Wednesday, September 29, 2010

... how can a grown man let another man touch him what you have to understand is that this man manipulate us from childhood...

Unless Jamal has memorized the textbook, for the two and a half minutes of this interview convinces me of what HE believes. The conflict in his words, acknowledging how much love he had for Bishop Long and then in the same voice speaking about how he '...cannot get the sound of his voice out of his head, cannot forget the smell of his cologne, cannot forget the way that he made him cry in the car on the way home...

...or take enough showers to wash the smell of him off his body.

As someone who is one of those vulnerable young men, between my Mom's concern and my own natural awareness (or perhaps because of my Mom's worry), there was nice, and then there was 'too nice'. This really isn't something that I want to talk about... my thoughts are geared on other things. But I saw this brief interview on HLN and could not resist the urge to speak on what I saw and heard.

Tying this in with my view of the particular opprobrium that the African-American community has when it comes to the mental health, it isn't that I feel that there is anything unique to the lack of support regarding mental health or that 'we' are the only group of people who have a contentious relationship with its faith and its undue influence. It is more that things that makes African-Americans particularly uncomfortable or is possibly too complex for full comprehension, they ignore and go into a denial mode that there is something wrong.

I also think that I do a poor job at describing the frustration in trying to describe how difficult it is to find someone who is willing to listen, I mean really be heartfelt in hearing what you have to say. For instance, I am sure that there are many who will listen to brother Jamal and say that 'I was raised by my Mom and I still wouldn't let no cat do that with/to me', mistakingly thinking that their experience is common enough to think it acts as a mean for children from single parent homes.

Young Mr. Parris hit most of the right marks in describing his experience with Bishop Long and there isn't anything I would care to add to his story.

LEARNING WHAT NORMAL IS

Prior to my diagnosis I kept my feelings to myself. It wasn't until I begin to blog in earnest in '07 that I began to share personal thoughts with anyone. Being part of a 'shared experience' that many people mistake for a universal reality. I have tried a couple of times to discuss what it is like for me and what sometimes goes in in my head, resulting in only deepinging a misunderstanding and providing stimulus for a smoldering resentment. I have decided to now leave talking about 'me' to the professionals. Could be that a previously existing issue has been exacerbated or it could be just the way that it is



The helplessness that is in this song represents what I mean when I say 'universal'. Since misery loves company, the tendency to link one's own problems to that of another is hard to resist. When empathy is called for when someone is talking about what is troubling them, the urge to commiserate (I know how you feel 'cause I feel that way too) and turn the conversation into a discussion where instead of a competition of woes usually evolves.

Listening to this song, people are quick to identify with it but how many people really understanding how unique their experiences is to themselves? Traumatic experiences are not the same for everyone and it is by being able to identify with someone and THEIR trauma that helping begins, no?

4 comments:

Toon said...

Religion, like sexual advances, should never be forced on children.

LceeL said...

This is what I don't like about organized religion - and it doesn't make any difference WHICH or WHAT religion it is - once they get you drinkin' the Koolaid, they have power over you. Or they THINK they do. Or they ACT like they do.

Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses - or words to that effect. For me, God is the 'excuse'. God is the 'reason' when there is no other reason - the 'cause' when there is no other cause. God is the crutch people use when they can't or won't measure up to the things they have to face - whether it's dealing with the day to day or understanding the insignificance of us and all we are and do when they look up and truly begin to comprehend where we are, where we live and how we got here.

God makes us think we aren't small, when, in fact, we really and truly ARE.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

If we cannot share our feelings, and be accepting, then what do we have left?

JOHN O'LEARY said...

It still blows my mind that so many self-righteous preachers (be they politicians or priests) when it comes to walking the talk can only do the perp walk. Isn't Bishop Long the dude who preached abstinence? You can't make this stuff up. Newt Gingrich is my fave though, HAMMERING Bill Clinton on his morals, while banging his own mistress. He's a serial adulterer AND still preaching family values. When his wife called him on it, he ACTUALLY said that with someone of HIS stature, what mattered was what he said not what he did. And this guy - along with ethics queen Sarah Palin - are likely Presidential candidates for the GOP in two years. I can't wait.