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"To heal our toxic shame, we must come out of hiding." --John Bradshaw--
About the Author
Orva is a retired business man. He lives in Northern Indiana, USA, on a small private nature preserve with his wife and best friend, Jenny, and his other two best friends, Lizzie, the Australian Shepherd, and Bella, the Boston Terrier. He's glad to hear from folks at email@example.com
Reading this book was a deeply disturbing and yet very moving and ultimately a positive experience. The author and I are basically the same age and grew up in the same country at the same time. Our lives are so different and yet very similar. I have spent my adult life in the mental health field and have heard horrible life stories. But among the worst are those of religious abuse from those who were trapped in a religious ideology that condemned them to hell for attempting to question, and be sane and healthy.
Orva was born and raised Amish. His whole childhood was full of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse. And yet somehow, something very sane, very spiritual managed to survive and lead him out of this religious hell into a life of honest investigation, discovery and love.
Without suffering, how many of us would look deeply into our lives? Suffering turns some of us into monsters, others into truly spiritual beings. The truly spiritual path is not easy and so it is the road less travelled.
Like Orva, after many years of working with people, I have also concluded that religion breaks the spirit of the person and keeps them chained in a prison of ignorance, guilt, shame, despair, confusion, hatred and fear. Most do not have the courage to ask the simple questions of, "Is this true?", "how do I know what is really true?", "where is the love and forgiveness?"
Orva, instead of being broken by his experiences as a child, somehow survived and even thrived. He is no longer a religious man, but is profoundly spiritual. He took the road less travelled. It was not an easy one. He had to face many demons in his journey.
Although this book is disturbing, I couldn't put it down and read it right through.Read more ›
I've said it before: Many people set out on a spiritual path because what they've been raised to believe doesn't make sense anymore - or directly contradicts their reality - and they can no longer tolerate the dissonance.
We'd like our lives to make sense. Our lives SHOULD make sense. Yet sometimes, a deeply unsettling feeling washes over everything we witness and are told. When we start to get to the age of reasoning (about age 13, by my way of figuring) we realize that something is terribly wrong, but we don't have the capacity to effectively deal with it. At that point, we turn to either conformity - going along with the parents in order to get along - or rebellion, either open or passive.
Rebellion isn't much of a sideline, given enough time. At the least, it's no good way to live, as the thoughts that brought us to rebellion continue to nag and plague us, causing poor behavior and the potential for self-destruction.
Reaching the point of exasperation, we look for answers, but they are not usually to be found in the vapid and stale principles of fundamentalist religion. We may try different religions, different practices, different methods of insight, perhaps even shunning the world and its accepted beliefs altogether, if one is lucky or tenacious enough. Seek we must.
Orva's path is much like my own. That's why I like to call him my Brother, though we've never met in person.
All of us walk through the world with a unique footstep, and yet the dynamic that causes us to seek a better life runs common to many. Orva and I were fortunate enough to `meet' in our searching. He seemed like a great guy, but I never could have imagined...
Beatings. Whippings. Rejection. Insults. Torment. Hate. Derision. Brutality.Read more ›
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Imagine being the outsider amongst a dozen siblings. You are the one who is eager to fit in and be a good worker like your older brothers, but you are labeled "worthless" by your father. You yearn for the attention of your mother, but she is too busy raising your younger siblings and attending to the family household.
Imagine being this child in an Amish household, eager for the attention that a young blossoming mind deserves, but lost in a world of religious stronghold and misunderstanding.
This was the childhood of Orva Schrock, and this book, Worthless Boy, is his memoir. Divided into 2 parts consisting of just seven chapters over 81 pages, Schrock wastes not a word painting a picture of a troubled and disturbed childhood, a boy yearning for the attention of his parents but getting most persecution instead.
The book begins with this sentence: I was born as fuel for hell, or so was the deepest metaphysical understanding I was capable of.
Part 1 of the book begins when Orva is three and traces several concrete moments throughout his childhood and teen years. He longed for the attention of his father, but got mostly verbal and physical abuse which resulted in quite a bit of mental anguish which led to Orva becoming quite the young rowdy boy who acts out for attention.
Add to this the "hardcore" religious beliefs of his Amish upbringing and the move of his large family for better work to keep the family fed. Part 1 ends at his ninth grade year of school, which was also the end of his formal education.
Part 2 is a quick glimpse into the 50 years that have passed as Orva reflects on the death of his father, and spends one whole chapter quoting from various books he has read and which made him a stronger man.Read more ›
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Born on a farm in Northern Indiana, my family was Old Order Amish, at age 2 moved to a farm in Southern Michigan, at age 7 moved to a farm in Macon county Georgia, moved back up north as a teen to work in a factory and escape the Amish and explore the worldly life as a 'hippy.' Got the haircut and my first suit and tie at 30 to begin a career self-employed in financial services business, [meanwhile raising 3 wonderful children and reading many hundreds of great books] retired at 58 in 2007--now living quietly with my wife and 2 dogs on a private 5 acre 'nature preserve.' Whew! Where does the time go?
To summarize I could say I'm a Amish farm boy hillbilly redneck factory worker hippy husband father grandfather reader writer retired business man and Ramana Maharshi loving nature mystic always seeking the true Self.