Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your new essay, 'Spirituality Cements Childhood Blindness'. Hyper-religiosity was another instrument of my mother's control and her campaign against the truth. It has been very freeing to me to reject such crippling belief systems. It is no coincidence that going to church, where I was told to forgive, used to cause me terrible panic attacks. Even as an adult, I carried on this poisonous tradition simply because it was 'the thing to do'. Later, after the death of my father, I became more involved with this at my mother's manipulative insistence. Now I see how that this was for her benefit. I'm pretty sure she is conscious of this to some degree. The last straw came when the wife of my mother's pastor (whom we now know to be a pedophile!) came to my home and suggested that my panic attacks were evidence of possession by evil spirits and/or harassment by the devil. I did not know the cause of these attacks at the time, but I am not ignorant, uneducated or superstitious. Even then, I knew this to be preposterous and I banned these people from my life. When my mother disapproved, she tried to convince me, frighten me and shame me into going back to that church with her. I finally did not want to hold back about what I really thought and I told her that anyone who thinks that panic attacks are a possession by evil spirits or a harassment from the devil is either insane or an idiot. I told her that I am neither one of those things and have no interest in congregating with those who are. I felt so much relief at finally speaking the truth about the abusive and crazy beliefs that are constructed to stifle the individual and block a person's access to their own thoughts and potential growth. My rejection of this ridiculous construct was the beginning of what eventually paved the way for the truth that I am now discovering.
I also disagree with the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was much the same load of crap as religion. I had a pretty serious drinking problem many years ago. I did not know why at the time, but I did want to stop drinking before it destroyed me. I went to Alcoholics Anonymous only to find that the people there believed that I could not get sober unless I admitted that I was 'powerless over alcohol'. (Why are people so determined to take away my power? It is so they don't have to admit that they have power, too. If they admitted that, then they might have to be responsible for some things! Things like discovering certain truths...) I did not consciously know why this 'powerlessness over alcohol' concept disturbed me so deeply, but it did. I remember asking, "How can I be powerless over alcohol when I am the one who is drinking it?" Of course, no one had an answer for that. Even so, since I knew that no bottle of alcohol could chase me down the street and force its way down my throat, and I knew that the people at AA gave me a major case of the creeps, I left there after only a few meetings and I gave up drinking without having to adopt any stupidity. Still, I do not drink these many years later. I didn't think I could quit until these people at AA made me angry with their foolishness. The only reason I was able to do it, is because I somehow found the strength (POWER) to rise up and rebel against the lie of AA.
Thank you, Barbara, for this marvelous essay.
Screams from Childhood