Tag Archives: rough starts

Hello Twenty-Thirteen

I started this blog back in September I had no idea where it was going to go, but I knew that it would help my recovery from my past. I didn’t expect it to take off, or to find myself wanting to do more with it. I have written 22 (now 23) posts, had over 5,000 views on the blog, and 49 comments. I have loved every comment, and there are many times that I have needed those comments to make it through the down that caused a post that day.

There is much relief in knowing that I am not alone in what I have been through. There is relief in knowing that I am not crazy for having a difficult time deconstructing and not wanting anything to do with religion. I stopped going to church and it was after many conversations with my husband that we stopped attending the local SGM church, and I noticed an immediate difference in my uneasiness and anxiety about going to church. We ended up attending, most Sundays, a small Presbyterian church and have made a bunch of new friends. It amazed me how much stronger my blogging “voice” got once I was out from the influence of the people who’s opinions I feared. Removing yourself from the presence of someone you are afraid of and who has power over you greatly helps the healing.

I have greatly learned what tolerance looks like, there are still those people who push my buttons so hard I will not hesitate to say that I am not willing whatsoever to work on “our relationship.”  As I have said before, I value friendships very highly. They mean so much to me that I will willingly drop everything to help a friend out if they give one hint that they need help. I do not do this to gain favor for myself, or to cause someone to feel obligated to return the favor. I help my friends and am there for my friends because I care, and I care deeply. But woe to the one who breaks my trust or uses me.

Twenty-twelve was exciting, discouraging, new, and difficult. I enjoyed most of it, fought with part of it, and waited out more of it. I am eager to see what this year brings, and I hope that it will continue to bring joy and happiness into a life of working through the past and pushing toward the future.  I have several ideas for blog series and topics for the coming months and and I am excited to start taking this blog in a new direction!


And then you broke my heart – Courtship, Part 2

I couldn’t keep Daniel away from me that night at the party. I would turn around and he would be right at my shoulder, big smile, and a running mouth that wouldn’t stop chatting with me. My heart knew this was one heck of an awesome guy and I was falling head over heels for him.

We danced for hours that night, swing dancing, laughing, and talking after our week of no communication. It was exhilarating and comforting to be back on talking terms with Daniel. That night I texted him and told him how much I loved dancing with him. He texted back and said that he still didn’t want to be texting yet but that he enjoyed dancing with me too.

Our church was in the middle of doing a high school play and both Daniel and I were involved. As rehearsals got more intense and as opening night for closer the more I got to see Daniel. I was 100% sure he was just as interested in me as I was in him. Especially when he was having to be reminded often that he was needed on stage instead of talking with me. We got close and spent a lot more time as the days past almost attached at the hip. We were inseparable but I felt like something was going to go wrong. More and more of my friends were coming to me asking if it was wise that I spent so much time talking with Daniel. They were concerned for my heart and didn’t want to see me get hurt. I brushed off all of their concerns and told them that we were just friends. But I quietly worried that something really bad was going to happen because I had seen close friends spilt because parents felt like the couple was too close.

It was the week before opening night and I got really upset about so many people butting into my business and worrying over how much I was in Daniels company. It didn’t help that as I was working in a prop piece Daniel was right there keeping me company and chatting away. I was so sick at heart because I knew something was starting to go wrong. He left that night after rehearsal and I ignore him with a very heavy heart and a sick stomach. I have often been able to tell when something’s about to blow up and this was one of those times. On another note, I had found a caring and wise ear in my adopted grandfather and when he had visited the two weeks before I had talked for hours with him about my feelings for Daniel. Since i felt like I couldn’t talk with my dad about Daniel, it was such a relief to talk with my grandfather. He had promised after talking with me that was going to write Daniel a letter and encourage him to pursue me if he felt like that was what he was supposed to do. Looking back, the promise of this letters was quite significant in changing the direction of my feelings toward Daniel.

The next morning, I woke up with a very queasy and nervous stomach. Today was the day that I knew something was going to happened. I remember sending a few messages to Daniel, but when I didn’t get any sort of response, I remember thinking something’s wrong. My grandfathers letter to Daniel arrived in the mail that day and I was anxious to give it to him but I decided that I wanted my dad to give him the letter. I figured my dad would be willing to do that especially since my grandfather spent a while trying to talk to my dad about Daniel and I. I should have known better than to ask my dad to get involved but I am getting ahead of myself. I left for rehearsal excited and very nervous since I knew something was up. I got to church and started working on what I hadn’t finished from the day before. I soon saw Daniel get there and my heart sank. He was pale, almost looked like he had been crying and he completely ignored me. He grabbed the mutual friend who had introduced us and asked to talk with her. My heart dropped further and I ran in the opposite direction frantically dialing a best friend’s number. As soon as she picked up, I said something is very wrong and I am very nervous and anxious. She talked and listened for about five minutes when I got another call from Daniels and my mutual friend. I switched calls and this friend told me that Daniel wants to talk with me and could I meet them at the back entrance to church. I got back on the phone with my best friend and told her to pray and pray hard because here comes the storm. I hung up and saw my other friend walking toward me and my heart started cracking. When she came up to me I could barely talk and as we started walking toward where Daniel was I stopped and started crying saying I couldn’t do this. I was so close to passing out and even as I write this I am feeling the pain all over again. My heart aches for what happened next.

I walked up to the back entrance of church and felt the bombs hitting my heart as the black fog rolled in over h eyes. Daniel looked sick and he was incredibly nervous. He barely looked me in the eyes, and I was really lightheaded and my heart felt like it was being completely ripped to shreds. With our mutual friend standing by my side, and Daniel facing me, he started the little meeting by telling me in a choked voice how much I meant to him, that he will never forget me, and that I mean the world to him. He then told me with tears in his eyes that his parents told him that we needed to cut off our friendship and we couldn’t talk, chat, email, or even be in groups together. I could barely see him because of the black fog that was cutting off my vision, and I was starting to sway on my feet. My heart hurt so bad. He asked me if I had any questions or if there was anything I wanted to say, and I could only shake my head. He then bolted out the door, tears streaming down his cheeks. He was gone for several hours running, crying, praying, and just trying to understand what he should do now. After he left, I staggered outside and fell to the ground stunned. I lay there with quiet tears falling, and I felt so empty. I somehow found myself inside the church about an hour later, I wandered around in a daze. I didn’t have any strength to do any costume work, but at the same time I was suddenly determined to act like nothing had happened even though my heart was no longer beating.

I can’t describe the pain my heart felt that day (and I’m feeling it again as I write. I am very much anxious for my husband to get home for I need that reassurance that he is mine now). I asked our mutual friend to ask Daniel something for me. I asked her to ask him if he, in the future, could see himself courting/marrying me. She asked him and then brought me back the answer. She said that he gave her a resounding absolutely yes in response to my question. When I saw Daniel get back from his escape, I felt my heart shatter all over again, and I realized that I couldn’t handle being there any longer. Even though the major part of rehearsal was just starting, I had to go home. I called my mom and told her what had happened and asked her to tell dad and come get me. She came and picked me up, and as soon as I got home, my dad gave me a hug, and then told me that if my heart was hurting then I did something wrong. I was stunned when he told me that, but I didn’t say anything. I lay on my bed for the rest of the evening crying and missing desperately my best friend, and cursing the separation.

The few weeks that followed as the play came to an end were torture. I could barely eat, and I honestly don’t remember much. I remember being in a daze and finding it hard to breathe at times. My heart was broken, my dad didn’t care, and the friend Daniel had become was desperately missed. (oh snap, I’m crying now as I write and am remembering those days.) After the play ended up, I didn’t see Daniel all that often. Maybe saw him at church, or saw him at a party, but we didn’t go to the same places, and I bitterly felt that loss. As the months slowly passed, I tried to move on, but I couldn’t. My parents and I went to a seminar at church for parenting young adults, and guess what, Daniel and his parents sat right behind us. That was pure torture knowing that the guy I was falling in love with was siting right behind me. I tried to talk with mom about the severe heartache I felt, but I couldn’t. She didn’t understand and so I kept my mouth shut and only talked to the people I knew I could trust and who would care for me. I tried sharing the story with the small group I was now apart of since I had graduate HS and they didn’t get it one bit.

Shortly after our friendship was shattered, we both asked our parents to meet and try to help us come up with a game plan so that we could talk, or at least have guidelines. All four parents met, and came out of that meeting all with very different ideas of what was going to happen. The bottom line was that we couldn’t talk, and that was it. No talking with us, no trying to understand where we were coming from, the parents shut things down, and then walked away believing that was all that should or would happen. My dad believed that it was a done deal and there was nothing between Daniel and I. That summer was the absolutely worst summer of my entire life. I was a ghost of my former self, and I was painfully aware of the gaping whole in my heart. I saw Daniel at several key points over the summer, but the friendship that we had had was never seen when we ran into each other at social events. It was incredibly awkward and I always walked away kicking myself and blaming myself for causing him more pain if I was rude (without meaning to be) or abrupt. Being in the single’s ministry meant that I saw him at big meetings for all of the singles, and after one of those, I told him that I had to remove him from my friends list on Facebook. That was very difficult for me to tell him, but I had to do it because of the flack I was starting to get from my dad if I was even seen near Daniel at church or anywhere else. If I breathed in Daniel’s general direction, I was immediately chewed out.

Life was HELL. I was lost, and I can’t remember large portions between April, when he told me we couldn’t talk anymore, to October, when the next big chapter started. We kept individually begging our parents (what I don’t understand is how we were singles, seen as adults, and yet still allowed our parents to completely control our relationship…that’s the courtship dilemma for ya) to get together and give us guidelines so we could talk, and each time the parents met, they all walked away with a very different idea of what was going to happen, not one parents’ recollection of the meeting lined up, and still, we weren’t allowed to talk.

Around July, I suddenly realized that I didn’t just like Daniel, I had fallen in love with him, and I knew for sure and for certain that I was waiting for him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I found out later that he had had the same revelation about me…a few months before. I broke down on the day I realized that, and freaked my dad out because when I called him at work (which I will never do again, and have never done since) to tell him that I loved Daniel and I wanted to be able to talk with him, my dad was hugely surprised because he truly believed that there was nothing between us. I got a huge talking to when he got home from work that night about how I was making Daniel an idol, and how I was lusting after him, and that no, we weren’t going to be allowed to talk, there was nothing there. He kept telling me that I would grow out of this, and that it wasn’t wisdom for us to talk.  I remember walking away, feeling renewed in my determination to not let my dad take away my love for Daniel. I felt sick that my dad was accusing me of being idolatrous especially when I knew of his porn addiction.

Daniel had started finding reasons and opportunities to come over to my family’s house in September, 5 months after our friendship had been destroyed. I would nervously bounce around the house, trying to obey the rules that I couldn’t talk with him, but I would try to be around wherever he was, and would throw in the token word every once in awhile. I even found an opportunity to hand him a letter I had written to him the day after he told me we couldn’t talk anymore. But even though I knew he was strongly interested in me, I still had had no verbal assurances from him.

One day I had had enough of trying to guess Daniel’s feelings for me, and I had had enough of not being able to talk. I couldn’t handle it anymore, I called him, and as soon as he picked up the phone, I asked him how he felt about me. His response was instant with no delay.

He loved me.

He wanted to marry me.

He wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

And that’s the end….right?


Remember When Dreams Faded…

I watched a darling three year old the other day, and had an absolute blast with her. There is something rejuvenating interacting with an innocent child and there is something refreshing watching their joy at the simple things in life. A lot of memories from my own childhood came back as I watched and listen to her prattle on about favorite things as she shared her little life with me.

As I watched her make up playmates and give her toys voices, I realized I have no memories of doing that. I frantically tried to remember any time I might have made up scenarios for my dolls or played with imaginative playmates, but I only had foggy memories. By the time I had reached 10, I was already an “adult” and had lost any desire to make my dolls my playmates. My siblings and I built forts and made up towns in our basement. That only happened though when all of us got along…which usually wasn’t very often. But when we did get along, the stories about the towns we came up with were quite elaborate. That all stopped when I was 12 though. Every once and a while I would be convinced by my brother to build the Lego houses I was quite known for. He still, at 20, reminds me of those several story houses I used to build.

At 12, I was in charge of meals, cleaning, laundry, raising my two youngest siblings, and I was supposed to still be doing my school work. Somehow I fell off the school radar around the time Mom got breast cancer, and then I was in charge of grocery shopping as well. I remember feeling like everything I did didn’t matter when families brought over meals for us. I used to silently question whether or not I was good enough to cook for my family. I used to be mad at the families who provided meals for us because I felt like everyone was doubting my ability to take care of the house or the meals. I was trapped between wanting to be affirmed for the work I did, and wanting to not have so much responsibility.

Someone was babysitting us one time and I broke down in sudden tears because she wasn’t letting me do my job and she was letting the kids be kids as they raced around the house, was loud, and played lots of games. I rarely cried, but when I did it was because I couldn’t take it anymore and a LOT had built up. She comforted me by telling me that I should let my siblings be kids and that I was just a kid and needed to act like one. I couldn’t explain to her how and why I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t make her understand why I wasn’t a kid, and I couldn’t explain the problems that wracked my family. That is when I realized that I wasn’t a child anymore and from 12 years old and on, I was an old spirit in a young confused body.

My biggest problem with large families raised in a Patriarchy/Quiverfull mindset is the weight that is put on the oldest daughter. I have read articles, and heard parents talk, about how they don’t believe in teenagers, or even that their children can’t handle the heavy theology or ideas that the parents start inducting them into at a very early age. The parents treat their children as if their children are already adults, but then lose it when a child acts like a child and the parents come down harder with the discipline. Because of being treated like an adult by my parents, it always was hugely confusing when I got in trouble for something I didn’t think I’d get in trouble for. Or something I didn’t think I should get in trouble for.

I hear a lot of parents wanting to raise their children to make good, wise decisions [on their own], but I barely see parents, especially P/Q parents, allowing their children to do that. My husband and I have had a lot of discussions about what we will or won’t allow our children to do. Even though I grew up with more maturity than most people my age, and I don’t regret having that, I don’t want my children to feel like they can’t act their age.  I don’t want to see my children frozen in a state of responsibility that makes it hard for them to imagine, create, or be risk-takers in their endeavors.  I am stuck right now feeling unsure of what my “gifts” are.  I was so concerned about shouldering my responsibilities that I never had time to really grow creatively or let my imagination blossom.

If parents are so concerned with teaching their children to make good decisions, then why are there so many grown up children fighting to make those good decisions as their parents beat them down and still try to make decisions for them. A friend told me a few months ago that even though parents are usually wiser than us kids, even they don’t know what is best for us all of the time. Even though I knew this, I hadn’t ever put it into words.  This is what frustrated me the most in my relationship with my husband, prior to marriage.

When I met my husband, I was in that unknown stage between being a child and a young adult, able to make her own decisions. I hadn’t pushed my parents [yet] into letting me make my own decisions. The decisions I had made myself were, more often than not, the decisions they wanted me to make. The frustration, the confusion, and the pain of not feeling like my parents trusted me was dizzying as I made decisions (with my now husband) like I had been taught, but was not allowed the freedom to make them. More on our relationship story later though.

I still find myself wringing my hands in frustration and confusion as I try to figure out what I am good at. I feel a great sense of loss looking back and feeling the numbness my 12 year old self felt when realizing I could never be, nor was I, a care free girl. I have broken out of the added weight of feeling responsible to raise my siblings, or to be the oldest child to set the example for my younger siblings. But I still feel lost. I still don’t know what my gifts are, or what I should pursue now.

I am good with kids because I am the oldest of 9, and have nannied for over 3 years on top of having raised most of my siblings. I have played the piano for 12 years and am good at it because it was my dad’s dream for me, and yet it carries some harsh memories because of his disappointment when his dream crumbled because I couldn’t play anymore. I am a historically accurate seamstress because the only way we were going to be able to do reenacting was if I made the clothes myself. I took voice lessons for 1 1/2 years because I wanted to, but had to stop when Mom couldn’t afford to drive me to lessons each week since i wasn’t taking piano lessons at the same place anymore. I sometimes wonder if the reason why I couldn’t take voice lessons anymore was because I could no longer follow my dad’s dream with the piano. I love to write because this is the only outlet I have left for the emotions that erupt from my heart and mind at times. But am I good at writing, singing, sewing, playing the piano, taking care of other’s children? I think I am, but those are all connected to the grave responsibilities I was placed under as a child.

Playing the piano became my dream when I discovered I had a natural talent for music. But that crumbled when I developed FM, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis. Singing was amazing, and I was slowly discovering bravery and confidence when that had to stop because I couldn’t play the piano anymore. I took sign language for 4 years and loved it, but the stress of living at home that brought on the Fibromyalgia, also caused me to stop signing because I had to focus on things at home.  I used to write poetry, lots of it, but I stopped when it became too heavy and depressing. I showed my mom some of my poems, and she didn’t understand the pain I felt. There is a certain emptiness felt when you stand before a field of broken dreams, lost dreams, or buried dreams.  I am rediscovering how to dream, but sometimes I feel too cynical or too “grown up” to dream.

do you dream? can you dream?

 


To doubt or not to doubt

(Please feel free to read my fellow bloggers’ take on this subject in our three part posts.  here is Joanna’s,  and here is Hännah’s)

 

I grew up under the mindset that to doubt Jesus meant to doubt my salvation, the bible, my faith, and that Jesus is real. I remember being a newly baptized 8 year old, crying on my bed because I was disobedient and I needed to be baptized again because I had sinned. Even though I was thoroughly reassured by my mom that I couldn’t lose my salvation and that I didn’t need to be baptized again, that fear that if I doubted, or messed something up big time, I would lose favor in Jesus’ eyes.  So as I started really questioning the church, my bible, and seeing my faith with eyes damaged by my dad’s hypocrisy, this fear started crippling me, and I felt trapped; stuck.

I knew I was watching my “faith” fall apart, I knew I was no longer comfortable reading my bible, attending church, or even talking the talk. When I tried to explain to someone what I was feeling, I felt like I had to quickly reassure said person that I wasn’t running away from God; in fact, I was running to Him! The looks of cautious disbelief I got were numerous. Seriously, though, was I running away from or to God? Deep in the recesses of my mind, I didn’t know. I still feared the conditionally loving God I thought I knew.  The questions that ran through my mind were overwhelming and yet I still tried to block them out and pretend that all was well. Those questions soon became like trying to hold oil in my hands. I couldn’t hold on to them, and they started affecting more than just wanting to not go to church.

The increasingly fearful and uneasy feelings I felt caught me off guard. I began to accept that I was doubting, but I still couldn’t put my finger on why I was doubting, or what I was doubting. I knew it had something to do with my past, my dad’s hypocrisy, and the beliefs I had willingly swallowed since I became a Christian some dozen or more years ago.

A friend lent me Rachel Held Evans’ book, “Evolving in Monkey Town“. I kept coming across things and saying yes, I agree with that, yes, I can totally relate and understand what she is talking about there. Even if I agreed and felt like I could relate, I still felt like there was more to the answer for my doubting. Then it hit, and through three different outlets, I got the same answer, all within days of each other.

Through a long email chain with a friend, she told me how her mom had told her it was okay to question, that that meant your faith was becoming stronger and was growing deeper. Through multiple blogs and many posts, I started seeing the same thing; it’s okay to question. It’s okay to ask, challenge, and doubt your beliefs. All of this sounded so good and was a relief to hear, but I was still stuck on the fear of doubting God and losing my faith; I was still stuck feeling like there was more to this.

I got the end of “Evolving in Monkey Town”, and that’s where I found my epiphany; I found the answer. Up to finishing the book last night, I still clung to the fact that I knew I wasn’t doubting God, I just didn’t know how to put into coherent words the doubt I felt. The fear of doubt was no longer strangling as I discovered how much Jesus loved me. I discovered that He will love me no matter what. He is the author and perfecter of my faith, and that faith will never be taken away from me. All that matters to my faith is the fact that I love because I have been loved first with a love that is deeper and wider than any figment of the imagination. Everything else is piddly details that many Christians get caught up with and oftentimes forget that we are loved and have been given a wealth of grace and mercy.

Rachel writes,

Doubt is a difficult animal to master because it requires that we learn the difference between doubting God and doubting what we believe about God. The former has the potential to destroy faith; the latter has the power to enrich and refine it. The former is a vice; the latter is a virtue.

This is what I couldn’t put into words. I was not doubting Jesus as I first thought, but I was doubting the fundamentals of my faith, my beliefs. I was, without realizing it, becoming a Berean and was no longer content with just accepting what I was taught, but was questioning, trying to probe deeper to come to a conclusion about why I believe what I believed.  To doubt and question what I’ve been taught is to throw my faith through a refining fire to burn away the false ideas that have taken root. To doubt and question my faith keeps my faith active instead of allowing certainty to freeze it and never allow for any growth.

My past with my dad and his influence to my faith is very toxic. Trying to question and rebuild my beliefs is like trying to get rid of a poison in my system but my system still craves it. This is not normal for me, nor is it comfortable. I wasn’t encouraged to question my faith growing up. I was given the mindset that once we reach a certain stage our faith will remain the same and constant.  I was taught not to question, not to dig deeper and constantly evaluate what I believed.

This epiphany was relieving, it was helpful, and has given me a break in the frenzy of doubts and questions that have been flying around my mind. I can now say with doubled confidence I am not doubting Jesus, I am not doubting His love for me, I am not doubting my salvation. I am doubting the beliefs I was raised under; I am doubting the things my dad would say and then do the opposite.  I am rebuilding the foundation everything else will stand upon. Jesus is my only foundation, and I want to get back to that place. I do believe that this is going to be a long journey, but I’m not worried anymore. I’m not feeling crushed under doubt I don’t understand. I understand where I am at, but I do not know where this all will take me. I am willing to question, doubt, and wait to see where I go. I do know it’s gonna be good.


Breaking Free – this hard journey I am on

Not that long ago, there was a little girl, struggling with trying to understand why her daddy wasn’t seeming to care whether or not God had spoken to her, or why he insisted he knew her heart. She didn’t understand how not agreeing or understanding her dad equaled disrespect and dishonor. She didn’t understand why her mom continued to let her dad manipulate her mom. I was that little girl.

I was the “perfect” oldest daughter of nine, submitting to the authority of her parents, not questioning, nor seeking my own way. I read all of the books I was supposed to read, agreed with everything, and only talked with those who I agreed with. I honestly was quite a pushover and I remember many times of having conversations with some of the older girls I knew and wondering where they came up with their stuff. I remember thinking that they seemed so weak, and almost like robots. But then, I was wrong, of course, because they had all of their scripture verses to back their stances up, and I can’t argue with God! Right?!

I remember one particularly interesting conversation with a friend of mine. She is also the oldest of her family, and extremely pro-Vision Forum, Patriarchy, and Quiverfull ideas. Like, extremely for it all. Or at least was, when I last saw her. I had become very weary of living at home, I was 18, had a job, and had been offered a place to stay with some friends, so I was seriously considering moving out. I hadn’t told my parents, but I knew they weren’t going to be happy. I had also, around this time, really started wondering if I really had things right. I had that nagging little voice in the back of my heart that kept saying something’s off. I just didn’t know how to respond to that feeling, or how to answer for the uneasiness I constantly felt. So when I told my friend that I was planning on moving out, and that’s what I felt like God was telling me to do, she immediately told me that that’s not following God, and that a daughter was supposed to remain at home under her father’s authority. I totally did not agree, but I didn’t know how to disagree. I had no idea why I didn’t agree either, other than feeling that was what robots did, and I was no longer willing to be the quiet, mechanical daughter. I felt frustrated when I expected her to be sympathetic, and understanding. She brushed off my tears and aching heart when I explained how I couldn’t handle life at home anymore. She told me that a good, Godly daughter stays at home under her father’s authority (and she quoted some obscure verse from the old testament) and told me I should stay home. I got off the phone call feeling very confused and not understanding where she was coming from. I also knew that I didn’t agree, but I didn’t know how I disagreed, but I knew I did, but I almost agreed because she was very convincing. Yeah, messy. She even told me that she didn’t know why I was thinking about moving out since her and I believed the same things. Uh, no, I just had never told her that I found “So Much More” to be so much crap, or how I didn’t agree with what a daughter’s place was in the home, or how important family was above everything else.

That year was really frustrating for me. I had support from good people about moving out, but at the same time, I had too many people opposing me, and convincing me of otherwise. My parents convinced me that it would be incredibly damaging to my siblings if I left, and besides, how was I could to be able to provide for myself since I didn’t have a car. Because I didn’t know how to argue against them, and because I still didn’t have much of a spine, I went with it. But it was under protest, and wasn’t something I enjoyed. I remember feeling manipulated but so unsure of how to fight it. Oh the tears, the heaviness in my heart, the ache of wanting something more and to escape from the prison home had become. I was the strong one, I kept my siblings together. I protected them, the best I could, from my dad’s rampages, and yet, I was losing it. I seriously felt like my legs were melting beneath me, and I could no longer stand strong and steady. I even broke down twice in two years, and asked friends to come pick me up. Towards the end of that year, I got up from the dinner table in the middle of my dad yelling, and I walked out. He yelled after me that I should just go, because that’s all I ever do, I run away from my problems. I couldn’t handle it anymore.

I was done.

About 6 months later, he kicked me out, and told me that he was sick and tired of dealing with me. Oh, and roughly a year and a half after my parents told me that moving out would harm my siblings, I was being told to move out because I was a bad influence on them. Serious contradiction.  I still couldn’t enunciate what it was that I disagreed with, or why, or how to back up what I didn’t agree with.  But I knew I was tired of emotionally shutting down and not facing the heartache, pain, or confusion. I couldn’t keep living like that. But I did not know how to fix it.

It took about a year after getting married and no longer living under my dad that my emotions started waking up. It helped having a very good friend to talk with who was a few steps ahead of me and was able to at least help me start figuring things out. then I kept hitting the wall. I didn’t really know what I believed anymore; did I really know the difference between my dad’s hypocrisy and God’s truth? I stopped reading my bible because I was done with being legalistic in how I read it. I stopped going to church because I felt like I was suffocating there. It didn’t help I was in a mega church, and with more than 2500 people surrounding me each Sunday, I found it so overwhelming. My husband, having grown up in this mega church, has had a bit of a hard time trying to understand what I’m working through as I unravel my past. He’s been a dear about it, but I’ve reached the point where I feel I can no longer attend this church, without serious consequences to healing from my past.

I am slowly learning how to deconstruct all of the difficult teachings about purity, raising a family, homeschooling, doctrine, importance of family, submission, and such that I was taught growing up. I am slowly figuring out what I agree with, what I don’t, and what I simply don’t know enough yet to make a decision one way or the other. Reading various blogs has helped, and I find it so fascinating and helpful having others write about what they have been through, how they are growing, and what they believe now, and why. It is such a relief to know that I’m not alone, and even though I have a long hard road ahead of me, I know that I have people who are willing to help, and will not judge me for whatever I decide, or whoever I become at the end of this.  I know there are those out there who have been hurt by legalism, and patriarchy, and I am eager to join their ranks in figuring out how to heal from the pain. It’s a hard process, and a scary one, to be perfectly honest. My whole “belief system” is in question, and the rock I stood on is getting smaller and smaller. but that’s okay, I am not alone.

With that in mind, and without further ado,

Chryssie Rose


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