Jness… where do I start? I sometimes find myself missing these women. The good times and the laughs we had could not be traded for the world. Each year I would post a snippet or picture stating how much I missed everyone and couldn’t wait to see their faces. Christmas parties, clothing swaps, intensive weekends, hikes, etc. Things are broken now… people are broken. They were broken then, but somehow having people around you who admitted their brokenness made you whole and made you feel more human.
Funny thing about admitting brokenness. The more broken you were, the more you were encouraged within the community to face your fears and ‘not victimize’ yourself….
Jness… a word of it’s own. It was described to us as being the word to use for our gender that was not apart of man (I.e women, female). That felt so empowering.
I believe I was one of the lucky ones, simply based off of not being able to pay for membership/friendship. I was a minor and didn’t have a job or the time to dedicate when I was first being recruited. I had a few of my Jness weekends paid for in return for work and at the time I felt like nothing could replace the happiness.
Sure, something felt off… it could have been the way that Nancy so surely told us that men and women were so different and we needed to accept men for their primal nature… regardless of the acts they committed… it was just ‘in their nature’. It could have been the woman that lead the Jness weekends I attended who seemed to willingly put you down as a victim for expressing any of your faults as a human being or for feeling suffering. I didn’t realize at the time because I loved these women and I loved this community.
After my weekends, I would receive a call from Allison Mack almost daily. “I just wanted to call and check in on you. How are you doing? We miss you. I really think you would be an asset to Jness. If you want to exchange work for weekends”… the list would go on. I started to become uncomfortable. I actually went through the contacts in my phone (a little spring cleaning) not the too long ago and realized I still had her contact in there. I quickly deleted it, but was flooded with memories while doing so. During the weekends she felt like such a friend and someone to trust… over the phone she felt like a solicitor. I had extremely mixed emotions because I grew close to and loved her sweet family. How could a woman that came from such a strong and nurturing family want nothing but the best for me and to help me feel empowered as a young woman? Allison’s mother had made necklaces for a few of the Jness girls with a symbol that represented Jness that she gave to them over one of the weekends. The symbol pennant and the way that it sat on the chain is still embedded into my mind even now. I can remember so clearly thinking “that’s what I want”… someone to put thought into making me feel like I was even more apart of this community.
Still… I didn’t have the money and I was barely just coming into age to make my own decisions. Even though I didn’t feel it at the time, I was lucky.
There were many other women that impacted me as well, but I only choose to name her because of her relentless recruitment, status in Jness/NXIVM and the fact that she is already named in the public eye.
Up until recently, I didn’t think my involvement with Jness affected me in any way. My involvement with Jness was so surface that there was no damage.
Of course I started watching the documentary to support so many of my old friends.
It was watching the documentaries that ended up bringing up bits of sadness and trauma for me.
I suddenly remembered public EM’s listening to women speak about their rapes and abuses… thinking they were cured…. I remembered my own EM’s and thinking I had been cured only to find out that the trauma was still there years later, just more suppressed and harder to deal with.
I remember a hike with one of my good friends in Jness that told me if I really wanted to be in Jness, I would find the finances. After all, if I wasn’t investing in myself, where was I putting my money? How moving to Albany was the best decision and if I joined I should think about doing it… it was beautiful in fall.
This friend shared with me how all the girls in Albany had one vegetarian and were keeping one another accountable for their calorie intake during the day. I remember feeling so little self control and a feeling of jealousy for how much self control these women had and how they were all able to lose so much weight. I remember the last time I saw Allison (a few years back) I could feel every bone in her body as I wrapped my arms around her for a hug. She was so thin you could almost see every bone in her rib cage through her clothing… and when you wrapped your arms around her it felt like you could do it a few times more. I remember thinking that something seemed off, There was no more glow left when she was a person that had before been so full of glow…but, I still found myself being envious of how she could keep her weight so low. Those were such unhealthy thoughts.
I’ve thought about this subconsciously a lot over the last 4 ish years and never realized it.
I’m glad she’s out… I’m glad she’s healthy and I’m glad she is healing.
That could have been me…. and even though I know all of the things that were done to the community (especially the DOS women)… I find myself beating myself up for small things that were ingrained in my mind during my several year bout with Jness. My family still teases me for having any type of involvement. Each time I hear them joke, I brush it off, but it hurts. It hurts so much. It makes you feel silly and like you missed red flags. I was so sad and jealous over not being able to afford being a continuous active member of this community for so long. I feel heart broken because I still sometimes miss that feeling of empowerment within that community.
We understood each other and we all had one big thing in common… we were/are victims.
Gosh, I met so many amazing women during this time in my life. I met a lot of TV faces who I realized had lives that were just as broken as my own. I’ve laughed with them, I’ve cried with them, I’ve broken bread with them, I’ve exchanged gifts with them, and I’ve kissed them on the lips with hellos and goodbyes.
Over the last couple weeks, this has really been eating at my soul. This will be the last time I discuss this past that is apart of me and move on… to leave a part of myself here. I know so many of you have been impacted in the same way as I have and we can leave our bags here at the door. I choose to stay anonymous because I write this only as a way to move forward.