Growing up Fundie

This is inspired by a post on fetlife here

This is how you grow up as ME in a fundamentalist Christian family.

You get introduced to the congregation on the very first Sunday following your birth. The pastor congratulates your parents and asks them to stand and show you off. Your father proudly and carefully lifts you up for all to see. Everyone oohs and ahs and claps.

Dedications weren’t commonplace in 1967 so none of that, still…every single member of the congregation (no few of them family members) knew that you might as well have been, because your parents have already decided that for you…it was just expected to be so.

Sundays unfold in a pattern you are immersed in from so early in your life that it is as natural as breathing: Sunday School started proptly at 9:00/9:30/10:00 depending apon how much time the congregation was willing to give any particular pastor/preacher/minister/ect…ad nauseum . Plus of course the music…and weekly announcements…Whatever you do, DO NOT forget the announcements….”the womens auxillary weekly bible study and quilting bee will be holding it’s Thursday night meeting at sister Vivian’s this  week because sister Rose is recovering from a recent tumble down some stairs in her home. This is also a potluck for sister Rose, the idea is to create one days worth of freezer ready meals, and then some for the potluck, also sister vivian is going to let everybody vote for the best and most creative. She has a very nice Fish car..oh FiSKar…Rotary cutter…? anyway the winner gets a very nice one…. Brother john wants to announce that the men’s weekly  woodwork and  bible study group “Carpentry and  The Carpenter” is planning to go over to sister Rose’s and “fix” her stair problem…er problem stair, and “minister” to her husband and would like to invite anybody who wishes to help out..I know that they certainly would appreciate the help of some of our good strong men…Strong physically and STRONG in the LORD can I hear an Amen? … brother Gary  wanted to remind the Royal Ambasators/Royal Rangers/Crusaders for Christ/Awanas that they are holding a meeting Thursday night as well, to divide up into ministry teams to go out to sister Rose’s house several times a week and help her out with yard work and some painting …Also I want to announce that sister Rose will be back next week and she’s bringing in her husband who has recently accepted Jesus as his Lord and saviour and been freed of that ole Demon Acoholism, and wishes to be baptised here and join our congregation.

Now there was a differance between children’s sunday school and adult sunday school. In adult sunday school they were busy learning IMPORTANT BIBLE JESUS stuff…children’s sunday school varied between a much simpler version of what the adult were studying to a near theatrical event involving puppets, lighting effects and microphones, or even the Americlasical  White anglosaxon middle income protestant, version with birdseye maple shelves, slate chalk boards and nicely carpeted floors and weekly  lesson handouts, and not cheap photocoppied or memeographed ones either…no this stuff is professionally printed with watercolor picures of Jesus telling Zacchaeus to “come down out of that tree” (kids love that one…) and children sitting on Jesus’ knee and gathered arround him….usually with the “suffer the little children to come unto me” verse, or some other such tripe. Makes me want to vomit. Tree, little man, Jesus, faceless crowd in the background painted by some $10. an hour art school dropout, turned Head (and only) Illustrator for the denomination’s (Southern Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Nazarine, ect) “K-8 Ministry Program Tracts and Teaching Aids Department”, how much more simplistic can you get? ah yes, Jesus and  Nicodemus…now I remember… Rock or stone background, at night, next to some tree or some such, typical “Jesus” (I’ll bet that guy could draw “Jesus” in his fucking sleep by now) and some random “Pharisee” looking dude, they wore funny looking hats of some sort didn’t they….well we’ll put on on him anyway… .  Now usually between Sunday School and “Big Church”, there was between 15 and 30 minutes of free time in which you could visit with friends or just try to avoid the watchfull eyes of your parents long enough not to be forced to sit with them.

Hymns, lots of Hymns, we had all kinds of Hymns, Laconic Hymns, thank you for not frying me in hell hymns, save your old templar’s gold boys, the crusade will rise again! YEE HAH!!!! hymns (Onward christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of jesus, going on before, christ the royal master, leads against the foe, forward into battle, see his banners go, refrain (because I really didn’t wat to type that whole first bit again…) I rest my case….the really sad part….I didn’t have to look up the lyrics…sheer memorization on a deep subconscious level…I’m fucked, I know).

And while we’re on music and Hymns…What is with, the fucking benediction?…Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood, was shed for me, and that thou biddest me, come to thee, Oh Lamb of God, I come, I come… You know, THAT is some seriously deep dark depressing Goth shit there! and for anybody who hasn’t been subjected to this aurol zombification, most funeral dirges are cheerier. Not even Willy Nelson can help this song   though it more typically sounds like THIS    beautiful and creepy at the same time….calmly lulling your brain into a numb sleep like state akin to a coma.

And the offering…cannot forget the offering….S, because you know that there is going to be more than one. I mean you’ve been going here for years and you haven’t figured that out yet? Do you just block this shit out? At any given time you are only a few weeks away from a “visit” from some impoverished missionary to New Guinea or the Aboriginal Pearl Divers of the Great Barrier, Coral Reef or even laughably (but totally true) to “Spring Break” in various beach resort cities, to Minister to the “College kids”, there for spring break…The REALLY GOOD part…enough people gave them enough money to pay for their “ministry trip  WOW! P.T. Barnum was right when he said, “there is a sucker born every minute”.

Or a visiting preacher here to drum up financial support for his pet project charity. unless of course it is the visiting musical group…<insert “Sarcasm Font” just in case, you know…because, there’s always somebody…>maybe those nice Jewish lads from “Jews for Jesus”. They can sing those nice pretty songs in their funny sounding, Jewish language. You know, It’s like one of their Jewish prayers only they add Jesus, except they call him Ya SHEW AH, which is what his name would be in their language if he talked it instead of King James English, like all the rest of them Bible times people, other wise, how do we understand them huh, explain that one… Aren’t they all so very ethnic? and that one guy said that they were from New York city, …probably foreigners…But doesn’t the ethnic music make you feel so….deliciously naughty to be enjoying anything so vulgar and primal as ethnic folk music. Besides, It’s safe, It’s Christian music, I distinctly remember hearing christos or maybe it was Hay Suse you know it might have been Mashy huah somebody, or was it Yesy hua…hey is that hamy marachino part of his name too? It’s like son of god or sumpin right?  oh wait it’s hah machina ah right?  Anyway, the guy said that it means Jesus, in their native language.   their funny foreign, jewish peasant clothing proves that they are real jews right? (indeed “Rivka’s Birth name is Ruth Goldberg, and her parents have a very nice home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as well as a winter home in the Holy Land…Miami Fla) and this was the kind of music that Jesus would have listened to. Especially those Jew talking ones, because Jesus talked that, not that arabic crap. Jesus did NOT talk no Arabamaical language.

*looks around* are we alone? ….Let me interject just one tiny little infintesimly small amount of the stupidity with which I am dealing here…true story time here…so my girlfriend at the time had invited me to visit her church…(women you do know that we guys only do that to humor you right? we don’t like going to OUR church where we know people…of course we don’t want to go to yours, besides, even if we did know somebody at your church….#1 it had better not be another woman…period, full stop, end of thought. Because, there is no conceivable outcome for that which ends well,  #2 if it is a guy…so what…it is not as if we are going to be able to talk to him…because “we’re there, just to be with you….”) “I swear to god (hehehe) that all that I did was notice Jerry pulling up on his new bike and casually say “nice bike Jerry” oh and it is such a sweet looking machine…I guess maybe he is handling Mindy running off with that proctologist, pretty well after all. ..and I get elbowed in the ribs before I can even begin to start talking Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection and gear ratios….to say that this was a tiny congregation might be a bit of an understatement. Once the pastor and his immediate family are removed from the list, the remaining atendees could have fit in your average 747 lavatory. Anyway so this was some Freewill Baptist of North Bumfuck West Virginia (in Ohio), so not exactly up to your average Southern Baptist standards of  <as they say in the Latin> “Makin shit up” often refered to as “Bullshitting your audiance because you couldn’t bear to read one more “beget” or “thou shalt not”, or research yet one more referance in your Strong’s Concordonance, or do yet one more exegesis of the original (3rd century) Greek, much less bother to even TRY to do any kind of research on the original hebrew texts…” The King James edition…”because if it was good enough for Jesus…”

So anyway, after enduring well over a hour of “Uncle Jim” s humor and lack of formal theological training, much less ability to speak the English language in anything other than what can be described as the American Welsh. The preacher is winding up his sales pitch, and things are starting to get intense when the preacher tosses this gem to me almost as an afterthought……”PRAISE GOD I’M GLAD TO BE A BAPTIST!!!”  (oh but there is more…..) “and I BELIEVE that JESUS was a Baptist too…”    …now my girlfriend at the time was not exactly the  sharpest stick in the bundle, but even she could tell that I was getting ready to open a can of theological whopass on “Pastor Uncle Jim” and it was only with some quiet pleading (not to mention a promise of shall we say a more carnal nature for later) did I allow this base theological faux pas to pass uncorrected.

Oh we mustn’t forget the annual “Lottie Moon” and “Corrie Ten Boom” mission fund drives, (for you non Southern Baptists out there, yes they are real people, go ahead and wiki them)  plus of course the church’s own charity “outreach”,  soup kitchens and homeless shelters, used clothing “Charity closet”, or food pantry, whatever it is, it needs money… Now.    Even the children should be ashamed not to donate their last penny for this cause. That is why we are hitting them hard with the penny drives and the dollar a week for little Paco in San Juan del Crapholo 50 miles south of Bumfuck Nowhere Central America, but hell we could be sending it to some Central American donation scamming drug cartel or something for all we really know. But you know, I gained some respect for one preacher in particular…a young(ish) Doctor Garrison wins the coveted slot of Pastor at the First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City ….This church had History, This church had power…Sitting a few blocks away from the state capitol building, the congregation as well as the building predated the Capitol Building and even statehood. The church even had a few members who themselves predated statehood by a good 30 years or more. There was more than one centurion in the congregation .  Typical church members and regular attendees,  would include state representatives, high ranking Air Force Officers, your average “Oil Tycoons”(I shit you not), a couple of cattle barons, a Railroad tycoon, and I know of at least two names of men who formed the TG&Y stores which were much like Walmart was in it’s early days, before all it did was import cheap Chinese crap, before it sucked, so anyway a lot of “big” names and more importantly $MONEY$$. The church Library is large enough to actually need the Dewey decimal system….they have a fountain in the foyier of their sanctuary…a FUCKING FOUNTAIN! On the second floor. And this was no “little” fountain either  at 3′ high and 6-10 ft diameter. People were encouraged to toss coins into the fountain (bribing God? not to mention the obvious theft of a pagan tradition), there is a second separate “chapel” which is usually only used for weddings and funerals… they have a fucking elevator! there  is a full sized basketball court/skating rink with snack bar, skate rental, exercise machines and a whole host of other stuff on the third floor. This church has OLD money….well old for the American mid-west oil country…the kind of money with little old ladies winding up owning half of the city…or a small but lucrative oil company…and some of those little old ladies got a mite bit particular about their pet projects…fuck with them and you could lose your job…literally…so no small job taking on this church.   So anyway, the time came that the pastor called for a clothing drive for a missionary in New Guinae or Fiji or somewhere with “small brown people”. Anyway apparently this particular missionary was a bit on the “Texas Husky” side that’s Big And Tall…and the one thing that he absolutely could not find to fit him there was underwear…trust me when it’s hot and muggy, the last thing that you want is chaffing…so I understand perfectly…and no good christian would ever “go commando”, …so anyway, there is this clothing drive…for the missionary, his family, and a few of the locals perhaps…a week or two later the Pastor again took the pulpit, this time to denounce whomever had “donated” the used, stained, torn and worn, men’s tighty whiteys, and then and there, he had “show and tell” from the pulpit…probably the first and only time that I have ever seen underwear displayed from the pulpit. He then announced that the “clothing drive” was over and that he instead took church money and bought NEW clothes with it for the missionary and his family….even at 10 yo I could respect that…

both Sunday and Wednesday night services were about an even split down the middle as to  whether or not we were going to attend. “The Wonderful World of Disney” was on TV Sunday nights…My model train was set up as a miniature Disney style park…with a “Main street USA” and train depot. Man I wanted a monorail! sooo cool! of course this came on after Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins and Jim (the original barefooted crocodile hunter) Fowler. “I’ll use the Helicopter to herd the Stampeding/scared/drugged/injured bull elephant toward Jim down below in the jeep. Watch out Jim, he sure looks angry…” Now we joke about Marlin giving poor Jim the shit end of the stick so much, and more than once quite literally “I’ll hold the unconscious bull’s head straight, while Jim gets a stool sample for later analasis back at the lab” , but don’t get me wrong, He may have been a geeky sciencey type guy but Marlin was a tough old coot! He once wrestled a fucking HUGE  anaconda that had wrapped itself around his legs and abdomen in a river, all while holding a head larger than my fist, full of teeth, and just WAITING for a chance to put the bite on ole Marlin Perkins!

Around the time that I turned 14 it all changed. My parents had found “non denominational , full gospel (godspell?) charismatic, pentecostal churches”. They settled in one pastored by a former police officer and his wife, and housed in a former public elementary school (the church offices were placed naturally, in the previous school’s “The OFFICE” complete with “The Desk” where you are told to “Wait in “The CHAIRS”” cue overly dramatic musical emphasis  *DumDum Duummm*, Which meant that a visit to the pastor’s office meant stepping into the previous Principal’s Office, formerly the “Office of DOOM” during childhood for many people. It was rarely a good thing to be visiting the Principal’s Office. . Freud anyone?), some 35 miles from our house, guaranteeing that any potential friends that I would meet there would live many miles away from me. It’s kind of hard to pal around with somebody that lives 50 miles away. The service was decidedly different to what I had become at least tolerantly used to by now. A deep bass guitar thundered out over the stage, it hung from the neck of a woman wearing a pants suit, her skirt clad, “very close woman friend”, and I believe at one time, roomate…though I’m not sure….  whom she would never consider “in THAT way” ,  she was just like her sister or something, …sat behind a double drum set trying her best to put John Bonham to shame.  Several years later she married a man and I don’t remember the two women ever speaking again, in fact I believe that the bass player moved away shortly after the marriage… A GE Smith band hopefull played lead guitar. A 50 year old “independently wealthy widow/cougar” blasted out notes on a trumpet. A young Ray Manzarek wannabe sat at an electronic keyboard, and a former hippy couple (yep, did the whole “guru” following commune bit, followed by a park ranger alone in a cabin for months on end , On Mt Washington in New York, At their highest elevation Ranger’s Station. Watching for fires in the valley below, potential avalanches, really lost hikers and idiot rock climbers that get in WAY over their heads, as well as making a weekly trek to the top of the mountain to check on the anemometer. (the last one blew off the top of the mountain when wind speeds hit 199mph.  It was a solitary posting…bit…) played acoustic guitars along with the ocational harmonica thrown in for good measure, while doing some sort of “folk dance”. Do you suppose they know how to Madison? And More importantly “How many of you, seriously DEVIANT PERVERTS, got that joke?”

Gone was the grand piano and pipe organ. gone were hard wooden pews in favor of metal folding chairs.  no more hymnals or tithe offering envelopes stuffed into the backs of pews. No more wondering if they left the baptistry full between baptising services, because there was no baptistry (though I do distinctly remember them trying something once involving a small swimming pool placed in the floor of the old cafeteria kitchen {it had a tile floor and floor drains} and viewing the whole thing through the serving window whilest having had to turn around in my chair). A 15 yo boy ran the sound system…I was his assistant, when he was gone, I did it… The former gymnasium ceiling and steel crossmembers were still visible 20+ feet up. They danced and clapped their hands. They talked in strange (and totally undignified) made up silly baby talk languages and worst of all, they insisted on TOUCHING you! Oh they wanted to touch you for everything. Greet you at the door and shake your hand, perhaps they want to show some sort of fatherly dominance or something so they *shudder*  hug you. If you get sick or injured…you are so fucking screwed because these people believe in the “laying on of hands”. You will be subjected to 20 minutes of people praying for you, and people getting a “message from god for you” …”Thus sayeth the Lord our God, yea though you may undergo many trials, I will use those trials to help you grow in my spirit sayeth the lord”. and people holding you and touching you and blowing their breath and no small amount of spittle in your face spreading their influenza  to you, as they pray for your cold to be healed, and hold your head in a vice like grip while shaking you and commanding the “demon sickness” to “leave this body in the name of JESUS!”

Hey, you want a shot at being the next test bed subject (literally) for a whole new family of antibiotics engineered for resistant strains? Just do anything that entails you having to go to the front of the church for anything. You will get more exposure in 5 minutes than most CDC scientists see in an entire lifetime. Then of course there is the official in service “greet your neighbor” mandatory handshake and hug…makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

No more stained glass windows.  A single narrow row of windows along the tops  of one, maybe two walls  is the only view of the outside and source of natural lighting. In earlier church days, you could climb the old school bleachers to get to them. Like the Baptist church, services are Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night….Unlike the Baptist church however, attendance is not optional. You WILL be there, so say your parents…you can study for your upcoming science test later…oh, this one is on evolution…well you don’t need to study for that because it its all false, the bible proves it! You know, you really should listen to Dr Carl Baugh…he’s coming here next month, you know. He has all kinds of evidence found by CHRISTIAN scientists…like Doctor Michael Behe, you know he testified in FEDERAL court about the falsehoods and bad science in evolution…the Judge even asked HIM questions personally! The Pastor is trying to get him to come too, and tell us about this rightious battle in our nation’s legal system, and his testimony in court, and why it is so important that we get out and spread the word! Hey, I think that Dr Baugh is bringing that fossil hunter safari guy, you know the guy that likes to wear pith helmets and pretend that he is a scientist to show how silly they really are…? Ian Juby…yeah, he’s funny and informative. He can show where all of the scientists like Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers and all of the others are wrong…*facepalm*

You pass the time by counting the number of beams on the ceiling, doodling on the back of the bulletin (which though printed on a Xerox machine, is still a big jump over last year’s Mimeographed bulletins)  or falling asleep,… unless Gina, Shea, or Angel are there….they are certainly more interesting. And if Shea brings her friend Cheryl…you will get to suck face and get your hands on some nice soft girl body! abeit in a strictly PG-13 manner, but still, it’s something, and that isn’t anything to scoff at for a hormone wracked teenaged boy. Sorry but copping a good feel of her more than ample womanly attributes will have to wait until AFTER church…perhaps on a nice long walk around her neighborhood after taking her home. You know…independently wealthy widow/cougar just got married to that guy 20 years her junior and they are off on their honeymoon…they live just around the corner from her and guess who they gave they key to their house to and asked to go inside and check it out ocationaly? Even to “bring somebody along, because you know…young girl, empty house…there might be burglars or something, you don’t know….some wino holed up in here to keep warm or something….just bring somebody with you when you come check out our big empty house…with the large comfy couch in the big dark living room and make sure some wino isn’t sleeping in our king sized four poster bed okay?”   SERIOUSLY!!!??? DID YOU SERIOUSLY SAY THAT??!! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??!!

…….Brrr it’s cold, want to warm your hands? Fuck! That girl was built as solidly as the proverbial “brick shit house”! And WARM as HELL!……I TOLD you,… It’s FUCKING COLD OUTSIDE! THIS IS OHIO IN FUCKING JANUARY, COLD!!!! Must have priorities after all…warm first, grope and fondle later…we aren’t sure how far she’s going to let us get, but she certainly isn’t going to let us get very far with the two frozen hams that we currently call hands…we need to warm them up first….now we can use body heat for this, just not direct contact…later…after they are warm, we get direct contact.  We have our hands on large warm breasts right fucking now! Albeit under a winter coat and through a thin cotton front buttoned shirt or blouse and a wonderfully soft cotton bra , but it’s something that I can work with…oooh look, that button just popped though it’s button hole…so lets make the best of it and keep warm while we take our time and try and warm her up to the idea of letting us go a little farther…perhaps make use of that open button?…it’s not like we are actually touching…much….mostly over the clothing frottage or groping and fondling, with a whole lot of that inexperienced hormone driven teenaged suck face. Hey, I got my hand up the back of her top….I feel bra straps!

You start to carry a secret. You know that you should be grateful for God’s love. You know that you should be on fire for God. You know that you aren’t. You try forcing yourself to be, aka “Pretending”. It’s not that you actively try to be ungrateful. You just feel a bit hollow inside. You know that you’re supposed to be having a spiritual existence, and you know that you’re supposed to want a personal relationship with God. You can’t figure out why it’s not coming as easily and naturally as they say it’s supposed to. They tell you that the “trials and tribulations” are “God’s way of testing you” or attacks from satan …which coincidentally mean that you are hurting him by doing the right thing in {whatever} yada yada blah blah blah,…Dammit! you are fucking TIRED of “trials and tribulations” and you are starting to think that “God” is a pretty sick and sadistic bastard for not taking better care of his followers, but then, when has he ever?…and  then, you start feeling guilty. You decide that the only way around it is to become a missionary, so you begin your studies.

The years pass. The guilt doesn’t. You know that you’re supposed to having a different experience with God than the one you are having. You want to have it, but you don’t know how to reach it. You were supposed to give everything over to God and let him fill you with strength, but you just feel… nothing. Instead of accusing God of failing to lift you up, you accuse yourself of letting him down. God loves you, but he wants your love given of your own free will, you are told. So it must be you. The problem is you. You know what you’re supposed to do: you’re supposed to desire a relationship with God. You can’t find a desire for the relationship with God you’re supposed to have and submit to the authority of those whom GOD has put over you, even when it seems to contradict what the Bible says.. You get used to apathy, because it’s the only way you can exist in both of these realities simultaneously.

You turn 18, you graduate High School. Girlfriend’s Mom gives her a graduation gift: one of those necklaces with the heart and key on the chain. The necklace came with a note that said, the two things she hoped that she kept were her relationship with God, and her purity, and that perhaps she could give this necklace to her husband on their wedding night….He’s going to be very disappointed, is all that I can say. Though she has been known to on occation still cry out “OH GOD! DEAR GOD YES! YES GOD USE ME, USE MY BODY! OH MY GOD YES, YES, YES!!!” so that could count for something I guess.

At the end of that summer you reach a breaking point. Confronted by Mom about some un-Christian like behaviour, she asks you what God would think about all of this. You say, “I don’t know what I think about God lately.” The look of disappointment and despair on her face feels like a slap to yours. But there’s another feeling. It’s a strange kind of freedom. You realize that if you had wanted all of this — the relationship with God and the wonderful life that follows — if you had actually wanted all of this, you would have done something about it by now. And that realization is the door to the second chapter of your life. You don’t know what’s through the door, but it can’t be worse than this.

Still using the template of “god is in charge of my life and I’m going along with it even if I don’t like it, right now”, you spend the next decade trying to untangle the fact from the fiction. You have a late adolescence well into your twenties because you spent so much time trying to be good that you didn’t learn how to make mistakes and learn things for yourself. You read Shakespeare on your own  and discover that the Shakespeare you read in your sophomore (and only year of) Christian high school was carefully abridged to cut out the more ungodly and vulgar parts.

You realize that you don’t actually know anything about science because you only just rejected the faith that taught the Earth is 6,000 years old (even though you never could force yourself to believe the creationist tripe). Made my pilot’s Ground School SUCH a pleasure to take thank you very much BTW mom and dad…You see mom and dad…since all that science is, is the formalized study of the building blocks of the universe and how things interact, in a way that we can produce, real, repeatable, falsifiable evidence which leads to a further understanding of the universe around us…it means that ALL science is interconnected….the correalis effect works just as well to determine wind movements  now as it did a million years ago…the same physics that keeps my engine turning, keeps the sun burning…the fuel that I use is a distilation of sunlight of a billion years ago captured in the swamps of a billion years past. It’s not dino juice that we are all driving around on but the sunshine of a billion years past captured in the trees, mosses, algae and fungi of the swamps of  a prehistoric earth. Radiation left over from the fission of hydrogen to form helium (in the center of the sun 10,000 years ago!) in the form of heat and light to earth, to be absorbed  or reflected by plants and other heat and light using beings, being stored in the plants in the form of carbon, the plants die and sink to the bottom of the swamp,…eventually it fills itself in. It turns slowly into shales,  coal or oil  We KNOW, that no matter WHAT the Bible says…the Earth is older than 6,000 years….HUMANS have been around for over 10,000………We have tree rings that old…  You wonder what else you learned in your formative years that wasn’t true.

Your relationship with your parents is increasingly difficult to maintain. You love them and they love you, but you know they’re wrong about everything and they know you’re wrong about everything. You try to deal with the baggage that comes with 18+ years of indoctrination, and the frustration of having nowhere to direct the anger. Your parents thought they were doing their best for you; they didn’t wake up one day and say, “Let’s fuck up our son” Your childhood churches were just trying to spread a message they believe in. There is no one to direct your anger at, so it gets directed inward. You have moments and nights of such utter self-hatred that you want to pass the hate on to the person who did this to you, but there’s no one to really blame.

You try to reconcile the feelings of being taught that you’re not worth anything on your own merit with the feelings of love for your family who decided to bring you up in the churches and school that taught you to feel worthless. You get really fucking confused.

You run away to the military and give the finger to your early sex mis-education by trying to fuck the hollow feelings away. You will settle for anybody who will fuck you on a regular basis. 36 yo “rode hard and put away wet” almost divorce’e with her own apartment and a penchant for being a nymphomaniac, who, though lacking any talent, has plenty of enthusiasm, and is plenty adventurous…Ah hell she was a 36 yo “short troll”  complete nympho who couldn’t ever get enough and was ready to go at any place and any time.  SURE! It’s empowering, and then it’s normal, and then it’s just fucking numbing. Perhaps a

different religion….Wicca, Zen, Tao, Buddhism, Occultism,Yoga, Meditation, Tantric sex…something has GOT to fill the void!

You try to deal with feelings of worthlessness that you fear will never go away. You look for affirmation from outside sources: academics, adventure, sex, career. You go go go with sights set too high because that’s how you think you’ll finally be worth something, and then you burn out from trying to achieve impossible expectations, for goals that you never wanted to be yours in the first fucking place!

You strive for impossible goals because that’s the only kind of goal you understand. You need to SUFFER! Just like our LORD JESUS did. Just like JOB did, and see how the Lord Blessed him…(of course he did bugger all, for Job’s wife and children, his servants and slaves, his sheep and donkeys, or pretty much anybody else who was associated with Job in any  way, shape or form and they didn’t even get a choice in the matter….).

You have meltdowns.

You cry at night.

You write all your thoughts down, and look back over the words and realize that you only went into detail about a small amount of the shit you could have said about your goddamn well-intentioned, fucked up upbringing.

You feel guilty all over again because you can’t explain properly why your upbringing, which in some ways was beautiful with loving parents, was also fucked up. They didn’t beat you, they didn’t starve you, they didn’t sell you, they didn’t hate you. They loved you. They love you now. (even though they insist on touching you at every opportunity..being all huggy touchy feely…shudder) They worry about you and want to know why you feel hollow, and lost. You try to explain, but it’s hard to do without hurting their feelings and accusing them of enabling emotional abuse. You know that every step you take toward becoming your own person steers you away from the dreams they had of the person you would become (missionary), and because you love them it’s hard to be honest about the person you are becoming.

You hope that you will get your shit straight, but, as the Bible says, you can’t be sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see, because that is faith. And you don’t have faith anymore.

And you don’t yet know the person who is replacing the emptiness left by your former blind faith, because

you’re still trying to make him

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