Monthly Archives: November 2022

Of Ogres and Onions, Part 1

Shrek | fictional character | Britannica

DreamWorks characters “Shrek” and “Donkey”
Copyright © DreamWorks LLC
Image courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica https://www.britannica.com

“Ogres are like onions…Onions have layers.  Ogres have layers.”

Shrek, DreamWorks

Almost any American parent will recognize the quote (above).  It is from a conversation between the main character and his donkey sidekick in the children’s film Shrek.  The statement is meant to convey the complexity of ogres.

Change

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Instead, I do what I hate” (Rom. 7: 15 NLT).

Change – especially change for the better – is difficult for human beings, too.  Even the Apostle Paul complained of this.

The problem is not weakness of character.  It is our flawed nature, and the very complexity with which God made us (Ps. 139: 14) [1].  Nearly all our actions have multiple layers of causation and meaning (many of these unconscious).

What this implies for abuse victims is that a single psychological insight on our part is not likely to be support an overnight transformation.

That is not to say insights are insignificant.  Even when painful, they give us better understanding of (and better control over) our lives.  As important, insights are cumulative.  If we are patient and persistent, change will come.

Expectations

Our expectations for ourselves must, however, be realistic.  Even those who were never abused encounter challenges in life, and problems achieving their goals.  It is the human condition in a flawed world.  Weight loss programs and gyms have made millions off that fact.

We must not measure ourselves against a behavioral ideal that may be impossible for anyone to attain, abused or not. Continue reading

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Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse

Cover Up

New Bill Goes After Institutions That Cover Up Child Sexual Abuse, Giving Survivors Chance For Justice - Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Image courtesy of CBS News.

The following is excerpted from a post by Gabrielle Guthrie.  Gabrielle discusses the cover up of child sexual abuse by religious and other institutions, most particularly the Church of England [1].

The full post can be found at her blog See, there’s this thing called biologyhttps://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2022/11/06/he-fell-where/.

Colorado is among the states that have passed legislation extending the Statute of Limitations on sexual abuse, while targeting those individuals and institutions who knew (or should have known) about the abuse but did not stop it [2][3].

“…it’s the cover up that is so evil, it’s circling the wagons and protecting the power structure, that really rankles.  That’s what lurks behind those deep rooted feelings of powerlessness and injustice.  Sometimes that is even more emotionally painful then the initial assault.

Sexual abuse is evidence that you have no human value, no worth in someone’s eyes.  Those who look at the crime with apathy or complacency, and ignore it, validate that lie and amplify it.  It’s still a lie, but lies are a lot harder to dig out when they are deeply rooted due to other people’s complicity.” Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Rape, Religion, Sexual Abuse

Jellyfish

File:Jelly cc11.jpg

Pacific Sea Nettle, Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA, Source  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dan90266/37269957/, Author Dan Parsons Dan90266 (CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Jellyfish are equipped with stinging tentacles used to paralyze, capture, and kill their prey.  The largest known specimen, the lion’s mane or giant jelly, has tentacles which can reach 120 feet in length.  That is longer than a blue whale.

The sting of a jellyfish can be agony.  In humans, that sting can cause burning and blistering of the skin, difficulty breathing, changes in heart rate, chest pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting, muscle spasms, numbness, weakness, and collapse.

The tentacles can sting, even after a jellyfish has died.

The Tentacles of Abuse

Like jellyfish, abuse has long tentacles.  Rather than extending into deep water, those tentacles extend across the years.  But their sting can still be agony.  Like the tentacles of jellyfish, the tentacles of abuse can paralyze, capture, and in some cases kill.

Real Wounds

Whether we suffer with physical ailments and visible scars or with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, the wounds stemming from our abuse are severe and real.  We are not weak.  We are not malingering.

It is, in some ways, easier when our wounds can be seen by the naked eye.  Burns are recognizable as such.  By contrast, the wounds of many abuse victims cannot be bandaged or sutured.  Invisible, those wounds can yet be deadly.

Long-Term Damage

Because it was inflicted early in our lives, while we were most vulnerable, the damage done by abuse is long-lasting and multi-faceted.  Victims must endure it for decades, across the full range of life activities.  This can be exhausting.

Eventually, we may feel overwhelmed by anxiety or depression, as if we were drowning; may feel trapped by our past, despite our best efforts; may feel wrongly that ending our lives is the only way out. Continue reading

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Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse