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Tue Feb 20, 2018, 01:00 PM

When I realized I was on my own...

And God wasn't coming to the rescue.

I was eight. My folks, who were heavy beer drinkers, were introduced to "black russians" at a party a hundred miles from home. The cousin that was having the party in his basement made a half-hearted attempt to stop my parents leaving, knowing they were completely drunk -- barely able to stand. My stepfather tried to hit him for interfering, then dragged my mother and me to the front seat of the car, and took off.

I was sandwiched against the passenger door. About ten miles out of town, out in the cornfield darkness of Illinois between towns, dad slumped forward and the car started to drift. I climbed onto my mother, who was passed-out in the middle, and took hold of the side of the steering wheel. I was herding the car into the right lane, fighting my dad's weight pulling the other way, all the while yelling and poking him to wake up. Every time he'd wake up a little, he'd push down on the accelerator.

We were going 85 miles an hour at one point. I couldn't get his foot off of the gas and I couldn't reach the brake. The only thing I could reach while still holding the wheel was the gear shift and the key. When a moment came that I had us going straight, I pushed the gear shift lever into neutral. The engine roared, and I thought it might blow up. I thought to turn the key off, and we coasted. It seemed like we coasted in weird silence for miles, getting slower until we stopped along the side of the highway. There was a moment of trembling relief, then the car started rolling backward. We'd come to a stop while going up a slight hill. The way I had the wheel turned to get us off the road was now pulling us back onto the road and the power steering had stopped when the engine stopped. So, it was a struggle to pull the wheel. We ended up in the ditch. I turned off the headlights and took out the keys. We sat there til morning.

Even now, whenever they refer to the incident, my parents say "God was looking out for us that night" or "God looks out for little children and old drunks."

I don't say anything.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply When I realized I was on my own... (Original post)
Freelancer Feb 2018 OP
trotsky Feb 2018 #1
Freelancer Feb 2018 #8
MLAA Feb 2018 #2
Freelancer Feb 2018 #7
SCantiGOP Feb 2018 #3
Freelancer Feb 2018 #9
Old Enough 2 Feb 2018 #4
Freelancer Feb 2018 #10
rurallib Feb 2018 #12
KPN Feb 2018 #5
Freelancer Feb 2018 #6
Iggo Feb 2018 #11
lindysalsagal Mar 2018 #13

Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 01:04 PM

1. Wow.

I'm glad you're here. Good thing you were the most responsible person in the car.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 06:04 PM

8. LOL. Consciousness is always good at 85mph

Thank you.

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Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 01:06 PM

2. Wow. Talk about a cool head in an emergency! So glad you are still with us!

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Response to MLAA (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 06:02 PM

7. Kids get used to stepping in and doing things when parents get drunk

but usually it's little stuff.

Thanks, though. I'm glad to be here, telling my bummer story.

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Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 01:38 PM

3. My "anti-conversion" story

I was taught in Catholic school that one person could live a good life and commit a mortal sin just before death -- eternal damnation and torture. Another person, even a Hitler, could lead a life of depravity and evil but if they made a genuine confession and swore just before death never to sin again all would be forgiven and they would spend eternity in heaven.
I figured that was no way run a universe. Once I realized that I was more rational and more merciful than god, the rest of the package was too ridiculous to accept.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 06:07 PM

9. I love that last line. That sums up SO much.

Thank you.

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Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 02:16 PM

4. God a Creation of Men


I was shamed by kids as a child for not going to church. My reason due to family conflict over religion coupled with fear of nuns, priests statues of suffering Jesus , creepy rituals, smoke, bells, genuflecting parishioners in an environment of subservience

The entire experience was surreal and unbelievable, a dramatic performance designed to intimidate and stoke fear into the believers.

As I grew older I realized the religious experience was set up to control rational and critical thinking through conditioning (think Pavlov and his salivating dogs) and lastly debilitating guilt.

At the age of 80 I take joy in not being a believer.


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Response to Old Enough 2 (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 06:16 PM

10. Never liked Catholic religion, but have affection for a lot of Catholics

A messed-up religion produces so many fine people. It's a conundrum to me. Do you have a take on it after 80 yrs?

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Response to Freelancer (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 09:49 PM

12. May I offer an opinion - it's the nuns

Very few are the infamous monsters that beat children.
As in many businesses the lowliest employees are the ones in closest contact with the clientele.
In this case it is the nuns - and most of them truly care deeply

What they care about is feeding the families, teaching the children and general concern about family well being.

That is my take from 12 years of catholic school, where I encountered many wonderful teaching nuns and a couple of duds.

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Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 03:03 PM

5. WOW!!!!

Sounds like the opening narrative to a riveting movie. You write really well.

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Response to KPN (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 05:53 PM

6. That's about all I get out about me before it starts sounding like a manifesto.

Thanks for the kind comment.

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Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 09:11 PM

11. Howcome god never just hides their keys?

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Response to Freelancer (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 10:27 PM

13. That's neglect and abandonment. They'd be jailed for that, now. Terrifying.

You're far nicer than I am.

Glad you survived.

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