Friday, September 10, 2010

TheRevGal Blog Pals Friday Five: Do you have trouble sleeping?

Written by my fellow Episcopalian priest Facebook friend, Terri C Pilarski has brought us the Friday Five a la The Rev Gal Blog Pals.  Here's Terri's prologue to the Five:

 Last night was a restless night in my home. We are dog and cat sitting for our daughter, which means we have a combined household of three adult humans, four large dogs, two cats, and one kitten. And for some reason the dogs, cats, and kitten, all wanted to sleep in OUR bed. Did I mention that it's just a double bed? Did I mention that it was warm in our room - too cool to turn the air conditioning on but no breeze to blow the cool night air in....add to that my general age-related tendency toward insomnia, and it was a difficult night for sleeping.

A number of my facebook friends seem to have similar challenges sleeping....

So, on that note our Friday Five today will focus on sleep, or the lack there of.

1. Are you prone to sleep challenges? Insomnia, snoring, allergies? Other sleep challenges?
Yes I am.  The insomnia turned about to be mild obstructive sleep apnea that caused elevated blood pressure and rapid, labored heart beats that actually kept me awake most of two night.  After an NOS, it was discovered my oxygen saturation had slipped far below the Medicare standard of 88% or greater.
Since then I am in treatment for that with respiratory therapy that is work and I'm losing weight!

2. When you can't sleep what do you do? Toss and turn? Get up and read? Play computer games?
Warm shower, massaged head, clean  hair; fluff up down pillows, settle in after turning on an hour long recording of night sounds at lakeside...not too loud, not too soft, just where it plays on the edges of your wakefuness.  Those sounds filter into my mind as I calm it and set thoughts adrift.  I make sure the room is as dark as possible so my eyes will rest, open or shut.  I wait for four feet to walk over me at some point and then I start to fade away...

3. When you do sleep do you remember your dreams? Or just snipets of them?
My dreams are like film shorts, playing in color, stopping and starting.  Other times, images just rush to the fore and can awaken me in unsettling ways, or they stay still and I can see and smell the scene or image, or feel something that is a part of what the composition is conveying.

4. Can you share a funny or confusing dream you've had? Or a dream you have over and over?
I can't remember funny things though I am sure they happen; sometimes I replay the previous Sunday service where funny things do occasionally happen.  The dreams these days are a lot less scary then the ones I used to have, for that I am thankful.

5. When you don't sleep how do you get through the day? Lots of coffee? or a nap later in the day?
FIrst I remind God of what a bad night it was and I pray, then remind Him again that only Spirit can get me through in an upright position as called for.  I also eat a high protein breakfast with strawberry jam involved and bacon along with a cup or two of very black tea.

If you play the Friday Five at your blog and would like visitors, be sure to share a link here, using the following formulation: what you want the link to say goes here For a complete how-to, click here.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Kirkepiscatoid: "Oh, you wanted me to GUARD the sheep?"

A brilliant and revealing blog post on clergy sexual abuse and harassment has posted at Kirkepiscatoid.  See the link below the first part of her post.  I urge everyone to read it and pass it on.  There is abuse in the Episcopal Church, as in any denomination.  The only way to fight it is through knowing it happens and often.  It is not always or often the product of affairs but of power-hungry clergy who are too arrogant for tasteful words.  I should know, I'm a victim and survivor of such harassment.  Kirkepiscatoid: "Oh, you wanted me to GUARD the sheep?"

Of those surveyed:
• More than 3% of women who had attended a congregation in the past month reported that they had been the object of clergy sexual misconduct (CSM) at some time in their adult lives;
• 92% of these sexual advances had been made in secret, not in open dating relationships; and
• 67% of the offenders were married to someone else at the time of the advance.
• In the average American congregation of 400 persons, with women representing, on average, 60% of the congregation, there are, on average of 7 women who have experienced clergy sexual misconduct.
• Of the entire sample, 8% report having known about CSM occurring in a congregation they have attended. Therefore, in the average American congregation of 400 congregants, there are, on average, 32 persons who have experienced CSM in their community of faith.
--From the Baylor University study on sexual exploitation and abuse by clergy

The recent events in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania with Bishop Bennison's knowledge of abuse perpetrated by his brother, have brought up something that doesn't seem to be, in my mind, told enough. It is illustrated in the facts from the Baylor University survey above.

Eight percent of people in a given congregation have KNOWN that clergy sexual abuse was going on in their parish.

Eight percent. Yes, it's a minority, but it is a noticeable one.

Unfortunately, more often than not, they know and don't talk.

The magnitude of this has just hit home recently for me.

I have been visiting at length with a friend of mine who, I believe, has been sexually exploited by a clergy member in the Episcopal Church in another diocese. What has been rather dismaying to her has been as she has been putting out "feelers" to figure out how to most appropriately discuss and deal with this, it has become apparent in the inquiries that people "guessed who it was"--which means they KNEW this person was walking a little on the shady side.

It's the church's version of "Don't ask, don't tell."

Read the rest here:
Kirkepiscatoid: "Oh, you wanted me to GUARD the sheep?"