Posts Tagged ‘Domestic violence’

53

Posted: May 8, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , ,

A weekend of challenge

from my life in ministry

how to support youth, children and families

in congregational

healthy spiritual community life

celebrate Mother’s, as they should be,

I know,

a wonderful blessing in my life from the matriarchs of my family

that were mentors, friends, and mentors

blessed and privileged to know a family of love,

sadly,

not everyone is

what do do?

How to support, minister, and show love for those without the privilige

who are hiding in the darkness, in survival

has C-tine increased this risk?

Brought the horros of domestic violence, that our province makes apologies and excuses for

driven the victims back into the basements,

hiding their voice in the shadows,

if you are one

if you hear one

if you know someone

speak out

call out for help.

(PSA Video: Alyssia Lies)

Stand in the love you have been blessed to know and experience,

share that love

create a healing sacred space

as we carry through physical distancing

may we emerge stronger into a healthier social normal

may this be the story of Mothers Day Weekend,

that all can come to know the courageous safety, space and love

Day 53 dusk begins to settle.


Image result for doom patrolI always chuckle loudly (it escapes my inner monologue) when I see fanboy-girls of comics clamour that they were never meant to be societal commentary, meta-narratives or vehicles of social justice…oh how we have missed the point of the medium that carries the message. But this post is not about our own narrow minded echo chambers and an inability to think beyond the literal (I do detest how religious and political ideological extremism has dumb downed our society in less than a generation).  Then you get a show based on a comic book that turns it all on its ear. It is a dark humourous ride into the soul of society using the vehicle of super heroes. The Doom Patrol which started as a band of quirky heroes in Great Adventures #80 (1963), their original run would end with an destructive nuclear blast on an island and Chief, Rita Farr, Larry Trainer, and Cliff Steele would be thought dead…Gar Logan The Beast Boy would go on to join the New Teen Titans as Changeling (and we shall not speak of the Titans television show and what they did with amazing source material–for shame). For more on the twisty-turn world of Doom Patrol, read here, with a grain of salt much like you enter their comic book world curated in the show by Mr. Nobody.

Then the wonderfully weird Grant Morrison would take over the title, and it would shift into Mature Readers territory, and become part of the new sub-universe Vertigo and these heroes would truly shine. This is the fun dark style adventures that the DC Universe streaming Show, Doom Patrol, has taken to the screens. Now think Morrison, and then Pollack was writing late 1980’s through mid-late 1990’s and a character like the gender-queer Danny the Street was created (yes a sentient street where all are welcome), but remember according to fan culture, comics are just stories with no other commentary (Gerard Way with the Young Animals Imprint would keep up this great style of Doom Patrol story telling). But let’s look at the other characters that now grace the television screen. Each episode of season one unveils the traumas that the team must face in their search for Niles Caulder, the Chief. Not only unpacking who the man was that gave them sanctuary and safety from the world, but also what it means to not only be a hero, but a full person.

Larry Trainer (in the comics, Negative Man). A courageous test pilot who has cosmic radiation invest a spirit within him. A man with a wife and kids, a hero, but in 1935 as a child coming home from school his parents are in crisis because a teacher is saying their child is queer. We can so easily forget how far we have come as a society and Trainer’s story shows the fear and inner turmoil he faced when the love of his life stated that he had resigned from the Air Force and wanted Trainer to come with him before the accident. It took Trainer 60 years to come to even a sort of resolution and closure over the incident, as he battles the entity within him always asking whey the entity wants to torture him, but in a seen in Parraguay and the entity echoing Trainer’s words back, is it possible Trainer is the one torturing himself and the entity is attempting wholeness and closure if only Trainer would accept?

Rita Farr (in the comics, Elasti-Girl) is a Golden Age of Hollywood Starlet. Groomed by her parents not with an education, but with only music, dance and acting lessons as it is her looks that will carry her forward. Then her powers emerge and she becomes a blob. The inner struggle is the showing of nurture having stripped her identity of anything other than looks, and the use of the “casting couch” to get ahead. When Rita looses these abilities, her new abilities leave her seeking something else that she had never had to worry about. Who is Rita Farr? It is the stage name that her parents gave her, stripping her of the family ties…so who is she meant to be now? 70 years on she is finally coming into her own, having trauma have frozen her, like Larry, at the time of the change…

Vic Stone, Cyborg is the only known “super hero” on the team, and with the vanishing chief this young adult becomes defacto leader. He first has to overcome who he is? His family system relationships with his father, Silas, and still grieving his deceased mother. Can he become whole and the person he is meant to be? Or will be become the person that outside forces and experience is going to cause him to become?

Cliff Steel (in the comics, Robotman) is a race care driver, witness of domestic violence as a child, who has become a drunken philanderer whose actions wind up killing his wife, leaving his child in the care of a reprobate, and his brain in the body of a robot. Now unable to feel, he must process his emotions, and come into his humanity as a non-human. Cliff meets, Jane, another member of the Doom Patrol…and has a second chance…

Jane has 64 personalities within her, and each personality has a different power. The Underground is where they all live, her mind…well not Jane’s because in Dissociative Identity Disorder there is primary identities and that is what Jane is…not the true person, that is Kay…and it is the story of what happens with Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the psyche. Can Jane become whole?

Oh Cliff don’t take responsibility for the therapy it was probably the rat (Admiral Whiskers).

-Rita Farr

The series episodes all use the title format (blank) Patrol. The Eighth episode of season one is “Jane Patrol” and thanks to the Negative Entity, Cliff is able to travel into Jane’s Underground to find her.

I wish we could shrink down and enter her mind like Magic School Bus Style.

-Vic Stone, Cyborg

As Jane has gone catatonic after the previous episodes marriage shenanigans of her personality Karen. It is an opportunity to meet the personalities as they exist in the Underground for the viewer. Those that surface, and those that exist simply to protect from memories. As one goes deeper into the Underground more darker memories are locked away. The goal is Jane has to choose to re-emerge as the primary, or to cease to exist as a previous primary Miranda had. Cliff is journeying with Penny Farthing (the one that avoids all risks) to find and save Jane.

It’s not my story to tell.

-Cliff Steele

It is a visual and artistic journey that illustrates how Trauma echoes exist, cause pain, and that even how good memories can be suppressed as so dark. For the first meeting of Cliff and Jane is witnessed and Cliff asks Penny why it is there… Penny responds there is nothing more dangerous than giving hope.

As the episode draws to resolution it appears Jane has dealt with the control monster of her rapist-incest father…only to have her laying on her bed smiling and the echo of his voice to be heard…

Each era has created its own challenges and traumas for people depending on their life. Some we have learned from and strive to change and correct. Most we just shake our heads at and state, get over it and move on. The repression cycle does not help anyone, just creates cycles of violence, pain and trauma. The show is fun (I mean a donkey tunnel, a talking grass hopper, a rat seeking vengeance on Cliff for running over his mother to name but a few–oh and beard hunter)…but it raises questions on what it takes for healing and wholeness, and what we as a community need to do differently so as not to be making the same mistakes.

 


Good Night,

Sleep tight,

don’t let the bed bugs bite.

-Ancient bedtime incantation against the blood sucking buggars

Image result for bed bugsBED BUGS! Feel it. That uncontrollable desire to itch or scratch? Don’t hide it. I know you did. I spent years being the go to in infestation control for multiple buildings. It is a creepy feeling. I have seen infestations so bad that there was a symbiosis created by tenant and insect, to the newest ones that are picked up in life transit.  We have all heard the news reports of the explosions of bed bugs on airplanes, in churches, movie theatres, low rent motels, high rent hotels, and schools. These are travelers, see bed bugs are searching for hosts. They love our carbon dioxide. The ones in public spaces are seeking a person to take them home. There is so many because 1000’s can literally be born in days. The female bed bug is impregnated by thousands of mates all at once, and births the babies in a cycle.

They are translucent until they feed. There source of food? Us. If there is a huge infestation, and they cannot sufficiently feed I have seen situations where they will feed on a pet, but usually a pet in used as a public transit mechanism for them to go to other places and spread their colonies. By what are they making a comeback so strongly in Canada? Well, we had them obliterated, unfortunately the chemicals used to wipe them out were also wiping us out via carcinogens. Dang it.

Image result for bed bugsBy mechanical function how early an infestation is detected states how many sprays are needed (minimum usually two). If you rent, the landlord in Alberta is responsible for footing the bill for the spray (sorry homeowners, its on us for our own). The responsibility of the tenant (and the infested if you own) is to promptly follow through on all instructions laid out by the pest control company to ensure the efficacy of the sprays.

Appears very simple. One notes like the picture above or less and calls in; or has noted 3 clustered bites (breakfast-lunch-dinner)together resembling small or large mosquito bites and calls for pest control (keep in mind not everyone shows bites, for the bite showing is an allergic reaction so you can be being feasted on and never even know it, it is why in communal living like hotels, condos, and apartment blocks random inspections help by trained pest control).

Yet this is not a simple carpet beetle infestation where carpet replacement or vacuuming will cure, or flour beetles that require cleaning and food disposal. This is a very intimate type of infestation and that can be missed is that part of the process is mental health supports. Sadly in 2013 in Montreal, a gent with pre-existing mental health conditions completed a suicide due to recurrent Bed Bug infestations. Though I can attest one does not need pre-existing mental health or health conditions to provide an unkind end.

Image result for bed bugsBed bugs get in your most intimate spots–truly. They disrupt sleep. They interrupt sexual relations. If you talk to others about it, they recoil and stigmatize you. See we assume bed bugs equate to dirty lifestyle or living. That is a fallacy. Bed Bugs are seeking food (us), they do not care if you are a hoarder or a minimalist, hospital clean or junkyard mucky, young, old, senior, Millennial, wealthy or poor. They just want your blood.

One would then think, well treatment happens it ends right. No, it does not, one is encouraged not to abandon their resident during treatment cycles as you are literally the bait to contain the infestation. Best case scenario, after two weeks it is free and clear with maybe a lingering of psychosomatic itchiness. Worst case scenario, multiple sprays and many if not all belongings disposed of to ensure reoccurence stops. Literally losing one’s life (material, or completed suicide).

What can this do? Lack of sleep is never a good thing for the human body. Isolation due to stigmatization is never a good thing. Fear of an area of the house (usually happens with where you sleep), but can happen with the whole residence. During treatment cycles, prep, stress, already existing mental health concerns can be exacerbated or new ones can be created: panic attacks to psychotic breaks are not out of the realm of possibility for a rather mentally healthy individual (recurrence after treatment has also been termed Post Traumatic Bed Bug Stress Disorder). For addictions, they can get worse and reach crisis levels, most prevalent being gambling, alcoholism, and drug use. One can also become more open to addiction symptoms to deal with the stress and trauma of the infestation. Sadly as well, pre-existing domestic violence can increase rapidly around this as the infestation can become the focal point of rage and blame.

Knowing that inspection brings people into one’s sanctuary (home); treatment brings others into the sanctuary and tears it apart; living with the buggars has its own terrors. Is it any wonder that mental health is something that needs to be navigated, acknowledged, and treated during and after this time? If we ignore it, we are simply ignoring what is right for our neighbour and ourselves.

Best pest control company I have worked with in Calgary is Martin’s Pest Control.

Image result for bed bugs

 


Divinity

Divinity (Photo credit: Eye – the world through my I)

This was a tweet from Mark Harvorth @HardlyNormal  a travelling advocate for those without a place to lay their heads in North America.  It is also a true fact.

But let’s grow beyond the 140 characters to understand what Domestic Violence can be rooted in (please note this article is not exhaustive, my doctorates are in Holistic Psychology, Metaphysics, and Divinity, so please seek out other sources as well to grow your understanding so in 2013 we can eliminate this blight on our species).  During the holiday season isolation goes up, those struggling with mental illness goes up, those with addictions, and the social users goes through the roof. Unfortunately with our greedy materialism driven lives, financial cliffs become a leering reality for many families who over stretch their bank accounts and credit to ensure their kids and themselves keep up with their neighbours.

Also, in the US, Black Friday is break even, while in Canada it is usually Boxing Day that becomes break even for many retailers, which means that during this season for those in the retail sector this is high stress because one does not know if their store will exist post break even or not. As well, the rise of stress and usage of both legal and illegal substances in the party atmosphere lead to an increase in driving under the influence, and life crippling/ending accidents. Anecdotally, it appears that more aged relatives become hospitalized or pass away during the First Day of School-Thanksgiving-Halloween-Rememberance Day-Christmas links in the year than other times which casts society members ill equipped for interdependence in healing into grief cycles.

Are these excuses for beating the crud out of your loved ones? NO! Never read understanding rationale behind harm, as validating the harm as okay. What it means is being able to work within the setting to bring a reconciliation within the offender so they will not offend again, and bring a reconciliation within the victim so they understand that they are not the cause of said violence and they need to heal the wounds (seen/unseen) to be able to live a healthy life once more.

But the sad part here is that some (most?) reading this will be thinking of domestive violence as physical abuse, perpetrated by a Husband (or male partner) upon a wife (or female partner)…and that is only the visible tip of the ice berg that society is willing to accept. What follows is a short list of other forms of abuse that we endure within our domestic connections that one may not realize is abuse, but it is:

1) Same-sex partner abuse (male to male, female to female) or any configuration within a relationship that exists out of the LGBTTIQ communities.

2) Parent upon child

3) Child upon parent

4) Grandchild upon grandparent (vice-versa, and insert whichever generations you choose)

5) Between friends, roommates,

6) any familial relationship (aunt, uncle, mother, father, sibling, cousing, godparent, grandparent, cleric) upon another within that familial network.

These are all the relationships where domestic violence can exist (if I missed some please add to it within the comments section).

The forms it takes very obviously:

1) Physical – quite self explanatory that is inflicting bodily harm upon another.

2) Mental – degrading an individual to the point where you control them (much like Cults do) and they isolate themselves from healthy supports within their lives.

3) Addiction– whatever addiction is destroying your life, you then initiating the relative into the same behaviour, misery after all loves company.

4) Emotional – It is akin to mental, yet this is at the visceral level that makes us family (domestic units) and causes one to feel they have no value, and that how they are treated (which is usually worse than a mouse or other rodent) within their family unit is what they should seek in life.

5) Sexual – R-A-P-E or any form of sexual assault that happens by one in authority, through coercion, threat of violence, or partaking within another form of abuse. It can be petting, gropping, choking, BDSM, Manual stimulation, Anal, Vaginal, oral, bestiality…etc. but the key is that it is about power and control and it is wrong.

6) Spiritual – Where a member of the domestic unit uses the family’s spirituality/religion to control and subjugate others to their will. It becomes evident as abuse when one feels disempowered, isolated and must conform for fear of losing domestic connections. Sadly, some families of clerics fall into this trap where the cleric acts as religious and parent to the family and does not seperate the role; smaller and mega churches can also fall into this through a cult of personality. Most famous for of spiritual abuse through fear of ostracization is seen in how hte Jehovah Witnesses‘ deal with claims of abuse, or when one marries outside the faith or Bountiful, B.C..

7) Negligence – This is a catch all category that can be not providing the  means of simple living (food, clothing, shelter, connection with other human beings); isolation from the community at large to family with good hearts attempting to care for a relative when they are incapable of caring and too proud/scared/inept to access the resources available for the individual’s care.

8) Financial – We have all seen the television commercial against elder abuse that sees the grandchild or child taking money through threats or coercion from their loved one. But financial abuse can be so much more. It is misuse of funds, it is playing of the love the relative has for you when you are in need, it is stealing from them blatantly, it is living with the relative but having them pay for everything. There are so many ways when the domestic unit moves from a caring/shared partnership when multiple generations live together to when it becomes a targetted one individual is the cash cow so the others can not participate.

These are forms of abuse, this is obviously not the complete or exhaustive list because as a species humanity is constantly inventing new ways to hurt those that should be the most dear to us.

The challenge is to recognize if we fall into a lesser or major extent of these, if any of our loved ones do, then to seek out the appropriate help and support.

The ancients predicted 2013 would be a year when the way the world is would drastically become the way it was and a utopia would emerge, eliminating the ability of familial violence from this earth would definately be a miracle in the right direction.


Another day, and sadly those trusted to shepherd the young revealed to be a monster:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/02/01/calgary-sex-rodman-abuse.html

It is quite nice that the son is standing by his father the abuser, what a Christian act, yet in none of these statements are there talks of supporting the victims, aiding them in healing and walking in the light and realizing that this abuse had nothing to do with them, or the God they may or may not still believe in.

So it is fine to stand with the abuser, but in a truly restorative system the victimizer is held to account, and walked with for rehabilitation back into community in a healthy healed way, but NEVER is the victim forgotten. They are walked with towards healing, and reconciliation of their own soul and the pain they have endured, and rebuilding of that which actions such as these have stripped away from them.

So Pastor, I know this alleged monster is your Dad, and the world has changed, and he has done the “christianize” thing of confessing his sins and struggles… but what of those that he has admitted to victimizing—RAPING, and who will walk with them and speak for them, and aid the ones that still struggle in silence with their shame, hurt and pain to emerge once more into the light of community with self-worth?

Where would Jesus be in this mire? With all.

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