Monday, October 28, 2013

Old friends.....

Yesterday I met with two old friends for breakfast. One was in my area for a music festival and one lives about an hour away. It was a 3 hour blab-fest. These are women from 40 years ago, my life in the commune, in the cult. I was about 10 back when it all began, and these women were about 19 and 20. Yesterday I got to hear life from their perspective of those early years. Most of it wasn't surprising to me....some of it I knew already. Lots of sex, drugs, manipulation, religious oppression, irresponsibly wielding authority and power, which resulted in years of living under guilt and shame and feeling like we didn't fit in anywhere. (Think Jim Jones People's Temple) Until we each individually, through various circumstances found our ways to our own places of freedom.

The thing that struck me was that I loved all of those people. I thought they were perfect and wonderful and they were the only real family I ever had. The perspective of a child vs. the perspective of an adult...the realization that they really were all very flawed people. Some were VERY flawed. It wasn't what I had at one time thought it was. That is always surprising to me and makes me a little sad and I wonder what else have I based my life's foundation on, who else have I trusted implicitly that wasn't what or who I thought they were.

We talked about how we all have felt like our lives were boring, just typical, but in actuality....our particular experiences and our resilience and how we have found our way to where we now dwell, makes them quite remarkable.

When ever I get to see people from that time in my life, it is like no time has passed. We pick up right where we left off....minus all of the weird stuff. There is a connection that never seems to dim. One of the friends yesterday said, you all are my family. And thats true. The connections made back then, the experiences shared, all that these beautiful women taught me as I grew up surrounded by them, will never leave me. Those lessons were very formative in who I am today. Flaws, mistakes, and all.

I came home from that breakfast visit to celebrate the 25th birthday of my girl. Big brother drove in to be here, Molly came, all were bearing gifts. My girl asked for cheeseburgers and bacon Caesar salad so we barbecued and ate a big dinner together and had cheesecake for dessert. It was so much fun. A good time filled with peace and laughing, no tension....a gift to us all.



SoberMomWrites said...

Happy Birthday to your girl!!!

Don't you love that feeling? My closest friends are those I've had for 30 years. I don't really have any extended family so they are my family and I feel infinitely blessed to have them because I chose them and they chose me.

Take care!

Mrs D said...

Sounds like a lovely birthday. I didn't know that about your background.. you are one amazing strong honest lovely woman, pleased to know you xxx

Signe said...

I love listening to people's life adventures. So many different and varying experiences that combine to make us who we are at this moment. The perspective of your childhood and then your daughter's birthday party with your family. What a wonderful story, and so many more chapters to write. I'm glad you shared this, Annette.

Mary Christine said...

How wonderful to have such enduring friendships.

And happy birthday to your girl!

Mrs. Dubose said...

Peace and laughter?! SO happy to hear that! it's amazing that things can improve, isn't it? I just got back from a visit with my far away girl. She is 7 months sober. Unbelievable.

I am still recovering from the shock of it all but each day is another day of healing.


Syd said...

A good story about your early life. I didn't realize that you grew up in a commune. Nice though to connect with people who you knew and without any judgement can simply move into today.

Journey in Grace said...

Annette... I just had to look back in your blog archive and see if you wrote about that Sunday morning breakfast meeting in 2013. I am so glad to hear your feelings about that experience. I remember looking at you often and noticing you having a kind of strained look on your face. I worried that finally you were seeing the reality of (I will speak for myself) my life and how it was back then. I have known for so many years that you, one of many who looked up to me would feel in your heart a sadness when we were to meet. I had no real conscience to hide any of my historic anger and I had no desire to call myself a Christian any longer. These are the moments when I glanced at your face. I want you to know that my heart really was broken, much more than I even knew. I'd love to go back to that moment in that wonderful restaurant with our good friends and present my change of heart I live with today. As you know God has had me cradled in His arms all the way through all these years even as I kicked and cried. I realize after reading your thoughts of that day that it was meant to be because you learned so much about who we all were and are and that there is nobody to really "look-up" to in a way that you can't believe they can be wretched sinners, broken, hurt, let-down, divorced, angry seekers of the goodness of God and His salvation. All in His time. Yes, you were 10 years old and so innocent and I was 20 playing a wonderful part of mothering that I had no idea would fall completely apart 10 years later due to violence, anger, addiction, selfishness and disobedience to our Lord. I was so deeply hurt by the church, my husband and myself that I just ran away for 40 years. I'm so grateful that God has allowed us to continue this earthly journey together and see the changes He has made in our lives and now the changes to come. I love you, I remember your sweet little face at age 10 in the cult communes and to see the pain on your face at breakfast 40 years later was meant for me to also see. The visual has never left me. No real guilt here just some normal sorrow in wishing I could have been that great Christian woman, mother, midwife and sister in the Lord that I had all plans to be forever. Life is not in always in our control I have recognized but we do have choices and my prayers are for truly wise choices where ones can be made and also the ability to let go of the decisions that are made were we have no control whatsoever. I know you know this well. I'm just learning and I have learned so much from you, my 10 year old little sister in Jesus because I will always look at you as little Annette who now has grown into this beautiful smart loving woman so willing to work so hard on everything life has handed you and your faith in God has been steadfast. This is witness to me. So YOU did for me what perhaps you thought I was going to do for you. Thank you for writing about that morning and I'm so glad you had your daughter's party afterwards. I keep you and your family fondly in my heart and prayers and deeply thankful that I turned back to God and God only to release all these years of anger. We must have a long breakfast again up there one year. I look forward to it! Love you ~ Pati