I'm finding myself somewhat overwhelmed by all this.
On the one hand, it's something I've dreamed of all my life: working with
committed people toward finding solutions for the fundamental issues we face.
On the other hand, I find myself bogged down in daily living issues and
wondering how I can keep up.
I was born in Michigan to a young married couple in 1972. After my birth,
both my parents completed degrees (my mom became a lawyer, my dad a computer
programer). I grew up in a "revolutionary" but outwardly normal family. I
felt isolation as a child, which lessened as I grew older and started
connecting with people. My dad is Jewish, my mom Episcopalian, so I've never
really connected with any one religion. As an adult I consider myself
areligious but deeply spiritual in a remarkably unstructured way. My dad
taught me to cook, my mom taught me to write... There was some sexual abuse
(peergroup) that really altered the way I approached people for many years.
I went to a very liberal college for a year after I graduated high school,
then for lack of money switched to the local state university. The following
fall I got pregnant with my daughter. Her father and I had been together
since I left home (I met him shortly after I got to college), and were
planning on making a life together. Things deteriorated dramatically while I
was pregnant, and after the relationship fell apart when I was 7 months along,
it took me 5 months (til my daughter was 3 months old) to move out on my own.
The past three years have been spend with me pulling myself up by the
bootstraps, with help here and there.
When I went to college, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. When
my daughter was 3 months old, I realized that I really wanted to focus for a
while on helping women make an easier transition through pregnancy to
parenthood, and that has been my focus ever since.
I think that the way we give birth and the way we are born can deeply impact
the way we view the world, and many of the most violent societies have had the
most dehumanizing childrearing and birth practices. We are only now starting
to really see the connections.... It is no coincidence that the most brutal
method of childrearing was initiated in fifty to one hundred years before the
most brutal political system/society we have known came into power in Germany,
in the 20's, 30's and 40's.
So my focus so far is at a fundamental level... I think that child abuse
rarely happens when parents feel competent, supported, and connected. I think
eliminating child abuse is a key part of dealing with violence in general.
I actually think that in many ways our society is improving radically from
where we've been. We know more about the violence which occurs, because we
see it in front of us, but in many ways, violence which was once taken for
granted is now much less acceptable to us. I would like to see our society
take the next step and start encouraging people to live in situations which
don't encourage violence rather than simply teach people not to be violent in
a violent world.
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