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  • Mrs Chakotay 7:07 pm on August 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1980s, , , , , 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.

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  • Mrs Chakotay 8:59 am on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1980s, , ,   

    Memories of a Rebound Romance 

    I had a facebook notification this morning about an old friend’s birthday. I haven’t seen or spoken to this friend in over 20 years and know very little about her life beyond the fact that she got married and had children.

    20 years ago though, I mopped up a broken heart when my friend dumped her boyfriend for another, and on the rebound he took an interest in me.

    At the time, I was also being pursued by somebody else (in what, in hindsight was a slightly creepy manner, which was repeated as stalking when I left him a few years later).

    My friend’s ex, we’ll call him Boy A, became besotted with me, to the point where I felt suffocated – buying me flowers and gifts, wanting me to spend whole weeks at his house and so on. I was only 17, and I didn’t want to be tied down in a serious relationship. The attention was nice but it also felt heavy. I knew I was a rebound but I don’t think he did. He thought I was the love of his life. He asked me to marry him after a two week romance.

    When I finally made the decision to go with the other boy, let’s call him Boy B, Boy A accused me of – well, let’s just say some not very nice things which particularly concern a girl’s integrity. My old friend took his side and accused me of breaking his heart and hurting him very deeply. This after two weeks, even though she had left him after two years and an engagement! Apparently he swore off girls for good after me because I had shown that they are all no-good, two-timing users and betrayers. My friend later told me that he had something of a breakdown afterwards and never recovered, and it was all my fault.

    Seriously.

    I did like him very much, and at the time I wished things had been different. I felt guilty for years about hurting him, and wondered if I had made the wrong choice. But when I think about it now, with the benefit of age and experience, it does rather make my blood boil. I had never agreed to go steady. I knew Boy B before I met Boy A, and I made it clear from the outset that he was in the picture. We had only been together a fortnight and I had been very open about my friendship with Boy B and that he was pursuing me. Boy B even called me at Boy A’s house (creepy! But not secret.)

    If the roles had been reversed, and I had made such a fuss as a woman scorned after a rebound fling, I have no doubt that I would have been told to let it go and not be so ridiculous. But somehow, what I had done, as a young woman, was viewed as deeply wrong and inappropriate, and his reaction was never questioned even though it was clearly over the top and out of proportion.

    Boy A, if you’re out there, I’m sorry I hurt you, it wasn’t intentional; I hope you recovered and can see things in perspective. I was never the kind of person you imagined me to be. But I hereby relieve myself of the guilt that I ruined your life, because I didn’t. Even if I had done the things you accused me of, I never lied to you, and I never made any promises. You were on the rebound and I thought I was helping. I’m sorry my involvement made it worse in the end, but it wasn’t my fault.

    In both cases though, these boys seemed to think it was their right to be able to completely possess me, as though I were some kind of chattel they could own (and presumably discard at will). But when the chattel rises up to discard the possessor, all hell and fury breaks forth. It was a long time ago, but it was the 1980s, not the 1880s, and I hear that young women don’t have much of a better time of it today.

    I have never been particularly feminist in my thinking, but this is the sort of thing that makes me want to explore feminism.

    Just had to get that off my chest this morning!

     
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