Past Eden to a New Beginning by Theresa Paulfranz
( As mass killings and suicides increase in our society we are made to look more and more closely all the time at our culture to determine why. As a person who came from and survived an intensely dysfunctional family I have been looking at it and thinking about it for a very long time. )
Part One: My Own "Adam's Family" Experience
I come from a family that once was a good bit like the Adam Lanza family. We had a lot of death and violence and psychosis. In fact it was a lot worse in a way. Mom graduated at the top of her class. Dad did not do all that well at Case Western Reserve University. He was a self-taught chemist and did not need college. He read Scientific American all his life. He would tell us about Einstein's theory of relativity at the supper table with the bad food he provided. He is the inventor of the Halogen light bulb. He and the rest of us are book smart and life stupid. One could say we are all autistic savants. But maybe the term "aspergers" is more correct. He and Mom were the most awful parents. They are both dead now so I can talk about them.
I see the same sort of thing everywhere in this western world and my family was an extreme version of what white-is-right society is doing all over the world with its aggressive war machines. Or is it simply that my family acted the whole thing out within the family group instead of in the greater society?
At age twenty my brother Tom used a vacuum cleaner hose and a car and drove into the woods and killed himself. Mom had abused him so badly that he had no chance for a life. His suicide was a relief. It was inevitable. He was an intensely broken person. His misery was intense and he acted out and was hell to his younger brother. He was violent and horrible and could not possibly learn to grow up and become an adult. He was psychologically smashed. I was happy for him when I found out that he had killed himself.
A few years later Steven killed himself with a gun. He was not as psychotic or as violent or as broken as Tom but his suicide was also inevitable.
Peg told me before she died that when she was young she would get up on a winter morning and huddle near the heat registers when they first went on and cry. She was intensely cold. Mom and Dad used electric blankets and when they did not work anymore they gave them to us, the kids. We got two blankets which were grossly insufficient in a house that had almost no heat in the winter in Cleveland Ohio. Dad turned the heat way down at night.
When Mom was pregnant with Peg she punched her own belly violently and lost it. Peg was her seventh child and she had had enough of parenting long before Peg arrived. She then got pregnant one more time with Steve after Peg was born. But of course if you are a Catholic you do not practice birth control. You will go to "hell forever" if you do. See my article on opednews.com click here
Dad invented good stuff but GE kept the money basically. Do you know what that did to him? He used to experiment in his father's basement with chemicals when he was a kid. He had dedicated all his life to being an inventor. Little good it did him. He got paid $30,000 a year for being a top notch inventor. The corporation owns the patent.
Peg's back did the Hunchback of Notre Dame thing when she hit puberty's growth spurt. She had a rod put in her back which almost killer her. She had a compromised immune system all her life which she got partly because of that iron rod she figures. She worked in a corporation that used ammonia in its copy machine. The room she worked in was not far from the copy machine. That was the needle that broke the camel's back. Soon afterward she came down with chronic fatigue syndrome. She battled on for years but one could see her suicide coming a long way off. One of the siblings instructed her on how to use a helium tank to off herself. She did not want to become a vegetable. Her quality of life was near zero when she finally killed herself. There was nothing to be done at that point. I was sad to lose her as I loved her a lot but I was glad she was out of that ruined body.
I admire her greatly for her suicide. I offered to help her and would have given her a room in my house for free but she wanted independence or death.
One person llves that tried to commit suicide. That person used a bottle of aspirin. It did not work. When they woke up and were not dead that person was madder than mad. But they locked that one up and gave mega-doses of shock treatments and when that was over there was not that much left to want to commit suicide. And I got extremely close to suicide once and backed out at the last minute. Of the many cases of PTSD and BPD of parents and children alike there is not one that does not have all kinds of psychological weirdness.
If you live long and battle for your sanity hard enough you might be able to work through it all and come out actually glad it all happened. You get so strong mentally inside, if not outside, that it all rolls off your mind and heart like water off the back of a duck. It is all part of the adventure of being a part of a species that is self-transcending, ( that or self-suiciding ). There is great darkness just before the light breaks through and sets you free. You have to work for it but sanity comes eventually. I say that as the oldest who had it easy. The worst psychological hell happened as Mom had child after child after child and got more and more broken and psychotic as she went. I was the luckiest one. I tried to help but Mom would not let me. I still have PTSD knee jerk reactions when interacting with people. I am very stand offish. I can not cope but it is all on the outside. It takes time to reprogram a nervous system and deep psychotic reactions to horror. But even so I am free inwardly. I am a very happy person.
All the suicides in my family were inevitable, given what there was to work with, inevitable and necessary. The things that patriarchal church and state and corporations and patriarchal culture did to my family that made those suicides inevitable were not necessary. By the time the suicides were ready to happen it was already way too late.
Over the years and as a family we tossed out the white-is-right ethic. It happened in stages. We became more and more introspective and self-analytical as time went on.