Tales from the commune pt. 3

*Trigger warning for abuse survivors

Circa: 1991.

I am 6 yrs old and have spent all day working on my costume. We are having a costume party tonight and we can be any character we want, so I chose to be the Holy Spirit. I'm told there is a Trinity of Jesus, his dad God, and his mom, the Holy spirit. The Holy spirit is the only girl so I’ve decided to be her. Her costume is three paper hearts. She has a heart on each nipple and one between her legs.

I’ve seen a lot of drawings of her naked. There are many drawings of sex, because it's Godly. Satan hates sex, so to get back at satan, there is sex in all the books I'm allowed to read.

My class is all done with their costumes, I put my paper hearts on with tape and our class goes down to the dining room. The dining room is always the biggest room in the commune. This commune has about 45 people in it and they have cleared out all the tables and chairs for the party.

We always start with singing.

We sing to Grandpa who is our leader, and to Jesus. This next song is for us kids, it's a song that goes “when the spirit of god moves in me I ____ like King David” and the adults fill in the blank. There are three adult men singing the song and they fill the blank with things like "dance" "pray" and "kiss".

I’m next to Shingo (who is a boy in my class) This time the singing men filled in the blank with "make love". The adults start encouraging us to touch each other, so Shingo pulls off the hearts covering my nipples and plays with my flat chest. The adults encourage us to lay down because the next line is “I sleep like King David” so we all lay down. Shingo's dad, Francis is telling him to pull out his dick, but Shingo doesn’t want to. We cuddle while uncle Francis watches.

Later that night, Jesse and Ai-chan walk in. They are teenagers pretending to be Grandpa and Mama, (leaders of the cult) . They act out a skit saying they are proud of of us and remind us the end of the world is coming.

Afterward we have cake.

The adults send us to bed. We sleep with our class so I am upstairs in our room on the bottom bunk, Peter is above me and Shingo is above him. There is another triple bunk across from me with two girls, but the top bunk is empty. Sometimes we roll in our sleep and fall from the third bunk and end up breaking our arms, so I prefer the lower bunks.

But I can't sleep. Peter has peed in his bunk again and is crying. I know I'm not allowed to go downstairs, but I don't want his pee to drip down on to me. I sit in the corner of my bed until I finally decide to get an adult. I grab a blanket and slowly creep down the stairs even though it's very loud in the dining room and people won’t hear me, still I know I'm not welcome.

I get to the last step and see everyone dancing in a circle with no shirts on. This isn't weird to me, I just want to be noticed and get someone to help Peter so I can go back to bed. I see one of the Aunties notice me, but she snaps her fingers, points back upstairs and doesn't come over. I can't see my parents but I'm also not looking for them, I've been taught that every adult is my family and we care for each other.

So why is no one helping?

I sit on the bottom step and don't make any noise. I know if I am noticed for being disruptive I'll be punished. So my way of getting attention is to look as sad as possible then usually someone will ask me why I'm not happy. But it's not working, no one is noticing that I'm sad.

I fall asleep.

I wake up to uncle Francis shaking me "why are you here?" he asks. I try to tell him about Peter but he's already carrying me upstairs. I am worried because I know I'm naked under the blanket and I don't want him to see me. He begins walking me towards his room but is interrupted by another auntie who asks him what he's doing. He stutters and says he's putting me to bed. Then he turns around and carries me back towards my room.

Everyone is sleeping.

Francis puts me in the bottom bunk and attempts to crawl in with me to pray for the night but he suddenly crawls back, disgusted.
“did you pee the bed?”
Peters pee has dripped down and now my bed is wet. I pause … then in all my 6 year old wisdom I answer “yes”.

Francis leaves me alone.

I grew up in an apocalyptic cult. I tell those stories.