My first time banning a book

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Wow. I never thought I'd do that.

    difficult child is very mentally ill. The gravity of the situation hits me harder every day.

    I was ordering books online for her. First, I told her that she had to clean her room and she was up in arms about that because it's "my room". Then she gave me the title of the 3rd book she wanted:

    The Satanic Bible

    My first reaction is that Satan is from the bible, so if you're an atheist and don't believe in God how can you believe in Satan?

    That led to my education that the Church of Satan isn't about devil worship. It's allegedly about living with self respect and humility. However, the 11 "statements" and the 9 "sins" have NOTHING to do with humility. Things like - the freedom to express your true nature in anyway you see fit; not to suppress yourself, and freedom to express your opinions without fear of judgment, ridicule or embarrassment and you only answer to yourself and, well basically, eugenics.

    I told difficult child that this goes against everything I believe and what I want to teach my children, and that I'm not paying for it. When she has her own money, if she wants to buy it, more power to her. However, I am not buying it.

    I suspect I won't be hearing from her the rest of the night. Maybe not for a while. I'm ok with that. She told me that she already believed in these things and my response was, "Yeah, and you're hard to live with." I am certainly not giving her any ammunition. I told her that those statements have nothing to do with humility, but of course I'm wrong and am just reading it wrong and taking it all out of context. I told her that society has expectations of one's behavior and this won't get her anywhere in her life.

    Of course, she'll take this to the therapist as just more proof of how unfair and miserable her life is.

    I'm so weary.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    ((((Heather))))))))) Oh honey I am so sorry. You are doing the right thing. I can understand why you're weary.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Heather...that would scare me too. I don't ban books either, but that one would not be bought on my dime. If I saw it in the house, I'd probably throw it in the trash.

    I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It takes a very egocentric view on life, and I've always said that my daughter is the most egocentric person I know. I don't need anything in writing validating her outlook.

    Google it and check out the wiki article on it. It's quite...umm....interesting.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This isnt even wiccan, it is far off into left field if she is referring to trying to get into Wicca.

    Though this does remind me of my short lived Wicca days. I tried to use my powers for good and got Cory this smooth stone and had him keep it in his pocket to rub when all the bad thoughts crept into his mind. We called it his worry stone. It was supposed to have magical

    Well he was of an age where he believed such things.

    Just a month or two ago he called me on the phone and asked me in all seriousness...Mom...are you still demonic? I almost coughed up my soda through my nose! I sputtered out a WHAT? Are you still demonic? Tony howled in laughter...well she is now and then!
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It has nothing to do with Wicca and she's not interested in Wicca, as far as I know.

    It (the book and the Church of Satan) is all about indulgence. It states, in so many words, that you are the most important thing in the universe.

    From wikipedia:

    Ironically, there is this:

    difficult child's therapist has said on more than one occasion that difficult child manipulates and controls by being a perpetual victim. Of course, she wouldn't see it that way.

    Worry stones and things of the sort don't bother me. If they do anything, it's a placebo effect. I have a worry stone on my night stand. It's soothing. This, however, gives justification and a kind of rationale to continue their self-centered, egocentric behavior.

    I wonder if there is schizotypal PD in with her Borderline (BPD), as well. I've brought it up before to the therapist. Will do so again.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so PROUD of you!!!! Sometimes we let things get in the way when we are trying to teach our kids our values. Esp if the kid is a teen who is chronically hostile. We want a happy home so we end up caving in to demands.

    Then something like this comes along and re-opens our eyes. We see where we want and NEED to draw the line. So we draw it and do our best to stand firm. But I would change the "when you earn money" to "as long as you live under my roof". This will help keep your son and his girlfriend from getting the books and saying that they are her books - just to upset you or just because they think your rule is "stupid" or whatever. It just closes up a loophole she WILL be aware of.

    I started this battle with Wiz when he was 9 and wanted to read a very gory vampire novel. I insisted on reading it first, expecting it to not bother anyone.

    The things the main character did were too horrible and gross to be overlooked by anyone. After just one chapter I said no. He found the vampire book at a friend's house and to let you know the kind of book, it was under a stack of towels above the toilet. The frien's mom had no problems with the book until I asked her to READ it. She was shocked that her husband read it, more so that her son found it.

    So I am right there with you on the censorship line. I do feel it is wrong to censor what is in libraries and bookstores. But what comes into your home and your child's life is your JOB to censor. You have reasonable limits. Her job is to push them and to learn by having you hold firm to those limits/rules/guides/censorship.

    So keep up the GREAT JOB!!!
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    easy child and girlfriend won't do that with the book. They live with difficult child, too, and they know what it's like.

    I didn't even mention what she wrote in her journal and gave to therapist. A whole list of nastiness, including, "I hope Mom dies from her illness and goes to hell." At that point, I told therapist to stop because I didn't want to hear anymore.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad that easy child and girlfriend won't do that.

    She seems totally out in left field with her journal entries. I know you wrack your brain trying to figure out where she gets this stuff. I think that wondering if she has some problem related to shizophrenia or shizoid PD is probably smart. If there are tests I would push the therapist to do them. Or psychiatrist if she sees one.

    It is just WRONG that you have to deal with both the difficult child problems AND the health problems. I hope and pray that you will catch some good fortune on one or the other front in the near future.

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, without getting into any rights or wrongs about tihs view or that, I want to share something with you that might help.

    Technically, we are raising our kids to be individuals. We have to respect their choices with regard to spirituality, sexuality (not that it's achoice) etc. All we can do, is give our kids the best tools we can give them while they're still receptive, then when they step out on their own we stand back, hands at the ready to catch them, and hope we managed to do enough.

    I grew up in the late 60s/early 70s when the churches were talking about the Second Coming and when there were various sects, gurus etc wandering the streets declaring themselves to be the new incarnation of Christ. The initial gut reaction was to say, "You're a fraud!" but the curious and faithful person inside me was saying, "What if they had said this about Christ himself? Hang on, didn't they?"

    So I explored all these manifestations and checked them out thoroughly. And yes, they were all flash-in-the-pan weird stuff. Occasionally something interesting would be included, but the more I looked at these, the more I began to see a pattern. And that pattern was - self-interest. Even the ones claiming to be Christ in a new body were themselves only preaching inner enlightenment.

    There were other religious groups around, some old and some new. Even Christian groups were undergonig a major metamorphosis and so I began to apply the same test to the lot - what did they preach about service to others? What was the message about forgetting the self, and putting others first?

    Talk about separating the wheat from the chaff...

    What I have gleaned applies to all religions of the world. As humans, we are all individually selfish. It is simply our innate human nature, it is a matter of individual human survival. But as a species, we survive best when we work together in society. Society survives best when we consider others ahead of ourselves, when we put our selfishness aside and think, REALLY think, about helping other people first.

    It's all very well to have inner consciousness-raising. It doesn't do us any harm to know ourselves better. But we can learn about ourselves by helping other people. We don't have to turn our focus so far inward that we disappear up our own rear ends.

    So this message I bequeath to my children and to any of you who want to use it - whatever your moral code in life, you will do better if you work hard constantly to overcome your own innate selfishness. The more you focus on your own desires, the more miserable you risk becomeing as you think about what you don't have. But when you forget yourself in service to others, you find yourself.

    So for me, the test for world religions (the good, the bad, the wierd, the ugly) is this - what does it teach about service to others? And where is that on the scale compared to inner enlightenment?

    For me, everything else goes in the rubbish. It has saved me from cults, many times over (again, cults were rife in the early 70s around the university campuses).

    Heather, is this something you can share with your daughter?

  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, the primary tenet of Wicca is "and ye do no harm, do as you will". Tho' I am not a practicing Wiccan, that doesn't a bad way to live one's life. Taken literally, it's not an easy way to live either.

    I haven't read the Satanic Bible, but from what has been quoted here, it honestly sounds like a form of anarchy though during my years in Europe when i was exposed to quite a few anarchists, their thing was directed towards the gov't.
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Marg, I've been trying to teach that to my daughter her entire life. I don't only preach it, I live it. She is not interested. The fact remains that she will not look at how her actions effect others. In fact, she blames all of her misery on how everyone - the world - treats her. She's only interested in how things effect her. Period. Then she somehow finds things like this that fit her warped perspective and, thus, has justification for her behavior and her skewed thought process.

    Reading the synopsis of that book made me feel physically ill. It was written by someone like her, for people like her.

    Oh, and she announced a couple of weeks ago that she's a misanthrope. It wasn't a year ago that she was crying because she was so miserable because she didn't have any friends. So, she decided that she was a misanthrope as a defense mechanism, I guess.

    She has so much disdain for others and treats people like dirt.

    GN - it would be anarchy if everyone followed those teachings, wouldn't it? If everyone is the most important thing in the universe and if everyone did not suppress their natural human nature, what a chaotic world we would live in.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "seek and ye shall find" applies to so many things way beyond its original meaning. If you look for misery in life, you will find it. If you look for joy, you will find it, even in the midst of misery.

    And if you look for validation, you will find is somewhere.

    I've mentioned before that I have a friend who I beleive is a sociopath. He is deliberately "in your face" at times, tries to be confrontational and when things are going well, he's fun to be around. But he gets his black moods and then he can get verbally vicious and attack other people. He knows how to wound with words but I've learnt to not take on board anything he says; I recognise when he's in an ornery mood and wanting to drag other people down to his level of misery.
    Part of his claims to superiority over the rest of humanity, is hisbeleif that he can literally argue that black is white and nobody can block his arguments, they are unanswerable. But I've heard his logic - his arguments are only unanswerable because he won't listen to any arguments.

    The writer in me likes to hang around this guy for the inspriration he gives me. The compassionate human in me finds this guy objectionable, often. But I put up with a lot for the good tiimes. I walk away in the bad times.

    However, he's sometimes said some interesting things. One interesting thing on which we differ came out of his claim that "racist" is the only "-ist" that people don't at some stage willingly belong to. He gets called a racist often (with good reason) but dislikes the term because he personally doesn't choose to embrace that truth about himself. He claims even anarchists form onto social groups at times.
    I challenged this - how can you have an anarchists' organisation? Surely by its very nature, it would be disqualified?

    And here is where his "superior intellect" (self-avowed) comes unstuck. He can't see the illogic in the existence of a society for anarchists, with rules and a charter.

    Heather, all you can do is explain to your daughter that if she chooses to beleive the earth is flat, she will find books to justify tat view. Whatever view she chooses to hold, no matter how radical or how selfish, she will find a book to justify that view.

    This also means that if YOU, the parent, choose to believe that your daughter should be confined to the house, made to wear sackcloth and ashes as well as a chastity belt and forced to marry her brother at the age of 13, then you will be able to find a book to justify it.

    She should be grateful that your views are so generous to her human rights. If she wants to live in harmony in your household, she needs to be considerate of your rights (as the parent as well as the authority figure, as well as the person who pays the bills) just as you have allowed her considerable personal freedom of thought.

    The thing with freedom of thought - it comes at a price, and tat price is reason and logic. It's perfectly OK for her to read varous books but she also needs to read the opposite views so she can truly understand both sides of the argument. Within reason. In other words, if she chooses to believe the earth is flat and to read books on the topic, then she also needs to read the arguments that refute the Flat Earth Society's propaganda and to discuss the pros and cons with you. And YOU need to read these books too, so you are sufficiently informed to be able to discuss these with her.

    I remember when easy child was younger, she got really "into" Christopher Pike's books. At one stage she was also into Babysitters Club. I read all of them. Even Christopher Pike, whose books I didn't really like much. But I read them, so I could know what she was reading and what was ringing her bells. Then I was better equipped to discuss the books with her.

    Sharing these interests is always a good thing. Often our kids whinge that we refuse to learn about their interests. The thing is, when we do they often complain that (in their opinions) we're trying to turn back the clock and pretend an interest in young things. I ignore such illogic and prefer to err on the side of knowing what is in my kids' heads.

    easy child went through a stage in her mid-teens of being interested in a very anarchic, selfish, cynical philosophy, influenced by SIL1 (or BF1 as he was then). I did't like it. "Kingdom of Loathing" I think it was. I held back from severe criticism though, because in their case I was fairly sure it was the satire and cynicism of it that fascinated them. With your daughter, I'm not so sure.

    However, from things you've shared about your daughter - is there a chance she's simply trying to be extreme, to deliberately be confrontional and challenging? In which case, ask to borrow the book from her and simply take your time reading it. It works like a ban only more effective.

    I had some weird reading tastes when I was in my teens. There was one book I was especially fascinated with and some years later I tried to order a copy (I was a uni student by then). It was not just another Wiccan book, I now realise - it was written by Aleister Crowley. Interestingly, it was that book which I now realise has taught me to be very cynical about alleged witchcraft. I used that cynicism to teach easy child 2/difficult child 2 and her best friend, all about how such spells really work (psychology, mostly). Simply put, I took the magic out and showed them the logic behind the spells.

    I was able to do this because I read widely and on both sides of the viewpoints. If my mother had known what I was reading, she would have been horrified. She probably would have tried to ban what I was reading, and aI would have ignored her. I had plenty of opportunity to ignore her - the local library was the family rendezvous point and I spent hours waiting there for my father to collect me on his way home.

    My best friend in my teens had very strict parents. Her mother banned certain books but my friend simply came to our house and read the books there. She borrowed "Peyton Place" from my (much older) sister and read it at our place. My sister didn't know the book was on the girl's mother's banned list.

    Are you able to discuss these philosophies with your daughter? Ask her to define them, to discuss them impartially and to discuss the pros and cons. Don't allow passion to come into it, simply be rational, logical and calm. Concede points if she makes good ones even if you disagree. It's OK to disagree, people do it all the time. For example, you could say, "Women in the workplace are their own worst enemies, they have rights which they choose to not exercise; is it any wonder that they are often given the more menial jobs?"
    You may be a feminist and dislike such a statement, but somewhere in there, you must know of women who would fit that description. Or you might have your own view which could be expressed.

    being able to discuss things like this with our children - it is a vital part of their journey toward greater emotional maturity.

    I forget where I heard it/read it, but girls especially in their teens tend to communicate with their mothers using argument. They will seem very argumentative and confronttional, when in reality all they're doing is testing their own views and using their mothers as sounding boards. It's like writing a story and needing to read it aloud to fully understand your own writing.
    If you can respond to thissort of argumentative approach by not buying into it but till giving the different viewds an airing, and also teaching your daughter to listen to YOUR views in turn (it's only polite, after all - you listened to her and seriously considered her arguments) then you are helping her to learn to argue more productively with herself.

    It's called "THINKING". Teens aren't good at it, they need practice. And they need to see us show them how to do it.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The "Bible" (ahem) sounds like a narcicists's bible. "I am God."

    Scary stuff.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Didn't there used to be jokes about people who said "I am God"?

    Like the one about the government official doing a tour of a psychiatric ward at the local hospital. The bloke was introduced to a patient who announced, "I'm Napoleon."

    The official asked the man, "Who told you that?"

    "God told me," replied the patient.

    "I did not!" announced the patient in the next bed.

    I remember reading an analysis of the various forms of religious practices that place God in different places. The "I am God" versions compared with the "God is everywhere including in me" vs "God is over there, I am not perfect therefore I cannot have God in me, I need to be clean" type of things; what they say about the individual and attitudes towards God as well as self as well as the rest of humanity.

    The big risk of the "I am God" brigade is the degree of ego inflation and sense of superiority. Spirituality aside, there is a lot of danger in this, in terms of the psychiatric health of the individual. A sense of entitlement, of grandiosity, can lead to some very nasty mistakes.

  16. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Flutterby - you have my wholehearted support on this. Hindsight being 20/20, I should've banned books a long time ago, not because of the subject matter but because of thank you's tenuous grasp of reality. I'm pretty liberal and feel that everyone has to explore life/philosophy/spirituality and make the choices that are right for them. At the time, I felt that thank you's exploration of alternate spiritualities was okay and I was being a "good" parent in not discourage him. I think I was really *really* wrong on that one.

    The problem comes in when you have a child whose thought processes are so totally skewed that they view a belief system as a "fix" for their problems. And you really nailed it - some of the more, uh, different belief systems out there seem to just feed into the thinking our of difficult children. It seems to perpetuate that sense of alienation and me-me-me... To my eye, some of the darker stuff (and I also had to stop reading the stuff because it was just vile) encourages the belief of their differences and their power, all in a vein that is totally outside any social norm. I hope that makes sense - basically, it seemed to encourage thank you to say the heck with real "normal" life as we all live it and promote his sense of being special and above it all. That's dangerous in my humble opinion.

    I still believe exploration is normal and while I try to stay open-minded, the basic golden rule of do unto others (or even the Wiccan do no harm) is such a fundamental part of my being that I cannot and will not allow this other stuff in my home. thank you, at least, has an amazing capacity to twist virtually any spirituality into a self-serving philosophy that loses any resemblance to it's original intent.

    Bottom line - it's your home. You absolutely have the right to dictate what is allowed in your home. Not only will I not purchase the stuff, but if it comes into my home, it is tossed in the garbage immediately.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I think you are very right in this. I didnt mean to make light of it. I just wanted tell you that funny story about Cory and his phone call to me. I thought it might make you laugh a little. He got his words so twisted up.

    I wouldnt have given him a book like you are talking about at her age. Heck...I wouldnt have given him that book today! He doesnt need such influence and neither does she. These kids need things that point them into the mainstream as much as possible.
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Marg - You can't be rational with an irrational person. This goes way beyond being extreme and argumentative. She has a disordered personality.

    This isn't something tangible that I can use as a discussion. It's a philosophy - masking as a religion - and arguing that with her is only going to reinforce her agreement with it. She will not, for whatever reason, see that I am trying to have a discussion with her. She will see it that I am shooting it down and that's that.

    Like when I told her I wanted her to be really good about taking her vitamins. She was convinced that I wanted her to take vitamins only because she became a vegetarian; and of course I was wrong about that because she's done all of the research and she knows that she is still getting everything she needs. It doesn't matter that I told her that in today's society, with our current diets, it's hard for anyone to get everything they need. In her mind, I didn't agree/believe with her, therefore she flat out refuses to take them. I even got her chewable ones.

    What I have to do is constantly bring reality to her with things that are concrete. So, when she says, "You never do anything for me", I can say, "I've done X, Y and Z." Or, when she says that she has hardly any clothes, I can say, "We just spent $500 on new clothes for you and have since bought you more." Tangible things.

    I've always been very open minded and have allowed my kids to explore and decide for themselves what they believe, while also making sure to teach my values. This, however, goes too far beyond that. Especially in her state of mind. This goes against everything I feel is right.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You sound like you're doing all you can. And to keep on bringing her back to reality with these reminders - if it's all you can do, it's all you can do. Frustrating, indeed.

    I agree with you about this not being good in her state of mind.

    You sound like you're already using logic and a healthy dose of reality to combat what you can.

  20. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wow. Stay strong, Heather. I totally agree that difficult child doesn't need that sort of reading material. Is it really something she wants to explore, or something to push your buttons with?