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Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
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Mrs Dodd was a plump woman with a slightly lazy eye and a harshness to
her voice that seemed to contradict her sweet disposition. She picked
flowers from her garden and took them to the church every seventh day.
She could quote every biblical verse exactly and knew most of the words
to the all of the hymns for which she played organ.

“A pillar in the community and a Good God Fearing woman,” Most would
have said if they were asked.  This was a community not given to gossip
or criticism of judgment – at least not openly. Secretly, anyone who had
observed Mrs Dodd with any real interest, which was unlikely, would have
to admit that the woman was creepy. No such thing was ever said.

Mr Dodd had his own thoughts and opinions and was rather pragmatic of
thought, unfortunately he was also afraid of Mrs Dodd and over time he
molded himself into a subservient, nervous little coward who did as she
said without question. He, like Mrs Dodd, presented well in public.

There were two reasons for their marriage, one being that they were both
age appropriate so it was the thing to do and the other reason was that
they were the only single male and female of that denomination at that
time. Marrying one’s own kind was central to their belief and no other
consideration was even pondered. It was a simple and somber church
wedding: a hymn and a prayer, scones and tea were served under the
Jacaranda tree, but there was no music, no speech and no joy.

The Dodd’s had been married eighteen years but had not had children.
There was a clumsy attempt at intercourse a fortnight after the wedding.
She tensed her body in sheer repulsion, recited The Lords Prayer and
leaned over the bed and vomited. Mrs Dodd remained a virgin. There
was rarely a day that Mr Dodd was not passive/aggressively reminded of
his filthy, sinful act.

The Dodds lived in a small rural town and owned a good number of acres
of farmland: they worked hard and long hours and made a sensible
amount of money. They lived frugally, they ate from the land, cooked on
a wood fuelled stove, shared bath water with each other as well as
washed their clothes in it and then tipped it out onto some potted plants
on the verandah, fed the dog with food scrapes and went to bed at
sundown to save electricity and to arise early the following day.

Mrs Dodd only owned two sets of clothes and her church dress and when
they became threadbare she sewed something new or darned something
old.  Her waist length hair was pulled into a severe twisted bun on top of
her head and Mr Dodd was issued a soup-bowl hair-cut which
exaggerated a bald patch at the crown of his head, giving him the
appearance of a mad monk. He grew his beard long in an unconscious
attempt to compensate for his loss of hair. They did in fact have a lot of
money but something about the meek inheriting the Earth prevented
them from indulging in comforts and another reference to filthy lucre
popped up from time to time.

There was much discussion at the church between the women about the
government of the day imploring good white christen people to foster or
adopt unwanted, illegitimate or half cast children. Mrs Dodd did not like
children; they made noise, they were dirty, they were expensive and time
consuming. However, Mrs Dodd did like being well thought of by her
equals and she secretly listed a number of chores that a good, strong,
young boy could do around the farm if she trained him right.

Two months later a train from Sydney arrived at the station and much to
her horror a clerical mistake delivered to her a part aboriginal boy of
eleven, a twelve year old male runt with a lisp and red hair and a girl. She
was mortified. Unfortunately there were too many other church members
at the arrival and before she had time to think they were praising and
applauding her and showering her with approval and chanting praise god
all over her. She was stuck and she knew it. It would be an
understatement to say she was disappointed with the boys, but the girl
sent a chill down her that never left.

Amanda was a delicate and overly beautiful child of thirteen. She had
been cleaned up by Child Services and had been staying in an
orphanage for three months. She learned many years later that her
father had been imprisoned for domestic violence and her mother had
handed her over to the authorities as an unwanted child. She had
regular nightmares about blood, screaming, bottles breaking, male
swearing, police lights and neighbors’ calling out, ‘stop it’, and banging
on the door.

They had found Amanda on the floor of a public toilet somewhere near
Bondi Beach. She had covered herself in toilet paper to keep warm and
held tightly to a dirty sock containing a small piece of amethyst, an
orange, a ribbon and two small shells.

She had never been on a train and it was both exhilarating and
frightening. She would have a new home and would be taken care of and
no one would ever hurt her again. She didn’t really know what that
meant, but she thought it might be somewhere to wait for her mother to
come and find her. She made the carer’s at the orphanage promise to let
her mother know where she was and they did promise and they also
knew that it was a lie when they said it.

Amanda met her two new brothers at the kitchen table that night. They
decided to call the aboriginal boy Ricky as his real name was too native
and of no significance to them. The other boy was called Grahame but
they also decided it was easier to call him Ginger. Amanda was from then
on called Mandy by Mr Dodd and the boys, which was okay as her father
had sometimes called her that when he was in a good mood. Mrs Dodd
always called her Amanda in public but she used many other names for
her in private.

Amanda only ever really saw the boys early in the morning, on the bus to
and from school, at the dinner table and at church; Mr Dodd kept them
busy working outside from sun up to sundown the rest of the time.
Amanda was at the mercy of Mrs Dodd who worked her like a slave and
spoke to her as something less. On a good day, criticism would be
replaced by biblical quotes: Idle hands do the devil's work. The soul of
the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is
richly supplied. The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be
put to forced labor. The most popular by far was the one she made up
herself, “Those who do not work hard and without complaint - do not eat
at my table.”

The Dodds were vegetarians, they did not drink alcohol, tea or coffee nor
did they use sugar, they did not own a TV and only occasionally listened
to the ABC on the radio. Most nights they ate soup and home made
bread. There were no magazines in the house and no music other than
at church. Amanda twice heard Mr Dodd whistling in the shed and it
thrilled her.

They spent two hours after dinner reading the bible and praying.  Mrs
Dodd favoured the old testament and her prayers were rarely those of
gratitude or heaven but rather begging forgiveness on behalf of Amanda:
Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy
flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. Flee from sexual immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually
immoral person sins against his own body. Now the works of the flesh are
evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity,
strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,
drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you
before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Amanda had no idea what these things meant but she took them very
seriously and knew them off by heart.

Mrs Dodd was obsessive about cleanliness and she taught Amanda to
scrub her skin with Sunlight Soap and a kitchen scourer. She boiled
bedding in a big copper over the laundry fire and inspected her hair for
nits and her bottom for worms.

Mrs Dodds hand was very quick to slap or throw things at Amanda but
that was nothing compared to the cruel beatings with the jug cord, the
constant humiliation, the depravation of food and the long hard hours of
physical work.

Mr Dodd’s heart ached for Amanda, she was sweet and almost angelic,
but he would turn away when he heard her crying or Mrs Dodd
screaming. He once looked up when he heard a gun shot and saw
Amanda racing across the paddock as Mrs Dodd stood on the verandah
screaming, “You will be punished my girl, come hell or high water, I will
not spare the rod.” Mr Dodd’s shoulder slumped as he turned to see
Ricky charge across the yard and pull the gun from the woman.

Amanda slept in the orange orchard that night and with the cows in the
shed the following night. When she did find the courage to go home, she
learned that Ricky had taken a beating for her and his bed had been
moved onto the verandah as he was no longer welcome in the house.
Amanda was not punished at all, which was even worse, as she was left
with the guilt and sadness of Ricky being hurt on her behalf.

Amanda and the boys had their hair cut in the same soup bowl fashion
as Mr Dodd. Amanda wore boy’s overalls on the farm and only beige and
brown for school, church and going to town. Her hems were long and the
neckline was high. She was constantly warned about the lust of men and
the sins of the flesh. Always, it was the sin of the woman. Amanda wanted
to be a nun although they were not catholic.

The nearer to Amanda’s sixteenth birthday the more obsessive,
aggressive and angry Mrs Dodd became:

“If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her and
accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I
took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence
of virginity,’ then the father of the young woman and her mother shall
take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in
the gate. And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, ‘I
gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her; and behold, he
has accused her of misconduct, saying, “I did not find in your daughter
evidence of virginity.” And yet this is the evidence of my daughter's
virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. "Let not sin therefore reign in
your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield
ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield
yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead
.

Amanda was oblivious to the looks from the men and the boys but she
was desperately aware and disturbed about the strange feelings now
consuming her body and thoughts. Mrs Dodd was white hot furious when
Amanda mentioned the blood on her panties, so she knew not to mention
anything about this, especially the awareness that she was secretly
pleased and sometimes thrilled with the sensations in her ‘down there’
place. She could not allow herself to ponder such thoughts for very long
though and would divert her attention by silently praying for God to
release her from her carnal thoughts.

She chanted, I must not touch myself, keep behind me Satan, I am bad, I
am sinful, save me Lord…Sometimes she would let herself rock a little,
press up against vibrations, wash herself a little too thoroughly. She was
ashamed.

Amanda stood in the chook shed and could hear the voices of everyone
back at the house. She was alone; she slipped her fingers into her
panties and touched herself. Her face flushed, her knees weakened and
she played herself like the maestro of an orchestra. Shame, pleasure,
guilt, pleasure, sin, pleasure, filthy dirty whore, pleasure…

She went to the chook shed every day after that and each day the voices
in her head became more silenced. Mrs Dodd had no idea that Amanda’s
extra hard work and quiet demeanor were motivated by erotic fantasies.

One deliciously sinful and rebellious night, Amanda took a tapered
candle to bed with her…

Mrs Dodd’s screams were those of a beast caught in a trap and the
chilling sound propelled Mr Dodd, Ginger and Ricky out of their beds to
arrive in unison at Amanda’s bedroom door. Amanda was curled into a
fetal position as Mrs Dodd strapped, pulled and punched at her. It took
the two boys to tear the old shrew off her and Mr Dodd picked up
Amanda and carried her from the house and into the back of his car.

For the first time ever, he spoke softly and lovingly to the girl and held
her like a baby. “Mandy, Mandy my love, my baby forgive me, God loves
you baby, I love you child,” he sobbed with her.

Amanda stayed in the car as Dodd walked back to the house to collect a
bag of belongings, including an old sock, a ribbon and two small shells.

The hysterical woman was held by the two boys as she continued to spit
out slut, whore, filth, bitch… like a harridan with Tourettes. Ginger
slapped her hard across the face and she fell into an agonized whimper.
Ricky moved to the phone and called a doctor.

Dodd drove four hundred miles to a guesthouse on the North Shore of
Sydney. The following day Amanda applied for a place at Hornsby
Hospital as a live-in trainee nurse.

Mrs Dodd was placed in Morrisette Mental Hospital and I have heard that
Mr Dodd continued to care for her after her release.

The boys moved to Newcastle. Ginger became a Fitter and Turner and
Ricky a Psychologist, both married and later returned to the farm with
their wives and children, which was left to them after the Dodd’s died.
Amanda never went back and refused her share of the inheritance.

When I last saw Amanda she was working with Aboriginal communities in
the West.  She had for a time, joined the Sannyasins, and through their
teachings, some clinical therapy and her own hard work, reinvented
herself. She is no longer affiliated with any religious group but has found
peace and stability with her long-time partner, her work, her community
and the recent birth of her son.

Copyright Sonya Green
www.reinventingmyself.com
Reinventing Myself - Sonya Green

Mrs. Dodd
The sexual shame, guilt and dysfunction of religious
fundamentalism

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