Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chapter Twenty Five: I talk to Jimmy about how long it takes for people to change in the hereafter

When I whisked myself back to Red River I met with Jimmy (James Dean) who came to see how I was getting along in Red River.  I told him I had talked to two people, Bella and Perry, who had been able to accept me without any negative responses which was a wonder to me.  I said they were just the sort of people I was looking for.  I asked him on the average how fast did it take family members to change in the hereafter who might have presented a problem on earth in their behavior toward me. He looked grave as though he knew this was a big problem to many people after they passed.  They were afraid to meet up with family members for fear they would clash with them just as they had on earth.
"Since you were the victim of molesting crimes related to your problems with family members, you are going to have a worse time," Jimmy said.  "I was the victim of a molesting crime so I know how that goes.  It probably contributed to my early death, the way it was handled or not handled however you want to look at it."
"I promised myself I would never talk to my father again unless he allowed me to talk about the molesting.  He never allowed me to discuss what happened, not with just one man but two who were angry at him, I suppose because he feared I might accuse him of being partially to blame, which he was.  He brought men too close. He was concealing his activities from my mother, which of course people did in those days, especially of a homosexual nature.  They concealed affairs with the opposite sex, too, but with not nearly as much fear as they did affairs with their own sex."
"People naturally marry and try to change if there is a terrible stigma attached to being homosexual.  I take it that is what your dad did."
"I assumed that is what he did.  I was always thinking about it as a child, trying to figure out what happened, what caused him to be that way.  I also feared to tell my mother because I thought it might lead to murder, hers, if she got mad and tried to talk to him about it. I am the only one of the sisters that deduced from what happened to me that our dad was doing this. I knew they would be very upset with me if I accused him of it, so I kept quiet for years.  I finally decided I could never tell them unless I got confirmation of it from another source which actually came from my mother.  She wrote about a suppressed memory in her memoirs about her life with my dad.  Oh those memoirs, what a firestorm they can create!  The sisters did not get what she was saying, but I did.  They read the memoir but they sort of didn't comprehend what the memory was about.  I talked to her about my  observations about him for the first time, and she was horrified.  She did not intend for this story to go any further.  She did not expect a daughter to confirm her story with observations of her own.  She ordered me not to disgrace the family and upset the grandchildren by telling them my interpretation, but I told her I already had told them.
Some of my sisters ended up blaming me for making him sound worse than he already was.  The trouble has never stopped, so now I find myself extremely nervous about seeing my dad, wondering if he has ever gotten enough control of his emotions to be able to discuss what happened."
"How long has he been here?"
"Let's see, he died when I was thirty six so it has been around forty six years."
"It would be hard for me to say.  I don't see any way to find out other than to see him.  But you apparently have a great deal of dread about what you might run into."
"I have a similar dread about running into any of my relatives especially on his side.  I have seen a cousin on his side who was close to my age.  That meeting went all right, but I am not at ease with the thought of meeting any of the other relatives.  This includes two of my dad's sisters who became very emotional if they could not keep control of the conversation.  I think they were trying to protect their family from criticism and censure.  I lived with one of these aunts for two years and I interacted with the other any number of times, but neither of them could tolerate being disagreed with. There are just too many relatives in his family who were explosive and hard to get along with.
I mean the whole bunch would need to change.  My dad and his oldest sister used to have huge arguments whenever they tried to talk or had to settle something to do with their dad's estate.  They mostly did not talk to each other.  I can't even imagine talking to my grandfather who would begin to shout in a most fearful manner when anyone disagreed with him. I would do almost anything to keep from talking to him."
"So now you are over here running around trying to avoid them?"
"Yes, and that is not at all how heaven is pictured in the religious books, meeting and greeting your relatives you have not seen for a long time and all is sweetness and light."
"I take it you do not have faith that it would be all sweetness and light if you met your grandfather?"
"I can't imagine how it could be," I said.  "My dad said that if he lost patience with them when they were punching cattle he would hit them with a bull whip. And he did not even drink. God only knows what he would have been like had he drank."
"What was his ethnic background?"
"Scotch.  Both of his parents emigrated to Utah from Scotland.  They pushed a handcart across the plains."
"Hmm, and you never ever saw him act with what could be called reason and calm during a disagreement?"
"No, never.  He was always defensive, but I thought the reason might be that he had married very late in life, around thirty years old.  Before that he was a cowboy riding the trails, a hired hand, earning money for his own string of horses and cattle. And I thought he might have gotten into the same behaviors as my dad, but the only way he knew to defend himself from gossip and speculation was to be very forbidding and to carry a big stick, so to speak."
"What about your grandmother?"
"I loved her.  I thought she loved me, but I doubt she ever suspected anything like that was going on, as she was a sheltered Mormon girl.  I doubt if such suspicions would even have occurred to her."
"Probably not.  She would not have suspected your dad, her son, of being involved in homosexual activities either?"
"I doubt it, but after she died I dreamed she came back to visit me.  She told me she had been in a hospital like place in the hereafter for about four or five years with a nervous breakdown.  I wasn't at all surprised, but I asked her why she had to be there, and she said, 'Because I did not understand what happened to my sons.'
Two preceded her in death before they were fifty, and another followed her in death a year after.  My dad survived her but had many near death experiences.  In fact, he was not expected to survive his alcoholism by his doctors at the time of her death."
"You visited with your grandmother back then in the hereafter?"
"Yes, it was after I had a near death experience and I think she was worried about me. But she came to me, not the other way around.  I would not have known where to find her in the hereafter."
"It sounds like nearly everyone in your family was in dire danger of dying at that time."
"Well, I was, I know that.  My dad was.  My cousins who were bad alcoholics were not expected to survive many years either.  One died when he was twenty two of an alcohol related death, another eventually died of alcoholism, but did live to his sixties."
"Such a family was probably going to have unusual reasons for being so prone to substance abuse."
"Yes, but my Grandfather took a vow never to drink.  My mother said he told her it was because his dad drank up a fortune and went broke before he died, leaving him to take care of his mother for many years.  But my mother was prone to exaggeration so I am not sure I can believe everything she said, either, but all his sons took to drink and my grandfather was not able to prevent it, even with his trusty bull whip."
"I would say you do have problems when it comes to meeting up with your relatives in the after life.  Perhaps it would be wise for you to approach them with caution.  Maybe it would be better if you just put the word out that you are here but you only want a congenial meeting.  You can do that, you know, so you can advise them that they must prepare to come in peace."
"They have to know that I have broken ranks with the family over my memoir.  I have discussed the fact that I thought there were homosexual problems both with my dad and my granddad.  Some of the cousins may have been into these activities also, and some of the other brothers.  But I am saying that when there is secrecy there could be more pressure on the young to become a part of these activities.  I got molested.  If I had been a boy I probably would have been molested a great deal more than I was in that kind of environment.  I am saying that when there is so much secrecy surrounding these activities, there is less protection for the young, more chance of older men turning predator and going after teens and underage teens and even children as they did me.
I was only five when my dad's pal attacked me.  I was ten when another hired man made physical contact of a sexual sort.  I am judging what might have happened to my dad on his dad's ranch from what happened to me on these ranches.  And I did not even go below and camp out with the men as the boys were forced to do in those days.  They did a lot more camping out then, because they didn't have trucks, and roads, so they could truck their horses closer to the winter ranges. "
"What you are saying you think might be considered inflammatory remarks in any world, on earth or in the hereafter?"
"Well, aren't they?  Aren't we still perfecting ourselves?  I am sure these problems are not all been solved just because we die and go to heaven.  We cannot be miraculously transformed into perfect beings, can we?"
"No, we can't, and you are wise to perceive that."
I resolved to do as Jimmy suggested, put the word out to my relatives that I wanted them to come in peace if they were to see me, but if they could not because of my inflammatory remarks, maybe they should wait a while.

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