California or bust!

Happy Mother's Day -- "I'm Glad My Mom Died" Review

First off, my mother is alive and well, praise God! Now that I'm home in California, I get to spend Mother's Day with her and my son, so that's happy!!

The title refers to the Jenette McCurdy book that I just finished. This book, despite the name, is a love letter to her mother. Even if she doesn't realize it, Jenette obviously loved her mother despite her mother's obvious mental illness. That mental illness showed up as cruelty and abuse in Jenette's life. There are some really profound lessons that I encourage others to read -- even if you've never had any abuse in your nearby vicinity. Looking for the clues will help make you a better citizen of the world.

I also think anyone who judges abuse victims as weak or pathetic, needs to pick up this book to learn how it really is. Jenette didn't know she was abused. She didn't understand Mom's diet tips would lead to eating disorders. The list goes on and on. 

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Anyone who says, "Why didn't you just leave?" clearly doesn't understand that the real prison of abuse is in the victim's minds. They have been groomed and brainwashed to believe this behavior is normal and worse yet, they deserve it. So why would they seek anything different? It's like how they chain a baby elephant to a chain.  The massive giant elephant doesn't try to break free, though they could.  They have learned that they are stuck on the chain and can't move.

Abuse victims don't know what freedom looks like, nor would they understand how to navigate it. Abuse is familiar. They understand the rules of being abused, of calming down a raging person. Jenette learned all the little tricks to make her mother happy, and she felt when her mother STILL threw a tantrum landed on her, not Mom. SHE was responsible for her mother's failings. The way she describes this in real time, as she didn't know she was being harmed is really eye-opening.

If you've seen the show on Nickelodeon during its wonder years (Quiet On The Set, The Dark Side of Kids TV) you know that Jeanette didn't just incur verbal and emotional abuse at home, but also on set. 

Also, the most dangerous time for a victim is when they leave an abuser, so it stands to reason that victims stay at take it. Much of the time staying in abuse keeps them alive -- but not abundantly as Jesus wants us to live. It leaves them in survival mode.

I think we can look at the current news on the "Pastor's" wife, Micah Miller's suicide and see that even when she had escaped, she hadn't really. Her husband's words still haunted her. Micah's belief system that she was nothing without him, and would never get free of him led her to commit suicide, allegedly.

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This is a hill I will die on.  Abuse is far too prevalent in our churches and as Christians, we must stand up against it. We have to stop believing words and start looking at actions. If someone only does their good works in front of people, that's a good sign.  Another obvious characteristic in Micah Miller's marriage of abuse was that he wasn't done disparaging her when she was dead. He continued to talk about her mental health and her "issues" in a sermon the day after her death. No REAL man/husband does that.  They protect their wife even when it costs them something. IMHO, that was John Paul setting up himself as the victim. The poor pastor married to a mental patient, so he had to break free to do the Lord's work. The more he destroys Micah's reputation, the more it makes sense he needed another wife. A better wife. 

BALONEY! I knew a man of God once who was married to a woman with mental illness. She was in and out of institutions depending on her health and when someone asked him in front of me, why he stayed with her, he said, "Have you met her? How could anyone not love her?" 

Pastor Miller has had felony charges in the past, and was on his way to a THIRD wedding with a woman younger than him. Keep in mind, he was still married to Micah while planning this future with his girlfriend. You're going to allow your pastor to have a THIRD wife when he's not even out of his 40's?

Micah was also in his teen group when he was the youth pastor.  She was 14 years old! Why are we allowing men like this in the pulpit? No one is perfect, but we need to look for behavior patterns and hold pastor's to a higher standard.

He was separated.

He had a girlfriend.

He had five children he left for Micah.  

On what earth was this man qualified to be a pastor? He'd also had a felony in his background

Come on, churches, USE your discerners.  Find them, and listen to them! We look like absolute fools as believers when we let these charlatans into our midst and allow them to use God's name to commit their atrocities. Also, you can't just allow someone to say "I'm sorry you're hurt" or the like over their actions. True repentance needs to be present to allow them back into the fold. We all know what a little yeast does to the dough!

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Back to Jenette's book. Jenette McCurdy may have lost her mother, but sadly, she hasn't lost the woman's haunting voice in her head. That will be with her for a lifetime, and up to Jenette to overcome it in the moment. I really loved her book. It has a lot of insight. My takeaway is abuse fundamentally changes who people are. As believers, we have to be more aware, and not be afraid to stand up for what's right! Abuse stays with the victim long after the actual abuse is over. 

 

 

 

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