4/12/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy LunarBlack ~
I've always been the outcast of my family, the weird one. I married young, like a lot of women in my family, but unlike them, I married outside my race. It wasn't like I married someone "down", no I ended up marrying a blonde hair, blue eyed long hair goth metal super pale white mutt. it didn't matter that I was with a man who treated me respectfully, intelligent, compassionate, easy going, in general in all around good person, my families first impression was "Let's pray that (husband) is right with the lord". Oh yeah, he's also a preacher's kid, which was another issue. He wasn't from the right church, which is odd since my family was raised in an A.M.E church and his family was United Methodist and literally did the same things at service. Fun times.
Now, for me, my grandmother is the christian matriarch. She was the one who found god and started my family on that path. Believe me, she wasn't always saved. I believe her father was pretty legalistic in his days. I never met him, but he was of the "women shouldn't wear pants and needs lot of children to sire" club. For instance, my grandmother is one of 26 children. My grandmother would have been considered a wayward christian since my grandparents had one child each with another person and then had 6 children before getting married and then having two more. Somewhere in between all that, my grandmother rededicated her life and started the family traditions we still have now. My mother and her siblings could not watch any devilish shows, like Bewitched, bible study was every night, and yes, screening of such "wonderful" movies as "A Thief in the Night" was commended as good wholesome family movies.
I spent a lot of time shuttled back and forth between my home and my grandparents. My parents divorced shortly after I was born. It was an unstable marriage, full of abuse and the first four years of my life were spent living with my grandparents and a few other relatives. It was a hodgepodge of christian songs, shows, and books. My grandfather, at this time was not a christian, so his language peppered those early years. As the years progressed, watching plays based on the afterlife, revivals, sermons that ended with "If you leave here tonight, and the car you are in crashes, where will you go?", forced bible studies on "If you someone hits you, it is christian not to fight back", bible verse memorization, and so on
My late teens, early twenties were a nice jumble of finding out about myself. i spent my childhood and teen years being pulled between homes, between new churches. There was abuse at home and at church. The only answers I was give was "God has a plan for you. Wait and see. Pray more. Give god more of you", which didn't work at all. I can't begin to tell you how much I prayed to god to get me out of those horrible situations. I even told people and some even said "Maybe this is a test from god?" A test? abuse in all its form is a test from god? Being thrown down a flight of stairs is a test? Being sexually abused is a test? But being so brainwashed, I wasn't thinking so clearly and my self worth was decimated. Any sign of affection was taken, no matter what the other person's intentions were. Thankfully, I regain enough of it back to find a very decent man and married at age 19. It got me out of my house and into a new world of my own.
Within the last year or so, I went through a serious doubting phrase. Out first child was born after ten long years of trying. Throughout those years, I was told repeatedly that I wasn't doing what god wanted from me, therefore I was barren from having children. Those words stung deep. Even as I watched as my supposedly godly family members who were definitely not following any godly ways were getting pregnant, on a regular basis, I might add. My younger lesbian cousin even got pregnant before I did. After his birth, some of the very first questions I got were, "Are you going to raise him God's way? Are you training him right?" Looking at him, watching him grow started my doubts. I asked questions, starting reading even more, surfed the internet. I grew weary of the same old responses to my questions, you know, "Pray Harder", "Read the bible again and you'll find the answers". Initially, i asked these questions to my father in law, but I realized that after a while, that his responses were centered around keeping me in the faith, using God is love and science explains god. In a conversation just two days ago, he wondered how one could find morality without god, to which I responded, "So, you are saying that your belied in god is the only thing that keeps you from raping, beating, murdering people? He retorted with "That's not what I said". I think by now, the husband and I aren't Christians, but I think that's about how far we are right now. We have no plans to raise our son with the beliefs we were forced into. Not one member of my family knows anything at all. This could literally alienate my entire family from me, and for someone like me, who doesn't have many friends to begin with, losing that many people at once, may not be the best ideal. I'm not sure where we'll end up, but I do feel much better knowing we've taken that first step to reclaiming our lives.
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