Saturday, August 6, 2011

Secrets

Do you ever get tired of them? I have a big one and I'm really tired of it.

Almost every five years I blow up. I can feel myself losing it again and just realized, yep, my five years are just about up.
I was sexually abused when I lived at home. I'm not going to say when I was a child, because sexual innuendoes continued through high school and into college. Basically I just had to be around this person and I felt like a slut. Those who should have protected me, fed me to the sharks. I was told repeatedly to keep it a secret. Don't tell the bishop because they can't really keep a secret. Don't tell your teachers because they'll tell the police and we won't have a family anymore. Etc.
WELL IT'S NOT A SECRET ANYMORE!
I would happily keep it a secret if it would STOP! or at least the effects of it stop. But I'm seeing the low self esteems, the self sacrificing, anything-to-get-me-out-of-this-situation behavior trickle down into the next generation.
Like I said, about every five years I blow up, and there's apologies and tears and I cave every time, full of guilt, "How could I bring this up again, it's so painful for HIM!" The last time he cried, "I've done bad things but I've repented. I don't participate in those things anymore. They make me sick. I've done bad things but I'm not a bad person." Because I respect that plea, I'm keeping the person's name out of this blog (but until there's some excommunication, I mean REAL BISHOP IS INVOLVED REPENTANCE, this torment will never end for you, and who knows what will happen five years down the road), this is more of a plea to those in my family who are choosing to pretend that this is not a problem. Look at your kids. Is it worth it? He needs to feel the consequences of his actions if he can ever hope to get better (He's not the only one, as you all well know). You might be telling yourself he is better and he doesn't do that anymore...but you're wrong, because I can still see a lot of emotional manipulation going on (guilt is a wonderful persuader). And not just by him, but by those who choose to stand by him. We as a family need to learn how to love the sinner and have ZERO TOLERANCE FOR THE SIN.
So to "HIM" I say, you will never have a relationship with me, my husband, and especially my children. I love you and pray for you, but that does not mean, I need to have a relationship with you. I am DONE. To my mother and father and she who is married to him, until you realize that your responsibility is to protect AT ALL COSTS even telling the "secret" if you have to (heaven forbid, right?) then the same goes for you. I am DONE!
To my nieces and nephews, I pray for you with all my heart. If you ever need to talk, I am just an e-mail away. All our conversations are strictly confidential.
To all my other friends and colleagues who don't know how to respond to this blog, just don't. If you NEED to talk about it because you have some of the same issues, we'll talk for sure, otherwise you can just talk to me like you never saw this blog. I won't know the difference.
This is my last blog. If you want to continue a relationship with me, you know my e-mail.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stop Baptizing your Sister!

I find myself saying that over and over again lately and I have to work so hard to keep my face straight when I'm saying it. My son's favorite game right now is baptizing Ella. Ella screams every time his hands come close to her head. I'll hear him saying, "I'll baptize you, okay?" and poor trusting Ella says, "Okay." and Ethan puts his hand on her head and one in the air and says, "In the name of Jesus Christ, I...(gibberish)...amen." Then he puts her in a choke hold and then, THUNK! She's hit her head on whatever is behind her. Baptize has become a swear word around here. I've been the victim of his choke hold and I can't seem to convince him that I've already been baptized and he doesn't have the priesthood. "I'm a priesthood man, mom." We SERIOUSLY need to get out more.

Today I saw my first COBRA! because I almost stepped on him! Max always says how scared he is of snakes and I was always cool about saying, "Oh, just throw a rock and they scurry away." Not like spiders (bigger than your fist around here). They just stare at you and say, "Oh you did NOT just throw a rock at me." Anyway. I was running this morning in our awesome park. I was running on the edge of the path and I heard something hiss. I thought it was a cat and I jumped and ran faster before turning around as I was running to see what hissed. The thing was scurrying away but it had been right on the other edge of the path where I'd been running. It's head was up in the air with the cheek things all opened up, ready to strike. I described it to Max and he said, "There are six deadly snakes in Taiwan and that one tops the list." My kids are not playing in the trees at the park EVER AGAIN. I didn't like them playing in the trees anyway. Too many spiders. We're sticking to the slide from now on...and we might say prayers before we go. Extra insurance.
Speaking of prayers, my son now says the meal prayer like this, "Oh God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, to bless this food, so we'll remember Him. Amen." I guess he is a priesthood man.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Auditory Learner

I'm reading this book called "Discover Your Child's Learning Style" and I'm now certain I'm an auditory learner, which explains why I can remember in detail conversations I've had, but can't remember what clothes my babies wore today. That's why I talk to myself, and most of the time out loud...so embarrassing. That's why I can read a sentence 50 times over and not understand it, but if I read it out loud once, I'll never forget it. That's why hilighting the scriptures just makes me crazy rather than help me read, but reading five versus to my kids every night produces new and inspiring insights. That's also why I did so well in school. I always felt stupider than the other kids and could not figure out why my grades were always higher. I worked hard, but public schools also cater to the auditory learner, while visual and kinesthetic learners are dismissed as retarded and ADD. Not always, but much more often than it should happen.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Just a word on taking responsibility

I know for myself what a powerless feeling it is to believe that all your problems are because of someone else. So a small part of me feels sorry for A's father, not because his problems are because of other people, but because he believes they are.

Repentance

A's father told me that he was repenting, that he'd made a lot of changes. But if he had really repented, he would have felt the pain he had put his family through and would therefore respect their boundaries. Once again, there would be no demands for forgiveness because that would be an encroachment on boundaries that he would understand he had no right to do.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So what does it mean to "Turn the Other Cheek"?

I don't know what that means. But after studying a little bit the way Jesus interacted with the Pharisees, I just don't think it means what most Christians interpret it to mean.

So what IS forgiveness?

My material today comes from this talk. President Sorensen says in this talk, among other things:

1. Forgiveness means that problems of the past no longer dictate our destinies, and we can focus on the future with God’s love in our hearts.
2. Forgiveness does not require us to accept or tolerate evil. It does not require us to ignore the wrong that we see in the world around us or in our own lives. But as we fight against sin, we must not allow hatred or anger to control our thoughts or actions.
3. A woman who is abused should not seek revenge, but neither should she feel that she cannot take steps to prevent further abuse.

This story sites the example of Joseph of Egypt. He was sold into Egypt by his abusive brothers and suffered many injustices and trials because of that action. But he forgave his brothers instead of nursing the desire to seek revenge which he could have been planning while he was in jail. The following is my own interpretation of that story so take it for what it's worth. I believe that Joseph forgave his brothers long before he ever saw them in Egypt, which is why he didn't waste his time making plans for revenge. He set aside his anger, gave the responsibility to decide how much justice and mercy should be met back to God so he could focus on his own future instead of theirs. But if that is the case then why didn't he just reveal himself the first time he saw them in Egypt? Why did he go through the procedure of sending them back for Benjamin and then making Benjamin appear a thief, etc. He wanted to know whether they had changed before he revealed himself to them as their brother, right? But why? A's father would say he forgave them so he should just be their friends. Forgiveness should not be contingent on whether they had repented. So why did he take such trouble to see if they were repentant before he revealed himself?
Well if my analysis of this story is correct then Joseph's forgiveness was not contingent on his brothers' repentance. Only the continuation of a close relationship with his brothers was contingent on their repentance.
I would like to also note that (once again if I have interpreted the story correctly) Joseph's forgiveness did not affect his brothers lives in the least. They were not around or even have an idea where Joseph was when the forgiveness was extended. Christ wants us to forgive, but in many cases the offender has no idea that he/she has offended. Why does forgiveness need to be extended in this case? It's to free the offended, not the offender.
I once received a note from someone who hurt me deeply with a written plea, "I need your forgiveness." That plea was and is infuriating to me. And this is one of the things that I screamed at A's father. An offender does not need forgiveness from the offended person. The only person they need forgiveness from their Heavenly Father, which, granted, does require ASKING forgiveness from the offended as opposed to DEMANDING forgiveness as my offender and A's father had done. Forgiveness is a process and a gift meant to free the offended, not the offender.