Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Dear God, it’s me again.

10 Comments

It’s strange. I don’t feel much sadness and grief at the moment. I do feel one thing: Anger. I hear that’s pretty cliché of me. 12 steps of grief, or maybe it’s 6, who even cares. I do know that it makes me angry to be put into one of those boxes. It makes me angry to think about God and Jesus and all those other guys who thought they knew it all. I feel like calling them terrible names and spitting at them.

When I meet new people I’m usually nice to them. I do them favours. If they ask for something I don’t want to do, I’ll say no in a friendly way. I don’t run around like a maniac, screwing up their families and killing their sisters. God wants to be my friend, my Dad? Well, how about being nice to me for a change? Maybe then we can talk about it.

I’m at a point where I’m thinking that I’d rather spend my entire afterlife in hell with the devil than in heaven with a God who is, frankly, quite a choleric, angry old man looking for revenge on people who didn’t even touch that godforsaken apple.

I’m angry because I ended up in a screwed up family with screwed up values, ruining my entire childhood and teen ages, the ones of my siblings, and last but not least, for taking away my sister, for taking away the life of an innocent child who spent her life doing nothing but desperately trying to please him.

I remember the first time when I heard that some guy (forgive me not remembering the name) who said that religion was nothing but a OCD. I laughed at that. Another idiot who didn’t see the light. Right now I’d say I’m the idiot who didn’t see the light. I was way too busy trying to please that old guy with my OCD-like behaviours. Pray daily, wear this, do this, say this, think this and magically he will take care of the rest. My sister did everything. In my mind it feels like I see her obsessively washing her hands again and again and again like those stereotypical OCD patients do. Praying, wearing, thinking, saying, doing all the right things. I feel like saying “Sweetheart, your hands have been clean for hours now.” Clean hands don’t save you at the end of the day.

My friends are making me jealous, people around me are making me jealous, the customers at work make me jealous. I see a group of young girls coming into the cafe around lunch time. They’re about 14, maybe 15, attending a girl’s middle school right around the corner. They laugh, giggle, talk. They drink some juice or a coke or maybe even a milk coffee together, doing everything girls their age should do. It makes me so jealous to see them enjoying this together. I catch myself staring at them obsessively, picturing myself in that scene, wondering how it would have been for me. Would I have worried about math homework? Would I have spent some of my pocket-money on a new drugstore eyeshadow? Would I try to fit in going to the movies that night? I don’t know. That’s where I start wondering why God didn’t let me have this.

I’m so ashamed of myself for screaming in my head that it wouldn’t be much to ask for. Just coffee with friends. No riches, no fame, no great island or job or brains. Just coffee. And then I remember that the majority of the world population wishes for just the same thing. I was born in one of the riches nations in the world, I live in yet another richest nation in the world at the moment. My problems are luxury. People starve every day. People lose siblings every day, in the most cruel way. It calms my spirit a bit to know that my sister didn’t have to suffer. She died, quiet, silently, in peace and a clean environment. An image of the news shoots into my head: 6-year-old raped, maimed and murdered in forest. And I’m starting to think that dying the way my sister did isn’t all that bad. Falling asleep, not waking up is a luxury most of us won’t get a taste of.

 

PS: I just now remembered tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Weird how quickly you forget traditions when nobody reminds you of them.

10 thoughts on “Dear God, it’s me again.

  1. In the end, you answered your own question. There are so many things so much worse than your family and your childhood. Everyone has their own baggage. You look at those “ordinary” girls doing “ordinary” things and wonder what it would be like to be them. At the same time, they may be looking at you and thinking: “I’d like to be thin and older and have a job and speak English as well as she can. Why couldn’t I have been born in the United States and then have moved here and know the best of both worlds?”

    At the end of the day, we only see the outside of people. We don’t see the inside–the hurts and the anger and the diseases, deaths, rapes, bullying, and mistreatment that others suffer day in and day out. In one of your early posts you spoke of how praised you were as children for your perfect behavior but yet inside you were all afraid with pounding hearts that you would do something wrong and be beaten as soon as you got home. No one really knows what goes on in other people’s lives–sometimes even if you live with them.

    If it gives you comfort, think of your sister having escaped the kidney transplant, courtship, marriage, difficult pregnancies, and caring for a dozen children or dying while trying that might have been in her future. Instead, she traded them for a perfect body in a perfect heaven. For those of us who believe, she’s the luckiest of us all.

    • Lots of truth in that. I too often forget that no matter how perfect and happy a person might look, they might have it really bad. It’s so easy to get stuck in self pity and thinking of yourself as the poorest of them all. There are so many things that could be wrong with me, or my friends, or my family. There are many things wrong, but it seems there’s always a huge mass of people who has it even worse.

  2. Of course you’re angry. And it’s OK to be angry—for now. It’s ok to be broken. The world is amazing, but it’s also rough and brutal. We’re lucky, in first world countries, to be as insulated by wealth and society, from that harshness as we are.

    Hang in there. I wish I had some magic words that would make it better, but there aren’t any. Just time, breathing deep, remembering the good things as well as the bad. You can’t change the past, yours or your sister’s, but you can work towards a better future.

    Incidentally, there’s a facebook page for “Grief Beyond Belief” that you might find supportive.

    Best wishes. Hang in there.

  3. You are so right to be grateful in the midst of your suffering. I think that thankfulness protects from bitterness and cynicism, which I believe is a fate worse than early death. We all have things in the past to grieve over, some from our own choices, some from the choices of others and some really the fault of no one at all. I know I have had my turn to mourn, but grieving over those hurts and losses really do bring healing, at least it has for me. Sometimes, we have to grieve over the loss of those things which we never had, like for instance a healthy childhood, a sweet relationship with a loving father or mother, a healthy body, etc. Grieving over the loss of the way I wished it had been was the beginning of healing for me. First it made me able to appreciate the good things I DID have, and then the past broken relationships began to heal… given much time and nurturing. Before, I had been somewhat disabled and immobilized by past issues and hurts.

    Grieving is a way of saying, “Yep, that really sucks and wasn’t the way it was supposed to be or the way I wanted it. I will not make excuses or take responsibility for that bad situation or that person’s bad behavior but will acknowledge it as bad and a serious loss and make my own decisions accordingly.” And then comes the freedom to move on without being weighed down with it. For me, I had to go to that place of acknowledgement and acceptance in order to overcome. I think the most important part of grieving is to be honest about each loss with one’s self and then to have reasonable expectations of others, acknowledging that some people will always behave badly because that is just how they are. I don’t mean to be all psychological on you, but I do hope that you will be able to grieve every loss and so to recover your life and your self. It takes time, lots of time.

    Be blessed this Thanksgiving.

  4. I’ve had a few busy weeks and didn’t have time for reading blogs, but today I had some extra time, so I caught up on a few including yours.

    I’m so, so, so sorry about the loss of your sister and all you’ve been through with going back home again. That sucks! You are wise to recognize that you will be dealing with grief (don’t worry about the stages/steps/etc, because everyone processes it differently) It will probably come in waves, somedays it will overwhelm you and other days it won’t feel as bad.

    I’ve dealt with a different situation over the past few years, but it caused me to question everything I believe also. I almost lost my leg and my life in an accident in 2004 and now live with pain, limitations and a deformed leg.

    After the accident, my physical trauma forced me into a emotional and spiritual trauma and one day I wrote a letter similar to this to God. I recently wrote a book about my experience and that chapter is called “Quitting God.” I quit God as I knew him and started over with my spiritual journey.

    I still have many questions and am not sure what I believe … but one thing I know I’ve learned to be content with mysteries in life. I don’t know why I survived the accident … though many of my christian family/friends call it a miracle, but I want to know if that was a miracle, why didn’t the miracle continue and my legs totally heal back to what they had been.

    By accepting that there will be mysteries I don’t understand, I’ve been able to embrace each day and look for beauty in each day … and most times I find some. I live in the here and now instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future (in this life or the next) and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

  5. The truth is, there is no divine jerk giving bubble gum and eye-shadow to one girl, an early death from a physical deficiency to another, a life of torture and starvation to a third. In a way, this truth is heartbreaking because there’s no court to appeal the injustice to, no one to beseech for pardon or love. But in another way, this truth is liberating and full of hope. It means there is no divine punishment, no divine caprice to be at the mercy of. We are free individuals. Yes, we must rely upon one another for survival and for justice, but as history progresses this becomes more and more possible. At one time, no one would have known what took your sister before her time–it would have been put down to God’s wrath, or a demon, or a witch, or an unbalance of humours. Now we know its name and, hopefully, one day people born with your sister’s condition will be cured. At one time, people would have said “Oh, those people over there living in that famine? Cursed by the rain god.” or “They weren’t worshipping the right god, or God the right way. They got what they deserved.” But now we know about droughts and climate. We can transport food from one continent to another. Some day, we might be able to grow modified crops with little water quickly in areas that need it. What we suffered for millennia as a species and shook our fists at God for, we can change. Every day we can work together to come closer to that reality.

  6. Good for you letting yourself feel these emotions, it’s not easy. And don’t worry about cliches, when you are grieving any and every emotion is normal. I really struggle with the coffee with friends thing too. I’m reminded of this stuff almost daily when my kids do something that I would have been punished for etc. Even though I know it’s the best choice for me, I am terrified of sending my kids to school, I cannot imagine it as a remotely nice place after hearing it portrayed as a den of evil for so long. Sometimes when I sleep I have nightmares of sending my kids to a school where all the teachers are my parents and they hit my kids and tell them how they are stupid horrible sinful failures, and I can’t do anything about it. I always wake up from those dreams wanting to keep my kids from ever experiencing any pain whatsoever. I know it’s normal to be nervous about sending your kids to school, but this type of fear can’t be normal, and it’s just one of the perks of my childhood.
    Hang in there.

  7. Be gentle with yourself during your time of grief.

    I believe in the God who grieves with us, the Jesus who wept at the death of Lazarus. God as the one who hands out fatal illnesses, no.

    I have lost what I thought was my faith several times and so far have always found a larger, deeper faith behind it. It’s all about getting rid of the stuff people put onto God due to fear and need to control. I got out of a church similar to the one you grew up in after only a few months in the late 70s, and it took time to get over it.

  8. You keep asking the question “why?”. When you stop asking “why?” and accept that the world is as it is, with many nice people and many nasty people, many nice things and many nasty things, and that is just the state of nature, life becomes easier to understand. It is not the product of some supernatural fiat, that natural world, the real world, is all we have. Let go of the superstition and clear your mind. Nice people are nice because that’s they way they are, not because due to some supernatural decision.

    Trying to ask “why?” works as badly in these cases as trying to ask why certain people win big lottery prizes. It’s chance, a lot of the world is chance.

    Of course, accepting that things are as they are does not mean that one should not work to change them if one so wishes!! It’s not fatalism, it’s the opposite.

    Or look at it another simpler way. Your god failed you, he’s clearly useless and pointless, dump him. There are plenty more to choose from!

  9. I look back on my life, all of the memories all at once and I wonder how on earth I never committed suicide! I got beat up and picked on at school on a daily basis, my parents were divorced and my step mom, who was a christian by name and church fellowship alone, was abusive. My dad became an alcoholic. My mom was so busy making her own mistakes she hardly noticed I needed her love, and the lsit goes on. And it hits me, I’m stronger than my spirit knows! When I got married I said I was going to have as many kids as God would give me (I hadn’t yet heard of the Duggar’s or anyone like them, I had just heard of so many women who tried for years before they conceived and other women who were on birth control who got pregnant anyway so I figured since I loved kids I’d just be married and what ever happened happened. I got pregnant only twice. Both times with a disease called hyperemesis. It was horrible, espescially the second time around because I still had a little one to take care of all day while my husband worked. It’s such a rare disease that no one understood how horrible it was and they gave me hell for it. I had no help, no support, everyone thought I was just making it up. All I could think of were the verses in the bible that said God was always there… it felt like He left me high and dry. I fell away from God for a while after that. I couldn’t understand how God was there if He never used people to help me and to have compassion on me. It took me a long time to realize that God hadn’t gone anywhere… people just aren’t listening to Him… but He’s still there.–

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