3/23/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy mari_mayhem ~
On March 7th 2011, my grandmother died in what people are probably deeming an act of god. I would say that it is far from that. Many would think me heartless for the things I am about to write, but for me this is part of the grieving process. They say we all grieve in our own way, well this is mine. This woman is known to have been a popular pastor for fifty years and they viewed this woman as a perfect person. When I say perfect, I mean perfect. They had a lovely suburban home, seven children, and god was a reality for them every day of life. What they don't know is that this woman, no matter how kind in her later years, destroyed my life. I don't think it's what she intended to do and it's not very often that a person goes out of their way to ruin another. Still it is her life's work of ministry that destroyed her family. Now the only real reason I am doing this is so that maybe you will be more able to see through the lies of others. Maybe you will continue to confidently pursue your own deconversion or to help others in evangelical families.
This woman did her best to live her life through the bible, and married at age seventeen. That is about five years below the average age for marriage in 1950. The only real answer that I can think of for this is that her religion dictated no sex before marriage. Whether or not that actually happened is anyone's guess, but they methodically popped out seven kids. This would be fine if their parenting skills had not come directly from the bible. They might as well have stoned the kids to death, because what happened is worse. We're talking about what is essentially an extremely dysfunctional family in the guise of glowing perfection and holiness. She beat every last one of those kids senseless because she lacked the ability to parent that many kids without violence. Not a single one of them turned out right, because they learned to hide their problems and their ungodly desires. All of which blew up in their faces. This woman started a religious empire amongst her family, with many powerless beneath it's tyrannical rule. Praying never fixed the problems of her children and these were pretty serious things. We're talking about an instance of sibling incest rape, infidelity, drug abuse, severe obesity, heart disease, and alcoholism. That's only the problems with my father, aunts and uncles. That's probably not even half of what's taken place. Sure every family has it's problems, but not a single one of them really turned out alright. Many of them passed on the same parenting style to their kids and instilled them with similar values.
Now this brings us to my abuse at the hands of my father. I have ADHD and was unable to sit still or concentrate as a young child. I'm sure you can see where this went. I couldn't be still in church and I couldn't tell my father that I found it boring. I couldn't tell him that I hated church or that I'd never once felt the presence of god. This man was a drunk, a pervert, and a child abuser. In fact, I'm pretty sure he never wanted kids. However this hippy from the 70's had tried to reform his ways for his mother's sake. He'd traded his drugs and alcohol for a bible and a nice suit. He attempted to hide his true nature for the sake of his family and pretty much destroyed our family in the process. I now suffer from at least three different mental disorders related to the abuse. I don't ask for pity or sympathy. What I do ask is that people do what is needed so that this sort of thing never has to happen.
I'm sure that grandma did what she thought was best, but that's the thing. It wasn't what was best, and she believed throughly that it was what god wanted and demanded from her. This woman's whole life and existence was a sacrifice to an imaginary friend. She believed he spoke to her and guided her, but look what happened. She also didn't die the way you'd expect a holy individual to die. Some faulty electrical wires in the house caught fire and she died of smoke inhalation. Now of all of this, the one thing that bothers me the most is that I could never have a proper relationship with her. I never told her that I didn't believe. Perhaps that makes me a coward or a hypocrite, but religion meant everything to her. She invested so much into it. I'm sure that me being the way that I am, would break her heart. My father had been her favorite child, and yet he failed her most of all. I couldn't be honest with her. Doing so would have been just plain cruelty.
It is a tragedy, that a woman lived her life like this. That she did her best to spread love and compassion and instead only brought pain and disaster. She was an amazing woman, and if not for the religious barrier I think I could have shown her just how amazing I could be in return. I don't know if she would have forgiven me for what I've done, but I know that I somehow forgive her for starting it all. Knowing this I thank my grandmother for giving me the gift she never intended to give me, rational thought. May she rest in peace.
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