+BLAMING GUNS FOR VIOLENCE. GETTING REAL

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I pop onto Facebook now and then to click a ‘like’ here and there, to let people in my life (be it at a distance) know that I am interested in what interests them.  The rest of the time I do what many blog readers do:  I look, I think, and I remain silent.

I also notice that recently there are many comments appearing about ‘guns’, which is not a topic I jump into with a toe, let alone with both feet.  Except that this morning — this quite early morning — my personal shields must be up.  Or is that down?  I’m frankly not too sure because this is what I feel urged to say:  Blaming any object for any human action is childish thinking.

Or so it seems to me.

I have perhaps a rather unique take on objects and violence.  I was raised by a psychotically abusive (and I mean PSYCHOTIC) Borderline Personality Disorder mother.  I spent the first 18 years of my life being victim to her brutal verbal and physical assaults.  I know a thing or two or ten thousand about objects and violence.

I have written before on this blog – briefly at best – about the insanity of the ‘object’ portion of Mother’s abuse.  She made a long list of every item she deemed of value that she beat me with — and broke.  Wooden spoons, spatulas, wooden Stanley hairbrushes.  True, crazy.

But on this list were also placed all kinds of other items that in Mother’s world were hurt by my supposed actions.  Did she pass by the kitchen sink while I was washing the family’s dishes and see that I had left a wooden spoon soaking in the water?  Attack!  And ruined item added to the list.

Had I caused a mark across the waist of an apron from rubbing against the metal strip along the counter top?  Onto the list.  Caused a bend or a twist in the cord of the iron?  Onto the list.  Left a clothespin on the line when I removed the dried laundry?  Onto the list.

Only the wisest, most savvy readers will understand the other levels to this abuse.  By the time I was in 8th grade Mother hit on the idea that index cards with contact information could be placed around town that I could be paid for doing their ironing.  All fine and well?  Any money I earned went toward paying off my debt for broken and ruined items on Mother’s long list.

It didn’t stop there.  A month after my 18th birthday my parents ‘put’ me into the Navy.  Off I went to boot camp.  Off my paychecks went back to Mother to pay off the damages I had accrued in her universe — by growing up.

In the end, after boot camp was in my past, Mother settled up my debt by generously ‘making a deal’.  She would keep every one of my personal items left at home when I flew off to ‘freedom’ as final payment on my debt.

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OK.  So, when I went to 8th grade and had to wear one of those ugly little blue gym suits that exposed every color of bruise covering the back of my body from my heels to the base of my neck from being beaten with belts with buckles and Stanley hairbrushes and wooden spoons and shoes……..  Blame the OBJECTS?

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4 thoughts on “+BLAMING GUNS FOR VIOLENCE. GETTING REAL

    • Hi! Yes, inhale in is a good idea!! Partly why I love my humble garden – I can always decompress out there! Maybe too cold where you are to find nice places to walk where nature can help with restoration. I hope you find a way to rest in every way! Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Linda, I posted this comment to your FB entry:

    Wise words. Guns are only one part of the issue. The larger one is the systemic violence in our culture that we tolerate and actually encourage by not taking a stand against it. Like the violence inherent in denying real help and support to parents, kids, and families that are in desperate need, and are drowning while we stand by indifferent to their plight…oh, we TALK a good game about how concerned we are…then we take the money from social programs and buy more bombs…

    Talk is cheap. “Money doesn’t talk, it SCREAMS.” – Bob Dylan

  2. And carefully and determinedly, not one of your teachers, the counsellor, or principle noticed your injuries! I remember — (and remember and remember and remember) — how my father beat my brother with his fists. The father also used various sports equipment to beat the boy, but it’s the fist I still hear. A sister told me once that she came upon the father weeping after he’d beaten the boy. “I can’t control myself,” he wept. Nonsense. He didn’t beat the girls, he didn’t beat the neighbours’ children — he *chose* to beat my brother. My brother told me he’d shown his teacher and the school counsellor his bruises after a beating. “What did they do?” I asked. “They shamed me for telling lies.” Our eyes clung in mute contact for a long moment and then a spasm, almost a mathematical wave, jerked my body from head to foot. End of conversation. End of childhood. He didn’t hit me. He flayed me with incessant vicious abuse and humiliation. “Tell that bitch,” he’d say to my mother, or, “Tell that worthless bitch.” Though — hey! — I was right there in the same room. Once I lay on my bed after an excoriation and my mother came in to sit on the edge and say dully, ” He really loves you you know.” That incessant assault was the melody to the wheedling, insinuative, repetitive fugue of the fist. The fist. The FIST on my brother’s body. I was older. I should have protected him. When I’m stressed, I hear the fist on the boy, and the boy whimpering.

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