|Posted by Natacha Tormey on April 1, 2014 at 8:05 AM|
I have often been asked why I chose to publish my memoir. Some find it shocking that I am prepared to share such a personal story and others have told me that the past should be left in the past, so that all those involved can move on.
Until quite recently, it was not my past, but very much my present. As a child, most of my memories were hazy & obscure. Although I knew that some of the things that had happened to me were very wrong, it was not until I hit puberty that I realised that I had been psychologically, emotionally, sexually and physically abused from a very young age.
This realisation led to years of depression, anger and bitterness that continued into my twenties. I was never able to speak about my feelings as when I tried, I found it too difficult to describe the strange environment that I grew up in. This incapacity to get things off my chest led me to writing, I started from the beginning and wrote a draft of my life story in less than a year. I found that as the book progressed, the nightmares that haunted me each night began to disappear. I felt lighter. I felt free. Each time a chapter was completed, I felt that I could finally close that section of my life and move on.
When the book was finished I felt an overwhelming urge to scream, cry and laugh with joy all at once. Scream, because of the outrage I felt in my heart. Cry, for the innocent girl I was who endured things that no child should. Laugh, because somehow I felt I had won. I had released the darkness and the demons that had plagued me for years. I could finally look to the future with hope and beat the cult by making a success of the time I had left in this world.
Making the decision to publish was a difficult one, the very thought filled me with fear. I was afraid of hurting members of my family and I was afraid that if people knew all the grisly details of my life, they would look at me differently. But as time passed, I realised that my conscience left me with no choice but to put my story out there. The public must know the truth. The innocent children who were raised in The Children of God deserve to have our story told. It is not just the story of my childhood in the cult but one that describes the long, painful road of healing that followed as I struggled to integrate into normal society, while facing the demons of my past.
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