Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Natural curiosity and life unfolding


I received a comment tell me to stop asking “why”. At first I thought to myself “Easier said than done!”. I pondered it for a few days. How can I stop asking why?

In science, curiosity and the question of “why” are a central mechanism for advance. Scientists ask why all the time and then they go out to find the answer. Biologists might ask them why a plant has a certain ability. Doctors wonder what a certain chemical will do and why, and so on. And theologists? They seem to do a lot of why asking as well.

But what does that have to do with me? It’s great when a biologist finds out why a plant has a certain color. It’s great when scientists find a new cure for an illness. But at the end of the day I personally don’t care about the answer to that “why”. I enjoy the beautiful flowers and I’m happy about the medication that makes me better.

And suddenly I saw the whole point of the comment. Asking why won’t help me, personally, in this case. I’m not going to find out in this life, that’s for sure. The only thing I can do is make the best of it.

I haven’t written in so long! I was just not feeling it, I guess. A lot of things around here have changed, a lot for the better. I’m seeing things clearer now. It feels like I finally caught a glimpse of the compass I was looking for so desperately. I feel more secure where I should go next.

It’s a strange thing to say “I have a boyfriend now”, especially since that usually makes people think of that relationship in a certain way. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to elaborate every single detail of my relationship but I somehow feel the need to justify it here, simply because I don’t want people to think I’ve jumped into something physical in a moment of spiritual and emotional instability.

Daniel has been very good to me ever since we met. He has never pressured me into anything at all, not even the tiniest bit. He accepted when I didn’t want to go to the movies with him alone. He accepted the many times I asked him to leave because I thought it was inappropriate for him to stay in the house with me alone. He has never taken any physical action to “show” me his feelings. All of this was solely verbal and, I guess, emotional. When he asked me to be with him (aka be his girlfriend), he still didn’t take any steps in a physical direction. When I explained to him that I couldn’t even promise him holding hands, he accepted that as well. We were girlfriend and boyfriend without touching. Very much like a relationship in the movement, even if I hate to admit this. He agreed that I, and only I, would be the one to take directions in the physical area, be it holding hands or anything else. He was there for me whenever I needed him, being exactly what I needed. He has given up a lot of things to appeal to me, to be with me.

Because of all the respect he had for my feelings and borders I didn’t want to cross, I think that’s why I could finally trust him. I could FINALLY stop seeing him like I see every other man: a hairy, sex-obsessed, angry, authoritative monster. He still deals with the fact that he doesn’t get everything he might want in a relationship, or what people usually consider normal for a relationship. Things like sex are still very much off-limits for me and I do not know for sure yet just how my values are on this. I know some will see red flags in this sentence again but really, I can’t fall back into this legalistic mindset again where i say “not before marriage” or even “definitely before we get married”. I don’t know and I don’t worry about that now. I know Daniel of course would like that (after all, he’s still human), but he ensured me that he doesn’t mind waiting on me as long as he needs to. I told him it might be years and he said that was fine. I don’t know if he really caught the meaning of that, maybe he’s got this blinded by love thing going on, but right now I could care less.

If I lock myself up in a cage, in a tower, where nobody can get to me, nobody can hurt me, nobody can get to know me, where I will always be set apart from the rest, then what did I leave the movement for?

The truth is: I want to be in a relationship at this point. I want to know what it’s like. I’m excited about it. I’m still too… too shocked, too shy, too burned to do stupid things and easily trust others, even Daniel, to easily give away pieces of me that can be used to hurt me a lot at this point. It’s got nothing to do with a fundamentalist mindset anymore, though. I realize I’m still in a process of growing to be myself. I don’t want to damage this process by making some silly mistake, but if I never risk anything at all, I don’t think I can even finish the process.

And out of these terrible times, I suddenly see something great developing. Pain, a broken heart in so many ways, fear. But also – a friend, someone who seems to genuinely love me, coming to my house to cook spaghetti with me and watch a movie afterwards. Someone who will hug me, kiss me on the forehead and make me popcorn. Get a blanket for me when I’m cold. Between pain and joy, brokenness and happiness, desperation and stillness I suddenly found something else: Life. I’m so alive in every way.


4 thoughts on “Natural curiosity and life unfolding

  1. Sounds like you got a keeper of a guy!! I was also lucky to find the one who oftentimes sacrifices himself for me so I can grow stronger.

  2. Congratulations. That’s a big step. And you’re doing it in such a thought-filled way.
    Wish I’d had the ability to do that much sooner.

  3. Congratulations on your relationship, he sounds like a wonderful person. And I think you are being very smart in your approach to a physical aspect of relating. I think that the most important thing I want to teach my daughters about sexuality, is to never do anything that you don’t want to do. To be sexually active (and I see that as encompassing more than just the artificial moment of hymen loss) is should only ever be something that you do because you feel safe and ready, not because you “should” not because everyone tells you too, not because you are married and now its “OK”, but because you feel ready and you genuinely want to. Take as much time as you need to work past the fears we of our background are programmed with, it sounds like you have someone you can trust.

  4. I suspect I might have been the one suggesting you should stop asking “why”.

    Congratulations, I think you have decoded what I was trying to say in my garbled way! And certainly I wasn’t suggesting suppressing curiosity – always, always ask questions! It’s the type of question… questions that have useful answers are good.

    Some “why?” questions are good – they are the ones that lead to a “how?” or “what?” question – so asking “why am I unhappy?” is a good question if it helps you towards “how can I be happier?” and “what factors must I change?”. It’s not a good question if it bumbles into pontificating about God’s will and a chain of nested “why?” questions leading eventually to an answer of the “because my religious guide or holy book says that’s what God says so shut up.”.

    “Why?” covers a multitude of different questions. You say scientists are often asking “why?” but I’m not sure that I fully agree. It’s not the same “why?” as in “why did you say that to me?” or “why is stealing immoral?”. Rather, a scientist’s “why?” is usually a shorthand for a “what?” or “how?” question. As in “why does the moon always show the same face to us?” is shorthand for “what physical laws or processes cause the moon’s orbit to be like that?”.

    It’s inspiring and warming to see you finding your feet in your renewed life. Naturally you have many fears, and you must find your own way of dispelling them, whether it be aggressively attacking those fears, or accepting them and hoping they subside.

    Just try not to be have fear of fear itself. The fear is natural. That you can, and clearly will, eventually deal with. Fear of fear can only hinder your journey. Accept the now, change the future.

    Good luck, you clearly have many friends, both on-line and in real life, in that way you are really fortunate. I wouldn’t want to experience your pain, but I am very slightly envious of the outpourings of love you receive!

    (Having written that you are fortunate in those friends, I had second thoughts about my choice of words – fortunate implies chance was important, but clearly it is you and your behavior that has won you these friends, very much to your personal credit.)

    Apologies to all for rambling on. Well done, Lisa.

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