The Twelve Tribes

I remember her before she joined the group. She had many of the traits that later characterized her as the head of her group. She was a skillful speaker and had a powerful gift for creating a forceful desire for the people around her to agree with all her opinions and to feel the same emotions.

However underlying all these traits, she was also impulsive, reckless, strong willed, and she was filled with manipulative techniques to help her get her way. These are some of the things I had sawed in her before she formed the group. She was the leader of our family. My father was out of the picture before I was even born in the late 50’s. Our mother always told my twin sister, Mia, and I that he left us for another woman but I think he just got out when he could once he realized how insane she was. She had a rough childhood and didn’t have much control over anything happening in her life so I think when we were born she realized she finally had something she could control. Then she met a man who was just as manipulative as she was and soon they were married. His name was Bill.

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Bill was a pathological liar, and a convicted felon but my mother declared to us that he was now our father and that he loved us all very much. She cast an image of us all as the perfect family with herself as the most wonderful and loving mother ever. However, as I got older and turned away from my mother’s powerful words instead saw her forceful demand that we devote our lives to remaking ourselves into what she wanted us to be.

For five years our home was chaos and our lives revolved around the drama between Bill and our mom that continually caused my sister and me to panic, but she was indifferent to our fear. Her relationship towards us cycled between neglecting to engulfing us. At times, she was loving, funny, and even warm. At those times, we would gather around the warmth of her presence. But more often we were simply left alone, to resolve the confusion.

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