I’ve been waiting for an appropriate “first” Calamity Rae blog post to set this space off. Yesterday, less than 24 hours after this blog went live, this story dropped in my lap. Or more apt, Marianne Theresa-Johnson Reddick, dropped dead. The story, first run by channel 4 in Reno, (an NBC affiliate), has gone semi-viral. What’s the problem?
“The Reno Gazette Journal President & Publisher John Maher tells News 4 the obituary was sent in via a self-service online submission. The obituary appeared in the print edition of the newspaper today, September 10th. The on-line version of the obituary has been removed as the newspaper is investigating the circumstances surrounding the placement of the obituary.”
Before you get your panties all in a bunch, the newspaper admitted that the date of Marianne’s death was a MISPRINT on their part, and upon further investigation, a woman by the same name died on August 30th.
Although, this blog post isn’t about that. The truth over whether or not the online submission was a real obituary written by the six of eight remaining children to MTJR (I sure as shit am not going to write out that woman’s full name every time I reference her) is not what Calamity Rae cares about (although, my gut tells me it’s real). That is such an obvious distraction to what the real problem is: CHILD ABUSE and the oh-so-predictable responses from those who condemn adult children of child abusers for any sign of retaliation, acknowledgment, or dog forbid – justice. Even if that justice comes in the form of this wretched woman finally taking her last curdled breath and her children coming together to the front lines (literally) and making her atrocities publicly known by offering up exactly what an obituary does: offers an account of that person’s life.
Truth, in many circumstances, is not pretty. Where is it written that an obituary should be falsified in order to preserve a monster’s false identity? “Rachel, hasn’t anyone ever told you that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Yes, they have.
Except, that does not apply here. As I’ve stated many times before, the nature of abuse lies in the power of silence. People who commit suicide, who were abused as children, do not commit suicide because they are depressed or live with Chronic, Lifetime PTSD. They commit suicide because of the silence that surrounds their abuses but are unbearably loud in their own heads so that the only way to turn off the bullhorn is to break your own neck.
Just so we’re clear: I’m responding to the comments left on the news channel 4 article page. The fucking finger-waggers. Those who nauseatingly and self righteously condemn the anger of an abuse victim but not the abuser. And I often wonder about those types. How one can justify such an ignorant stance; maybe because they are abusers, themselves.
Let’s get one thing very straight. No one “just moves on” from repeated, prolonged abuse as a child. Victims/ Survivors “manage”. That is how they live their lives. They manage it from one day to the next. To state, confidently, that after so many years, we (adult children of child abusers) should no longer carry anger is to say that we should not be human. We should not have feelings. When you say that we should not “live in the past”, you are saying that we should not remember. The kicker is: none of us WANT to remember, but it comes back to us in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, and triggers. It comes back to us because we have a brain injury, directly caused by our abusers, called PTSD.
I digress. To the six of those eight remaining children: I admire you. I stand behind you, your form of justice and acknowledgment, and I advocate that more victims of child abuse do the same. Because as we all know, very well, the justice system is a broken system for us. Your obituary was not “vicious”, as the media would love to portray. The obituary was eloquent, mature, and unflinching. There was no childish name-calling. There was no over-stated joy with regards to the death of Marianne. I heard no one say they were dancing on her grave. There was only the truth.
Here is the obituary prior to its banishment and unedited:
UNEDITED VERSION OF THE SUBMITTED OBITUARY:
January 4, 1935 Sept. 30, 2013
Marianne Theresa Johnson- Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Sept. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.
On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the afterlife reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.
Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”. Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.
I do hope my readers took notice to the part of the obituary (toward the bottom) in BOLD. Think about who we claim to be as a nation. Who you claim to be as a person. Who are we? And more importantly, who are you? Before we dictate to the world “humanitarian ideals”, we need to take that cliched hard look in the mirror.
Shame on those of you who deny acknowledgement, justice, or reparations to victims of child abuse. And shame on you for perpetuating the shame and silence that IS the driving force behind child abuse. You want to keep us in the closet. The same closet most of us hid in when we cried as children, trembling with fear.