A Cry of Spiritual Distress

 

 

I will like to share with you a poem from my book, Splendor from Ashes that depicts how domestic violence can also affect you that you may even experience something like a crisis of faith which is really a cry of distress. Eventually you hold onto faith with your last breath and is sufficient to empower the transformation of a seemingly hopeless situation. The poem ” The Fight of Faith” captures the experience of what that feels like.

The Fight of Faith 

 A woman without a city,

without a space,

a job, a home,

a man,

plummeting,

plummeting

to nothingness.

 

Choices of death,

choices of life

parade before her,

displaying their wares,

each tripping over the other

to make the stakes higher,

to outbid each other.

Wooing and courting,

they come in their finest,

in this market place of the perhaps lost.

 

Tantalizingly death parades before her,

crowding out the voice of her God,

of her church,

almost wiping from her

the faces of her children,

whose eyes caress her

even now

-as she stands in contemplation with

voluntary oaths of unconditional love.

 

This makes her shamed,

shamed by the thoughts that sabotage her mind—

a faithless woman

on the verge of bringing her God

to roll in the dust of slander and ridicule.

Goaded by the wicked, witchy fiend

whirling scalding curses at her,

biting and scratching, spitting fire,

damaging—triumphing?

No, never!

 

Splendor from Ashes: A Video

 

Splendor from Ashes evokes emotions that would become etched in your mind forever.  From the opening pages, with open vulnerability a woman takes you into her private spaces to intimate to you experiences of raw pain resulting from domestic violence. But ultimately the dust clears and the curtains roll back to unveil the irrepressible spirit of woman made strong by her many breakings. Ingrid Rizzolo chronicles this journey in easily relatable poems in her book Splendor from Ashes.

Splendor from Ashes by [Ingrid Rizzolo]

 

Splendor from Ashes : a spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in positional stillness. A must read. Available at Amazon.com

Video of Splendor from Ashehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElTG_47hwwIs   

 

 

@ingrid_rizzolo

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

 

Selected Identities

Those who think and those who create with words are the guardians of … Being (Letter on Humanism – Heidegger. Global Religious Vision, Vol. I/I, July 2000).

The poem “We Are”taken from my book Splendor from Ashes,was written from the perspective of a parent operating within the context of the valorization of certain supposedly positive identity markers. Perhaps for ease of existence or in an effort to clarify the world for themselves, there was the parallel occurrence of inferiorizing   and stereotyping of possessors of “negative identity markers”. Consequently, neat oversimplified classifications into ingroups and outgroups characterized the social order.  Should one accept these negative identity ascriptions, then intergroup relationships would flow “smoothly” and naturally in a taken-for-granted way.

Who benefits?

Who benefits from the maintenance of such simplistic and self-serving divides? Whose future and quality of life is under threat or is liable to be compromised by unquestioned acceptance of these ascriptions.  As a people who are given to mindful living, we need to probe beneath the surface realities of imputed identities for the existence of negative ascriptions that may subtly lock us and our children into discrimination and stigmatization.

Selected Identities

Naturally the in-group guards itself against out-group incursions into its ranks by covert sociological reasonings. One outcome is the release of an ‘us and them’ frequency in which identities of subservience are the ripple effects.  As a mindful people we must assess cultural meanings that come with imputed identities, make selections and refusals, and be prepared to war for our selected identities if need be. Why should we be content to live with the out-group status? In the context of the in-group/ out- group designations, in-group subcultures and ways of life are more privileged than others.  On this premise a path is lighted for the classified out-group to act in accordance with assigned stereotypical subtexts.

Again, an aware people must not accept this and as a collective, initiate a course of cultural rejection of the social order that coerces the out- group to act in expected/ designated ways that would empower them to catapult themselves as a group into a selected identity status.

Family reject stereotyping

I for one would not conform to these norms nor would I allow my children to internalize these social categorizations. These in-group/out-group dynamic structures where certain demographics are assigned subordinate and superordinate groups must not remain unchallenged.

The poem “We are” found in my book Splendor from Ashes, that follows, constitutes a rejection of negative cultural identities and their comparative reference points.

 

We Are (2004)

They are not statistics. They are flesh and blood; in fact they are

my beloved. I’ll slaughter you if you try to put them on that list. A

crazed bull, a sniper’s fire, a terrorist by night will be identifiably

tame by comparison if you touch my progeny. Don’t tell me who I

  1. Don’t tell them who they are. We are who we say we are. We are

not statistics on some eloquent politician’s tongue or mere figures

to be juggled on and off a “nuclear threat list”. We are not who you

force us to be by your fancy rules and your atrophied sociological

theories. We defy you and you and you—bold sucking, stereotyping,

witch-hunting theorists prostituting identities and futures to

your apathetic, lethargic, slothful psychology in your eagerness for

acclaim. We name ourselves, and we are whom we tell you we are,

and not what your forced-ripe theories label us to be.

@ingrid_rizzolo

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

 

https://twitter.com/ingrid_rizzolo/status/906362503181070336

“Me too’

The #metoo trending on Twitter a few Sundays ago initiated a path to the overthrow of a system of subversive predatory acts of sexual violence and sexual harassment enacted on women’s bodies and psyches. If the hashtag was any indication, then millions of women on Twitter alone (and this may be only the tip of the iceberg) have been victims of sexual abuse or harassment. Contrary to what may have been previously believed sexual violence cannot be shrugged off as incidental acts, evil as they may be, but rather as part of an entrenched societal institution buttressed by money and power. The worrisome question is: What gives men the right to think they have ownership of and or unfettered access to women’s bodies?

Predator Beware

use with abuse story

We own our bodies” is the message women are transmitting to perpetrators of sexual violence. It may have been said before but now women adding a new frequency to their demand to be treated with dignity and respect as individuals and as not sex objects. Alisa Milano helped individual women to begin to say as she indicated – I have had enough. Milano uncorked the genie and women are not going back. They are fed up and are taking the battle to the predators. Like heroes, women stood up and somehow manufactured great courage and guts to reach beyond their pain to speak of their buried shame on that fateful Sunday evening. They offered their possible humiliation as a sacrifice to light the path for others. As a result, sexual predators who prey on vulnerable while hiding behind money and power began to be exposed for their villainy. Now like Prometheus women will not stop until this Zeus of abuse is overthrown and they rise unbound.

In this current course the onus is on the fine people of influence to rise in empathy with their fellow human beings and use their star power to speak out against sexual violence and harassment until this existing established system is undermined and completely eradicated from among us. We cannot allow voices now raised against this resident evil to be muffled neither can we return to positions of feigned ignorance. We must continue to speak out against these vexing issues that confront our mothers our daughters and our sisters.

By the author of Splendor from Ashes a spontaneous overflow of powerful                emotions recollected in positional stillness. A must read. Available                               at Amazon.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

@ingrid_rizzolo

 

A Woman Made Strong

Click the link below to see the linked video: https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1509272545&f=nVe88iAR2w8LwbP1Fok5hw&d=0&m=p&r=360×360+480×480+720×720&volume=100&start_res=720×720&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=A 

Woman made strong

Splendor From Ashes evokes emotions that would become etched in one’s mind forever.  From the opening pages, with open vulnerability a woman takes you into private spaces to intimate to you experiences of raw pain resulting from domestic violence. But ultimately the dust clears and  the curtains roll back to unveil the irrepressible spirit of woman made strong by her many breakings. In Splendor from  Ashes,  a collection of easy relatable poems, Rizzolo captures her journey to  tenacity .

Splendor from Ashes a spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in positional stillness. A must read. Available at Amazon.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

@ingrid_rizzolo

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

Abuse of the Innocent

Abuse of the Innocent

Sexual abuse is not about sex but is in fact an act of violence.  Sexual abusers are therefore common criminals and should be treated as such. These bullies feel they have entitlement to a woman’s body even when that woman is a child. Abuse of children is even worse than abuse of an adult woman. I don’t think it is possible to redeem anyone who sexually abuses an innocent child may that child be preteen, early teen or late teen.

These criminals target and groom the innocent for the perpetuation of the crime. Their means of operation are not unlike those of a property owner who would develop a property for a particular use. To them the children are merely valued as personal possessions/goods. In many instances the abuser is known to the family of the targeted child/preteen/ young teen. They then work to gain access to the child and obtain the child’s trust. Finally, they use the power behind their standing as adults to break down the defenses of their targets and get the children to submit to them. The children are then sworn to secrecy on threat of harm to themselves or family members. In this way the victims become trapped and imprisoned in a web of fear and silence. The perpetrator lives in the perverse satisfaction of a bully, with no thought for the impact on the innocent nor for the life they left in ruins. The silence of the lambs could be broken. It is time. Enough with closet suffering, closet pain, and closet guilt.

I wrote this poem on learning of the sexual abuse (more like rape) of a preteen at the hands of driver entrusted with the care of taking her to school. It is found in my book Splendor from Ashes on Amazon.com

I Did Not Know (2013)

I confess I did not know

of the breach of long ago,

and when I heard,

it pained me so

that tears refused to flow.

Stillborn tears are worst, you know.

They wrack your being in vain.

You cannot sleep,

you cannot rest,

for deeds you can’t redress.

Nightmarish thoughts

overrun my breast,

conjuring, tormenting,

protocol despising,

adjudicating for logic,

sense, and meaning,

with the philosophies of the best.

Hades’s life entombed

and threatening

in a young girl’s womb.

Breach, interruption,

society’s decimation,

deflowered Persephone

in need of a redefinition.

I can’t turn back the clock, my dear,

or murder the inspirer of fear,

but I relentlessly mourn all Persephones,

as though they were my own.

 

Written by Ingrid Rizzolo

@ingrid_rizzolo

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

“Me too” and Sexual Violence

“Me too”

The #metoo trending on Twitter a few Sundays ago initiated a path to the overthrow of a system of subversive predatory acts of sexual violence and sexual harassment enacted on women’s bodies and psyches. If the hashtag was any indication, then millions of women on Twitter alone (and this may be only the tip of the iceberg) have been victims of sexual abuse or harassment. Contrary to what may have been previously believed sexual violence cannot be shrugged off as incidental acts, evil as they may be, but rather as part of an entrenched societal institution buttressed by money and power. The worrisome question is: What gives men the right to think they have ownership of and or unfettered access to women’s bodies?

Predator Beware

We own our bodies” is the message women are transmitting to perpetrators of sexual violence. It may have been said before but now women adding a new frequency to their demand to be treated with dignity and respect as individuals and as not sex objects. Alisa Milano helped individual women to begin to say as she indicated – I have had enough. Milano uncorked the genie and women are not going back. They are fed up and are taking the battle to the predators. Like heroes, women stood up and somehow manufactured great courage and guts to reach beyond their pain to speak of their buried shame on that fateful Sunday evening. They offered their possible humiliation as a sacrifice to light the path for others. As a result, sexual predators who prey on vulnerable while hiding behind money and power began to be exposed for their villainy. Now like Prometheus women will not stop until this Zeus of abuse is overthrown and they rise unbound.

In this current course the onus is on the fine people of influence to rise in empathy with their fellow human beings and use their star power to speak out against sexual violence and harassment until this existing established system is undermined and completely eradicated from among us. We cannot allow voices now raised against this resident evil to be muffled neither can we return to positions of feigned ignorance. We must continue to speak out against these vexing issues that confront our mothers our daughters and our sisters.

#sexual violence,#Me Too, # abuse, #domestic violence

Written by the author of Splendor from Ashes

@ingrid_rizzolo

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ingrid-rizzolo-62827245/

The Cinderella Conspiracy

 

As a child I loved fairy tales. One of my favorites was Cinderella. As an adult, however, I soon woke up to the reality that life is no fairy tale. What I did not know at that time is that through this story the patriarchy was conditioning me and other young girls to drink indiscriminately from the collective unconscious to facilitate the status quo.  We were conditioned to be good women for whom marriage and the idea of marriage were a major preoccupation. The preoccupation extended to an obsession with finding prince charming as a means of escape from home life, for instance. In the reading of these fairy tales we were being subtly warped by the patriarchy into being passive, subservient, defenseless, and conflict avoiding types in sync with patriarchal dictates. Psychologist Carl Jung explained that there is a human collective unconscious informed by archetypes and universal symbols many of which become embedded in fairy tales (Huff Post 8/23/2016). In the case of Cinderella, upon reading the text, a young girl inadvertently guzzles from the collective unconscious and in turn internalizes the substance of the presented archetypes and universal symbols as to what the archetypal wife material should look or act like. Cinderella then situates individuals to live out the preconditioning of the collective unconscious in their own experiences.  It is time to stray from the script delivered by the collective unconscious or at least reexamine and reassess it.

cinderella

The Princess (2004)

Handsome prince,

filed tongue,

velvety thoughts—

love’s a grand idea.

Grand idea

golden slippers,

a rhythmic dance,

filmy soft clouds,

a fairy’s white dress.

White dress and veiled face,

bright eyes,

wedding march,

troubled mother,

sunset journey.

Sunset journey,

errant lover,

dull eyes,

dreary splendor,

distant godmother.

 Distant godmother,

demanding marauder,

weighty vows,

obscure pathways,

a lost one.

A lost one,

weary stares,

vacant core,

painful ashes.

You may read similar poems in my book Splendor from Ashes

Abuser in Denial

 

   “I am saddened and disgusted by false allegations conducted against me “, said actor Ryan Phillipe (allegedly). This after police examined his                       girlfriend’s injuries after she had checked into Cedar -Sinai Medical Center Emergency (New York Daily News Wednesday, September 20, 2017)

Similar words have been spoken. I recall one instance when the abuser said to me ‘My hands are for eating and not for hitting a woman”.  Wasn’t this the man that used his hands to hurt me that very morning? My mind panned this way and that to make sense of his re-scripting of the narrative.  I knew the truth. We both knew the truth of what had conspired that fateful day. Yet here he was causing me to question my sanity. Here he was, defining for me a truth contrary to the one I had experienced. The physical and emotional onslaught were too much for me so in what was an almost out of body experience I escaped to an unreachable space. In the fraternity of abusers, denial is the default response I subsequently learned. I became wise enough to recognize that the biases in the grand narratives these offenders produce are nothing more than products of distorted minds.

I also became wise enough to understand that in the aftermath of abuse, abusers wage an ongoing undeclared war to smear and to destroy. It’s a war in which like other re-writers of history they dare victims to vilify their freshly minted truths on pain of public shaming. Who then would be willing to defy the daring and risk public loathing, to expose the truth of their history and so expose revisionist tales? Only a handful are sufficiently courageous.  The sobering truth is that lack of acknowledgement of wrong doing sears the conscience of the offender and paves a path to subsequent re-enactments.

links 2My concern, however,  is for victims, those whose lives would have been forever changed. I often loudly wonder: What about us, you abusers and re-writers of history? Are you aware that you have locked us into a perpetual inverse relationship with you one which we struggle our entire lives to reverse?