Monday, October 6, 2014

Thoughts on Justice

What is justice? 

"Morally right and fair behaviors or treatment."


It is a lie, plain and simple. "Justice" does not exist in the real world; it is only present in our minds, never carried out through actions. 

Where is the justice for the people who were literally blown to nothingness when the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki? 

Where is the justice for the woman raped by her father, her brother, her lover, her friend? 

Where is the justice for the parents who have to bury their newborn child?

Where is the justice for the antelope killed by the lion? 

Where is justice? 

- The Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

Today I heard a sermon in which the pastor talked about a story in the Bible where a man asked God why bad things happened. The pastor basically said good Christians should not question their god and instead trust Him and his "Plan." 

Why should we tolerate the bad things that people do? It is not any divine power's responsibility to help us or protect us from negative experiences, whether you are a Christian or a Pagan. It is not the Goddess's job to forever hold us up, away from harm. A child does not learn by being forever protected. Do we really want to make this world just? Do we really want mercy and peace? Then we need to step up and make these things ourselves! 

Justice. It does not exist elsewhere in the world, but we humans can make it, and help it flourish. 

The world is unjust and unfair because we make it so. We can make the change. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coming of Age

Who here has heard about the Klein and Frost deal in the pagan community and also about the essays written about racism in Heathenism? If not, I recommend reading up about it before we continue.

Basically, Kenny Klein was arrested for child pornography and happened to be a prominent pagan figure. This lead to a huge backlash in the community over child abuse and how we deal with it (or rather, how we don't deal with it). Out of that backlash the Frosts were targeted (and rightfully so) for their inflammatory section in their book describing in detail how to "sexually initiate" children.

I have heard from several people that ask why Klein is a "pagan" issue. Uh, what? Philadelphia Pagan has said it better than me (with much less cussing):
A Pagan author who wrote several books about Paganism and was an elder in a Pagan tradition was arrested for and confessed to possession and distribution of child pornography. Several people came forward about the abuse and inappropriate behavior they suffered at the hands of this Pagan man, sometimes at Pagan or Pagan-dominated events. Some of those people were silenced when they first tried to talk about the inappropriate behavior by Pagans who wanted to protect their local Pagan community. 
But it’s not an issue for the Pagan community, because he also was a photographer. [sarcasm]

If you care more about the perception of Paganism by outsiders, who generally don’t give a shit about conversations we have with one another, than you do about cleaning up rape culture within Paganism and working to help victims… 
you’ve got your priorities all wrong.
Guys, this is a problem within our community. We cannot ignore abuse and the prevalence of rape culture within our own and then turn around and say we worship Goddesses and give women an equal footing with men. It's completely hypocritical! We all have known about predators in the pagan community for at least a decade, when I entered the pagan path. It seriously pisses me off when I meet pagans who feel as if it is somehow okay for people to silence the victims of abuse, or try to justify it.

In fact, on the Wildhunt's facebook page, this one guy... oh man. He was talking about how some children are more "sexually mature" than their age and how that's why it's somehow okay to ritualistically assault a child. THAT VERY ATTITUDE CONTRIBUTES TO RAPE CULTURE. STOP IT. A child is a person who is under the age of 18, period end of discussion full stop. When I was starting out, I could not find a coven or a mentor who would have dared take me under their wing because I wasn't 21! I had a very difficult time finding a coven who would take me when I was 18. Honestly, I feel that unless that coven is an open coven specifically meant for families, no one should be accepted or initiated into the coven until that person is 18 years old.

We as a community need to grow into the fact that, now we are become a bigger religion, there will be predators and we need to ostrisize them from us. We also need to be there for the newbies! However, that's for a different post.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bulimia, Non-Purging Type

I've said this before, but I will say it again; I have an eating disorder. Now, after many years of not knowing, I finally found a name for what I do: bulimia, non-purging type.

It's a small subgroup of bulimia, with most people falling into the purging type and what most people think of when they hear the word bulimia. With non-purging, we don't vomit or use laxatives or diuretics. Instead we excessively exercise and/or fast. I do both of those things, but tend more towards fasting.

When I exercise, I will regularly go for two, three, or even four hours at a time, until I can no longer do anymore because I am shaking. One time I went to the point of complete exhaustion and couldn't lift myself from the floor. For me it always feels... good, actually, which is why I keep doing it. It's some kind of sick satisfaction in damaging my body. I know that it's wrong and yet I don't care. I must force myself to leave after an hour. I have now started "padding" my time by enjoying the sauna and Jacuzzi so I don't hurt myself so much.

Not quite, but I wish.
When I fast, however, that's when the wrench is thrown in. It starts off sometimes by me being late one day and then going the rest of the day without food. Of course, when I get home, I am exhausted and so go to bed. Then when I wake up again I am late. Who cares if I don't eat, I think. It's not like going hungry for a bit will kill me... and then I become angry with my body for constantly bugging me with its requests for substance. I think, why can't you wait? Why can't you take from the vast sources of energy you have stored? Why do you keep bothering me?? My anger piques and it bleeds into my interactions with others; I become short and intolerant to stupidity and irritable. I get angry with my roommates for asking me to cook dinner. I get pissed when told to eat. All I want to do is anything else but eat. I become so sick of food. There is a kind of disturbing happiness at the pang of hunger going unfed. As it were, I sit here feeling the pangs and I know that my thoughts are wrong and disordered, but I think that I am happy to feel it because it means I'm a "good girl."

After a while of not eating, something breaks my fast and then the floods happen. I binge and binge and binge, spending most of my money on food until my stomach screams both in agony and ravenous hunger. I can feel the pain of my stomach stretching to try and fit the plates upon plates but nothing quells the raging hunger. Truly and honestly, it's as if a thousand people were screaming, crying, begging to be fed and nothing you can ever give them will be enough.

 And then comes the guilt and shame. It is devastating and all consuming. It's as if someone threw me into a dark hole and it has crippled me, suffocating me. I can't breathe, I can't eat, I can't sleep. All I do is beat myself up for "losing control." How can I do that to myself? What a slob! If you just had better self control.... and so the fasting starts again.

Other times it starts because of triggering. Someone, like my doctor or a peer or TV or anything, will say something and my dark thoughts grip me. For instance, when I went to the doctor recently, I was telling her that I have this eating disorder, but then the doctor turns around and talks about how "counting calories" are sooooo important and if I just didn't eat so much I wouldn't be fat. So, I don't eat at all. Or it might be that I have so naively weighed myself and found that I have gained (a lot) of weight. Or it might be that I need new cloths and I try to go buy some but I can't fit into something I want or don't have the money for it and so I think "if only..." Sometimes it's just by touching my body, feeling my belly or my legs or my arms. It doesn't sicken me anymore, but I do still have the longings.

Many times I think, "I wish I had a healthy relationship with food and my body." It's just a very, very long road...