Adventures in Recovery ~ What About the Kids?

by Calulu Don't know about anyone else but one of the biggest regrets I have is that I raised my kids in the madness that was my old cult church. They didn't ask to be part of that. We, Jim and I, drug them into it with all the best intentions. My two kids ended up being hostages to fortune during our years at Possum Creek Christian Fellowship. We started attending when Laura was 4 years old and Andy was 7 and left when they were 15 and 18 years old. A long stretch of young impressionable years. Since it's been about five years since we left Andy and Laura have finally felt safe enough, distant enough from the dysfunction to share with me what happened to them, how they feel about religion … [Read more...]

Adventures in Recovery: You Gotta Serve Somebody

On Schisms and Authorityby CaluluI was working recently on a large graphic design job when it struck me about the differences in the way authority looks inside of the Fundamentalist Patriarchal culture and from the outside.It was one of those design projects for a larger firm and I was working as an independent contractor. A design project where I was given the basic elements the client wanted in the design but not much else. Punt, pass or run with the ball, it was my call. My idea for the project really jelled quickly as I was working with those basic elements, I had a very good idea going in a totally different direction than was suggested at the meeting. I quickly worked up two or t … [Read more...]

Adventures in Recovery ~ Souvenirs From The Circus

by CaluluRemember when you were a kid and would go to the circus or the carnival? Sure, there were elephants and chimps, usually crapping everywhere. The air was scented with cotton candy, popcorn and the smell of animals. I remember the games, balloons, darts, tossing things. Besides the lion tamers and the freak show part of the carnival there were usually fortune tellers, people that would look at your palm or into a cheap hunk of round glass and predict you'd meet a tall, dark and handsome stranger. It was exciting and thrilling, wasn't it, when you were a kid?When I was a member of Possum Creek Christian Fellowship we used to have something like that, but we called it a … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 10: It's in the Lord's Hands

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly Cruz I walked over to the phone, and dialed Cecilia’s number. My first thought was that it would possibly be disconnected, but who knows, maybe they finally moved. Cecilia always talked about how the time would come, and their house would be demolished, and then they would have to move. They were living rent-free in an old farmhouse. Someone had blessed them years ago with a property. They had to care for it, and in return they could live there for free, but once the owner passed away, they'd have to move. They were even given a 15-passenger van as a b … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 9: Draw Near to God

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzIt was not until a period of distance was placed between my family and Cecilia’s, that I began to see the blessing that Cecilia gave me. It was an ABUNDANT blessing in disguise! At the time, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and even angry with her and with her whole family. I felt that Cecilia divorced our friendship, and I had no idea why.I went from being a babe in Christ, to a woman, desiring nothing more, than to love my Savior Jesus. God was changing me little by little each day. I began to pray for specific things, and within weeks, sometimes d … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 8: Somehow, I Lost My Entire Identity

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzThere was so much to read about this man; I didn't even know where to begin. I stumbled across a message board that had a whole bunch of people who grew up following his teachings. They were adults now. The thing that perplexed me the most, was that these folks were calling him a religious cult leader, and that did not seem right to me.Cecilia and her family were very strong, mature Christians. They would never get involved with something cultish, would they? The time I spent reading about this man, seemed so déjà vu to me. Everything I was reading f … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 7: A Godly, God-Fearing Man

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzI was feeling inadequate as a wife and mother lately, but had no clue why. Maybe it was because Cecilia called her husband Sir, and was always hanging on his every word. This had been making me nervous for a while now.I remember asking her about it one day and she only shared, that Sarah called Abraham "Lord." It was a matter of respect.I took a moment, trying to imagine myself, calling my husband Lord, or even Sir. I could not help but chuckle each time I said it to myself. Is this something that a Godly wife was suppose to do? Should I be asking … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 6: Cecelia's Secret

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzThe secret was "ATI", which stands for, "Advanced Training Institute." This was a word of mouth ultra-conservative home school program Cecilia told me about. It taught "Character First." It made children obedient, God fearing individuals, Cecilia explained to me. Cecilia shared examples of how much more obedient children were who were taught with this style of curriculum. How these children differed from other children.I was intrigued, and wanted to find out more about it. This was what I have been waiting to hear. If Cecilia's children were walking, … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 5: A Leap of Faith

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzOur family was planning an out of state move soon. My husband had been praying about our life up North. For him, everything seemed mundane, so he started praying that if the Lord had more for us, he would have to shake things up a bit. For me, I felt that everything had already been shaken up enough.As always, the Lord answered my husband’s prayer almost instantly. The job that he thought he was going to have until retirement became very stressful for him. When folks at work found out that he was a believer, they started playing little tricks on him. … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 4: Everything Was So Confusing to Me Now

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzGetting back to the Cabbage Doll story. Let me explain. In the eighties, a very well known Evangelist that Cecilia's family was personally taught under, taught that Cabbage Patch Dolls were causing strange and destructive behaviors in children. They could only be alleviated when the dolls were removed from the household, or better yet, destroyed completely!There were some reports claiming... ladies were miscarrying while having these dolls in their homes. It was explained to me that when you got a Cabbage Patch Doll, they come with birth certificates … [Read more...]


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