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Sep 142013
 

One of the latest news stories to go viral is about the obituary of a woman who was apparently abusive to her family.

Here is a link to the obituary

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Anyone expecting a sweet remembrance of the life and times of Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick  was in for a surprise if they opened the obituary pages this week in the local newspaper.
“On behalf of her children who she abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty and shame that she delivered on her children,” the scathing obituary begins.
Now circling the globe on the Internet, the obit was written by Johnson-Reddick’s adult children, whose horror stories prompted Nevada to become one of the first states to allow children to sever parental ties back in the 1980s.

http://news.yahoo.com/scathing-obit-abusive-nv-mother-goes-viral-211215789.html

While many people are laughing at this…how the adult children vented their spleen in the public obituary venue, to me it is not so funny (though I admit I did laugh at first). In retrospect, and thinking a bit more about this sad case, I realize that these adult children have still not healed. Their hearts are bitter. Not that it hurts their now late mother for them to be bitter, but it hurts them.

Jesus told us to “forgive” those who abuse us…but what does “forgiveness” entail? My opinion of this using the story of Joseph and the Coat of many colors as an example,  http://familyarrested.com/a-biblical-view-of-forgiveness-versus-restoration-of-trust/  is that we get the bitterness out of our own hearts, but we do NOT have to trust or associate with this person who has abused us.

From my own personal experience at the bitterness I have felt toward others who deliberately abused me, I finally came to realize when I would lie awake nights fantasizing how to “get even” with those people and make them suffer, shame them, etc. it finally dawned on me that bitterness of this magnitude was as someone once said “like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.”

I style myself a “Christian” though I am far from living up to the standards of that name, but I do try to obtain some wisdom from the Bible and from trying to increase my practices. One of those things is that I realized that all the commands in the Bible for us to do or not to do, are not just arbitrary hoops for us to jump through to “take the fun out of life.” Every command to abstain from something I have found is GOOD ADVICE any way you slice it. Read the book of Proverbs and you will see what I mean. Also every command to do something is also for OUR good as well. The command to forgive our enemies and the command to pray for those who abuse us seem at first glance arbitrary and against nature…and yes, they are against nature, but they are not arbitrary in the least. In the angry state I was in against my son and my mother, I had little desire to “pray” for blessings for them, but because I do try to follow the commands of the Bible, I prayed for them. At first  I did not “mean” these prayers at all, it was simply a rote exercise in obedience. I actually wrote the prayers out and read them aloud, knowing that God knew I was not the least sincere, but guess what? After a time, I began to mean them, to sincerely feel the desire that God bless these people. That he heal them.

Did that mean I wanted a relationship with them? Absolutely not! Did it mean I would trust them again? Absolutely not! But by praying for my offending family members, I helped heal myself. God blessed me with peace and took away the bitterness. It was that that made me finally realize that I had to work hard at eliminating the bitterness from my heart in order for me to heal.

It makes me sad that the children of this woman who was apparently very abusive and who engendered a terrible wrath and bitterness in the hearts of her children and others still suffer from the terrible emotional wounds she inflicted.

I pray that those adult children will find healing and peace, and be able to get the bitterness out of their hearts toward this woman,

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  18 Responses to “Bitter obituary goes viral”

  1. Joyce, this is a POWERFUL article, and I very, very much appreciate this at this very moment in time.

    Bitterness can become pathological – I know that it has where I’m concerned. It can invade and infect every aspect of my life and contribute to anxiety and PSTD symptoms, as well as physical/medical issues.

    It is time for me to let go of that baggage of bitterness. It really is. And, I can only offer my most sincere appreciation for this timely article.

    God bless………

  2. You’re entirely welcome, Truthy. A year after my husband’s death when my pathological neighbor “Crazy Bob” sued me for $50K for HIS emotional suffering because my husband’s plane crashed in his pasture, LOL and I became SO FILLED WITH HATE AND BITTERNESS toward this man, I literally wanted to find a way to kill him and get by with it. I would lie in bed and come up with the most outlandish schemes to accomplish this. This feeling went on for months, and one night it dawned on me that it was EATING ME ALIVE.

    First, I knew in my heart I could never actually kill him, no matter how badly I wanted to. But I realized secondly that my bitterness was not hurting him one iota, but it was consuming me. It was all I could think about. It kept me in high stress.

    The same with my bitterness against Patrick, and my mother, and my daughter in law, I had to let go of that bitterness and move forward and as long as I held on to that VERY JUSTIFIABLE bitterness, it was the cancer of my soul.

    The thing is, though, at least with me, is that I must continually work to NOT LET IT REAPPEAR…and I imagine it is like “healing” it is a process, a journey, not a one-and-done destination. So if I find myself starting to feel bitter, I have to sit myself down and have a “talking to” with Joyce and remind her of the things she knows, and remind her to put them into practice.

    I meditate and that helps. I read about various psychological things, and things that might help me. The insights that I get in my “self therapy” as well as the therapist I go to, have helped me to realize that I have to take charge of my own self, assume responsibility for Joyce. For seeing that she does not get bogged down in depression, fear, bitterness, anger, wrath and unhealthy thinking and behaviors.

    We don’t have control over the past, it is what it is, but we DO and MUST have control over the present and the future.

  3. Joyce, I too have gotten to where I can pray FOR someone at least, until the time comes that I can forgive them. I am sincere in those prayers, as it is not my place to change or fix them. I simply cannot and why I thought I could? Well that is anyone’s guess.

    I may forgive them, but I do not have to trust them ever again. Depending on how badly they burned me, that trust may be shaky at best or completely gone for good. If I did trust them, it may be that I trust them 1000% to hurt me or screw me over again. It’s all about perspective.

    The bitterness, distrust, hateful thoughts and anger, resentment, hostility, etc. Can and will eat you alive. It will damage you from the inside out, and all the while the spath could care less. If anything they are happy because they have disrupted our lives, our thoughts and so many aspects of our being that they have consumed us, as you said.

  4. Phoenix, I don’t believe that “forgiveness” should ALWAYS include the chance to restore trust. It is simply getting rid of that bitterness, rancor, wrath, hate, anger, etc so that we are like you said not eaten from the inside out.

  5. I agree on the part about forgiveness does not equal trust. Unless that trust is that you WILL do this to me again someday. Living life waiting for the other shoe to drop again? You end up walking on eggshells around that person and that, to me anyways, is Not ” Living Life”.

  6. You bring up a good point, Phoenix, the “walking on egg shells” which is a form of trying to appease them, or at least not set them off by confronting them, and you are right, that is NOT a good way to live. I’ve been there and done that. It is like living in a war zone.

    True intimacy entails TRUST and HONESTY. I realized I don’t need people in my life that are not honest and trustworthy. So I no longer have to walk on eggshells around anyone. Those people who are still intimately in my life are honest and I can be honest WITH them without the fear that they will be “offended” and throw a fit. They in turn can be honest WITH ME and be assured that I am not going to “throw a fit.” That mutual trust allows true intimacy and communication between us and that is a good way I think to “live life”

  7. I hear you on the war zone and egg shells. I think all of us have been there at one time or another with at least one person in our lives. We either learnt our lesson or lathered, rinsed and repeated until we did. That is no way to live, for man, nor beast.

    I don’t need anyone around me either that can’t be up front and honest. I may know people and call them a friend, but that ‘friendship’ only goes so far, until I get to know them more. There are very few who make it to my ‘Inner Circle’ of friends. Those are people who have more than proven their worth and who know and expect total honesty, to be first and foremost in our dealings and that, that kind of honesty goes both ways. They have my back and I have theirs when the chips are down. There’s no second guessing and no sucker punches to be thrown out of nowhere. I just won’t settle for anything less.

  8. Phoenix, well I think it DESERVES to be in bold! Good advice to anyone. It is only when we make that determination that we will be honest and expect the same from others that we can get on with our lives in a healthy manner. As long as we allow others to manipulate us, make us try to appease them, etc. then we are not living a healthy life.

    Once burned, twice shy! and once I see someone’s dishonesty or irresponsibility then I don’t need them in my life.

    Not long ago I hired some people to work for me doing salvage on an old mobile home on my farm that I needed torn down. During the course of several months while they worked on the project a day here and a day there when they didn’t have a higher paying job I got to know them and their son who worked with them. He has a long rap sheet as well as mental health issues, but I kept these people at arm’s length.I tried to help them out where I could, but not to my own detriment. The son is going down the river again to the prison farm in Arkansas for about 10 years or so…the longer the better in my mind, and hopefully the parents have learned that they can’t “help” this young man, but their priorities are not my priorities, and they run their lives in such a way that they will always be living hand to mouth, even short of food at times, yet they buy cigarettes and feed a huge pack of dogs and cats.

    When you can’t feed yourself, in my opinion, you don’t need a big pack of dogs and cats to feed…and be unable to afford proper vet care and vaccinations for them. AND you don’t buy cigarettes when you can’t afford food.

  9. Reading back thru it, yes it does deserve bold print.

    I know a person, living semi comfortably but not well off, child to support, had livestock, had a different kind of life, but it worked for them so who was I to judge?

    One day that all changed. Moved on a moments notice, sold the livestock at auction for the most part and has been living in town, hand to mouth ever since. Suddenly they were buying 2 large breed dogs. Not just one, but two… Smoking like a chimney, drinking is a regular occurrance and still barely making ends meet.

    Wise decisions? By my standards- No. Will they be living hand to mouth in a few more years- probably so, unless they win the lotto as yep, you guessed it. They buy tickets all the time for their ‘retirement plan’.

  10. Well, Phoenix, my “retirement” plan is to save the money I would waste on lotto tickets and use it to buy food, etc. LOL

    I used to get so angry when I was in a rural health clinic and these people would come in and want a discount because they “couldn’t afford health insurance” for their kids yet they had a $30,000 bass boat, a big RV trailer, and 3 or 4 Four-wheelers and big pick ups but COULDN’T AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE —???? I know many others without insurance that take their kids to the ER for minor problems and of course the hospital eats the bill…

    Priorities, priorities…we all have them and make them based on decisions we make about how we spend our money. These people would come out here and work half a day, get enough aluminum metal to fill the trunk of their old beat up car and instead of waiting until the next day when they could have filled the back seat as well, would drive 18 miles to cash it in so they could buy tobacco…using gasoline and wearing their old car out sooner…but had to feed the addiction. I’m a former smoker so I know the craving, but back in the days when money was really tight, I did not buy smokes, I did without… and though these folks were living hand to mouth they paid the large monthly fees that their ex con son had to pay every month…HE DIDN’T PAY THEM…they did. But you know, that was their business. While I think it is not good judgment, each of us must ultimately make our own decisions and set our own priorities and….bear the consequences of those actions.

    • I may buy a Lotto ticket here and there, but not every draw. If I have the money to lose and the pot is big enough, then why not. Otherwise I skip over and use it towards something else.

      I had a wretched leach in my life once, who would take and take and take some more, always expecting others to pay his way. Not quite what anyone might expect when they say for better or for worse. In sickness and in health has also been misconstrued in the case of the spath.

  11. Yea, Phoenix, when the lotto hit half a BILLION I blew two dollars on a ticket…of course did not win! LOL But then I did not expect to win.

    Once when the lotto got to 200 million which was the biggest prize to that point, my son Michael and I were on a trip to Virginia to pick up a prize winning bull I had bought, and to deliver one I had sold. It was a several day hard driving trip and so we bought a ticket on that lotto and then spent the time fantasizing on what we would do with it when we won! We thought of all kinds of things we would buy or do–not things we would REALLY have bought or done, but outlandish things! It was really fun to just let our imaginations run wild with the things like some of the super rich pop stars do with their money….like multi-million dollar cars, private islands, etc. LOL

    I think that kind of fantasy is what keeps people buying lotto tickets that they can’t really afford. I talked to the clerk at a store that sold them and they told me about people who were obviously not able to afford the tickets, but bought $100 or more a week in tickets, money that would have been much better spent on food or transportation.

  12. You can’t win if you don’t play….

    Well no, you can’t. But you also shouldn’t go broke playing, in hopes of winning either. Phooey!

    I will wait for the larger pots and hope all I want, but it hasn’t happened for me yet… I would be happy at this point with a portion of it. Something over $100 would be nice, but if I couldn’t afford to lose it, I don’t spend it to begin with.

    I have thought about what I would do if a windfall such as that, ever came my way. The first call would be to an attorney. The next call may be to a real estate agent and the third call to an airline or travel agent. Me gone! Good luck to anyone trying to find me to leach off of me.

  13. Yea, me too! LOL Actually, probably would travel but not move away….and you know, there is very little that money could buy that would make me any “happier” than I am now…I learned a long time ago that money, even mega bucks, can’t make a person happy. Look at all the people who are zillionaires and how their lives are screwed up with drugs, depression, etc. and all their money and fame doesn’t help them one bit.

    • Mentioning playing the lotto brings back a vivid memory of Mike and Bob’s father over a stretch of about 3 months.

      Of course, we were in financial difficulties and Victor came to this astounding conclusion that he was “due” to win the lottery. I’m not even joking. The words that he said were (quote), “It’s MY turn. I’m DUE to win.” And, apparently, he actually believed this and took out personal loans that I didn’t even know about in anticipation of literally winning the lottery that he was entitled to!

      LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. LOL Truthy, yes, people do indeed believe such rubbish….that’s why they poke money into slot machines or other gambling methods, if they haven’t won in a while, they think they are DUE to win. Deserve to win, even. LOL Of course Las Vegas was not built because people win at gambling, but because people are not logical, but emotional.

    You have a MUCH better chance of getting struck by lightening on a sunny day than in winning the powerball lotto. The older version of 6 numbers out of 40 or 50 numbers (can’t remember how many) was like 13 million to one, and now that you add in the powerball as well, I have no idea what the odds are, but you can bet it is probably 100 million to one or some such number.

    With what you have told us about “Victor” you don’t surprise me telling me this about him. It figures LOL

    • Funnier still, Joyce, was the time a tremendous thunderstorm rolled through. Victor was watching television while this storm was “walkin’ and talkin'” and I mentioned that he might want to unplug everything because the lightning was striking so close. He scoffed and said (AND I QUOTE), “I’ll win the lottery before we ever get struck by lightning.”

      No sooner had the words escaped his mouth than a bolt of lightning struck the transformer about 30 yards from our house, causing the television to implode. Never saw anything like it, in my life. BOOM and pffffffffft!!!!! I just glared at him and told him to run out and get that lotto ticket.

      Jeeeeez. (rolling eyes)

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