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Moira is an angel. See the Halo?
By now, most of us know that even beautiful women can have problems with self-esteem. For many, that's because the ONLY thing they were valued for was their beauty. Intelligence, creativity, athletic ability: none of that mattered because they were beautiful. So, they grew up thinking that was all they were good for, and began to live in dread that one day, their looks wouldn't be good enough.
It's a common story, and it's a sad and troubling story.
It's not Moira's story, though.
She wasn't valued for her beauty. She was hated for it, and even more, she was hated for being a girl. It was never a secret; her parents told her how worthless she was, and how worthless she would become.
Her mother was the celebrated science fiction and fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley. Her father was a famous coin authority, Walter Breen. And they both abused her, mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually,; they neglected her as well, depriving her of food, forcing her to live in a filthy, bug-infested pigsty.
They were progressive, you see. Material things didn't matter. And they both believed they were doing absolutely the right thing.
The insanity of that statement leaves me shaken. Her mother, referred to as MZB, actually was bragging to Moira about what a tough time she had, raising such a brat; and that she had made the great sacrifice of restraining herself from killing her young daughter."...my mother told me she had tried to beat me to death twice and she had “locked herself in a closet” to stop herself from killing me. ... I was appalled both by what Mother told me, and why: Mother wanted me to sympathize with her over what an evil child I had been, and how terrible her life had been while she was caring for me."
Greyland, Moira. The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon (Kindle Locations 4699-4702). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.
Her father, Walter Breen, was a known pedophile. He molested her from an early age, and raped her at age five.
"My father believed that early sexual experience would create gay children by helping them get in touch with their “natural homosexuality.”"
Greyland, Moira. The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon (Kindle Locations 955-956). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.
He went to his death, believing that having sex with young children was the right thing to do; his motto was "sex before eight, or it's too late."
He refused to accept any boundaries, not even when it came to bathroom privacy. He customarily walked around the house naked, and pressured others to do so as well.
"His insistence on nudity made me feel uneasy, because I was aware of his sexual interest in everything which breathed, and I was afraid that one day I might breathe around him."
Greyland, Moira. The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon (Kindle Locations 4405-4406). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.
Her mother sexually assaulted her as well, fondling her while she was trying to take a shower; nearly drowning her once when a very young Moira refused to perform a sexual act on her.
"I felt so filthy and so soiled because of what had happened to me. I irrationally thought that anyone would be able to tell by looking at me that I had been defiled."
Greyland, Moira. The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon (Kindle Locations 4709-4710). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.
I could not understand how this person could be alive, must less well-functioning, after all the abuse. There was NO ONE in her environment who was supportive of her. My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, and I often refer to strong Christians in our families as the reason that we were able to survive adversity. But Moira had no one like that. At first, her parents rejected all forms of religion; later, they both became very active neo-Pagans, holding ceremonies in their home. Finally, they were ordained by one of the 'clergy' who brought young boys to the house to be used as sex slaves; they named the church they created "Gnostic Catholicism," and continued in their depraved ways. In no case did they ever provide her with any of the spiritual tools needed to offset the abuse and neglect. Thus, I was amazed to come across this passage:
"I had quietly become a Christian a few years before. When Jesus came to me speaking in a small, still voice, He told me that I was His and He would take care of me. I couldn’t tell anyone, of course."
Greyland, Moira. The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon (Kindle Locations 3232-3234). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.This is the ONLY resiliency factor I have found in her life. She does have a staggering intellect, but was placed in substandard schools where she was rejected by other students and even teachers for being so smart; so, brains MIGHT have helped, but overall, it appears that it was just another thing that separated her from others.
Ultimately, she found affirmation through her singing ability, and later with her savant-level skill on the harp. And finally, beginning, I believe, in 2014, the world has affirmed her, by repudiating the treatment she received at the hands of her parents.
Alas and alack, there remain some morons. I read today a comment by the president of the Science Fiction Writers' Association, a certain Cat Rambo, which attempted to defer criticism of their devotion to MZB by invoking Donald Trump.
Donald Trump? What in the great green world does Donald Trump have to do with ANYTHING related to this story? Just how much power are people ascribing to him, anyway?
I had the great good fortune to watch online Moira's very first EVER public speech, to a gathering of Children Of Gay Parents (COG). In that presentation, as in the picture in this blog, the lighting gave her a halo. That was consistent with the power in her speech; she commented later that she was so nervous that she felt ill, but you would never know it by seeing how well she did. She was composed, a bit whimsical over the fact that the person introducing her pronounced her name wrong (it's pronounced MOY-ra, I believe), and she freely and honestly spoke of her own years of misery, suffered at the hands of her parents and their friends.
It's ONLY because I had seen her that I was able to keep reading her book. I kept encountering the most depraved incidents; in some cases, they seemed impossible. And yet, I'd research the most extreme example of pedophilia, and discover there was plenty of documentation to support it. The fact that Moira, today, is a reasonably functioning human being, able to give and receive love, able to perform beautifully in public, is the reason I was able to keep slogging through examples of the misery she faced on a daily basis.
I hope that she progresses in her healing. I hope that her voice is heard, and that there never, ever exists another community that is so willfully ignorant of the torture and exploitation of innocents.
And I hope the community of those who support her grows and grows, and that the community that wishes to cling to the idea that depravity is acceptable is exposed to the light, and vanishes.
Peace be on your household.