live, that chemo and stuff was pointless. So my dad said “ok” and laid down and died. He said he was going to get a new body with a pregnant Scientologist we knew of. They were musicians, and that’s what he wished he was. My mom was home and my brother visited for a few days. Then he died. It was 4 weeks after we had found out he was sick.

My mom joined the Sea Org again after that. She just walked away. I got rid of all their household stuff, and after a long time I moved out into my own apartment. I moved around a lot. Eventually I realized that I needed to leave California. It was just too upsetting to me. Everywhere I looked I saw ghosts of my childhood, and everywhere I went people knew me. I lost a roommate because her boss told her he would fire her if she didn’t move out. He had heard I was ex-SO. I couldn’t get jobs at Scientology companies because I was ex-SO and a freeloader, but I had no resume outside of the church. And anyway my mom was showing up on my doorstep and yelling at me like I was still a bad little kid. I was like 21 at this point. I had some friends out of state, and I moved away.

I had a devil of a time adjusting to “the real world”. I didn’t even know how to speak proper English without Scientology terms. I had been told such stories about crime and how bad the world outside was, that I was terrified of it. I was just MORE terrified of Scientology. My husband says I’m from Mars, and that’s the best way to try and explain it. It really is like being from a different planet. I didn’t get pop culture references, I didn’t know how to do normal, everyday stuff. I was afraid to hold still or relax, because I was so used to running everywhere and being screamed at if I stopped. I ate at like, a million miles an hour. I was always afraid of my food being taken away. I actually lost a lot of weight because my body finally realized that it wasn’t going to starve anymore. So it stopped holding on to every calorie I got. I still had problems with cutting and being afraid and depressed. I had bad panic attacks. I was really scared that my mom was going to kidnap me back to the org, or that I was wrong and had doomed myself to an eternity of hell, stuff like that. Whenever I start doubting my decision, I would just remember how happy I was compared to then, and how I knew that they were lying to me, just it took some time for my heart/gut to catch up to my head.

I started taking Paxil about a year ago. It had immediate results. I felt wonderful. The nightmares became infrequent. I don’t have panic attacks like I used to. I’m not so depressed that I can’t get out of bed, in fact I’m downright happy. It hasn’t made me a different person, I’m just more free to be myself. It took me a long time to be willing to try a psych drug. It was actually a very hard step for me. But my best friend was taking an anti-depressant and she was neither crazy nor a zombie. I’m SO glad I did. Now I KNOW that I was lied to all my life about something that helped me more than auditing ever did!

Since then I met a really great guy and married him. I have nothing to do with Scientology or Scientologists in any way. I have a son that I love. I stay home taking care of him. My husband and I never fight, never yell at each other. I have been going to college, and have been promised an art scholarship at the university when I am ready. Life is better than I ever DREAMED it could be when I was growing up. I do stuff for FUN. I go camping, and sing, and some days I just sit around and watch tv and do NOTHING. I eat fast food and chocolate whenever I want. I am learning to cook food that is healthy AND tasty (my husband is teaching me). I’m never hungry although I still have moments when I have to hoard food or candy to make myself relax. I talk to whoever I want to. I read whatever books I want. I sleep when I am tired. I can get in my car and go anywhere I want, whenever I feel like it. No one yells or screams at me, no one calls me names or puts me down. All in all, life ROCKS.

I don’t speak to my mother. I actually disconnected from her. I know that is backwards for most people. But every time we talked she would try to “handle” me. She accused me of having crimes and heinous overts. She would have preferred me to get an abortion and go back to the SO. (Several years ago she paid off my $68,000 freeloader debt so that I could do that.) Now she would prefer I leave my husband and come back, or at the very least start buying my bridge and getting auditing. But I never will. She was not interested in being my mom back when I was a child, anyway. To be honest I still haven’t forgiven her for how she treated me back then. Hopefully I will someday. So finally I told her that I was tired of her trying to force me back to Scientology and I changed my phone number. She still has my address but it is too far for her to just show up. I guess I should have tried to repair our relationship. But I don’t want to have one with her. And I’m WAY happier being in charge of my own life, and not talking to her. I am happier focusing on my husband and son and not even thinking about Scientology. Those are the best days.

I just wish I could see my brother. He doesn’t know that I am here, that I am Anonymous. He would disconnect from me if he did. Someday maybe I will get him to come visit and he can learn that there is life outside the org, and he could have kids of his own. I wish he would go to college and get the job that he wants, instead of the one the org assigns him to. I wish I could make up for failing him as a big sister, all those years ago. I don’t have much hope though. I’ve only seen him twice in over 10 years, and one of those times was for 1 day. I don’t really know him anymore. But he is still my brother and I love him. I always will.