I have just joined this forum. I haven't had any involvement or contact with twi in over twenty years, but from birth to the age of about 12, twi was a constant presence in my life.
I was raised by a single mom, and whatever adults were around at the time. I was a mini-wow three times, and we lived in a lot of roommate situations with other wayfers aside from that.
My mom used the wooden spoon, but never to excess. I was always informed when I was misbehaving, told what the consequences would be if it happened again, and given sincere loving hugs after being spanked. I don't remember anyone being allowed to discipline me who mom did not explicitly trust, and I don't remember any instances (besides the few I will illustrate later) of someone taking it upon themselves to discipline me harshly or with out cause.
I have a lot of fond memories of people I grew up around, and lived with. Great folks in Spokane like Tom Lipenski and his family, Skip and Ellen, and Blair and Farron (sp?), or in Prescott, AZ like the Peters.
I have not so great memories of our first WOW leader in Jackson, Mississippi in 1975-1976, or our third in Prescott in 1981-1982. Both were WC, I believe, and reading other folks experiences, that fact makes some sense.
Linda, our WOW leader in Miss. sytematically abused me, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. I was 4 or 5 at the time. Fortunately for me this did not take place for longer than a few months, as she left before the year was over. I am not sure of all details of why she left. I know she obviously had a lot of problems. In discussing these issues with my mother, as an adult, I came to realize that Linda was verbally and physically abusive to her during this time.
I have done a lot of work on my own, and in therapy, dealing with the abuse. The effects of this type of abuse, adult female on a male child, can be very different from the abuse perpetrated upon children by adult males. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties, that the mental health care establishment recognized this. As a teen, I had a therapist tell me that this abuse was irrelevant to my depression and suicidal tendencies. Heh. If there are other childhood sexual abuse survivors, particular men who were abused as boys, I will be happy to refer them to some great resources. If this happened to you, I beg you to not shrug it off, in a misguided effort to be macho, to be a man. Our society still, though this is changing, views this kind of abuse with a wink and a nod, like you were lucky to sexually initiated by a full grown woman while you were still a boy. That's sick and wrong, turn the genders around, and think of it if you must. Anytime an adult uses a child sexually, it's wrong. And it teaches the kid some really screwed up things about power dynamics, affection, love, and sex.
Anyway, what I haven't worked on directly is the spiritually abuse. I haven't denied it either. I'm just getting through this crap the best I can. It's funny I remember all these hippies coming into fellowship during the 70's, who'd looked for the Truth all over. Meditation, Astrology, Reincarnation, drugs, what-have-you. I guess I kinda turned into one of those. I've dabbled in all sorts of subcultures, and unorthodox belief systems. I did my fair share of LSD...(and your share, and his share, and her share....) I've tried as best I can to seperate the wheat from the chaff. I am very wary of dogma, now. I don't want any second-hand god. I have my relationship with the divine, you have yours.
I used to tell the boys down at the Mason's Lodge, my faith is Christian, but my practice is Zen.
So anyway... Anybody else, twi kid veterans in particular, interested in using this thread, or perhaps new one, for looking at dealing with our brainwashing and indoctrination from an early age, if not birth?
thanks to all of you for having this space for healing. I look forward to the process.