I was thinking today about the time period directly after escaping from the cult. I found myself with my youngest three kids and a terrified version of me who had not been allowed to make a decision for the past 17 or so years. I felt as if I had been thrown into a kaleidoscope that someone kept turning. I had lived in an isolated world. I had no tv. I had no outside influences. I had home schooled my kids for a total of fourteen years. There was so much to take in and no time to do it. My kids had so much to get used to. I ached for them. We were on overload for sure. My kids were to begin a new adventure of going to a school that didn’t take place at their kitchen table! I was so scared for them. How were they going to adjust? What if other kids were mean to them? How were they going to know what to do??
Looking back, I am so grateful for the job I was able to get. I got a job as a secretary for a small jewelry company. My boss was a kind and patient soul. There were many days, and I do mean many, that I had to leave work early to get my kids because of some problem that was taking place. I remember one day in particular that I thought I was about to lose it. It was November. It was raining pretty hard. My daughter, Ally had gotten off the bus and forgot her keys. She called me right away. I told her to go to the neighbor’s house until I got off of work. Simple plan…..right?? Not quite. I got a phone call a little while later and she had not went to the neighbor’s. (Why???) She told me on the phone that she was freezing and was having a really bad day and felt like she was having a panic attack. I called my neighbor and talked to her and asked if she would help Ally to calm down until I got there. She agreed. I told my boss what was happening and I left the office. I picked Ally up from my neighbor’s and headed over to my house. As I was pulling into my driveway, I saw smoke…. lot’s of smoke. My woodshed was on fire!!!! I turned to my sweet young daughter and she calmly said, “I was cold.” What???? What did you do??? She had made a fire inside my woodshed. In case you are not envisioning this, woodsheds are filled with WOOD. I jumped out of my car and got the hose. When I turned the hose on, tiny spurts of water came out all over the hose!!! It had holes. Of course it did. It was still pouring down cold rain which could not reach INSIDE the woodshed!! I was still dressed in my nice work clothes and I’m trying to put the fire out. I’m yelling at my daughter by now and she starts crying. Great. So in the middle of my yard, which is now a pool of freezing water, Ally drops to her knees and sobs!! Well, guess what? I wanted to join her, but I had a fire to extinguish. My daughter has always had a flare for the dramatic!! Well, I sent my wet girl inside and continued until the fire was gone. Two hours later when all was calm, she came waltzing out of her room. She acted as if nothing had happened!! This was my new life and I’d take it any day over the old.