Monday, June 08, 2009

How War Hurts The Next Generation:My Mother's Story

In my anecdotes my parents don't come off looking too good. Thing is, there are reasons for their behavior and I think I should explain what they are.

For instance, my parents were teens during WW2. They were right in the middle of the horror of it all. The traumas they suffered affected how they raised us children, which led to the trials that we went through.

For instance, I have always been spiritual and my mother couldn't stand it. She'd try and crush any signs of it in me, even if I was just being kind to a stranger. I always knew that she loved me, but I also knew she didn't like me very much. This is because I reminded her religious great aunt.

This great aunt lived on my grandparent's farm. My grandfather was a farmer and a builder, he built the local church. He was also the bandleader of the town and owned all the instruments. My mother said he was loved by everyone.

My mother adored him. He let her and her three sisters be tomboys. They got to ride horses, climb trees, help with the harvest. They basically had to because they didn't have any brothers. Their relatives didn't approve of this behaviour of course, and this great Aunt especially disapproved of how they would work on Sundays. This is something the others in the town wouldn't do.

Anyway, the war came, and near the end of it, soldiers came to take her father away. They couldn't find him so they asked everyone in the family if they knew where he was. They all said they didn't, except for this Aunt. She felt it was a sin to lie. After all, Jesus had said :

John 8:44
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

When asked if she knew where the man was, she told them she did, and they soon got it out of her that he was hiding in a haystack. They took my grandfather away, and he was never seen again.

After he was taken away, my mother cried and cried and cried so much she vowed never to cry again. When she later had kids, she wouldn't let us cry, or even be sad because compared to her, we had no right to be. So we had to keep on a happy face for her- but heaven forbid we should be genuinely happy, because how could we be happy after what happened to her? So we had to pretend all the time.

Anyway, after my father was taken away, my mother's whole extended family left the family farm that had belonged to them for hundreds of years and became refugees. All except for that demented old aunt – she was left behind to fend for herself.

The upshot is, my mother developed a real hatred for anything religious or spiritual to the point that her relatives thought she was demon possessed. She didn't like anyone who reminded her of her Great Aunt, but unfortunately, without knowing it, I did. She tried to stamp that part of me out, but it didn't work. As a result, I feel bad if I do something bad, but I also feel bad if I do something good. I do choose to be good, even if it hurts, because I don't want my trauma to affect others, especially not my own children. I may be a bit too lenient with them, but I'm determined that the damage done all those years ago stops with me. I'm NOT going to pass it on to them. But I can see how easy it would be to do that. So just because a country is at peace, it doesn't mean its people are. They won't heal for generations!!!!!

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