One of my all time favorite quotes is from a book called Poisonwood Bible. This historical novel made me laugh, shocked, surprised, angry, and a whole host of other emotions. I read it during a time in my life where I was willing to recognize some difficulties that had built up in my first half century of dancing upon this earth. Like it is for many, reading is an escape, but it also helps me feel a bit freer to contemplate, imagine, reflect on my experiences, hopes, and my needs. Even though I read that particular book with my own eyes, for the past several years, reading by way of Audible is my main way of inviting new ideas and new people (authors and others who love the same books) into my life. I don't have what one might consider a book buddy where one of us is trying to show the other one the ropes, but I do have a couple of very close friends in my life who are readers outside my current scope and we sometimes share titles of the really, really good ones. I do have to admit that I fall asleep many nights to true crime books. I don't ever listen to them during the daytime unless Storm and I are on a road trip and we sync up and listen in. But, night time is for the scary ones. I have found an author or two who have superb narrators and I get lulled to sleep despite the subject matter. Often it is challenging the next night to find exactly where it was when I dozed off and that aggravates me because it wastes my time. I have listening, shivering, and then sleeping to get to! Did he kill another one yet? No, that was fast forwarding too far because I don't remember this new victim or new plan are such things that I have to wade through before I find my spot again. And, no, I don't want to set a timer because that's just more crap I have to type into my phone without my glasses on in the dark, so zip it! ha!
So in the aforementioned book there is a young 12 year old gal named Ada whose father is a Baptist missionary in a hostile and poor foreign country with horrible living conditions, the Belgian Congo. Ada is extraordinarily intelligent but mute. (kind of like Storm when we argue. Wait, I argue. He sits there trying to reinvent the wheel but telling me nothing about it. Pfft!) We, as readers, however, get to read her thoughts that no one else in the book is privy to. She, like her siblings, wanted the heck out of Dodge for many reasons, but there was no way of escaping or getting her father to be reasonable (he's a fanatical Evangelical nutjob.) Ada thought that he would get a hold of his mind and get them the heck back to America exactly "On the 12th of Never!" I laughed so hard. Good luck getting any Evangelical to stop some of their ways if they are way over the top. Stop what? Jesus take aaaaaaall the wheels! Even the more mainstream ones are challenging to deal with. I know this because I have been doing so from the time I took my first asthmatic breath until this very night.
In my mind, especially at night and sometimes early in the mornings when I awake, I have written dozens of posts over the past year, but as you know my words made it here on the 12th of Never! They're all just stuck in my head, pushed aside, or forgotten. But, in my heart, I have been here in blogland and I even chuckle to myself when I think of something that I know would make some of you laugh.
We all know the world is crazy right now with Covid. As I begin writing this, it's the Sunday night before many people return to work or school tomorrow and we all face the same danger. For those of us who accept science even when it is above what we can scientifically personally understand, it makes enough sense that we trust vetted, experienced and peer reviewed epidemiologists and immunologists at prestigious universities, etc. to give us guidance. I swear if I hear one more time that, "Well, we are receiving mixed messages and that doctors disagree with one another, so who should we trust when it comes to the vaccines," I am gonna scream. Or I will type just as I did last week to someone, "Please quit sending me MISINFORMATION from this idiot osteopathic doctor with no studies to his own credit but his fly by night MISINTERPRETATION of someone else's study of which the researchers say he's completely wrong anyway! I have tried for the past 5 years to present facts to others' fiction and effed up science and I am done wasting my time. Now, I just say STOP talking to me about it, period!
So why am I sharing my thoughts on these things now and not so much 2 years ago or over the past year? Because Storm's unvaccinated mother is in the ER for the past 48 hours with Covid, being treated in the emergency room itself because there are no hospital beds available here to actually move her to the Covid ward. (She got a bed Monday night. It's now Wednesday as I am editing this.) Blood clots on her lung. Right now, her oxygen is good, but they are trying to lower the level that they're giving her to see if she can sustain it on her own. The next couple of days will determine if she is given whatever drug. What a mess. We feel horrible for her, but no way are we going to visit even though it is allowed for 1 person per day all masked and suited up.
It's not really a surprise that this is happening because, duh. Storm was on the receiving end of his mother's wrath this summer when he told her she needed to get vaccinated. His family is extremely private to the point where no one knows anything about anyone else until something major (usually bad) happens. He has many siblings and they've all been extremely concerned the past 2 weeks while his mom remains passive aggressive and refused to get medical help until she got really bad because as she told Storm this summer, she "felt her asthma was under control and if I take my vitamins, I should be fine. It's not that I am against the vaccine, it's just I don't think I need it. And it doesn't affect anyone but me." He explained to her that it would affect other people....... she told him don't come to her house to lecture her. Good grief. That isn't what he was doing and he is educated......she should be proud of him and take his dang advice. Grrrr. We didn't see her all summer or fall because we're not putting ourselves at risk because of my health problems, mainly lifelong asthma. Now she is in the hospital. Storm is not glad that he was right about what would happen if she didn't get her vaccine. So many worries, scary decisions for her kids. So many healthcare workers taking care of her and ......well, you get it.
Anyway, the whole world is dealing with Covid. Here in the US we are dealing with science deniers (I know other countries have that, too, but I don't understand it because why it's so political here, is it political there, too? Seems like it.) Also here, we have to deal with the extreme right ... the religious right...... the Capitol stormers, Evangelicals = OUR WHOLE FAM DAMILY on both sides! My God in heaven, help us all.
For myself, I am dealing with all of that plus I have finally begun to address my own religious trauma and let me tell you it is tough. Most people deconstruct, but some of us want to reconstruct as well ....... I am learning some authors and bloggers and podcasters who talk about these experiences and other closely related ones. Some of them are Jen Hatmaker, Glennon Doyle, Jamie Lee Finch, John Paplovitz, and Brene Brown. I don't know where I am going to end up but acceptance that my religious trauma is real and very much alive to this day is where I am at. I'm listening to many stories that strike uncannily close to home. Not sure when I will land in a safe spot religiously or with this whole Covid thing. So like Ada has said, probably on the 12th of Never!
Hi Windy, it's so good to see you post! I'm so sorry to hear about Storm's Mom. I can't imagine what a worrying time it must be, especially not being able to see her and talk to the doctors etc. I feel blessed that so far (touch wood) noone close to us has contracted covid. Sending positive thoughts for her recovery.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry also to hear you are going through religious trauma and also hope you are able to work through this.
Here, they have just reduced the time between the 2nd and booster shots from 6 months to four so I am about to arrange a booster. I do worry a little just how many shots they are going to decide we need when some countries are now doing 4th shots. Personally, I just don't understand the anti vaxers and anti mandate protests.
Hey, Roz! Interesting they bumped the booster of up to 4 months, but that is probably a good thing because I know lots of people here in the US who had their first 2 shots, but hesitated a bit on that booster at 6 months and they ended up with breakthrough cases. Last I heard here it is now 5 months. Imma get a booster every dang week if they tell me to! LOL GAH! Try not to worry. I'm glad you are arranging your booster soon!Delete
Thanks for the good wishes! Hugs, Windy
Windy - I can't imagine the emotions that must swirl around when dealing with anti-vaxxers especially when they are family. (well yes actually I can - Sir Steve's kids were anti-vaxxers until they couldn't go out to eat - or go drinking or any other activity) I do hope Storm's mom beats this - and isn't left with the long lasting side effects.ReplyDelete
Just know I am thinking of you .......
Hey, MoringStar! Yes, emotions have been all over the place dealing with them. It is unbelievable how many people are anti-vax across the world. The US does not have all the nuts, I guess. lolDelete
Thank you for your kind words. Hugs, Windy
I'm so glad you reappeared and told us all this. You have friends here who care.
Ron's son was exactly the same. Had all the usual reasons for not getting vaccinated. He finally gave in because they want to move to OZ and vaccines would be a must. Even so, no vaccines for the kids. Then the whole family tested positive for covid just before Christmas.
Religious trauma? I am so sorry that you are experiencing it. I really miss the comfort and friendship of regular churchgoing. Curse you, covid!
Hi, Hermione! LOL @ "reappeared." I guess I kind of did do that!Delete
Holy cow, I'm sorry for all the positive cases in Ron's son's family. Scary! I hope they are all recovered now.
Yes, religious trauma. I will have to do a little post about that so I can give the subject some clarity.
I am glad that you find comfort in your church and friends there.
Thank you for your support. Hugs, Windy
I can relate to the frustration of a lot of what you described, but I am a little fuzzy on exactly what you mean by "religious trauma"? As an ex-Catholic, I tend to think of it in certain terms that may not apply here.ReplyDelete
As for the MIL? It is unfortunate, but also kind of a self-imposed outcome. I feel much worse for people whose accident of birth has put them in situations where they CAN'T get vaccinated rather than those who can but refuse. You can only do what you can do. People make their own choices. Still, having some similar situations myself, I get that it still is upsetting. Just do what you can while keeping yourselves safe in the process.
Good to see you posting, and looking forward to understanding your "trauma-thing" better.
Hi, there, KD!Delete
Religious trauma isn't the exact same for everyone, but it's very common in the Evangelical world because their beliefs about almost everything are extreme. Church for us isn't just a positive experience with God and friends although that is the way it is presented from the outside. In the EV Church, the focus is often on sin and confessing sin and then being grateful that Jesus died on the cross for us so we can be forgiven and go to heaven. Many adults can balance this in their minds in a way that doesn't make them feel overly horrible about themselves. However, at age 5, a child absolutely cannot process that Jesus died for her because of her sins. What possible sin could she commit that was so bad that a man had to die for her? It's traumatizing because the child thinks she is just this very bad person. As she matures these experiences do not leave her. Ever.
There's much more, but I don't want to explain it all here. I might write a post about it since people naturally have questions.
Yeah, the Covid thing actually surprised me that it didn't happen sooner with the MIL and other unvaccinated people. Omicron isn't playing around though!
Thanks for stopping by and joining in. Hugs, Windy
Thanks for the explanation, even in an abridged form. It definitely was not what I would have thought. Sexual abuse in the Catholic church is/was rampant, and my mind naturally went there. I am glad this was not your case.Delete
As for what you say it IS based on though, I am reluctant to express my full opinion, since it would not be just about how a child would react to religious extremism, but critical of adults and their own views on religion in general. When you say with regard to Evangelicals: "Church for us isn't just a positive experience with God and friends" I am struck with the reaction that such a thing isn't necessarily the case elsewhere either. Similarly, your question: "What possible sin could she commit that was so bad that a man had to die for her?" is equally valid for any logical adult.
Like I said, I could go on about this in very unsettling detail, but I suspect such a view might not be helpful here. If you do want to discuss this further though, just say so.
All the best!
You are welcome to share what you want here. I was just trying to give one example of it when I mentioned how it can really be harmful to a child's psyche because he/she is still very much developing. I also only know what occurs in the Evangelical world specifically and not any other denominations. I was not trying to say at all that it only happens to children or that it only happens in church. Lots of exceptions, examples, outliers, and all that. I don't have the answers for others. I don't even have the final answer for myself yet.Delete
Most discussions are welcome here. But, I am in no way going to tolerate someone who shows up in defense of the extreme Ev's. I've had a lifetime of that trauma and I am not putting up with that. (just in case anyone reading gets any big ideas. lol) I also do not intend to completely bash all EV's .... many are wonderful. But, many are not.
Thanks for your receptivity but while I would not characterize what I would write as bashing or defending, I think it best for me to stay out of this one altogether. You have tempted me to address the issue of religion on my own blog where you or anyone else would be free to respond.Delete
Thanks for you understanding of this complicated thing. I'm glad you are going to discuss on your blog that which is on your mind that might be different direction than what I can focus on right now here on my own blog. I will check yours out. Storm might, too.Delete
Since the impetus originated here, I am letting you know that the piece on my own religious experience and thinking is now up. And as the sign on Frankenfurter's gate warned in Rocky Horror: Enter at your own risk. ;-)Delete
Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate that you're writing in depth on your own blog in a direction that doesn't fit my journey or what I was trying to convey. For now. :) I can't promise that Storm won't show up on your blog though. He has always been interested in science vs. God type discussions.Delete
YAY Windy is back!!ReplyDelete
So happy to see you! I miss you!
I have no idea what to say to you about this post. Storm's mother annoys me and my private thoughts on her are too horrible to write (I am a horrible person for even thinking it!).
Religious trauma...never heard of it put that way before but it totally nails it. My problem with religion is the humans who try to interpret it and pass it on to kids....in the most horrible way.
I love that you are taking steps to take "control" and take back your life. Know that I am sending all the positive thoughts and energy I can to you.
Hugs and love
Hey, hey, Boo! I miss you, too! I'm so glad you stopped by and joined in! Not happy that you all have covid restrictions on school again because I don't want anyone to be sick, but I am happy you had time to stop by and read! LOLDelete
Thank your for your love and encouragement. Things are messed up in a lot of places these days, not just churches!
Hugs and love back at ya! Windy
I have read here but never commented. So sorry about Storms mother, the mixture of real concern and frustration must make it extra difficult.ReplyDelete
I felt I had to write as I relate so closely to the religious trauma. I grew up in a very fundamentalist church. My first memory of Jesus as someone who could come at any time and take my parents and siblings and leave me behind. That if I had been the only sinner in the world Jesus would have died for me. As you say the sense of being horrifically bad, and only bearable to God if Jesus stands between pouring out his blood, stays with you for a lifetime. It's an appalling message to give a 5 year old. Although I'd moved away from those beliefs, it was the distance provided by covid and watching services online that finally made me realise that going to church continued to re-traumatise me. After 60 years I've finally walked away from church and working out what is left. I'll be very interested if you do write about it.Just hearing someone else name it is helpful, so thank you.
Welcome, Alice! I'm so glad you decided to step out and let me know you can relate to this stuff (unfortunately). Yep, you pretty much hit all the buzzwords that identify evangelical religious trauma.Delete
Oh gosh,the rapture is a huuuge trauma, trigger, whatever for so many of us when we were kids. Heck, it scares the adults, too! I am sure people would accuse me of wanting a watered down version of the bible. But, gosh, is there an in-between, at least?! LOL! GEEZE!
You have summed up pretty nicely the things that scared me most since I was little. I'm sorry that it happened to you, too. I honestly wish that the focus in EV churches was on Jesus's LOVE for us all and not so much the dying thing. Maybe I could have grasped it better as a kid if they would have said Jesus had to die for everyone in the entire world's sin like the really really evil people and that my little sins were just tiny mistakes. I don't know. Blah!
I have just started listening to some of the more well known pod-casters and authors on evangelical trauma. They sure have taken a lot of crap from the EV public. Oh boy, that does not look fun. Jen Hatmaker is a big name and she recommends a few others. Rachel Held Evans or something like that.
Thank you for letting me know you're reading my blog and that I'm not alone with the trauma. Your re-traumatizing with exposure makes sense to me. I can't go to church right now either, not that I would with covid anyway!
Much love to you. I hope you stick around and feel welcome to comment whenever you want to! Hugs, Windy
While I cannot know your individual trauma, I 'get' the religious trauma -- I had a weird childhood mix of being sheltered while also being abused, with a fire-and-brimstone father who was a church deacon while also being a perpetual adulterer (to paint a broad-strokes background) -- and it is absolutely a construction project: de-construct, re-construct, demolish, re-design, fire the architect, lay a new foundation, etc.ReplyDelete
^because what else can you do?^
Good luck with all of it. And if you want to have a discussion about any of it, my door is open!
Hey, Feve! Yes, you get it. Very similar experience minus the adultery. And gosh it feels horrible to admit this stuff like it's a betrayal of my family. It would be if they knew how I felt. I have shared some with them. Most don't really get it. My siblings see some cultish type behavior among us but it hasn't affected them the way it has me. Weird.Delete
Thanks for the open door. I will most likely write about it again and fail miserably at explaining it to people who haven't experienced it. It doesn't mean they can't understand it or empathize, etc. though.
Love all your "construct" words. hahaha Fire the architect for sure! One of my biggest fears is that in talking about this desconstruction that others will think I am denouncing all of my faith. Some people have and that's okay for them. But, I have to keep the basics of my Christian faith because it's part of me. But, what I want no part of anymore is hurting (intentionally or not) the marginalized ....that is not what Christianity should be about, but sometimes it's the biggest message received. Blah!
My door is open to you as well. Thanks so much. Hope you are well. Good to see you! Hugs, Windy
From what I do know, I think you have done amazingly well coping with everything. You are as normal as any of us (whatever that means.) And I think your own little family is doing pretty darn well too.ReplyDelete
Hi, PK! Thanks, friend. Laughing at "normal." We try! Hugs, WindyDelete