Theoretical oppression seers the mind when it is considered historically and intellectually. When it is witnessed but not experienced, it infects our spirit with its own. When it is a personal reality – for a minute or a lifetime – its power, which is born of lies, evil and a cold disregard for anything hopeful, takes aim at our very essence – our soul. This is where the good and bad of our minds, hearts and spirits are whirled into our essence which starkly or subtly creates the boundaries of our identity. Oppression is one nasty spirit that wants to create wars globally and mobilize discouragement personally. The most ruthless strategy of oppression is not physical, although death is often its desire. Its power to – with a smile and a pat on the back – make you accept a lie, even a little bit, that who you know you are and that which you know you believe is not true – and it’s your fault that you ever thought otherwise. Your soul – your essence – seemingly fades away (it does not in reality – more lies). You are left with nausea, from head to toe, because you’ve been wrong all these years. You are disowned, without purpose. You cannot count on anything except a shifting reality of the oppressor which is tempting to latch on to you. When normal people argue with dementia people and win the argument by saying, “you can’t remember anyway”, its oppression. It’s a daytime assault on your being. When normal people define cognitive decline as you sort of aren’t worth their time, visit, or money – it’s oppression. When normal people talk to your partner about you in front of you, its oppression – I don’t care how minor or good intentioned. When no decision about us is met without a condescension, it is oppression. I am so sorry that it took dementia to understand, but thankful nevertheless. Oppression has enemies that can defang it more easily than its power would suggest. It can be healed in the soul by a spirit that is more powerful than oppression and its allies – mercy, grace, kindness, gentleness, peace, patience, faithfulness and self-control. The challenge is to meet oppression with these spirits and not with oppression’s sidekicks of violence, hatred, invective, jealousy, rage and fear.
Oppression – persecution, abuse, maltreatment, tyranny, despotism, subjection, subjugation…social, systematic, institutionalized or internalized.