Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The King of...Pain?

Once again I interrupt my task of filling in the missing details of our happenings within the month of June. In fact I am embarrassed to actually admit that I’m going to actually blog about Michael Jackson’s untimely death. DON’T RUN AWAY JUST YET! If you’re like me then you are fed up with all of the media coverage surrounding the event which is bound to continue filling the airwaves for several more weeks but in all honesty I have some pretty serious thoughts and one big revelation. Thank God CNN didn’t exist when Elvis died.

Jackson’s death occurred the day I left for my ten-day trip to the coasts of South & North Carolina. Joan was actually texting me the news while I was loading in for the Harbor Fest. It was a strange experience delivering the news to vendors I barely knew that a pop icon we’d grown up with had suddenly and unexpectedly died. A sad thing but life goes on for the living who aren’t a part of the elite of society and who happen to be unloading a bunch of gear in stifling heat.

Almost two weeks have passed now and I’ve definitely developed some opinions about this news. For those that follow me on Facebook or Twitter you will probably be a little surprised. I have an incredible disdain for the media coverage Jackson’s death has provoked. While “The King of Pop” was a talented vocalist, dancer, and performer the truth is that he was at best a good musician and a decent songwriter. He donated a bunch of money to charity but he was no Desmond Tutu.

Because of MJ’s death, the focus upon our economic woes is nil. North Korea’s nukes are still an incredible worry. And we still have young people dying in Iraq, for God’s sake…yet many only shed a tear for “Whacko Jacko” dying from a self-induced drug overdose. Several times over the past week or so my head wanted to explode!

Yet, here is the sympathetic part: I sincerely feel sorry for the Jackson family. Why? This is the part of my life that I knew I would one day reveal – I was just waiting for the right moment. I’ve exchanged e-mails with my dear friend Maggie, trying to figure out when to expose this secret of my life.

Long story short Maggie has started this really wonderful site for female victims of physical & mental abuse called Violence Unsilenced. What she has done, along with other brave women, is nothing short of remarkable. In an e-mail I once told her that I would open up about my own past. Now is that time because I consider this another opportunity to come closer to my own healing. Many years ago I was sexually abused by a so-called “family friend.”

This was a secret I kept to myself for almost two decades; a long period of time to keep something like that to oneself. To be honest I never knew how much it affected my life until I finally sought counseling for some other personal issues – issues I naively thought were unrelated. For that, seeking counsel, I am extremely thankful. Had I not sought help back in 1992 I am certain my life would’ve continued to spiral out of control.

Flash forward to 2009. Whatever you think of Michael Jackson I encourage you to listen to the words of his daughter. Honestly my instinct has been to continue label him as a sexual predator. To be honest I have no idea if he was or wasn’t. We all know the stories, innuendos, and even the information admitted to on national TV. We’ve seen the awkward and strange behavior that made tabloids. No doubt that Michael was an extremely odd person. Yet his daughter Paris pleads to the world to believe the guy was a great father. I have no reason to not believe her either. No one forced that child to say anything yesterday. In fact I think really good child “actors” are few and far between. Most of us can easily sense when youngsters are stretching the truth – if she was then she was very, very good!

It is common knowledge now that Jackson’s dad physically and emotionally abused his kids. For that the world has the defunct Jackson 5, a famous wardrobe malfunction, and the recent death of The King of Pop. Joe Jackson is most likely a very rich man – wealthy with lots of greenbacks, property, and material things. In my honest opinion he also now has the blood of his second youngest son upon his hands. Yes, it was Michael’s responsibility to better himself as a man, a father, and human being in the eyes of the public but none of us will know the demons he might have lived with.

I’m hoping that MJ is finally at peace. I’m hoping he chose the path of forgiveness, particularly given that his father was the abuser. I’m also hoping that Joe Jackson will one day look into Paris’s (and the rest of her uncles) eyes and say, “I’m sorry.” That would go a long way toward that path of forgiveness.


flutter said...

you are a brave soul and a good man.

Kyla said...

I've thought the same thing. He was so brilliant, but the damage in his early life twisted him so much that the turn his life took was hardly a surprise. It is a sad story.

maggie, dammit said...

You did it! You did it!

I'm so proud of you, Bennie.

You are most definitely a survivor. You rose above and you created a family of your own that knows the best dad ever.

(p.s. VU is open to men for sure.) :)


Christina said...

I think the funeral was a wonderful way for everyone to see that he does leave a family behind who adored him and will miss him greatly no matter who he was to the public.
I found Joe Jackson to be callous and mercenary (announcing a new record label a day after his son dies? Ew!)

I find YOU to be awesome always! :-)

Magpie said...

Well said.

you gotta wonder said...

I'm glad you have found healing. I love your folk art! I enjoyed the art on Facebook (but the link to "Paintings by Ben & Bennie didn't work).

I appreciate your perspective on MJ and family. Your stepping out in faith and sharing part of your past is a powerful testimony to your own healing process. Your 2 kiddos are fortunate that you've "broken the cycle" and increased awareness of a far-too-pervasive problem in our society.

Ben and Bennie said...

ygw, I think I fixed the link. Not sure why Facebook does that sometimes but it's a good reason to move them to a better place.

Creative-Type Dad said...

You are truly amazing human. And it's not just because you like KFC too.

Although, that is a big deal in my book.