So this is a very personal post with a lot of triggers. It’s being written freestyle using the stream of consciousness method. No one is exactly sure what will come out or how long the post will be. Or what secrets will come out.
All we know is that it’s time to tell you about how we were raised. So thanks in advance for reading
As with any triggering content, please read with care. We seriously hope the “Read More” tag works this time. To be sure though, some extra spaces between this content and everything else.
I grew up/was raised by the Cult of the Roses. They were a subset of the Mormon culture where I grew up. These people went door-to-door and talked to people about their religion or offered volunteer services like free babysitting or housecleaning as part of their tithe to the church. In exchange, all they asked was for the people to listen to their talk and read the free literature.
My parents lived in an all white neighborhood of a suburban city. Solicitation was allowed, so lots of different groups spent time walking through neighborhoods selling stuff door-to-door. Kids spent more time outside in groups than indoors, especially in the summer time. It was the 1980’s before video games and computers became more popular than bike riding, swings, and outdoor games.
As mentioned before, my pediatrician was a pedophile and my first owner. He convinced me, then my parents, that I was an unhealthy child with all kinds of issues that required his personal medical attention. I wasn’t his first or his last lover, but I was one of his favorites. He was territorial and possessive of his favorites, so was not pleased when this group of Mormons interfered with our appointments. But my mom didn’t care because the Mormons were babysitting me for free. My dad didn’t care because the house was clean, I was out of the way, and my mom was happy.
As for my younger brother…well my dad was in charge of raising him. No one interfered with that, especially not the cult after the tantrums my mom had. Dad found out they were babysitting both of us and cut off mom’s spending money, took away her car keys, and gave her the silent treatment for weeks. She got sick and stayed in bed when she wasn’t crying or yelling or hitting me with something or eating.
In the end, the cult stayed away from my brother and started teaching me the rules of being a proper Mormon girl. But then I had to go to some of the meetings with the babysitters. And the male leaders liked the way I looked. They asked me questions that didn’t make sense before, but do now. And tested my physical skills – endurance, strength, flexibility, dexterity – with lots of “training camp” style trials. My intelligence levels didn’t matter to them. Females were not supposed to be smart or thinkers.
Eventually, the leaders invited me to become a Rose. They spun this tale to my parents about being a combination after school program and Sunday school for “gifted” children. My parents didn’t have to pay anything or join their religion, but they did have to sign some paperwork to register me. I would learn domestic skills and other life skills public school didn’t or wouldn’t teach anymore. An anonymous patron had offered me a full scholarship as long as I made good grades. The scholarship covered everything with a little left over for my parents to use.
Remember how I said in the beginning that the pediatrician was possessive and territorial? Well, he was. And he wanted to maintain control over me – who I spent time with, where I went, what I did (school, activities, etc.), and when I could go to school or attend other activities or be with him. Turns out he belonged to an exclusive pedophile/human trafficking ring with lots of connections throughout the region. And one of those branches extended into a group of Mormons with a taste for sadism and young children.
Some children were bought as babies and raised in the orphanages. Some were runaways or foster children who “slipped between the cracks”. Some were children of cult members. And some were like me – children from dysfunctional homes whose parents didn’t care what happened to their children as long as their reputations stayed pristine.
Girls became Roses and were taught “domestic arts” & “partner pleasing (aka sexual) arts” by trainers.
Boys became Thorns and were raised to be “proper men” & “how to manage their women” along with “elder pleasing (aka sexual) arts” by different trainers.
Troublemakers from both groups went to the “military” program on top of regular training and became Warriors of Gods. Their main tasks were protection or muscle for the cult members who interacted with clients, partners, or outsiders on potentially dangerous jobs. Because troublemakers are dispensable – who cares if they live or die? At least this way, their souls (even the sinful females) have a chance at heaven.
Can you guess where I ended up?
A Rose, yes.
A Warrior of God, yeah that too.
And because he sponsored my scholarship, he owned me. Had total control over my education, my trainers, my punishment, and even my clients. The pediatrician objected about my becoming a Warrior of God. He didn’t want me to die or get maimed or disfigured because of fighting and injuries. I was his prized possession – a beautiful Asian girl he trained to become anything he wanted and do anything he asked by giving her love, approval, and acceptance that no one else provided – and moneymaker. No ways was he going to risk me.
BUT…WELL…no one counted on my personality or temperament causing a problem. After all, I was quiet, well-behaved, smart, and flexible – aka a doormat – for all appearances. Plus, I was small, skinny, delicate-looking and did not look physically strong. Right???
Not exactly. Most of the above was true then and is true now. Except they forgot or didn’t realize a few things like:
- my temper
- my curiosity
- my stubbornness
- my independence
- my creativity
- my resilience
- my reasoning skills
And did not take into account how their training would affect these parts of me. No matter what the trainers did to me, I fought back. I rebelled without speaking. I tried to escape. I used weapons against them. I might have killed by accident or in self defense when more than one client attacked me or went too far with the satanic rituals/s&m role playing.
The trainers had to drug me for orgies & special needs activities, but then the clients complained I was not fun. They sent the torturers to train me instead. And I learned. in the training rooms. at the mall. at my parents’ house. at school. in cars. in houses. in basements. in public buildings. at events. the police station. government buildings. bathrooms. The trainers never had to drug me again.
I listened, learned, and thrived as a Warrior of God. Those skills also brought new clients for the times I acted as a rose. Clients who liked their sex with a side of violence. The violent clients paid a lot more for these appointments. My owner (the pediatrician) and my parents made a lot of money when I became a Warrior of God. Even more when I took on violent clients. In fact, that became my specialty to the point where I could say “no” to orgies and same-sex or multiple partner appointments if I was willing to be an alter or take on a violent client. It worked out because those clients didn’t care what I looked like.
They continued to make appointments after my body changed and when my hair fell out from alopecia areata. And when the pediatrician got me pregnant, they were pissed. My parents were mad because because of the potential loss of income first. Next because I was a pregnant teen and there was no way to spin a positive story if the family found out. Third because they didn’t want to be reminded of their age.
My parents took out their anger on me. Theyhurled insults at my head, starved me, hid me from everyone, and refused to acknowledge my existence. When no one heard from me for a couple of weeks, the cult sent someone to the house. The cult representatives argued with my parents and took me back to their barracks that same day. I stayed with the cult until after the abortion and recovery period.
The cult leaders and my owner personally came to check on me every few days after the medical personnel healed my wounds. They would ask me questions and tell me what was happening at school. Tutors were provided so I didn’t miss out or fall behind – it was my sophomore year in high school – and have to worry about staying back a grade. And one day, they told me I wouldn’t have to worry about my parents or my brother anymore. It was time to live with them again.
And that was my life for 17 years. I lived and worked among human traffickers, weapons dealers, drug traffickers, pedophiles, religious cultists, and gangbangers who used me as a slave and a whore and a soldier when I wasn’t in public school, with my parents/relatives, or pretending to be a normal kid with normal extracurricular activities.
When the pediatrician died, everything fell apart. The cult leaders and the pedophile group clashed over business deals and leadership. Everyone wanted the benefits, but no one wanted to be in charge. Many of the rich benefactors left as the pipelines dried out. Traffickers found other partners. And the empire collapsed. There were a lot of big busts. Many teachers, doctors, and pillars of the community in my city and others were arrested for all manner of charges. And the man who trained me as a Warrior of God for almost 10 years turned out to be an undercover cop.
He was the one who convinced the leadership to rescue me when I got pregnant. He taught me how to protect myself from the violent clients. He was my father substitute on many occasions. He was and is the reason I agreed to be an anonymous witness at the trial. And he tried to help me after the scandal. But I was 17 and on my way to college as AlterXpressions. And my parents refused to let us spend time together. My dad pulled strings and called in favors to guarantee that along with his and my mom’s freedom.
When I lived in that world, I was either Pip or Angora. Sometimes I was Shea or one of the child/teen alters who stepped in to help with the burden of abuse. But I wasn’t the one who created this website and goes by AlterXpressions.
AlterXpressions, sometimes Shea, sometimes Angora, the other child/teen alters, and the adult alters had to deal with our parents, brother, relatives, and community. In some ways, that was worse than living with the predators.
Abusive Parents & Toxic Family Systems
In a parallel universe, AlterXpressions was the oldest daughter of two adults from large families. Her mom was the 4th child and second youngest daughter of 6. Her dad was the 5th child and oldest son of 6. Out of all of the daughters and son, A’s mom was not the prettiest or smartest or fastest or most successful. Out of all of the daughters and sons, A’s dad was stuck trying to live up to Chinese expectations and be and American male.
Whether or not this had an impact on their personalities, characteristics, or choices as adults, none of us know. Whether or not their past experiences informed how they chose to raise their kids, none of us know or are willing to speculate.
All we do know is that the toxic family system didn’t start with our parents. It might not have started with our grandparents. But it’s stopping with us.
From the time I was able to crawl, I was “mommy’s helper” and “daddy’s little girl”. As long as I smiled and laughed and did as I was told and stayed quiet, they showered me with love. So I learned not to cry too much. I learned that if I wanted to be clean, using the toilet was better than dirty diapers. I learned to “feed” myself and put things away. I learned not to get angry and or sad or happy or excited.
I learned to be afraid of kisses, hugs, or any kind of touches. I learned to be afraid of smiles and kind words. Because any of those in public meant beatings and yelling and smelly stuff all over me while locked in cold, dark, scary, bug-filled places with loud noises. And any of those in private meant time to play the “special games” with mom or the “secret games” with dad. Games like what I did with the pediatrician.
But I always had to cheerful and happy around family and outside people. I had to be bubbly and talkative and outgoing and funny and entertaining. Or I could be quiet if I had a book or something to do that didn’t make me look too smart or competent; that would go against the stories my parents and younger brother told about me. And I couldn’t play with my cousins because I might slip and tell a secret. Plus I didn’t know how to play with them so my temper almost always got in the way or they made fun of me for not knowing the “rules” of interacting with people my age.
My aunts & uncles believed I was like my mom when I was really not like her at all. They spent most of their time trying to “correct my behavior” and criticizing me for my failures because I wasn’t as good as my brother or cousins at important stuff like math and sports and being responsible. I wasn’t as smart or funny and didn’t have good social skills. I didn’t concentrate well and was always clumsy and couldn’t do simple stuff like cleaning and was afraid of stupid stuff. I got frustrated too easily and gave up too easily and was a sore loser.
As I got older, I was the black sheep always the reason my brother or parents got embarrassed or had a hard time with something or lost a competition or couldn’t accomplish whatever. But I was also a major source of income for them. Because they got paid to let me take those special after-school and Sunday school classes that no one else in the family knew about. Except for a few months between 6th and 8th grades when I went to a summer day camp for a month or had to go to my maternal aunt’s house after school, I don’t remember much else of my childhood or adolescence.
I mean big trips like Disney or events like broken arms that became stories I had to share with people over and over stick out. Or events like when my parents forced me to go to senior prom; high school graduation; and college graduation are things I know happened. But the details are fuzzy. People, places, faces, activities, parties, exams, and so on are blurs for the most part. Mostly I remember being as quiet, invisible, and as unlikable as possible so that I could keep my secrets.
When I wasn’t at school or karate, I was taking care of mom, doing housework, helping my brother with his school work, or I can’t remember what exactly. Except it was dangerous, scary, and painful. Mom wasn’t easy to take care of. She was sick a lot. She got tired easily and slept a lot. She couldn’t do laundry or cook much. She was only happy reading or shopping or going to the doctor and taking pills. We went on lots of diets together. And whenever she gained weight or something bad happened, it was my fault. She and Dad punished me.
Dad was always irritated with me because I didn’t have time to get my homework finished. Or the laundry wasn’t put away. Or I made mom mad so she bothered him after work. Or my brother complained because I was being mean to him (I didn’t let him have his way or beat him at something). He expected me to do well in school, but not to outshine my brother. And after puberty, he didn’t want me anywhere near him. Not like when I was a little girl and he’d hug and cuddle and play games with me.
As soon as my body changed, I was invisible unless he needed something or wanted to punish, criticize, or embarrass me. The only way I got his attention and approval was if I let him control my life – who I was friends with, where I went, what I bought/wore/did/thought, when I got up/went to sleep – and manage my money.
The more independent I became, the more verbally and emotionally abusive everyone in the family became. As I got older, my parents couldn’t physically or sexually abuse me. My brother couldn’t physically abuse me. I defended myself against that; not sure how, but it was scary enough for them to leave me alone.
But mom could still body and sex shame me with comments about my body, lack of social skills, not dating, etc. Dad could always find a way to insinuate how incompetent I was and that it was okay not to compete or be good at anything because I was a girl. My brother made fun of me all the time and called me stupid or arrogant whenever I was successful.
They all made fun of me and talked about me behind my back to anyone who would listen. Made it easy for my peers to bully and exclude me. Made it easy for teachers to do the same in school. But people were also wary and careful because I could and did defend myself. And I was comfortable with getting detention as the consequence.
And then came college. Freedom or another form of slavery? Both I think. My parents were correct to fear letting me go to college. Because that’s when I discovered a different world. One where I was visible and heard. One that taught me there was something wrong with my family system and enabled me to get help.
So I did start to get help. I learned to be more independent and assertive. I learned to say “no”. I learned to avoid giving in to emotional blackmail. I learned how to cope with the voices in my head and regulate my emotions. I learned how to separate my sense of self from my mom’s and my family’s identities. And I learned to stop denying the truth about how my parents, brother, and other relatives treated me.
That’s when the rumors of my being crazy and a bad daughter started. That’s when my family started criticizing and avoiding me. Or giving me the silent treatment and pretending I didn’t exist. Or putting pressure on me to stop changing and getting healthy. To give in and ask my parents for forgiveness because it was all my fault. To seek their approval and give them whatever they wanted. To take care of them and give up my life for them.
Because that’s when I started remembering Pip and Angora and Shea and everyone else.
That’s when Pip, Angora, and Shea and everyone else started talking to me again.
And that’s when we truly started to heal.
So if you want/need/have to put labels on my parents or relatives, here are some:
Narcissistic, Sociopathic, Predator, Bully, Pedophiliac, Psychopathic, Manipulative, Co-Dependent, Mentally Ill, Anxious, Depressed, Bipolar (mom only), Angry, Neglected/Neglectful, Absent, Liar.
You can add drug user, alcohol abuser, and smoker to the list if talking about my younger brother.
So that’s what I remember of my past. It’s why I work so hard to accept others as they are and understand many perspectives even if/when I disagree with them. I think the phrase is “agree to disagree”?
And it’s why I am who I am today. My parent’s didn’t raise me.
A cult full of predators did. And they taught me well. Who knows if I will ever see the world as safe? But that doesn’t matter as long as my home is safe. And home is safe now.
Thanks for reading.