WHEN MIRRORS STRIKE BACK
Updated: Sep 16, 2022
I HADN’T PLANNED on writing a sequel, or anything 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 just left the Truth. 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 speechless. “How could our experiences be different?” Um, we’re two different people. I was raised by Deaf parents that I interpreted for all the time. I have four older brothers. 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 completely different.
And why was I still so angry? Well, in certain blogs and in many parts of Train Gone, I’m sure I did seem 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. It may look like anger to someone who’s told to think that leaving the fold, 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 whenever I’m confronted with J-Dub bullshit? Yes, but a deep explanation of the grief cycle isn’t anything you’d see in a Watchtower magazine. Quoting Psychology Today would be blasphemous to the ol’ GB (Governing Body) 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 okay these days; writing all this is an attempt to mend my own wounds independently. Memoirs are a snapshot in time; outdated upon publishing. This book? Already old and, if I’m being completely honest, written for me and RKP Jr. If by chance others benefit, even better.
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 overactive libido, and is comfortable talking about it so openly, it can often be linked to earlier, unfortunate experiences. At least that was the case for me. 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 falls in with a couple of organizations that remind her of her cult upbringing, which lead to her further understanding herself and her own world theories.
There are many bumps and stark realizations along the way, including self-medicating with lots of alcohol. I sort of knew I had a problem with alcohol then, but at the same time, I didn’t know, if that makes sense. Regardless, the excessive drinking and harsh realizations might cause a knee-jerk reaction for some. Take care of yourselves while reading.
This book 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.