For quite some time now, I’ve had on my mind to write about how so many things in my life happen twice. Not just twice in an ordinary way, but in some way that is significant, notable, remarkable, unusual or weird. For example, I have been married twice, as many people have (so that’s not notable in and of itself), but in each marriage I have had four children…as many people have (so that’s not notable, either).
What strikes me about my ‘two sets’ of children is that each set is three girls and a boy, in that order. And with each set, I have been ‘attacked’ and falsely accused by the government of things which led to my children being taken from me (I will address these “episodes” at some other time – they are the reason I am a Legal Studies student…). The first time, I was not able to recover my children from the long arm of the law; the second time, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I knew what I had to do to defeat a lying and thieving government – and I did it.
I am happy to say that my youngest four children weathered their ‘adventure’ well – far beyond what I dared hope throughout that long, awful year – and have been home again, and thriving, for nearly four years. And I was given the focus for “my latter half”: the determination not only to complete my Bachelor’s Degree (after three decades of procrastination and excuses), but to major in Legal Studies so I can come to understand the enemy our government has become to the people of this nation…
“Those of us living in what we consider free societies often feel secure that if we comply by laws, pay our taxes, and maintain other civic duties we should not live in fear of government officials entering our homes and disrupting our families”. This quote comes from an article about a family in Belfast and their dog. The pup, Lennox, was”a disaster waiting to happen” in a ruling that upheld Lennox’s death sentence not on the basis of any past or current behavior, but on a projection that he might be aggressive at some point in the future. The author asks, “Imagine if a human defendant were convicted on these grounds!” – while the fact is, innumerable families are convicted (literally) and given a ‘death sentence’ exactly this way. Read An Outrage in Belfast: The Sad Case of Lennox, the Dog
Children, pets…it’s all the same to wrong-minded “authorities” who misuse policy. I speak from experience, and the ‘stories’ of these families, as well as my own, are the driving force behind my decision to become a Legal Studies student and my commitment to my studies ♥
On to another example…
A year before my family’s run-in with “child protective services” (which, by the way, began with some unknown person’s “call of concern” to what is known as DHS here in Oklahoma over my homeschooling my children – and it mattered not one whit to DHS that homeschooling is a right guaranteed to parents by the Oklahoma state constitution…), I woke up one morning before dawn with that creepy feeling you get when someone is staring at you. I asked my husband to turn on the nightstand light, and found myself eye-to-eye with…a frog – who had made himself comfortable on my pillow. Yeah, I thought that was a little weird, so much so that I did something I did not ‘normally’ do back at that stage of my life: I looked up what symbolism there is regarding frogs. I wasn’t expecting anything good, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, symbolically, frogs are * Luck * Rebirth * Renewal * Metamorphosis * Transitions *; I also read that many Asians believe frog energy is a link between the dead and the living. All well and fine, but I didn’t know what to make of that information; I decided to think of the frog as a sign that some change was coming, and to hope that the change was good.
As ‘luck’ would have it, a few weeks later I received a phone call from an insurance company informing me not only that my first husband had died, but that he had left a life insurance policy and I was the beneficiary – to the tune of $50,000. Now, it would seem on the surface that this is awful rather than good (or lucky), but my first husband had been very ill for quite some time with a rare form of cancer, so it was not awful that he had died, but a rather a relief that he had ‘transitioned’ at last and was no longer suffering. The insurance policy, and the money, was a complete surprise to me; my current husband said to me, “that was the last, best thing he ever did for you.” Sad, but true. And I then had no doubt about the symbolism of the frog on my pillow.
Unfortunately, while that $50,000 was a great help to me, the money also became a tremendous source of contention with my current husband. We had been having ‘difficulties’ for quite some time, and I thought of the money as due me for the hell I’d lived through in my first marriage; while I spent a considerable amount of the insurance money on my youngest four children (remember, the oldest four had long been lost to me), I spent at least an equal amount on making life in my second marriage less of a living hell for myself. I bought myself a truck so I would no longer have to rely on my husband or his family for transportation, paid off an old student loan, and paid tuition to attend paralegal school (thinking, I would need some means to support myself if push-came-to-shove and I had to leave this marriage). My husband wanted an XBox360, which I promised to buy for him after I completed paralegal school; I just knew he would devote himself to that thing rather than the children, and I also knew I was going to need him to help me get through the coming months of school. I promised the XBox360 in return for help getting through school; my husband demanded the XBox immediately.
The XBox360 issue nearly killed us; my refusal to buy the thing immediately turned my husband into a tyrant and the next ten months turned into a living hell. I was attending paralegal school, homeschooling my children, and working ‘to boot’ while my husband spent every available minute playing his old XBox. When DHS showed up at my front door one morning (that “call of concern”, remember), my husband informed DHS I was insane – the truth was, I was exhausted but nowhere near insane. To make a long story short, my husband’s lies to rid himself of me backfired, and DHS took the children away (rather than send me away and leave my husband with the children). All of this over a stupid XBox 360.
Fast-forward to this week:
As I wrote in my last post, my husband’s XBox 360 died this week (yes, he finally did get an XBox 360), and as much as I’ve been suffering the effects of that, my ‘poor’ son Zack has been suffering even more. Zack loves to play Halo, and spends no small amount of time studying to earn “Halo time.” I have been having quite a difficult time imagining Zack having to go through the entire upcoming summer with no way to play his favorite game (don’t worry, the boy spends a great deal of time outside playing – he is an outdoor boy and I’m grateful we live out in the country where he can play ‘wild and free’); worse, my husband blamed my son for the demise of the XBox. Poor Zack has been hunting for spare change, collecting coins and wondering aloud how much he needs to save to buy a new XBox360 and asking me how long that might take him.
Well, now we come back to critters and symbolism. As I write this, it’s the middle of Friday night (about 2 a.m.). Wednesday evening, as I was taking a break from studying and going into my bedroom to change out of my pajamas (yes, my schedule is a bit “off”), one of my daughters called to me from the kitchen, “Mom! Come here NOW – there’s a snake in here!” Oh, I knew that could not be good, and I could hardly bring myself to look into the pantry (which has no door) where Trinidad was pointing; sure enough, there was a very large snake coiled up in a pile of icky loops on the very top shelf, on top of my containers of rice and cereal. I started screaming for my husband, who begrudgingly got up from the nap he was taking, to come take a look. It wasn’t pretty.
I would have taken pictures if I didn’t have the camera memory card in my computer – or, maybe not since I was so totally beside myself with disgust. My husband managed to catch the snake, grabbing it by the throat, and he yelled at me, “drive me somewhere, quick!” We ran out to my truck, and I drove “far, far, away” to a field where my husband flung the snake out the passenger side window. I was still beside myself with disgust, and completely unnerved. All that night every little thing startled me, and it didn’t help that our dog George kept barking in his sleep. I usually stay up all night studying, but that night I couldn’t study and I couldn’t have slept if I tried.
At some point, though, it dawned on me that I’ve seen pictures of Hindu gods wearing snakes as bracelets; it occurred to me that maybe snakes aren’t bad, and maybe there was something good to be found in the snake’s visit to my home, and especially my pantry. And sure enough, when I looked it up, it turns out that snakes are associated with the Hindu god Vishnu – who happens to be the primary deity of the Hindu temple my family has been visiting recently. You can read about Vishnu and snakes here.
In short, Vishnu is the Preserver, the protector of all humanity, a deity who saves mankind from calamities which result from its own foibles. One icon of Vishnu shows him in a dreamlike state reclining on a mighty serpent floating on the primordial waters. Vishnu in the dream state represents the gap in time between ‘what is’ and the birth of a new age; this is where ‘prototypes’ are yet to be realized. ‘What was’ is embodied in the serpent floating on the waters.
I’ve been expecting a living expenses check this week, in the amount of $129. Not much, but better than the $69 it was the last time – and that was a couple of months ago. Friday afternoon, the check arrived, and it wasn’t for $129; the check was for nearly $2000. And the first thing I said – more for my son than for my husband – was “we’re buying a new XBox 360.”