Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Part IIIc…The Healing Begins!

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on June 30, 2009

Before I even type one word concerning obvious signs, I wish to relate a true story that requires your careful attention and respect.  Without this as a background, what you will read will seem cold and harsh instead of wounded and hurt.  For its truth I can personally testify the validity of the claim.

True Story

Picture, if you will, a small child whose current living situation consists of their parents, an older sibling, and an abusive grandmother.  The grandmother had a rather tragic life, what with her first husband committing suicide by hanging himself from the rafters.  Her two sons were the ones to find him. Interestingly, neither of them remembers the other being there.  Needless to say, all were profoundly affected and the mother dealt with her loss by turning to alcohol.  As a result, she became very abusive – both verbally and physically.  Her children undoubtedly bore the brunt of the abuse (2 sons and 2 daughters).

Her children eventually married, and one – the father of the two children mentioned above – decided to take his mother in to live with him and his family as she was not doing well by herself.  The kindness did not change the mother’s behaviors or habits, and her abuse then extended to his wife.

You know the old children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words would never hurt me!” Who thought up that abominable LIE?!  Verbal abuse is actually WORSE than physical abuse because you cannot see the wounds left behind – the very DEEP WOUNDS left behind.  And since the abused have no idea they have been deeply wounded, the do not seek medical help to heal those wounds… but I digress.

Soon those abusive behaviors became part of the daughter-in-law’s behaviors, and her victims became her own children.  Her husband was already a victim of his mother’s attacks, and thus did not see the need to intervene.  After all, the abused rarely recognize abuse of others since, for them, it’s just normal behavior.  So the wife’s frustration level increased to the point of over-flowing and flowed-out of herself to her children. The most unfortunate part, one of her children was still very impressionable, and so they learned the WRONG behaviors as RIGHT behaviors or normal behaviors.

The child learned criticism instead of compliment, inadequacy instead of encouragement, they learned manipulation instead of compassion, they learned to give intimately in order to control and maintain instead of whole-hearted self-giving that allows for growth.  Thus the damage was complete and extensive setting forever into their conscious.  They received what I have come to understand as a mal-formed conscience– believing what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong – instead of receiving a conscience– that is seeing RIGHT and thinking it is WRONG and that WRONG is RIGHT.

This child’s malformed conscience began to express itself in school as the child only criticized and manipulated their fellow classmates, thus effectively alienating them from life-long friendships.  Temporary friendships were all they could maintain, excepting the one or two that followed who allowed the control and the manipulation as just part of the friendship.

Even after the mother-in-law moved away from the family, the damage she had caused remained and grew steadily worse.  Soon the two parents barely spoke to one another unless called for.  By the time the children were grown and left home, the father was spending much of his time in his hobby-shop or outside of the house while the mom went back to school, earned a degree and became a teacher.  The children grew too.  One married someone the family didn’t approve of and there has been strife in that matter ever since.  The other child married someone the family saw as easy to control and manipulate, even though there were many years between them, the family approved and the two were married with the family’s blessing.  They eventually had three children, and I am the first of the three.

To say that manipulation was from the beginning is no small matter.  Pre-marital relations existed, as did with many couples who used contraception in my parent’s day– and still is true today.  Parents who practice contraception often teach their children to “mind your P’s and Q’s”, which is code for “protect yourself with contraception” and is often the practice of the child/adult even after they are married. This particular child was also taught to seek a career before you have any kids – because once the kids come, bye bye career!  Thus presenting the other reason why contraception was taught and practiced.

Well, it was due to faulty contraception that conceived the first child, me.  Therefore, the above statement came true. But truly that was only a grain of salt added to the package that would eventually break the camel’s back – or would provide the final breaking-point.  Here is what really began the downward spiral towards hatred.

When the child was born (me), I became the first of two granddaughters – the other grandchild was born from the woman that the family didn’t approve of.  So, when I came into the world, the Grandparents were overjoyed and doted on me, giving me all the attention they could.  When I began my forming years, age 1 to 2 yrs – my Grandmother, the teacher, took it upon herself to teach me how to read.  I was reading just before the age of 2 yrs. Compliment after compliment, encouraging word after encouraging word… and this from the parent who never gave their own child even one word of encouragement or even one syllable of a compliment. What transformation had taken place?  Would it extend to their own children, and in particular to my parent?  No.  I’m sorry to say it did not, and still has not to this day.

So, if you were this parent, a person who excelled in everything you did, just to win one kind word from your mother and/or father, only never EVER to receive one… and you were raised with the notion that a spouse was something you MUST get no matter what the cost, a career is more desirable then children – so watch your p’s and q’s and use that contraception wisely… how would you feel – towards yourself and towards your child?  Be honest.  Would you take the situation lightly?  Would you shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh well! That’s life.” Or would you react as any wounded and hurt human being would react?  Wounded, hurt, and maybe a little bit… angry?

In order to heal a wound, it is necessary to understand the root cause of that wound, so that the correct medicine can be applied, yes?  In the case of an emotional wound, understanding, then, can lead self awareness which can lead to the desiring of forgiveness; forgiveness not just towards another person, but also towards oneself.  It’s a BOTH/AND situation: GOOD THEOLOGY. 😉  And THAT is the stated goal of this final Posting in this series, HEALING.

To be continued…

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Characteristic Marks and Demands… Part II cont

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 30, 2008

Conjugal Love:  Characteristic Marks of, and Demands of

Its Characteristics

This love is first of all fully human, that is to say, of the senses and of the spirit at the same time. It is [NOT], then, a simple transport of instinct and sentiment, but also, and principally, an act of the free will, intended to endure and to grow by means of the joys and sorrows of daily life, in such a way that husband and wife become one only heart and one only soul, and together attain their human perfection.(cf. Eph 5:26-27)

Then, this love is total, that is to say, it is a very special form of personal friendship, in which husband and wife generously share everything, without undue reservations or selfish calculations. Whoever truly loves his marriage partner loves not only for what he receives, but for the partner’s self, rejoicing that he can enrich his partner with the gift of himself. (1Cor 13:4-8a)

(Question: If you are cut off from one another by the use of contraception – something that prevents contact – how can you truly share everything? Also, by cutting yourself off from the other, are you not practicing selfish calculations because of your use of the other for your own pleasure?)

(FACT: Did you know the divorce rate doubled as a result of contraception becoming accepted an more readily available?  Stands to reason, if you can have sex without worrying about the “consequences”, then why worry about your spouse finding out?  Also, you stop sharing yourself with your spouse, why do you expect them to continue to trust you?)

Again, this love is faithful and exclusive until death. Thus in fact do bride and groom conceive it to be on the day when they freely and in full awareness assume the duty of the marriage bond. A fidelity, this, which can sometimes be difficult, but is always possible, always noble and meritorious, as no one can deny.

The example of so many married persons down through the centuries shows, not only that fidelity is according to the nature of marriage, but also that it is a source of profound and lasting happiness and finally, this love is fecund for it is not exhausted by the communion between husband and wife, but is destined to continue, raising up new lives.

“Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents.” (GS§50)

Now it’s time we DEBUNK the modern day notion of RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD.

Responsible Parenthood

10. Hence conjugal love requires in husband and wife an awareness of their mission of “responsible parenthood,” which today is rightly much insisted upon, and which also must be exactly understood. Consequently it is to be considered under different aspects which are legitimate and connected with one another. (1-4)

In relation to the 1) biological processes, responsible parenthood means the knowledge and respect of their functions; human intellect discovers in the power of giving life biological laws which are part of the human person. (Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 94, art. 2)

In relation to the 2) tendencies of instinct or passion, responsible parenthood means that necessary dominion which reason and will must exercise over them. (Reminder: this is NOT Lust! See 2. 2) A change…)

In relation to 3) physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth.

Responsible parenthood also and above all implies a more profound relationship to the 4) objective moral order established by God, of which a right conscience is the faithful interpreter.

The responsible exercise of parenthood implies:

…that husband and wife recognize fully their own duties:

a) towards God,
b) towards themselves,
c) towards the family
d) towards society

…in a correct hierarchy of values.

(Get it?  There IS a hierarchy of values that ALL human beings should embrace!  We SHOULD value God, ourselves, family, and then society – and IN THAT ORDER. For if we valued God and our relationship with Him, we would not be able to mortally hurt ourselves, and we certainly wouldn’t be able to mortally hurt those around us -cf Mt 22:36-40.   Strange how our modern society – the culture of death –  is EXACTLY the OPPOSITE. )

In the task of transmitting life, therefore,
they are not free to proceed completely at will,
as if they could determine in a wholly autonomous way
the honest path to follow;
but they must conform their activity to the creative intention of God,
expressed in the very nature of marriage and of its acts,
and manifested by the constant teaching of the Church.” (GS§50,51)

Tomorrow: The Marriage Act: What is it and why does it deserve our respect? (a key question for our society today, yes?)

Previous Posts:

All Life is Sacred
Why Humanae Vitae?
The Meat of Humanae Vitae

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