Family

In the Service of the Inexplicable and the Paradoxical

by Keith Turner on July 20, 2017

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When I was 29, it was the year in my life when Bradley was conceived and born. It was also in the middle of my Saturn Return. This caused a lot of internal self-reflection. At some point in all this I was reading in the Book of Mormon in the book of Morni – “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.”

I remember clearly thinking that I wanted to be filled with this love, so I got on my knees and in one of those moments of sincere pleading I asked for this charity, this love, this pure love. In the middle of praying after speaking my request my soul said to me “Are you sure this is what you want? This will destroy your family and your life!” I paused for a moment and then in a very confident manner stated “Yes! I am sure.”

I was willing to pay the price at that time. As with many things that involve the soul the price is often greater than imagined. From that moment on I began having experiences that would crack the thick exterior around my inner world. On the 19th of January 2003, a few months before I turned 31 all of the walls that kept my life together crashed around me. The morning started with my coming out to my Navy psychologist. By the time the day ended I had told my commanding officer, my religious leaders and my extended family. The world as I knew it ceased to exist that day.

“The spirit of the depth took my understanding and all my knowledge and placed them at the service of the inexplicable and the paradoxical.” [The Red Book – Liber Primus fol.i(v) Carl Jung]

But the supreme meaning is the path, the way and the bridge to what is to come. That is the God yet to come. It is not the coming of God himself, but his image which appears in the supreme meaning. God is an image, and those who worship him must worship him in the image of the supreme meaning.

The supreme meaning is not a meaning and not an absurdity, it is image and force in one, magnificent and force together.

The supreme meaning is the beginning and the end. It is the bridge of going across and fulfillment.

The other Gods died of their temporality, yet the supreme meaning never dies, it turns into meaning and then absurdity, and out of the fire and blood of their collision the supreme meaning rises up rejuvenated anew.

The image of God has a shadow. The supreme meaning is real and cast a shadow. For what can be actual and corporeal and have no shadow?

The shadow is nonsense. It lacks force and has no continued existence through itself. But nonsense is the inseparable and undying brother of the supreme meaning.

Like plants, so men also grow, some in the light, others in the shadows. There are many who need the shadows and not the light.

The image of God throws a shadow that is just as great as itself.

The supreme meaning is great and small, it is as wide as the space of the starry Heaven and as narrow as the cell of the living body.”

January 19th, the day all of my panic attacks stopped occurring regular three or four times a week, I found myself in the shadow of God. The meaning of my life turned into absurdity and I got swept up into the blood and fire of their collision.  Here I am 16 years later finding that the absurdity is beginning to turn into meaning again and the glimpse of the supreme meaning is beginning to appear.

 

 

Secrets that Destroy

by Keith Turner on July 18, 2017

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One reason that I have often kept my secrets was to avoid disapproval. It is a common characteristic of families where abuse is present that we don’t speak about it.  To speak out loud about the abuse is taboo, it breaks the fundamental rules that perpetuate the abuse.

In the middle of the great depression my great-grandmother gave birth to fraternal twins a boy and a girl. She had very clear views about the nature of boys and girls. Boys were bad and and my grandfather was reminded of this all of his life. When he was an adolescent he was molested by one of his cousins, a secret kept for decades. Eventually my grandfather joined the U.S. Navy Construction Battalions known as Seabees. He was trained as a carpenter.

He was a damn good carpenter but his mother believed that he would only have value as a person if he was a farmer. He bought a farm outside of Rigby Idaho close to Lewisville and move his family. The reason given was to teach his son responsibility. Those years on the farm were violent and full of misery and sorrow. He was hear on a regular basis walking around his farm yelling at the top of his lungs “God Damn Farm”. Every member of that family was certainly living in hell during those years.

Towards the end of ’his life he confessed for the first time to his wife about being molested and how much guilt and shame he felt. Here was a man who was told by his mother all of her life he was not good enough. Inside he was being eaten alive by a haunting memory. What might his life have been like if he had been freed from the guilt and shame that was buried deep inside of him for decades?

Studies have shown that disclosing trauma and your feelings about those traumas have a positive immediate and long-term effect upon your health. It takes a lot of work to keep secrets. So much effort and energy can be tied up in keeping secrets that it can severely effect or health.

My grandfather grew up being told his whole life he was not good enough. He had a son,my father. My father grew up being told his whole life he was not good enough. My father had a son, Keith. I grew up being told I was not good enough. I have a son. My son has struggled his whole life with you are not good enough. My grandfather was molested as an adolescent by his cousin. I was molested as a child by a neighbor. My son was molested as a child by a neighbor.

Almost an entire century has passed since my grandfather came into the world. Years and decades of secrets have perpetuated violence, trauma, neglect and heartache. At the end of last year for the first time in my life I very publicly broke a fundamental rule. I wrote a blog post in November and a similar article was published in QSaltLake in January where I wrote about a specific event of domestic violence. Four generations of men who have been victims, and three of those generations have internalized this violence and perpetuated it against our own children. I broke the rules because we all deserve healing. Secrets have been the destroyer of our healing and health.

I loved my grandfather. He was often an ornery old man, yet he still found ways to show me he loved me. When I changed my last name at the age of 19 it caused a lot of hurt. Arlin was the first to publicly forgive me.

I love my father. He was one of the first people to stand by my side and offer support when I came out. For the first few years he called me every couple of days. When life looked bleak and I would think about ending my life I would know he would call me in a day or two and I could not do that to him. He is one of the reasons I survived the bleakest period of my life from about 30 to 35.

I love my son. He has the biggest heart I know. I am already forgiven before I ever apologize. Conversations with him about my own perpetuation of violence has helped me to see my own place is this perpetuation of abuse. I have hope that this will come to an end with my children.

The time has come when I am no longer willing to be the keeper of the secrets. Families and lives have been destroyed by these secrets. As the secrets see the light that energy used to keep them covered can now be directed to conversations and healing.

United States Navy – Veteran

by Keith Turner on November 11, 2016

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6e9513974d8623ddfad9f20668a8577aMay 9, 1995 I was visiting my paternal grandfather, Arlin Fell. He served in World War II in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee. For the first time in my life he talked to me about his experience in the Navy. He pulled out his photo album. There was a letter to his mother where he described being attacked by Japanese Kamikaze pilots. It was the first time we had a real conversation as adults. The last thing he said to me before I left was “NEVER JOIN THE NAVY!” Two weeks later on May 24 he passed away.

It should not surprise anyone that knows me, not only did I not listen to him but I did exactly the opposite of what he told me not to do. On February 6th 1996 I raised my right hand and said”

I Keith Allen Turner, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear truth faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”   

At that moment I was officially enlisted in the U.S. Navy and become Seaman Turner. I got on a plane and spent the next year and a half just outside of Chicago, nine weeks in boot camp and the rest of the time in training.

Boot Camp was nine weeks of hell. I found ways to survive and adjust to difficult circumstances successfully. That experience has played a big part in my life, giving me confidence I would not have had otherwise. After I graduated from boot camp my grandmother told me my grandfather would have been real proud of me. I am sure that she was right.

I went on to serve on both the U.S.S. Harry W. Hill and the U.S.S. Kinkaid. [Both ships were sunk on July 14, 2004 in the Pacific as part of military exercise.]

January 21, 2003 after a long series of events I broke the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule and told my commanding officer I was gay. In hind sight I was very lucky. My command at the time S.I.M.A San Diego made sure I was discharged in the best possible way. They called the military JAG office and made sure that my discharge was processed as an honorable discharge. During that time in the military there was a lot of dishonorable discharges for breaking the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Rule.

On March 7, 2003 I received an honorable discharge – reason for discharge: Homosexual Admission.

My seven years as a sailor was a pivotal time in my life. It was the beginning of a long exploration of me being me and discoveries about myself which has continued to this very day.

Today on Veterans Day I am taking a moment to remember the importance my military service has been to my life and how it has helped shape me into the person I am today. Those seven years were the best of times and the worst of times. I fell in love with the sea and ultimately it lead me on a journey where I fell in love with myself.

In the end it was the one thing that finally created a connection between me and my grandfather Arlin.

Police Officers

by Keith Turner on November 4, 2016

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The unexpected side benefit of attending the Unified Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy is that it has opened a place for healing from old childhood wounds. I have not been able to write anything about the police academy since the active shooter scenario. My mind started processing, bringing down walls to an otherwise inaccessible part of my past, an emotional part of that past I had tried to put behind inaccessible walls. These hidden emotions did find ways to escape, though it was mostly through unconscious means.

I am 11 or 12 perhaps younger / older I do not know. My father has come home for lunch. He has parked his motorcycle directly behind my mother’s car. Having a dentist appointment, my mother and I get into the car. She either forgets or does not know that the motorcycle is parked directly behind her car. Backing into it she knocking over the motorcycle. Momentarily we both look at each other in horror as we realize what had just happened and knowing what is about to happen.

 My father running out of the house quickly makes his way the driver’s side door of the car. A scuffle ensues as my father tries to force the door open as my mother is trying to re-shut lock the car door.  Being stronger he soon forces the car door open and begins to drag her out of the car while hitting her. Amongst all the screaming I hear her yell ‘lock the doors and stay in the car’.

 Soon my father drags her around the car and onto the lawn. My mother curls up on the lawn with her hands wrapped around her head as my father continues hitting her and yelling.

I found myself sitting in a locked car watching helplessly as my mother was being beaten by my father. My mother eventually escapes, running off to a neighbor’s house. My father tied to get into the car but I am too scared and refused to unlock the doors. I was terrified.

Eventually my father picked up his motorcycle and drives off.

Within minutes a county sheriff  officer arrives, walks up to the car, knocks on the window and ask me if I am ok. 

He was a tall man as seen from the eyes of a child. I still see him clearly in my mind, all but the details of his face. Even that is probably stored somewhere in my memories.

Most if not all of my memories of police officers as a child involved them arriving to my house just after a moment of extreme violence. Their arrival was the indication that all was now momentarily safe. The violence had ended for the day.

For the last ten weeks I have spent every Wednesday night and one Saturday morning surrounded and interacting with police officers. At the end of each of these classes I have climbed into my car and started crying as I have drove myself home. I told Detective Bennett, one of the COP officers, a few weeks ago that my interaction with police officers as a child was as a result of them responding to domestic violence at my childhood home. This last Wednesday night, which also happened to be the last Citizen’s Police Academy class, one of the scenarios we did was responding to a domestic violence call. I  found myself acting in the role of a police officer responding to a domestic violence call. The actual scenario was non-violent just a lot of yelling, though it was enough to destroy any and all remaining walls I had encased around those childhood emotions. After running the scenario I mentioned to Detective Malm, who is in charge of the Citizen’s Police Academy, a similar thing that previously most of my interaction with police officers was through responding to domestic violence calls as a child.

Wednesday night I might have slept on and off for three hours and by Thursday morning the barriers to all those emotions were finally gone. I am now finally in a place with my life where little Keith feels safe enough to unlock the car doors and come out. I have a better understanding that some of the emotional, psychological and physiological reactions I experience when interacting with a police officer has been rooted in an emotional past that until now I had been unwilling to fully acknowledge and deal with.

What started out as an intent to better understand the life of a police officer has turned into a better understanding and integration of myself.

 

[note: My father is a good person with his own issues like everyone else. As adults we do have a good relationship. I am sure that I will have more to say on this in a later post.]

You Be You

by Keith Turner on October 2, 2016

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Miller Lite I had the  most interesting weekend all due to a Miller Lite sign I had posted on Face for sale. Not long after I had posted it on Facebook I received a message from my sister “Your selling this sign? Matt is interested in it and obviously we’d pay for shipping.” Up to this point my Sister and I had almost no contact for over 13 years. Matt has been her husband for over 11 years and we had never met.

Coming out of the closet and telling my family I was gay caused a big family rift. For basically the last 13 years I have pretended that my five siblings do not exist and they have pretended I do not exist. After receiving the message from my sister I felt like maybe it was time to reconnect with her.  I decided to drive to Boise and deliver the sign in person.

The last time that Robbie and I really interacted was in 1994 when I took her to see The Lion King. I was a judgmental asshole. I made it clear that I thought she was living a sinful life and needed to repent. I was coming at this from a place of thinking I was being loving. At that time I had no real idea what it meant to love someone.  Robbie who is my younger sister understood life and love much better then I did at that time.

I have stopped being anything other than me as defined by me for the last year. It has opened up a whole new world of wonderful discoveries about me. I love me more then I ever have. I love my life tremendously. I am no longer fitting into others perceptions or judgement of how I should be or act. It is from this place that I have been able to release my judgement of other people things and places and be open to receive all that is in the world.

It was from this place that I met my sister Robbie for the first time in Boise. All other times we had interacted I was in a place of judgement. This prevented me from being able to really see her. Matt and Robbie are wonderful people. It took me a long time to open myself up and release any judgement I had and be able to see them as they are.

Robbie is Robbie and did not hide any of herself from me. Matt is Matt and did not hide any of himself from me. I am Me and I did not hid any of myself from them. It was a magical weekend of personal discovery and the beginning of a beautiful relationship between us.

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Divorce Final – The End

by Keith Turner on February 18, 2016

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The divorce decree was signed 27 January 2016. Today it takes effect and will now be registered with the Swedish Tax Office.

With that brings an end to:

An American Living In Sweden

Divorce – Final Stage

by Keith Turner on January 27, 2016

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from: Eklund Dobra Annelie – TKR <Annelie.EklundDobra@dom.se>
to: “cypressius@gmail.com” <cypressius@gmail.com>
date: Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 12:44 AM
subject: SV: Question Delg Nr 14504963-1627-1650DK

Dear Mr Turner,

The divorce is at its final stage and the judgment is being finalized. It will be sent to you shortly.

It will then take another three weeks (from the date on the judgment) before it has taken legal effect, unless you change your mind and appeal which you have right to do within these three weeks.

If neither of you appeal the Court will then send the judgment to the Swedish Tax Office (Inland Revenue) who will register you as divorced.

Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Annelie Eklund Dobra

Drafting Secretary, Kristianstad District Court

Tel (dir): +46 44 18 36 30annelie.eklunddobra@dom.se • Fax: +46 44 12 22 53www.kristianstadstingsratt.domstol.se

 

Divorce

by Keith Turner on January 26, 2016

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Från: Registrator Kristianstad Tingsrätt – TKR
Skickat: den 27 januari 2016 08:04
Till: TKR – Beredning
Ämne: VB: Question Delg Nr 14504963-1627-1650DK

Från: Keith Turner [mailto:cypressius@gmail.com]

Skickat: den 26 januari 2016 17:26
Till: Registrator Kristianstad Tingsrätt – TKR
Ämne: Question Delg Nr 14504963-1627-1650DK

Good Day,

Forgive me, my Swedish is not very good so I am writing in English.

My name is Keith Turner. My person number is XXXXXXXXXXXX.  My former spouse Vanim Zetreus filed for divorce the first week of December. I received the paperwork around the 15th of December. I signed them and mailed them back to your office. As far as I am aware that is all I need to do. I am writing because I am not exactly sure if there is anything else that needs to be done. Will I get final paperwork from the court once I am divorced? How does the whole process work?

Best Regards,

Keith Turner

e-post: cypressius@gmail.com

day time phone: +1 801.365.4534