Hello my friend,
Here is an article that I wrote for Sun Magazine‘s Reader’s Write area about 6 months ago, with the topic of “Authority” . They chose not to publish it, and something recently nudged me to publish it myself , so here it is — enjoy!
My confusion about who I was escalated at age 12, as I was going through puberty, as well as kissing my first boyfriend. On top of all of that natural confusion, my parents announce that we were moving to New England. Sounded like another country to me, as I was born and raised in New Jersey, and lived in the same town since I was old enough to say my name!
In Edison, NJ, Heidi and I were the only Jews in our grade, and I experienced Anti-Semitism on subtle and not-so-subtle levels. I’ll never forget when girls whom I thought were my friends would not let me join their “sisterhood” group because I was Jewish. Or when I was spit at and called a “dirty Jew” for what seemed like absolutely no reason at all. Or, even more difficult to understand was why all my friends had Santa come down their chimney to bring them lots of gifts, and how Santa somehow missed our home. “Did our chimney have a Jewish star on it?,” I wondered.
After spending 7 years in the same school, from Kindergarten to 6th grade, we moved to a very nice suburb called Sharon, MA, also known as “little Israel” in the Boston area. My parents were happy to bring my brother and me to a nice town with “people like us”. Yet, for me, I no longer felt like I was moving to another country, I landed on another planet!
Not only did I dress differently, talk with a different accent, and like all the wrong sports teams, I was not accustomed to hanging around with Jewish people.
I realized that I didn’t fit in anywhere, and decided to become an Explorer of life until I found my true home. Soon after college, I moved to San Francisco with the innate knowledge that I would find myself there. After several years, I started to feel more lost as to who I truly was, and sought after an Authority figure, a Spiritual Master.
In my quest for such, I met “Ken”, a much older (17 years my senior) and captivating black man, who was on a mission to start his own religion based on spiritual principles, and who informed me that God wanted me to join him.
With blind faith in my new Authority figure, we held a spiritual marriage to serve God. He told me to leave everything and everyone behind, that that was the only way to truly serve God and not this world. So I ended all of my relationships, including with my family, and eventually moved to LA, where he lived, to join him in our spiritual journey together.
10 years and 5 babies later, after much abuse and control, he threw me out on the street and took our children to his sister’s house. He was through with me, as I was starting to wake up and challenge his incontestable authority. Therefore, Ken no longer needed me and disposed of me like useless compost.
With no friends in LA (“Ken” was sure of that), and my family back East, I opened up my arms and heart to God, praying for help and assistance. As Divine partners, we found free legal help, and I won full custody of the children, as well as escaped 6-months of homelessness, and a 1-year stint in a gang neighborhood in a roach infested house.
Now, we have a lovely home AND a beautiful life. Now I know who the True Authority is, the only Authority.