Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a Personal Thing

In case anyone wonders why this flurry of blog activity, it's because I am between semesters at school.  So, I have the actual time to devote to writing about the things that I think about, rather than the topics I am assigned for a class.  I am still a perfectionist when it comes to school, or as I prefer to call myself, "one who pursues excellence".  By this, I mean I study like a mad man when school is in session, wanting no less than to thoroughly master any subject I am taking.  It pisses other people off sometimes, and makes others think I am an insufferable know-it-all, but learning brings me joy.  So, sucks to be them.  I am going for it with all I've got, no matter what the class is about.  There is no such thing as a throw-away class, imo.  Like a race horse was born to run, I was apparently born to learn.

I wish I had been raised in a family where I was valued and supported.  I would no doubt have been able to choose a challenging career (medical engineering technology would have been fascinating) or have my Ph. D. and be teaching in a college somewhere. But, life did not unfold for me with such a charmed and happy beginning, so I am where I am.  I look back with happiness, not regret, for the way I handled the circumstances and adversity I encountered in life.  I am pleased with who I am, what I have chosen, and also with my current GPA and career prospects.  So, yay for me, right?

I am also able to write so prolifically about other things because my marriage relationship is not giving me trouble right now.  It is crazy how many times things have been up and down in my marriage. Or rather, it is crazy how my spouse would go from loving and supportive to distant and withdrawn to hateful and cruel.  It is part and parcel of growing up a child of addicts, for that is what his parents are: religious addicts.

Imagine growing up the child of addicts, only instead of the world offering you pity and compassion for your plight, they praised your parents for their addiction and told you how lucky you were to have addicts for parents!  It's quite the mind-fuck.  The emotional abuse, mental confusion, and effed up thinking that creates in a child is something few people can overcome.

My spouse is an amazing person.  He is smart as a whip.  He scored a perfect score in math on his SATs and said he kept waiting to get to the "hard" sections he was warned about when he realized he had finished all the questions.  Those of you who have taken or helped someone study for the SATs knows that a perfect score shows more than mastery of the subject, it shows a keen attention to detail and above average critical thinking skills.  Without all that going for him, I think real change for my husband would not be possible.

Then there is also the level of abuse.  My husband was emotionally, physically and spiritually abused and neglected.  The religious addiction always came first; the needs of children were definitely lower on the hierarchy of parental concerns than feeding the religious addiction.  His boarding school experiences were a nightmare of rejection, bullying and neglect.  BUT others had it way worse, and their boarding school experiences included savage beatings, sexual molestation, rape and in some cases, violent gang rape.  I am actually trembling as I type this out, knowing the horrific abuse children suffered at the hands of "ministers of the gospel" who were assigned to the staff of the "missionary kid abandonment centers" known as missionary boarding schools.  Visit and  for books and other resources, including forums with the opportunity to talk to survivors online and find out how those who were sent to these schools have fared.

Still, though my husband didn't suffer as much as other people have suffered, he suffered plenty.  It warped his emotional coping mechanisms and turned him into an emotionally abusive person.  He was cursed with passive-aggressive personality disorder, which he developed as a coping mechanism for dealing with the anger and pain he was forced to experience but not allowed to express.  So, as recently as last month he was still acting out towards me in ways that required the use of our DAPP (domestic abuse prevention program- i.e., "time-outs").

Well, I am closing in on the last step of my five-year plan, and I am just done dealing with the unpredictable and irrational.  I decided that while calling DAPPs were a necessary step in the healing process for our relationship, it is not something I can live with the rest of my life.  So, in calm quiet times after the storm, I created a new requirement for living with me.  If it's bad enough to call another DAPP, then we will move into separate bedrooms for a minimum of three months.  We have the space, so we can do that.  Also I want him to know I'm not angry, I'm just unwilling to live off-balance and unable to fully relax and enjoy life, so that's the next step.  He understands and accepts that.

And, now, finally, he is working in EMDR as diligently as I have been doing all this time!  He seriously wants to work through all these issues himself now.  So, good for him.  For far too long he has resisted getting into the most painful memories, the root of the "shame spirals" that drag him into depression and hate.  Since he is seriously digging them out now, I think there is great hope for a happy life (even a happy married life) in his future.

Unfortunately, the way his inner MK was raised, dragging his feet in doing what's right was the only thing that ever gave him any sense of control over his own life.  He had no choice about what he would do, and if he flat out refused to do what he was told he would have been beaten and shamed.  Dragging his feet to the last possible second is a personality trait he developed to cope with his forced captivity.  I accept this about him, but I am not going to let it affect me anymore.

And he accepts that about me!  We are actually pretty happy now.  At night, we have been reading Jim Palmer's books, and he really identifies with the author.  Currently, we're reading "The Evangelical Universalist", but I'm ordering Palmer's "Wide Open Spaces" as soon as I finish this post.  He doesn't go to church anywhere (maybe won't ever again- it's fine with me!) while I go on Communion Sunday to a local UCC church with a wonderfully wise woman pastor.

So, that's the personal update.  I have finished EMDR, and I have more peace and happiness on an ongoing basis than I knew I could experience.  My walk with Jesus is very fulfilling.  I do a bit of yoga most mornings and evenings, and go to a yoga studio once or twice a week.  I read Trinity and Humanity's blog, John Shore's blog and Steve McVey's blog to see what Jesus is up to in the lives of others.

I pray daily as I have done for years.  I pray for much better things: the inclusion of the outcast in the body of Christ and for legal protection for all US citizens, the defeat of the religious right, the dismantling of the apostate Christian politco-business empire, the pre-eminence of Christ in the hearts of the church, the salvation and reconciliation of all people.  I pray for friendship, life satisfaction, challenge and accomplishment, love and acceptance for my family, healing for the sick and provision for us all.

Peace to all who read here, SS


  1. Wonderful news, and here's hoping it stays that way.

  2. hey,

    did you know that Jim Palmer has an awesome FB Wall? He posts constantly--it's almost like "living in Jim's head".

    I'm so glad to hear that hubby finally felt balls-to-the-wall enough to fight for what he wanted instead of against what he was afraid of! That is sooo hard to do when you are trained from so young that you have no power.

    My 15yo was complaining about some kids at school (her first year in public school) who were doing something stupid, I forget what but it was something that cut off their own noses to spite their faces, and she was baffled why anyone would do that. I had to explain to her that for many children (and conservative Christian families it is even worse) their only possible independence is procrastination. They have no options about anything in their lives, everything is chosen and decided for them, the only "choice" they have is to follow in lockstep or destroy themselves in some manner. She was stunned, because we've always given her and her sister enormous "latitude for attitude" and let them own their lives to such a degree that we all get flak.