Hello? Our Personal History? When the Professionals Forget.

I was at my son’s psychology appointment yesterday. The psychologist tells me, there is a free day camp for children in the community, by a lake, where they teach the kids to swim and canoe and fish. Totally ideal, except I know what camp she is referring to, and it is basically an introduction to Christianity with all these fun activities thrown in. I don’t want my children indoctrinated into any religion.
I tell her, a psychologist, that I want to be honest with my children at all times. That I do not want to gaslight them, it is the type of abuse that affects me the most. Gaslighting, for those of you who are not familiar with the term, means to mess with someone’s head, by telling them things are not real, or convincing them that their perception of reality is skewed. Even moving objects and claiming that the victim has done it and forgotten, is gaslighting.
She asks me ¨So, that’s not okay?¨ Meaning indoctrination. I have no idea why she had to ask that. Perhaps she is Christian. Probably Christians do not see their religion as related to the other Abrahamic faiths. They probably see their particular sect as benign, many of the Christians in my area are peaceful folk who manifest their practice in charitable deeds. But though it has progressed to such a point, I see it like smoking.
A gateway drug to cults, Islam, anything untrue. It still holds those cultures of shame and modesty, a twin evil I don’t want my daughter subjected to, especially. Believing in delusion, no matter how popular, is not something I want to do knowingly anymore, and I do not want my children subjected to this. If they choose to worship a fairy in the sky, I will be okay with it, but I am not going to set them up for it.
A psychologist. I don’t get it. The other psychologist I see doesn’t subscribe to religious fancy. I feel as if surrounded by crazies, after this. Why is there a trade off in communities like this? Give your children to us for brainwashing, and we will take them camping, swimming, etc. I am not paying that price. I would rather be the isolated atheist family, as I am.

Cooking with Bidah, is it blasphemy?

I cannot leave recipes alone. I cannot just cook them as they are written. The white flour goes out and whole wheat or oat flour goes in. The sugar I cut, not in half, but by two thirds. The fat content I will scrutinize. Can I substitute? With what? Yogurt? Applesauce? Up the liquid, cut the fat? Sometimes it turns out well, and other times, it turns out tasteless.
If I had any sort of professional experience or formal education, I am sure I would get it right. But I do not. I just muddle my way through, vowing at the start of a recipe that I will leave it alone, but when the horror keeps growing I talk myself into tampering.
Icebox cakes are my latest venture. I managed to bring it down to two ingredients in the body, and a fruit topping, raw fruit, no sugary filler. The only sugar is the cookie. You have to leave it alone for longer, to make it work, it needs to gel in the fridge for twenty four hours instead of a few. I use only the unsweetened heavy whipped cream, and the cookies.
I am not going to put up a recipe, and I don’t apologize for it, because all you have to do is layer that, and there are a million recipes online for it. I am just talking about it, because I get mildly obsessed with cooking, and I have to get it out of my system in print. So those recipe fans out there, don’t be disappointed, I cook so simply, you get my gist.
You can use graham crackers for this, and that cuts the sugar content down some, too. Wafer thin cookies are hard to find in my town, so flavored grahams are worth driving an extra mile for.
The children love it. It’s not a money-saver, but it still ends up cheaper than a store bought layered cream cake. Of course, it’s healthier than the one from the store, too. As much as cake can be healthy.
I need to move on now that I have figured this one out. Do something else no-bake and simple. I am working on it.

Missing Child

They are digging for you, fifteen minutes from where I now live, an hour away from my childhood home. I have been across the world since you went missing. I have had more than one marriage, more than one child. What have you had?

You are frozen in my mind. People see your picture, and they hear about how your mother describes you, but you were a child. You did not act like other thirteen year olds. We worried about you, us girls. We saw how you put on makeup, in a bold blue above your eyes, no subtlety, no deftness in the strokes, and we knew you were younger than us, in experience, no matter your age. You showed your immaturity, blatantly, and you were vulnerable. We wanted you to be safe, out of the city, not living with bad influences such as us.

You laughed a lot, had a million questions. Everything was novel, exciting. In pictures your hair looks so dark, but I saw it as blonde. One month younger than I. The last time I spoke to you I tried to convince you not to take risks. Not to run again, to put up boundaries and keep them, in terms you understood.

I called for you, as I normally did since getting home, daily. One day your mother hung up on me, hissing some rudeness into the phone. I was not used to adults being rude to me. I just wanted to talk to you. After the second time, days later, I gave up. A week later Christine called, told me you were on a milk carton, dated the day after I spoke last with you.

I went to school with your cousin Ann, coincidentally. She was a nice girl, smart, had a beautiful daughter who I was lucky enough to see at age five, long red hair, big eyes, happy and talkative. I hope they are well. I hope you can see them.

When I moved out of state, I called the police, every year, to see if there was news. I was afraid it would not make national, that you would be found, and I would not know. Now we have internet, databases, civilians trying to put two and two together where the police have not. I stopped calling, after ten years, and started checking the news online for your name. I thought you would be found. I did.

Even if they find you where they dig, you are not there. You are in the Bridge, in that summer of my heart. Where we made new friends. I will always be yours, I swear.