Insights from the original domestic goddess...
By Roseanne | Uncategorized
using the reading part of your brain helps grease the machinery for repenting.
Well maybe it isn’t Amazon’s fault at all! I phoned customer service & they informed me credit card wouldn’t allow payment. Will phone Visa next to inquire. The last 6 months my credit card companies just out of the blue put a hold on my credit card due to suspicion of FRAUD. When I purchased book on Amazon it said thank’s for your order & I even received an email with Order # etc. I really need to just buy things in person whenever possible!!
I ordered Roseannearchy thru Amazon several weeks ago, before your book was on bookstore shelves. It still hasn’t arrived. I’ve always had the worst luck with mail orders, my entire life! Now i have to contact them, if that’s possible. Hopefully i paid with credit card vs debit from checking in case i need to reverse the payment. Right now I feel like going to the bookstore tomorrow and buying it there.
“In discussions and conversations, do not try to force your point of view upon other people, as you may be inclined to do. It may seem to be the most important thing in the world to make everyone come around to your views, and your efforts may provoke arguments over matters that you have no real stake in.”
(Personal daily horoscope for Tina Fay)
In reply to your question, No need to say you are sorry. Caring is sharing. The fact that you are sharing your passion in an open forum says a lot about you.
- I enjoy discussion,…..force never entered my mind.
- I am sorry it did yours?
- I care about the topic.
- I care about being able to care.
- Passion is the currency of life. In the end, it’s all we’ve really earned. I’ll spend mine as I see fit.
I read this today…
“In discussions and conversations, do not try to force your point of view upon other people, as you may be inclined to do. It may seem to be the most important thing in the world to make everyone come around to your views, and your efforts may provoke arguments over matters that you have no real stake in.”
With that being copied and pasted, my words to you as a mother are, “I love you.”
I had been thinking about our discussion on this topic,..and I thought I’d show you something that may help explain my pov,…..
….the first paste is a letter that I wrote to my Mom about 15 years ago,….never mailed, never meant to be,…….Though I’ve not spoken to my Mother in over 25
years,…..I just needed to write this one day. You will
recognize some phrases from my memoir’s epilogue,…as it
helped me close out where I was trying to go with my writing……….
The second paste,…..is a letter I wrote to my three kids when my book was published,….
Perhas you will see the difference…
p.s. – don’t mean to be a blog-stuffer,…but I presume if Roseanne is annoyed by my postings, she can control that from there…..
I often wonder how disgusted you were with me at the moment of my birth. I wonder about being born so prematurely and the circumstances that brought that about. I wonder at that moment in time, did you know of my Father’s betrayal, and of my half-brother growing in another woman just across town? Until I learned of John’s existence, I simply thought you were a crazy bitch, and my Father an angry alcoholic, both of you worn down by poor health, a lack of love, and the harsh reality of trying to raise six kids on a Cop’s salary.
I know it seems selfish of me to contemplate such moments, and I should be grateful that you didn’t abort me. But I wonder? When I came into the world, through so much physical pain on your part, were you already so damaged and angry, so fucking furious that it turned your stomach to know you’d brought another one of that bastard’s children into the world?
Did you look down upon me and feel an ounce of love or pride? Did you think about my battle to live, and did you pray for my survival? Or did you secretly hope that I’d fail in my struggle?
I try to visualize the moment of my birth, and I try to compare it to the pride and joy I experienced as Dylan’s Father, and what a glorious moment his birth was for me. I try to see you holding me in your arms and the Kodak moment between you and Dad, a fragment in time in which you both proudly speculated about what my life would be like, where my potential would lay, and how you could nurture, love and sustain my well-being?
Or, when I was pushed from inside of you and placed in that incubator, did you want to reach out right then and strangle me? Did the sight of me, and even Jimmy, so disturb and disgust you that we became the sickening personification of the man you loved and hated simultaneously?
I sometimes wonder if you even held me after I was born, and were Jimmy and my presence in our home ever, even once, a source of pride and love. Or were my brother and I a sickening daily reminder of what a betraying prick my Father had become to you?
Did the thought of bearing me for him, at the same time you knew of the other mother and child, is that what forever altered your life and mine, and did having to come to terms with your own anger and shock simply numb you? Or, did having to go through with my birth drive you over the edge of humanity and strip you of the empathy, love or sympathy that a normal Mother would have lavished on her boys? In my better moments, in the years since I learned of John and our intertwined birthdates, I’ve silently hoped for the shock and numb option.
Like a sick contestant on Let’s Make a Deal, I squirm between what I hope is the grand prize behind the door I’ve chosen, and the evil options that lay behind the other two.
I know subconsciously I try to give you the benefit of the doubt, empathize with the discovery of the other woman and your legitimate fury over the love between John’s Mother and your husband.
Because to stop and consider the other options opens up a world of sickness, anger and hatred that my mind has difficulty getting around, and crushes my soul in a way you are incapable of understanding. I know you think of me as weak, and have always thought me so. I understand why you’ve always considered me to be the slower, rattled and dimmest offspring of all of your children.
But I want you to know that’s never really been the case, not even as a small child. What you interpreted as slow, weak and dumb, was just a child trying to find his way through the violently bizarre world you and Dad created. Since the day I stole Jimmy’s shirt and packed his stolen lunchbox, sneaking out of the house in the early morning and trying to get away, I’ve been trying to figure it out and make a choice, even though I did not know much or really anything at the time.
I did know, even at the age of five that what was happening in that house was not how life should have been. And I knew then, just as I know now that I was not the dimwitted lost boy looking for attention or some genetically malfunctioned creature. No, I was an incredibly bright, angry little boy who already understood that liquid soap snacks, coat-hanger beatings and punishments that would embarrass a prison guard were not what happened in a normal family. So, frankly, I’ve been trying to figure it out for most of my cognitive life, and it is in my nature (or fear) to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Do you know what it is like to have to choose without really knowing? In my twisted mind I have to consider all the variables and I try very hard to put myself in your place and give you the benefit of the doubt. I sometimes want to simply knock on your door, with John standing by my side and just ask, “Did you know?” But I know, or at least I try to tell myself that I know the answer. Because to take that option away, to dismiss the possibility that you knew of my half-brother and to admit to myself that you were unaware, leaves me shocked, frightened and furious.
I wonder if you considered my abortion as an option, or were you trying to abort me through miss-carriage when my untimely birth started up early? Was my early birth a reaction to the shock and pain of discovering Dad’s inability to love only you? Was it that pesky Catholic upbringing of yours that accounts for my presence in the world? I wonder when I dropped from your womb did you already despise Jimmy and I?
Sometimes, in my more generous moments I try to understand your love for my Father, and what it must have felt like when you discovered his betrayal. I also know that I may not even be correct about your feelings towards Jimmy and I, and you may not have even known about Dad’s affair or my half-brother.
If you did not know, and were unaware, then by all means when you depart this planet, I sincerely hope you go straight to Hell. And if such a place really exists, I hope they sit you in the deepest, darkest corner, in whatever pit psychotic and evil parents are placed.
And I hope you rot.
For if my half-brother and my Father’s betrayal were not the genesis behind your torturous acts, then, really, what was your problem? I try to understand your upbringing, the Great Depression, the loss of the family fortune and your last-place finish in the birth call of eleven children. I try to empathize with what you must have missed out on; the elevator in the mansion, the pride of being one of the elite of St. Louis society and the world that should have been laid in front of you.
I know that feeling of loss, the feeling of missing out on something that could have, or should have been. Even as damaged as I am, I still try to understand what must have shaped you and your view of the world, and your view of parenting.
I know also that you will claim times were tough, the world is a harsh place and well, I should have been tougher. I understand your “Boy Named Sue” mentality, but I wonder, is that what always drove your behavior?
Even as a small child, when I tried to run away in my fifth year of life and separate myself from the insanity of our home, I knew how wrong and unfair it all was. I know I didn’t have a clue yet as to what a real parent was, but how I longed to live with the Koby’s or Jockenhaifer’s, anyone and anywhere but in that house.
I wonder did it even strike you as odd, or create in you the slightest bit of conscience or embarrassment that a child so young, a child of yours wanted, needed to get away? And did the fact that I’d settled on living in a Gardner’s Shed on the golf course, and planned to catch rabbits with a stick even strike a chord of concern or empathy at the time over the manner in which you were raising us?
Did you really accept my lie about not getting enough M&M’s, or was accepting that bullshit just the most convenient way for you to dispose and forget about my desire to be out of that house? Or did you just not care or consider what you were doing to us at the time, or what you were doing to our souls and the damaged life all of us have been forced to lead since then?
Of all the people in the world that I could, and do admire, do you know who I admire the most?
It’s my brother’s and sisters. It’s not that we’ve done anything terribly remarkable, or that we’ve led perfect lives or have found profound levels of accomplishment, achievement and acclaim. No, it’s what we have not done that I’m most proud of. And amongst the terrible battle that must rage inside each of us, how we managed in our own unique way to have raised our own children to be the gifted, bright, normal kids they have become.
What I really do not understand, and will ponder for the rest of my life is what you thought you were doing? Each of us kids, even I were gifted with some strange combination of intelligence that emerged from the coupling of you and Dad. You are a very smart woman. Strange, cruel, and psychopathic, but smart.
So was it just plain anger that drove you to shove liquid soap down our throats and whip us with fly-swatters and coat hangers? Did you think making a frightened, color-blind child stand before a door for almost eight hours in a state of panic until he admitted what he did not know to be good for me?
Did you not understand that as a preemie, or as Dad would say, “a child who looked like one of Hitler’s Atrocities’” would have a hard enough life to begin with? Did you actually think you were helping? Did you not understand that because of my size and my appearance that I’d be bullied throughout my entire childhood? Did you think that bullying me at home was just a great way to toughen me up? Or, are you simply a bully to begin with and we were the easiest of targets because we could not fight back?
Was it the fights and beatings that you took from my Father that shaped your view of us boys? Did the fact that you had to tolerate such treatment from a man you both loved and hated make you do the things you did to us? For such an intelligent woman, in hind-sight that seems so counterintuitive?
Or was it just that you were angry and lazy most of your life and the effort it would have taken to love each of us, in our own unique way was just too much work? Do you even remember the things that you did to us, especially Jimmy, Patrick and I? What parent thinks that throwing your child out, or through the screen door at midnight and not allowing them back in until dawn is the way to raise a stable child? Did you think that exiling us to our room for weeks or months at a time helped us to grow into stable, normal adults?
Or did you just not care?
Did you know how frightened I was each time my name was called and each time I stood before either of you in tears, even before “the session” had begun, or “the issue” had been talked about? Did you think all those years of sleep-walking and the apparently humorous manipulation of my fear was a good thing? Did you think letting me wander around the house and humiliating me on the front lawn while I searched in my sleep for that non-existent chicken was helping to shape my character?
Or was it just drunkenly funny to you at the time?
Did you think that allowing Patrick to sleep for years on his urine soaked mattress was just the sign of a growing young boy? Or did you even consider that I had to sleep above him for years, choking down that smell and worrying about Patrick having to sleep in that rotted, and stinking piss-hole?
I know at the time they didn’t know as much about the effect of these acts on children from a scientific perspective as they do now. But I have a hard time understanding how as a parent you didn’t know the effect it would have on us? In fact, I know as a parent that it has much less to do with knowledge, and much more to do with instinct, character, love and empathy. Do you simply not possess any of these traits, or were they burned out of you in some horrific fashion I’m unaware of?
Actually, to be blunt about it, even though I express an intellectual interest in knowing and understanding, if I’m really honest about it, I don’t care about the why. Hell, Jimmy, Patrick and I are three of the most damaged people I know of, and we managed to raise seven wonderful kids without ever laying a hand on them out of anger. And we were smart enough, or caring enough to understand no one deserves to be treated in the manner you treated us.
I used to think all the time about the “why” of what you did to me, and as I said, I’ve tried for years to give you the benefit of the doubt. It was not until I raised Jessica as my own, created Dylan and raised Frankie that I understood the uselessness of “why”, and started considering the “how” of what you did.
How did you look yourself in the mirror after doing those things to us? How could a parent look down upon the smallest of children and even consider taking a belt to their body and to their psyche? Did you even consider what you were doing to us in the long-term? Did you know how I would lay in bed at night, holding my breath and faking sleep just so I wouldn’t be the one dragged out and beaten or humiliated?
Did you want us to go to bed each and every night in mortal terror? Was that your goal, your aspiration for us? Did you know that as an adult I cannot even recall one moment where you expressed a direct love or affection for me?
I know you did your parental duty; you fed us, clothed us and put a roof over our heads. I even recall those moments when I was desperately ill that you nursed me and that during those periods when the poison ivy covered every inch of my body and I was in literal agony, that you treated my symptoms and cared for my wounds.
But I do not recall one moment in time where you told me you loved me, or held me in such a way as to express the slightest bit of love. Why is that? Is that my failure of recollection or did those moments just not exist in my life?
I read a quote once about how our abuser’s in life can actually be our greatest teacher. I know that’s not an exact quote, but I understand it’s meaning very well. To the core of my being, and for my entire life I have rebelled against what you and that son-of-bitch did to me and my siblings. For years I used humor, ambition, suppression and some miss-placed pride in having survived your parenting to help me get by in life, using whatever shallow, quasi-intellectual rationale I could find to get my head around all that shit you and he did to me.
But there came a point where none of that worked for me anymore and I’m simply left with what is. And I wonder, what was her motivation? Was it all just too much for you to handle and am I being unfair to at least not consider your point of view? I really do not know much about where you came from and what shaped you. But I know, and most importantly I feel the effects of what you did to me each and every day of my life. Your actions have tainted almost every aspect of my life in some way, good and bad. And the residue of your actions drip through my psyche like the slow drip of running toilet, staining my adult life in much the same way as Patrick’s urine filled mattress.
It’s as though the stench will never be out of my mind, and all I’m left with is the knowledge, the determination and the fear that I will never be like you. It saddens me to acknowledge that my life is that simple, that my major goal and hope in life is to not be you, or him. It also infuriates me to know that from such lofty potential, the strongest drive in my life is to simply not be you.
What a sad existence.
Don’t misunderstand, while I consider that drive to be the most honorable thing I can do with my life, and frankly in the world of I and my children it is really not that difficult, I find it sad to know that my major motivation in life is to simply be reasonable, respectful and caring.
With my children I do not even have to think about it, because it comes naturally to me and I have been able to find that remaining snippet of my soul that you did not fuck up, humiliate or beat out of me. I don’t know how I did it, but I saved that part of me and I’ll be damned if I’ll ever give it up to you or anyone else.
You may never know the pride I carry for having been able to keep that place sacred in my heart and to be able to look upon my wife and children with love, affection and adoration. But to have to strive so desperately for such a simple, normal feeling within myself, it both saddens and infuriates me on a level you will never know.
Do you know how long in my life I’ve been trying to re-build who I am? Do you know that almost every day I find another damaged part of me deep inside that even I am not aware of? Do you know how I have to take things out of my mind and heart and examine each thought and action to insure I’ve done the right thing or am moving in the direction of normal?
And do you know how much I live in fear of never finding normal? To fear being left with only what was, and what is?
You did that to me, and while I may never know all the reasons why, I know that it was terribly wrong and evil of you to have done this to me.
I generally try to move through life in a manner that is forgiving and reasonable. I even work at forgiving Sue, her affair and our divorce, because I know in our own particular way, each of us is damaged in some way, and perhaps she could not tolerate a life with someone as damaged as me. And I know intellectually I must have contributed in some way, so I work each day at letting go of that part of my anger and trying to insure I don’t make the same mistakes with Maggie.
But you know something? There are some things in life that require anger, resentment and rejection. And while I know that it may be harmful to my health to not let go, to not forget what the two of you two did to us, I know that rejection of your behavior and treatment of me is the right thing to do.
I will work towards forgiving, but I will never be able to forget. And for that I hope you rot in the deepest pit of hell.
Jess, Dylan & Frankie:
I Love you. I love each of you. I love the smart-ass nature and peculiar personality of each of you. I love the adults you have grown to be. I love you as my children. I love you as individuals. I love the way each of you have the ability to dissect any issue, locating the heart of a problem long before the dullards of your generation even attempt to contemplate the issue. Of everything I’ve done in my life, there has been nothing as satisfying or rewarding than being your Dad. I know the type of Dad I’ve been has been a bit different for each of you. I know the Dad I’ve been has been shaded by circumstances that were thrust upon us. I know the best thing I ever did was to be your Dad. My book is for you. My book is about you. My book is about telling you who I was, who I am, and who I hope to be. My book is about how much I’ve loved being your Dad. My book is about saying to you that I cared about being your Dad. Webster Groves is my way of telling you how valuable you have been to me, and that I treasure the joy you have brought to my heart. I am not bitter. In fact I am quite pleased with most of my life. I have watched my son being born. I have travelled the world. I have seen the sun set from Mt. Fuji. I have been aboard Air Force One. I have made love to beautiful women. I have made love to homely women. I have raised a girl and she has become a beautiful, smart young woman. I have seen my son vault himself over a pole twelve feet in the air. I have watched my boy play guitar in a rowdy crowd. I watched each of my children graduate from high school. I have been stupidly drunk. I have smoked my share of Weed. I worked as a teacher. I never went to college. I have lost myself in a woman. I ran multi-million dollar businesses. I stood up for what I believed in. I have made some mistakes. I trusted. I loved. My life has been full, I was your Dad.
…if you, or any other RoseanneWorld readers buy and enjoy my memoir, Webster Groves,….I’d be happy to have it mailed to me, and I’d be pleased to sign it for you.
I know I’m a dreamer,…but my goal is to have the book adapted to film, and to hopefully influence a large slice of the population,…regarding the issue of baby-boomer parenting and how this entire generation ended up where we are…..so let me know.
…to be clear,…..it is not that the parent can insure the development of their child,….of course there are no sure-fire outcomes,….but there is a huge difference between a parent who has a game plan, an agenda of health and happiness for their children, a parent who looks at almost every life experience for the child to be a gentle lesson in how the world works, how they might, or might not fit in,….and what to really expect as an adult,….yes, there is a big difference between that kind of parent and some of the abusive, emotionally
handicapped parenting that produces depression, anxiety and a life of internal fury,…..everything is relative..
….even if we measure success for a human being through
income, status, education or position in life, they could have accomplished all of that, yet still wake up everyday wanting to blow their brains out,…..
…you sound as though you may come from the school of “pull yourself up by your own boot straps” kind of a
parenting philosophy…..one I am all too familiar with,…..but that is my exact point,……why should we make it as tough on the child as possible,..hoping that they will grit through it and come out on the other end, happy, content, normal and engaged in life?
Look at the human potential we waste by emphasizing the tough-love strategy……..what a waste of time, energy and effort…only to have that child on anti-depressants
in their early twenties, and perhaps a drug or alcohol addict by their early thirties…..we have a bunch of depressed angry folks in this country because they were not “grown” by their parents,..grown in the sense that they had specific ideas of how they wanted their child’s life to flow..these angry people, they were not nurtured for the most part,.. as much as they were “raised” like you would a potted plant, just stick it in the dirt, sometimes ignored, sometimes overwatered,….important decor at times, then left in the corner most of the time,….
…so I really could not disagree with you more,..and if you read Webster Groves, you will understand my pov much better…
p.s.- if you buy Webster Groves, and would like it signed,..just let me know through here and I’ll get you my address….
i will do so. thanks for aswering me and happy new year.
i love how you talk about this serious subject-i agree w/ you and thx for bringing it about -and in doing so i want to say so that i’m not misunderstood,that decent parenting is always a great start for any kid but if not possible,brightness most definitely for the most part will become an individual!-hey- whether they want it or not.:)
“Raising children to be wonderfully bright, gifted, normal kids has nothing to do with the parents.”
What I should of wrote is, “Raising children to be wonderfully bright, gifted, normal kids has very little to do with the parents.”
First let me agree with you and say, “Yes, it is a parent’s responsibility to do everything in caring for, and protecting their child until they are prepared to fend for themselves.” What I disagree with you on is your belief that you raised your children to be wonderfully bright, gifted, normal kids. Normal, bright, gifted children aren’t made as a result from something their parents did. To raise a child, means to bring to maturity. Along the road of parenting, we all make mistakes, and we all do something right. How our children turn out in my opinion is based on choice. Their choice, not ours. Of course, as with all life, there are always extreme circumstances, but even in the worst cases there are many examples of children who come from horrible, despicable homes and yet despite all the odds they become great leaders, and inspirations to others. You can be the best parent in the world or the worst, and your child might mirror your behavior, and they might not. There are no guarantees in parenting. I’m not a psychologist, or an expert, I’m just a mother and a grandmother with a bunch of normal and not so normal kids.
P.S. I also enjoy your writing style :)
Again,..thanks for the compliment,….it means something to me that a person as creatively succesful as yourself
enjoys my writing,..
also,….I think some abusers have souls, others do not…the soul-less abusers will never be healed or halted,…..it is the dumb ones I’m shooting for…the ones who imitate their parents and haven’t had an orginal parenting thought in their lives,….
…as a young father, I spanked my kids lightly a few times,….then I’d realize that it wasn’t the stupid little pecks on the ass that bothered them,…..it was the fear of what was going to happen, or what could happen,……I realized then that it wasn’t just the beatings with the nightsticks, or liquid ivory down my throat that destroys a child,…it is that fear….
…I sat down with each my kids and explained to them that they would never be touched again,…and to never fear that type of treatment,…ever.
….for the huge bulk of their lives, my kids put their heads on the pillow, loved and cared for, falling asleep with the knowledge that when they awoke,…their world would be essentially the same warm place they fell asleep in….
I just quit being a stupid parent….
The fact that you asked the question tells me that you really did read my writing,..now there’s the real compliment!
Perhaps this will explain my pov a little more clearly,…page 61 of my memoir….enjoy….
WALKING AND TALKING AT MIDNIGHT
As an adult I possess a bizarre talent. I am an idiot savant of a pointless, though remarkably entertaining skill. In my late teens, shortly after I began traveling
as much of the world as I could, I realized that I could be dropped into any major metropolitan area, big city or decrepit village, and my abilities would most often
reward me with a memorable or infamous experience.
What skill or talent do I possess that could lend itself to such blatant boasting? Usually, within an hour of clearing baggage claim in almost any city in the world, I’m able to divine decadence like a camel can find water. I realize this may sound like a strange boast, but I’m serious! Within minutes in any new city, I can detect the streets and roads that divide, and the neighborhoods or businesses that define each city’s decadent quarter.
Every city, village and ancient crossroads has its own unique hamlet of lust, licentiousness and sanctuary from the ordinary world. From the Red Light District of Amsterdam to the mobster managed clubs of East St.Louis, from the back alleys of Seoul to the quaint villages of Hungary, I can find the brothels, gambling and drug
havens of most societies. I possess an ability that had been nurtured in me, a skill set that helps me to find adventure and decadence in the oddest of places, and survive in the most dangerously diverse places in the world.
How, you may ask, would one acquire this skill? In the strangely warped recesses of my consciousness, much of what I know of the real world can be traced to late-night excursions shared with Dad. These expeditions into the dark hours of the St. Louis nether world, where nocturnal creatures slithered through the shadows after midnight, exposed us to a world that operated beneath the one inhabited by the normal folk. It is that part of the night that my siblings and I were most tutored in.
I adore books for so many reasons. My New Year’s resolve is to read books again. Sheesh!
I’m not sure if you are directing this to Tina,…I presume so,…..but I couldn’t agree with you more,…
Everything is relative,…… in our society, if you work 9-5, pay taxes, go to church,…your are normal? But are you happy? …..
No, parents have everything to do with caring for and protecting the child until they are prepared to fend for themselves, think and emote for themselves, and to act in
a manner that supports their ethical belief system.
Parents can either create a positive, self-esteem building environment,…or they can create a cesspool of dysfunction that contaminates the child for the rest of their, “relatively happy life”,….
I would really like to hear Tina’s pov…or an expansion of her beliefs….
that’s odd–i think it has everything to do with the parents, or at least something to do with the parents–explain your thinking please!
Raising children to be wonderfully bright, gifted, normal kids has nothing to do with the parents.
Certainly,….the book is titled…
Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family Living in the Perfect American Suburb
…..written under the name of Robert Joseph O’Guillory
and is available on amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, etc…..
…we also have the book going live in St. Louis bookstores….(Webster Groves is a St. Louis suburb)
…if you read it and enjoy it, I’d love to hear from you here,….and a review on amazon.com,…..I have three reviews from folk I don’t know, and I’m getting 4.7 out of 5 stars,…..
hope you enjoy it,….it is both disturbing and humorous……or so I have been told…
hey is your book in bookstores? i like your writing.
Roseanne they do after they get the help they need but not untill then.
i like your writing a lot–It seems to assume that abusers have souls though–i dont think they do.
…sorry,…for the double up…..right when I posted it said it had lost a node or some such thing,,….
It is not my fault,……… I did not start the discussion,…so I’m unsure if I can be held liable for being slimey if I promote my memoir, Webster Groves….
….but here goes anyway,… :)
how about I just post the Epilogue,…maybe that will interest you in the memoir,….
Robert Joseph O’Guillory
Of all the people in the world that I admire, it’s my brothers, and sisters that I admire the most. Though we have had our share of tragedy and triumph, it really cannot be said that we’ve led lives of great
accomplishment or acclaim.
Actually, it is what we have not done that I’m most proud of. Amongst the terrible battle that must rage inside each of us, and perhaps to some degree, within an entire generation of Baby Boomers, my siblings and I have managed to raise our children to be wonderfully bright, gifted, normal kids.
That is what I’m most proud of; because each of my siblings decided long ago to spare the rod and respect their children. And in turn, the children we have raised are absolute joys; growing to be wonderful, healthy kids. And, we managed to do so without cursing them, assaulting them, or purposefully humiliating any of our children.
Perhaps, in my childhood, parents did not clearly understand the effect of these abusive acts on the psyche of a small child, but I have a hard time
understanding how any parent would not instinctually recognize the impact of verbal, physical or sexual abuse on a young soul? Good parenting has less to do with knowledge, and much more to do with love, empathy and instinct.
How does an adult look down upon the smallest of children and even consider taking a belt to their body and to their psyche? Do parents who endorse the
use of beatings, whippings and belittlement even consider the damage done to the children in the long-term?
To the core of their being, and for their entire lives these children will have rebelled against what was done to them. Th ese poor souls will use humor, ambition, suppression, drugs, food, sex, compartmentalization, alcohol and a twisted pride in having survived their upbringing, just to get by in life. Using whatever quasi-intellectual rationale they can conjure up to get their mind around all the shit that was done to them, there comes a point where none of it works for them anymore and these damaged souls are simply left with what is.
And they will wonder, why?
No matter how hard they try to give the abuser the benefit of the doubt, or explain away the horror, the abuse taints every aspect of their lives like the slow drip of a running toilet. For many of these children, it’s as though the stench will never be out of their mind, and all they are left with is the determination that they will never behave like the adults who shaped them.
Eventually these children will acknowledge to themselves that their major goal in life is to “not be them”. And, it will infuriate them to know that from such lofty potential, the strongest drive in their life is to simply “not be them”.
What a sad existence.
When I see a parent verbally abusing or assaulting a child, I wonder about the lack of control, and the need to compete mentally, emotionally and even physically, with a child? For some reason, these people believe it’s the right thing to do? They will claim that this is how their parents raised them, and if it was good enough for themselves, its good enough for their children.
Do they know how each abusive interaction scars a child on such a deep level? Do these parents not understand that the leverage they exercise over their children is based upon a sense of fear and terror that does not simply melt away with age? What rational person desires their child to be afraid, let alone terrified of their own parents? Do these parents understand that they are conditioning their child to a life internal fury, emotional separation, and a feral sense of anxiety that will stalk them to the grave?
And what it will take to stop the abuse? How long before humanity, both generally and through personal commitment, openly condemn any form of physical or emotional abuse inflicted upon any child? How long before each adult gazes into the eyes of a small child and recognizes the beauty of nature, and perhaps, just the hint of a loving God?
Treat a child like an animal, and you will have condemned that child to a life of pain, fury and dysfunction. Love and nurture that same child and
there’s a strong chance they will grow to be healthy, loving adults.
It is, after all, your choice.
have always used books as transport to a ” better place” started when small, but still happens when i read now. Really allows both sides of the brain to harmonize, creating desperately needed synthesis. Reading and imagination go hand in hand, we could use some hardcore imaginative skills for solving the problems coming at us……
I can’t tell you how many times a book has saved me from the crushing depression caused by watching TV news and listening to the average redneck discuss the way things are.
Not just fiction, but insightful non-fiction, can transport me from the dark nasty reality being forced on us by the idiots in charge to an actual sense of wonder and hopefulness. (BTW, I stumbled upon “My Life as a Woman” at a used book store and read it last month. It broke through a weeks long depression and helped me back on the path of goddessness. Thanks, Roseanne!)
True…I bought myself a Sony E-Reader for Christmas last year…my first download was Atlas Shrugged…which I read again for the 4th time in my life…it knocked the cobwebs a round a little…
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