There are no coincidences in life and the fact that I am learning about more and more sexual abuse in my old church while I am reading Alice Miller is profound.
She is literally writing about the hows and the whys that seemingly intelligent functioning adults are unable to stop this behavior…or it seems “Knows” and does nothing.
What I am getting a view of is my family but displayed in a much bigger group, widespread from state to state.
That there is an underlying very pervasive evil preying upon the children, while half the adults sleep and the other are the perpetrators, and all presenting a mask to society of high morals and values, where TV, Music, drinking and drugs, etc are forbidden, where truth and honesty is the way of life….
The grand scale and its history from generation to generation of criminal sexual behavior under the auspices of a religion of high morals and value is mind blowing.
My mother was not an anomaly she was a typical church mother.
And what is so extremely shocking to me is that I didn’t know of it when I was in it. Yet, here is the deal on that…I didn’t leave the church until I had seen the truth of who my father was. So, I guess, their families were like my family we all matched…so we were not outstanding in the fact that the children in the family were abused.
Knowing that my father abused the neighbors and the neighbor’s parents were in the church and did nothing shows to me, that they too didn’t find this shocking or something that should be presented to the law of the land.
Again, I felt I lived in this little nest of incest with neighbors that I later found out had their own nests, but that we were the ‘odd’ ones in the church. But 6 years later, I am finding out that we are far from odd, but perhaps just normal parishioners.
In Alice’s book she speaks of forgiveness in how I seen it work in the church and how it actually is the juice that keeps the evil in the pulpits and on the church boards, literally running the church while raping the children.
“Can forgiveness for the crimes done to the child be not just ineffective but actively harmful? It certainly can because the body does not understand more precepts. It fights to make our conscious minds admit the truth and transcend our denial of genuine feelings. This is something children cannot afford to do. They have to deceive themselves and turn a blind eye to their parent’s crimes in order to survive. Adults no longer need to repress their feelings. But if they do, the price they pay is high. Either they ruin their own health or make others foot the bill.”
“A therapist who has forgiven his parents for the cruelty they showed him may feel the urge to suggest this same remedy to his clients. In so doing, he is exploiting their dependence and their trust. If he is not in touch with his own feelings at all, he may indeed be unaware that he is doing to others what was once done to him. In suggesting forgiveness as a solution, the therapist is abusing and confusing others, while rejecting any kind of responsibility for his actions. He is convinced that he is acting for their own good. Are not all religions unanimously in their conviction that forgiveness is the path to Heaven? Was not Job ultimately reward for the fact that he forgave God?”
“Unlike children, adult patients have a choice. They can leave a therapist once they have seen through his deception and self-deception….”
“To break through this vicious cycle we need to understand that so-called love cannot survive abuse, deception, and exploitation without seeking new victims. And if it requires new victims it is no longer love but at best the longing for love. Only unflinching realization of one’s own past reality, of what really happened can break through the chain of abuse. If I know and can feel what my parents did to me when I was totally defenseless, I no longer need victims to befog my awareness. I no longer need to reenact what happened to me and take it out on innocent people because now I know what happened. And if I want to live my life consciously, without exploiting others, then I must actively accept that knowledge.” Alice Miller
What is so vastly incredible is that the one thing a child needs to heal is not offered to him in that church, instead the only thing that is offered is the forgiveness of sins and the fourth commandment…”to love and Honor thy parents”.
It is no wonder to me, as a person who has lived in the system, who was abused and left untreated there, and has witnessed the responses of my siblings, that this vein of power is still in play, whether you leave the church or not, it will take Herculean power to stop the mind set of forgiving sexual crimes and not passively accept love hurts.
As long as forgiveness is preached, children will suffer abuse from the elders of the church.