As a continuation, I would like to share my beliefs from my early years. As we all know, those years form the base and basis for the rest of our life (at least this incarnation).
As revealed in my last post, I grew up in a Judeo-christian household. While personal beliefs were not shared, there was a general consensus that this was what our most recent ancestors believed and so should we. So we followed the normal holidays and such without much discussion of what they were about nor what they were supposed to reveal, if anything. I went along with this because that’s what children do for the most part. They are taught to believe that the adults and parents they are presented with are infallible and to be followed.
But I need to reveal what was really happening during those holiday celebrations. There wasn’t much to celebrate really. You see, I came to hate them all. Not for the religious undertones but because of the abuse and strife that accompanied them. I was raised in the South and anyone who was raised there during the 60’s and 70’s can tell you that the first thing to deal with was the smoke. It usually started about three feet off the ground and went to the ceiling. Yes, it was cigarette smoke. It seemed that everyone smoked and everywhere. Everyone except my father. But explain to everyone why a man who never smoked died of complications arising from COPD. It is true that second hand smoke can kill you.
So after wallowing through the haze, I was always forced to participate in the family rituals. Our family rituals consisted of usually having my mother’s brother and his family come to our house. Which usually meant I’d have to deal with my cousins. This of course always garnered a “talk” instructing me to not say it do anything to offend them because they were Catholic. I didn’t even know what a Catholic was so I didn’t know what I should or shouldn’t do. So I mostly just tried to keep to myself and slip away in my precious books or if possible to literally slip away. On one of these visits they decided that they would stay the night. Or some of them would stay the night. I really can’t remember exactly because this was the first time that I had been raped and I suppose your mind does some things to help block those things out.
A Shaman would say that a piece of my soul broke off and went somewhere. I would agree with that diagnosis. I was only ten years old. I will spare any details, but suffice it to say that I was told the usual things you hear about victims being told. “Everybody does this.” “This won’t hurt.” “Don’t tell or I’ll hurt you/your pets.” The list could go on but you get the picture. All I knew is that I wasn’t saying anything. Shame. Guilt. Emotional devastation. Loss of trust. Loss of virginity. You name it. I felt them all.
But from my exposure to these churches I was going sporadically to, I also knew this was wrong in their God’s eyes. Now that I am much older, I have to wonder where this thing about the Roman Catholic Church and raping little boys comes from? I didn’t read it in the bible my grandmother gave me and I don’t read it in the official Catholic bible I have today. So what is it about these guys? I have to look back and wonder whether my cousin had been molested by a priest? I can’t tell you the answer. But it definitely altered my relationship with my whole family. My parents, my uncle and his family; they were now different. Something to be feared and avoided at all costs. I could only retreat to where I felt safe and that was in my books and away from them.
I would also add that all these holiday celebrations were filled with arguing, fighting, name calling, dishes being broken,etc.. My biggest question is where did Norman Rockwell get those images he had masterfully captured? Sure as hell wasn’t in my house!
So these experiences shaded my beliefs early. I didn’t know what a Catholic was supposed to be but I didn’t like what they did to little boys. I didn’t like that no one back then ever really talked to kids. The churches, the schools, the family. No one. I guess that I need to add (if you haven’t figured it out yet) that I was an only child. I had no one to tell about what had happened nor what I felt. I was very alone. And then, just like now, I hear no voice from heaven telling me it’ll all be okay.
I’ll end for today. Just talking about this does not make me heal. It doesn’t help.