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#447093 - 09/13/13 01:33 PM Re: Abusive mother's obituary [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
I just PM'd you Gary, but thot it deserved a public response, too. At the end of "Mommy Dearest" Christopher says, "As usual, she has the last word," and Christina remarks, "Maybe not."

I've thot along the same lines with the Mommybitch. Oh, I've considered hiring the Nebraska Cornhuskers Men's Gymnastics Team to do flips and tumbles at her memorial whenever that comes and/or, more reali$ti˘, a spray of dead flowers with a "Bon Voyage" banner and balloons. However, the obit sounds like a particularly appropriate creative outlet for me.

#447100 - 09/13/13 02:11 PM Re: Abusive mother's obituary [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Risingagain may need to correct me, but it sounds like he's pointing out that the overriding message of the obituary is revenge, anger and hatred, which are unhealthy for us to carry as our motivation for our actions.

And Jude may need to correct me, but it sounds like he's pointing out the necessity of justice and accountability on behalf of survivors.

Am I thinking along the the right lines there?

I understand the gut feeling of whomever composed the obituary, but the message of "this was a bad person" is overshadowed by the message of "I am emotionally wounded and I am filled with hatred for this person to the point of seeking revenge after she has ceased to exist."

Risingagain's quote of Buddha is worth pondering. for the sake of anyone fueling themselves with hate and acting upon it. I see this as very different from calling someone into accountability, holding them responsible, and pursuing justice, which is why I also agree with Jude.

#447103 - 09/13/13 02:20 PM Re: Abusive mother's obituary [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
What an interesting topic for discussion.

I may be the odd man out (it's okay, I'm used to it, lol). It seems that a scathing obituary may be counterproductive to the author's intent. Perhaps a skeletal obituary with as few words as possible would have carried the message, especially if it were later referenced in a blog, book, article, documentary, youtube channel video, or public speeches about the impact of this person's actions?

#447104 - 09/13/13 02:23 PM Re: Abusive mother's obituary [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4287
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
i think it is healthy to express the feelings and thoughts in this obituary - just not sure that a newspaper is the right forum for it. on the other hand - maybe it is.

sounds a lot like thoughts that went through my mind while i sat in the step-dad's funeral and listened to glowing speeches praising him. i kept quiet - but wrote a poem about it later:

at a step-father’s funeral

they bring you wreaths of hot house flowers;
i bring bouquets
of stinging nettles, thorns and briars.
they repeat their platitudes -
empty words of praise -
what you achieved, how you lived;
i remain silent – i who know the truth,
i who have seen the naked beast
and heard the spells of destruction
and felt the lash of tongue
and switches, belts and contempt
they weep for an illusion -
now dead -
who never lived;
i weep for a father that never was one
and for a boy who never was a son,
but just a slave, a toy, a tool

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#447105 - 09/13/13 02:32 PM Re: Traveler's post about Abusive mother's obit [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Wow, Lee...

.now THAT'S how to do it! cool

You sure have a gift with words.

#447173 - 09/14/13 02:52 PM Re: Traveler's post about Abusive mother's obit [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
risingagain Offline

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Yeah it hurts like crazy and yes I want to hold perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable.

I was raped by my dad for years as I tried to protect my sister and then he forced me to witness her rape, and both him and my mom blamed their actions on me. I had a bloody condom thrown at my head. The strange thing was, it was so traumatic that, when I began to remember, the deepest memory was the feeling that I had done something terrible to my own sister... I actually took all the blame and shame for their terrible actions.

I've been through some years of depression and anger work, moving through emotions- have a read through some of my posts over the last few years if you don't believe me! And I just got to a place in me where I found it counterproductive to my own life to hold on to hatred for my dad.

Ironically, it was when I reached out to my dad and mom, from a place of compassion, with the simple message 'I still love you.' It was that reaching out from love that led to my dad replying, and telling me how my nieces are being put in his care. So, with compassion in my heart, I stood up and held him accountable, and called child protective services.

I love him. And I am willing to hold him accountable. I will take him all the way to court if necessary and speak my truth. I do not hate him.

I do not wish him to burn away in hell. That would only be inflicting hell upon myself.

I am remembering now a powerful poem that Michele read at my first WoR. It's from Thich Nhat Hanh, who witnessed unimaginable cruelty including the burning alive of children at the hands of the Americans in Vietnam. Yet he campaigned for compassion and refused to hate Americans. For this he was exiled from his own country for decades, outcast to the very West that was responsible for so much destruction in his home land. And yet still, he lives and carries the message of compassion.

Here is his poem:

Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:

Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,
man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion –
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.

Edited by risingagain (09/14/13 03:11 PM)

#447176 - 09/14/13 03:13 PM Re: Traveler's post about Abusive mother's obit [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
risingagain Offline

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Beautiful poem, Lee!

Thank you.

#447181 - 09/14/13 03:41 PM Re: Traveler's post about Abusive mother's obit [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
Interesting thread, indeed.

The obit is sad to read, but feels good in some way. It satisfies that need for vengeance. And I agree - seeking vengeance is inherently unhealthy. Especially for us survivors.

I also have mommy issues. And ever since addressing CSA issues, the mommy issues have come frontal to my awareness. I'm still waking up to how her choice to raise me the way she did impacted .. no .. crippled my budding life. Only recently am I realizing that I was born a gifted, talented genius. And because of her parenting style, lost all of that to being trained to hate being born, hate my disabilities, and hate life itself.

She is to blame.

But I am responsible to clean up the mess. No one else will. And I can't have the best life I can possibly have if I continue to carry the anger I have at what she inflicted on me.

Letting go is so hard to do. But it is often the best thing we can do. We can't truly love ourselves if we carry hatred and anger in our heart.

#447186 - 09/14/13 04:40 PM Re: Traveler's post about Abusive mother's obit [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
genedebs Offline

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 378
Loc: MO
To small town boy, Ken, Magellan; and all

When I was in my mid 40's, I became fully willing to acknowledge that I had been physically and sexually abused. I had accepted that "I had not been severely abused, they never broke my bones," was no longer an adequate standard.

My mother was diagnosed with parkinson's syndrome. My A A friends and fellows and sponsor recommended that I avoid the toxic people from my family of origin.

Which also makes today YOM KIPPOR (the day when Jews finalize their forgiveness to and from those who have done damage to each other and God) especially significant. I went to my Rabbi. He said "To care for your parents as they never cared for you is the highest form of revenge and a mitzvoth (an obeying of God's law) to boot." So despite their abuse of me I cared for them for the last 10 years of their life.

I wrote an obituary for my mother that described the truth of her professional and political life, and only mentioned her personal life in "was survived by." There were no lies, nor were there references to her failure to protect her children from physical abuse, and in fact, facilitated and directed our sexual abuse.

We all have different stories and we all are just the same.

#447207 - 09/14/13 08:28 PM ! [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 2217

Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (03/01/14 02:45 AM)

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