Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thoughts that kept me awake last night...

I didn't go to sleep until 2 am and now I am awake at 6 am. I was thinking about many issues, including the fact that a very stressful childhood put me on the road to partial disability. I was able to keep off welfare through the inheritance I had received from my father, whose alcoholism I held responsible for causing me and the rest of his family a huge amount of stress. I was also able to hold a job down for certain lengths of time before I received this inheritance upon his death. Eventually I had such a bad bout of chronic fatigue I was incapacitated and could not work at all for two years. I finally returned to work part time, but this soon became too much for me and I went on welfare in my early fifties and eventually was granted government disability benefits after applying three different times.
But since chronic fatigue was not really recognized by many doctors even though it could put you out of commission for months, I was finally granted disability because of 'mental illness.' I guess the idea was that I just thought I was sick, which might suggest to you that a diagnosis of mental illness is not an exact science either.
I had however been incarcerated twice in two different states against my will in a psych ward from which I 'escaped' with great difficulty. I had an even worse problem getting out without being electric shocked, since I contended that I was not insane, did not need electric shock, and besides that a series of electric shock treatments might even be fatal to someone with chronic fatigue symptoms as bad as mine.
My uncle Reed, however, whose story, some of it related to me I have just told in my Memoirs, was delusional. He had suffered with pneumonia twice I understand as a child and he also had spinal meningitis so he was fragile on reaching adulthood. He came home from his Mormon mission before it was done for I believe an infraction of the rules but drank poison moonshine along with his friend and nearly died. His friend did die. It was thought that this contributed to a mental illness which at times included delusional thinking, talking to the dead, but in an emotional somewhat violent manner that he could not control when spoken to. He was given electric shock treatment and also insulin which was another treatment at that time, and had to be returned to the State Mental Hospital several times before he did not come out again except for a very short visit here and there. He eventually contracted tuberculosis and died a couple of years later at the age of 45 while still in the mental institution. He had suffered through so many deaths in the King family and also lost two best friends that people had to stop telling him relatives close to him had died. When his daughter died when she was eight years old of a very bad heart, I believe they debated for some time as to whether they should tell him. He soon joined her in death.
I had a heavy heart yesterday because his youngest daughter around five years younger than I am I learned is very upset because her dog, her faithful companion for a number of years, has developed a fast growing cancer and is expected to die. Max had a horrific childhood due to her mother's poverty after her dad died, also from the sexual and physical abuse she received from her step father. She has shown some characteristics of a similar mental illness to her father's but not severe enough ever to be hospitalized. Nor did it keep her from being a successful real estate broker, but life has still been hard for her. I am so thankful my sister Linda moved to San Francisco which is only 80 miles from the California town where she lives, so Linda has been able to visit her fairly often. She went on the family site to tell us Max is having a rough time right now and she is worried about her. She said she finally was able to tell Max that she could see two stars in the sky and it was her dad's star and mine, and that her dad was close and would take care of her dog until she comes. She finally stopped crying when she said that.
For Max is kind of a semi-medium like I am and Linda is. She is an expert with the tarot cards and has given many people readings. Ironically her oldest sister, the only one of her four sisters who is still alive, is a staunch Mormon so of course does not believe in the tarot cards. They have clashed about religion so much that they can't see each other very often and still get along.
I naturally don't have very much to do with her older sister either who has many admirable traits as a mother and a good member of the community. She reminds me of my grandmother and two aunts, my father's sisters, who were also staunch Mormons. And didn't have truck with mediums. My Grandfather King, however, explored what is called the occult, attended seances, and the like. He was never an active Mormon.
When my sister Linda had a nervous breakdown with an ouija board involved my Aunt Nethella hurt me horribly by telling me it was all my fault because I had been investigating the occult and had just gotten an ouija board. An ouija board is a board with letters on it which comes with a planchette on which two people rest their hands. One asks questions and the other probably controls the planchette which goes to letters under both hands and spells out answers. My sister Ann was who got the remarkable answers on the ouija board as when we experimented with it, she and I,I could only ask the questions. I never felt that I was in control of the planchette.
However, people got so upset with us after my sister Linda's breakdown, we gradually stopped trying to do anything with it. My sister Linda whose psychic messages come through dreams never let what happened deter her. She was a natural medium. I think her mind works through dreams more than anybody's I have ever met. I also was a dreamer and had psychic dreams but not on the scale she did. As many mediums have done, she attended a spiritualist church that had its origins in England which produced many remarkable mediums. She was able to find an outlet there for her interest in receiving messages from the dead and got many remarkable things when she was giving a reading.
I never thought that my best abilities lay in this direction, but I did have gifts and an interest in it that caused me to have some remarkable dreams about the future as my sister Linda has done.
Main stream church members very often denigrate the spiritualist churches, but then I was raised in a church that thought all members of any other church but Mormon would go to hell. This included Catholics, "Holy Rollers," and Spiritualists, so you can see why two people in the family who went in different directions could disagree so violently they could hardly even speak.
I know I was not able to talk to my two aunts about religion at all we disagreed so so completely.
At this very time, my oldest living cousin on the King side is ailing and expected not to live long. He lives in the Bay area also where Linda now lives. He was a Mormon Bishop for years and is staunchly LDS as his mother was. I called him not long ago to see how he was, but his wife said he was resting after the Mormon elders had come to give him a blessing. I will probably never be able to talk to him again but I lived with his mother for two years when I was going to high school and naturally heard a great deal about her sons. She was very proud of both of them who became Mormon Bishops in large wards in other states after they were married and they were also very successful, one in real estate and one in dentistry.
I left my aunt's after two years as she demanded that I go to church and attend Mormon seminary as well which kept me studying 6 days a week, and some nights going to Mutual as well as church on Sunday. I found this a little difficult since I was thinking of leaving the church. So I went to Salt Lake my last two years of high school and lived with my Great Grandmother Wilson on my Grandfather Wilson's side and found to my surprise she did not attend church at all. She always had an excuse handy even though she had two sons who were Mormon Bishops, etc, and some very religious daughters, sisters, brothers, grand children, etc.
One irreverent sister used to come over and she and I and Great Grandmother would play Rook on Sunday instead.
So you never know what relatives will take to religion and which ones won't, but there is going to be major disagreement if there is a big difference in the directions they take.
So my conclusion is that deciding one direction, one church, is the only true one is going to lead to a possible family split, and what does that accomplish? I am all for going a lot easier when it comes to demanding others think as you do. And condemning them to hell if they don't.
There must be a lot of confusion in heaven when the newly arrived seek their reward in whatever heaven they believe will be there waiting for them with only the faithful in it, the rest sent to hell where they have been warned they will go if they don't repent and return to the fold.
I have never felt my former Mormon Bishop cousin was able to enjoy me very much as he would quite forthrightly tell me I needed to get down there to church and get active. I kind of admired him for living up to his convictions, but we would get in a big argument. I told him, well, now, my beef with Mormonism started when I was a kid and decided from my observations that my dad, your uncle, was a closet homosexual, stepping out on my mother in this fashion. I was completely silenced as I did not think either he or I could talk about that to anybody! I said that I did not think the church handled homosexuality very well. He would gulp and try to defend the church's position on homosexuality the best he could.
So I imagine a heaven where my dad could talk more freely about this split from normality that he developed. Why did it happen? What were his influences? I was always studying those things. On the other hand, I did not dare tell my sisters I thought this as I knew it would upset them and they would probably disagree violently, not having seen anything that aroused their suspicions to think that way.
No, of course not, they were not working that close to my father when he was young, especially the one that got asthma and was retired from working out doors. So naturally she was not going to see what I saw or come to the same conclusions I did.
What were we to do to keep from clashing day and night? Not see each other very often for one thing. I have decided I can't go to Utah for a while, since I am writing my memoirs and talking about this in a public blog.
There is a price to be paid for doing this, but I am willing to pay it just to get the problem which I am sure exists in quite a lot of families out in the open. If there is too much prejudice and hostility expressed about a homosexual problem people are very apt to keep it secret and try to pass as straight even if that means marrying and deluding the partner.
So these were some of the long long thoughts keeping me awake. I am hoping today my cousin Max will become reconciled to her beloved dog's terminal illness and will be able to recover from his loss all right. She like her father just has had too much tragedy and loss to deal with, including the loss of him at a very young age, so no longer has enough resiliency left to deal well with even the loss of a pet.
I hope my oldest living cousin will be able to pass peacefully when the time comes. He broke his back last summer lifting something heavy, so his last days have been full of pain. I hope he will be lifted up and freed from pain at last and that we can meet on those far away shores some day and have another spirited discussion!

Photo: Beloved dogs don't argue with you about religion, they just love you.

2 comments: said...

I had to put up a picture of a dog too! Linda, did you get one of Butler? Our dogs mean a lot to us, good discussion on cousins.

Connie said...

One never gets over the loss of a dear pet.Just the thought of mine makes me cry.


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