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Child abuse is 40 times more likely when single parents find new partners

Here are three steps to protect the children

Amy Wright Glenn

BY AMY WRIGHT GLENN 
PhillyVoice Contributor

According to the 2016 U.S. Census, the majority of the nearly 74 million children ages 18 and under live in a home with two parents, whether married or unmarried. Nearly 25 percent of children in America live with a single parent, usually their mother, though the number of children living with single fathers rose from 1 to 4 percent since 1960.

Most divorced adults eventually cohabitate or remarry again. For example, around 75 percent of divorced women remarry within 10 years post-divorce. Yet, the number is lower if the woman is a mother of a minor child. Perhaps one of the reasons why relates to the documented risk involved in bringing an unrelated adult male into the home. Sometimes referred to as the “abusive boyfriend syndrome,” scholars note there is “a statistically greater potential for instability” in homes where adults and children, who have no biological connection, reside.

“It comes down to the fact they don’t have a relationship established with these kids,” states Eliana Gil, clinical director for the national abuse-prevention group Childhelp. “Their primary interest is really the adult partner, and they may find themselves more irritated when there’s a problem with the children.”

Of course, not all stepparents or “bonus parents” (male or female) struggle to bond or love the children of their new partners. There are certainly many stories of blended families thriving. Their success depends on various “ingredients,” according to the American Psychological Association. April Eldemire, LMFT, writing for the Gottman Institute, affirms how “critical” it is for remarried couples to “learn how to communicate effectively and not be afraid to discuss sensitive topics as they arise.” Furthermore, fostering resilience through healthy family ritual and structure has been found to be more indicative of a child’s success rather than living in a first or second marriage household.

Nonetheless, “children of divorce – and later, remarriage – are twice as likely to academically, behaviorally and socially struggle as children of first-marriage families: About 20 to 25 percent struggle, compared with 10 percent, a range of research finds.”

They are also more likely to be hurt.

In their article “Child Abuse and Other Risks of Not Living with both Parents,” published in Ethology and Sociobiology, Martin Daly and Margo Wilson note: “If their parents find new partners, children are 40 times more likely than those who live with biological parents to be sexually or physically abused.” According to a Missouri-based study of children living in homes with unrelated adults, children are “nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two biological parents.” These are worrying statistics, both disturbing and scary.

To understand this increased risk of sexual or physical harm, it is helpful to consider the lack of oversight which occurs when both biological parents are no longer working as a team. Ideally, parents work together to teach children body safe rules, observe children in play particularly with older peers, and thoughtfully choose care providers. Post-divorce, this doesn’t always happen. Another explanation for these increased risks of harm connects to the potential negative/dangerous role older step/bonus siblings can play in the lives of younger children. (Even when sexual or physical abuse by an older step/bonus sibling is not a factor, children who live with step/bonus siblings are more aggressive.) Yet, most significantly, one must face the difficult truth that the primary cause of harm to children in blended family settings is the unrelated, usually male, adult – brought into the mix through romantic involvement with the biological parent.

How can we mitigate these serious risks?

As a divorced mother of a young boy, I reached out to Dr. Laura Markham, founder of Aha! Parenting and author of “Peaceful Parent: Happy Kids,” for advice. She shared her top three suggestions to “reduce the risk of sexual abuse/harm post-divorce to children.”

Markham strongly suggests the following (I quote her in full below):

DELAY DATING

“Your priority is your child’s emotional health, and that means not subjecting your child to a new partner or a series of partners,” Markham says. “Your child has a lot of adjusting to do and adding the element of a potential new partner for you will increase their anxiety and decrease the emotional bandwidth you have to support them. So stabilize your child’s life for at least a year before you even think about dating. You will probably feel panic about being alone. Deal with that panic, rather than rushing into a relationship. You will end up with a better relationship as well as a happier child.”

WHEN YOU DO BEGIN DATING, GO SLOW

“When you develop a relationship, don’t be in a hurry to introduce your new flame to your child. Your kids have already lost their family,” Markham says. “They need time to get used to the idea of a step-parent. It won’t help them to get close to a potential step-parent only to lose them.

“Not to throw cold water on the idea that you could find Mr. or Ms. Right, but rebound relationships famously don’t work out and after a divorce is when you are most vulnerable. It’s easy to act while you’re swept off your feet by new romance when you’re on the rebound, but the real problems will surface later, and it’s much harder to get out of a relationship than to get in. Have lots of discussions with your new flame about your kids. Don’t get into a relationship where you are financially dependent. Consider keeping two separate residences for a good while. And I can’t stress this enough: Pay attention to any little red flags; don’t discount them.”

A NEW PARTNER SHOULD NEVER DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN

“Think of them as an aunt or uncle, not a parent. They should never be an authority figure in relation to your child,” Markham says. “There is just too much opportunity for abuse of power. I know so many situations where mothers let their new husband discipline a child, only to end up terribly regretful afterwards.”

It is wise for single parents to mindfully and slowly introduce a new partner to their children, trusting their instincts along the way. Once involved with a new partner, setting up the parenting dynamic to center upon on the authority of the biological parent helps reduce the potential for harm. Indeed, Markham urges biological parents in blended families to resist the pressure “including from a therapist” to encourage the new partner “to act like a parent.”

Markham is not alone in voicing serious concern over the power dynamic that can be abused between step/bonus parents and children. According to family psychologist Patricia Papernow, step/bonus parents should focus on nourishing a healthy relationship with their partner’s children. That is “paramount.” She emphasizes this be done through connecting, and not correcting/punishing. Papernow suggests the biological parent “should handle most of the discipline while the new parent builds a relationship” and she encourages step/bonus parents to be authoritative “or even permissive” but certainly not authoritarian in their approach.

By taking into account the insight and wisdom shared above, the disproportionate risk of sexual and physical abuse posed to children living in homes with unrelated adults might be mitigated. As divorced or single parents, we can protect our children best when we stay connected and involved in our children’s lives, positively co-parent with the other biological parent to the best of our ability, and engage in new relationships with mindfulness, patience and clear boundaries.

We can protect our children best when we remember Markham’s wise words:

“Your child is YOUR responsibility.” Given that your child “didn’t choose a divorce,” she or he needs “MORE from you as a parent [when dating or remarried], not less.”

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Amy Wright Glenn

AMY WRIGHT GLENN 
PhillyVoice Contributor

RETRIEVED https://www.phillyvoice.com/child-abuse-single-parenting-divorce-marriage-new-partners-advice/?fbclid=IwAR0glsyurB8TeDADQPqkEsFfaJGfXYpQmzTKeFpM0YAj_0-lApyva6kwFDk

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RCbbc Blog eNews – prelaunch!

With the anticipation, similar to days before birth of a first child, another form of publication will soon be released. From our smaller presence in earlier days of the 5 yr Child Abuse Royal Commission (CARC), the need to ‘join the dots’ began to call out. Hopefully, with the increased-global visitors of our RCbbc Blog, we’re now able to Share another media: Newsletters! eNews are becoming a greater extension of the 247 work-cycle, allowing wider varieties of audio, visual, text & combinations of media to be exchanged. A business plan is still being developed, yet many feel that these swapping of ideas is helpful.

How Did a Pagan Holiday Become a ‘Christian’ Celebration?

by Good NewsEstimated reading time: 3 minutes

Originally Halloween was a pagan festival oriented around fire, the dead and the powers of darkness.

Most everyone knows that Halloween takes place on Oct. 31. Far fewer, however, understand the connection between Halloween and the next day on the calendar, the festival of All Hallows’ or All Saints’ Day, celebrated by some churches and denominations Nov. 1.

One author surmises that All Saints’ Day was established to commemorate the saints and martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church and was first introduced in the seventh century (Man, Myth, and Magic, Vol. 1, 1983, p. 109). Oddly enough, history shows that Halloween—this ancient, thoroughly pagan holiday with its trappings of death and demonism—is inseparably tied to All Saints’ Day.

Pagan festivals from time immemorial have had a curious way of worming their way into Christianity over the centuries. The Encyclopedia of Religion explains that “the British church attempted to divert the interest in pagan customs by adding a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date as the Samhain [the ancient Celtic name for the festival that eventually would be renamed Halloween].

“The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, commemorates the known and unknown saints of the Christian religion just as the Samhain had acknowledged and paid tribute to the Celtic deities” (1987, Vol. 6, p. 177).

How did this strange turn of events come about—the Catholic Church transforming an ancient pagan festival into one to supposedly honor deceased saints?

The 1913 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia records this about All Saints’ Day: “In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr’s death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighboring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration.

“In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. [Eventually] Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November” (Vol. 1, p. 315).

Pope Gregory’s choice of Nov. 1 for this celebration was significant. Author Lesley Bannatyne explains: “That the date coincided with Samhain was no accident: the Church was still trying to absorb pagan celebrations taking place at this time …

“Villagers were also encouraged to masquerade on this day, not to frighten unwelcome spirits, but to honor Christian saints. On All Saints’ Day, churches throughout Europe and the British Isles displayed relics of their patron saints. Poor churches could not afford genuine relics and instead had processions in which parishioners dressed as saints, angels and devils. This religious masquerade resembled the pagan custom of parading ghosts to the town limits. It served the new church by giving an acceptable Christian basis to the custom of dressing up on Halloween.

“In addition, the Church tried to convince the people that the great bonfires they lit in homage to the sun would instead keep the devil away …” (Halloween: An American Holiday, An American History, 1998, pp. 9, 11).

Later a second celebration, All Souls’ Day, was instituted on Nov. 2. Eventually these two holidays merged into the present observance on Nov. 1, which was also called All Hallows’ Day. The name of All Hallows’ Even (evening) for the night of Oct. 31 evolved into the name Hallowe’en, or Halloween as it is called today.

This is a brief history of how men rationalized taking an ancient pagan festival rooted in death and demonism and adapting it for use as a “Christian” celebration. Regrettably, it flies in the face of God’s explicit instruction to not use pagan practices to worship Him.

He clearly states in Deuteronomy 12:30-32: “… Do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods … Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

Retrieved https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/how-did-a-pagan-holiday-become-a-christian-celebration

How queer theology is changing the place for LGBTQ Christians in the church

A mural of “The Last Supper” is displayed in February in the church of Curahuara de Carangas, Bolivia. While the mural is a version of the original Da Vinci painting, it shows the relationship between Jesus and the apostles. Modern theologians are examining and analyzing the Bible and Christian tradition from a view that homosexuality and gender nonconformity existed in ancient times just as they do today.


‘Previous translation s of the bible’ would indicate CHANGES, to a supposedly concrete-unchangeable foundation. The Catholic’s faith-practice-order: Catholicism, has changed radically since the time of Pope Pius (early 1900’s, 20th century). Although the Catholic Church claims to be under unexpected tension in the current decade, the 3rd decade (2020’s) is less than 10 months away.


Because of safety concerns, the school was essentially on lockdown.

Threatening calls and emails were pouring into Tarleton State University, a medium-sized school in central Texas.

It was 2010 and then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said in a press release what the school was doing was attacking common decency.

“No one should have the right to use government funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to the vast majority of Americans. … This lewd display runs completely contrary to the standards of scholastic excellence and common decency that we demand in our publicly-funded institutions for higher learning,” Dewhurst said.

CBS News talked to a local radio host who was flooded with calls, some angry, some sad.

The state of Texas was in an uproar because of a play. At the center of the controversy was John Otte, then a 26-year-old student at Tarleton State. He was part of an advanced directing class and had to select a production to manage. Otte died in 2018 at age 34, but he spoke about his decision in choosing the play in a 2010 interview found on YouTube.

“It just resonated within me the message of the full picture. … This play was very touching for me. I cried when I read the script and it gave a more tangible Christ figure for me,” he said in the video.

The play was never performed, canceled because of safety concerns and political pressure, as reported by the Texas Tribune.

The play was “Corpus Christi,” a modern telling of the story of Jesus and the apostles set in Texas. But this was not just any play about the son of God. In the production, Jesus and the apostles are gay. And what is being imagined in the theater is getting a closer examination by modern theologians.

Understanding queer theology

Questioning Jesus’ personal life has been a point of historical and theological tension for decades. His supposed relationship with Mary Magdalene is the central plot of “The Da Vinci Code.”

Further theories have questioned whether Jesus had a homosexual relationship with the “beloved disciple” mentioned in multiple Bible verses.

These kinds of questions are part of the growing field of queer theology. The theology analyzes the Bible and Christian tradition from a view that homosexuality and gender nonconformity existed in ancient times just as they do today.

Queer theology resists the notion emphasized in Christianity that heterosexuality is salvation, said the Rev. Dr. Bob Shore-Goss, a gay theologian and author of several books on queer theology.

“The whole ideology of 20th-century, and even now 21st-century, Christianity is to be heterosexual meant you were perfect,” he said. “And what does that do to people like myself? Or people who are transgendered and who are bisexual and so on? We’re lesser human beings. And see there’s a denigration there.”

Shore-Goss said queer theology takes the definition of queer — meaning strange or odd — and applies it in understanding the characters of the Bible and how they navigated their historical society.

The Bible does not include a line about Jesus’ sexuality — gay, straight, bisexual or anywhere on the spectrum — because the terms used today did not exist 2,000 years ago. The terms “homosexual” and “heterosexual” were created in the late 1800s.

But comparing the definition of queer to how Jesus acted in ancient Palestine, Shore-Goss said, leads to an obvious conclusion: Jesus was queer.

“When you use the word ‘queer’ historically, it’s not a thing or an identity,” he said. “It is really standing outside of any sort of patriarchal normativity. … I would say Jesus is queer. But if you push me, is that something about sexuality? Possibly. Is it something about his kind of deconstructing and destabilizing masculinity in the Roman Empire, and in first-century Palestine? Yes, he’s not a normal male.”

In ancient times, a man had status and value by owning property, including not just land but a wife. Men owned women. Jesus neither held land or married, according to the Bible.

Jesus also recognized women as equals. In John 4, he goes to a town well and meets a woman who was a social outcast. Merely walking up and talking with the woman would have been viewed as heretical among the religious at the time.

The Holy Spirit, which is said to guide Christians after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, helps the apostles to spread the word of God to people around the world, as told in the book of Acts. One of the first converts in the spread of Christianity is a eunuch, another social and sexual outcast at the time, Shore-Goss said.

In his ministry, Jesus even identified with eunuchs, as told in Matthew 19:12, said Kittredge Cherry, a lesbian minister, theologian and creator of QSpirit.net, which promotes LGBTQ rights in the church. Looking over previous translations of the Bible, Jesus ministered to the sexual minorities of his time, she said.

“The word that he used for eunuch is for a sexual minority,” Cherry said. “That’s the closest thing to what we might call today LGBTQ. He reached out to people who the regular religious authorities were saying were sinners, that we’re too far gone to be part of God’s kingdom. He went ahead and said, ‘These are the people that are also welcome in God’s kingdom.’”

Cherry said one of the reasons modern Christians may struggle to accept the sexual diversity present in ancient times and acknowledged in the Bible is because modern Christians struggle to understand their own sexualities and bodies.

What does the Bible really say?

Faith leaders who condemn homosexuality and other sexualities often turn to lines in the Bible that seemingly condemn anything beyond the heterosexual worldview.

However, those verses which Cherry referred to as “clobber passages” are being re-examined and are offering a different view, she said.

“New understandings, based on contemporary Bible scholarship, have debunked a lot of the more hateful and misguided interpretations that say the Bible flatly condemns all homosexuality and gender variance as we know it today,” Cherry said.

An analysis by the Rev. Charles D. Myers of some of the most-used passages condemning homosexuality provides the nuance Cherry mentioned.

Leviticus 18:22  Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (NIV)

The denunciation of men having relations with men here is part of a list of practices Christians should not do. Centuries later, some of those practices are still viewed as socially unacceptable. For example, several lines in Leviticus say people should not practice incest or child sacrifice.

Other rules in the section include not committing adultery or cursing out one’s parents. In 2019 society, these acts are not necessarily seen as good, but they are not a reason for execution.

Then, there are rules in Leviticus that no longer have application to modern times, such as not having sex with a menstruating woman or talking to a fortune teller.

Theologians point out all the rules outlined in Leviticus are given the same weight and punishment. But, over time, society has cherry-picked which rules to keep and which to ignore.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10  Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

The analysis by Myers states the Greek phrase about homosexuality originally used in the passage has two meanings. The first meaning is literal homosexuality. The second meaning, though, is about being sexually promiscuous, a practice the Bible repeatedly condemns in other sections. The meaning the original writers of this passage intended is unclear, Myers wrote.

What queer theology adds

Ancient traditions recognized a spectrum of sexualities, despite not always recognizing the variety as equal.

Heterosexuality was seen as “natural” not only because it was the most common but because of the Protestant Reformation, said Megan DeFranza, theologian and author of “Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God.”

Prior to Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses in 1517, celibacy was viewed as the holiest way of life, one of the reasons why nuns and priests in the Catholic tradition must be celibate. Part of Luther’s revolution in the Reformation was announcing that being married and raising a family could also be holy, DeFranza said.

“Then we have the emphasis on ‘Oh, it’s just as much a religious vocation to have a family as it is to serve God and the monastery,’” she said. “Well, what that ended up doing was making fewer places for those who didn’t fit into that binary reproductive model. With fewer monasteries, there were fewer places to go if you didn’t fit in those categories as male or female.”

DeFranza’s work offers a more complex reading of the Bible to counter what she said are often narrow interpretations. Her book re-evaluates some of the gender stereotypes in the church. Among conservative Christians, there are strict gender roles where a man has certain duties and a woman has certain duties. But also, among liberal members of the faith, the genders are seen to be all alike and there is little recognition of the various genders, especially the gender minorities, she said.

DeFranza said modern science on gender and sexuality is helping us better understand what ancient people already knew: There is a spectrum of gender and sexuality.

“Ancient Judaism had six extra categories in addition to male and female,” she said. “… Saint Augustine talks about hermaphrodites in his book ‘The City of God,’ which is a very well-known piece of his literature that lots of folks have to read. And yet, we read right past the section where he talks about hermaphrodites and androgynes being rare but saying every culture has people that they don’t know how to classify as male or female.”

The Bible is clear salvation is not withheld from sexual minorities, DeFranza said.

In Isaiah 56, eunuchs complain to God about being separated from other church followers. God reassures and blesses them, not to be changed and to fit into the binary heterosexual model but God blesses them as they are, DeFranza said.

The ongoing research and conversations around queer theology are reversing a trend in the Christian tradition that has long-marginalized members of the LGBTQ community. While some churches have opened their doors, many people who identify as LGBTQ do not feel welcome in the pews. About half of congregations allow openly gay or lesbian couples to be members, according to the Pew Research Center.

Cherry said queer theology is pushing the church to be more inclusive. A different way of reading the ancient text is allowing the marginalized to see themselves in the Bible story.

“When I read the Bible thinking that Jesus is like me, it just brings it alive and makes it much more real,” Cherry said. “And I think that’s true for other LGBTQ people. I’m not doing this to say, this is the only way to look at Jesus. … It helps to see that Jesus was like we are and to see ourselves reflected in the holy story. Now for our straight allies, I think it’s also valuable to visualize the idea that Jesus was gay because it helps them then to be able to see the holiness among the LGBTQ community and just to expand their idea of God.”

Follow Wyatt Massey on Twitter: @News4Mass.


Retrieved: https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/lifestyle/religion/how-queer-theology-is-changing-the-place-for-lgbtq-christians/article_8268f13c-8114-5ecf-be43-a038fb5a1d51.html

“The Bible Has Been Changed and Corrupted Over Time”

With the unearthed secrets of Child Sexual Abuse being made globally, Easter-Fertility gives an ideal chance to read more of how similar the bible/church is to a changing business. Following is a copy of text, from PDF available from our Library (see References):


You Bible-thumping Christians are so deluded and stupid. The Bible has been so changed and translated and mistranslated over time that it can’t be trusted. Didn’t you play the telephone game when you were a kid? Whatever the first person whispered to the second person, is going to be very different from what the last person hears. Stop acting as if you have all the answers–your Bible is a book of myths.

You’re in good company; a lot of people think that way because they simply don’t know the facts about how trustworthy the Bible really is. When you find out the truth about how the Bible has been handed down from one generation to the next, your charge will have as much significance as proclaiming that courts have no basis for determining the constitutionality of issues since the Constitution was written so long ago we can’t know what it originally said.

But we can go back to the original Constitution and check, right?

We don’t have the original biblical documents, but we have the next best thing: thousands of copies of the original New Testament manuscripts, by which we can determine whatwas originally said. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (www.csntm.org) tells me that the current number is about 5500 copies of just the Greek New Testament, and when we combine the Greek with all translations in the various languages before the printing press was invented, there are a staggering 15,000 copies of NT manuscripts in existence, with more being found every day!

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason (www.str.org) helps illustrate how Bible scientists (the discipline of textual criticism) can

assure us of the Bible’s accuracy:

RECONSTRUCTING AUNT SALLY’S LETTER

Pretend your Aunt Sally learns in a dream the recipe for an elixir that preserves her youth. When she wakes up, she scribbles the directions on a scrap of paper, then runs to the kitchen to make up her first glass. In a few days Aunt Sally is transformed into a picture of radiant youth because of her daily dose of “Sally’s Secret Sauce.”

Aunt Sally is so excited she sends detailed, hand-written instructions on how to make the sauce to her three bridge partners (Aunt Sally is still in the technological dark ages–no photocopier or email). They, in turn, make copies for ten of their own friends.

All goes well until one day Aunt Sally’s pet schnauzer eats the original copy of the recipe. In a panic she contacts her three friends who have mysteriously suffered similar mishaps, so the alarm goes out to the others in attempt to recover the original wording.

Sally rounds up all the surviving hand-written copies, twenty-six in all. When she spreads them out on the kitchen table, she immediately notices some differences. Twenty- three of the copies are exactly the same. Of the remaining three, however, one has misspelled words, another has two phrases inverted (“mix then chop” instead of “chop then mix”) and one includes an ingredient none of the others has on its list.

Do you think Aunt Sally can accurately reconstruct her original recipe from this evidence? Of course she can. The misspellings are obvious errors. The single inverted phrase stands out and can easily be repaired. Sally would then strike the extra ingredient, reasoning it’s more plausible one person would add an item in error than 25 people would accidentally omit it.

Even if the variations were more numerous or more diverse, the original could still be reconstructed with a high level of confidence if Sally had enough copies.

This, in simplified form, is how scholars do “textual criticism,” an academic method used to test all documents of antiquity, not just religious texts. It’s not a haphazard effort based on hopes and guesses; it’s a careful linguistic process allowing an alert critic to determine the extent of possible corruption of any work.{1}

When the thousands of copies of manuscripts (far more than for any other document of antiquity) are compared, we can know that the New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. In the entire text of 20,000 lines, only 40 lines are in doubt (about 400 words), and none affects any significant doctrine.{2}

Even if all the manuscripts in the whole world were to disappear, the New Testament is so comprehensively quoted by early church letters, essays and other extra-biblical sources that we could still reconstruct almost the entire testament.

We have a much fuller explanation of this in our article “Are

the Biblical Documents Reliable?” www.probe.org/are-the-biblical-documents-reliable

The historical evidence for the reliability of the biblical documents is so great that we can rest assured that the Bible we read today is the same Bible that God intended for us to have from the very beginning.

Wishing you well, Sue Bohlin

Probe Ministries Notes

1. Greg Koukl, Solid Ground, Jan/Feb 2005, Stand to Reason.

2. Norman Geisler and William Nix,The Text of the New Testament (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 475.

REFERENCES https://probe.org/the-bible-has-been-changed-and-corrupted-over-time/?print=pdf

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Psychotherapy, Counselling and Personal Development in Glasgow, Scotland

ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION, DISSOCIATION

Still Like A House

Fractured?  No, curiously I feel fractured but I see myself in the mirror and I’m whole, standing still like a house.  The mirror may be fractured, but my eyes still swivel like windows in this head, guided by a nose that acts as a weather vane.  I open and close my mouth like a door and my ears sit like unoiled hinges.  But I don’t feel like a house.  I feel like a room: a room divided against itself.

Whole Not Hole

If I am whole, how come there are holes in my experience?  Not holes; they just feel like holes.  They’re no more holes than my forgetting what I had for breakfast last Tuesday is a hole.  If I decide, out of my indecision comes a need to follow a trail of breadcrumbs, walking backwards in flip-flop sandals: Shameday, Shatterday, Frightday, Thugsday, Whensday, Chewsday: vegetarian bacon that tasted like cardboard soaked in lapsang souchong.

Not Broken

Broken.  Like a wine glass washed in a lapse of concentration, snapped stem in the sink?  No, I just feel broken.  I’m no more broken than my daydream in the bubbles is a symptom of a broken mind.  I just went travelling for a second and broke a glass, not my hip.

A Name for Now

No fractures, no holes.  Not broken, nor split.  I am a house of rooms, not a room divided.  The room I’m in is ordered, organised, geometric wallpaper, square like Kant; catalogued like a library run by a nunnery.  My lamp has a name and a function.  My telephone first rang in ’76.  My sofa has a history, and I remember my happiness the day I bought it; how angry I was when I spilled wine on it;  how annoyed at the bit of chocolate that fell between the cushions.  I feel my weight on it.  Feel the cold in my fingers.  I am here.  It is now.  I am here and I am now.

The Hall

The hall.  A place for uninvited guests.  I ran down it when I was 5, I’m-alive, scurried into the cupboard and was never seen again.  The hall connects me to the rest of the house I have forgotten, but more importantly to the front door, which leads out into the garden; into the world.  I never know if it’s locked.  Instead of checking, I forget that it’s a hall, save the ticking of an old clock that I forget to hear whilst listening to the fizz of my ginger beer, age 7, pray to heaven.  Instead I convince myself that the livingroom I’m in is all there is.  Then, by switching off the light and locking the door, forget myself and my convincing.  Until I need to pee, or eat.  And then I find myself sock-sliding down the hall like a uterine ghost, so focussed on my empty belly or full bladder I forget to remember that I opened the door; forgetting which room I was in, until I am in the other room, floorboards creaking with the slightest shift in weight.

Wordless Rooms

Another room, another name, another door, another age.  Age 6, pick up sticks.  Other shadow, other feeling.  Cooling, cooler, cold and colder.  The familiar unfamiliar.  No lightbulb in, no switch to fumble for.  In this room I forget to remember and remember to forget.  Boxes stacked on boxes, dust and cobwebs.  I pick a box in disarray and ginger ale my way in beneath the lifting lid.  It contains hundreds of fizzing photographs, sepia toned, disorganised, random, full of Leica moments hastily shuffled away, forgetting to remember; each snap the snap of a twig in a dark damp wood; the snap of a little finger; the snap, crackle and pop of a nice crisp morning in December, and then a dread-filled evening; and all with felt feelings, felt, falling.  The sea swell of a gut without words; the electric surge of anxious malady rising in my spine.  Shapes without outlines.  Tone without form.  Colour without texture.  Chaos without order.  Things that happened before I had words to describe them.

Chaos

I find myself in a drawer inside a mood inside a box inside a room.  Another lapse.  Like driving from the house to the store and realising I wasn’t conscious of driving at all. At all.  At all. New room, new mood, new name, new world.  A ball of string, a roll of tape, some false teeth, a paperclip, an old birthday card from a forgotten friend, a rubber band and some tic-tacs.  There are reasons I don’t come in here.  It’s a mess: deformed, unfinished.  I’ve no energy for this: to clean it out, tidy it up, organise it.  Too many memories.  One day.  Some day.  Just not now.

The Unseen Tree

Hallway.  Like the drive to the store I didn’t notice, or the tree I ignored on the street I’ve walked for a decade and suddenly appears out of nowhere one day, when the light hits its leaves and I awaken to its colours and the breeze, warm like Frankincense whispering through its branches, and my feet in my soft shoes, so soft I forget my feet.  I want to say sorry to that tree.  Sorry to my feet and to my shoes.  Sorry I neglected you.  A three hundred year old tree growing through twelve hundred seasons, existing for everyone else but me.

Safe Trembling

My hallway stays forgotten; conduit to my wholeness; pipeline to the world.  Invisible as I close my eyes.  It connects my rooms, my fears: it is the forgotten centre of my house: the house I forget to remember to forget.  I prefer the known knowing of organised places to the unknown knawing of my silent spaces.  Sunlight comes in through the south window, hot coffee in a comforting cup five inches from the table’s edge, precarious, but no spinning head.  Here, I know my name, I have words for things and things for words, and syntax and paragraphs.  I know my here and now, I know my differentiated place, I know my own familiar face.  It is the face of a house of rooms, and rooms of boxes.  Some are ordered, stacked and indexed, comprehendible by their stories, hand-written and clear as etched metal.  Some are filled with a confusion of shadows, wordlessness, uncertainty, memories, darkness and a child’s trembling.  Still the trembling, still the heart.

I am still like a house.  But I feel like a room.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

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