ilya bolotowsky, tondo
This crazy deal with my mother enforcing fear takes me back to childhood home where the house was ruled by fear. And almighty guilt. I had not thought much about the gulf between myself and my mother spiritually. I know it is a deep and wide chasm, but never think about it. From out of the blue, it turned out she's more concerned that I believe in Satan like she does than believe in Jesus like she does. I knew she had a close relationship with Satan, because she speaks his name so frequently, considerably more than she uses the name of Jesus. Jesus is inert and Satan is active. It's like John Milton, whose Satan was far more interesting than God. The God and Satan of Milton's Paradise Lost is my mother's cosmology. After leaving that cosmology in my past, I despised Milton's Paradise Lost in college, where God is the same as dead, giving credence to Nietzsche. It is that vision of God Nietzsche was saying was dead. Milton's vision of the devil is a cool guy with a life. The Miltonic vision of the light and the dark is the same as I grew up being taught to believe, God with long white hair and beard, the white-robed patriarch judge slamming down the gavel, saying: Guilty! Go directly to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
No wonder she believes so much in fear with such a cosmology. I could not live with a God like that. My vision of God is more like a baby than an ancient patriarch. A fun baby with clear eyes devoid of judgment, eyes that love shines through. Efforts to control others in the name of God are the very most heinous forms of control. I was never able to go with a God about judgment and fear. That doesn't compute with "God is love." Doesn't compute at all. I didn't realize how important fear is to my mother. It answers a great many questions of why living was so difficult in their house. I was kept in a constant state of fear by daddy directed by mommy. Church five times a week. God the judge said everything about me was wrong. Then, secretly with myself, I'd say "God is love," like what a mystery that is. Love doesn't hit. Love doesn't berate. Love doesn't control with fear. Nothing connected for me. Scripture said one thing, Baptist dogma said something quite different. None of the adults saw any inconsistencies. I was in the wrong place. That's why everything about me was wrong.
In the Seventh grade, in a Health class, the teacher, a coach, was talking about hitting children, 1954. He asked how many in the class were hit once a month. About half raised their hands. Once a week, just a few. Once a day? I was the only one. Until that day, I thought it was normal to be hit and berated every day. Even today, I can feel what I felt then at the surprise that I was the only one in the class hit every day. It didn't seem normal half the people in the class were never hit. And the ones that were hit, they only got it once a month with a couple of once-a-week exceptions. I was also the shyest kid in school, far and away. My mind was twisted up in a knot, my emotional self a complete wreck. It was another time I longed for notice. Like, Help! And none was forthcoming. In kindergarten, early in the school year the school nurse examined all the kids with the teacher. When it was my turn, the nurse told the teacher "He chews his fingernails. It's a sign of trouble at home." Little 5 yr old was crying inside, begging to please help me get away from the insane monster at home. But no help came. Observation only. I didn't know yet, but was learning parents are always right and kids always wrong.
Inside myself, I knew better, but the world all around believed adults knew what they were talking about and kids did not. It's still that way. Only difference is, I don't fall for it. Having lived among adults as one of them for half a century, I have learned that it's the other way around: adults do not know what they're talking about. Kids get shut down because they're little and have no recourse. That was the part I hated about childhood, that I had no backup, no one to take my side. It was the very same as locked in prison. I couldn't escape (run away) because a kid out of school during the day is truant, suspect, arrested and returned to parents. No regard for the kid whatsoever, a criminal skipping school and making parents worry. Throw the kid back into the cauldron of hell he ran from. It's the same as shackled, except the chains are invisible. It looks like the Ozzie and Harriet Show on the outside, while on the inside lurks a hell for the kid that nobody else can see, except the school nurse.
A black and white photograph comes to mind. Kid sitting on long-legged stool getting picture taken. Big smile like a kid is supposed to do. Looks relaxed. Upon closer inspection, both legs are wrapped around the stool's legs like vines. They were the only foundation the kid had. Daddy looking at him through the camera, kid screaming inside, paralyzed by waiting for daddy to click the button. I hated for that expletive to even see me, let alone look at me. Curiously, the kid's head is in the center of the photograph like in a scope. Looks like there were murderous thoughts running both ways in the taking of that photograph. The big rooster and the little rooster. The little rooster found that murderous thoughts didn't work on the giving or receiving ends. Nothing to do but wait for time. Paying dues. Getting so twisted up inside from living in the church wing of the insane asylum, there was nothing to do but cry myself to sleep at night over the apparent accident of birth to strangers. It taught me not to gamble, because I draw a losing hand.
I made my final payment on dues for being born the day discharged from the navy. I love it, discharged. Like guns discharge bullets. In my heart I left the navy fast as a bullet when time was up. First thing to do in my life under my own power was to get an education. The 2 years in navy I used learning how to read, preparing myself for an education experience. In college, I never intended to use the degree as credentials for a career. I wanted nothing to do with that insane world. After education, I went to the mountains for healing. In the mountains I learned it was not so much their world that was insane, but that daddy, himself, was so self-centered as to be a mental health issue that was never addressed, just got worse with the idea of authority, somebody who outside the house had none. Mother hanging on the best she could with her own mental health issues, like something in her own childhood that hadn't oughta happen to little girls. Daddy was a hay-wire gene that runs through the Worthingtons and pops up once per generation. My youngest sister has it.
Looking at the years of mental health issues lashing in all directions at all times, living the emotional and mental response to it, even unto today, and to see that it was all genetics, gives it a whole new perspective. Genes. In the education years I learned it was the craziest member of a household who ruled. And there's mommy trying to hold it together with the Ozzie and Harriet look. George Carlin said, Women are crazy and men are stupid. Women are crazy because men are stupid. There it is, encapsulated like a message in a fortune cookie, the meaning of life. Maybe it's time we start educating boys. It's no wonder that war is the constant activity of humanity. Men are stupid. Who are the devotees of Limbaugh mind? Largely not women and children. Mommy trying with all her denial to make their world the way it's supposed to be, against all odds. Trying to do what's right by husband, by kids, by church, by mother-in-law, wanting so much to do right it evolves into need for control, using an idea of God for control, pushing away the ones she wants closest, for their own good.