Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Cross Is Heavy Enough... ...

... why do people so enjoy hanging off other people's crosses. One of the things that most Christians wonder about, at some point, is why was Christ followed and taunted by the populace. After all, he was not going on vacation, so why add to his torment? Many people think it was devilish inspiration, and I'm not saying it wasn't, however a recent case study shows that our brains can receive pleasure from watching an "enemy" in pain. So, just make the target of your bile everyone else's enemy (at least in their minds) and when you disrupt, or destroy, their lives people around the target (victim) will applaud.

That is the dissonant part of this equation: A victim of crime or tragedy can be the victimizer of other victims. All in the name of good efforts, yes, but it does not change the outcome. Yet another victim of tragedy is born... at the hands of a tragedy victim.

Personal context: This is where this thought, and thinking, came from. It has now been 1 yr, 1 month, and 1 day since my traumatic brain injury. Add to which it is now 2 weeks short of 1 year since I was released from the hospital. In a very necessary wheelchair, I might add. In the past year I have walk two 5k fundraising events. One for the CropWalk, which I needed to do to catch up with my promise in 2012, and one for the Krempels Center. That is where my current major issue lies, the Krempels Center.

As I was working up to being released by the Northeast Rehab Hospital, Krempels was pointed out as being a good place for me to go. Possibly for the support and guidance in recovering from brain injury. David Krempels, a wonderful man, is the basis of the Center forming. The mission and purpose is transcendent especially given how many people there are suffering from this Invisible Illness. However if not careful a wonderful mission, transcendent purpose, can be twisted by not-so-well meaning individuals.

What Disciple started, and fought, in the Crusades? Using the Crusades as an example, and there are many more that can be used, a good wonderful mission; a transcendent idea; was used as an excuse to inflict pain on others. What qualified them as other does not matter, just that they were painted with the "other" brush and, in most cases, were killed.

When I awoke from coma I had been reduced to sheer infancy. As the months go by, my psychology (my cognition) grows up. I was essentially a pre-teen when I drove myself to the Krempels Center. My wife had been doing dances on the phone trying to arrange for transportation for me, to the Krempels Center, when I had had enough. I hit Google Maps, researched the route I had to take, and drove myself to the Krempels Center.

The staff was overjoyed to see me. Here was a brain injured person who could figure out the circuitous route to the Community First Center in Portsmouth. A brain injured person who could, quite possibly, fund his own support group knocking on their door. And, as an added bonus, I was alone without a chaperone (this part becomes dreadfully important!). I was happy to sign up, in fact I wanted to be on the next "orientation" class as soon as possible.

No, no, no! Orientation is not needed. The boundaries (rules) are simple. So simple that they are not written ANYWHERE. So hard to find staff with available time to learn what the "boundaries" are. Just be yourself and the Krempels Center will adjust (not) in support of you. So here is a 45 yr old pre-teen, one that has served in the 101st Airborne, served in Desert Storm, grew up in the ghettos of North Philadelphia, a Mensan and a Mason, being told "be yourself". So I did, who I am is a person who wants to know to things: What is our goal? How are we getting there?

So, obviously, I got fired from the Krempels Center community. Why? Because in the opinion of the staff supporting me took to much of their time at the expense of other brain injury sufferers. Not to mention I am not brain injury media image friendly for fund raising events. I don't have any really visible scars. I stand 6 feet and 3 inches tall. My arm length is 37 inches, my chest measurement is 54 inches, and I weigh a nice healthy 300 lbs. I am Caucasian, sandy blonde with green eyes, and I am not afraid to ask, or answer, questions. On the fundraising marketing front, I am a walking disaster if you don't like answering "What" and "How".

Given the Krempels Center, just last weekend, successfully raised $100k, some of which goes into the paychecks of the staff (hush-hush!), I would say firing me and having me be ostracized was monetarily good sense. But that's not what is bothering me, specifically. What the Krempels Staff did to me, how they interacted with me (Minus a chaperone) was extremely insulting and denigrating to an old war soldier. However, that can be, and was, endured.

The problem is the "stalking" that one of the Krempels members has done to my life. At one point I thought she might turn into a worthwhile friend. She disabused me of that notion. She thought that I might become one of her many lovers, I firmly disabused that notions. The only woman I can ever feel lust for is the only woman who I can equally respect and love; My Wife. It is just the way I am made and I have see no reason or rationale to be other that I am at my heart. I am not disharmonious and I dread disharmony & conflict.

Now, stalking is usually easy to cure: Just don't associate with them anymore and their obsessions latch on somewhere else after a time. However, my stalker gains pleasure from watching "others" squirm in discomfort or pain. So harassing me more and more only gives her pleasure as she watches me try to squirm out from under any influence she might have. I have been diligent about this as well even to the point of going to the police. The police can't do nothing about it though as we were not sexually or emotionally involved and no physical threats or actions were made. Essentially, she can freely and legally harass me to death. It is her 1st Amendment right, and we want to protect her rights, yes?

So this morning the full weight of my situation came down upon my shoulders. I was at Starbucks (I drop in regularly) and one of my old Baristas came in as a customer. He has not been working at that Starbucks for a while so I was curious as to how he has been doing. I have a slight personal relationship with him as I knew as now deceased Sister. She was an integral church member at my Church. So motivated and inspired that she helped End 68 Hours of Hunger in a significant manner. So much so that when our Church donated land, and built a building, for End 68 Hours of Hunger the building was named after this woman. (Irony being irony, she suffered brain injury from tumor growth and succumbed to more tumor growths)

This gentleman, younger than me, is a fine person to know. He is not just a barista, he is also a teacher. Starbucks was just a side job for side job reasons. However as I got to know him I did not know that I went to church with his sister. Did not know until I attend Christina's living wake that she planned, and held while she still had the wherewith all to do so. I then met him at the wake and found out the there were siblings. She left such an impact on my life that 4 - 5 months after my accident I was up a scaffold helping to line up roof timbers for the building with her name. In fact, on the day the building was blessed and opened for business I purchased something during a fundraising (me and fundraiser's!) Silent Auction. What I purchased I won't discuss however I value it at half a million, easy. Yes, I said half a million DOLLARS. Not pennies, dollars.

So this morning I got a slight cold shoulder from this gentleman and I realized what could, most likely, be the problem. His wife is a hired care giver for brain injured people. I would see her regularly at the Krempels Center. So me being fired as a member is bad, my stalker speaking unmentionables about me is horrorific. After all, my church has only known me for just a touch over 3 years. At Lee has only known me as a drive by customer who seems nice. However if what my stalker says about me is even remotely true: Lee could find his job as a teacher gone. Lee's wife could find her job as a care giver gone. Even if it isn't remotely true: If the Krempels Center purposefully takes umbrage over me Lee's wife could find her job... gone.

And the road to Golgotha is not an easy one.

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