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  • Mrs Chakotay 2:10 pm on March 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid 

    This is the first post I have managed to organise this year.

    I have started 17 separate blogs and websites just on WordPress, and I haven’t posted on any of them for months. I thought amalgamating them all here would help but I think it might possibly have made it all worse.

    It isn’t due to my life being horrendously empty and boring. It’s quite busy but in fact this is the problem – I have an irresistible impulse to create and start things, but I get overwhelmed really easily and end up doing nothing at all instead.

    It’s the same reason why I buy and keep multiple diaries and planners but end up not writing anything in any of them. I can’t even promise I won’t buy any additional ones.

    But after a lifetime of believing that I was just a little bit rubbish at everything, “lazy, crazy and stupid”, I finally got confirmation from two counselor/ therapists that in fact I have ADHD. My GP agreed, but she cannot make an official diagnosis.

    Sadly, I was told by the same people that “there is no NHS pathway in Cornwall for adults with ADHD” (and the same would appear to be true for Asperger’s, since my eldest has been struggling for over a year now to get the official NHS rubber stamp on that diagnosis.)

    What this means in practice is that we have no access to meds unless and until we are in a position financially to pursue a private diagnosis. Well I guess we will just have to start saving our pennies.

    In the meantime, it’s a case of muddling along in the mess, physical, mental and emotional, repeating to myself daily, hourly, “I’m not lazy, crazy or stupid, I have ADHD.”

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  • Mrs Chakotay 10:15 am on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: atheism, atheist, , , , ,   

    My Halloween Facebook “Coming out” as an ex-fundy, #exvangelical 

    I had not planned to “come out” like this but I think it is time.

    I grew up in a very strict evangelical version of Christianity, and later I spent 15 years in a form of Messianic Judaism which was very much in the same vein.

    In some ways fundamentalism is still my ‘comfort zone’, and I have certainly retained some aspects of those beliefs (hopefully the good parts) but I have been on a journey away from that type of thinking for many years.

    I am no longer fundamentalist.

    I am no longer evangelical.

    I am not totally sure I am even still Christian.

    I have moved from a 1 to between 3 and 6 in the Dawkins scale. I don’t usually mind or care what other people believe, providing they don’t push it on to others.

    If you can be cool with my movement away from what you believe, then I’m happy to remain friends. But if you feel prompted to warn me that I’m going to hell or anything akin to that, let’s do ourselves a favour and part company.

     
    • SR 2:33 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do so hope you find within yourself what you are searching for. I have read some of your post and I know it has been a struggle for you, due to many things.

      I understand what you mean about, “sending me to hell.” As a Catholic I am sent there many times, sometimes throughout one day. At times I can shrug it off and at other times, it hurts. I would never in my life say that to anyone.

      Of course I do so hope you do not turn from God. I understand fully what you are saying about “religion.” I always say, “There is no one any meaner, then a mean Christian.” I am sad to say, there are many of them running around today, and have been in the past.

      At times they can get my dander up also, then I am the one not so nice. I try my best not to be like that. I can usually maintain and constrain myself until they “send me to hell.” Again wishing you the best for yourself. God Bless, SR

      Liked by 1 person

  • Mrs Chakotay 10:40 am on September 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , rage, ,   

    PTSD 

    It’s a never ending nightmare
    A long dark tunnel
    A permanent panic attack
    Pain in my chest
    Never feeling safe
    Down the rabbit hole
    Into unreality
    I’m reaching out
    Trying to slow my fall
    Wondering what is real
    Hoping I will wake up
    Holding in my rage
    But discovering
    I turned it in on myself

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 3:21 pm on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , coercion, consent, , , , , , regulation, responsible   

    Responsible Homeschooling 

    I had an unsettling conversation this week with a young woman, a survivor of fundamentalist evangelical religion, who was homeschooled in the US, against her will, in such a way as to severely hamper her life chances due both to the paucity of the education, and the fact that – as anti-government fundamentalists – her parents had failed to obtain any documentation for her, including even birth certificate or social security number.

    The discussion thread where this exchange took place was eventually shut down as it turned a little bit nasty, with all the homeschool parents defending their decision and defending homeschooling generally as superior to public (state) schooling, and all the damaged homeschool children shouting that the parents had no right to comment on the children’s stories.

    I’ll admit that it did bring out the defensive in me. I remember, years ago, fighting battles to protect the rights of home educating parents in the UK against a government that was claiming it needed extra powers due to the risk of home education being used as a cover for abuse generally or child marriage specifically.

    We won that last round of the battle, by showing that firstly the government and local authorities already have perfectly sufficient powers to act to protect children, and secondly that the allegation of home education being used to cover up child marriage was nonsense, since that particular abuse was being visited upon schooled children who were simply being taken abroad during the summer holidays.

    Here is the thing though. I have no doubt that children are being abused under the cover of home education by religious fundamentalists in the UK even though the law is sufficient to prevent physical abuse, and here is why.

    The kind of abuse that is most likely is neither viewed as abuse nor legally defined as abuse. The abuse is forcing children to be schooled in a way to which they do not consent.

    Legally, children do not need to consent to education, either at home or at school. I’m sure that it’s clear that many if not most children who go to state school do not consent to it, and many would choose not to if they had a choice. But they do not have a choice.

    School does not suit every child, and it is crucially important to have a legal alternative to school. Equally, home education does not suit every child and it is vitally important that parents do not force children to stay at home if they want to go to school.

    I absolutely support responsible home education (although defining what constitutes ‘responsible’ warrants further discussion, as the option for unschooling or education which does not need to traditional qualifications needs to be taken into consideration), and I absolutely do not support any kind of home education which employs coercion or keeps children at home against their will.

    It is important that we take these stories of homeschooled children seriously, and that we taken them on board when considering what kind, if any, regulation should be in place, whilst at the same time being aware that most parents protect the best interests of their children, and government regulation is often a very blunt instrument that can do more harm than good.

    What is the best way to ensure children are safe? It is a continuing discussion. But I suspect that encouraging integration is helpful. One of the allegations made against us was that our children were “hidden”, but again we showed the claim to be false – we are out and about and in the world far more than schooled children.

    One of the homeschooling mothers in the discussion mentioned that the state of Ohio has an open policy which enables homeschooled children to access all kinds of classes and resources through the schools. Sadly, the way things are set up in this country means that unless a child is registered at a school (and therefore under the school’s authority), we cannot access anything at all, despite the fact that we pay our taxes to fund schools in exactly the same way as other parents do.

    Flexi-schooling is a rarely available compromise which requires the parents to register their children at school, but which allows them leave to attend part-time or intermittently. Sadly it is rare because it is not a right in law, but is up to the discretion of the head of the individual school. Some parents, additionally, are reluctant to register their children since it effectively means giving up authority.

    Ultimately, it seems to me that the biggest problem lies in government viewing parents as the enemy (and obviously fundamentalist parents view the government as the enemy). It would be far more helpful if we were able to work together to make resources available for the benefit of all children – both those who thrive at school, and those who do not.

     

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 12:29 pm on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creationist, , , ,   

    In the Hands of the Prophets 

    Are you okay?
    Okay? I’ve forgotten okay. I haven’t seen okay in what seems like years.

    Episode Summary

    Vedek Winn visists the station and causes a controversy when she declares that Keiko O’Brien’s teaching of science about the wormhole amounts to blasphemy as far as Bajoran spirituality is concerned, since referring to the Prophets as alien entities dishonours the celestial temple.

    Winn manages to turn all the Bajorans on the station against the Star Fleet personnel including the Bajoran engineering staff, and the school is temporarily closed down.

    It all comes to a head when the school is bombed and when Vedek Bareil (the much more progressive and forward thinking Vedek and favourite for the position of Kai) arrives, there is an attempt on his life, as well as another murder – all of which Winn has cunningly orchestrated behind the scenes.

    Kira, who had originally supported Winn’s position ends up seeing with painful clarity exactly what sort of woman she is and what she has done, and the lengths she is willing to go to in order to get what she wants.

    Notes

    The argument over the teaching of the prophets is clearly a metaphor for the teaching of creationism in American schools (and, to a lesser extent, in private schools in the UK and around the world – my contact Jonny Scaramanga has been working tirelessly to expose the use of ACE teaching materials in the UK. I wrote about this a while ago in “Culture Clash“, although I have changed my mind considerably since I wrote that post – having looked at the details of the curriculum and heard the voices of the affected students).

    On the Station

    These DS9 posts were originally started on the blog “The Bajoran Exile” that I wrote on Open Diary way back when. I didn’t ever get as far as this last episode of season 1 there before we moved away to the place without an internet connection and meanwhile the platform shut down entirely. So I’m pleased to have managed to resurrect it and finish the season.

    DS9 was not my favourite emanation of Star Trek but I grew to love it, especially as I recognised in Kira a fellow angry and feisty survivor, and readily identified with her.

    I have found Star Trek in all its forms to be a really useful metaphor and window into life, the universe and everything. It means that I have an almost endless supply of topics to write on, which as you know I find cathartic and helpful, so I’ll enjoy carrying on into season 2 and beyond. (Watch this space!)

    Now that I have amalgamated all my blogs, it means I’ll be writing about DS9 and Voyager in the same place, so I hope that’s not too confusing. If it’s Star Trek overload, I apologise, but you may be in the wrong place. I can’t de-nerdify my inner geek. It’s out now and proud; it’s the core of my being!

    LLAP

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 7:07 pm on August 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , flashbacks, , memories, , ,   

    Time and Again 

    Quick Summary of the Episode

    As Voyager starts to make its way through the Delta Quadrant on its way home to the Alpha Quadrant, they pass a planet which has been decimated by a polaric energy disaster. When the away team go to investigate, Janeway and Paris are pulled back in time to just before the disaster – the explosion had shattered time and space into fractures.

    Unable to get back, Janeway and Paris attempt to investigate the cause of the detonation, but (to cut the story short), it transpires that it is Voyager’s own rescue attempt that causes the disaster, and when Janeway acts to counter their beam cutting into the past, the disaster is averted, and the whole incident never happened. We are returned to Voyager before they find the planet, and since it is a pre-warp civilisation, they just move on by without visiting.

    Notes

    This is the first time we learn about Kes’ special mental abilities – when the civilisation is destroyed, Kes sees the explosion happening.

    I really love these time travel episodes, there are so many wild possibilities! I just love time travel!

    In My Life

    I have been physically out of fundamentalism for six years but it is only this year that I have started facing up to what that means, working through it, ‘deconstructing’.

    Recently I have started to be flooded with flashbacks and memories of my years growing up in the church in the 70s and 80s.

    The name of this episode always makes me think of Cyndi Lauper’s song ‘Time after Time”, which in turn makes me think of being a teenager in the 80s, in a world of conflicts between what I was seeing at school, in the news, and in ‘real life’ as compared with the worldview inside the bubble of the strict Baptist, evangelical church we were attending at the time.

    Now, when I say “attending”, it wasn’t just once on a Sunday. It was 3 times on a Sunday (10.30 morning service, 3 pm Sunday school and 6.30 pm evening service), Bible studies on Wednesday evenings, and ‘Youth Group’ on Fridays, constant dinners and visits with other members – rarely a day would go by without some kind of contact or another. We had effectively exchanged one cult for another.

    I regularly search for friends I had in these churches, but their names have zero hits on internet searches. It’s as if they have fallen off the edge of reality, as though I conjured them up out of my imagination. What happened to them? It always amazes me slightly when I search for the churches that there are no hits describing them as horrible, damaging cults. Did nobody experience them in the same way I did?

    I’ve already mentioned my friend who was being abused by the Sunday School Superintendent. But I wanted to share another incident that really affected me at the time and which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

    One of the older girls got pregnant. It was never discussed openly, only whispered about in quiet corners. This was not long before my mother got ill with her Bipolar, so I don’t know how this affected the church but I do know the girl in question was forced to give up her baby for adoption. I often wondered whether she was given the choice of adoption or marriage. I suspect that she was never even given a choice. I don’t know how this affected her, I only know how it would have affected me. I was and still am heartbroken for her.

    I can’t really put into words exactly how evangelical thinking is so toxic – so many other writers are doing so ably elsewhere.

    “It seems I’ve found myself on the voyage of the damned.” – the Doctor

    What really beats me is how, having got out of it almost completely when my mum got ill, I put myself under the same teaching again later on.

    I wonder now, what our lives might have been like if we had never got involved with evangelical fundamentalism? What if, when my parents met the American missionaries, they just said “no thanks, we’re happy where we are”? We wouldn’t have moved on to another toxic church, I wouldn’t have put myself under such toxic teaching again as a young mother.

    I am sure that my mother always had bipolar, as she had a breakdown before I was born, but she was stable for most of my childhood. I wonder, though, if she would not have got so ill if she hadn’t been triggered over and over by the toxicity of the church?

    But ultimately, it’s probably not very helpful to go over the ‘what if’s’. Sadly we can’t go back and undo what we did and what was done to us. I just need to know how and where we go on from here.

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 5:47 pm on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , John Piper, ,   

    Diary of an Autodidact: John Piper Steps In It on Rape and Sex 

    I saw this yesterday and thought I’d share it because, although at first glance it looks as though Autodidact is making more of John Piper’s post than was really there, it is really a very good and on point analysis of how fundamentalist evangelicals view women and sexual sin.

    So it’s definitely worth reading and considering.

    And, needless to say (or perhaps not), if you are evangelical, please don’t just say “not all evangelicals”, chew it over and consider firstly whether the church you’re in may be preaching these twisted ways of looking at women, sex, power and abuse, and secondly, whether you have absorbed these ways of thinking and how you might change your mind.

    http://fiddlrts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/john-piper-steps-in-it-on-rape-and-sex.html?m=1

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 6:14 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1970s, documentary, ,   

    OpenDoor – The Vegan Society 1976 

    Just a quick share while the blog is under refurbishment!

    As I’m sure you know, I’m a very big 70s fan, and since I have recently returned to veganism, I thought this very 70s 30 minute BBC documentary on veganism was rather lovely. Completely dated of course (we have so much more choice today) but the arguments are still good πŸ˜€

    Enjoy!

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 5:19 pm on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Unification 

    This is just a quick note, for anybody who might be reading/ interested, to let you know that I have decided to amalgamate all my various blogs – The Bajoran Exile, Chakotay Homestead, Seaside Therapy, Shepherdess, Messianic Woman etc. back into one right here (hopefully that should be achievable, as they’re all on WordPress). 

    When it’s all done, you can expect more of the same, but with a much heavier dose of Star Trek analogies.

    I don’t know exactly why I have this continual impulse to start new projects that I can’t possibly keep up with, but it is certainly a recurring theme. I shall attempt to stop it immediately. 

    I haven’t written anything anywhere recently (unless you count twitter and facebook), due to mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. That has made me realise how ridiculous it is to have so many blog projects on the go at once, and so hopefully I will start writing again soon because at least I won’t have the excuse of not writing due to being overwhelmed by too many choices.

    I think as well that all the splintering into so many different voices has been indicative of my state of mind over the last few years and so I’m feeling that the time is right to finally sort my head out and pull myself together. Metaphorically.

    Wish me luck or something! πŸ‘

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 10:42 am on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Head injury update 

    Just a quick mini post-ette as I’m suffering a bit after trapsing all around the hospital yesterday.

    As you may know, I have literally had a permanent headache since 1983 after my head injury when I was knocked off my bike in a hit and run. 

    It has taken me 34 years to get a doctor to take me seriously.

    Yesterday, the MRI revealed a trauma cyst the size of a giant marble!

    So I’m quite thrilled (at being vindicated after being ignored and dismissed for so long) at the same time as being freaked out that I need surgery! πŸ˜‚

     
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