I HADN’T PLANNED on writing a sequel. I actually hadn’t planned on writing much after getting my memoir, Train Gone, out of my system. But something happened.
When I set up my website and began writing blogs, I didn’t think I’d publish a book. I was just getting shit out, you know? While I was in the rewriting and editing phase of the memoir I hadn’t initially planned to publish, I received a message from a Jehovah’s Witness (J-Dub) I used to know.
It totally threw me.
I thought she was getting in touch to maybe say hi, or tell me she’d left the Truth, or something. But that wasn’t at all why she sent the message.
She said she’d stumbled upon my website and was appalled. She asked how I could possibly say the things I was saying, how could I write what I was writing? And why was I so angry? She further stated that, since we were from the same area and grew up going to the same Kingdom Hall, she didn’t understand how my experiences could have been so different from hers.
I was totally dumbfounded. “How could our experiences be different?” Um, we’re two totally different people. I was raised by Deaf parents that I interpreted for all the time. I had four older brothers (I still have them, just not in my every day). I couldn’t believe that her blinders were on so tight. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t able to understand that people, regardless of how much they might have in common, have different experiences happening inside them. Clearly, it didn’t occur to her that two people could look at the same painting, watch the same movie, play with the same My Little Pony, or read the same book and feel something totally different.
And why was I still so angry? Well, in certain blogs and in many parts of Train Gone, I’m sure I did appear angry; Train Gone is sort of my “before” photo. I was quite the rebellious and unhappy teen, and later—a confused young woman. But still angry? Nah. I mean, it may look like anger to someone who’s told to think that leaving the fold and living life in a different kind of truth is a terrible thing, but no, not angry. Do I still go through parts of a grief cycle any time I’m confronted with J-Dub bullshit? Well, yes, but a deep explanation of the grief cycle isn’t anything you’d see in a Watchtower article. To quote Psychology Today would be blasphemous to the ol’ GB (Governing Body, whom I explained in Train Gone) and their feigned infallibility. And maybe she didn’t know about the grief cycle?
Then it hit me. Kyrie eleison! It would probably make her feel better to know that the Society is right; I’m living under a bridge somewhere, mentally diseased, and my life is just utter chaos because I’m not in the Truth. Knowing that would make some J-Dubs feel so much better, and they’d get to be right about who they think I am. They’d get to be right about how they’re living their lives.
Well, sorry to break it to you darlin’ but I’m doing pretty okay; writing all this is an attempt to heal trauma and wounds, independently. If by chance others benefit, well, even better. Memoirs are a snapshot in time; outdated upon publishing. What one person perceives as anger is simply another person (the author) painfully walking through fire in order to gain a bird’s-eye view of their life. A simple concept but a complex process.
As with the first book’s introduction, there are some heroes, some villains, some poor choices, and some sexually explicit content. A note about the raw sexuality: when one finally understands the source of their own confused and overactive libido, and is comfortable talking about it so openly, it can be chalked up to (for me) earlier, unfortunate experiences. There were some events I wish I’d remembered to forget.
Rest assured, things do get better for our narrator (me). She confronts some dark memories. She comes into contact with a few organizations that remind her of her cult upbringing in some ways, which lead to her further understanding herself and her own world theories. There are some bumps and stark realizations along the way which include self-medicating with lots of alcohol. I knew that then, but at the same time I didn’t know, if that makes sense. Regardless, the excessive drinking and harsh realizations may cause a knee-jerk reaction. Please take care of yourselves while reading.
Mirrors Strike Back picks up where Train Gone leaves off because I read and watched Misery. I know how pissed Annie Wilkes was over her “Rocket Man” chapter plays; that whole skirting-past-the-cliffhanger shit ticks me off, too.