The Eighth and Final Square

with courage face the thing you fear so the pawn becomes the queen

No child chooses to be born. Why then do so many fundamentalist (emphasis on mental!) parents think their kids owe them?

We were constantly reminded of how much we owed our parents. We owed them because they “put up” with us when we were young. We owed them because there were so many of us. We owed them because they fed and clothed us. We owed them because they paid for our music lessons. We owed them because we were born to them and that meant they owned us. My parents never let us forget this.

Ruth owns a rather large forum for women, and they talk about how to obey their husbands and beat their kids into unquestioning obedience. Of all the things Dennis suggested she post to the forum, this idea was the worst to me: a video showing how Ruth was the “queen bee” and would be sitting in her chair reading (which she actually rarely did) and drinking coffee, ordering all of us around. Now, I have no problem with kids having chores, but joking that we were their slaves, and proposing shooting a video demonstrating that,  was over the line. We were children, who didn’t choose to be born…and we didn’t owe them just because they chose to pretend condoms and biology didn’t exist.

When I was almost 3, I started piano lessons, because as the story goes, I wanted to be able to play piano like the church’s pianist. I took piano lessons from the time I was almost three until I was twelve and a half, when we moved. That’s a lot of piano lessons, and they faithfully paid for them. Now, they could have stopped at any time…but they didn’t. When I wanted to play violin/take lessons with a Celtic group, I offered to pay for it on my own…but they said no because I took piano lessons. When Dennis wanted to start the family band, I was constantly coerced into helping him work on songs and play with him, partly from his everlasting guilt trips, and partly because “We paid for nine years of piano lessons, we should get SOMETHING out of it!” I began to resent my piano lessons, because they were when I was a child. My parents could have stopped them. They chose not to, but I was still held responsible for their decisions.

When I was thinking about leaving, besides the fact that I knew they would cut me off, I still felt like I owed them. After all, they did feed me and clothe me for 23 years, right? There was one time I told Scottie, “I couldn’t hurt my dad like that” when he suggested I leave. I felt responsible for their emotions as well. Didn’t I owe them that, to make and keep them happy?

My friend Shade wrote this post, another in her Shepherd’s Gospel series, which inspired this post. She has kindly allowed me to include it in my post.

romans 12

1. i ask you, by my mercy and g-d’s, present your body a living sacrifice to me. it is the least you can do.

2. don’t be like everyone else. be transformed by my renewing of your mind. so you will prove that you have learned what is good and acceptable, and perfect in my eyes.

3. for i say to you, g-d gave me the grace. do not think of yourself more highly than me. think carefully, modestly, because g-d gave me the faith to know truth.

4. even though there are many people, none are equal with me.

5. we, being many, are one body. and everyone’s body belongs to me.

6. there are many gifts, according to our faith, but mine are the most important. if i prophesy, it will be good. because my faith is pure.

7. or ministry, minister to me; and i will teach you.

8. and exhorting, exhort me: give to me with simplicity; and i will rule you with diligence. i will show you mercy with cheerfulness.

9. let your love be without hiding, without lies. i will know. i abhor that which is evil; cleave to me. i am good.

10. be kindly affectionate to me with brotherly love; in honour, prefer me.

Phoenix On November - 20 - 2014

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Welcome! This is my space on the internet to explore myself and my life and find my courage to turn into a queen. My Quilt No content on this blog may be used or reproduced elsewhere without a link back.

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