I know for alot of people their religion helps them get through life. And I’m not here to take that away from you (psh, like I could). I’m happy for you. Sincerely. I’m happy your religion is a healthy and effective tool for you. I’ve grown to discover that the issues I have are not necessarily a product of the religion I was brought up in (aka it’s not just the religion) but it’s my parents themselves.
I am a PK. In the Christian community this stands for Pastor’s Kid. I know for some of the kids I met at the PK camp I was shipped off to once a year in my younger youth (pretty much a Christian camp but just for other PKs and MKs/Missionary Kids), it was a title they were proud of. They smiled alot. When the worship services began they got into it. There were tears as they believed themselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit and all that jazz. And back then? I believed that too. Fervently. It was my identity and my role. I look back on it now and it feels a bit cult-ish and brainwash-y. But I digress. That’s not why I’m typing now.
I’m typing because my Father, who was a Pastor, did a horrible job with raising me. Horrendous. It’s one of those things you don’t realize that your family was fucked up until you moved out and realized what is actually “normal”. When I moved into my first apartment and realized that home could be a place of quiet and peace? I legit cried when I realized that. It was this huge epiphany for me. A “home” didn’t always have to have a thick fog of tension, shame, fear, and dread. It didn’t have to be so suffocating. You didn’t have to go home and spend every single evening in your bedroom, alone, because spending time anywhere else through out the house was this horrifying anxiety-ridden nightmare. “But writer. The title is how being a PK has created life trials for you, not your daddy issues.” You’re right, I did. However every single action that man has done was accomplished because of how he viewed his religion.
My Father was sexist. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” My mother, who worked more hours than my father and actually had intense busy days working in surgery, she was expected every single day to come home after standing on her feet for hours to cook for the family. Then clean up afterwards. Then clean the house. Then do laundry. My Father “worked” less hours in a church office with junk food and a larger dvd collection than he had in his own actual home. He would come home to sit on the couch to watch tv. Fox News or Sports, both of which he would scream at. As if his yells could be heard through a screen. My younger brother was favored. And that’s not just coming from me. My mother would eventually admit this to me as would it be noticed by countless third parties outside of our family. My younger brother’s college would be paid for out of their pockets while I was never offered a cent (I’m the one that got 3.96 GPA where he struggled to even graduate from High School), he would be given the actual bedroom to sleep in, he would be given the keys to a mustang to drive as a gift. I could go on but this isn’t about whining or venting. This is identifying the reasons I’ve grown up into such a disturbed individual through writing. As my mother’s mental health began to slip after decades of taking happy pills (Alzheimer’s) my father would become easily enraged when she could no longer keep up with what a twenty year old version of herself used to be able to juggle. Not believing divorce to be an option, it literally makes my stomach throb to think that for my own sake I had to move two states away from them, leaving her behind. I tried. She wouldn’t hear it. I loathe myself for that in many ways. The fact I left her behind…. Moving on.
My Father always believes himself to be right. And yes, I understand many other people deal with this to a degree. To you, you have my sympathy because it’s atrocious to grow up in. For his job he stood behind a podium spouting, vomiting spiritual practices that others should live by because of a book written in the iron age. He brought that mindset home with him. Even over the dumbest and most obvious of things. He wasn’t someone, and still isn’t someone I can have a conversation with. There is no conversing. It’s him loudly informing you of how you should think just like him. Up until I came out of the closet as a lesbian a few months ago, my father knew literally no one, zero anyones, who were gay. However, there would be a sermon preached to the television or to us, his family, daily. I cannot stress this enough. Every single day of my life I was being insulted and told I was going to go to hell. What a hateful hateful thing to teach children. That if your friends (or you yourself) don’t believe in the exact same way as another they’re going to burn in an eternal fire. That is a form of mental child abuse as far as I’m concerned, especially the way it was implemented in my parents’ house.
I was taught nothing but biblical doctrine. I was not taught banking, finances, credit, etc. They taught me nothing on how to be a functioning and healthy adult in the real world. All they hammered into my skull was their religion. Everything I have learned I learned through the internet. Youtube has been more of a parent to me than them. A mouse of a mother who only lived to serve and an overbearing hateful man who fathered me. My mother had no music of her own in their house I realized in time to buy her an ipod for her birthday a few years ago. She had lived decades of her life only listening to my father’s music. At the age of 48 she cried on my shoulder when she could listen to Katy Perry’s Roar and Firework. Inspirational secular songs that she liked could be listened to now. Just … just fuck them. I’m so fucked up. I am a twenty-fucking-five year old and I’m so emotionally crippled and stagnant in healthily growing. I know I need counseling but I can’t afford it right now so I’ve been watching those overly flowery youtube self help vids you can find or reading self help books. I didn’t discuss my sexual abuse or other factors in this because I wanted to focus on a single concept. I apologize for being wordy. But when you wake up one morning to realize wide eyed that your mind unconsciously crowned your father as your second god with how much power he has over you …. god fucking dammit I have a long way to go to undo the damage they’ve done. There’s more. I’ll stop there. I get really wordy as you can see. That’s a good place to start and hopefully will help me be able to go to bed now.