A Tragicomedy--Recovering from Holy Hypocrisy

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woodsgnome

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A Tragicomedy--Recovering from Holy Hypocrisy
« on: September 17, 2015, 04:35:06 PM »
***TRIGGERS***/first 2 paragraphs

My parents weren't gung-ho religious, especially the f; the m seemed devout enough, when she wasn't more devoted to molesting me—my earliest memory is of her that way, and many subsequent memories repeat the pattern. Until I was 9, when the overt abuse turned to overt abandonment. I think the f caught on and stopped her—there seemed a period when he threatened to leave; flip side is he hinted it was my fault—my first experience of “blame the victim” mentality.

When I was sent to a religious school, ruled over by a cousin of the m, I entered the domain of holy sorts who masqueraded behind the g-word (it always sounded like they were saying GAWD). Turns out this deity was a perfect screen for sexual/physlcal abuse. My first memory of that place was being molested by the k teacher, dragged from a bathroom into a school hallway, and left screaming pathetically. And no...one...came; nobody; and my lonely course was set. This turned out to be just a prelude to childhood with the holy people. 

***END OF TRIGGERS***

So it went. Teachers of both genders perpetrated more holy *. I wasn't totally unique, but as the principal was the m's relative, it seemed there was intense focus on “dealing” with me. Guilt, shame, anger, and more ruled the day. As I grew older, and the familial pattern of the m's “distractions” with me ceased, it's as if I was handed over, like some toy, into the “loving” lecherous hands of the holy ones.

This pattern of abuse continued at a religious high school, with less overt physical but heaps more emotional flailings ahead. The hypocrisy demonstrated there was total, and colours my every reaction to religion.  So how, I ask myself, did I ever survive, despite these deep scars left from “educating mind, body, soul”—the very words the high school proudly used as their motto.

My saving grace (to use their liturgical term), seems to stem from an inner sense of humour that literally saved me from the brutal despair of their “up”-bringing. Especially after age 15, when I briefly ran away from the place, I remember imagining my tormentors as holy fools, prancing around in their favourite black robes solemnly invoking the holy names before bestowing their gifts of shame and humiliation.

I can now recognize that this inner humour was my own miracle, my inner child's response to the outer torments. Once I was past high school, many people have noted that I seem to possess a strong, creative sense of humour. Ah, but what they don't realize is how it came about, from the pit of depression as a devastated youth. They don't know that I developed it as an inner foil for the outer pain. Perhaps it was all that allowed my survival.

How it came about I have no idea—but I did consider Stan Laurel as my childhood idol, and I think that probably explains a large chunk of it. I didn't have Oliver Hardy for a foil, but I did have the GAWDawfuls, which became my name for the holy fools.

I started a game in my “inside” voice; “outer” would bring dangerous retribution from the GAWDawfuls. I'd hear their words, and in my mind, switch 'em around. I figured if they could cruelly twist words like “love” to suit their own thinly-disguised “hate”, then I'd do likewise (if only they knew, poor sods). So I'd hear some supposed holy verse like “many are called, few are chosen” and turn it into “many are cold, few are frozen.” I loved it, and like Stan Laurel, I became adept at hiding my inner mirth with an outer look of deadpan.


My experience comes down to one of having lived through a tragicomedy, and while I still cringe, rage, cry, and grieve at the tragic part, I can appreciate the clown side better too, and experience for the first time the joy of not wincing at the mere mention of religion or GAWD or JC or all the other names that once struck terror into my heart.

So, like the clown, I can cry and laugh at the same time.               


« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 01:45:47 PM by woodsgnome »

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: How Humour Saved Me from the Gawdawfuls
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 04:45:12 PM »
 :thumbup:

(speechless)

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arpy1

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Re: How Humour Saved Me from the Gawdawfuls
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2015, 04:56:06 PM »
i am spitting with rage.  sorry but emoticons don't cut this one.

the fact, dear woodsgnome, that you survived at all is testament not just to an inventive and delicious sense of humour, but to the innate courage and beauty of your soul/spirit (whatever that bit of you is called). the b........ds couldn't touch that.

the fact that those grotesques walked around on this earth disguised as respectable human beings screams out the injustice of the universe.

i think you are an amazing person.