Posts Tagged ‘Bible stuff’
I’ve never liked it when non-parents, or parents of very young children, talked about parenting and how to raise kids.
The reason being, the Big Bad Teen Years were still looming in the not-so-distant future.
How were those young parents and young non-parents going to prove their methods worked, if they hadn’t successfully brought a child through the teen years?
My dad would explain his methods of child training to other people. Stuff like, if your kid has an attitude, spank them. (As if the parents never have attitudes? And as if being upset about something is bad?) If your kid talks back, spank them. (Because the parents ALWAYS know best and even when the kid is trying to explain the situation, they’re always wrong.) If your kid didn’t respond right away or do what you wanted right away, spank them. (Because of course, a kid is never doing anything important!) If your kid hits his sibling, spank him. (Because we all know two wrongs make a right…) People would always say “Yeah, your kids are great NOW, just wait until they get into their teens!”
One time my dad told me those people were trying to “curse” him by hoping his kids would have wild teen years, just to prove him wrong and them right. The problem is, they underestimated the power of fear. And the “spanking stick”.
I remember my puberty years. I remember how awful my puberty years were. At the time, I didn’t understand that wacky emotions was normal for puberty. All I knew was that any emotions I displayed were 1. wrong and 2. due to “PMS”…even if I wasn’t near my period. I always felt misunderstood. For a while, I was afraid to reread my diaries from those years because I was afraid I would find that I was really the one being unreasonable. I wasn’t. Because of this obscene need for us to be perfectly obedient, “happy”, and well-behaved, my feelings and thoughts were made unimportant.
No, none of us “rebelled” (I’m SO going to write a post on rebellion sometime because it totally doesn’t mean what everyone thinks it means, especially in conservative/fundamentalist circles) during our teen years. At least not that the public could see. We had our battles at home, though very small ones comparatively.
I sort of feel like I’m rambling now, but there is a method to my madness. All of this to say…I don’t look with disdain anymore on young mothers talking about child raising. The reason is…these young women were raised themselves. They don’t have as much experience putting methods into practice, but they lived through whatever method their parents used and likely have some improvements, if not new methods.
I’ve gotta say, I would probably bank more on the methods of an ex-Quivering Daughter than that of any conservative or fundamentalist. I’ve been there too.
I’m still not going to write posts on how to be a good parent. But after my daughter is born (wow, saying that kind of gives me chills xD ), I will post about what I’m learning. Because I believe, more strongly now than ever, that parenting isn’t about “training” kids in the sense that my parents meant (ala Michael Pearl…spanking/beating your child into submission so s/he knows you are in control). I believe it’s a learning experience for both the parent and the child.
Last night, Scottie was reading through some of the Pearl’s material on spanking. I found out something very revealing: They believe there are basically two extremes to parenting. But the two extremes are more alike than they care to admit.
As a lot of you know, they believe in asserting your will over your child’s…spanking your child until s/he is “broken” to your will, and more. But basically, the same thing as my parents: anything and everything gets a spanking.
I call that lazy parenting.
Their “opposite” they talk about is parents who NEVER reprimand their children (or if they do, it’s in a screaming/nagging way), parents who let their kids do whatever they want without restraint, parents who are “helpless” to do anything, parents who have absolutely no semblance of order in their house.
I call that lazy parenting.
It was a big revelation to me when I figured out that all they did was take one version of lazy parenting (neglectfulness) to the opposite end of lazy parenting (a one-size-fits-all spanking).
It was then that I realized that raising a kid wasn’t so much about child training as it is parent training.
And it’s the hardest form of parenting there is.
I already know it’s not going to be easy for me. I’ve written before about how I like order, I like sameness, I like easy. I realize that in more ways than I’d like to admit, I have some of the same predispositions as my dad. But that is the laziness trap.
The hardest method of parenting is actually grace-based attachment parenting. Creating a relationship with your child. Teaching them values, the reasons behind why you say what you say. Creating a bond of trust. Working with your child, not against her. Recognizing the reasons behind his tantrums instead of punishing him automatically. Realizing these are little people, not little monsters or little animals.
But I’m up for the challenge. I don’t want to beat my children. I don’t even want to spank them. I seriously cannot fathom switching a 5-month-old. I’ve been switched before. It can break the skin! I suppose I can’t completely say I know what being a mother feels like, but I have a lot of little siblings. I’ve changed their diapers and had to carefully handle their red, bruised bottoms as they cried from the pain of my gentle hands carefully cleaning them up. I’ve sat at the dinner table while my dad spanked a toddler repeatedly for not knowing the meaning of the word “swallow”. I remember how I felt then. I imagine it is times 10 for a real mother.
I’ve been the daughter who was spanked unjustly because (among other situations) mom didn’t tell the complete truth, or she just wasn’t aware, and when I tried to explain, I was asked if mom was a liar, so I had to say no. I’ve been the daughter who was labeled “strong-willed” and had to be broken. I’ve been the broken daughter, with barely a spark of life left. That’s why this subject is so close to my heart.
I know I’m going to make mistakes as a parent. I anticipate it. But the one mistake I won’t make is making my children feel like crap. I believe to have my child feel loved and valued by me is better than for her to turn out the way I want.
Speaking of that, back to Those Big Bad Teen Years. Something else I realized about that is that my parents believe if their children turn out differently from what they, the parents, want, then they have failed. That’s not true. My thoughts on the subject are that if you don’t make such a big deal about them wanting a lip piercing, or green hair, then it’s not a problem. (Actually, most likely, if you don’t care if your teen has a lip piercing and green hair, they won’t really care to have one. It’s called “reverse psychology”. ‘Course it doesn’t always work, but I say there’s a fairly good chance!)
Besides basic moral failings, whatever a problem there is with your teen is because you make it a problem. That’s how I see it anyway. Wanting green hair isn’t a problem. It’s a way of expressing him or herself. Something like shoplifting would be a problem.
There is no battle. It’s not parent vs child. It’s two people on this journey of life. One simply has more experience than the other. That doesn’t make the child always wrong, or the parent always right. Children are smart. They absorb more than people realize. And if you treat them respectfully, chances are they will be respectful. They aren’t out to get you. They’re just as new to this being a kid thing as you are to the being a parent thing. And that does not deserve to be punished.
Here are a lot of links I’ve collected, mostly having to do with spanking, non-spanking, and Michael Pearl.
Even God Does Not Break Our Willâ€“and why “breaking a child’s willâ€ is NOT Biblical
Michael Pearl on CNN
Parenting Is Not A Contest
Mike & Debi Pearl and the cognitive dissonance of “Biblicalâ€ child-training
Your kids are communicating with you, not manipulating you
To Train Up A Child – Review by Brenda King
10 reasons not to hit your child
7 Parenting Tips to Consider
Christian Child Discipline: Is Spanking Biblical? (No!)
Confessions of a Free-Spirited Mom
Controllers and Manipulative People don’t Question Themselves
First time obedience, really?
Spanking and Trust
Spanking and Proverbs â€“ Part 1: Context
Spanking and Proverbs â€“ Part 2: Interpretations
Proverbs and Spanking â€“ Part 3: Believer’s Behavior
You just broke your child. Congratulations.
Author’s Note 04-26-12: I still agree with most of the things I wrote here, but I consider myself an agnostic, out of choice, not reaction.
I read this post this morning and originally I was going to just post the link to Facebook and add my thoughts, but then I thought I would write a blog post. Besides that, I wanted to make sure people read her post.
“I Used To Be You” by Libby Anne
When I first started this blog, most of my networking was among other opponents of Christian Patriarchy and all that it contains. It just so happens that most of those blogging against these things happen to be religious. I’m not. When I came out on my blog as an atheist, I wasn’t sure what my Christian readers would think. I have been pleased to find that you have accepted me as an ally against Christian Patriarchy regardless of my lack of belief. You have been willing to agree to disagree. Recently, though, the comment thread on one of my posts turned into a debate that centered in part on whether I actually “gotâ€ certain aspects of Christian belief. So I’ve decided to take a moment to clarify some things and adjust a few rules with regards to my blog.
Please understand when you read my blog that you are getting the perspective of a twenty something woman who was raised on the line between Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, then became a conservative Catholic, then a liberal Catholic, then an Agnostic, and then an Atheist. If you are a Christian, you will naturally disagree with posts that tackle religion directly, though not necessarily with posts that tackle elements of fundamentalist religion, homeschooling, patriarchy, or authoritarianism.
Understand that I am not trying to deconvert anyone. I am simply putting my thoughts into words and perhaps along the way providing a perspective some of you may not have heard before. I like to challenge people to think, but I don’t have an agenda! And if you don’t want to read posts you’ll disagree with, you don’t have to!
Please don’t try to argue with me over who God is or or over which doctrinal point I am misunderstanding. I’ve heard your arguments before. You see, I used to be you. In fact, I’ve said the same things you are saying many times before. I get it. I understand what you are saying, and the argument you are making. I just disagree.
The reality is, I’ve heard all the arguments many many times, and I have come to the conclusion that there is no God. It’s hard for you to fathom, I know, but that’s how it is. You are probably sure that I’ve misunderstood something somewhere along the line and that if you can only set me straight I’ll come back to God. You may not be able to fathom understanding the arguments and knowing God and then leaving. You may think that I must have misunderstood something, or must be bitter. Again, I get it. I was you.
If you think I’m wrong, that’s fine. Feel free to share your opinion by leaving comments – I enjoy reading those! – just please simply share your thoughts and leave it at that. I don’t need you to argue with me or try to persuade me that I am wrong. If you think this means I have a closed mind, well, feel free to think that! But instead of arguing with me could you instead simply pray that the Holy Spirit will lead me back to Jesus? And if you’re that bothered, you can always send me an email!
Just please don’t act like I have no idea what I’m talking about. Please don’t act like I somehow missed some important point and you can lead me to the Truth. Please don’t try to diagnose me with some spiritual problem or tell me where I went wrong. I really don’t need that.
The truth is that I am not uninformed. I studied apologetics as a child and read the Bible every day. I even studied Greek so that I could read the New Testament. After I left fundamentalism I read reams of Christian apologetics and poured over the Bible. I spent hours in prayer and sought to listen to the lead of the Holy Spirit. I studied the writings of the early church fathers and the history of Christianity. Jesus was my best friend. Then, as I left religion entirely, I did even more reading. I read history, archaeology, theology, and science. It’s not like I’ve ever made a religious belief or lack of it lightly. Even today, I continue to find religion fascinating. You see, religion has left a stamp on my life that will never disappear. I am today in graduate school studying the history of religion. I am well aware of the wide diversity of Christian belief, and that it has done good as well as evil. I’m not ignorant and I don’t need you to set me straight.
This is my blog, my space. I don’t have to prove anything to you. I want this blog to be somewhere where I can freely speak my mind. If you disagree with something I write, feel free to say so – I’m not asking people not to comment, I really do enjoy reading different perspectives! – but please simply state your thoughts and then leave it at that. I have the right to my views, even if you think they’re wrong, just as you have the right to yours.
And really, there are bigger fish to fry than the atheist on the blog next door. To name a few: Patiarchy, Vision Forum, Authoritarianism, Bill Gothard, So Much More and the Botkins, the anti-woman policies of the religious right, and the legalism surrounding courtship, purity, and modesty. So let’s agree to disagree and focus on problems like these!
I’m not an atheist, but she makes a lot of good points. Oftentimes I get irritated when people trot out the same theological arguments to me over and over, because I’ve HEARD them all and/or preached them.
Your best bet is to love me for ME, let me figure things out on my own, and support me in that. You don’t have to agree with me to do that.
Besides…have a little faith in me. You guys say I’m smart…start believing it! I don’t react and go to an opposite extreme without reason. In fact, part of the reason I’m stepping back from god stuff and the bible is so I don’t go to the opposite extreme purely out of reaction. I know myself well enough to know when my first reaction would be not necessarily a good thing, and I know what it will take to be able to MAKE a decision based on reason and not a knee-jerk response.
All that having been said, I have not turned my back on the god of the Christian bible. I canÂ say it again if you want. If you don’t believe me, that’s your prerogative and there’s really no point to reading anything I have to say. I am, however, giving myself space from mainstream Christian stuff (and the bible).
My beliefs right now are very simple, and in no way contradict the Christian bible: I believe in love (if love really does “cover a multitude of sins”, there should be a LOT more loving going on, especially among Christians), respect (respect of property, boundaries, feelings, beliefs, etc), and equality (no person is better or worse than another; all people deserve the same love and respect whether they are 2 or 102)
In reality, love is the crux of the Christian belief system (from which stem the “fruits of the spirit”) and in my opinion, is almost completely overlooked by way too many people claiming to be Christian. If you truly want “faith like a child”, you should start by showing a lot more love and by doing a lot less preaching!
When I post controversial things to my facebook, I post them to make people THINK. I don’t like arguing or debating. The most I do usually is “like” the comments that pretty much say what I think. I like it when people post their thoughts. But I don’t like it when EVERY link having to do with certain issues, usually homosexuality and modesty, turns into a debate.
I’m not posting those to make anybody change their mind. I post them because they make good points and SHOULD make one stop and think. If you read and immediately reject it because it has to do with homosexuality, or is a different view on modesty, then you’re being reactionary. If you honestly consider the points it makes and still disagree, that’s fine. But don’t do the same thing you’re accusing me of! That’s called hypocrisy, and merely drives people away from Christianity. I like it when people comment, whether they agree or not. I just have a problem with everything turning into a debate because people are worried about me.
My dad always said the thing that made him really change his mind about Jesus was when his mom told him being a follower of Christ wasn’t about being like other Christians, it was about being like Jesus. The problem with that to me is that I still don’t want to be associated with a lot of people claiming to be Christian. If someone has had a really bad experience with a Christian and asks me “What do you believe” and I say “I’m a Christian”, they’re going to automatically assume I’m like the person they had the bad experience with. I used to say “I’m a follower of Jesus” and it would make them confused… “Like a Christian?” they’d say.
I don’t want to be identified with the Christian guy who went postal in Norway. (Thanks for correcting me Erika…I thought I had read that he called himself a Christian.) I don’t want to be identified with the Christians who treat their kids like crap. I don’t want to be identified with the Christians who are hypocritical. I don’t want to be identified with the Christians who are holier-than-thou and preachy. I don’t want to be identified with the Christians who are bigots, homophobic, narrow/close-minded, legalistic, etc. But the unfortunate truth is that being a follower of Christ means people WILL associate you with other Christians, whether or not that’s what Christianity is about.
I’m not so sure Jesus is really proud of his representatives a lot of the time either!
Anyway, back to me. Yes, I use “language” and don’t see anything wrong with it. No, I don’t believe there should be laws based in the Christian religion (or any other religion) such as no gay marriage, no abortion, etc. I don’t believe America is a Christian country, nor that it was founded by Christians or on Christian principles (though there may be some similarities). Or that a country SHOULD be dominated by a religion, no matter the religion. (Come on, all you people who think America should have Christian laws. You would think the world ended if America became a Muslim nation!) And yes, when I’m not pregnant, I drink alcohol.
I really don’t see how I’m going down a “wrong road” other than it’s not what everyone who knows me is used to me doing. People usually go through this phase of discovering who they are and what they believe when they’re teenagers. I didn’t have the chance then, so I guess I have it now. The difference is, I’m more mature than a teenager. More responsible. I know how to moderate myself, I know what my limits are, and I don’t react.
So please. Trust me.
I don’t know how many times and to how many people I said “I’m preparing to be a wife and mother” when presented with the question of “why are you still at home”, “are you going to college”, etc. Normal questions.
I remember being so proud of that. Then I remember when it turned into just something I said…it didn’t mean anything to me anymore.
Truth is, in a lot, if not most (read carefully here, I’m not saying all) patriarchal/legalistic/conservative/Quiverful homes, the whole “preparing” thing actually is preparing a girl to be a maid, yes-woman for her husband, and a babymaker–popping out as many babies and raising them to be perfect little replicas of mom and dad.
The truth is, a lot of them don’t know a lot of necessary things about even running a household.
I was not taught the first thing about managing money, how to be a teacher (not that my mom was a good example of that), finding a doctor (not to mention no information other than “vaccines are bad and cause autism”), finding insurance, dealing with insurance and places that take insurance, and the list goes on. The only things I was taught was how to clean, cook, present a perfect faÃ§ade to the world, and be 100% submissive to the male “authority” in my life (brother, father, husband)!
I was not prepared to be an adult, I was raised to be a child my whole life.
It is so frustrating to not know how to do things. It’s frustrating to be pregnant and not really know the first thing about pregnancy. (I’ve been reading a lot and learning on my own though.) Plus, I don’t have a mom I can ask. (It’s easier to pretend she’s dead than that she refuses to talk to me.)
Forget independent, I wasn’t even raised to be an independent married person!!
Is control really so integral to these parents’ religion and lifestyle that they feel the need to create holes in their kids’ life education so they are dependent on their parents?!?
It sure seems that way to me. And God help them, because I’m pretty sure Jesus won’t be happy with them on judgment day.
Part Two of Scottie’s and my story. Feel free to ask questions…I feel like I didn’t capture everything I was trying to express.
Part 1Â Part 3 Part 4
February of 2010 â€” right before Valentine’s Day â€” Scottie broke up with his girlfriend. Â (His car broke down around the same time!) Â He told me (and her) it wasn’t because of me, but because of other reasons…but by that time he had figured out he was, in fact, in love with me. We figured that if we had been through all we had put each other through in the last few years without leaving each other, we would probably do well in a marriage.
Also by this time, I had basically given up on life besides existing and talking to Scottie. Stuff in my family was crazy, and too much for me to take. I was nearing the breaking point. It became apparent that I would move out sooner or later, the question was just WHEN. On Scottie’s advice, I made a checklist of sorts as to what I would need to get should I move out and be too mentally overwhelmed to think of what I should bring.
April 20th, Scottie texted me while waiting for a bus after work saying “We should get married.â€ I was like “…are you proposing to me??â€ (still texting!) He answered back “Maybe…â€ Then later when we talked on Skype, he confirmed that yes, it was a proposal. We were pretty much on top of the world! (I often wonder what my family thought of my intense mood swings in those months. He said I was super hyper for a week; my whole family could have been killed with the bubonic plague and I still probably would have been smiling!) We also discussed how we would work it out if Scottie came up to visit in secret, and were planning for him to drive up in May sometime (a 24 hour drive!) after he got his car fixed.
My brother was having difficulties (regarding our dad) in his courtship and we kind of started talking a bit more about stuff…kind of commiserating about stuff, and I told him I was secretly engaged to Scottie. I don’t think he was ever particularly fond of Scottie, but he supported me and respected my choice. He told Katie (which was ok), who told her parents (which was also ok), but he didn’t tell dad (which was more than ok).
May 7th (Friday), mom looked at the phone records and found a lot of calls between me and an Oklahoma number, then confronted me about it. She asked me if it was Scottie’s number, and I said yes. I left the room, panicking inside, and called Joe’s mother in law to ask her what to do. While on the phone with her (and texting Joe and Scottie), mom came in my room. She asked if I was talking to Scottie. I debated a bit, then said “Actually, I’m engaged to him.â€ “No you’re not,â€ she said immediately. “Why?â€ I asked. “Because…your dad hasn’t given his blessing!â€ I was like “wha…?â€ but I think I just looked at her. “Give me your phone,â€ she said. I remember exactly the feeling when I said to her, “Noâ€.
It was probably the first time I had said that to her since I was two or something. “It’s my phone, give it to me,â€ she said. (In actuality, I had been paying the phone bill for my phone for the last few months…I hated asking her if there was money for it.) I still refused (and was freaking out inside; I had just hung up on Joe’s mother in law — something I NEVER did was hang up on people, not even telemarketers — and I knew Joe and Scottie were texting me wondering what was going on and if I was ok, because I had told them mom found out). She called for Eric, and told him to get the phone. He climbed up on my bed where I was sitting, and if I hadn’t given the phone to him he probably would have broken my hands. (Not that he is bad; that’s the extent he would do what she said. My opinion on how he would act, but I think it’s true.) Mom took the phone into her bedroom, telling me I could leave right then with the clothes I had on my back, or stay in my room until she could call dad and he would come home.
In a panic, I slipped on some shoes and ran outside. I ran to the closest neighbor’s house. They weren’t home, but two teenage boys were housesitting, and one of them let me use their phone. I called Joe’s mother in law and talked to her, asking her what to do. She told me to go back for now, and that everything would work out. Then I called Scottie, and talked to him for a while, which calmed me down more. He said to go back, and after work on Saturday he would fill up with gas and come get me (he had Sundays and Mondays off. This was also Mother’s Day Sunday). So I went back.
Ben intercepted me (mom called him to come home from work), and to this day I wonder what he meant by what he said, which was “You don’t have to run awayâ€. (He also said “You can get your stuffâ€. I didn’t know what he meant by saying both of those things together, because it didn’t make any sense.) He was crying, I was crying. I thought maybe I could talk to him about feeling stuck. I felt hopeless, staying there, and told him so…that all I was made to do was be an obedient daughter, then an obedient wife, popping out obedient children by the dozen, conforming my will to my husband’s, losing myself in service to him. The way he explained the Bible made me feel even more stuck, like I had no choice but to obey my father, even as an adult woman. At one point, I said “so I really am stuck?â€ (I don’t remember his answer, but talking to him didn’t help at all). Finally I was like “I want to think about this myselfâ€. He said that was fine, but also that I couldn’t come in the house until I had decided whether I was going to stay or leave.
We had some camper trailers, so I went in one of those and snuggled up in dad’s arctic sleeping bag (it was starting to get chilly). I was going to wait until Joe got home at 5 or so, and talk to him. 5 came and went, and still no Joe. When it was getting really late, I remembered it must have been his Bible study night, and he wouldn’t be home until 10. I walked across the field between our house and another neighbor, and asked to borrow a phone and I called Scottie again. I told him what happened and stuff, and he said it was all going to be ok; he would drive up and take me away, skipping his plans at his folks’ for Mother’s Day even. Reassured, I walked back across the field and holed up in the trailer again. No food, but there were leftover waterbottles from when we had been hunting.
Ben came in sometime, and asked how I was doing and stuff. Evidently, he had told mom or dad what I had talked to him about, and they told him what they thought of Scottie, so he was putting down Scottie as being a “wimpâ€ because he didn’t talk to dad before having a relationship with me, and I forget what else he called him. While talking to him, Joe came home. I told Ben I wanted to talk to Joe, and he asked if he could come with. I said “No, I want to talk to Joe by myselfâ€. So I went out and got in Joe’s car. Well, dad had called him and pretty much chewed him out the whole way home about stuff…I’m not exactly sure what. I started telling him what had happened, and I kid you not, five minutes later, mom and Ben came out and invited themselves in, effectively (which I’m sure is what they intended to do) shutting up private conversation with Joe. (I think they think I was influencing him or something.) Mom said I could come in and eat something and go to bed; I didn’t have to stay outside until I’d decided. She told me she had called dad, and he was on his way home, but wouldn’t be there until the next morning.
The next day, I lollygagged in my room. I woke up, but didn’t go out. I heard dad and the rest talking out there. I didn’t want to go out and face them. Eventually, dad called for me though. He explained to everyone what had gone on (the kids didn’t know), and talked about how awful Scottie was. He decided to make this public in the family, because it was supposedly a family matter or something. It’s still kind of a blur…somehow I told them kind of what went on…about Scottie planning to visit, and a few other things. He would ask me questions, personal questions about my thoughts and feelings about Scottie and stuff, and I HAD to answer. It felt very violating. Somehow he knew Joe knew about Scottie and I…maybe because of saved texts on my phone, I’m not sure. I think dad lectured a bit (on why I should stay, of course), then told me to go into my room, and I had to have an answer by 5, when Joe was supposed to be home. (No indication as to why that was.)
I looked over the verses dad read to me, and yeah, those specific verses sure made a great case that I had to stay there. I was still really undecided though…it was killing me to be there, but I was deathly afraid of going to hell (which they said would happen if I left). So I got these little pieces of paper, and wrote “dadâ€ on one, and “Scottieâ€ on the other. I folded them up, shook them in my hand, and drew the one closest to me. Well, I happened to draw “dadâ€ three times in a row. Unconvinced, I flipped a coin…the first was to go, but then the next three were to stay. I’d never had a coin so consistent. So I told them it was a sign, and I was going to stay. You’d think they would have been happy/relieved, but they didn’t really show it.
Dad also made me promise to tell him if I was considering moving out again.
So then I had to call Scottie and tell him not to come. I think dad had said it would be three years or something before he would consider Scottie. We were both crying when I told him what happened and that I was staying after all, and it would be three years before I could talk to him again. We wouldn’t be able to talk online either; they were going to get rid of the internet. (As far as I know, they haven’t yet. They also took away the phone I had.) I told him I loved him and I would wait. (After all, we WERE still engaged. Dad quoted that Numbers passage at me though, about if a young woman makes a vow, if her father hears of it and says something, she is released from it…but I still considered myself engaged.)
I don’t remember if dad wanted to talk to him or if he asked to talk to dad, but they ended up on the phone together. I don’t remember all of what dad said to him (he talked at Scottie for like 40 minutes), but I remember how it made me feel, and I remember a few things dad said. He didn’t bother trying to get to know Scottie or anything. Oh no. He told Scottie stuff like, “You have no emotional attachment to Anneâ€, “it’ll be easy to forget herâ€, “you’re not a Christianâ€, and stuff like that. I tried to tell him that wasn’t right, but he wouldn’t listen. Â (Scottie’s car broke down again soon after he got off the phone, so maybe it was a good thing he didn’t try to start driving across the country that night!)
So anyway, Joe got home. Dad was angry at him, and in front of everyone, went on about how “disloyalâ€ and “dishonoringâ€ he was to mom and dad, because he preferred talking to his inlaws (whom he could actually carry on a conversation with) rather than dad, and he knew about Scottie and I and told his inlaws and not dad. Since they were so dishonored and stuff, they weren’t going to stand up at Joe’s wedding (instead of traditional attendants, Joe and Katie were going to have their parents stand up next to them), and they couldn’t stand to have him in the house any longer, so they said he had to pack up his stuff and go. They kept the external hard drive though, that Joe and Eric shared. It had all of the photography work Joe had done in the last few years. Mom gave him like $60 and said “OK, the hard drive is ours.”
Sunday morning, dad’s “bible studyâ€ was basically on how disrespectful, disloyal, and dishonoring Joe and I were. But at this point, I felt like things were going to look up. They had to.
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“You take the blue pill â€“ the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill â€“ you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.â€ -Morpheus (from the film The Matrix)
It’s nice to be comfortable.
It’s good to know what’s going on…to be in a place you know the rules to, you’re used to, even if it is a shitty place. You’ve heard the quote “Better to suffer a known evil than to change for uncertain good”.
My dad always used to say that you didn’t need to know the “other side” to know something was bad. He meant regarding drugs, alcohol, etc. But in life, if you don’t know the other side you can’t make an informed decision. Are you going to stay in your blissful ignorance, or learn the truth of things?
The thing about being in an isolationist home is that you’re not even told the truth of where you’re living and why you believe what you believe.
You’re not taught anything beyond what they want you to believe about the bible, about god, and about the world. And if anyone tries to tell you, you brush them off because they are sinful, they don’t know better, or whatever else your parents have said about them.
The only way you can get out of it is to make the choice. For yourself.
The blue pill? Or the red?
It’s scary. It’s not easy. But I’d rather not live in a man-created lie.
I want the truth.
It has cost me my family. My sense of “belonging”. Everything I’ve known.
But I’ll never regret taking the red pill.