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Pray For Bullies?


Bullying has become a big topic in the last few years. I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all experienced some form of bullying, whether it be verbal abuse or physical. Maybe even mental or cyber bullying.  My son and his friends experienced a bully in town while they played on their skateboards this afternoon. 

The sad part is the fact that my son tried to befriend this 15 year old. He even stayed the night at our house. This young man who we’ll call “Jack”came from a broken home. His father is a nice man, but clearly on skid row. The dad is the type of guy who is constantly getting arrested for not paying child support. ( He has more than one child.). Jack’s dad is one of those guys who will work for beer and a pack of smokes. You know the type. 

Jack just recently started living with his dad in a flop house in our little town. Despite the “Eddie Haskell” vibe he was putting out, I still felt sorry for him. After all, the kid was helpless. He didn’t choose  his parents, his surroundings or his circumstances. I thought I could help Jack. We opened up our home to him. He seemed to be craving a normal family life, and I truly wanted to help him. 

The longer he was at our house, the more I noticed his true colors. I could hear him swearing, talking about drugs and becoming physically rough with my son. My son no longer wanted to be around him, so after Jack went home I told my son he wouldn’t ever have to hang out with him again. 

My son has some very good friends  in our downtown community. Children who’s parents own shopes on Main Street like my husband and I. These kids are also homeschooled like my son, so they have a lot in common. They are great kids and I feel blessed he has such nice, well mannered and well behaved friends. 

My son expressed to me a great concern that was troubling him. He was worried Jack would come around and bother him and his friends. Jack is entirely too hardcore for his friends. He didn’t want Jack swearing or talking about sex and drugs and embarrassing him. There are a couple girls that hang out with them,too. He was concerned about the girls being offended. 

Unfortunately, Jack caught up with Jesse and his friends this afternoon. I was busy at work when 3 of the children came to me, telling me Jack was bullying them. He was spitting and swearing and even becoming physically aggressive. The kids didn’t know what to do. All they knew is they didn’t want to play with Jack. They were asking me for help. 

I walked over to the parking lot where the kids were playing. Jack saw me and rudely said to my son,”Hey Jesse, why is your mom here?”  It was obvious he didn’t appreciate me being there. I questioned Jack about his behavior which he adamantly denied. I think me just being there gave the kids the courage to stand up to him. They told him they didn’t like his behavior and explained how uncomfortable he was making them feel. After a few minutes Jack got on his bike and ride away. 

I had a talk with the kids after Jack was out of sight. I told them how proud I was of them for doing the right thing. It would have been easy to start acting like Jack with the swearing and what not. Yes, I was there, but it was the children who had the courage to stand up to him. 

So how come, as I watched Jack ride away, I felt so sad and sorry for the kid?  Being shunned by a group of his peers must have been painful for him. Yes, he was acting like a real jerk, but my heart still broke a little. He’s just a kid. A kid who has no stable family. He doesn’t live in a nice home and I doubt he is eating 3 square meals a day.  It would not surprise me if the abuse in his home is commonplace 

Before he moved to our town he lived in Detroit where I’m sure he had to be tough just to survive. He was never taught any better.  I bet his heart was broken riding away on his bike. I know mine was. 

I understand Jack had to learn a lesson today, and I sincerely hope this will open his eyes. As a mom, my heart is broken over the events of the day. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do for the boy, no matter how hard I try. I can, however, pray for him. I pray his circumstances will improve. I pray he will stop bullying. I pray he will have a successful future. All I can do is pray, and I ask that you all pray for him as well. Where there is life, there is hope. There is hope for Jack. There is hope for all the bullies. I can’t help but wonder what kind of home life these mean kids have. 

So next time you or your child encounters a bully, remember that child is probobly living in abusive, deplorable conditions. I’m in no way condoning their actions, nor do I think your kids should have to put up with the abuse. Teen suicide is at an all time high with bullying being so rampant. I just ask that as you say a prayer for that child who is being harassed that you consider prayer for the bully.   It may be the only prayer that is ever said for them. 

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I’m Not Perfect, But I’m So Glad You Are

Do we all have people in our lives who think that their shit doesn’t stink?  I’m sure I am not the only person in the world who had to deal with someone who is never wrong, knows it all, and enjoys pointing all your flaws out one by one. Like a constant drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet, these narcissistic individual’s are not only “perfect,” they also seem to be constantly unhappy. You could stand on your head and spit wooden nickels and they still would not be happy. 


What my question is…at what point do you stop trying to make these perfect people happy?  At what point do you scream “BITE ME!!!”and saunter away?  

How many of you have a person like this at your job?  How about a friend?  How many of you have a perfect person living in your household?  

The household perfectionist is the absolute worst. The laundry is never quite right. The way the dishes are stacked in the dish drainer…all wrong!  In fact everything is wrong from the way you clean the bathroom to horrible way you vacuum. 


Then, the said perfectionist quickly becomes the martyr. “No,no,” you hear them whine, “I’ll fix it.”  Often times I’m thinking “Fix what?!!?”  

I’ve recently learned to stop arguing with perfect people.  You’ll never live up to their standards because they are completely nuts and you will never be able to make them happy. Best advice is to block them out. If you have a person like this in your life whether it be your boss, your spouse or a long time friend, keep in mind that even if you’re doing it right, you’re still doing it wrong. 

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On Purple Rain and the Blue MeaniesĀ 

“Life is just a party and parties weren’t meant to last.”-Prince. 

  
With the passing away of genius rocker, Prince, social media has gone wild. One thing that cannot go unnoticed is the snarky and rude remarks about this man, his life and his music. Being rude to those who are saddened by this event is just a low blow. 

No, Prince did not come up with the cure for cancer or polio or any other disease.  His calling was different. God gave him the gift of creativity. God gave him the gift of music. God gave US the gift of music through him.

  
Our TV sets, phones and our computers are getting blown up with the news of his death. Why?  Because he touched lives. He was like nothing we had ever seen before.

It was the ’80’s and we didn’t have the Internet. We didn’t have the luxury to access any song or movie instantaneously. We had to sit and wait for the our favorite songs to come on MTV. (That was back in the olden days when MTV actually played music.). When Prince finally came on, my friends and I would frantically call each other. We all wanted to tape his videos on our VCR’s. 

We would go to the mall and hang out in the record stores for hours deciding what lp to buy. We never had to think twice when it came to buying Purple Rain.  Our parents hated Prince!  Darling Nikki?!?  Those of you who owned a copy of Purple Rain know who Nikki is. I often wonder what happened to the poster that came inside the Purple Rain vinyl record sleeve. I’m sure my mom disposed of it. 

  
  
As of right now, rumors are swirling about. He overdosed on opiates. He had a seizure. He had the flu. Truth is nobody knows. We may never know. I find it sad to hear rumors. Many of us are the victims of rumors, so be careful where you throw your stones. Karma is a bitch. 

Go ahead and and call Prince a “fag” or “talentless fancy boy.” Those of us who grew up with his music and dove into his music deeper know the extraordinary talent this man possessed. We listened beyond Little Red Corvette and 1999.  Lesser known songs like Seven and Diamonds and Pearls display his diversity. His piano skills were amazing as you can plainly hear for yourself on his lp Paisley Park. His guitar playing was impressive as hell. His wild wardrobe is what put the giant purple bow on the total rock star package.

  
If you actually knew Prince’s music, I highly doubt you’d be criticizing him. By criticizing him you insult all of us who were influenced by this man. His death may seem petty and unimportant for some. I find that tragically sad. Those who never took the time to give this man’s music a chance will never know the joy that was, and always will be, Prince Rogers Nelson. 

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Exorcism Under The Warhol(part3)

“When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could”-Pink Floyd

Going  to a strict Baptist school drove me insane. It was the 1980’s.  Kids were hanging at the mall, the video arcade, the movies and girls were teasing their hair to the sky. There was the occasional concert at Pine Knob. (A legendary concert venue in our area. It’s still in operation under another name that I can never remember, because it will always be Pine Knob.) 

Unfortunately, the school I attended had us sign a pledge listing 10 or so activities we vowed to never participate in. If we were caught doing any of these sinful acts, expulsion would be swift and severe. Among these activities that were pure sins?  Going to the movies and video arcades. Going to a concert?  Out of the question! In fact, listening to rock and roll would get you kicked out.  Even watching Miami Vice was a horrible sin. No holding hands with a boy ever!  Sex?  Sex will send you straight to hell!!! (Even though my drama teacher was banging a maintenance man, the pastor who taught my Senior Bible class was banging all kindsa women, and I can think of two separate occasions when a teacher slept with a student. )

It was a place that ruled by fear of God. The hypocrisy of the adults was so brazen and crass, it made us as students angry and insulted. Angry that they didn’t even follow their own rules. Insulted that they thought we were so stupid that we didn’t know what was happening. Some of us were even being molested by these holy men. The ones who got caught messing around were of course, tearful and apologetic. We HAD to forgive “these great men of God” because, after all, if we don’t forgive others then God won’t forgive us for our sins!  If you’re not forgivin you’ll be either sent to hell or, if you’re lucky enough to make it to heaven you’ll just be given a little bitty old shack with no rewards. No mansion for you!  

So there I was, stuck in a place where I was constantly told what a bad person I was. So I figured, I was going to hell anyway, why not go out having fun?  I started smoking, drinking, and danced every chance I could. When the movie Footloose came out, so many of us who were helplessly trapped in that school could identify with the character of Wren. The difference was…Wren came out on top.  Those of us who felt oppressed never got our moment to “cut footloose.” We never won. We weren’t allowed to be normal teenagers.

 

No cutting footloose allowed

 
Fortunately, my parents were not as strict as the school. I was allowed my freedom of expression at home. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough freedom to stop the damage the school was doing.

After a while, being good at being bad was boring. Washing down Vicodin with the peach schnapps I had disguised in my hairspray bottle between 3rd hour British Lit and 4th hour Church history was getting dull. It was too easy.

I had a close friend at school who lived not far from me. Since she has chosen to not be part of this story (and she was given the opportunity) we will call her Emma. 

Emma and I loved heavy metal and glam rockers like Poison and Motley Crue. Ozzy was among our favorites as well. His song “Mr. Crowley” got us very interested in the life of this man who worshipped the devil.

  

Aliester Crowley

 
 Researching Aliester Crowly led us to Anton LaVey(founder of the Chirch of Satan,) and The Satanic Bible. That led me, personally, to his daughter Zena LeVay and her book, The Satanic Witch.
 

Founder of The Church of Satan, Anton LeVey with Sammy Davis Jr.

  

Zena LeVey, daughter of Anton and author of The Satanic Witch

 
Then Emma bought a Ouija board….

To be continued

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Exorcism Under the Warhol (Part 2)

imageFrom the time I was little, I mean really little, like two and three years old, my own mother said I was “spooky,”. I would look at my mom and say in a nonchalant demeanor,  “Grandma’s calling.”  Seconds later the phone would ring. Guess who it was. Yep. Grandma.

My dad managed a local county campground in the early 1970’s, a place called Groveland Oaks in Holly, Michigan. Our family lived in a house within the campground. There are 4 kids in my family. I am,of course, the baby. I have 2 older sisters and a brother, all of whom are almost a decade older than I am .To this day they seem more like aunts and an uncle than siblings, but I adore them all.

Down the lane from our house, also living within the campground was a couple I only knew as “Uncle Arnold and Aunt Evelyn.” Aunt Evelyn was a snazzy dresser. I loved her big red beehive hairdo. She was always wearing super cool, colorful moo moo type dresses that she would get on vacation. She wore what I thought were the coolest shoes ever, my favorite pair being sandals with big giant gem stones on them.

I think my “Uncle” was the head of all the parks in Oakland County, but he chose to live at Groveland because it was the most beautiful of them all. They lived down a cobblestone lane that was just a stones throw from our house. Our houses were deep in the woods. We couldn’t see each other, nor could we see the actual campground.  We were snuggled back in the dense Mickigan woods. The only other thing nearby to us was the Groveland Fire Department. Again, separated by the thick woods, we couldn’t see the actual building, but we certainly could hear the sirens of the fire trucks and rescue vehicles when they were called to help. Many times they were being called into the campground. I would hear my dad and Uncle Arnold talk of drownings, fights among the campers and the occasional overdose. It was the ’70’s. Wild bikers and clubs would reserve up the campsites and scandalous parties parties took place.

As usual, I digress. I ask forgiveness in advance from you, the reader, as I tend to ramble off subject from time to time.

I loved visiting Uncle Arnold and Aunt Evelyn’s house. It was a modern home, probably built in the 50’s with that certain Frank Lloyd Wright look to it.  It was so cool. Inside was always perfect and pristine, and decorated to the nines. I was only allowed to go into  3 rooms. I was so young but I remember those rooms so vividly. The kitchen was the first room you saw when you entered. When it was just Aunt Evelyn we never went past the kitchen table. When Uncle Arnold was there we would go past the mirrored room, with gorgeously gawdy furniture, ferns, a white bear rug (complete with a face) and a piano. The whole room screamed “Liberace!”  Past the Liberace room was the great room. The biggest living room in the universe, at least it seemed that way at the time. Always perfect, decorated more in a manly fashion. Dark fabrics accented the dark wood of the walls. Unique treasures from all their travels around the globe. China, Haiti, Africa. They each had their own displays on built in shelves, lit and reached up to the ceiling it seemed. It was the display of Uncle Arnold’s collection from Africa that captivated me the most. The masks, drums, spears, creepy little dolls  and other strange things displayed on the beautifully lit shelves. What captivated me the most were the shrunken heads. I could not stop looking at them. There were several encased in dome covers, while others were not. They were so disgusting that when I was there, all I could do is stare at their grotesque faces with their eyes and mouths crudely sewn shut. Uncle Arnold told me if they didn’t sew the eyes and mouth shut that the evil spirits were set free.

  I also remember that when I would get too scared from the shrunken heads, I would go to Aunt Evelyn’s shelves which were a little more light hearted with dolls, books and photos of  their holidays. In particular I remember I would touch a carving of the Last Supper. I loved the white marble carving of Jesus and the disciples. I would touch the tiny little plates with the even tinier pieces of bread on them. My mother would always scold me for touching the statues, but Aunt Evelyn always stuck up for me, telling my mother not to worry and that I wasn’t going to hurt it. But even though the carved Jesus comforted me, I would always go back to what terrified me. Those shrunken heads.  It was at that very young age I realized the comfort Jesus brings, but couldn’t understand why the evil was so much more appealing to me.