Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism


13 Comments

Who is their mother?

Dear Mom,

You delivered every single one of my siblings. You had them.

But once they were born, you gave them to me.

You were training them.

I was kissing them.

You were spanking them.

I comforted them.

You were their home school teacher.

I answered the questions they didn’t dare to ask you.

You cooked dinner.

I spoon-fed them.

You were busy with the new babies.

I played with the older ones.

You had to sleep a lot because it was so exhausting.

I took care of them the many hours of the day you couldn’t.

You were changing the diapers of the babies, breastfeeding them, while talking to Dad.

Meanwhile, I read the bedtime stories, kissed them goodnight and tucked them in.

You were busy with other things, taking care of other families, baking for church meetings.

I made sure they were washed and dressed, made sure nobody got into a fight.

You sent them outside to play because it was too much for you.

I kissed their bloody knees better when they fell.

Dear Mom, you are many things. Trainer, teacher, chef, servant of the community, wife and many others. But there is one thing you are not: Their mother. Who is?

Advertisements


31 Comments

1995

Today is a beautiful day. Daddy will take me shopping! A new couple from our community is having their first baby, and they are having a baby party. We need a gift, so we will go to a toy store and buy one. And then, we will go to a shop were Daddy will buy some pants for working out in the garden. And Mommy says “If you find a pretty sunday dress for her, you should buy that, too”

Other people from our community sewed a baby blanket or are giving them boxes full of used baby clothes. But Mommy can’t sew much and we need our baby clothes. So instead we will buy a new stuffed animal. Not a used one!

Daddy takes me along cause I’m the biggest and I know what’s pretty. Mommy says “You take her along, I’m so tired, and I have to watch the baby and the small ones.” Today it’s only Daddy and me, and all the small ones stay at home, and I can go look at all the pretty toys.

We get in the car and I put my seatbelt on. I’m so excited! Daddy starts the car and we pull out the drive way. The drive is going to be super long. I stare out the window for a bit, but then I sing because I like to sing and the radio isn’t on:

Denkt, ich weiß ein Schäfelein,
das wollt´ gar nicht folgsam sein.
Lief von seiner Herde weg,
kam auf einen bösen Weg.
Denkt, denkt, denkt, das Schäfelein war ich.
Denkt, denkt, denkt, das Schäfelein war ich.
Doch mein Heiland, doch mein Heiland,
doch mein Heiland suchte mich.

(Imagine, I know about a sheep,
it didn’t want to be obedient.
Ran away from the flock,
onto the evil path.
Imagine, imagine, imagine, I was that sheep.
Imagine, imagine, imagine, I was that sheep.
But my Lord, but my Lord,
but my Lord went looking for me.)

I sing for a very long time until we arrive at the toy store. I’m really excited, loosen my seatbelt and jump out of the car. My Daddy takes my hand and we walk towards the entrance. I skip steps, skip steps and sing. We go inside and it’s great. Daddy tells me to stay close as we look for the baby toys, passing the shelfs with the dolls, and the strollers, and the toys for boys, and then all the books, and then finally the baby toys. There are sooo many stuffed animals, but I find the prettiest one right away. It’s a light brown bear with the softest, fluffiest fur you have ever touched! And it’s big too. It will be as big as the baby, but babies grow fast so the baby can keep it for long and not grow too big for it. Daddy looks at some other toys, but I don’t think he likes baby toy shopping. He is a bit impatient and wants to go.

We go to pay for the stuffed animal and walk by the other shelfs again. I stop by the dolls because there is the most beautiful doll I have ever seen! She is blonde and wears a princess dress. And I say “Daddy, STOP! Can we buy the doll instead of the dress?” And Daddy says “No, you’re too big for dolls” but I don’t think I’m too big. I say “No Daddy, I’m not too big, please let me have the doll.” Daddy says “No, we have a baby at home, you don’t need a doll, you can learn how to be a Mommy with the baby.” I’m a bit sad and say “The baby isn’t as good as the doll…”. Daddy is really impatient now and hisses “Stop throwing a tantrum, people are already looking at us. You are being selfish and disobedient.” HE slaps my hand and I’m angry at Daddy, because I didn’t throw a tantrum and right now, I’m angry because he took me to the toy store where I can look at stuff but he won’t let me have any of it. I make a grumpy face and follow Daddy to the checkout. He pays and pushes me a little so I smile at the lady and say goodbye. We go to the car, and I’m still making a grumpy face and I have my arms crossed over my chest so Daddy knows I’m grumpy now. We get in the car and I put my seatbelt on and go back to my grumpiness. Daddy is upset and lectures me not to be so. I stare and listen, and he says “Do you understand?” and I say “Do YOU understand that I think you can’t take me buying toys and not get me one?”. Daddy is boiling and his face is really red but he doesn’t say anything. He starts the car and we leave the parking lot to drive to the store with the worker pants.

We don’t drive long and Daddy is still red in the face and I’m hiding a tear because I’m so angry at Daddy. I can never have anything because I’m the oldest and I’m too big and I don’t need it, anyway, because we have babies at home I should play with, and not toys and dolls. And suddenly, Daddy doesn’t say anything. But he grabs a fist full of my hair and smashes and throws my head around and screams, but I don’t understand because there’s a stabbing pain in my head. He is still driving with his left hand, and his right hand is slapping me in the face. I scream because I don’t know what else to do. Daddy stops at the side of the road, and he’s still screaming, and I hold my cheeks and ears because I’m so afraid. And when the car stands, he again grabs a fist full of my hair and holds my head tight so I can’t escape, and he beats me in the face with his other hand and screams, and I scream too and cry. And he doesn’t stop and my entire face hurts and burns and feels huge. He still screams, but now, I try to escape him, try to wiggle my way out of the seatbelt to get out of the seat, but I can’t, because Daddy’s fist is holding my hair and when I move away a bit, he pulls me back into the middle. And then he stops hitting me, but still holds me and I’m shocked and not sure if I should cry. And he says “DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” and I lie and say “Yes, Daddy, I’m sorry.” but I didn’t understand anything and I don’t know what I’m supposed to understand. “THEN BE A GOOD GIRL NOW!” he yells at throws my head to the side, letting go of my hair. He starts the car back up and we continue driving.

I’m crying and wipe my tears with my hands but it hurts bad. My nose is running too and I wipe it with my hands. It’s full of tears and sliminess from my nose and touching my nose causes a stabbing pain. But then I see there’s blood too. My hands shake and I grab a pack of tissues from the pocket of my dress. I want to clean my nose but I can’t because it’s so painful. I dab the blood and tears off it, tho, and then it really comes running down. The blood drips on my hands and dress and I can’t do anything to stop it. I hold the tissue under my nose. It doesn’t take long until the tissue is nothing but a dripping wet blob of broken pieces full of tears and blood. I take the clean tissues out of the plastic pack and put the dripping wet one in to avoid a mess. I have only two tissues left and by the rate I filled up the first one, the other two won’t last till we are back home. I crouch against the window and I want to make sounds like a dying animal, but I’m afraid it will upset Daddy.

We arrive at the clothes store and I ask Daddy to leave me in the car but he says no. So I get out and follow him into the store, quietly, quietly, looking down. When there’s a mirror, I look around to make sure nobody sees me, and I look at my face. It’s bright red and the nose and upper lip are swollen up really bad. There’s stains of blood on my face and dress. I wet the tissue with some spit and wipe my face as good as I can, but it hurts really bad. I look for Daddy and stand behind him quietly as he browses through the pants. A woman greets him and by the voice I can tell it’s a nice old lady from our community. She sees me and say “Oh and Lisa is here too! Hello Lisa!” and she looks at me. I look down but she sees it anyway and says “Oh goodness, what happened to Lisa?”. Daddy smiles and says “She was a disobedient brat at the toy store and this is what she got from it.” He sounds really proud when he says it and he pets my head with his hand. The Lady just frowns at me and says “Well it looks really bad, you might have to see a doctor.” and Daddy says “No, she’ll be fine. If she’s repentant, she’ll heal up just fine without a doctor.” They talk a little bit more but not about me and then the Lady leaves.

At some point, a shop lady comes over to ask us if we need her help. And when she sees me, she looks shocked and say “You’re bleeding really bad!” but my Dad says, Oh no worries, she’ll be fine. But she keeps looking at me weirdly and before we leave I ask her “Can A ‘ave A tishoo ples” and I realize I can’t speak normal anymore. And she says of course and gets me a whole pack and carefully strokes my cheek and whispers “It’ll be fine”. I nod and say ” ‘Ank you.”

My hands are stained with blood in the car, I stare at them. My face burns like fire and hell, but when I carefully touch the skin, the skin’s numb and thick with swollenness.

When we get home, my Mom sees me, but Daddy says “She needed a lesson” and Mommy just nods. I’m sent to my room to go to bed, but it’s only 4 in the afternoon, and I go anyway. I stay up long, until Mommy calls me down and I’m really afraid of what will happen. I come downstairs and see they have already eaten but I wasn’t asked to come. My Mommy says “Lisa, Daddy and I decided you’re allowed to get a cooling pack from the freezer.” I nod and get one out, wrap it in a small towel and put it on my face. My Dad gives me a slice of bread with some butter on it and says “Go back to your room, I don’t want to see you any more today. It’s bedtime for you now.” I nod again and quickly go upstairs.

In my room, I take a bite of bread but my front teeth hurts biting it and chewing it makes my face hurt again, so I let it be. I touch my nose, trying to press a little to feel if the bone was broken, but it hurts like crazy and I still can’t feel the bone because it’s swollen, so I let that be too.

I lay in my bed with the cooling pack on my face and try to pray but I can’t.

I really hate Daddy right now. And I don’t like Jesus either. And I’m angry at God.


46 Comments

Training up this child – Part 19 – Meet me at high noon

I spent a few days thinking about the little hint my mother gave me. Close to an engagement? My mom didn’t say that just out of a mood. No parent in the movement says that out of a mood. They don’t give us any idea of what’s going on until the last second. When a guy is interested in you, but they don’t like him, you’re not being told. If a guy has interest in you, and they tell you, you can be sure that they have been in contact with him for weeks and sometimes even months, examining him, and actually giving him permission to enter a relationship with you. As a daughter, you are usually the last to know about your own love life.

Now, the fact that my mother said something about a close engagement meant that Harry must have asked for permission from dad already, and that dad agreed and gave him permission to ask me. My mother would be involved in this process of evaluation at a very late time, about when dad had already decided to give Harry the permission to ask me, then he would ask for my mother’s opinion before telling Harry what his decision was. I now knew that Harry had permission to ask me, and he’s probably had it for a while. He might have even already bought a ring.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Within the next few days or weeks, I would be asked to marry him. Engagements were typically kept very short, and Harry’s and my courtship has been pretty long due to the big distance. Just to give you a short reminder: Harry and I’s courtship started when I was 18, almost 19 (I’m born in March and the courtship started December before I turned 19) so we were courting for over 3 years. That’s a crazy long time in the movement. I know it might have felt just like six months or something when you read my posts about my courtship, but they were condensed, not bothering with the time between the visits and big events were effectively nothing happened except for my daily routine of being a stay-at-home-daughter while Harry was on different mission trips and preparing to make a living and save up some money in order to be fully prepared to support a wife and a baby within 9 months of marriage. I didn’t even describe all of Harry’s visits because they were simply uneventful. So let’s get this back on track: My mother made the remark about the engagement some time at the end of March.

I knew I didn’t have much time left. Engagements are typically short. A three-month engagement would be a long time in our group. The average engagement time is around 4-6 weeks, and all of that time is used for marriage preparations as the majority of the “falling in love” and “making the decision” was supposed to be made prior to engagement. My insides were in a constant state of burning, my mind rattling. I saw the beginning of the rest of my life right in front of me. Once I was married, there was no way out anymore. I’d have to be obedient to my husband. I’d have to have kids, if I wanted or not. I realized that within the time of just one year at that moment, I might be sitting at home with a 2 month old. The thought alone made me dizzy. I was NOT prepared for any of that.

On the other side, I also started seeing things that were wrong in the movement. The engagement remark which left me so helpless, and feeling strongly in a position where every decision of my life was already made and agreed on didn’t suit me at all. I started dreaming of what I would do if I had the choice.

I wouldn’t get married for now. I’d started to regret hating school, so I also wished I could somehow go back to school and learn something useful. I always loved art, history and geography. I loved the universe and watching all the stars, wondering what they would look close up. I always loved big masses of ice and cold climate. I started to think that if I didn’t get married and wasn’t in the movement, I’d become a Nasa person, observing and calculating stars, thinking about big events in the universe. Or maybe I could become a geologist somewhere cold, like Antarctica, and research the processes in the ice and what happened a long time ago. I even considered becoming something like a paleontologist and study dinosaurs and climate way back. That was a thought unheard of in our family. All of these three professions were ungodly and against the bible, utterly humanist and naturalist. I was so curious to know things that are veiled to humanity, like times way before our time. But I was bad at math, I thought I might not be the right person for each of those three. If I couldn’t do it, I might just settle for some ancient culture studies. Egypt maybe, or south american ancient history.

During this process of thought I realized that I’d never make it anywhere close to that. I’d never be allowed to consider whether there’s life on other planets, or if the big bang is true. I’d never be allowed to think that humans and dinosaurs didn’t meet. I’d never be allowed to think that an old culture was anything but ungodly behaviour which died for a God reason – because God hated their unspeakable blasphemous acts.

I was getting frustrated with the life ahead of me. I knew I would die stupid and unhappy if I followed that road. The narrow path got really narrow, like walls coming closer and closer to each other, crushing your chest, leaving you unable to breathe. I decided that I had only one chance to escape this life. And that chance, funny enough, seemed to be Harry.

I went to Tiffany’s house with a plan in my mind. I needed to call Beth and ask for her help. After all, she was Harry’s sister, so she knew him much better than I did. Tiffany gladly agreed to let me call her. Beth was happy to hear from me after a rather long time of silence between us. She asked me a bunch of small talk questions but finally got to the point where she asked how things were between Harry and me. I explained her what my mother said, and she agreed with me that Harry proposing to me was very near, just within a few days range. I told her about my thoughts, that I wasn’t ready to be a wife and mother, that I wanted to be something else, that I wanted to decide some things on my own. Beth immediately suggested running away. I didn’t think of running away as the only chance for me yet, so I disagreed.

I told her about the plan I had come up with: I would ask Harry to leave the movement with me. We would keep the act up for our families, as I didn’t want to be cut off, but we’d live like the other people did. Normal. I’d tell him that he would get so many benefits from that lifestyle. That I’d make money, that we wouldn’t have to have that many kids, that we could have so much fun together as a worldly couple.

Beth didn’t sound convinced at all. “You know, Harry is deeply rooted in his beliefs. Some things he believes are outright stupid, but he believes that he loves Jesus more than anyone, that the movement is the only way to be saved. I don’t think he’ll give that up, no matter how much he loves you.”

“I can try. Maybe he secretly feels the same way.”

“Yes, Lisa, maybe, but then what? You’d still marry a man you don’t love. Do you know what that means? You’ll have to put up with his little faults every day. You’ll have to care for him in sickness, in poverty, and all that without love? Is that fair to you, or him? Can you really sleep with somebody you don’t love – every night? And act like you love him? That’s just a horrible thing to do.”

I hated how right Beth was. I was deeply ashamed that I had already acted like I was in love. My cheeks burnt at the realisation that the damage was done and I’d have to keep up this terrible act for the rest of my life. Out of sheer frustration, I told Beth:

“Well, then I’ll tell him the truth. And that he can have a girlfriend on the side who really loves him, so he gets the love he deserves and we’re both out of the movement!”

“Lisa, that is possibly the dumbest idea you’ve had since… ever. You know that won’t work. He could never do something like that. Not even worldly people do something terrible like that. That’s absurd and so crazy, I can’t even tell you just how stupid it is.”

She was right, of course, and I saw that I could never ask for such a thing from Harry. Too far was too far. But I still couldn’t give up.

“Yeah, you’re right.. I just don’t know what else to do. I’ll have to try to ask him though, that’s the least I can do.”

“Sure, go ahead and try, but you won’t get what you want. Just don’t break his heart more than you already have to. And if he says no, just run away and come to me, please. I’ll help you out.”

Beth gave me her address just in case, but I was sure I wouldn’t need it. I didn’t feel like I could sacrifice my family on the altar of my own desires just yet.

The next few days flew by, weekend came around. But something was different. Something was going on. My mother bought some expensive groceries and things we usually eat only for important events. She baked a lot of stuff and let me eat it. She kept hugging me constantly. My dad was nagging a lot about how I looked, how I acted. That it didn’t suit a grown woman. He’d never call me a grown woman. I knew the weekend would bring a change. Mom spent all friday cooking, preparing, baking, decorating, cleaning. She asked me to wear something pretty for dinner. Yeah, my parents were always terrible at surprising us kids. I knew that Harry and his family were coming over for dinner, even if they tried to keep it a secret from me.

Around 6 PM, the doorbell rang. In my mind, it sounded much shriller than it usually did. My mom asked me to open the door. I walked to the door in nervous, short-breathed steps. I slowly opened it, my face frozen in a helpless grimace, as if I had just watched an elephant eat sushi, and then fly away with his umbrella. In front of the door was Harry, flocked by his entire family. All of them had huge smiles on their faces and, almost simultaneously, they yelled “Surprise!”. I looked at Harry. He was wearing a rather fancy outfit. Dress pants, sparkling shoes, a white shirt and a tie. I stepped to the side in order for them to come in, still with my shocked expression on my face, murmuring something like “I didn’t expect you at all…”. Harry came in, looked into my eyes and gave me a little bouquet of flowers. Lillies. The ultimate engagement flower. I stood frozen until everyone found their way in. I pushed the door closed and the clicking sound of the lock reminded me that today was the day my sentence might be sealed.


24 Comments

Eric and Leslie vs the mess of the world

I really have to get this rant off my chest. Please note that I’m not attempting to judge the Ludys for who and what they really are, I don’t know them so I can’t say; but I do judge them for the picture they show to the community.

The Ludys. The perfect couple within the home school/courtship movement. While they teach fundamentalist values and views, they still seem so “normal”, so “perfect”, so… everything a girl could ever want.

I grew up with the Ludy’s books. I used to be a HUGE fan of them, all of them, especially Leslie’s books on beauty and femininity.

While most people consider Eric the bold one with the harsh sermons, I tend to disagree. Eric might be just as crazy as Leslie, but Leslie is the one with the most dangerous message.

Her “hobby” of sorts is to pick on other women, specifically women with children, who don’t do as awesome as she does. In pretty much every book I remember reading, she comes up with a story of how she met a married woman who ‘was shattering her childhood dreams of the perfect marriage and family’ (not an exact quote). For example a woman who looked very ‘messy’. We do not learn what “messy” means by Leslie’s standards. On all the pictures we see of Leslie, she is perfectly styled. Perfect hair, perfect make up (yes girls, sorry to shatter your dreams now, Leslie ALWAYS wears make up), perfect dress and style. Maybe she has a good sense for it, maybe she has a stylist. Either way, not everyone is that lucky to have one of those two, or even both. We learn about that messy woman that she looks tired, her hair looks tangled, and her clothes look kind of… well, messy. That might just be that this woman has a different type of hair that’s hard to control, that she doesn’t like make up and that she hasn’t as good of a sense for clothes as Leslie does. But rigid old Leslie’s comment stands there, on its little throne, judging every woman who can’t be the way she is for whatever reason. And of course, that’s one of Leslie’s secrets for the perfect marriage. Be like Leslie, and your husband will treat you like the queen you are. If you want to convince yourself, I beg you to read an article in the July/August 2011 issue of her online magazine (the newest one with the red cover). The article starts on page 86, it’s called “Mothering with dignity”. You can find her magazine at setapartgirl dot com. I refuse to link directly to her.

Another thing that she loves to pick on (see aforementioned article) is the houses of people. Leslie seems to be a very clean woman, because so far I haven’t read a word of praise in her books or magazines about other people’s houses. Nothing seems to meet her standard. She picks on the messiness of the house, the interior, the furniture, everything. And she doesn’t stop there – she seems to never get enough of telling people just how great she’s at decorating and how much better her family runs when everything is tidy, clean and beautifully decorated. Again, she shows that she simply has an eye for style, but that’s not what I’m criticizing. It’s the fact that she actually has the money to do as she pleases with her house. She has the space, the money to buy beautiful things, the style. Not everyone has that. But by her judgement, these people aren’t to be accepting, they are just a negative example for a christian family. They don’t live what christianity means. She never fails to put people down when they don’t meet her standard of living.

Growing up as a girl, I wanted to be like Leslie. Well styled in my pretty white picket fence home with my awesome “warrior-poet”. She seemed like everything she did was because of Christ, because that’s where her energy came from. And growing up in a house with 14 people, I also knew that something was wrong with us. We didn’t have the money to decorate much, or paint walls, or buy pretty beddings. My mom didn’t wear beautiful clothes and perfect make up. Home school wasn’t heaven on earth with peaceful children. Much of the opposite is true. I wondered why we weren’t like the Ludys. And I’m glad to tell everybody that I now know why we never were like them: Because the Ludys, especially Leslie, is so obsessed with the picture she’ll see of herself in the christian community. She obsesses over details nobody would blame her for. She has a natural gift for style and beauty, and that’s fine, but she uses it against people who don’t have it. She puts everyone down who doesn’t reach her standard for a “christian” wife and mother.

Leslie’s standards are far beyond what is possible for a family with 6 plus kids. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but Leslie has only four kids. I have raised more than that before I was 18. If I had only four, my house might never be messy as well. I might have the time to style myself as well. But not everyone is made for that and I firmly believe there are people who are pushed to their limits by one or two kids. That’s fine too, until the Leslies of this world come along and judge everything you thought was ok in your life into oblivion.

At the end of the day, Leslie is nothing but a overperfectionist woman, something that reminds me of a OCD, with which she tortures everyone who can’t be like her. And I despise her for telling growing girls that they have to be just what she is up to a point where girl entirely lose themselves in the process. Where nothing but a mechanical shell is left, trying to achieve a standard set by her highness and goddess Leslie, and not by Jesus. Legalist anybody?


8 Comments

I met a socialist and he was very nice.

Fundies certainly hate governments in every form. Not that they would act up against a normal, nice government, they can’t because the bible tells them not to. But they do despise everything which is government-controlled.

I grew up believing that socialism, along with communism, was one of the most wicked inventions the devil ever came up with. My idea of socialism was that they’d take away all we own, evaluate how much we need to absolutely survive and give us just that and nothing more. That all we worked for was given to a lazy person doing drugs and pimping whores, laughing at us for being so stupid as to pay for them. If our government ran health insurance, we would get evaluated and, depending on our age, health, usefulness for society, intelligence and so on, they would decide if they’d cure our cancer. Grandpa and old aunts and uncles who fell sick would certainly be lined up to be shot because they couldn’t work anymore and curing them was too expensive!

Are you laughing yet? Because I’m dead serious, I did have that image in my mind and now I’m laughing too.

Fundies are obsessed with the idea that God will provide for all their needs. They don’t mind not having enough, they just pray harder. They interpret every single good deal as God’s gift to them – “Oh my geese! I just found a notebook for $1!! GOD IS SO GOOD!” Are you kidding me…?

When people start viewing every form of public help as devilish and sinful, when every little detail in life seems to need a note on it saying “love, God” to be accepted, that’s just utterly stupid and crazy. I read a family’s blog, I will not name them here, but they had a hospital bill of about 200k, and instead of accepting governmental help which they were entitled to (and rightfully so, given the situation), they decided to say “No” and pray for a miracle. I’m wondering if the hospital was so excited to keep sitting on that 200k bill. I wonder if they had actual trouble paying the nurses, doctors and equipment they needed. I just think its retarded.

I heard a story a while ago that went something like this:

There was a good christian man going on a river cruise. But, unfortunately, the ship started sinking. In all the trouble, the man fell overboard and just kept floating around there. He was quickly noticed by the ship’s staff. One of the seamen jumped into the water, afraid the man might drown. When he reached the man, our good christian simply answered “No thanks, no need to rescue me. God will help me!”. The seaman was confused to the bone but instead started rescuing others. A bit later, the man was still floating in the very same spot. Another seaman throw a lifesaver at him, yelling “Hold on to it, I’ll pull you out!” But then man again said “No thank you, God will rescue me!”. The ship finally sank, the man tired and exhausted in the water, until he drowned.

So, why exactly did he drown? Because he had a totally wrong image of how God would help him. That sometimes, you can’t just sit there, floating around, denying all help, praying for a miracle. Sometimes you need to hold on to anything that could save your life.

And no, I’m not a communist, neither am I saying that socialism is the way to happiness. But I believe that to some extend, we need to learn to accept help from normal people, and not wait on God to jump out of the clouds to save our butts once again.


8 Comments

Training up this child – Part 18 – A new day dawning

I’m sorry for such a big delay. The last few days have been so incredibly busy for me! I had a lot of work to do and well, things that happen in a normal life just happen 😉 I’ll be keeping you updated!

Harry and I just kept standing there, looking at the pretty surroundings, not letting go of each other’s hands. After a few minutes, he pulled me towards the house. “Come on, I think I need to get going!” He made a funny sad face and we walked back to the house. My parents were outside waiting for us. I could see my dad’s eyes, how he squeezed them together more and more, how he made a sour face from which I was able to tell that he didn’t approve of the hand-holding. My mother just looked at us, surprised but not angry. “Since when is it ok to hold hands?” my dad barked. “Well…” Harry stuttered, “since Lisa and I decided to go a step further in our relationship…”. My dad’s face turned from a slight angry red to another shade, one between tomatoes and red beet. “I don’t approve of that type of physical relationship.” I got very annoyed and I simply felt sorry for Harry being in trouble for something I initiated earlier. “Dad, you don’t have to approve because there’s nothing to approve. You didn’t mind Harry playing Tag with the girls, he touched all of them and there were no concerns about their purity. This is nothing. Just quit that double standard.” I pulled Harry by his hand towards the house, leaving my dad standing, like he wasn’t sure what to say, or simply decided to delay the trouble until Harry was gone. “Come on Harry, you still need to pack some stuff. I’ll make you a snack for the drive home.”

We went inside where we finished up packing and getting Harry ready for the drive. When we said our goodbyes at his car, he grabbed my hand with both of his for a second and squeezed it.

Back inside, my dad pulled an act that was typical for him: Let’s call it “Let them suffer in silence”. It’s one of his favourite bits that he liked to pull with everyone on occasion. He usually just sits some place, like the sofa, quiet, staring, shushing people around, staring at his victim and, perfectly timed, shaking his head only very slightly when the victim looked in his direction. When I was smaller, I would try to please him as hard as I could. The silence was terrifying for me and my siblings, the feeling of really having disappointed him and God. We actually prefered being beaten over the silence, because after a beating, it would be over and normal again, while the silence could last for days with no clue what the outcome of it would be.

And after about two hours of the silence, I lost my temper. My entire body was burning with shame, regret and the feeling that I had treated Harry wrong. Not because we were holding hands, but because I felt like he loved me on a very different level. All of it was too much for me and I was close to tears. I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.

“Dad, you can stare at me all you want, I’m not going to apologize. You have pushed this relationship all along, now you deal with the fact that it’s actually turned into a relationship. It doesn’t say ‘You shall not hold hands’ in the bible.”

“It says CHILDREN OBEY YOUR PARENTS and I DID NOT ALLOW YOU TO HOLD HANDS!” he yelled.

“I obeyed you the entire weekend. Actually, all I did was obeying you. You want me to marry Harry, now I’ll tell you what, he told me that he thought I was the wrong one because I showed so little affection. Now he’s sure I’m the right one and you get your wedding and me out of the house, so I’m obeying all you ever said about my relationship and this is all I’m going to say.”

With that, I left the room to hide somewhere safe to cry at. My mom, who was running around the house, cleaning and tidying, only caught pieces of all this. After a while, she found me crying in my room. She sat down next to me, hugged me and just let me cry.

“Are you crying because of Dad?” she asked.

“No, not really.”

“Then what’s wrong?”

“All I was supposed to do was love Harry. Before I wasn’t good enough, and now that I’m doing what everybody wants, it’s not good enough either. What am I supposed to do with everything?”

“Sweety, I don’t think it’s that bad you held hands. You’re close to an engagement anyway. I’ll talk to dad and try to make him understand. Now get some rest, then clean yourself up and join us for dinner.”

She hugged me again, smiled and left the room. Her words were still burning in my mind. Close to an engagement… I always knew this was the goal, but now that the time came closer with huge steps, I felt like a hamster in a cage, trying to run, but really, you’re not going anywhere. Life is going to happen, whether you like it or not. And nothing I could do would stop that.


18 Comments

When good things happen to bad people – wait, what?

Here’s just an assembly of today’s thoughts on God. Very random, not many answers.

God, that’s that big teacher up in the sky, living outside of time, in heavenly Jerusalem, from where he will judge the good and the bad.

But before he judges, he makes sure to be all loving and caring, making us learn. He’s basically the boss teacher. And I have to admit, his style of teaching is unconventional, to say the least.

I have been taught all my life by my dad. My dad’s voice was God’s way of speaking to me. God speaks through dads.

My dad said that bad things happen to bad people. Like tsunamis, or earth quakes, or something like that. And when those things hit, they swipe away only the bad ones. The good ones are taking away into safety by God himself before hand. This always made sense to me.

But then why do bad things happen to good people? And likewise, why do good things happen to bad people?

Imagine there was a really evil man. Let’s go with a pedophile. He meets a woman whom he marries. She’s godly in every way, inward and outward. She possesses all qualities of a P31 woman and she cares for him every day of her life. They have a hand full of kids, all just as godly as the wife, being obedient, cheerful and just overall good kids. A family, who’s just as godly as our first family, lives in the house right next to them. Now one day, the pedophile dad loses his discipline to ignore his sexual preference and goes abusing the godly neighbor’s little boy. What’s up with that? What went wrong? Why are two families being punished when really nobody did anything ungodly?

Imagine being a wife for 5, 10 or even 50 years and you find out you have been lied to all of your life by the person you trust the most. That’s a straight punishment. Imagine one of your kids being hurt or abused by somebody evil. That’s a punishment too. Why does God punish good people?

No worries, we have an answer for that too! It’s because God teaches us. I said before that his methods are a bit unusual. God teaches us by doing bad things to us. He tests us and our faith.

Why does God have to test us when everything, all events of time, are just the way he designed it. If he could foresee everything we’d be, do and have, where’s the need to test?

Why does God make us so we need teaching? I thought creation was good, creation was perfect. After all God is perfect. Why did he make us defect beings who need teaching like a pack of naughty kids? There’s only one answer I can give: God is a mean boy.

He likes watching us suffer, he likes us as defect beings, because that’s the only way we can humour him with our sad attempts to get through life. God used to show that a lot more back in the day, when he ran around punishing people for wearing the wrong pair of shoes, screaming and yelling at them because they weren’t worth a second of his precious time. He would come down and ‘spank’ the humans, because remember? Spanking = love.

That’s really all I’m getting from the God I have been taught to believe in.

It reminds me a bit of ants. Remember playing in the garden, watching an ant colony, deciding to kill one and let the other escape? You would catch some and put them some place else to see where they would do, if they’d make their way back. You kill some random ones to see the reaction of the others. I sometimes feel like God is just a mean boy, enjoying the power he has over a bunch of ants. Would the boy be sad if all ants died? Certainly not.

But then there’s Jesus. He’s so different, no wonder that bunch of spanked kids loved him, viewed him as the Messiah. He is loving, caring, not judging, not punishing. Sometimes I feel like God and Jesus are from two separate religions.

Jesus is really the only reason why I haven’t abandoned religion all together yet.