This was hard to write. I have been wanting to explain my long hiatus, but it has been difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out. God–just help me tell the Truth and TRUST YOU to do the rest… Help me rest in the knowledge that my clarity of thought and having things figured out doesn’t save me. YOU do.
My hair is falling out in clumps right now. That’s not a metaphor or some other figure of speech. I mean: I just got out of the shower, and everytime I try to shampoo or condition, I pull away clumps of my own hair. The tub drain is full of it.
After drying off, I draped a T-shirt and sweatpants over my body, like sheets hanging on a clothes line. I’m swimming in my Pajama Uniform because my loss of appetite combined with intermittent diarrhea leads to drastic weight loss.
This is how my body handles emotional fatigue and anxiety.
So, why have I been so worked up?
Well, by most standards, the last couple months have been a series of nightmares–and, unfortunately, I’m not JUST talking about novel viruses and locusts and sacrificing the family business on the altar of Government hysteria. I have written almost nothing about the personal Hell I have been facing, while the Doomsday News continues to feed Fears in the background.
It started with online threats against my loved ones–which is becoming increasingly normal for people who write about the culture on the internet…
In this case, my dad endured a solid two weeks of baseless claims and proud death wishes, which spilled onto me because I’m one of the administrators of his Facebook page. There’s no way to give the background succinctly or to convey the depth and breadth of the vitriol, but here’s just a taste of what was directed at me:
It went on and on and on… via email and private messages and even a couple calls to the business phone.
One Mobster went so far as to stalk everyone connected to my dad, spending HOURS going through the Facebook profiles of my husband and sister… I got a text message from Tabby at 10:30pm, freaked out and not knowing what was going on because she had 52 notifications from a complete stranger, “laugh reacting” baby photos of my niece:
So, in the middle of this unsettling behavior by countless, unhinged strangers, it was impossible not to be affected spiritually/emotionally by the evil onslaught:
While all of this was being drilled into our heads, it become clear that we were in need of a safer place to share our blog posts and memes, because Facebook takes the side of the Violent Troll Hoarde. Our platform was censored multiple times (and, even as of today, we’re still unable to live stream, because Dad posted a meme with Hitler’s likeness, saying “Mandatory Quarantine is the Reich thing to do.”) Yep. We’re being reported to DCS and put in Facebook jail over a picture of Hitler.
And while trying to figure out what to do when (inevitably) we are permanently banned from our social media platform–the systemic Injustices just kept rolling in…
My family learned first-hand that the social services system is just as broken as Facebook’s “hate speech” algorithms… Our Government’s way of handling problems/reports is just as cold and unreliable as the robots that determine what can and can’t be said on the Internet.
At the beginning of May, my nephew had been asleep in his infant seat on the countertop, when he woke up, arched his back, and wiggled to the floor. He appeared to be okay, but I told my sister to call his pediatrician, just in case. And the pediatrician referred her to the ER for an X-Ray and CAT Scan, both of which showed he was fine. There wasn’t a scratch or a bruise anywhere on the kid’s body. Buuuut…. Unfortunately, my sister is a young, wiry, soft-spoken white girl who was wearing sweatpants and a messy bun that day. She came to the hospital without her husband because the COVID restrictions said “only one parent.” So, some anonymous Emergency Room Nurse didn’t even wait to do the X-Ray before calling the Department of Child Services and reporting possible neglect.
Skinny white girl? Rough neighborhood? She’s probably a crack whore who can’t keep her kids safe, right?
When the DCS social worker arrived, she told my sister bluntly, “I don’t know why the hospital called us when he’s not hurt.” But they still had to come to my house and take pictures. They went to my sister’s house and took pictures. They took pictures of her older child and an old scab on the baby’s forehead.
And, through internet searches, eventually we discovered that even UNSUBSTANTIATED reports in Indiana would remain in our state’s permanent records for 24 years and could be used against us if another UNSUBSTANTIATED claim was ever made.
That’s when I first started losing sleep, trying to decide what I would do and who I would trust when Injustice happened to the people I love…
There were hundreds of strangers online telling us we were awful humans who deserved to be punished, so I couldn’t help wondering what would happen if enough of those strangers tried to recruit the State to silence us the way Facebook had.
My sister, understandably, said she will never again feel safe taking one of her children to the ER “just in case.” She will ALWAYS wonder whether someone will file a false report.
But that wasn’t even the end of our encounters with Government officials this season…
Just a little more than a week after my nephew’s hospital visit, my 9-year-old daughter told us something no parent EVER wants to hear.
As my husband tucked her in for bed on May 8th, Cami suddenly fell apart and sobbed, “Something happened outside, but I don’t want to tell you!!!”
Alarmed, my husband asked her what was wrong, but it took another minute or two while Cami struggled to find the courage and the right words.
Then our firstborn baby said: “D_____ made me do sex with him.”
D_____ is the 14-year-old neighbor boy.
I wish I could describe the buzz of racing thoughts and emotion as we tried to figure out what to do next. Is there a manual or a flow chart for this???
Who’s the first person you should tell, when your daughter says the neighbor lured her out of the yard and shoved his finger inside her?
Ideally, you’re supposed to call “The Authorities” for Justice when you’ve been victimized. But I couldn’t help wondering whether “The Authorities” would blame US for letting the 9-year-old play in the backyard unsupervised. How would it look, having DCS at my house TWICE in two weeks? Would our homeschool be investigated? Would we be charged because some family members visited, while our city was still locked down for the Virus? Would we be told that nothing could be done about D_______, because he has diagnosed behavior disorders, so all he needs is more medication?
So many thoughts.
Such a feeling of helplessness no matter which path I took.
I felt confident we could help Cami understand that she’s not to blame and then counsel her through the fear and embarassment. But, are we allowed to handle her trauma as a family?…or do we HAVE to call “The Authorities” to prove we’re not trying to hide anything?
Within a few minutes, I decided we needed to file a police report because it seemed we were expected to do that…but not really because I felt like it was going to solve any root problems with D_________.
And then I had to tell my daughter that she needed to find the courage to describe what happened AGAIN—this time speaking to a perfect stranger in a uniform–because (as I explained) they were going to try to help…
I had to say this to her, even though I’m not convinced myself that the State is able to “help” in any meaningful way.
So, the last few weeks, I haven’t known how to condense my many trains of thought into a succinct blog post.
I’m losing sleep and losing hair and trying to find just a little peace and security in an age where EVERYONE seems to be anxious and angry about everything…
There have been a million different blog topics that have occurred to me lately:
-The ways we use mental “disorders” to excuse abuse
-The way we create “systems” to solve problems, and end up making them worse
-The way the Church acts as a middle man to call the “Professionals,” but we don’t offer many answers ourselves
-The way the media insists certain people have MORE of a right to feel violated and afraid than my family does
I want to write the words that will unite all of humanity, so we can understand each other perfectly and live in a glorious utopia, free of Bad Feelings, for the rest of eternity.
And I could spend weeks trying.
But, what I have to ask myself now is: “What am I really afraid of?” ….then I need to be prepared for a hard answer.
Am I afraid that I’ll lose my reputation and lose all my friends?
Am I afraid I’ll be the victim of an Unjust system that punishes good parents and makes excuses for terrible ones?
Do I worry that I’ll be misunderstood by everyone–including the people I THOUGHT were part of my “tribe”–and no amount of careful blog-writing and truth-telling will save me from that pain?
Yeah–apparently I am.
…So, maybe I’ve been depending on friends and the State and my Writing Skills to be my Saviors from trouble, instead of submitting to God’s will?
Maybe my fears are revealing where my Fallen Idols have been?
I need to be honest about why I’m so worried about saying things “exactly the right way.” Is it because I want to glorify God with the gift of communication He has given me and be used as a small part of His big plan?
But, in truth, I’ve been trying to write the words that will GUARANTEE to protect my family from Injustice, because I don’t trust that God will be enough for us when we suffer.
Do I want to have a “tribe” of loyal friends because I want to be a blessing to them and encourage them in the Truth? No…
To be honest, I want friends for the sheer numbers, to make me feel more powerful because it’s hard to walk onto the battlefield of life without a giant, visible army.
Am I helping anybody by worrying about being misunderstood, or worrying about being stalked/threatened, or worrying about being deplatformed, or worrying that my kids won’t get a hashtag and national attention when they encounter Injustice because nobody feels like rioting for a no-name, homeschooled white girl?
And shame on me for putting my hope in “national attention” anyway.
I confess that I’ve been sinning at the root of my fears. I’ve been binging Scary, Negative News and letting myself be carried by “what ifs” and inspired by the anger of equally-anxious mothers all around me.
I’ve been tempted to believe there’s something I can do to fix “the System” all by myself, if I correct enough Bad Reasoning on Facebook.
I haven’t been trusting that God has a plan for me and my loved ones, whether I’m enjoying the privilege of a beach vacation with my perfectly healthy children…or whether the FBI forces their way in and burns all of us alive, and then the whole thing is lied about by the media.
It’s not my world to control–and nothing I do will change that. Activism cannot save me.
God’s love and his Providence is where I choose to place my hope.
I need to lay off the stories about homeschoolers having their children taken away and white boys being shot by police and smalltown Christians having their small businesses closed by false accusations from godless heathens….
Or, at the very least, I need to recognize the ways these stories have led me to build IDOLS in the hope of protecting myself.
So how about you?
Have you been watching too many violent videos and seeing your son’s face on them lately? Are you feeling kind of hopeless and out-of-control, in a world where everyone is a conspiracy theorist and it’s hard to know what’s true? (Are you losing a little hair and still can’t turn off the Doomsday Documenataries, like me?)
I’d like to suggest, humbly, that you should pay attention to those emotions because they reveal who we think is In Charge.
Who are we trusting to sort out the messes in our lives?
Who are we trusting to bring about Justice? (And if it doesn’t happen on our time table or in the manner we expect, are we going to fall apart? Riot in the street? Blame Facebook? DO SOMETHING to FIX IT?)
I understand the temptation completely…
Let’s both repent of turning to saviors that make our flesh feel better (temporarily), but cannot save our souls.
P.S. Since this post is already VERY LONG, I’m stopping it here. 🙂 But I want everyone to know that I’m open to questions and comments about the many things I’ve had to leave out. One thing I want my kids to understand is that the Truth sets us free. That’s why I’m proud of Cami for finding the courage to tell us the truth about what happened to her. We told the truth to the nurses at the hospital and to the police officer in our living room and to the elders at our church. We don’t regret telling the truth, even when the result doesn’t seem fair.
…And we are happy to share the truth with whoever asks. That is, as long as the social media algorithms allow us. 😉