This period of my life was total stress. I was living in a room at the Stables (part of the original property converted to a few apartments) and I tried to cope with a newborn babe at the age of 16, while working on staff. My parents were busy and I didn’t have any other support or knowledge of caring for a baby. I couldn’t cope with all the dirty nappies either, and started storing them in cupboards out of desperation. They were discovered and I was asked to leave, and moved back with my parents.
I don’t know if the time sequence is right here, but sometime around then Martyn’s Place (a huge old mansion with about 20 bedrooms) was finished being renovated and my family moved there. It was a really beautiful place and I remember it fondly, and will try to post some pics sometime. I continued working on staff.
During this time I was raped by a student who I was silly enough to go for a walk with in the woods one day. I wasn’t hurt, except emotionally, and so shocked by what happened and the guilt of “pulling it in” that I didn’t tell anybody. How could I say it was rape when I had kissed him? I didn’t even know at that time that being pushed to the ground, jeans ripped while I was saying “no” was rape. He was a respected older student at Saint Hill and who would believe me? And if I did tell, it would cause a huge Public Relations “flap” and be bad for scientology. It took 30 years for that to come out, I cried for a week when I first told someone, and it has had a lot to do with my subsequent healing.
This is the sort of thing that interests me, as it reflects the values of the group. I did not feel safe enough to report a sexual crime, and lived with the certainty for many years that it was all my fault. Of course this is not unusual, but here was I in the midst of the supposedly safest place on the planet, and I could not tell ANYONE.
Heavy ethics penalties were brought in while I was on staff there. This meant that if your ‘statistics’ on your job (post) were down on the week before, physical restrictions were assigned. For example after a ‘downstat’ week I was not allowed to leave the premises, get food, shower etc. There was nothing I could do immediately to get my stats up and I remember once having to try to find somewhere to sleep the night other than under a desk. A friend whispered that there was a key to LRH’s camera/photography room he could get, so we spent the night there, on the floor amongst Hubbard’s cameras! If we had been found there would have been hell to pay.
I met my first husband on staff, we had an instant rapport and decided to marry quickly, and escape Saint Hill. I had to argue long and hard to get my parent’s permission and I knew it also meant leaving my baby behind for some time. She was settled within our family and I knew she would be safe, I had been becoming more and more unhappy on staff, it was really an insane time and place to be. He was unhappy on staff too, and the thought of the freedom of a new life with him was too enticing to ignore. Our wedding was arranged to be held in Saint Hill Chapel. I can’t remember the sequence precisely; I think I blew the day before the wedding as I had been refused permission for leave. I still was married in Saint Hill Chapel! How did I manage that? I am still amazed. Only half the guests came, and I suppose the fact that any did was because they hadn’t heard I was blowing ! My new husband and I drove off into the sunset (towards Scotland) with a profound sense of relief. I will remember that feeling forever. In my mind I had totally left scientology and I didn’t intend to come back to it, however life isn’t always that easy.