Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Strip Tease

That's what I consider this whole mad venture of mine to be, a strip tease, with an odd twist. Instead of a rowdy crowd waiting impatiently for the next piece of clothing to drop revealing the secret tidbit of delectable skin beneath I envision a very normal woman up on that stage. She could fit in anywhere, she appears to be your stereotypical soccer mom, and looks like she's got it all under control. She's apple pie, baseball, and red, white and blue all wrapped up in a sweet, comforting mom shaped package! Then she starts shedding bits of clothing that have been covering up the truth beneath...

Why she's not a typical soccer mom at all! She's the cancer hiding inside our society! She's the whole reason our nation is going down the toilet! Monster! Whore! Devil worshipper! And somehow the fact that she had the crowd fooled at first makes it so much worse than if she'd just come out on stage looking like the monster she really is. It makes them even angrier. Maybe they feel cheated out of what they expected to get? Maybe but that's not all of it. No, the bulk of their hatred comes from their fear. If she could look like one of them, if she managed to fool them into thinking for even an instant that she was normal, then deep down they fear that there might be far more of her monstrous kind out there successfully hiding! Why these monsters could be hiding in our government, churches, schools...they could be anyone!

Well I guess I've pussyfooted around it long enough and it's time to give my readers their first, solid peek at what's hiding beneath a bit of the clothes. I'm Pagan.

It happened in my late teens. I couldn't buy enough books to keep up with my voracious appetite for them! Then one day, quite by chance since I was looking in a different section completely, I found a book on Wicca. I sat in that bookstore for almost a half hour, tears pouring down my face, as I quickly scanned through the book to absorb the overall topic and feel. I felt just like that starving, shivering little child standing in the snow staring in the window at a family in a loving, warm home piling the table high with mouth watering delights but some kind soul had opened up the door and said, "Come in, sweetheart. There's plenty for all and we've saved a place just for you."

I studied and meditated, questioned and learned. I branched out to learn all I could about as much as I could in a quest for pure understanding. I learned at least some about Shamanic, Druidic, Buddhism, and more. I remember such good times in those innocent years. I even attended a protest in which people of a different religion came and shouted hateful, hurtful things at us while we sang songs about love and building bridges of understanding between us. The one thing I remember best from that day was seeing their little ones dressed in their (HOT!) Sunday best looking miserable and wilted in the heat. Worried for them I asked one of our leaders if we couldn't at least offer their children a bit of water? She put a hand on my shoulder and sadly said, "We can't. If one of those children got so much as a sniffle afterwards they'd say we put something in the water to harm them." I should've realized then. I should've run my butt into the nearest closet to hide my religion from the world but I was young and naieve. I was made brave on the notion that Wicca is a recognized, legal religion in a land that believes in religious freedom and protected by the Constitution. What a fool.

When I finally divorced my abusive spouse of more than 10 years I knew he'd play dirty because he knew exactly how to keep me under control married or not, through my children. I desperately wanted to snatch that control away from him and protect my babies. I was so idealistic! I really believed that if I marched into court and told the truth that was exactly what I'd get. I'll never forget the pure malice in his lawyer's voice when she sneeringly asked me my religion. I held my head up high as my lawyer objected on the grounds of my Constitutional rights. But it felt like everything inside of me just dropped through the floor leaving me an empty, shocked husk when the judge ordered me to answer the question.

People say that time heals all wounds. I say those that truly think so have never been wounded bad enough. Oh I share custody with my husband and have even managed to mostly fight my way free of him controlling me through the children after a few years! But nothing can ever replace the precious time I've lost with them. It's one wound that will never heal in me. You only get so many years, a limited number of hours to spend with your children and every minute is so precious! Every bit of time that slips away is time that can never be replaced! How do you cope when approximately half of even that limited amount of time has been torn away from you? Nothing can ever fix that!

The other is the wound they gave me when I stood up proud and true, innocent of any wrongdoing, but still they spat on me, ripped away my rights, shredded my confidence in people, my feelings of security in doing what's right. And one of the scariest things to me is they did it so easily! There were no courtroom dramatics, no great fuss, just a few words spoken and it was over. I sat there in front of all of them bleeding inside in shock, not understanding how it all happened.

So there's one of my secrets for you, as promised, but there's plenty more of them to come! Even more, there's worse to come still so keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, please secure any loose items, and hold each other tight!


  1. Aw, honey! I'm so sorry you've struggled so...

    You need to look forward. What is the point of figuring out how much time with your children you may have missed? It doesn't help going forward!

    Start fresh from NOW...and make every moment count! Everyone has things they'd love to go back and change....

    You keep talking...and I'll keep listening...

  2. I'm sorry to hear you have gone through so much, but it helps so much to share it!

    I'm not sure that it is something you would be willing to go into further detail about, but I've always been so curious about the pagan religion...

  3. Kathryn, I have quickly come to love your blog and your comments but HOW? How can I go forward when I have to hide who I am lest I risk what I have left and have built since then? How do I even go out to try when something as basic and binding as our Constitution can be cast aside so easily? If they can do that what rights and laws could they NOT ignore? There's nothing they couldn't do.

    carissajaded, I'd love to go into detail about it but the subject could fill volumes that just don't fit conveniently into a blog. Instead I would suggest you take a look at The Witches' Voice. That's probably the most widely recognized authority and good place to start on the subject. But if you have questions or would like to talk about anything in particular please let me know!

  4. I am so deeply sorry for what was done to you. :( The sad fact of the matter is that most of us are afraid of what we don't understand. I actually did a post about this on my blog not too long ago called "The Salem Effect."

    I have to kind of agree with Kathryn. Please don't take this the wrong way, I know that your experiences must have been horrifying, but there is nothing to be done about the past. What is done is done, and what will be done is to be decided. You have a few options here. You can either remain in seclusion, hiding who you are, or you can try and pave a way for yourself and the others that will come after you. If we are all too afraid to stand up for ourselves and defend our ways then there will never be a true freedom in America.

    I am a Christian, but I am not so in what has become the traditional sense of the term. I believe in God, and I believe in a distinct heaven and a hell, but I also think that a lot of the institutions of modern day "Christians" are hypocritical and, sometimes, just plain wrong. And I can recognize that the prejudice and stereotyping that you were subjected to was nothing more than blatant cruelty.

    I hope that you find the strength to venture out once more. You seem like such a strong woman. I'd love to see you reassert yourself in the world, and become at peace with who you are. Again, the very best of luck to you in your endeavors. Just remember: This world is only changed one person at a time. You have to be willing to be one of them if you want to see some results. And, for what it's worth, I'd stand beside you any day. Liberty and justice is meant for ALL. ;)

  5. Carrie, please know that I don't hold things like this against Christians in general!! EVERY religion has it's number of people that claim the label but don't live the religion's true beliefs. Honestly I think that Christianity is a lovely religion! For the most part I interpret Christianity in the absolute simplest form as love! If you love yourself you WILL treat your body like a temple. If you love your neighbor you WON'T murder, steal, covet... I absolutely recognize that what those people did to me was NOT the "Christian thing to do." Wicca is the more comfortable path for me but that doesn't make the other paths the *wrong* way :) If Pagans want others to stop ignorantly bashing them it has to start somewhere so Pagans should extend the same kind of courtesy to those of other religions.

    I DO hear what both of you are trying to say! It's exactly what I've always "practiced and preached" myself which is what happened in court that day. Unfortunately none of it changes the overwhelming fear that freezes my guts at the very thought of stepping back out of the closet.

    I've been sitting here for the past...forever trying to think what to say after that last bit. Some part of me says to put something hopeful about learning, healing, looking forward to a future out of the closet. But see? Something holds me back from even typing the words as truth because the TRUTH is that I just don't know. I don't know right now how I'm supposed to get from where I am to that future. I love Dr. Oz, maybe I should ask him! ROFL

  6. I wouldn't have been offended even if you had lumped all Christians into one big hypocritical pot. Lol. Most of them have done a enough damage to make that sterotype well-deserved. It's awful though, it gives the rest of us a terrible name.