So I recently made a trip back to my home town to visit some extended family still in. The whole trip was very awkward. For a whole bunch of reasons I won't bore you with, we stayed in a Hotel near where the family lives, maybe as kind of a barrier to being in constant contact with the cult mentality.
Being a very early riser, I went to the grocery to pick up a few things. Because this is an area that I grew up in my JDAR was up and running at peak performance. I came across a clerk stocking some shelves and with her back to me I excused myself and asked for directions to an item. As she turned I immediately recognized the face from a long, long time ago.
I went to pick up my item and as I returned, I made a brief introduction. I'm sure she wouldn't have recognized me because it's probably been 30 years or more. I asked how her parents were because they were great friends with my parents. We used to go camping as families together and to each others homes for dinner. Did I mention that this lady and her mother were DF'd for apostasy? Or so I was told i should add.
Here's the part that left me dumbstruck. She denied ever knowing me or my parents. She denied ever having parents named ________ and ________. Or a sister and brother named________ and ________.
I apologized profusely for my "mistake." This, even though her nametag positively ID'd her.
I obviously felt very bad for having intruded on her life from out of the blue. I feel very bad for probably dredging up something she would rather have kept buried. But today, I'm wondering what drives a person to deny their parents? Or, what makes them so deeply guarded that a brief encounter with a long ago friend shuts them down?
To me, it's a testimony to the horrific powers of the cult mentality to deeply psychologically wound someone. The scars from which we will bear forever. Next time, I'll be more cautious about those I approach.