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RootTilden last won the day on November 30 2013

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  1. I am battling my pc now for control. Basically, I faced a similar experience and am still going through it. I became physically ill and simply could not meet people. The pain was so bad I was incapacitated. 35 years of horror. Returning was/is hard. I found vague comments with perhaps a hint of mystery. Illness in the family. Family matter. Pressing business. It is hard to judge. Sometimes it is easier for me to be lighthearted than others.
  2. Your posts moved me greatly. My father was a Jehovah's Witness whacked tyrant who was emotionally and physically abusive. I was the eldest and female. He hated women. In fact, he had the women cause all men's problems attitude that I read about with the Duggars. Before I was born, a judge told my mom to leave him, to not tell anyone where she was going. My brother is only twenty months younger than I am. He has cererbal palsy. My younger sister is seven years younger. I was raised that not only was my father all powerful but he had the backing of Jehovah God. My mind was very confused. Mom was so nice and sweet, but completely ineffective in stopping him. She would just cry. I truly believed she endorsed his opinion that somehow I was so evil. If he knew that I loved anything, I lost it. Beatles fan stuff confiscaed. Popular TV shows -no TV imposed. When I turned to my transistor radio, radio removed. One night when I was fourteen, he beat me severely, then beat my siblings with no mercy. I was so confused about my meris as a person. Yet I was very clear that my brother and sister were good. The Kingdom Hall crowd would only back up his power as tyrant. My teachers were not trustworthy. They saw bruises and just looked the other way. I wrote to a teen fashion magazine's advice column. My letter was not printed in the mag. They sent me a letter stating that my father was wrong. The sentence changed my life. In addition they gave me the phone number of a local agency that could help me. Because of the Witnesses, I found calling impossible. I would try so many times and hang up. Certainly, Jehovah would strike me dead for not honoring my father. The letter was crumpled and hidden carefully in my bedroonm, My mom found it , cleaning my room and snooping in her usual mode. When she told me she found the letter, I thought I would be killed. To my shock, she telephoned the agency. My mom and I went for years. She terrorized mysiblings n to realizing the gravity of ever telling my father. No matter how angry they became with me they were not to reveal the help. He became much worse, but he died from heart disease when I was sixteen. I was facing being pulled out of school because I was too worldly I made calendars and Xed out every day on my goal to being 18 and free to leave. It hurts me deeply that people are still undergoing abuse. My father never knew that we sought help. We would be ********. Reaching out was not easy. Frankly, it took years of college in New York before I began to feel normal. I thought I made an escape. My life seemed blessed and then changed course. Physical illness set many imits. Recently, I returned to my home city,a place notorious for violence and ghetto chaos. It was close to NYC. Seeing the city and my family home, schools again after decades was not pleasant. My heart started bagngin in my chest. I knew I was more traumatized than I ever realized. To make matters worse, I faced violence and threats of serious violence recently. It was so bad that I was hospitalized. My sister took off from work to help me. One thing helps me a lot. It is my age. There are so many good and wonderful things that I experienced iin my life. I can vividly recall feeling utterly hopeless and without a true friend. With time and therapy,. I practiced law at a very high level, even working on U.S. Supreme Court cases. Friends surfaced. Illness restricts me greatly and my future is uncertain. It scares me. My father's voice remains with me. I try to stop it. Every great even in my life is a time of recollection. I savor normal things. I notice that when friends sought therapy, their families were often obstructive. The blatant remarks are easier to deal with than the sly, subtle ones. It is not easy but the journey is worth it. Sometimes just reaching out for help is heroic. There is beauty in the act of resisting abuse and getting help, regardless of the outcome. I am now hypervigilant. September 11th affected me greatly. I worked across the street from Ground Zero and lived downtown. I felt sort of like a zombie. Yet my body told me I was traumatized. Flinching every time a plane flew over before I was conscious that I heard the noise lasted for years. Abuse is serious. I hope you find peace. Perhaps you can even arrange a different relationship with your father. All sorts of things I thought impossible happened to me. Good things. I truly feel it is heroic to even post here.z
  3. You describe complex thoughts so well. I am drawn to your writing. Because I was raised a Witness, I was very careful to understand even nuances of Anglican doctrine. It was very hard to get simple answers from priests. I was being overly legalistic because I was raised in a legalistic view of doctrine. The priest told me that the Church in the broad sense is a community of people asking questions together in community and not isolated. He stated that he had the same doubts I did. I waited until women were allowed to be priests and all waiting for ordination in my diocese were ordained before I would be baptized and confirmed. Eucharist is important to me because it is denied by the Witnesses. The physicality of Christ became important. Almost every woman I know has issues with how women are treated in the RC Church. Pope Francis' recent visit to NYC moved me greatly. The good feelings were quelled quite a bit when I saw no women near the altar. I reflect on what the author of the Life of Pi wrote about which story do you prefer. A colorful tale of zoo animals that is not rational or a mundane recitation of events. I prefer he colorful story, knowing that I needed to suspend some of my analytic powers. When it comes to religion, I simply do not know. It was extremely difficult for me to receive Holy Communion. It was considered so evil by the Witnesses. Although my rational mind completely rejected my family's choices, it was very hard to feel worthy. My relatives would have become ill if they saw me receive communion. My heart pounded. I decided to force myself to do it. Now it seems so essential to me, like breathing. I feel a sense of peace. My favorite services are the Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis Feast Day. We have elephants, dogs, cats, all sorts of birds, etc.. goats. Local roaches and rats are included in the noble procession. Another favorite is smaller groups doing Taize or listening to meditations from people I know. When I practiced law, my life was hectic. The pain made my life hectic and chaotic, the peace I found was tangible. Taize services are painful for me at the start of the service. I fidget and expect to leave. I never have left early, though, and feel so wonderful at the end. The prayer book mentions the peace which passeth all understanding. Amen. I do not understand. It seems to me that you are seeking. Sometimes the seeking is the important part, whether we are aware that we arrived or not. I hate hokey, facile Christian sayings. Your writing leaves me feeling less isolated in my quest.
  4. I neglected to take a shower, but I am suffering from bronchitis. Researched important personal challenge on the Web, cleaned up a bit, cooked for msyelf a bit, and actually left my bed. Made a telephone call to my sister under trying circumstances. The day before I had a long telephone conversation with a friend that definitely helped me cope. Reaching out of my isolation is crucial for me. I am an isolated extrovert and it hurts. Culture wars happen with my sister but I tried to ignore the dynamics. Posting here is an important step.
  5. I remain a huge Beatles fan. It started before the famous Ed Sullivan show. The local or national ran a public interest segment about this phenomena in Britian and announced that the group was coming to America. I saw girls my age having fun and the music was so different. It was fun and high spirited. When I was a teen, I had an arrangement where I would send a British teen Monkees stuff and she sent me Beatles stuff. If a newspaper mentioned anything Beatles related, I clipped it and saved it. The fan club was cool but I had little money. I loved reading anything abou tthem. Their cousins, management, lawyers, corporate structure, any aritst that appeared on an album. I trekked to see Eric Clapton at the Fillmore. With time, I graduate from an elite college in New York and completed law school. I started meeting people with access. My ehnthusiasm for them carried over to performance and the arts, in general. Many friends and colleagues were entertainers. Paul is frequently in Central Park. I know his address on Fifth Avenue. Once I stood in a torrential downpour for hours to see John Lennon at an antiwar rally. Now I believe that a zone of privacy is important. I saved Misha Barishnikov from obsessed and angry fans. I hope if I ever run into Paul (and I may very well have knocked him over the way I walk the streets), I will behave. My obsession or extreme fan behavior helped me cope with domestic violence at home. When my Jehovah's Witness father stripped me of every normal teen thing, I could imagine what each Beatle would say, if they knew. John's voice was the strongest in my mind. I grew up during the Fab Four period. They were so cool, seemed to not ned parents.... Later, they were very candid about how much they did need their families. I am not certain I want to meet Paul and have any discussion. On the other hand, I turned down an opportunity to meet John Lennon a few months before he was ********. Everyone here realizes that they are obsessed. or fears they may be. My early fan days exposed me to so many skills that I used in later life. One good thing about adoring a music group that was so transformative and BIG was that there were always people to discuss the Beatles. New York offered so many opportunities. I met session musicians. They were never just the Beatles to me. They were freedom. FREEDOM. CHEEKINESS IN THE GOOD SENSE. I am now sixty three and look forward to seeing the WHO perform in March. When I am bored, I focus on whether I should make a greater effort to meet Paul and Ringo. After September 11th, I wanted to see the massive concert Paul organized. As my taxi neared the local police precinct, I thought I had seen enough legendary concerts already. I recalled the times when police hated them. The times when the local rock station started receiving calls with Queens accents offering views on Beatles activities. The first responders needed a good time more than I did. Yet I do know that I am more enthusiastic about the arts than most people. So much can be biology too. I recall those Calvin Klein Obsession commercials. Presently, I am disabled and isolated. When I am fully engaged with life, I keep my enthusaism to lower levels. The Internet has so many avenues for fans to have fun or become entangled.
  6. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness and studied New Testament in college at a secular college. The Witnesses were stranging me in so many ways. Hatred of women, child abuse, disdain of knowledge,hatred of government and civilization while taking all the benefits....It was the hatred of women combined with mockery of education that hurt me to my core. Nothing was ever good enough. I stumbled upon a great Anglican cathedral one day because the subway was down and I walked a different route than usual. So much of what you say applies to me. I love the freedom and respect in Anglicanism, combined with the pooling of Roman Catholicism and Protestant doctrines. These groovy Christians hurt me deeply. Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer are on my hit list of Christianity perverted completely. My life is a bit complicated. I flourished and then became very ill with pain. Fortunately, a woman who was a famous author hung out in the library and devoted hours to me. She pointed out that Jesus never promised us a great life in this world. He is with us in our suffering. One of the hallmarks of Anglicanism is a rational, attraction rather than promotion approach. If Christians hurt me so much, what do they do to people of other faiths or no faith? Sometimes I joke that I should get a restraining order. Yet when I lived in PA, my local Episcopal priest did something deplorable to me in private session. I barely returned home and took to my bed, crying for hours. As I cried, I spoke to Jesus out loud and told me that I wanted no more of his "messengers" or "servants." Because of emergency financial circumstances, my landlord told me to get in touch with St. Vincent de Paul Society. The doorbell rang and I just wanted to push furniture against the door. I found myself getting out of bed to answer the door and told Jesus it was a Pavlovian response. The door was going to be slammed shut at the first sign of Christian insensitivity. Of course,,I was polite. To my utter shock, it was as though Jesus of Nazareth arrived at my home to help me Himself. There was no shame. No preaching. Help wtih self esteem and concrete help financially. I walk around terrified of what some Christian who does not even know the Bible will say to me. Sometimes they hear what I think of them. I do know one thing that is different in the Roman Catholic and Anglican tradition, besides the obvious. Roman Catholics are often told they must attend their local church. I had to so as a Witness and it exposed me to great danger. As an Anglican, I was encouraged to visit a variety of parishes and see where I felt the most comfortable. Even as a regular worshiper, I viist other denominations to observe and particpate. NYC has rich religious resources. My local neighborhood was full of Eastern Rite churches, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker Dutch Reformed, almost any denomination. Although I often read academic literature concerning religion, the litmus test for me is how welcoming and comfortable a church feels for me. During my illness, I moved around several Anglican parishes depending on my emotional needs. I honestly believe that most Christians are repelled by overeager Christians who feel a need to share their particular view as the only legitimate one. This is strange because from its founding, Christianity was diverse. It is a historical fact. I wish I had the ability to be patient and inform these "Christians" how much they drive people away. People are v ery interesed when they hear my faith experience. Yet they are terrified of entering a church because of deep hurt cause by churches and many eager beavers. I tell them I just sit and observe. If I heard or saw something troubling to my conscience, I would walk out politely. Of course, this is easier to do in large churches. Because I was raised in a minority religion that has liittle respect, it is important for me t obe respectful. I never walked out of any service until about three weeks ago. Someone running a spiritualiyt group at a public hospital, preached, pointed fingers, stamped her feet, and stated that no Roman Catholic or Baptist knows their Bible. Only she does. I politely responded that her statement was not true but perhaps I could understnad why she believed the way she did. After a withering look from her, I repeated a creedal statement used in my church every Sunday. She accused me of the evil thing, being Roman Catholic. I told her I was not and walked out iwth dignity. The general counsel of this hospital received a strong letter from me concerning the legality and wisdom of alloiwng such hatred. Throughout the world, many people pray to be saved from Christianity. A Brahmin Hindu student told me that while Jesus of Nazareth was well known and respected, his church was not. Frankly, I wish more normal people would write about how hurtful so many Christians are with their zeal. It is my observation that those with the most zeal frequently know very little about Christianity itself. They know a few key phrases and have limited exposure to the Bible and even church doctrine within their own denomination. I face this issue constantly in my family. Solutions would be welcome. I cry when I feel comfortable in church because of these "Christians." So often I feel I must battle for any personal autonomy and integrity because of them. Perhaps I was raised to be too polite to rude people.
  7. I am now sixty three and would like to share some thoughts with the disclaimer that they are only my thoughts. Our living circumstances affects us deeply. I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness in a family where severe violence was the norm in Newark, New Jersey. When I was young, Newark was a decent city. Culture existed. Within a few years, chaos reigned. I faced violence at home, at school, and whenever I left my neighborhood to shop or work downtown. I fled the Witnesses. My father tried to pull me out of high school because I was evil for loving the Beatles, teen fashion, and school. I lived with the ACLU's phone number hidden on my body. He died and I was spared. It was very scary but I attended a Seven Sister on scholarship. Everyone was so nice. Professors cared about what we thought. There were Persian rugs. Muffys and Buffys galore. It was so scary but I wanted it. During college, my sister was so bullied in public schools in Newark that a doctor told my mom she would report my mom for child abuse. We were forced to sell. I felt a kinship to my Newark classmates and did not want to cut whatever ties still existed. My mom faced housing discrimination as a widow with teen children. We ended up in the Greenwich Village of New Jersey, a lovely town. Within two months of moving, I felt all the stress and anxiety Newark caused. To my surprise, I bent down and actually kissed the suburban town's ground. To shorten a long story, I am now most comfortable in legal and intellectual circles on the East Coast. Yet I am physcially disabled and have no funds to live in NYC any longer. The lifestyle was wondeful for me. A ten year sojourn in PA had me crying most of the time. The area was a Bible belt. I faced hatred precisely for the things I was celebrated for elsewhere. Reading books and the arts was suspect. No matter how I explained how the Ivy League works and that there are many myths, no one believed me. I traveled far just to sit in University City in Philadelphia and hear Penn and Drexel students discuss ideas. The vocabulary words I heard would increase would increase ten fold as soon as I reached Philadelphia. To return to NYC area, I moved to Newark, which was not a good move. Violence was worse than before. There are signs of corporate towers but multigenerational violence and dysfunction remains. I fled for my very life and safety. Presently, I am in temporary residence. Resources matter, climate, social standing, impact us. Moving back to Newark made me realize I remain severely traumatized. When I was your age, I was very intense and had immense drive. Too much drive. I could not relax because I just wanted to escape. Older people would tell me not to worry and often laughed at my intensity. My ife improved so much when my circumstances improved. A famous psychiatrist once told me that psychiatry cannot cure crappy circumstances. My mom was negatively impacted by the move to Pennsylvania. There was once a documentary about New York City and Greenwich Village. The narrator said if Greenwich Village did not exist, it would need to be invented. For generations, NYC was a refuse for people who were misfits elsewhere.Yet they were did very well in a more tolerant atmosphere. The great benefit of being older is that I can recall when I felt no hope and then my life became so good, followed by disappointment and who know what the next chapter will be. Readng is one thing. Hearing is another. The life experience makes a difference. Most young people today drive me crazy with their shallowness. Yet they face great challenges. I do not know what will work for you. My mecca drives many people crazy. Our personal circumstances affect our brains and bodies. Different people flourish n different types of communities. .When I am faced with violence or people look at me strangely because I am a New Yorker, my anxiety increases. It decreases when my living circumstances improve. Anxiety is puzzling. Also, when I was your age, I could not wait to leave my family and yet, because of the trauma, I felt a need to stay with them. Please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors. Software is not working properly.
  8. I worked in a poorly run disability rights law firm. My huge disability started when I was around thirty from agonizing facial pain. Most of the time I was in a fetal position. My mom was my constant companion and advocate in the fight. I received some special help because doctors identified with my professional degree. Before the pain, I was practicing law on Wall Street and doing pro bono work for the ACLU and NOW in Supreme Court cases. The consequences of the pain impoverished me and isolated me. I kept fighting and I often wondered if the better thing would be to leave the fight gracefully. Many aspects of disability simply enrage me. My goal is to work towards minimizing them as much as I can in my present state. First, the lawyers knew factual components of law but had no zeal or spunk in defending disability rights. I am a child of the 1960s and an activist in civil rights. Let us just say that I knew more about advocacy in high school than these lawyers did. They were bureaucrats. Despite spending many weekends and nights doing volunteer work for them, I received no help from them when my personal issues arose. Second, I am Episcopalian and so many "Christians" hurt me deeply with Jesus is Groovy and Suffering is Good statements, correcting my utter agony. Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen impact too many Christians. I have no answers concerning suffering. What is clear to me is that suffering has no easy answer. I doubt it has any complex answer. Reading suffering literature genres, I saw humans grappled with the same frustrations thousands of years before I existed. Third, I once could expect income in the millioins annually. Now I hover at the poverty line. Because I once worked very hard, I do not receive Medicaid benefits at all. My mom died and there is hardly any family suypport. I grew up in the NYC area and lived in Manhattan for 40 years. There was more concern for my limitations in NYC than in Mennonite Pennsylvania country. I have a right to take public transportation at any time it runs. People told me I had to commute during nonpeak hours because it took me a minute or two longer to jump into the train than it took them. My facial pain responded to a variety of treatments after thirty five years. Yet I failed to find any employment in any type of job. OVR was atrocious and many employees were candid in that they were great with technical assistance but failed at the encouragement needed to sustain job searches. I never expected to be hired as a corporate lawyer. When public interest firms told me they knew I could do a superb job but the market demanded that they hire recent law grads from despicable law schools, I became furious. Their function is to change society, not reinforce bad social policy. Would they say such a thing to a person of color during the 1950s. I suspect they did. I moved back to the NYC area to network in a more sustained way. It feels so much better. Now I face new disability challenges with my legs. Some days I can do so much and other days I cannot move. Lack of funds impacts my housing. I thought I could return to my hometown, a notorious city for violence and ghetto lifestyles. I fled for my physical safety. I need some help with instrumental daily activities and, without Medicaid assistance, do not where to turn. To sum up my experience, disability strips one of much self-esteem. As an OVR client, I faced lawless and ridiculous employers ready to take advantage of people who do not complain properly. Disability is common. Everyone is only temporarily able. We could be a powerful force for change. The isolation works against us. I don't know how to explain it but many disabled people have Pollyanna attitudes. I am so lucky to.....when they face societal oppression. The Americans with Disabilities Act is no longer new. It was weak. Enforcement has not been strong. My dream is for disabled people to vent and organize. Our families and neighbors are also negatively impacted by the way disability is treated. As I searched for employment or even meaningful volunteer activities, I felt so discouraged. Mediocrity reigned and the door was shut for me. Few people who are now healthy realize that they could become disabled in an instant. Well, I intend to fight. It appears that self employment and creativity are important factors when disabled. Although I cherish the arts, I lack creativity. Yet, whenever I am able, I shall try. So much of the battle is attitude.
  9. I see broken people all over the world and history. Sadly, God often gives us more than we can bear. A theologian pointed out to me that Jesus never promised us prosperity but quite the opposite. He is with me in my suffering. I have major issues with what I suffered and my life is blessed compared to many. I understand your point. It works for those with a certain image of God or Nature. Clearly, I had quite an opposite view of God. It leaves good people of no faith nowhere. Yet I see atheists and agnostics doing great works for others throughout history and time. When I was young, I would have found great comfort in the saying. Suffering has taught me there are no cute or easy answers. There is a whole genre of suffering literature--Job, C.S.. Lewis, A Grief Observed, Jung, the Problem of Job, and the famous work by a concentration camp doctor. Victor Frankl. As I searched my Bible, I found no easy answers. Perhaps we are meant to sit uncomfortably with suffering. I can outline what my denomination teaches. Hey, I begged Christ to come NOW. Little children suffering with cancer, the victims of racism and holocausts, acts of God. the very term "acts of God" for tornadoes, earthquakes, volancanoes, should give pause. There is an older layer of faith beyond the Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen easy faith. Sometimes I go with Lennon's "Whatever gets you through the night...." Other times I cry, "Come, Lord Jesus" at the top of my lungs. I grew up reading concentration camp memoirs and knew people in my real life who were victims/survivors. Suffering shakes my faith. It bothered Job, an ancient book. I am one in the millions upon millions who question suffering. It should make one fearful and full of wonder. Suffering is not groovy, to use an old expression.
  10. I am recoverng from severe hypothyroidism that required hospitalization. My Synthroid level needs to be increased. Your story is too typical. There is great controversies concerning treatment, rets. One thing my psychopharmacologist at a large NY teaching hospital did was insist on hormonal and other tests before prescribing medication. I have far to go but I do feel resurrected in many ways. The doctors told me I would. Psy docs should not prescribe antidepressants before running simple hormonal tests. My tests were abnormal for thyroid, cortisol, Human growth hormone, Vitamin D. The Internet has me confused. I refuse to put my faith in chiropractors and naturopaths with little science training. On the other hadn, Western medicine could move more swiftly and efficinetly. Sadly, as I tell others of my thyroid problems, I hear similar stories of being on the brink of death with clear symptoms of thyroid disease, not treated or not even tested. I am angry concerning my situation. The depression was highlighted but not the cause. I feel so much more like myself iwth the increased Synthroid and off antidepressants and Lithium. The Lithium further destroyed my thryoid. I refuse to take other garbage because I do not have major bipolar incidents. Frankly, I notice a difference between American and other doctors. Foreign trained psy docs said they would never take mood stabilizers if they were in the suspected but not proven category. We are whole people. Science arbitrarly cuts us up. Medicine even more so. We suffer. Rage properly directed can be a powerful force for good. You should see endocrinologists and not general medical doctors. This is controversial area of medicine. I guess we find out by trial and error on our own bodies and minds.
  11. I found out that I have lymphedema and venous insuffuciency about two months ago. It is too early to tell if it is a nuisance or serious trouble. Finding a physical therapist to help is very hard. I suffered facial pain that was so severe for thirty years. Pain managment involved and my life was much improved for the last decade. Not enough to return to work but I am an intellectual and could not find affordable housing near my home schools. Illness has a way of isolating me. The isolation increases my depression. It was very hard for me to find a psy doc who understood that physcial illness impact life. I became tired of being treated as though I was lazy. My own family has not been very supportive. Not exactly true. My mom was a passionate advocate. She stood by me always. Since she died, I feel the loss. Frankly, I don't know if there is enough fight left in me for another health battle. When I feel better, I am determined to reclaim my life before the facial pain. These conditions may be manageable. Manageable means I can do my favorite things. Honestly, I can't imagine what depression caused by vascular disease is like. Eclectic stuff helped my pain. I still don't know exactly what brought major relief from the facial pain b/c I was doing so many things at one time. Just having pain mgmt evolve as a specialty helped. People understood! Now that I am not in agonizing pain, I see that family members are limited and my illness had little to do with how I was treated. If my life were ideal, they would still face their issues. I feel very fluid right now. Scared stiff. Reaching out with fear but reaching out. Maybe the reaching out is key. You show spunk in the way you view your treatment. I respect spunk and determination. It is hard to maintain when on e is ill.
  12. I am rereading the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis. The first time I read them I was in agonizing facial pain. It is nice to linger over his word choice and appreciate the craft. History and law are passions of mine so I am also reading a biography of Napoleon and Abraham Lincoln and the Jews. The Lincoln book is a documentary book. I never heard the subject matter suggested before I found it in the library. Basically, there were hardly any Jews in America at the time of our War for Independence. There was mass immigration from Germany shortly before the war. Lincoln's family belonged to a special sort of Christians. He had early dealings with Jews in his community. Very interesting. Looking for a novel to read. I see many good ideas in these posts. Proust. Remembrance of Times Past is downloaded. I would like something light weigh tto read. Summer reading in the fall.
  13. I just wanted to add that when I am in manhattan, spending time in church, Central Park, museums, my college or law school, I feel wonderful and whole. The problem is I cannot afford market rent. My family is minimally supportive. Many times in Newark I came within 1/8" of being hit severely. Basic services do not exist. Fire safety in my bldg did not exist. Many times I wondered if I should just grab my handbag and commute to NYC for safety sake. I do notice from my advocacy days that people who are the most critical never actually do much. High school classmates who dropped out of college feel free to tell me how to speak to someone, even when I explain the law and why certain things are done, they are full of criticism. There is much hatred of the system and yet little understanding of reality. I should have louder, softer, kinder, meaner, you name it. College was weird because people were so nice and supportive. I was not used to it. Well, I grew to adore nice and supportive people. I prefer a culture where people are free to have thoughts, read books, wear silk, whatever. Yes, I have clothes critics. It seems I can't afford normal for my eduational achievement yet I realize what drove me to flee Newark in the first place. I stand for Paul McCartney concerts, the ballet, books, libraries, film societies, history......These are not controversial in much of this country. Why must I fight for basics that are considered normal? I fought for the right to read the Bible by myself. My father tried to pull me out of high school. I am under strain. Orso, Yes. I am physically safe. My sister has me staying at her in-laws temporarily. She even told her job that she wouldl quit if they did not give her time off so she could help me. A few days help would have saved thousands and my credit, but it is the most she has ever done. I am very grateful. Shocked. I remind myself that every good thing in my life started with anxiety and doubt. There is some drop-in center and an er if I feel the need. I like the authentic me. There are so many people who have no idea they have options. Doctors, professionals, the NYPD told me to leave asap. The New York Police Department officers from my long term precinct told me informally. They were not speaking officially. NYFD members eyes popped out when I told them of the fire safety problems in my building. I lived in a corporate area.
  14. I was raised as a Jehovah;s Witness and in Newark, NJ, a double whammy for serious abuse. With time, I escaped, stood my ground, graduated from a major Ivy League university, graduated from top law school near the top of my class, and practice law in both public and private settings. Once I became Episcopal, which I stumbled into I was able to feel comfortable asking questions and dealing with often having now answers. The main cathedral in New York City was the scene of many triumphs and a haven when I fought agonzing facial pain. Physical illness has traumatized me. I live in isolation. To return to NYC area, I moved back to Newark, NJ two years ago. The poverty and corporate towers rising above a hopeless city full of dysfunction and violence made me realize how severely traumatized my upbringing left me and it is so much worse now. I recently fled for my sanity and physical safety. I somehow blame myself for not creating some way to find better housing, despite disability income. Somehow I could be more creative. I realized that I might die if I did leave. Of course, I never picked up a phone to any classmate in any postion of power. One of the great points of returning to the NYC area was to worship at the Cathedral again. It is my home, even when I am away. Events in Newark heated up just as most people left for summer vacation. I called the Cathedral to leave a message for the priest, knowing she was away. My thought was that if violence happened (the real threat was always present), ppl there would be able to let law enforcement know what happened. The Newark police are not on the job. A friend was also under assault around the same time. Law enforcement did little to help her. As a lawyer, it made me furious. An aide took my message at the Cathedral and it was forwarded to some priest therapist who does counseling. He disagnosed me as bipolar and that he cannot help me. I was not soliciitng his help. Only someone to take notes in case I suffered serious bodily injury. My sister telephoned so the accounty of the conversation is filtered by my sister's peculiarities. I sent the priest an email briefly explaining the circumstances and that I would be in touch once I found new quarters that were safe. There has no reply. She usually replied in the past. My intention was to make an appointment and explain what violence and constant threats of violence do a person who believes in law. Most of my life was spent fighting the conditions in Newark. Law school allowed me to be a more effective activist. I see no need to die in combat, however,to bring change. I am hurt. Do not quite know what to do. One of my foibles is needing assurance from people. It is important for me to see facial and body language. Past emails from me were referenced by the counselor. When I search my sent tab, I see nice emails. Very lovely emails. I know I must ask for a face to face visit. It annoys me that I am tried and convicted with no forum to state my case. If I had no made the phone call and I did reach out to lawyers, law enforcements, and classmates first but everyone was on vacation, I would regret not picking up the phone. My family are big isolators. They would rather rot than reach for help. There is my early life of isolation because of the Witnesses and great secrecy b/c of severe abuse, college and law school where reaching out was normal and expect, and my illness self, where physical limitations limit my ability to be in person. My feelings are torn. Part of me feels funny writing this post. I know it is not organized well.
  15. This thread arouses deep passion in my. My rational mind must stay in control. As I stated clearly, I am an active Christian. If Jesus would think so, I don't know. He does not talk to me. I don't want him to talk to me. Paul was beheaded. As an American, I find funamentalists and cultists alarmingly destructive to our culture. It is far easier to respect agnostics and atheists than someone who has the arrogance to believe that Christ would condemn those who for a multitude of reasons, such as culture, geographic barriers, war, famine, deep grief just cannot believe ignorant beliefs such as a literal Adam and Eve. The Christian church has not been Christian for much of its history. Bible stories abound with genocies and rape of small women and children jjustified. When YHWH or St. Paul subjugate women, I say no way. There is so much evidence that the ancient human authors wrote enduring myths and truths. No audience was expected to view scripture literally. Science shows gay people have no choice, The sacrifice of Isaac, even the ****** Passion of my Lord raise very troubling questions. Jesus is not groovy in the gospels or the NT. We project our wishes onto Jesus regardless of what the Bible text says. In my time, Christianity was a religous choice. One had faith. People knew basic doctrine. Too often Christians idenitfy as a tribe. Few know basic Bible stories. Stories that are essentai to our culture. As Bob Dylan sang, "With God on our side...." Christ is central to my Christianity. Jesus was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, and died as a Jew. Yet too many Christians have no idea. Dietrich Bonhoeffer decried cheap grace. Christianity need not be a gutter religion. Yet more and more Americans are in the gutter. Jesus did not promise prosperity. In fact, he promised the opposite. He was not groovy. His actions were often puzzliing and contradictory to his closest followers and family. They experience angst following him. St. Thomas demanded to feel his wounds. I don't know how to stop the ugly American phenomena. When public schools stopped teaching the Bible as literature and preachers such as Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen degraded the gospel, we developed a Barstewardized secular Christianity which has no roots in actual Christianity. Time and time again, I see or hear Christians feeling arrogrant and smug. Jesus would be appalled. Christianity is not easy. I don't have answers but questins are important.
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