(HT to Deirdre Saoirse Moen and Vox Day)
Moira Greyland, the daughter of the late science fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB), has provided a necessary rebuke to those who “celebrate” her mother.
I must admit that I empathize with Moira. Her following poem is priceless, and offers a valuable lesson to folks–and the Christian world is absolutely stacked with them–who provide dismissive, pat, flippant answers to those who have been through terrible abuses at the hands of their parents.
They Did Their Best
By Moira Greyland
Something pat that sounds like understanding
So the ones of us left Who still cry when bereft
Risk guilt trips upon our heads landing
For the party line now Is to claim that somehow
Everybody somehow did their best
So the ones who did wrong Goes the new New Age song
Aren’t to blame, we should lay this to rest.
But it’s lies, there are villains who are still out there killing
Or else for our courts there’s no need
Our jails are not filled With innocents willed
By a system corrupted with greed.
My mother did her best, yes she really did her best
To drown me for not being her willing lover
My daddy did his best, oh he really did his best
And forced his preteen boyfriends to bend over.
Some people are sick, like to make people suffer
Some people just turn a blind eye
But pretending a monster is ribbons and lace
May condemn a small child to die.
My husband was a cop and much child abuse had stopped
Like the mom who put her baby on the stove
She threw him out of sight but the smell she couldn’t hide
And she didn’t come out smelling like a rose.
Did that mommy do her best? Would you tell that little one
“Forgive her dear, she must have been insane”
Would you tell that to those burns, To that lie will you return
And hurt those shining eyes so full of pain?
A victim does his best, a victim does her best
To love and live and give up grief and malice
But when we had no love, but what came down from Above
It’s surprising we have not become more callous.
And how to learn to cope And not give up all my hope
Is painful far enough without your lies
But if you had seen me then With blood pouring off my skin
Would you have turned a deaf ear to my cries??
And told me “Mommy did her best, yes, she really did her best
So stop crying and stop bleeding and forgive her
To cut you she’s the right, and to throw you out of sight
And not love you till you sexually deliver!!
What people tend to overlook is that there indeed are parents out there who reject all semblance of virtue. This is true of both mothers and fathers. In the case of MZB–and her husband Walter Breen–they subjected children, including their own, to physical and sexual abuses.
Like hell ‘they did their best.’ MZB both participated in and covered for the sexual abuse of children. Her husband was a predator, and she covered for him. They knew the truth; they knew what virtue was; they rejected it.
To drown your own daughter (son)–especially in the process of breaking her (him) sexually–is downright sadistic. And to think that the perpetrators were/are celebrated sci-fi authors speaks volumes about the highbrows dominating the SF/F world. I generally oppose book burning, but if anyone burned their books, I couldn’t blame them a bit. Personally, if I had them–and I don’t–I’d keep them as a reminder of the depths of evil and the people who perpetrate it.
Those types of abuses, however, also present a dilemma for the Christian. In the Scriptures, God is presented as the Heavenly Father, and yet there are children whose understanding of fathers is terribly shattered by what their earthly fathers and mothers did to them. Against that backdrop, pat answers–like you get from the Sovereign Grace camp–are extraordinarily corrosive.
I don’t know Moira personally, but I wish her all the best. While I don’t know where she stands theologically, she provides a sobering lesson nonetheless.