(I sent this e-mail to my brothers and sisters on April 20, 2003)
As all of you know, I have been on a journey. A journey I did not choose to take - but one that began with a few memories of a long ago boyfriend - and the journey has taken me to places and people I never would have dreamed possible. It has not been pleasant, and there’s a long way yet to go - but I will follow this road because the truth does set us free.
I thought at one point I would send a long e-mail before things begin to happen in Lancaster, trying to convince my siblings. Sadly, there is so much evidence, no one but my own siblings need to be convinced.
Emily, if one of your students came to you and said they had sex with their foster brother, you would be required by law to report it. If one of your students came to you and said he had sex, one a criminal molestation, with both of his brothers, you would be required by law to report it and the children would immediately be removed from the home.
It is a sign of how incredibly dysfunctional this family is that criminal, horrendous behavior that changes and destroys people’s lives, has been reduced to "improper behavior." You say Tom is sexually conflicted. Where did that come from? The well water at Sylvan? Why don’t you run that by your school psychologist?
Anne, you knew years ago that something was dreadfully wrong. I am sorry that none of us listened back then. I guess we were busy with our own lives and never understood your need for therapy. I understand it now. I don’t think you went far enough. I have told Anne this story, but I will tell the rest of you, because, unfortunately, it is one of the many defining moments I have had over the past two years. I asked my therapist what could cause a girl in high school to have such terrible, terrible insomnia that it continues to this day. Her answer, "Terror."
I have so many memories in my head. But there is one that is so strong and so traumatic, that one of my siblings simply doesn’t remember it - the Christmas without presents. All of the money went to charity, so we were told. Of course, that Christmas fell on a Sunday - why do such a thing unless everyone at Meeting is aware of such a selfless, amazing, giving act on the part of our parents? I think Tom got into trouble that Christmas - I think he disobeyed Dad. That was cause for punishment - severe punishment.
I left the table between dinner and desert. As a child, I knew something was desperately wrong with a Christmas with no joy, with nothing special planned - just act like it was any other day so our parents could teach us the wonders of charity. I went to my bed and cried. And I believe that Tom disobeyed Dad and came and comforted me. In this professor’s house, a house that should have been full of ideas and questions and challenges, no one disobeyed Dad.
Well, at 49 years old, I’m going to disobey. I’m going to do what I have to do. Actually, I’m glad I get to throw out all of their criticisms and their "values" and their horrible relationship. Something in my gut told me there was something dreadfully wrong there. My gut was right.
I hope to see some of you down the road.