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Josef and Elisabeth F.

This is the worst case of incest abuse I’ve ever heard of! It’s impossble to imagine what could have made this man do such things to his own daughter. He’s clearly a person without any form of empathy. And the various media (TV, newspapers etc) work hard to give us all possible details of this horror history. Why? to sell more of course! If a media soruce is the first one to report some “important” news, that helps build it’s image as a reliable and quick newssource.

Curious about the case, most people read/listen/view a lot in the beginning, then – fed up by all the horrific details, one tunes out and wander off to read/hear/view something else. And the attention is lost.

What makes me extra sad about this, is that following the discovery of such an horror, should be a massive information campaign teaching people how to look for similar cases in their surroundings, and what do to if one suspects incestous actions happening. Who to contact, what to say to the possible victim to ask for the truth etc. This could help reduce the amount of incest or other abuse.

Because of my personal experience with incest I know that “normal” people does these things all around the world. (Of course, not all to this extent.) And the same thing happen everytime; people told about the incest actions of a certain person, doesn’t believe it, because they’ve never seen anything. How long will it take before people start to understand that persons they think are all good and kind, can do evil things? And that abusers often (I’ll say in most cases) are normal people just like one self, and that they hide the abuse very well!? They’re masters of disguising their evil actions, and the victims are masters of hiding the abuse as they feel ashamed and partly guilty. Help from outside is needed.

I’m sure that this Josef F. case in Austria isn’t the only one of this extent and seriousity. It’s just that nobody have talked about them, neither the abuser nor the abuse victim. Please, all victims, talk about your experience, but choose your listeners with care! Talk about it in victim support groups, to your psychologic therapeut, on the Internet… Do not keep silent with your experiences! You’re not helping anyone by keeping silent! (I know, I’ve tried, and I only punished myself!) It’s never your fault!

Taking control

The hijab-wearing women are often viewed as a person one should feel sorry for. In the “modern” societies of Western Europe and the US, the main thoughts (and the publically correct) are that “She’s probably under control by her husband and/or sons. She’s not free to wear whatever she wants… she’s not allowed to do whatever she wants… she’s forced to wear the hijab and the modest and covering clothes, poor thing…” and so on. And the female fashion in these societies are all about being sexy and using one’s sex appeal. The ideals admired are the supermodels, Hollywood-celebs and the likes. Forcing everyone, except the natural born supermodels, to be on an everlasting diet, excercise regime and even consider plastic surgery in order to keep up with the latest trends.

But what if it is quite the opposite?* What if the modest women, of all faiths and convictions, are actually the liberated ones? Because they (and to some extent me) are not under society’s increasing press and unhealthy focus on beauty and body, choosing to wear covering and modest clothes, not following the fashion trends. Modest women are not controlled by fashion designers who’s obviously allergic to female bodies and at the same time asking for women to show cleavage and legs.

The modest women are in control over their bodies, controlling what parts could be shown public, and what parts should be kept covered. A modest women doesn’t use sex appeal to gain success in her life, but rely on her brain, appearance, inner beauty, personality, and other values. Her body isn’t “put on display or up for sale”, she doesn’t advertise for herself by showing off her “goods”. I know what group I’m in and my feeling of liberation is increasing! 

As shown in these pictures (left and right) being modest isn’t necessarily different from following the fashion trends in color and materials. Being modest can also mean looking good.

I like this picture (left) very much.  It’s from South-East Asia somewhere. It makes me think about which of these women are in control over their body? The muslim or the blond?

In the summer I, personally, wouldn’t have covered to the muslim extent, but I’m more covered than the blonde! I don’t see the blonde as being liberated because she can wear whatever she wants, it’s more like she says that she’s not anxious about her body being on public display… she doesn’t demand respect, she sort of wants to be liked because of her body. What kind of mistaken feminism is that?!

 

 

*I don’t doubt that some muslim women, as well as other women, are under too much control by their husbands.

Obligations

I find myself sometimes still struggling with my obligation to buy less. For example handbags and jewellry. I have to ask myself the question: do I really need this? Then I consider the money – how much good could this amount of money do to a person less fortunate than me? And, wouldn’t this handbag become just another bad buy and pile up in my closet or I have to sell it at the internet for a quarter of the price I paid? And what about the global problem of waste? The more I buy, the more waste I generate.

For some reason it appears as though buying new things is a way of being nice to myself. Whenever I’m feeling somewhat sad or down, spending money on items I really don’t need, have been the main way in which I’ve tried to make me happy again. During the last months, however, it has become clear to me that what makes me happy is not buying new things, but being with my son and my dog. I guess I’ve known this for some thime, but haven’t done anything about it before this lent. My buying stop during lent was really fruitful, and now it’s easier to not buy than buy. Because when thinking about buying an item I really don’t need, I get a bad conscience! And that helps me alot.

My want to contribute to a better world, a world with a more fair ressource distribution, obliges me to do and not do certain things. And though they may feel like a unneccessary sacrifice at the time, I know that it’s the right thing to do. And in the long run it will give me a better conscience. Knowledge should oblige one to act!

The parish priest always emphasise the fact that believing must be followed by action, otherwise one cannot say one believe. That’s a good thing to remember!

Mod(est)ifying some of my clothes

This weekend I’ve modestified some of my clothes. With one skirt, that was formerly just slightly over the knee, I carefully removed the stitches on the line, and added a lace at the bottomline, to make the skirt somewhat longer. And at the waist I opened the double hem and added a button so that the waist is somewhat longer. I didn’t take any pictures, so I don’t know if this explanation made any sense.

This is my sewing machine. I’ve had it for more than five years and I’ve wanted to do more sewing, put it hasn’t happened. Now that I’ve just started, I’m inspired to do more, and will use the trick with lace and other material to make my clothes more modest.

For example, I have some tops with a too low neckline (in front), I’m not comfortable wearing them, afraid that my cleavage may show. I find myself constant checking whether my cleavage is showing, and that is not a good thing to do. And when the weather gets warmer, I can’t use a scarf to hide it either. So I thought that I’ll cut off some fabric at the bottom of the top/tunika, and use it to make the neckline more modest. It’s difficult to find clothes that suit me very good. If it fits around my tummy and bossom, the neckline tends to be plunging! In cold weather I use a wool singlet under the tunika. As I like these tunikas very much, and also because tunikas in the empire style suits me good, I think it’s a good idea to make them more wearable. And it saves me money, as I don’t have to buy new tunikas.

Since lent I haven’t bought all the magazines that I used to, and that gives me more time to do other things, like sewing, that I’ve wanted to do, but hadn’t found the time to before. It really doesn’t take more than a month or so to have new habits. That’s good! 🙂 Most magazines have a unhealthy focus on body and beauty. There’s only one magazine I’ve found (in Norway) that doesn’t, and that’s “Familien” (=the family). The main focus for this magazine is positive and inspiring reading, it has a somewhat subtile christian focus, and lots of handicraft projects. It’s a real feel good magazine. That’s the only one I’m reading at the moment. 

Concentration levels are really down!

And that’s kind of frustrating, because I’ve loads of tasks at work to be done… but due to the massive negative “inner-talking” going on at present, the energy to be used on other tasks are really low. It’s kind of strange – I enjoy being at work, but I can’t seem to get any thing done. I have my own office, it is well tempered, it’s a fairly quiet workplace. But, I feel bad about being here and not doing the things I should do. (Blogging and internet surfing is sadly not part of my job description)

As I wrote in my post about handling criticism, I’m in a destructive period now. I also find it hard to reduce this destructivism by reminding myself about how God loves everybody and Jesus died for our sins, and so on. That doesn’t apply to me, just other people. 😐 The easiest thing to do is to give in to this destructiveness, and give up the struggle for raising my self-esteem. But I’m not going to do that. I can’t do that, because by giving up I would have to quit my job – i.e. disappoint my co-workers and boss, and I’d be unable to be a wife and a mother, and that’ll disappoint and even damage my husband and son. Giving up is not an option. So I’ll have to keep on struggling.

Earlier in my life I thought this destructivism came from the devil. I don’t know if that’s the truth. But. one can wonder. The destructive ghost (as I call it) tries to get me to stop wearing a cross around my neck, because I’m not a perfect christian. “Why should I go around bragging about my faith, when in fact it is far from perfect?” And “what’s the point for me to try to dress modestly, when my heart is full of condemning of others who do not? Doesn’t the whole dressing modestly exercise become more of a skin thing, than really inside and spiritual?” And that passage in the Bible about seeing the speck in other’s eyes and not the plank in mine, is very relevant to me now. And that makes me sad, and it makes me think “what’s the point in trying to be a good person and live according to God’s will, when in fact I’m so far from target. I’m a person of less value, due to my rotten personality.” -And who’s to benefit from me thinking this way, if not the evil himself? He tries to draw people away from God in all possible ways.

I’m not sure wether the devil is a real creature or just the symbol of evilness in this world. But either way the result is the same, me feeling bad about myself. My destructive ghost is a result of the treatment my father gave me when growing up. It reappears now and then to tell me what a stupid and idiotic and so on, person I really am. But is this really true? Are my sins any worse than others’? Aren’t I just a normal person trying to live a good life? Didn’t Jesus die on that cross to liberate all people from their sin – and why should I be the sole exemption? Jesus is the only person able to live a whole life without committing any sins, because He was in fact a personification of God. I should stop striving for a perfect life, and start to focus on the fact that God sees me as a person among others. I’m just an human being with all the flaws and goods one normally have. That’s the only way to fight this destructive ghost!

John 3:16 (New King James Version): For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Ephesians 2, By Grace Through Faith: 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. From http://www.biblegateway.com Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Ny ekteskapslov

Etter min mening er det kun én begrunnelse jeg aksepterer* når det gjelder motstand mot den nye ekteskapsloven. Og det er den katolske kirkens offisielle lære, nemlig at sex kun kan skje innenfor et heterofilt ekteskap fordi sex kan aldri ses på som kun for partenes nytelse, men også som en deltakelse i Guds skapelsesgjerning. Man skal aldri stenge for muligheten for at sex’en kan medføre graviditet (ved f.eks prevensjon eller sex med en av samme kjønn). Dersom man ikke vil bli gravid skal man avstå fra sex.

Alle som inngår ekteskap skal være åpne for å få barn. Og det er kun en mann og en dame som på naturlig vis kan lage barn. Den katolske kirke mener all kunstig befruktning er etisk galt fordi livet begynner i det egget er befruktet, og ved f.eks prøverørsforsøk befruktes flere egg enn de som blir til fødte babyer.

Denne argumentasjonen kan jeg altså akseptere, for her ligger det en nøye gjennomtenkt argumentasjon bak. Alle disse andre argumentene med at det er det beste for barnet å ha både en mor og en far, eller at barnet kan bli mobbet, eller lignende, dem har jeg vanskelig for å akseptere, for jeg tror ikke at det er riktig.

Her er mine argumenter:

  • Barn (og foreldre) har godt av å ha to foreldre. To voksne og ansvarlige mennesker med omsorg, tid og kjærlighet til og for barnet. To forskjellige mennesker som kan gi barnet forskjellig kunnskap og impulser. Foreldrene har godt av å kunne dele på ansvaret.
  • Barnet har godt av å ha en rollemodell eller flere som er i samme kjønn som seg selv. Dette trenger ikke være de daglige omsorgspersoner. Man tar det man har. Selv hadde jeg en dårlig far, og en god bestefar, og følgelig er det min bestefar jeg bruker som farsfigur og modell for hvilken mann jeg ønsket meg og hvordan han bør være som far.
  • Barn mobbes uansett hvilket kjønn foreldrene har. Alle barn har enten selv opplevd mobbing eller erting eller kjenner noen som mobber eller blir mobbet. Det kan være for ting som fregner, briller, tenner, hårfarge, kropp, ører, klær osv. Jeg ble mobbet for dialekten min.
  • Man kan ikke godta kunstig befruktning kun for heterofile par. All kunstig befruktning er etter mitt skjønn feil. (ref over) Adopsjon burde være eneste mulighet for barnløse par. Man har absolutt ingen garanti for at et heterofilt par er bedre foreldre enn et homofilt eller lesbisk par.
  • Mange av dem som er i mot den nye ekteskapsloven er nok i mot homofil praksis i det hele tatt, og det kan de kun begrunne med bakgrunn i tolkning av sin hellige bok (Bibel eller Koran). Ikke noe annet. Det er dessuten litt rart at de aksepterer prevensjon blant heterofile par, og at de ikke går i tog for å få vekk muligheten til samboerskap. Det er jo i så fall like ille som homofil praksis!

Jeg er klar over at det i Bibelen står at menn som ligger med menn begår synd (eller noe i den duren), og jeg må ærlig innrømme at jeg befinner meg i et dilemma, for jeg ser jo teksten i Bibelen, men så kan jeg ikke se hvilken annen synd de begår enn at de har sex som ikke åpner for barn. Og det er mer enn nok barn i verden allerede, så jeg vet ikke om det fremdeles er en synd å ha sex som ikke åpner for barn.

*aksept er ikke det samme som å være enig!

Handling criticism… :(

I don’t know how to handle criticism without it shattering my self-image. I know I’m supposed to separate person and actions, so that people criticising for example my handling of a work task, doesn’t automatically become a critique of me as a person. The problem is that I can’t put this into action. Yesterday my boss talked about what we (him and me) could do to prevent errors within my area of responsibility at work. Over and over again he emphasised that he’s not blaming me, he’s also responsible, he said, for not checking up how I’m doing.

I heard him say this, but inside my head I translated it into negative and destructive messages about how I’m not performing satisfyingly. So, today I’ve difficulties with concentrating. I have this feeling of being not able to perform what is expected. And, I must admit that I expect no mistakes and errors on my work. At least no errors of a certain importance. I really don’t know how to change this deep rooted feeling of being “under par”. I’ve had it for all my life (yes, I can remember that I’m at the age of four or five thought that I was worse and of less value than the others in my kindergarten).

From the therapy I’ve done the last years, I’ve learnt that the change is to be made in the way I think about myself. But it doesn’t seem to really work. It works on a certain level, keeping the bad feeling away for a while. Then I enter periods of low self-esteem or a bad self image. Where everything is translated into failures. And in these periods there’s something inside me that’s content and happy – sort of telling me (no, I don’t hear voices) that this is the real me. This is how I’ve been all my life, and that’s never going to really change. The other version of me, the one able to handle failures without breaking down, that’s just me playing and acting a role. Because all the failures, even the ones handled well, pile up in a virtual backpack, and when that’s too heavy I break down and I’m no good at all. I’m not worthy of anything, and I’m not capable of anything… Luckily for me and my surroundings, these periods change, I have good periods and I have bad. Earlier, the bad ones seemed to go on forever, and while they probably changed a bit, I was always on the negative side.

And then there’s the religious perspective to this. I know that I’m supposed to be happy because the Lord loves me and have created me in His picture. But, when I don’t like being me, that’s not easy to be happy about! 😦 I have a certain idea of why I’ve always wanted to be someone other than me. It has do to with my biological father. Although I’ve distanced myself from him the latest years, I’ll always carry some of his genes in my genes, and I’ll always have the “wounds” he inflicted on me in my childhood and youth. (Wounds is put in ” ” because the wounds are not visible, they’re just inside me.) I cannot run, hide or escape from myself, I have to carry this body, face and internal and external features around with me.

I’ve doubled my weight since moving out at the age of 18. But I’m still me, inside there’s still this failure-version of me. I’m actually somewhat afraid of loosing my weight, because that’ll make me more like I was when my father did his things… Having a baby didn’t change my body as much as I’d hoped for. The only sign is the larger tummy (due to badly trained muscles after birth). The stretchmarks may have increased in number, but to be honest, I haven’t noticed. I had a lot of stretchmarks before becoming pregnant due to weight increase. I’ve colored and cut my hair, but the face remains the same. I see the same face, only larger chins, as I’ve done for years. In short, I sort of hate everything about me, everything I’ve had since my youth…

In case you, the reader, got very worried about me, I’d like to add that I’ve applied for more therapy and am currently awaiting response. And I’m never really suicidal because I know that a lot of people would get sad, and I know that the problems will diminish again.