One of the reasons I am motivated today to learn college writing is that I was asked by some newspaper and organization to write about my life with the U.C. (Unification Church) with which I have been a member for more than 20 years. I never thought I would think of myself as a writer since in the U.C. all creativity was discouraged and considered selfish; and during those years, my ability to write was practically non-existent and crushed down.
We were discouraged from expressing ourselves. If we did, we would only be praising good and positive things about the cult and its leaders and we would be describing critical and negative things about the world around us that U.C. considered “evil”. We were taught how to think and couldn’t be truly ourselves and until I got out of the group I had no power to even believe that I could ever write the truth of what I was feeling. In fact even simple writing was a challenge. When I had to make a note to a teacher for my children, I would always ask someone else to do it for me.
It is just a couple of years ago that I started developing the idea of making a book about my unusual life. I thought more precisely of writing an autobiography by the age of 50; but events precipitated my motivation to write about myself sooner. In addition to this, I discover that since I left the U.C. I needed to write as therapy in my recovery into the real world.
In the learning process, I remembered my first experience of composing a song when I was 15 years old. It started with “I am too sensitive….” and it talked about wars and abuse in the world. In France during elementary classes you are taught about the atrocity of wars especially World War II. Schools are not afraid to show pictures of people including women and children dying in gas chambers of concentration camps. Maybe they want to make sure that we learn the painful lesson of the tragedy that have happen in history and that serious mistake like this one does not repeat itself.
I have always had a strong photographic memory and the images of the suffering of innocent people affected me very strongly, and it was the main focus of that song. My twin sister used to compose songs as well, but hers were happier. I always had a more acute sensitivity and we both knew that this was differentiating the both of us. We went to sing several times with our guitar to a nearby restaurant.
I have always been very shy and had difficulty expressing myself; but that song was one of the best work I had done in my youth. I had expressed something that I truly felt and it was so real and beautiful.
In High school the emphasis of my studies was Political Science. In France High School are divided by major: A, Literature; B, Political Science; C, Mathematics and so forth. I always felt good about the essays I wrote and never had much trouble finding ideas and words. I felt a creative spirit within me.
I was 18 years old when I met the U.C. I soon became a member and served as a full time missionary for 12 years before I was matched and married to one of their leaders. It was during those years when my writing was shut off and limited to notes taken at seminars I attended and letters sent to France and Japan to other missionaries. For a long time, I lost the creative part of writing that was in me. Because my creative writing abilities were taking away from me during my involvement with the U.C., I believe that I was in a dangerous and destructive cult.
Desperate thirst for power and recognition made S. M. Moon find the way to create the theory that he is the Messiah and force it on the vulnerability of people in order to built an empire where he is the absolute monarch. It is in his firm belief that every human being will ultimately bow down to him and that he will be recognize as the savior of mankind.
I truly realized that I had lost myself when 3 years ago I made the decision to leave the group. It did not happen without great difficulty and I was harassed for a long time. I had to receive treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a typical diagnose for people like me who are victim of the abuse of mind control cult often do.
It took about a year before it came to my consideration that with a pen and paper I could speak to my heart’s content and no one would stop me. I started to read literature other than the cult material. One book took my attention and gave me a strong incentive: it was the advice and reflections by Pulitzer Prize winning Richard Rhodes, and the title was: “How to write,” Rhodes explained in it that he took on writing as a healing therapy. He had been abused as a child and suffered from PTSD. Readers are drawn to Rhodes with his honest and frank remembrance of his difficult childhood.
I admire this author and respect him because I see so much beauty when someone is able to convey a deep experience from life and share it with others. I can relate to a lot of his feelings and experiences and this made me realize that I could also do the same to be free to write, free from others and free from my own conception of my ability to write.
I know that by putting words together I can let someone enter my soul and I need so much to let others know about the U.C. and the situation that truly exists in this world but that very few are aware of. Many experiences and feelings have accumulated and need to be sorted out and exposed to others to listen. I want people to hear what I have to say and to give me feedback so that I can find a healthy balance between my inner self and the world around me.
I think that every creature, every being has their own place in the world and this is why I want to find were I belong, where I was meant to excel with other human being. I believe that my life is a wonderful miracle that it can be appreciated and lived to the fullest only if I am able to understand the fragile mechanism of its existence and take as much time as possible with gentle patience and acceptance, to find out who I am.
During the first three weeks of English 101, I have written so much that I have already eliminated an old concept that consisted of having all my experience and feeling locked into a secret and forbidden room with always the same voice telling me: “something terrible will happen if you dare tell the truth.” So far nothing has happen to me, and I know that this class is giving me the key to unlock and open the door to amazing hidden treasure I never even knew existed.
As I look back I realize that for a long time I had lost confidence to write something that would come from me as if I didn’t have the right and that it was only reserved to a certain society of people. When I was 15, my song truly came from my heart and I feel today as if I am back at that time and that my writing is alive again.