"H-hello. My name is Claire McBice, and I have been under my son's control for nearly two weeks." It's hard to take a breath after introducing myself. The small circle of women listening may be my last hope to escape dire circumstances. My marriage is on the verge of collapse. My eldest daughter has fled our home, and my youngest boy will undoubtedly, soon discover his older brother's crimes against me and his father. I am filled with fear, but right now I am more afraid of these middle-aged women huddling in the light of one candle, who may be able to keep me from going insane.
This group is supposedly one of many around the world comprising an organization in only the loosest sense. Most are in America where it started some time after the civil war. No one knows who started it or where it began, but it wasn't well organized until the fifties. Before then a few lucky thousands of women were helped. Now it's guessed that hundreds of thousands of son ravished mothers have been helped. It still isn't officially an organization. There aren't leaders. Most circles hardly know one other. Unlike AA, if you're lucky enough to be invited into a group, that's the only group you'll likely every have.
Instead of history, there is only legend. In the aftermath of the civil war, particularly in the south, so many husbands and older sons died in the war, a majority of wives and mothers took control of their farms and small businesses. A smaller number of women, conditioned to oblige male supremacy were subjected to the whims of their younger sons. These barely adolescent boys, struggling with the loss of a father and brothers and urged by the onset of adult hormones, often took sexual control of mothers with submissive personalities.
Somewhere, one of these women found enough strength, not to fight back, but to find help from other women in similar circumstances. That must have been an ordeal worthy of legend. If only we knew her name, we would whisper it proudly among ourselves. Just imagine how hard it would be to admit that your young teen boy might father your next child. Or even harder, to ask another woman if that was her fate.
Fortunately, Submissive Mothers Organized for Mutual Support, have developed a better, if imperfect way to recruit sister victims. Long term members become adept at recognizing the signs of incestuous submission. We tend to exhibit a particular kind of depression laced with anxiety. This is just one sign, meaningless alone, but if we are also seen in public with the boy in charge of us, several other characteristics, which I will not reveal here, make it plain to the experienced observer.
In my case, I had went grocery shopping with David. In the checkout line, the woman ahead noticed we were buying: hard plastic clothes pins, a can of whipped cream, eight pairs of nylons, four rib-eye steaks, a large zucchini, a bag of the thickest carrots, a bag of marshmallows, an extra elongated eggplant, and a tall, german chocolate cake topped with white frosting that spelled, "Whatever My Son Wants."
The woman said nothing to me in the checkout line. David led me outside and told me to get the car and pick him up. I carried the bags to the car. I started the engine and drove carefully through the lot. A pretty, well dressed, middle-aged woman stepped in front of the car and waved me to stop. I rolled the window down an inch.
"Please forgive me, but I was in line ahead of you and your son. He is your son, is that right?" The poor woman looked as nervous as I felt. Her slight mid-western accent rose and fell with her words.
"Y-yes, he's my son. Did I forget something at the checkout counter?"
"No, not that. Ohhh, I'm messing this up. Here," She fumbled in her purse and withdrew a pink business card. "It's not Mary Kay." She tried a laugh, but it issued more like a grunt. "Please consider this, if we could be of any help." She slid it through the cracked window.
I took the card without looking at it. My concern about this strange but sincere woman fled a worse fear. I worried that I should have picked up David already. "Um, thanks?" I dropped it into the grocery bag behind the passenger seat and dove away.
I didn't read the card until the next day. David was so angry, having had to wait nearly three minutes to be picked up, I spent the night tied to his bed.
My second piece of incredible luck was, David mustn't have seen the pink card. It fell onto the floor when I was folding bags the next day. He was at school.
The card read, "S.M.O.M.S. Sharing strength to survive our boys." That bit was printed. On the back, in handwritten blue ink, it said, "Ask for Ingrid when languishing books are first available."
Then I laughed. But I had to wait another shame filled day until I could reach the library by opening time. I saw the woman again, through the glass door. She was unlocking it. When it opened, I nearly hugged her. "Ingrid?"
"Yes, Ingrid Muldurhoek, please come in." She locked the door behind me and flipped the sign to tell the world, "CLOSED".
"It's only locked from the outside. You can push the bar and leave at any time." She reassured me. She led me up a couple steps and into an office behind the book check counter.
"Your situation must be pretty serious. Most women never follow up for what ever reason: they don't understand the message, they don't understand the clue to meet me, they can't find strength enough to try for help, or their sons intercept the card and punish them for even considering emotional support. Those who have, waited a week or more, and some of them didn't survive the interview."
"Interview?" My hopes sank. "My name is Claire McBice-"
"Ohh, I fouled it again. Sorry, Claire, I didn't mean it that way. Smoms," Ingrid pronounced it. "Is a one hundred percent nonjudgmental organization. We don't care about race, religion, culture, or personal circumstances. We only care about offering what we can as individuals to share our burdens."
"But you need to know something about me." I said it more critically than I intended.
"Only if you might be willing to share with us. Even silent, you would be welcome to attend a few meetings. But the truth is, if you can't open up to us, then what we offer will be useless."
"I can share!" I piped up, stunned by my own words.
She hugged me, then. "Come here again, this Wednesday at 1pm." I would invite you to rest here whenever you like, but after this morning, you can't visit more often than regular patrons."
She would be risking her own situation, I surmised. I stayed another hour, sobbing into tissues, alone, but away from the home that had become a prison. Ingrid shut me in the office while she re-opened the library. I left when her assistant arrived.
1pm on Wednesdays was a good choice. Sons would be at school, and school would be in sessions most weeks, except the summer break and long holidays. Meetings never lasted more than an hour, but in a hour each member had a chance to ease the burden of their previous week. In summer, I was told members met at adhoc times via a message system Ingrid had worked out using checkout cards in certain library books.
Summer was still a way off. I dressed conservatively from the short mini skirts and low cut tops that David allowed me to wear. He burned my bras, "to liberate me", he had said. He'd locked my panties in his father's den desk. My husband, George, no longer possessed the key. On my first meeting day I felt defiant just enough to swipe one of my son's cotton briefs from the top of the hamper. It stank of my son's crotch, but I wasn't going to arrive commando style before a group of women I'd never met.
I survey seven women sitting on cheap desk chairs. They have hard plastic seats. The edge chafes my thighs past the hem of my miniskirt. The candle sits on a window sill. The library meeting room's window is perfectly shuttered.
"H-hello. My name is Claire McBice, and I have been under my son's control for nearly two weeks."
I don't dare breathe until their light clapping finishes. Then I sigh, from full breath, to empty lungs. I study the women apprehensively. Ingrid saves me.
"Thank you Claire. Is there something specific you'd like to unburden this afternoon?"
"Uh," I feel stupid. "No, YES, um, probably..." I don't know how to proceed. "Maybe, I should listen first."
Ingrid nods. I can take regular breaths after that.
A pretty, dark skinned, short woman dressed in a thin sarong is next in the circle.
"My name is Visthi Threepa, and I have been under my son's control for five years."
I cannot believe that a woman so young looking could have a son old enough to be a threat! Is the boy a stepson? Are non-blood related dominations accepted in this organizations? My mind burns through questions faster than the woman's tale answers them.
Visthi continues, "My husband gave me to my son for his ninth birthday. It is an auspicious date in my family's sect of Hinduism. A father gives his most prized possession to the boy, but the boy is not allowed to use it until he is 15. In America this is most often a car, but my husband loves me in a very traditional way. Fortunately my husband did not sacrifice himself to the gods on his son's 15 birthday and first year of manhood. That much of the tradition has been eradicated from our sect even in my ancestors' home country!" Visthi sings out with a merry laugh!
"Um, are we allowed to ask questions?"
"Only if you're truly able to accept silence for an answer." Ingrid explains.
"If this is a cultural tradition, are you better able to accept your submission?" I try not to stare at the dark nipples slightly visible through her dress in candlelight.
"I am the third generation of my first ancestors in America. I have a masters degree in microbiology. Although my religion is an important part of my spirit, I know western shame for what my son requires of me."
I have only silence for her, the silence of coldest sympathy.
Ingrid, although not a leader, does her best to keep the meeting moving smoothly. "Visthi, is there something specific you'd like to unburden this afternoon?"
The beautiful indian princess looks at the floor and sobs, "Guristha has told me I must cut holes in bottom of my sandals."
Her task is not the raping, incestuous villainy I am expecting to hear. A hole in a sandal may be uncomfortable, but wearing your son's used crotch wear feels far more shameful. I say nothing.
Two women cried with Visthi.
Ingrid sees me struggling to refrain from judgement. "It means that her son will soon share her body with his friends."
"Yes," Visthi spoke through her tears. "Sandal prints with holes in them mean that any man might have his way with the woman who wears them."
My eyes water at the thought. David would never- This nightmare scenario frightens me, but thinking about it brings tinges of excitement deep within.
For a minute or two there is only weeping.
Visthi continues. "I think my son wants to impress his latino friend, Chris. He is the leader of a boy gang at school. They are not criminals, but they rule the student body when faculty are absent. I must give my yonni to this boy to help my son become a big man at high school. Guristha sees the gem on his finger but not the jewel that awaits him after he graduates.
"Thank you." Visthi finishes.
Time in the meeting is precious. A woman I think I've seen around the neighborhood speaks next.
"My name is Caroline Culver. I have been under my son's control for eight months. And if I ever catch that boy in his sister's panties, I'll put a collar on him!"
I am surprised by this woman's confident outburst. Her eyes suggest that she might be more in control of her boy than he of her. Caroline's eyes return my peering.
"I told Dent eight months ago that I would whore myself to him if he kept his hands off my daughter. Oh, he wants both of us now, but he ain't going to give up this good thing for a chance that his sister might poison his forty ounce sports drinks."