I want to tell my story.
I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I am one of the lucky ones. I was old enough in the early 70's when my mom joined Scientology, well maybe even as early as 1969 to not be sent to one of those ranches, camps whatever.
I was 15. She had gone to a meeting on the beach I grew up on in Malibu.
We had a pretty beautiful life at that time. My dad was the engineer to the Tonight Show, my mom a sort of practicing Buddhist. Who did some drugs, who was a vegetarian, you get the picture, it was the 60's. She was separating from my dad pretty much the same time as joining, actually he was my step dad but I was raised by him since I was 8. And he brought us to the beach. Like I said, life was beautiful.
And she became more and more involved until she just sort of vanished. And we (I had a younger brother, Greg) would see her infrequently when she would check on us and make sure we were eating. She rented out our beach house and we had a room that was built on the deck and were allowed to use the bathroom of the main house. It was then I started to venture up north.
Since I was about 15, I have pretty much been on my own, sort of trying to raise my younger brother a couple years younger. I refused at that young age to move into the absolute hole she was living in (Hollywood) and it was at this time she had to stop communications. I don't even know if this was really the case, but let's just say, I lost contact. In retrospect, this was I time I grew up very quickly, moved to northern Cal. and then on to Hawaii when I was 17.
I ended up on a very small commune type place, with a few people my age, (well I think I was the youngest) and a few in their early 20's. I brought my brother over for a summer to see if he might like it there, but he ended up back in Malibu with a childhood friend and his mom. The story gets pretty hairy and my little brother seemed to sort of drift around and didn't have a real home, this at a time he was in middle school. Do you see the picture? Parents like mine got so wrapped up in their goals which are really selfish and to tell you the truth most likely illegal but certainly it would be child neglect at the very least. This doesn't occur to us kids. But like I said, I was a lucky one, not on one of those ranches. I was in paradise with people who looked after me. I found myself not missing her.
We weren't exactly hippies here on the big island we were very productive, as we had jobs fishing with a local family, a very sprawling garden and we fished on our own.
I won't get into that as it is a story of its own, but we were pretty tight and these people gave me a sense of family, something I hadn't had for a few years.
Back to the ex kids of scientology....when you lose your parents so young in life something happens.
First of all you accept it. You don't really blame cuz that is not yet in your realm of thinking.
With me....now this is the tragic part, I don't consider the woman my mother so much.
42 years later (I just turned 58) I see that she has given considerable attempts to be a part of my life. It just isn't happening. I have created my own life since I was 16 and have an amazing husband now I have been married to for 11 years. Hold this thought because it is relevant. and he has four kids that have been either living with us or the older ones very involved with us as a family.
The last thing I need in my life is scientology. and sadly, that includes my mom.
And here is a little background....this too could make a book, but I have been trying to avoid this time in my life. It is just too painful.
My mom had another kid while in the church when I was twenty three. I had just moved back to Malibu to live with my brother who was doing okay. I had just left the island of Ponape in Micronesia where I was living for 2 1/2 years with my dear boyfriend who remained for a while. He is married with 4 kids now and still we are very close friends. Good communes do that. I am still best friends with about 5 of them. Very wonderful story all that.
But, I am back in Malibu in 1977 and Mom is still in Hollywood, married with a baby. She is working her way up the bridge and was one of those paid nothing to do so. She sold the beach house back to my dad several years before and used all that money for guess what?
My dad had remarried several times and the last wife pretty much got the house I think in the 80's, so that is gone. My tidepools, my friends, my surf point, my little very adored childhood, just gone. It's okay, we all move on in our lives, but just the fact that that crappy cult got that money....I have a problem with that.
Anyway, I moved back to the islands with my brother in the 80's on Kauai this time, and again life was pretty normal, we had great jobs at night, and surfed in the day. I started paddling in a canoe club and eventually married the woman's coach. We were number one men's and women's first crew for years and my life had found its way. My brother was in a relationship and had a baby....all that wasn't great as they separated, but we always stayed close. But, no real word from my mom. Though to be fair, I think she visited him once to see the baby.
So, I think it is probably around 1985, my little half brother came to stay with us a summer on Kauai. I just had a phone call, and the next week he was there. I think he was around seven. He was a huge problem with my husband. He seemed to be very hyper, very troublesome, and apparently without too many social skills. We worked on this, all the while I was getting much criticism from my husband about my mom. I totally understood, but the moment required me to try to fix this kid. We did get somewhere and then he went home. I got him the next year and I had to start all over again. Anyway, it seemed now in retrospect that James had some issues. It gets worse.
My mom's best friend is Tory Christman, I have known her since I was very young but not those first years as I wasn't involved with the cult and just remained apart with my own life. But she has a son, who was the same age as James. I know, I am starting to name people, and please let me know this is okay. Please? Someone??
Anyway, after those couple or maybe three summers with my half brother, I can't do it anymore, it is way too much work and my relationship with my husband is not going well.
I back away from my mom, who BTW never really showed her face, just got rid of the kid. I wish I knew what went on. I will ask his dad someday.....and you will see why I haven't yet.
I don't know where to start back, but now you know the Tory connection....
somehow I end up back on the mainland after my divorce from Earl. 1990 I think.
I am living with my brother again. I get a job, I move back to the beach, I adopt a baby, and Greg, my bother gets arrested for the second time with selling cocaine. I forgot to mention that my brother had some real drug and alcohol problems. Severe. I didn't. I just loved the hell out of him. We had been through so much together...him staying with me, me with him. We were always there for each other. at some point....I failed. I feel l failed in so many ways with both my brothers. Both are DEAD.
My dad is dead. I lost all the men in my life.
Tory knows most of the story.
My brother James took his life the year I moved back to Malibu, about 8 months after I move back from Kauai the second time.
It was 1998. I don't when exactly when but my step dad had defected. I won't mention his name until I know it is okay. But he was pretty high up and so was my mom.
OT 5 or 6 or 7. I don't know, I don't do scientology. I hate it.
My mom was married again to my dad. Really, Dad? I had been pretty close to him for years and now he is back with my mom.
Both my brothers are living with them, I was working at the Ritz Carlton, starting my own catering business....and wham. My mom is living out of the org. Oh, she was at the Sea Org I think around 1988 or '89. I can't recall.
I had visited on Christmas of '97. My brother James was in a bedroom listening to music away from everyone out in the front room. It was chaotic there. My other brother Greg and my dad were hammered. My mom was standing on her head against a wall. She was totally out there. Always. Never aware of James's problems. I heard she was a bad scientologist, anyway. But, who the hell doesn't see things are amiss with your kids? I try to forgive. It is very hard now as a parent.
I just remember most my brother's state of being. It wasn't good. I should've taken him away right then.
I see him a few weeks later. It was a morning on my way to work.
It is Jan. 25th or 26th, I don't recall cuz I can't think about it. 1998.
I see he is asleep on a futon in a bedroom he shares with my alcoholic brother. My daughter is at kindergarten in Malibu. I am having such problems with recall.
I kick the futon, "James!!!!Get your ass up!"
He seems to be laying around, not doing much. My mom is not concerned. I am. That is a major issue. I see depression. She doesn't or doesn't care.
Again, I should've taken him away from there.
Sorry, a little breather. This is tremendously difficult. the guilt never passes.
Later that evening I get a call, don't even remember from who.
James is in ER, UCLA. self inflicted gunshot to the head.
he is breathing.
he is brain dead.
I am there
Greg, my other brother is there
My mom and James's dad is there.
We are not in this world.
the doctor informs us that we should remove the life support systems.
we huddle for hours
we say goodbye
we remove life support
at this point a different sort of life takes on
I have to become all in charge.
my family is totally non functional.
I have to confer again with the parents
about the organs
I figure this in exactly two minutes
lets give life where one ends
seems right to me.
I can't really go on
I will be glad to continue at another time
as life gets even more complicated
I love all you children, then and now and I will promise now to pick up more pieces
I will, though, leave you with this
my mom after just a week or two of this... said to me;
"I will NOT let this ruin my life"
"But mine is"