I grew up as a pastor’s kid. A pastor’s kid who was very outspoken and opinionated… The opinions stayed but the outspoken was stifled
For example the time I told my father that the church elders were manipulating him and not treating him right. (which really was true) The time I told my mother she needs to lose weight because I don’t want her dying prematurely, I love her too much. I was later scolded for my words (after the silent treatment that lasted up to a week). I was called manipulative, destructive and they couldn’t understand why I would hurt the ones I love. This planted the seed in my mind that maybe I was evil.
I had to keep quiet in front of church and community members for the sake of the image of my parents. On the one hand I wanted to do it and be this perfect child because I wanted to make it easier for my parents. I was furious with the way the church was treating them and them having to deal with the daily fear and stress you feel when you have a son on drugs, constantly trying to commit suicide. So I performed well in school and kept everything inside. I was depressed from about the age of 9. The other side of the coin was my anger towards the church and my parents for not allowing me to be me and voice my cleverly constructed arguments. This internal battlefield between concern and frustration left me with so many casualties, cutting became a habit. between the silences, (although it was all but silent in my head) I would have bursts of rage where I would just let my tongue go and the collateral damage would last for weeks.
I’m still under the curse of keep quiet. Even though I’m 30 now I can’t write what I want out of fear of hurting my parents. The truth is they made mistakes, They, like me, confused God and church. All parents make mistakes, but due to my sensitive over-emotional temperament it led to a lot of damage. The impact of that in my life is a whole blog post on its own that I will one day get to. This is one of many things that gave water to the little bipolar seed, planted by genetics, germinating in my mind.
So here I am, asking you to take my hand and journey with me. Here where my words won’t hurt anyone. Where I can speak freely. Please listen, I am scared of talking about these things, scared of being caught out. But I have to, for the sake of my sanity.