Karma (Trigger Warning)

Do unto others as they shall do unto you. What goes around comes around. Karma in the western world has been described to be swift and almost instant. Traditionally as you trace it’s origin back Karma becomes something for the next life. If you work hard and are good in this life, in your next life you will have happiness, freedom from pain, and joy. You may end up as an animal. a bug, or a human. Humanity supposedly is the top of the spiritual totem pole before you reach ascension.

This is a super watered down explanation of Karma but without researching Karma itself and the religions that teach it, this is likely all you will learn. I have heard my entire life how evil I must be. In Christianity it was whispers about my mother, that she did something to deserve a heinous child like me. When I started practicing Buddhism and learning about every religion I could in my quest to find what I could believe in? I was told over and over I did something in my past life and this is part of my Karmic reward.

Horrible pain, repeat abuse, being treated as a subhuman. Yep. This is all self inflicted. I chose through actions that have been described to me as ranging from being a thief through murdering babies. The extremeness of the crime varying depending on whomever was trying to translate my Karma for me’s perspective on disability. Not once was I told anything good about me now. Based on past transgressions I am convicted without evidence, merely the hearsay of my spine and brain.

In this moment I am questioning my faith. I cannot stop it. I am angry with those who teach religion. Jaded16 posted a commentary on Womanist Musings about Shakti, which is power. She questions her religion. I have written countless times about how many times my asking questions to understand has caused others to reject me and now I am rejecting Karma. I do not believe that Karma is being taught properly.

For as long as I can remember I have loved before anything else. I have been swift to open my heart and even through the built up pain and the slow burning hatred of family that has developed, the distrust of others, I still love before all else. I tried to stop this once, and it nearly killed me. I don’t want bad things to happen to people. I work so hard to hide this part of me that I have a front of violence to protect my heart.

If I was born with this capacity to love, then how could I be some monster in a past life? Why would I be punished now when I love? This is not logical for me. I think of all the love I have tried to give or even just kindness, respect, or acknowledgment of humanity and all I have received from the majority is a statement that I am evil, a demon, or deserving of punishment.

Karma is disability hatred. Karma is being used as an excuse to debase people based on some small flaw, the flaw in the eye of the beholder. Karma is used to reject the fact that I am a person and it is used to excuse those that harm me.

Karma, I believe in some of the concepts but not that I am cursed by a past life. I cannot believe so and love myself. I am tired of feeling as if by feeling love I am going to be attacked. I can name many people I love, yet I cannot admit it out loud. I am so terrified that by loving someone or something it will either hurt me or be taken away that I can barely commit to a new cat in my life. The only reason I could do this was for Sprite’s well being. Even then I had a clause set out in case the commitment was too much. Incase I failed to love.

In my life I have had my defenses taken from me. I have been told many times to not fight back against oppressors lest they oppress me further. I have been told it is wrong to steal food when I am starving because I may go hungry in my future. There is no future if I am beaten to death or die from starvation. I have been told I am not a person because my body marks me as Other.

All of this under the word Karma. It is the same as when my father raped me in the name of the Christian God. God wanted him to wound me physically so that I now am worried about dating because I will have to explain the scars on the inside of my body if I allow another penis or fingers inside of me. If I make love to someone first I must expose my most vulnerable self to them in a way that I can barely write out. I must find those words and risk rejection because of our victim blaming rape culture.

When I am told that Karma will take care of those who wound me, I am being told that I shouldn’t bother trying to escape my “fate”. I am being told that I shouldn’t speak up. I am being told that I shouldn’t argue for my energy or health. I am being told that I am guilty if I do what is right for me.

I have realized more internalized abuse. I am too flexible with people, allowing them to stay in my life because they may suffer if I push back. Lately this has shown up clearest with caregivers. Each one has had an excuse for why it’s okay for me to be left in a state where it is clear they are not doing their job. “If you speak out my child will suffer.” “I will lose my job and have to quit school.” “It’s just this once, don’t say anything it was a mistake.” “If you report me, it’s bad Karma.”

Caregiverrs have said each of these things to me. Each one has goaded me because they are a human. I am expected to hunger, to feel pain, to lose things, to have my life be a shambles for their convenience. I am expected to pity my mother for choosing to eschew her education and her choice to embrace the very abuses that her own religion preaches instead of thinking. I am expected to pity someone for being less intelligent than I am.

I am tired of having to waste my energy on someone else’s conception of Karma. I no longer accept this entity called Karma. I will have another name for my beliefs. I wlll not accept the idea that your choices impacting you is my fault. I will not settle for second best. I am aware that I am intelligent and I will seek intelligence. If my body is in pain due to Karma, I did not deserve the abuses that put me into this state. It is the Karma waiting for others that they will face. It is my choice in how I deal with it but my disabilities are a marker of my survival. They are the war wounds of a soldier in a vicious battle that is pushed aside often for the comfort of others.

I am declaring war on this misinterpretation of Karma. No longer will I be told that this is my doing, that I chose to be beaten, starved, and broken. I will instead push those people away. I have people in my life like M that do not think I am a product of Karma, that love me. It is time for me to cut off people who aren’t worth my time.

I want to have more energy to talk with my friends, many of whom I have met through this blog. I want to have more energy to support them in their endeavors, and to succeed in my own. I want to have time to explore the world, and I want to have adventures again. I don’t give a (censored) about your feelings anymore abusers. I have to love me too. Loving me means leaving you to face your own version of Karma as cause and effect bite you in your butt. I will no longer deny that I like softer feelings of love, sometimes like pink, and truly relish my label of cat lady. I chose that label. I have desired it since I was a child.

I will embrace my creativity, even if it means someone is uncomfortable with what I choose to do. I will paint my walls red if I want to. I will sing. I will dance. I will not accommodate anyone else, because the people that matter don’t need accommodation that costs me anything and therefore I will meet their needs without even trying. I will not try and stretch myself to oblivion tolerating you. You can stay away unless you actually know how to learn. Only people who want knowledge are welcome in my life.

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6 Comments

  1. In short, you become a rouge agent in the cycle of abuse.

    I think the biggest issue I have with my family is the religious abuse. It’s hard to put a bead on because it was so well meaning. I’ve said before, if I could call my experience with Christianity anything, it woud be ‘well meaning harm’. You are not misrepresenting Karma. That’s what it is. Karma has a long history of being used to excuse cruelty to the poor. (This goes hand in hand with the caste system.) The idea of Karma is “You’re life sucks because you used to suck.” and even a step further “If I help you in the misery of your suffering, I could be keeping your from Nirvana longer.”

    I try to respect my friends’ religious convictions, but I can’t get over the fact that religion seems so stupid. Atheism, naturalism, and existentialism are the only things that make sense to me.

  2. I second rageomatic’s response and raise a third — Karma as a form of bartering heaven. I find the idea of Karma extremely capitalistic, you get good deeds worth of the good deeds you do or do not do. Also you’re completely correct, Karma can be used for self-depreciation.

    What actually gets me is just WHO decides what is right or wrong? Each action that we do is littered with subjectivity and grey areas that some people deciding what passes for right and wrong is just absurd now.

    Another thing: the Western world packages Karma as a desirable ideology, clearly packaging away all the problems under the gloss of it being an ‘exotic’ thought-process. Out here, Karma takes a more resigned form, of learnt helplessness even — which ends up enslaving people even more within religious bonds.

  3. I like that phrase Bartering Heaven. In the history of the Christian Churches (this includes Catholic, despite their best efforts) there was actually a payment system set up. The church Tithe started out as people trying to buy time out of Purgatory or straight into heaven. The church bilked people out of fortunes often. This is also when the idea that unbaptised children go straight to hell started. Then they could bill the mourners for money to send the child to heaven via dispensation. This helped lead to the reformation but the practice continues under other names.

    I hadn’t really thought about the packaging, perhaps this relates to my shopping style. Ignore the pretty package and get a look at the actual content. I save money on the ugly package with the more delicious gluten free cookies inside for some reason. It’s the same concept. No one wants to think about how much pain and oppression their faith causes and so they will add in elements of other faiths to make it more acceptable to themselves, so they don’t “rock the boat”. I make a habit of knocking the boat riders into the water not just rocking it though.

  4. You and Jaded’s replies helped me to do something this morning, when my internalized self hatred was trying to keep me from it. I appreciate knowing that other people see similar things to what I see. I admit that I enjoy having a religion and that is really the only reason I have one. I built it with no named dieties but there are some in history that I choose to respect (The Morrigan is one of those dieties that I respect) and others that I just ignore. It’s fairly much how the Roman’s and Greek’s faith system worked. Pick a god and go. AT least on the diety portion of the Religious quiz. My practices pretty much include trying to love though. I love myself. I love my cats. I love you. I love Jaded. I love most people. Most, not all. Some people are worthy of love, most in fact, but some will use that love as a weapon.

    I think even when I am disconcerted by the life of a rogue, I enjoy it too. I enjoy finding others who see outside the box that we are trained to live in. I enjoy knowing other people have escaped it, as best they can.

    I have a question for you, do you think any religion exists where it dominates a group (IE two people or more) where it is not used to subjugate someone?

  5. Well, I’m working on one, but no, off hand I don’t know of one that doesn’t subjugate people. Wicca is probably a pretty good shot.

  6. Actually I think I get closer to Atheism everyday. Wicca does subjugate people, but it isn’t as subjugatey as a lot of other religions. Usually the people doing the subjecting go with the Rede’s line “Do what you Will” above Harm None. There is a lot about Wicca that I feel is wrong as well. The idea that you can only do good or get punished is fine, but many are trying to imbue Karma into Wicca. It’s not an ancient religion as they say either (try the fifties) and I feel Wicca is fine for those who want it, but the contradictions and limitations do not suit me. When I practice magic (not Magick either) I will use whatever magic fits the need. Black, White, or Grey. Grey is even frowned on by the Wiccans because it’s apparently close to evil.

    I guess the point is, I think any religion with good and evil will subject someone to dehumanization for it’s own profit. That profit is not always financial. I was turned off of Wicca by the amount of Rede thumping that I witnessed and also by the number of fifty year old women that thought eight year old me was their messiah. The religion I practice has no Messiah. There are gods but they are not more divine than you or I, instead they are memories of historical gods meant to inspire and give form to things my brain will not accept without divinity attached. There is no good. There is no evil. There is merely existence. I choose my morals and they do not mesh with societies very well.


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