Religion


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href=”“>Bless the beasts and the children
The Carpenters

There are so many ways we can abuse so much in this world. We can even abuse the planet itself as Al Gore has pointed out in his Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. I am not a Christian, I have made that very clear on several occasions in my Blogs but I believe the myths human beings tell to explain their occupation of this planet are powerful. The Christian creation story has a compelling message that I think that Christians and non-Christians alike can take a valuable lesson from regarding our role as stewards of this planet and its inhabitants.

I am going to use the King James 1611 Bible because I love the majesty of the Elizabethan Language. I don’t think it makes much difference which translation you use. This part of the story of “In the beginning…” is pretty clear.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This story is centuries old. It was almost certainly passed along as an oral tradition long before it was ever written down and there were many versions before it was recorded in this beautiful 16th century iambic pentameter. The main point that I want to dwell on here is that HUMANS have DOMINION over everything else in the world.

Dominion. That’s a strong word to use. We were to dominate or rule over all the animals and all of the fishes in the sea and the fowl that flies and all the creepy crawly things too.. We have complete charge of everything else in the world. The creator god gave it all to us. If you believe in this creator God I don’t see how you can fail to believe that you have been commanded by God to take care of his creation.

If you are a disbeliever perhaps you could take a moment to reflect that these supposedly primitive people back in the dark recesses of time recognized that it was OUR duty to take care of this planet. They believed that an almighty force, a supernatural being they believed to be the creator of everything around them, gave THEM the power to rule over everything. They recognized their status as the beasts highest on the food chain and understood the moral responsibility that that implied. Can we do any less?

Taking care of this planet and ALL OF ITS INHABITANTS, right down to the most seemingly insignificant species of fly in the muckiest marsh in the backwoods of nowhereville is essential to our own well being. This is it, folks, this is all we’ve got. This planet and its inhabitants depend on us to be good stewards. WE MUST STOP THE ABUSE!

Each of us can stop the abuse by choosing our own particular interest and taking a proactive part in being good stewards. Humananity has been thoughtless and cruel for far too long. There are many, many causes that need to be taken up and battles that need to be fought. You might find the destruction of our rain forests to be particularly reprehensible or you might have issues with substance abuse in your life or you might want to take up the cause of making sure that everyone spays and neuters their pets. There is something for everyone to do.

I have a particular interest in preventing child abuse. How do you prevent child abuse? You can make a determined heroic promise that you will never ever abuse a child and I will truly believe that you would never WANT to do that. But if you were abused as a child I would bet that the odds are better that 50/50 that you will abuse your own child in some way, shape, or form if you do not seek professional help.

Don’t believe me? Check the statistics on the ‘net.

I did. I hate the fact that I did. But I did.

I hit my children when I was angry. I said terrible things to them. Things that no mother should ever say to her babies. Eventually it got so bad I HAD to seek professional help because I was horrified by my behavior. I was horrified but I couldn’t stop. I was out of control.

I had to admit that I needed help if I was going to to end the cycle of abuse. If you are a parent who is in the position I was in, please, seek help. You can get help through your local Child Welfare Services, Domestic Abuse Crisis Lines or family doctor. The professionals you turn to will understand. You will not be punished and your children will not be taken away from you if you come forward. YOU are NOT a bad person but your behavior can and must change.

If you were abused as a child but don’t have children yet, PLEASE, seek professional help. Not only for your own sake, for the sake of your future children.

If you see a child being abused or know of a family where children are being abused DO SOMETHING. The child abuse hotline is 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4253) You can also help by getting involved in Child Abuse Prevention organizations

Make a decision to stop the abuse. Choose Hope.

Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice

Bless the beasts and the children
For the world can never be
The world they see

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them
Give them love
Let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from a storm
Keep them safe
Keep them warm

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them
Give them love
Let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from a storm
Keep them safe
Keep them warm

The children
The children

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A reminder to myself and others that this Blogging event is happening soon.

Today was Harry day. I really wish Harry would read this Blog. It would be ever so helpful because one hour a weak just ain’t cutting it. There is too damn much going on in my life. I’ve got the shit that fgoes on here at the Three Threes that gets intertwined in my mother shit and I have to talk about that.

I mean how much of a coincidence can it be that I’d meet Gus (names changed to protect the guilty) Gus is someone I really like. He’s smart and funny and he wears berets. How cool is that?

Well, one day Gus and I get to talking and it turns out that Gus and I were raised in the same damn obscure little religious sect. The fundamentalist fundamentalists. Not only that but out of the blue one lovely spring day Gus tells me of his own abusive home life.
WTF, do I have “confess your worst possible horror story here” written on my forehead? I have never indicated I came from such a background. I am known as Ms Sunshine around here to most people. A happy person. I am very careful about who I tell what. I do not want to become a one woman support group because in the past, that is the way my life has gone.

I made up my mind when I moved here that I was not going to let that happen. I was not going to invite unhealthy people into my inner circle. That’s why I avoid most of the women here. They aren’t healthy. They have too many problems they aren’t dealing with. They are Psychic vampires. I’m very careful about who I spend time with.

And here Gus was pouring his heart out to me about his ISSUES. I listened because I thought men were different. They told you what the deal was and then they got on with other things. But nooooo, that’s all Gus wanted to talk about, the church and the abuse. Eventually I did share because I finally told him I thought he needed professional help. He declined and continued to use me as his sounding board. Then I got firm. I told him I was not a therapist and I didn’t want to be. I thought he was going to cry that night.

Larry said that men told women their issues because that was a way to get close to them. Sort of here is my weakest most vulnerable self, now you will feel sorry for me and hug me and then fuck me. UGH… To that kind of come on I say “I am not a therapist and I don’t want to be even if you think I would be a good one and solve all your problems and give you great sex in the bargain.”

He didn’t talk to me for a long time. Fine with me. He’s a Psychic Vampire. Then he started talking to me again. Saying hello at least. Then one day we had a conversation that lasted awhile. Gus is lonely. It got around to the church. I can joke about the church. I think they are funny.

Gus said “You know what gripes me about you? You aren’t bitter enough. You don’t hold a grudge against the church and I don’t understand that. You are too damn happy with your Earth Mother persona. Why are you happy?”

I told him I chose to be. I told him I fought for my happiness and it was hard won through therapy. I told him I thought he was depressed and medication might help. I offered to give him the name of an agency. Once again he spurned that advice.

This was after I swerved away from talking about the abuse. Mine and his. My question is how do I tell a man who has been so damaged by people who were jsut as warped by religion as my mother was that I will not be his personal therapist without being a bitch and feeling guilty. Harry said to do it just like I did it last time and refuse to feel guilty. Right.

I’m fine all the way up to guilt. I was programmed to feel guilty about almost everything.

This week someone told me not to worry about the gossip that I was a nice person and it didn’t matter what the gossips said about me. What gossip? What the hell have I done now that everyone is buzzing about? I don’t have a clue but instant guilt. Add water and I will obsess and be a basket case.

Of course I will behave as if I don’t give a damn because if I sit and analyze everything, rationally, I don’t give a damn and I am not going to let emotions that were drilled into me by crazy people rule my life. Furthermore I am not going to let the Gossip Mavens in this place decide how I am going to live my life.  I told the person who was trying to start this trouble (why else say this shit to me) that I did not worry about the gossip in this crazy building because the way I look at it the people who are gossipping don’t have a life except for the gossip and I do so I am doing them a service by giving them something to gossip about.

I am a rational person. I take pride in operating from my rational mind rather than getting hooked into my emotional childhood and staying there.  That just leads to getting emotional in the here and now about things I can’t do anything about.  If only those hooks could be surgically removed.  But they can’t so I will always wonder what in hell the Gossip Mavens were gossiping about (IF they were and the person who wanted to gossip about the Gossip Mavesn wasn’t full of it and just trying to start trouble) but mostly I ain’t going to let it stop me from being me.  right?  right.
I hope Gus doesn’t try to dump on me anytime soon. I am going to have to practice saying I am not a therapist and I don’t want to be in my head every time I see him until I don’t feel guilty. And to say it sweetly with a loving smile so I don’t have any worries about coming off as a bitch. Oh yeah, and have Harry’s card ready. <heh>

B

Where the hell am I going? Every shrinky dink (counselor–not to be confused with my MD psychiatrist Dr David Israelstam) has told me I will know where I am going when I get there. Please…

I had a sort of friend tell me yester day, Saturday so it was day before yesterday, that he had a gripe about me. He grew up in the same fundamentalist religion I was raised in THE Christian Church. Similar to the Baptists but more staid and dignified with less dogma. In fact they claim not to have any dogma–just the B-I-B-L-E and prayerful interpretation. Right…

Anyway, Max said his main gripe about me is my lack of bitterness towards the church. I was a bit taken aback. Why be angry at and be bitter towards the church? He says everything that happened is the churches’ fault because they poured all that BS into our Mothers’ and Fathers’ heads. Oh-h-h I get it, you want to blame someone and you can’t blame the person who did those horrible things to you. <big sigh> You need therapy and I need to end this conversation gracefully because I AM NOT A THERAPIST and have absolutely no interest in becoming YOUR therapist.

Now, if you believe in reincarnation, you would understand that Max has-come into my circle for a reason and I will have to dealwithMax until he has served his purpose in my life or I have served my purpose in his life. Generally it would be mutual purposes. I wish Max was more content with life because I’m going to have to avoid him so I don’t get myself into another situation. Or I am going to have to just dealswithMax and let him know subtly or not so subtly that these are issues that I do not want to and will NOT help him with.

Personally, I think I should avoid Max but I need to talk to my counselor to decide that. How high do the boundaries have to be? How do I express the boundary in this case? Other than I am not your therapist which is pretty damn vague. At what point do you say you have hit the boundary in a case like this so you can say you are not respecting my boundary. No talking about mothers? That’s probably the sticking point. We can talk about the religion but not mothers. But the religion is/was his mothre so that ends it for Max. Fine with me.

It’s been a traumatic week for me at the Three Threes anyway. First Richard verbally assaulted me twice on Wednesday, then last night I found a letter shoved under my door. A very weird letter.

The envelope advised me to open it on the 21st at 6:10am. I don’t read or follow instructions very well. I didn’t see the date and time. I thought the printing looked familiar and that it was probably from Richard the Verbal Assaulter. The content alludes to things I have written about on the internet here and at the Delphi forums I frequent. Now that is fucking scary since I do not use my real name or one that would be easy to guess.

I called the police and I got a case number but we decided that it would probably be best not to wake him at one am to have the officer chastise him. I will call the rape crisis center today when the day crew comes online and after I have talked to Erica the manager of the building (I want to see if she recognizes the handwriting) and find out how to get that restraining order. The officer said it might be hard to accomplish that but to go ahead and try.

jesuschristonapogostick…

My PTSD is going bonkers. I’m scared to leave the house. Scared to be alone in the house. Damned if I am going to let some SOB keep me stuck in the house and scared. Mr YOU-CAN’T-SAY-NO-TO-ME better stay the fuck away from me. He might scare me so bad my PTSD would over react and I’d hurt him. Idiot.

B

“Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear — not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

When I turned 11 or so and entered puberty my father became very jealous of the attention boys began to pay to me and became much more controlling of my free time. I also began to realize that the incest and other abuse was fundamentally wrong and became very angry about it and rebellious which of course, meant the abuse escalated.

My father began beating me with a belt much like one imagines or has seen slaves beaten in movies at every opportunity. I would have to remove my blouse and llean against a door jamb or lie spread eagled on the floor while he whaled on me with his heaviest leather belt which he sometimes doubled over and sometimes used as a whip.

At some point (when I was 13 or 14) I became so angry I made up my mind that I was not going to allow him or my mother to make me cry anymore. I had shed so many fearful, painful and sad tears from their abuse over the years that it occurred to me that they were feeding off them like some kind of sadistic monsters who needed me to express those emotions more than I did. From that moment forward, I refused to cry out. In time, I never shed a tear in their presence and eventually I took those beatings without even feeling a damn thing.

The mind is a wonderful thing when it comes to protecting itself from trauma. I learned to go into a safe place in my mind and just not be there physically while I was being beaten. When it was over and I had won that battle, I always felt a sense of smug satisfaction and triumph as I would lay there being lectured and not listening until I was given permission to get up and go to my room.

What I did do was begin to read very sad novels and cry my heart out at all the sad parts. I reread Flicka and began crying the moment she was born in anticipation of all the bad things that were going to happen to her. And I began helping the school science teacher take care of sick and dying animals which gave me another outlet for tears. I was one sad, depressed teenager most of the time. Had I lived in today’s world I would have been a Goth, dressed all in black with saftey pin mutilations everywhere. <heh>

I remember a few times my mother stopping my father when he was beating me and crying out “Stop Bill, you’ll kill her.” I was laying spread eagled on the floor with my bare back exposed and my brothers were lined up beside my mother watching while my father used his belt on me. I remember smiling when she stopped him because I knew I had won.

I remember once my father yelled over and over “Cry damn you, cry. That time was particularly satisfying. I remember once that one of my brothers (the other two were there as well and all three were crying begged me to start crying and making noise as soon as he started hitting me because it was so awful to watch him hit me so many times. I told them I was never going to let either one of them make me cry again, I didn’t care how hard they beat me and besides, it didn’t hurt so don’t worry about it.

It didn’t hurt even though I had horrible bruises that hurt like hell the next day. But I learned to deal with them by dissociating away from that pain as well.  I just wasn’t going to allow them the satisfaction of seeing me cry one tear caused by anything they did to me.  I simply sasn’t going to react to anything.

I don’t know how many beatings I took over that summer when I was 15. A lot of them. Every time I stood up dry eyed and looked him and my mother in the eye with a defiant smirk was a victory. Eventually they got the message and the beatings stopped when I turned 16 on September 5th or school started and they didn’t dare continue to leave those kinds of marks on me.

I asked my mother if she remembered when I learned not to cry and she said “Yes…” in a horrified voice.  I asked her what she thought about that and she said she didn’t think much about it.  I asked her if she remembered telling my father to stop before he killed me and she said that she remembered that too.  I asked her why she stood by let him abuse me so horribly in the first place.  She said she didn’t know.

I asked her if she knew she could go to jail for what she had done to me and my brothers as a child in today’s world and she stuttered out a “Yes but in those times…”  I cut her off and said  “There are no excuses for what happened Mother and if you were going to say everyone was doing it you are so full of shit you can’t even see.”  I told her the only reason she didn’t go to jail back then is because it wasn’t illegal to damn  near kill your kid (my eldest brother) and then humiliate him by hanging his sheet up on the front porch with a sign identifying whose sheet it was, making him wear diapers and locking him out of the house for peeing the bed.

Maybe I should be grateful my parents taught me how to cope with extreme emotional and pain. There are times when I am grateful I learned the art of dissociation because being able to detach from my body is what keeps me off narcotics and halfway sane. But my Psychiatrist says that I might not have developed this auto-immune disorder if it hadn’t been for all the stress my parents heaped on me for seventeenn years. Not to mention how ill equipped I was to cope with life as an adult in many ways.

After my father died in 1979 my mother began playing a game with me I eventually named “Blame Bill and Iola.” It actually began before that but it began in earnest in 1979 when she filed for divorce and my Father had the audacity to up and die on her six weeks later before she could get him into court and air all the dirty linen.

This may or may not have been linked to the fact that I had ended up on the psych ward and was being treated for depression in 1978 and had partially confessed the family dirty linen to “The Pink Shrink” (everyone who is anyone will remember HER. She always wore pink and she was our circuit rider counselor affectionately referred to as the pink shrink. I wonder if she knew that?) I think it was.

She really upped the ante after I had moved to Wisconsin and been living there for a couple of years and started digging around in my psyche with a little more enthusiasm and with more experienced therapists in the early 80s. Plus I had written a term paper about incest that I had given her to read that talked about the complicity of the mothers. Every time I went to Nebraska to visit we spent most of our alone time talking about how miserably my father had treated her and abused me and how Iola was to blame for the fact that my Mother did not respond appropriately when I disclosed the incest.

All the misery in the world was Bill and Iola’s fault. oh sigh… what can we do? woe and sorrow…

I finally told her I did not want to play that game anymore. She said it wasn’t a game. I said whatever, I didn’t want to do it anymore, that I had worked through my shit with my father and that if she was still needing to work through stuff she needed to go back to therapy. She was miffed and she did try to play the game but I was firm.

So what has that got to do with sparing the rod? Well, in the course of blaming my father for everything my mother told me this anecdote:

I got my first spanking when I was six weeks old. The reason? I would not quit crying in church so my father took me out and bared my little bottom and spanked me.

SIX WEEKS OLD. I weighed 8lbs and 2oz when I was born so probably weighed right around 9 pounds. My father was a big man. 6’2″ probably over 200lbs even then and certainly strong because he lifted weights when he was in the service.

If this wasn’t a testimony to his insanity and the fact that he should have never been left alone with a child again, I do NOT know what was. But did my mother take me and leave? Did she even consider it? No she did not.

She was upset but it never occurred to her that she should protect her child and get the hell out of dodge. In fact, she went on to have three more children with this maniac.

She married a man, a boy really, that her mother disapproved of who came from a family she herself disapproved of who had recently been discharged from the military because of mental health problems. By this time she had no doubt been the victim of his temper herself on more than one occasion. In fact, I’m sure of it. She told me so. And he beat her only child in public when that child was six weeks old.

What kept her from running home to Mama who would have been more than happy to help her and had the means? Want my opinion? Of course you do. PRIDE. Insufferable pride.