"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Battling the Bulimic Beast

Repost from 11/1/04

Fasting and My Campaign for Food
I survived my fast this weekend, despite being tempted by Halloween candy. For three days, I ate nothing; just powder 5 times and lots and lots of water. Did I mention the powder tastes like piss? You get used to it after a while, but usually your gagging it down the first time you taste it. Today, I’m eating fruits and vegetables, and powder. Slowly this week I will add back other foods, but remain on the diet and powder for another 15 days. It’s definitely been a test of will, especially considering my battle with bulimia. Knowing that you can control what you eat, and that you are NOT a slave to food feels totally empowering. Most of my life, my eating has been out of control, culminating in a serious eating disorder I battled for years. Since eating disorders are an emotional disease, it’s a demon I will fight the rest of my life. Although, I haven’t binged and purged or abused laxatives for years. But lets start from the beginning of this nasty tale shall we?

Broken Home Blues
I started comforting myself with food around the time of my parents divorce (first grade). In those days, kids could walk to the store by themselves, and my best friend and I would walk to the store and stock up on candy. I would proceed to devour the candy like a rabid beast, eating it all up within minutes. I would then move on to whatever sugar or carbs was available in my friend’s cupboard. Eating was so comforting; it made me feel sooooo good. I think binge eating helped me deal with the emotional turmoil occurring in my life.

Puking Up My Problems
The problem was, I would eat to the point of nausea. The only relief after eating so much would be to throw up. I didn’t do this for weight reasons, I was olive oil skinny. I just ate so much I had to vomit to relieve my stomach. Sometimes after vomiting, I would eat more, and vomit again. At first I had to stick my finger down my throat, then with experience, I only had to lean over the toilet bowl to achieve the desired effect.

Evidence of Crimes
I wasn’t too secretive about my binging and purging as a child. I’m sure my best friend noticed, and looking back now she realizes what I was doing. We just were not sure what it all meant, except that I was a candy whore. At home, I started doing things to feed my addiction like breaking into my older sisters Christmas cookies, or stealing change out of their bedrooms. The worst thing I probably did was stealing my older sister’s coin collection to use for candy. I just had to have my food fix and I really couldn’t help myself.

Depressed Turbulent Teenage Years
The bulimia became worse as I turned into a Depeche Mode teenager. Full of angst and self-hatred I did a lot of bad things to my body. When my mom married my step-dad, life got even worse. I hated my step-dad, and he hated me. He took over all the cooking and the kitchen. I rebelled by puking up every dinner he made for us. I think it was about control. I continued to binge and purge on junk food, but became more secretive about it. I remember one friend in high school taking me aside, and expressing concern about what I was doing. She had listened outside the bathroom door while I was puking up the junk food I scarfed down. I appreciated her concern, but really didn’t think I had a problem.

First Love Misery
My first serious high school boyfriend also suffered from bulimia. Misery loves company, and there is nothing more comforting to a bulimic that hooking up with an accomplice. We used to hit up all you can eat restaurants and eat ourselves silly. After the debauchery fest, we would drive to some abandoned parking lot and puke up all the food. It was just something we did together, and we really didn’t think about it too much.

Crazy Train Marriage
When I got pregnant at 19, I continued the binging but gave up the purging. Then, after my son was born, and when the marriage became more abusive and out of control, I took it up again. It was never a weight issue, after I had my son I was still 125 pounds (I’m 5’11). Food was my best friend, my comfort. Purging just helped relieve my body from the ill effects of binging. It was also something I could do really well.

Bezerkeley Buddy
After escaping the marriage and while attending UC Berkeley, I made friends with another neurotic grrrl, who also had bulimia. Once again, I had a partner in crime. We used to go on shopping sprees, buy tons of junkie food, and eat, and eat, and eat. We would then look at each other with empathetic watery eyes, after one of us returned from the bathroom. We knew by then, what we were doing was wrong. We knew it was bulimia. We just felt so out of control of our lives that we could not stop.

Those Little Pink Pills
At this time I started abusing laxatives. I realized that I could both puke up the food, and rid it from my body through laxatives. Let me tell you, laxative abuse is no fun, it fucks with your body big time. The laxative abuse can further do permanent damage to your digestive system. It’s really NOTHING to play around with.

Time to Take Control
I got serious with a boyfriend my senior year at Cal. He moved in with me, and it became hard for me to hide my problem. Realizing I was out of control and headed down a bad path, I got help. I took a semester off from school for medical purposes, and the University monitored my health through counseling, a nutritionist, and a psychiatrist. I made a conscious effort to control my eating, and have control of my life. Since that time, my condition has been somewhat controlled.

Conquering the Beast
Eating disorders are lifelong diseases. I still suffer from after effects in my teeth (they rot from the inside out) and occasional irritable bowel syndrome. Who knows how fucked up my esophagus is. I try not to think about that one. I haven’t purged or used laxatives in years. I still occasionally will binge, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge and quickly scarf down food. Food is still an addiction to me. That is why I feel so empowered doing this diet. The mind is a powerful weapon, and knowing that I can control my diet feels liberating. By doing this, I prove to myself that I am strong and in control my life.

Thanks to all of you for your support and for reading my crazy shizat. I posted some new pictures on my photoblog.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kill Witches (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

Repost from 10/29/04

There is no doubt that certain witches can do
marvellous things with regard to male organs,
for this agrees with what has been
seen and heard by many . . .
Malleus Maleficarum I.9

"Kill Witches" (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

"You should not let a sorceress live." (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

"I should have no compassion on these witches; I should burn them all."

"The damned whore Reason....
The Devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may well lie with what seems to be a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while 'tis only the Devil in the shape of a woman. 'Tis the same with women, who may think that a man is in bed with them, yet 'tis only the Devil; and...the result of this connection is oftentimes an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil...."
-Martin Luther Quotes

The Wicked Witch
Since childhood, I have identified myself as a witch. I have always had eerie feelings of decapitation or hanging that I attribute to past life experiences. I love the color black, I’m highly sexual, odd, and a sharp tongued, smart and independent woman. I most definitely would have been burned at the stake if I lived in Europe during the Burning Times and Witch Craze. Recently a moon circle invited me to join their closed and personal group. I attended a Yule celebration but never committed to the circle. I’m just not ready to commit to any religion as yet. During WTO I participated with an activist circle led by Starhawk. I have cast circles with small groups and on my own, and practice a sort of “kitchen magic”. I still pray every night to God, and sometimes attend Lutheran church services, and I have a Buddhist altar in my bedroom. (I obtained a gohonzo at 18, and need to really practice). Very eclectic in my religion and my beliefs, I still strongly identify as a modern day witch.

Samhain Approaches
With Samhain approaching, and the full moon in effect, I thought I would write a post on Witches. From this website here is a Wiccan definition of Samhain
“Pronounced "sow-in," Samhain is the time during which life and death walk hand in hand. On this day, the veil that separates the worlds (our plane of living and the plane of the dead) is at its thinnest. Many things are possible on this holiday. The God has arrived at the edge of live and is conceived as a seed that will be reborn soon. The Goddess in the form of the Crone rules, teaching us lessons and allowing our ancestors to guide us. this is a time to remember and honor those who have gone before us. Because it is the Wiccan "new year" it is also a time to cut away practices and behaviors that inhibit our growth, and the Crone is present to assist in removing that which is unhealthy from our lives. It is also a time to plan for the future through divination practices. Appropriate rituals include contacting ancestors within sacred circle, honoring the lives of those who have gone before us, releasing destructive habits, divination activities, and all transformation rituals.” How fitting that I am detoxing and releasing toxins from my body at this time!

The Burning Times
One of the worst holocausts in history was the Witch Craze or Burning Times that happened in Europe. Thousands to millions of women were murdered for “witchcraft”. A small trinkle of this can be seen in US history with the Salem witch trials. This hysteria still lingers today.

Whose a Witch?
King James I estimated that the ratio of women to men who succumbed to witchcraft was twenty to one. Of those formally persecuted for witchcraft, between 80 to 90 percent were women.

Women accused of killed for witch craft typically were:
Native healers,
Single women who lived alone, and/or who owned property,
People against whom neighbors had a grudge,
Practitioners of ancient Pagan rituals,
Innocent individuals who were accused by other victims, often under torture,
People who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sexualy attractive or sexually active women

From This Site
"For three centuries of early modern European history, diverse societies were consumed by a panic over alleged witches in their midst. Witch-hunts, especially in Central Europe, resulted in the trial, torture, and execution of tens of thousands of victims, about three-quarters of whom were women. Arguably, neither before nor since have adult European women been selectively targeted for such largescale atrocities.

The process of formally persecuting witches followed the harshest inquisitional procedure. Once accused of witchcraft, it was virtually impossible to escape conviction. After cross- examination, the victim's body was examined for the witch's mark. The historian Walter Nigg described the process:
...she was stripped naked and the executioner shaved off all her body hair in order to seek in the hidden places of the body the sign which the devil imprinted on his cohorts. Warts, freckles, and birthmarks were considered certain tokens of amorous relations with Satan.

Should a woman show no sign of a witch's mark, guilt could still be established by methods such as sticking needles in the accused's eyes. In such a case, guilt was confirmed if the inquisitor could find an insensitive spot during the process.
Confession was then extracted by the hideous methods of torture already developed during earlier phases of the Inquisition. "Loathe they are to confess without torture," wrote King James I in his Daemonologie. A physician serving in witch prisons spoke of women driven half mad:
...by frequent torture... kept in prolonged squalor and darkness of their dungeons... and constantly dragged out to undergo atrocious torment until they would gladly exchange at any moment this most bitter existence for death, are willing to confess whatever crimes are suggested to them rather than to be thrust back into their hideous dungeon amid ever recurring torture.

Unless the witch died during torture, she was taken to the stake. Since many of the burnings took place in public squares, inquisitors prevented the victims from talking to the crowds by using wooden gags or cutting their tongue out. Unlike a heretic or a Jew who would usually be burnt alive only after they had relapsed into their heresy or Judaism, a witch would be burnt upon the first conviction.
Sexual mutilation of accused witches was not uncommon. With the orthodox understanding that divinity had little or nothing to do with the physical world, sexual desire was perceived to be ungodly. When the men persecuting the accused witches found themselves sexually aroused, they assumed that such desire emanated, not from themselves, but from the woman. They attacked breasts and genitals with pincers, pliers and red-hot irons. Some rules condoned sexual abuse by allowing men deemed "zealous Catholics" to visit female prisoners in solitary confinement while never allowing female visitors. The people of Toulouse were so convinced that the inquisitor Foulques de Saint-George arraigned women for no other reason than to sexually abuse them that they took the dangerous and unusual step of gathering evidence against him.

Witch-hunting secured the conversion of Europe to orthodox Christianity. Through the terror of the witch hunts, reformational Christians convinced common people to believe that a singular male God reigned from above, that he was separate from the earth, that magic was evil, that there was a powerful devil, and that women were most likely to be his agents. As a by-product of the witch hunts, the field of medicine transferred to exclusively male hands and the Western herbal tradition was largely destroyed. The vast numbers of people brutalized and killed, as well as the impact upon the common perception of God, make the witch hunts one of the darkest chapters of human history although the age of witch hunts had a distinct beginning and end, the rhetoric of witch hunters belongs to a discursive pattern with substantial continuities stretching at least from the time of Christian origins into the present day."

From This Site
"The first and most influential of the witch hunting manuals was the notorious Malleus Maleficarum authored by the Dominican monks and inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. It was followed by other texts that described, often in lurid detail, the alleged practices of witches, or that outlined the procedures for conducting a trial of a witch. These texts established the principle elements in the fantastic structure of witch beliefs that permeated Europe for two centuries: that witches indulged in abominably deviant sex with one another and with the devil, that they interfered in natural reproduction, that they caused death and disease, that they renounced their Christian faith—in short that they threatened every form of religious and secular order.

Prophets liken idolatry to “whoring,” thus linking femininity to false worship and illicit sex; and the early church father Tertullian assimilates all women to Eve as “the devil’s gateway,” thus linking femininity to transgression and death.
Published in 1486, the Malleus was accompanied by a Papal Bull exhorting secular authorities to extend all necessary aid to the authors’ efforts to crush the threat of witchcraft. The text is divided into three parts that define witchcraft, describe what witches do, and instruct judges in the conduct of a witch’s trial. Reprinted continually during the age of witch hunting, the work profoundly influenced the course of the hunts."

European Witch Hunt Links

These books were very influential to me in my study of witchcraft.

Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers
by Barbara Ehrenreich
From Amazon.com "This dandy little booklet quickly and concisely explains why it is that 93% of the doctors in this country are men even though women make up 70% of all healthcare workers. If you assumed that men are the doctors because they were the pioneers of the healing arts, then this booklet will open your eyes. Barbara Ehrenrich and Deirdre English show how, for reasons of class politics, women's suppression and naked greed, wealthy men discredited, persecuted and outright killed the wisewomen healers, leaving themselves to be the sole practitioners of their "scientific" medicine. The information presented here gives a whole new perspective to medical history and points to some of the causes underlying our current healthcare mess."

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today
by Margot Adler
Popular demand for this clear-sighted compendium of information about the rebirth of Pagan religions hasn't waned since its initial publication in 1979. Distinguished by the journalism of National Public Radio columnist Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon explains this diverse and burgeoning religion's philosophies and activities while dispelling stereotypes that have long been associated with it. Most people don't realize that pagan simply refers to pre-Christian polytheistic nature religions, such as the various Native American creeds, Japanese Shinto, Celtic Druid, and Western European Wicca. Originally, the word pagan meant "country dweller" and was a derogatory term in Rome in the third century A.D., not unlike calling someone a hick today. If you find yourself feeling queasy when you hear the words witch or pagan, a healthy dose of reeducation via Drawing Down the Moon could be the cure. --P. Randall Cohan

Spiral Dance, The - 20th Anniversary : A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition
by Starhawk
"The original book that brought Goddess worship to the public eye has marked its 10th anniversary, yet it still remains an integral part of the Wiccan canon. The Spiral Dance leans heavily toward the feminist aspects of Wicca, but Starhawk's comments on the new edition make it clear that she is aware of the growing male presence in witchcraft. However, this edition is not some watered down, politically correct revision of the original. Very little is changed aside from the addition of Starhawk's observations on how the book has weathered its first decade, and what few changes she would make if she were writing it today. Readers interested in learning more about contemporary witchcraft, whether considering Wicca as a way of life or simply desiring to understand this earth-based religion, will find a wealth of information in The Spiral Dance, and will notice that it becomes one of the most frequently consulted books in their Wicca libraries."

On a personal note, today I started my 3 day fast….no food. Yesterday I ate only fruits and vegetables. Its amazing how in control you feel of your life when going through a cleanse. It’s a great thing for anyone who felt "out of control" for a spell. It helps take back the power of your mind and body, and know that you can do anything you put your mind to.

Blessed Be!


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