Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

I hope that my husband had a wonderful day yesterday. He seemed to enjoy it. One of his favorite sporting events was on television, played by his favorite team and they won! That's always a nice thing to have happen for a sports fan on a special day.

After the game, my son and I took him to Best Buy to buy some CDs. He wanted albums off of the list of the twenty top selling rock albums of all time. The ones he was most interested in were not available. He settled for some greatest hits compilations instead- Queen, Boston, Styx.

Styx was way more hippie-dippie than I remembered. I wanted to get him the Grand Illusions album but no such luck. Boston was rocking. And Queen? Amazing musicians whose work would never have been appreciated in his fundamentalist household. But as far as that goes, neither would any of the other two bands, so whatever.

We rode around listening to music blasting on the stereo. I drove and my husband told me where to turn. We went all over the county, at one point stopping to pick blackberries. I believe Styx provided the soundtrack for the berry picking.

After an hour we wound up at an ice cream stand my son knew about, way out in the country, called Dollar Cone. He bought us all ice cream. Thanks, son!

On the way home, my husband made a comment that was very touching. He said, "I've noticed that most music is about feelings. It's almost like these people have feelings all the time." It was a feeble attempt at humor. It broke my heart.

Yes, he had a happy day. Everyone in his world went out of their way to love him and treat him special. Even current events lined up to bless him with one of his favorite sporting events this Father's Day. And yet the depression was still hanging around like an unwelcome guest, casting a dull veil over the day's events.

Missionary boarding schools are possibly the worst idea organized religion has ever come up with, after burning people at the stake. The more I learn, the angrier I am about every penny spent supporting traditional missions.

If people understood how abysmal the system truly is, how all the progress on the field comes at the expense of the mental/emotional/spiritual/physical health of innocent, needy children, support for missions would dry up immediately. And well it should!

The whole idea behind missionary boarding schools is that children are in the way, a distraction from the real work. Their souls/hearts/minds/bodies were expendable. The God of tribal missions hates missionary kids, apparently. Only indigenous peoples interest that God.

And so mission boards (this includes close relatives on my husband's side of the family) gave no thought to the needs of missionary children. They were simply warehoused. Dorm parents had no training in the developmental needs of children. Dorm parents were more like warehouse security guards. Anyone could fill that job with minimal training, and personal mental/emotional health was not a requirement.

In fact, they put people in the position of warehouse security guard when they were considered unfit to do anything more important. Broken-hearted? Broken in body? Disillusioned? Depressed? Ready to retire? Warehouse security guard, er, dorm parent, was the assignment.

One reason home schooling appealed to me was because I hated the pack mentality of public school. The socially strong attack the weak, sometimes non-stop. The problem of bullying in public schools is very real. I have met several parents who mercifully began home schooling to give their children a respite from bullying.

Everyone makes excuses for bullies: they are rejected at home, they have been victims themselves first. It is doubly true for missionary kids. The youngest are prey for the older kids, as they take out their hidden anger on those who are weaker.

And where are the dorm parents? Nursing their depression, practicing the disassociation from reality that the missionary kids will all become so adept at practicing themselves. In some cases the adults themselves are the bullies, though I don't know if that was my husband's experience or not.

Actually, I have no idea what my husband's experiences were like. He tells me precious little. Almost all I have learned I have learned from others, yet when I bring it up to him he says that it sounds about right. He is still hiding from me, still holding back. It makes me sad that he doesn't trust me with his secrets- me, the one person who has proven loyalty to him over and over for twenty-three years.
He has so much shame wrapped up in his secrets he can't even share them with me.

His own father? How was his Father's Day? To be honest, I could not care less. Let the hero bask in the glory of his own self-importance. If he were to get a hundred fold return on the love he showed his son, he used that up a long time ago. Let religion comfort him now in his old age, since he chose religion over the hearts of his children when they needed him.

Oh, and for any self-righteous ideologue wanting to take me to task about loving my enemies, I say "blah-blah-blah". Words without love are useless. You want to bring healing to the body of Christ? Stop lecturing and start loving. You roll your sleeves up and start meeting real needs rather than telling others how to live. It sure would have been a much better course of action for my in-laws to have taken.

1 comment:

  1. Styx! Memory lane.

    I was in eighth grade when Mr. Roboto came out. I grew up in central Florida, and the Rock/Pop station out of Tampa (Q105 - those were the days)used to have a nightly top 5, and listeners could call in and introduce each song in the countdown. I got through one night, and they gave me Mr. Roboto to introduce. "This is Lewis from Zephyrhills and the #2 song is Mr. Roboto by Styx." I was the coolest kid in junior high the next day. Hah!

    I'm glad you guys had an enjoyable day. Your family deserves it.