Why Evil

In an earlier post, I happened to bring up old Lucy-boy and the fact that he set out to sabotage our programme earlier this evening. As such, since I was already on the topic, I decided to do one more post. This particular one is a little bit of insight into what I learnt about the existence of evil and how it came to be.

***************

A very long time ago, there existed a place beyond Earth where there was only beauty, and light. Neither death nor violence existed, and the beings who lived in that time were always happy, contented and at peace. It seems like an almost impossible scene to envision, so the closest experience that might help you view that world would be to do the following: Think on the most amazing memory you have ever had. That moment of ultimate peace and happiness where you were doing what you love, with whom you love, in a place that you never wanted to leave because it seemed like the most magnificent place you’d ever visited. If you were able to do that, magnify it by forever, i.e. imagine never ever having to leave that period in time. Imagine never experiencing any of the miseries that occurred before it or after. Once you’re able to hold on to that muse, you have officially tasted a portion of what the place we’ll call Heavenville was like.

In Heavenville, there were gardens that were filled with fruit trees of every kind; far more than ever existed on the Earth we know. The trees were always in season, and the fruits were never rotten. There were no leaves to clean up after because they never fell from the trees, and believe it or not, there was one extra special tree in the garden that bore a different fruit for every month of the year. For all of those people who spend hours gardening, understand that in Heavenville, gardening was one of the main pursuits. Flowers were well cared for, and all the gardens that existed in Heavenville could be enjoyed without the irritable task of weeding. Things like asthma, and allergies did not exist, so no one was worried about leaning over to smell a tulip, or rose or to caress a morning glory flower. The insects were all well behaved, and they neither stung nor felt a reason to sting because they never knew the meaning of danger or fear.

Amidst all of this, as with every community that has ever existed, there was a hierarchy. One great monarch, who everyone simply called God, His Son who was an extension of Him, and an equal in every way, the Holy Spirit who was a diaphanous expression of them, and then the angels and sons of God.  In the group of angels there existed archangels, seraphims, cherubims; in short, many forms of angels who were all blessed with immortality. They all had gifts that ranged from musicians who sang all the ranges and beyond that we can contemplate, players of the harp, the flute, a fancier version of the piano and organ, instruments that we have never seen, instruments that we no longer use, and instruments that we still can’t help but love today. In charge of these talented musicians was Lucifer.

Lucifer was one of the most beautiful angels that all of Heavenville had seen. He was admired, and respected, and he conducted the mass choir of Heavenville like no choirmaster ever had in the enormity of the universe. Like all the members of Heavenville, he strode along the streets of gold, and ambled through the gates of pearl, ruby and other precious stones. He flew across the skies and gleamed when the luminous presence of God touched his armament. His breastplate of gold, rubies, diamonds, emerald, etc. was impeccably fitted upon his body, and his face was gorgeous. Lucifer was a handsome angel, beloved by God, and The Son, respected by the entire heavenly host, and given a position below the Son of God. If desires existed in the beings of Heavenville, then Lucifer was the representative and embodiment of those desires.

Then something awful happened.

Lucifer developed pride.

He looked at the Son of God, a being who mankind later came to address as Jesus the Christ, and became envious. In Lucifer’s eyes, Jesus the Christ was an equal. He was around in the heavenly hierarchy for almost as long as Jesus. Respected, admired, loved, handsome, physique beyond imagination, clothing that fit like a love, commander of the greatest choir to have ever existed: how could he not be equal to the Son of God. Therefore, if he was equal to the Son of God, then he too should be worshiped. He too deserved to hear the words “Glory, Glory, Glory!” uttered in reverence with heads bowed and eyes averted. Sure, he hadn’t created the world. True he hadn’t designed the worlds of Heavenville and beyond. Yes, he most definitely did not form the bodies of the beings who worshiped the God that had blessed him with amazing gifts and a position. So what? In the waters of the river that ran through the kingdom of Heavenville his face shown back at him, contrasting stunningly with the glow of his clothing. His voice when raised in song, caused all the other members of the heavenly host to fall silent and listen in wonder at the marvel God had blessed him with. He was Lucifer. He was ravishing. He was third-in-command. He was IMPORTANT! In fact, who was this Jesus that got all the glory that should have come to him? Who was this supposed Son of God that sat at the God’s right hand and took part in all of the heavenly counsels and councils? Who was this being that walked everywhere and beamed everywhere and touched everything beside the all important Father of Heavenville? Nothing. Nothing in comparison to him Lucifer.

So Lucifer decided that it was time to take matters into his own hands. It was time to overstep his position and become even more powerful. Perhaps one day he could even supersede God! Yes! It was possible, but first he needed an army. First he needed to show his fellow citizens of Heavenville that they were not living in an Utopia. What he needed to do was show the praise-obsessed members of Utopia that they were actually living in Dystopia. Once they understood that the monarchy, the hierarchy that they worshiped, and adored was really just an illusion of power-hogging glory, then he Lucifer could take control of the reins and stand as commander of the entire UNIVERSE rather than just some measly choir group.

Lucifer planted the first seeds of dissent among his sisters and brothers, his admires, followers, friends. “Look!”, he said. “Don’t you see how that God is forcing us into worshiping h-Him? Can’t you see that He is pretending to be holy and just, but that really He neither knows nor understands mercy? Look at Him on His throne, acting perfect and benign. Observe how He holds you indebted to Him by giving you everything you need. Take a peek at all those meetings He only invites Jesus to. View! View! View how smugly that so-called Son of His is smiling from His right hand position on the throne.”

At first no one believed him. No one paid heed to the mutterings of Lucifer. He was beyond magnificent, but he wasn’t God. Then one by one, the roots of doubt took firm ground. They stretched, and wiggled their tiny hair-like limbs into fissures and holes. Was it just them, or did God sound extra patronising today? Did he really need to extend that golden road by one foot to the neighbouring hamlet, or was He actually skimping on the building materials in the North-zone, but favouring the East-Enders? Holy Heavenly Father! Did He just take Jesus with him into another one of those high profile meetings? How could he? Lucifer was also high up in the chain of command, and he should be invited too. God was being unfair to Him! How could he?!

And the roots continued to grow. Murmurs spread throughout the kingdom of Heavenville, and rumours leaked into the worlds beyond. Lucifer was being mistreated by the supposedly “just” God. Lucifer, that choirmaster whose tunes were sung throughout the universe in love and devotion to his darling God. Lucifer, who spent millenia sitting at the feet of God planning out compositions, mumbling words of praise in every note, tone, and semi-tone. Poor Lucifer. This had to be fixed. It had to be corrected!

Lucifer smiled at his handy-work. The angels were slowly coming over to his side, and it seemed that God had either turned a blind eye to his activities, or he was truly blind. Good. Very good. The journey to power would be much easier now. So what if God could see the future? He had obviously given his beloved Lucifer so much power that His far-seeing eye had been poked by one of his 12-month changing trees. Maybe what he had been telling the other angels about God was actually true. Perhaps it wasn’t a pack of lies. No, no, no, no. There was no way that he could really be the first proud, lying, arrogant, rumour-monger that set foot, and wing into the universe.

You see friends, Lucifer had become so occupied with his little plot to rise to power that he actually began to believe some of what he was speaking, and thinking. In his heart he knew the truth, but like the best liars, the most practiced, he knew how to lie to himself with the best results. He had all the practice in the universe on the most holy of beings, corrupting his own mind completely was the easiest task to accomplish.

When God looked out toward His kingdom. He saw every single move that Lucifer made. All the hurtful lies, and fantasies that he spread to attempt to wrest power from Him snaked into the ears of God. He saw and He knew. His beloved Lucifer was spiralling out of control. His Lucifer wanted to steal the power from the two beings who had created him, and given him the power, talent and beauty that he was so proud of. It would be so easy to smite him with some awful death, but he was a misguided child, and there was still hope for his heart if he would let go of his pride. God knew though, He knew that Lucifer would never turn away from the path. He made appeals. God spoke to him in private, offered special statements in the usual conferences and mass meetings that were worded especially to meet his heart…..yet Lucifer was stubborn. He had gone too far and he didn’t want to turn back now. He had begun to believe his own words–the words he had once uttered about God being unmerciful. In his eyes, there was no way that God was going to allow an attempted usurper back into His good graces. He would return to God, and God would demote him, and there was just no way that he could allow that humiliation and embarrassment to ever occur. It was all or nothing, and God watched as Lucifer turned his back on His open arms. God stared in dismay as the beloved choirmaster of the entire universe went against every single lyric, chord, melody and harmony he had ever created.

There was war.

Lucifer and Jesus led an army each. One third of the hosts of Heavenville fought with and for Lucifer. One third of the hosts believed that there was no turning back; that God would never forgive them; that he would punish beyond comprehension. Rip their wings from their backs, brand them with flaming swords, pull off toe by toe, burn their tongues for daring to utter grievances against the most holy, omniscient, omnipotent One. They were doomed if they didn’t, and doomed if they did. So the followers of Lucifer fought with a vengeance. They fought with every bit of power and strength that they had been given, and they used it against the One who had given it to them. They battled on and on. Waging war in Utopia. In the gardens that never decayed. Under the branches of the trees that bore 12 fruits per year. They trampled over the roses, the hydrangeas; crawled through the morning glories, and for the first time got dirt and grime on to their spotless, white raiment. They fought. Swords flew. Blades gleamed. Metal clanged against metal. Rubies fell from breastplates. Diamonds fell off swords. Crowns of gold disappeared under bushes, and into the river. The streets of gold which once shone with the glory of God were crowded with a fighting mass.

They lost.

Lucifer and his army were thrown from Heavenville. The gates of the cities were locked to them. God refused to destroy them. He had given them Freedom of Will and they had exercised it. They had observed His method of operation and chosen to misunderstand every olive branch of reconciliation He had extended. They had made their choice. They would forever remain His beloved creations, but they could not remain among the two thirds of Heavenville that were faithful to Him. The sons of God of the other worlds would receive the official decrees to beware of the being they once welcomed and pampered with love. Lucifer and his motley bunch of misguided followers would no longer be welcome anywhere in the entire universe.

God left them their own devices, and set out to make a new creation. Man. He spoke a new world into being and decided to name it Earth. In Earth He placed one of His most favourite things on Earth, a garden, which would be known as The Garden of Eden. The animals that would inhabit Earth, the lights, and the waters that would be on the Earth were spoken into place. On the last day of creation, He placed His hand into the muds of Earth and formed Adam. Adam would not be immortal immediately. He needed some time to adjust to the new life, and make the decision for himself that would either allow him to be immortal or join Lucifer and his associates.

So Adam was set loose in the gardens of Earth and given the task of caring for things. He cared for the animals, and made friends with them. They spent time together, enjoying the tranquility of the place God had put them all in. During his walks with God in the evenings, Adam was usually warned by God about the existence of Lucifer. To Adam, that being’s wily abilities only appeared to be some strange, and mystical fantasy, so he rarely paid much mind to it. Instead, he was more concerned about his loneliness. All the creatures of the Earth had companions and mates, they had friends of their own kind, but he Adam was companion-less. God on seeing the desires of Adam’s heart fashioned a woman for Adam using one of Adam’s ribs. He did it to remind Adam that the new companion that he would have would be the help-meet, and companion that he had wanted. She would be by his side in everything that they both did, and they would and should always remain together, side by side, performing the tasks of the garden.

Once Eve, Adam’s wife and help meet, came into existence, they worked together moving through the garden and befriending the animals. They were visited by others from the surrounding worlds, and constantly they were reminded that they should watch out for Lucifer. He might sound like a vague, nebulous name that would never set foot on Earth, but he had once been among the heavenly hosts and would not think twice to pull Adam and Eve into the place-less limbo he and his ex-angelic hosts now endured. In addition to those warnings, was the one constant gentle reminder from God: “Do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you do, you both shall surely die.”

Of course, just like the warnings about Lucifer, those entered one ear and passed out the other with only small trails remaining. As such, when one fine day a serpent entered the garden that none had noticed before, no one paid it any mind. When Eve left Adam’s side instead of walking with him around the gardens as usual, no one bothered to remind her that she and Adam were meant to stay together. Ergo, when Eve found herself drawn toward the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, no alarm bells rang in her head. She didn’t shy away in surprise when she first noticed that a creature, a serpent of garden had actually decided to rest itself upon the branches of the forbidden tree.

Curious as to why the snake had chosen to make that area his resting spot, she became drawn into conversation with him. One could call that mistake number two on her part. First, drifting away from her companion who had always provided the perfect equilibrium, and then speaking to the serpent. If one has ever wondered where that old bit of advice “don’t talk to strangers” came from, that moment may have been the very birth of the phrase, for do you know what Eve did? She opened up her mouth, and her ears to the strange snake that was walking on the tree (Yes, snakes walked then).

Upon being drawn into conversation, Eve became enchanted by the silvery, remarkable speech of the serpent.

**(My Paraphrase here most definitely)**

Serpent: Eve, beautiful creature. Wife of Adam, and well-created example of the finesse of God, how art thou? Enjoying the weather today?

Eve: Well…..I’m not accustomed to talking with your section of creation and receiving responses, but yes, yes I am enjoying both the compliments and the weather. And thou? How art thou liking thine position on the tree? Mighty high up, aren’t thee?

Serpent: Friend, thou speakest the truth, but thou seest not how gorgeous this tree is? It’s leaves art the greenest I’ve ever viewed. The branches are the strongest, thickest, biggest, and  most magnificent I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across…..and the fruit….

Eve: The fruit? Dost thou mean the fruit God said would kill Adam-darling and I if we ventured to taste it?

Serpent: But of course! Don’t tell me you have never eaten this most phenomenal of fruits?! It fills my mouth with the saccharine power of honey, watery sugars of a watermelon, the tangy nectar of the tangerine and orange combined, and juiciness of the reddest, ripest cashew hanging from the far end of the garden! It is the most palatable thing I’ve tasted in the whole of the universe!”

Eve: But…God said it was…bad…

Serpent (laughing patronisingly): Of course he said so Wife of Adam. It’s called the Tree of the KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil. Perhaps…..God doesn’t want you to taste the fruit…. because….

Eve (nervously, glancing around the garden): Because…..

Serpent: His High and Mighty Righteousness doesn’t want you to be as intelligent, witty, and glorious as He! Errm….I mean he doesn’t want to share the wonders of the stunning cacophony of flavours with you! He doesn’t want you to have the knowledge of their sweet delight….and the wonders beyond….

Eve: So….we won’t die if we eat the fruit? And we’ll become more like God too? God is amazing! I would love to be more like Him!”

Serpent sotto voce (Women, if this one is so easy now, I know her generations to come will be nothing but fresh clay between my fingers. You messed up with another creation, Big Guy): Eve, thou sawest me on the tree. I am still on the tree. Therefore, I am not dead, and the fruit has not killed my humble personage. So…..go ahead….Here, let me point thou to a ripe one near the bottom. Let’s enjoy a good bite together…..Then, just like God, thou shalt have the knowledge.

Eve is lost in the fruit. She and Lucifer continue to have their conversation, discussing God, the elephants who happened to pass by a watering hole not too far from them, and the whale who usually stops by in the afternoon with his dolphin friend. They observe a lion who is tickling his lamb friend with his tail, and tugging playfully on her ear. Eve looks up, realising the time, bids the serpent good-bye, grabs one of the fruits for Adam and races off to find him so they can get ready for their usually walk with God. She feels a bit strange, sort of airy….exposed…..vulnerable, but she ignores it. It is a strange sensation, one that she neither understands nor knows. 

Adam: Eve!!! I’ve been looking all over for you! Why weren’t you by my side? It gets so lonely without you!

Eve (in a seductive voice she never knew she had): So you’re saying you missed me?

She runs a finger along his arm, tickling him just under his chin before finally tapping his nose. The other hand holds the extra fruit behind her back, waiting to offer it to him at the right time.

Adam (with naivete and confusion): What is this “miss” thing you speak of? And whyever has your mode of speech changed so….drastically? And you’ve never done that with your finger before. Eve….what have you been doing?

Eve: Adam, darling…..honey…..sun of my life, second only to God, stop worrying, and see what I’ve brought for you!

Adam (completely lost now): Worry? What is worry? Eve, what in the name of our beloved God are you speaking about? Let’s hurry down to the meeting point before God arrives ahead of us!

Eve (pouting slightly): Wait, Adam! Forget about God. I am here in front of you, and I am trying to tell you something. So, slow down and listen.

Adam (realising that something is wrong): Eve…..my love…..what did you do?

Eve (shrugging coquettishly): I picked a fruit.

Adam: A fruit? And you’re behaving like this? What tree did you get this fruit from?

Eve: First take a bite, and then I’ll tell you. (While handing it to him) A very good friend of mine from close to the centre of the garden was visiting. We got to talking (and as Adam takes a bite), and he strolled down from his perch on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and offered me a bite. I took a taste, and nothing happened. I’ve been eating it all afternoon, until I ran into you that is.

Adam (now half way through the fruit, using words and phrases he never knew before): What the…! What do you mean you took from the Tree of— Oh good God!! You disobeyed Him, and you took me along with you!”

Eve: Adam, you already knew what it was. Don’t pretend.

Adam: I guess, in a way…. I couldn’t imagine living life without you again. It would be so–

Eve: Lonely. Yes, I know. Now let’s go before we’re late for our meeting with God.

Adam: But Eve, haven’t you noticed something? Since I’ve eaten the fruit I’ve had strange feelings….and I feel…naked….Exposed…

Eve: Naked? We’ve never been naked before. It’s a strange word….and yet slowly I’m beginning to understand it’s meaning. I’ve never noticed how your triceps and biceps rippled before…..or the way your abdomen bridged into a perfect pack of squares ranging in size or–

Adam: I have to say I’ve never noticed the way your waist curved so delicately before……and were your palms always this soft, and so pleasing to the touch?

Enters God, knowing what they’ve done but being the patient parent as always.

God: Adam!! Eve! My children, where art thou? Did you enjoy the stroll over by the west side of the garden? I sent a new type of tiger there especially for you. White fur, black stripes, ice blue eyes. Fantastic creatures I knew you would love! Why art thou not approaching me though? Is something wrong?

Adam & Eve: We….we….we were hiding from you, my God. Putting together some fig leaves and such to clothe our nakedness while you searched for us.

God: Nakedness? Where did you hear that word? Who taught you that? How do you know you’re naked?

Adam: God, I….I….I’m so sorry!! The woman strayed from me, and well you know how these female creatures are. She got to talking, and somehow returned with the forbidden fruit…..I….I took a bite.

Eve: It wasn’t me God! Don’t listen to, Adam. It was the serpent. He was walking along the tree, and called me to him….and before I knew it we were eating and chatting right at the roots of the forbidden tree.

God (his voice thundering through the garden): Serpent!! Lucifer! I know you’re here! Show yourself! Snake, from here on, you shall no longer walk like the rest of the creatures of the Earth. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust for the part you played in the entrance of sin onto Earth. Leave my presence!! Adam, Eve, you too will also have to leave the garden. I can’t have you anywhere near the Tree of Life after having a taste of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If that were to happen, sin would live forever and you and your children would suffer for all of eternity. I could neither allow you nor my other worlds to suffer the horrors of sin for generations times infinity.

For the first time a creature is slain in the entire world. Lambs of the garden are killed to clothe Adam and Eve, and they are sent away from the garden to endure the consequences of their disobedience–death, and the pain, labour and misery that accompanies its arrival. An angel with a flaming sword is placed to protect the Tree of Life from the now polluted hands of the sinners. They cannot be allowed to gain immortality while they carry the corrupted essence of the Forbidden Fruit. They have made their choice, and their generations to come must face the consequences of their actions.God chose not to destroy Lucifer, but eventually, Lucy-boy’s time is coming, and in the meantime he’ll be out and about gathering more friends for the journey to his final end.

**************

That was the version of the story I learnt about sin’s entrance into the world. The ensuing result was human being after human being making wrong choice after wrong choice, and blaming the consequences on God. When they were unwilling to do so, Lucifer stirred up the pot, adding his own spices and passing the stew off as a meal from the Master Chef– God.

Mommy Dearest – note this may have a triggering effect

At this particular moment of my life, my mother and I are going through something of a power struggle. I have lost my ability act like the child she expects of me, and I have lost the ability to pretend to be the child that my family expects to see.

When I was younger, I imagine that my relationship with my mother was a delight. When she tucked me in at night, she would say cute things like “Remember, Mommy ___ loves you and gentle Jesus loves you too!”  It was just the two of us, and as it tends to occur in most single parent households, once I grew older we treated each other like equals. This system of equality was fine for the two of us. I don’t think I ever took undue advantage of the situation, but once my (at the time *SD2B now just plain) SD stepped in, things began to come to a major catalyst. With this in mind, and the current degree of animosity that runs between us, I’ve decided to go digging into some realisations I had long before the ripe old age of almost 18. Please note that this a ramble of thoughts that I am trying to sort through, so I can assure you that my mother is probably not a devil in disguise.

** Disclaimer: I will be blasting most of the things that my mother does that bother me, so yes, I am about to sound like a demon child.**

Did she really not realise?

I wouldn’t say that this is a question I think of on a regular basis, because based on my actions at the time, I’ve come to stop thinking of the molestation, as a violation against myself. The matter is simply too complex for me to fully work out without more memory, and I really don’t want to go digging deeper into my mind. However, since this involves my mother, I have to think back.  This is the second memory I have of actual sexual interaction with my uncle. I had spent the afternoon in my uncle’s room while his father took care of the gardens he grew around the yard. I don’t even remember the bedroom door being locked. I also don’t think we were on the bed, I think I was lying on the floor. Anyway, skipping the details, things happened and then I was sent home. When I got home, it was time for my bath, sometime close to dusk. My mom had sent me off to the bathroom and followed me so that she could help me wash the essentials efficiently. As we finally made it to that particular essential, I tried to stay still, I really did, but being a child who was One-severely ticklish and Two- uncomfortable with being touched, this was difficult. However, the real difficulty lay in masking how sore I was in the region. Try as I might, I simply couldn’t let my mother touch me there without making my discomfort obvious. Finally, completely confused with my behaviour, she asked me what was wrong. I then calmly proceeded to explain that my uncle had made me sore there. I didn’t give any details, I think I simply said his name and maybe one or two other lines. She left me standing there as she went to the phone and called him for an explanation. He then proceeded to tell her that I had been riding my bike and fallen, and in the process hurt myself. Even to this day I cannot fathom what particular details he could have given her that explained it away so clearly.

On another day, we were watching television upstairs with granny. The programme seemed to deal with the topic of being a virgin. I think I was seven at the time. As I sat listening, I found that I understood the things that they were discussing. As the programme went on, I’m not sure what exactly passed through my seven year old mind, but as my mother went toward the kitchen, I called out to her.

Imagine this conversation with your seven year old daughter. Note these are the exact words.

K: “Mommy, a virgin is someone who has never had sex, right?”

M: “Yes, that’s true.”

K (with child-like innocence at some major discovery): “So that means that I’m not a virgin.”

M: “Girl! Don’t talk nonsense! Look! If you don’t have anything proper to say, don’t speak!”

K: “Ok then.”

And to this day, that is exactly the way I left it. My mother and I have never, ever had discussions regarding sexuality, boys, inappropriate old men, sexually explicit shows. Nothing, nada, zilch, since that day. Note, I am going to be eighteen in August.

Frustrated and depressed

When I was younger, I always knew that my mother had been hurt and embarrassed by what occurred with my father. She, along with the rest of her siblings had been raised as Christians by their mom and dad. They later converted from Methodist Christian to Seventh Day Adventist Christian- an even stricter form of Christianity. As such, being from  a well respected family; having to deal with her mother’s words of disgust and anger at her careless, immoral actions that led to having a child out of wedlock; and then having her  child’s father refuse to accept the paternity; would most definitely create some form of depression and frustration. So while I do remember being purposely oblivious to the situation, and possibly sympathetic, I think some form of resentment began to grow in relation to this. Simply because I found myself always wanting to help my mother- getting to cook in the kitchen, offering to the wash the dishes, and just simply acting crazy with her, I couldn’t. She saw me in him, and to some extent I know she resented me for it. I’m not denying that she loved/ or loves me, but when I was younger, it was just there between us. I just wanted her affection, but simply couldn’t seem to find it anymore. I remember one particular incident in which she had just reprimanded me for something, and I simply couldn’t figure out what I done that was so wrong. I think I was nine at the time, or maybe a year or two older. I looked up at her, perplexed to see this woman who was supposed to be the example of self-restraint and maturity shouting at me for a reason I could not fathom. My facial expression must have angered her more, because I remember her shouting at me with these words, “Don’t look at me like your father!” Then she proceeded to throw the pen she was holding at me. The pen hit me in the forehead. It didn’t hurt me physically, it stung more than anything else. What it did do was make me feel upset and hurt that she could possibly do something like that to me. After that, I think I asked her why she had done that, and told her that she could have damaged my eyes if the offending object had slipped a bit lower and more to the right or left. I’m not quite sure what happened after that 😉  .  Anyway, I think this was the night I stood on my bed, trying to figure out how to hang myself from the beam that ran across my ceiling with an old shirt -__-. Unfortunately/ fortunately, I couldn’t quite figure out the dynamics of that, so I settled for wrapping the shirt around my neck until I saw black. There was also that other time when I could have sworn she said that she wished I had never been born. Though according to her,when I inquired a few days later, she had never said such a thing. Anyway, for the sake of the argument, I will say that it sounded like that to me. So I then proceeded to drink twenty- two Ibuprofen between that night and the next morning. Nothing obviously bad happened, except that my poor liver probably had a little more toxin than it’s ever had to deal with before. I found that I simply couldn’t kill myself, so I left well enough alone.

Other people’s children

In any family, every now and then, parents can be heard comparing their beloved, yet inadequate children to the “wonderful” children of their closest friends or the child’s school friends. Personally, I’ve tried not to make this an issue, but on some occasions it has really irked me.

During my younger days, I noticed that my mother tended to be more gentle and saccharine with the other children she interacted with. Since I was mature for my age, I would sometimes try to reason it away by thinking that parents were harder on their children because they expected better from them than from other children. However, I can tell you, that my cousins and I have been hurt on occasion to see our parents treating us differently in comparison to each other. The thing is, I think that my mother once did it more frequently to the other cousins, than their parents did it to me. By this I mean, that the cousins’ parents have always treated me just like one of their children, except for a few occurrences, but let’s not dwell on that. On the other hand, my mother has most definitely treated the cousins more affectionately than me. At the time, I concluded that she did this because she felt indebted to her sisters and brother, seeing that I was the firstborn in the household, and as such was extremely pampered by them. Also, as I grew older they helped out financially, knowing that mother couldn’t quite balance the household with her teacher’s salary after all those darned taxes.  Now this I understood, but constantly being reminded that my friends, and darling cousins were doing better than me at school, and that they were so well- behaved with their parents really annoyed me. I thought that this didn’t bother me, but since I’m writing about it, there must be something still floating around. Mother always brought up the fact that she dealt with other children each day at her job, and that she just couldn’t understand why I was incapable of giving her the respect that they gave her. She also said that she was ashamed over the grades that I had begun to bring home, because everyone knew how much potential I had, and that her teacher friends were constantly asking  how I was doing, and that she was so glad that she hadn’t brought me to her school where I would have been embarrassing her. When I look back at some of this, it probably seems harsh, but I had detached myself from my feelings by this time, so whatever she said would simply wash over me and down the drain. I

Corporal punishment, Insolence, and Parental Censoring

In Guyana, physical punishment is legal. Personally, I have no particular feelings toward the issue where my mother is concerned, atleast not anymore. While growing up, I have been beaten on occasion. I don’t think I’ve been beaten wrongfully on any occasions, or maybe I just really don’t care enough to remember. This is just to show you where things stand now.

Like most Guyanese children, I have been beaten for lying, or breaking something or going somewhere when I was told to stay at a particular place. Since I was never particularly bad, most of my beatings came from lying or being insolent. I have a tendency to state what’s on my mind when I’m being reprimanded. There is also something we Guyanese call “dumb insolence” or staring at your parents like “if cow bus’ rope” (staring blankly and dumbly at a person as if you’re confused by the words flowing out of their mouth), believe me when I say that for about three years, I mastered that facial expression. After getting into trouble for responding while being reprimanded or chastised, I decided that if talking was so much trouble, why not stick to silence 😉 This wasn’t simply based on punishments, but by the fact that no matter what I said, my mother has always found a way to misinterpret the meaning of my words. So I developed the technique of  simply not responding to all those tricky little “rhetorical” questions that I was asked during the application of any punishments. This meant that while being beaten, I refused to cry or respond in any particular way. I saw this as my way of controlling the situation, if I was going to be punished without to my observation a specific reason other than the fact that my “tone” of voice implied insolence I was simply not going to give her the satisfaction of seeing me cry.

Respect or rather the lack thereof

This is the biggest problem between us. Sometimes, I think that she feels threatened by my self-sufficiency, other times I know it’s simply because I really have been disrespectful, but I really can’t help it anymore. I’ve always been a bit snippy when it comes to the things I say. I find it very hard to relinquish control of my life to my parents, in particular to my mother. As such, we have frequent arguments- where I’m quiet and she shouts at me- over my disrespectful mannerisms. Believe me, when I say I find it hard to give her the due respect she expects. Personally, I could have had a worse mother, so there is obviously something wrong with me when you consider my insolence, however my mother’s behaviour when it concerns me, simply fuels my inability to show her the required respect. So these are the things that I consider whenever the respect issue comes up:

  • The question of whether she knew or not.
  • Her constant manipulation of my words to suit her purposes.
  • The picture that she has painted of me before my family-which I have kindly made very colourful to suit their perceptions.
  • The fact that I cannot voice my opinion in any format without being considered disrespectful or having my words twisted in such a way that they don’t even come close to my original intent.
  • The manner in which she reacts when I refuse to do what she commands (in relation to certain things) because I cannot see the reasoning that drives her to these fits of unnecessary nagging.
  • The fact that she is frustrated with the way uncle SLF lives in the apartment, in terms of contribution to household chores and tasks, and instead of telling him, takes it out on me. Muttering a “scundle of bunt” toward me that I know is really meant for him.
  • The petty things that she creates pointless arguments over. I remember on one occasion that I had sat down in one of the chairs to look at television. There I was with my bowl of cereal, when she came to order me out of the chair. She then proceeded to blow up at me because I wanted to stay in that chair while she wanted to put her feet up in it. -__-
  • When I know that she is calling me to wash dishes that I usually don’t contribute to just because she can, simply because my uncle SLF deems it unnecessary to wash his dishes, except on miraculous occasions.
  • The vulgar nonsense she shouted at me last evening that I simply cannot excuse, no matter how angry she may have been.
  • The fact that the SD2B was allowed to sleep over in her room before she married him. While I really believe that they never actually had sex, I just cannot ignore the level of complacency that came out of that. The SD and she are supposed to be devout Seventh Day Adventists and while this really is none of my business, it bothered me at the time.

As you might guess, I’ve got quite a list stored up in my mind over the years. I don’t hate my mother, and I agree, I am probably one of the worst children alive.

Miscellaneous mish-mash and the conclusion of my rant

I’ve noticed that whenever I’ve acted out, or did something inappropriate, the first thing that usually pops out of my mother’s mouth is that my actions reflect back on her. There is never an actual interest in why I did something, whether it was a mistake or any other such offering of platitude. It has always been this one line. To me, it always feels like it is about her. There was once a time in our relationship when I wondered who was really the child and who was the adult now that I think about it; anyway the only reason my feelings regarding anything were ever discussed, was because the SD wanted us all to try to understand each other better. This would have worked just fine, if it weren’t for that little issue where my mother tends to fling back every single thing I say when some other completely unrelated incident shows up. As it stands, I am currently battling my desire to shut her out completely and my once good nature in which I actually was a loving a child ( a long, long, long, time ago). She expects these feelings of affection and love from me which I no longer have to give. When I offered them, they were not accepted as the gifts that they were, and there is no way I am emotionally reconnecting myself to deal with any of that now. I only just recently got over the back and forth between her and my father during which they had apparently decided to ship me off to my dad- something that she has been threatening ever since my attitude has reached “unmanageable” realms. If you’re wondering, no, I don’t sneak out of the house or go drinking through the night. Frankly, the most worrisome thing the parents have against me is that I took some provocative photos of myself- no I wasn’t naked. Having them go behind my back and do that, although they didn’t bother to go through with it, just felt like some sort of betrayal. Those issues, along with the fact that now I am working, has mommy dearest convinced that I consider my self an adult. In some aspects, her reasoning is right. After all, to me, if I am going to be shipped out to the world of work, and am expected to contribute toward rent and utilities, as well as pay my own bills, it sounds kindof like adulthood to me. However, that isn’t really a complete issue to me, it’s just that in my eyes,I have never been a child. Sure, I may have looked like a child, I may have wanted to be a child, but I have done and experienced things that children should not. The older I grow, the harder it is for me to act like the subservient child she keeps expecting, which of course makes it easier for her to exaggerate to the rest of the family, and has just driven me to a point where I no longer care what any of them think about me. I guess we’ve both pushed each other to the point of no return, atleast for now. What’s done is done.

Uncles SLF- not the uncle

SD2B- Stepdad to be

SD- Step Dad

Scundle of Bunt- a jocular spin on an actual cuss phrase that exists in Guyana

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

June 5,2012

Thoughts On Faith

**This was not an article, but  a brief contemplation on something for church.**

Faith is the ability to believe. It is an action word, and a concept. Faith is the willingness to hold firm to an idea, to a belief, even if logically and scientifically it cannot be proven. Faith in action, is performing the task to the best that you can. Full completion. Wholeheartedly working on your end of a deal. Why? Because we have the faith, the belief, that someone else will also do his/her best to make the deal successful. Without this faith, there can be no success.

An excellent example is our faith in modern medicine to cure our illnesses. This is because no cure will be 100% successful without the patient’s faith in its strength, and the patient’s belief in the doctor.

The same way with our faith in God. Nothing can be done by Him, FOR us, unless we truly believe in Him (please note I’m not saying that He will let you suffer, but that for the best effects, faith is necessary)*. This is why it’s important to accept and believe Christ‘s resurrection before we can proclaim ourselves Christians. This is also why we can do nothing without God’s blessings (note, I am not saying that He will literally come down and dump your thesis in a pile of water, or send a massive virus to screw up your hard drive. I’m saying that God allows certain things to happen, but that His interference makes the outcome even better)*.

Work without faith is useless. A fact that is made quite evident in so many well-known Bible stories. In particular, one incident among Jesus’ disciples.The disciples had seen Jesus casting demons out of various persons. Without fully understanding that faith in God was the key, they also tried to perform this miracle. The consequences were embarrassing and scary. These proclaimed men of God were mocked, and beaten by the demons. This was due to both their pride, and their lack of adequate faith in the power of God. Their faith resided in their own abilities only, and human abilities can never compare to the omnipotence of God.

On the other extreme, we have Jairus‘ story. His daughter was sick to the point of death. In fact, she did die. However, Christ resurrected her because of Jairus’ faith, that is, his willingness to believe that Jesus could heal her, dead or alive. Or how about the centurion whose servant was sick. This man, who had only heard of the wonders performed by Jesus, rushed to meet this Christ-person. He, who probably worshipped all those idols that were the focus of the Roman Empire, came before a Jewish carpenter that proclaimed the Jewish Yahweh. His simple request from Jesus to heal his dying servant, was met with a profound exchange of words, that left all in the audience pondering. Then without finesse, Jesus told the centurion that his servant was healed. His servant who was nowhere near them. How? The centurion’s faith in Christ’s ability.This centurion had no way of knowing before he got home, whether or not Jesus had healed his servant; yet he and Jairus exhibited faith in Christ’s power to provide healing for the people they cared about.

Perhaps, one of the best examples of faith in action, will forever remain “the woman with the issue of blood”. She bled for 12 years. Can you imagine bleeding for 12 long years? For those of us who experience a period, even one day feels like too much. The thought of bleeding everyday, for 12 years would make us go insane! All the physicians she met were unable to help her. Then she heard of Jesus. Just from hearing what He had done for others, she developed the belief/faith that Jesus could heal her. The crowd was thick. The streets were packed. People were pressing closer to Him from all sides. Jesus was completely surrounded by disciples, well-wishers, curious spectators, and the usual haters. She knew there was no way for Him to touch her. She was so close, yet it felt like a distance of miles. Then, another option popped into her mind. She decided that all she would need to do was touch the EDGE of His clothing. THAT was her belief. Her faith convinced her, that something many of us would consider simple and pointless, WOULD have power. Now that is FAITH.

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

January 28, 2012.

*some adjustments were made March 9, 2012.