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Sunday, October 18, 2015

In Which I Wonder Why

I don't understand. Who tells a child the things that I was told? Who forms a child's self-concept in the worst way possible on purpose? What kind of person takes a sensitive, kind, loving, feeling child and tells them from birth that they are mean, bully, selfish, and unloving?

What kind of parent does that?

Was I a threat? Did they feel the need to tear me down because I threatened something? Were they afraid of me somehow? Did they look at me and feel fear and thus were driven to squash who I am? Was who I am that scary?

Selfish, unloving, unfeeling, mean, bully, harsh, hostile, angry, unkind, moody, vengeful, unhappy, rebellious. The words fill my head and keep coming, one after the other, all the words I was given as labels. All the words that they might as well have written in ink on my body as they were indelibly printed on my soul. But even permanent ink fades eventually and can be written over.

I am only recently discovering who I really am. And I am not who they said I was.

I am kind and generous. I am an empath. I feel others' emotions so deeply, like I am experiencing their pain in my own soul. I am a giver, I give til I have nothing left. I love with all that is within me. I am loyal to a fault.

But I am no doormat. I do not accept what I am told without proof. I am also a warrior. I fight for the people I love, for every person I come across who can't fight for themselves. I stand up for what is right and that is interpreted as "hostile". It's not hostility, it's righteousness. It's strength. It's ferocity. And it is who I am.

I am rebellious. I will claim that label, of all the words they slung at me. Some things are worth rebelling against. Rebelling has saved my life. "There's something wild in your heart, you need to pray to God to help you." There was something wild there. There still is. Did that scare them? Does it still?

What kind of person does that to a child? What kind of person teaches another child to do this to their own sibling? What was it about me that scared them so?

Whatever it was, they failed to eradicate it. Because here I am, in all my wild glory, and they can't do anything about it now, except keep trying to spread their lies and paint their own picture of me that I no longer recognize. Their picture of me looks suspiciously like their own self-portrait.

Was it religion? I fucking hate religion. Religion said I needed my will broken, beaten down, and taken away. Religion said to squash my glory because their pathetic god would be jealous. Religion said they had to take my rights, my ownership, my boundaries, because those things were not from god. Did religion make them try to break a child or did it just justify their own penchant toward insecurity and whatever the hell else was wrong with them? I don't know. I might never know. Does it even matter? The damage has been done, the healing has long ago begun.

As a parent, I look at my children in all their glory and life and I am completely baffled. The thought of telling them that they are inherently selfish with wicked hearts that need their foolishness driven out by the rod is painful enough to leave me breathless. The idea that I could take such amazing creatures and make sure they know how worthless they are unless they become what I dictate they must be causes physical pain and revulsion in my heart.

What kind of person does that to a child? I have no more excuses for them.


  1. Oh my gosh!! How awful! No other words..

  2. What kind of person does that to a child? I have no more excuses for them.

    When we grow up incarcerated, harmed by patriarchal abuse or excesses of other sorts or various harms, we learn to survive by burying the pain in our bodies. That pain can lay dormant for a long time but when we have kids of our own, layers and layers of being are uncovered in parenting. For many, that means that the abuse is uncovered and instead of dealing with ancient sufferings and pains, we pass on the suffering. So it is that parents who beat their kids were ALWAYS physically disrespected as children themselves. How can we pass on the pain? By burying it instead of dealing with it in our lives. It comes back to haunt our children.
    Like you, Darcy, I wretch at the idea that a parent would choose to strike their child as if it was good and necessary. What bullshit and what a mockery of human decency. Michael Pearl et al teach others to harm children for God, to break them as if they were evil. Beat evil out of them and do it lovingly and incessantly until the child breaks down and no longer fights. Sick people. Fuck them. Fuck religion for allowing them to be, for justifying abuse.

    1. Fuck religion for allowing broken people to not only stay broken, but to break even further.

  3. I don't cry easily but this post had me to the point of tears.(If I'd been alone,I think the tears may have flown.) I know based on your posts that you're no longer in Christianity; I think you're, in a way, doing God's work (to paraphrase a line from a CSI episode). I think you have more of Jesus than many people in The Church(TM), including people I'm with Sunday morning. I like the combination of empathy with a warrior spirit. A French philosopher (I don't know which one) said that no [wo]man is strong unless [s]he bears within his[her] character antitheses strongly marked. I personally can identify with "rebellious". My mom has told me most of my life that I'm stubborn. I've also experienced the fact that Evangelicalism/Fundamentalism considers it taboo. Actually we are the beneficiaries of rebels from previous eras. If people never questioned, we'd still have kings ruling by divine right, slavery, feudalism,and probably no concept of human rights. We have reached different conclusions concerning God, but I appreciate the valuing of thinking and reason as well as your willingness to pour your heart out.

  4. Oh my god darcy, you are so like me it's untrue. Same upbringing, same fight, same attitude that doesn't take shit from anyone, not even the religious freaks that tried to lord it over us. As a kid I terrified my dad because he knew he couldn't break me like he broke my mum and siblings with his religious dictatorship. I actually love your blog