“I just played anomia with my friends and ‘cult leader’ came up and I was the only one who knew one…things come in useful in strange ways.”

This was the text I got from my older child.

Anomia is a game where you have to be able to name things that belong in a certain category, like “cult leader.” My older child was the only one of their college friends who could. As I posted in various places, #proudmama. I’ve taught them well.

Having belonged to a cult comes in handy in weird ways. Like when you’re playing anomia. Or when you want to understand why someone is so fervent and ardent about anything. As I’ve said many times, knowing you have the “truth” is intoxicating.

I’m proud that I’ve (at least mostly) come to terms with my past. It was what it was; it is what it is. I may always quote page 449 of the (old) AA Big Book – “acceptance is the answer to all my problems.” Things may still haunt me. They always may. But I can even joke about it, and I know it all helped make me who I am.

I’m proud that I’ve told my child and they can joke about it too. It could be weird for them. Maybe it was when they first found out – when we were driving up to New York City for the weekend and they said, “So, tell me about your childhood,” and I did.

Sometimes when I tell my story – my whole story – it kind of sucks the air out of the room. It demands attention. I must seem like I demand attention. But it just is what it is.

An after-effect of trauma is the desire to shout it from the mountaintops and proclaim it loudly so that everyone knows and understands, while also hiding in shame so that no one should know. I think that proof of healing and of just moving on and being more whole is somewhere in the middle – it just was as it was and is as it is, and you just are who you are.

And to be able to laugh about it, and proudly post it, when your child texts you that they were the only one who knew the name of a cult leader.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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