Friday, June 23, 2006

Religious Oppression

You know, I don't really talk much about religion because it's hard to explain to someone who hasn't lived MY religious experience. Especially in a blog. Plus I have this incredible guilt about bad mouthing them to the world for fear that if there IS a god he would be quite displeased with me.

BUT in talking with a friend who has shared the hell that is witnessdom with me, i had the revelation of how strongly it has affected me. Not just in my growing up, but now in my adulthood as the rejection is palpable.

I guess I never learned how to make friends as a child. How could I? I spent all that time at school, but couldn't really develop a relationship because there was never any after school possibilities. (Parents wouldn't let anyone who wasn't a witness come over) and we always lived so far out no one would come see me even if it was acceptable. No after school activities, no school dances, no football games, no prom, no ANYTHING. I truly spent all of my time alone or only with family.

Being sheltered was not the protection parents thought it was. It was a life sentence for me. I feel like I'm years behind and always trying to catch up. Instead of dating or having a boyfriend or just hanging out with friends and going to the mall, I was on home studies cooking for a husband that was really my dad, caring for a baby that was really my brother, and nursing a dying patient that was really my mother.

I'm unsure of every step I take because EVERY STEP is a new one. At 25 I'd never celebrated a birthday, a Christmas, a mothers day. Never drank a green beer. Never set off a firework. I'm days away from turning 28 and I've never even been on a date.

And now that the witness ties and family bonds were broken, I have this huge abandonment issue. If EVERYONE I KNOW ,including my own mother, can turn their back on me while I repent and beg for forgiveness (to no avail), how could I not doubt the sincerity of those who claim to BE THERE for me now? That's why I don't TRULY lean on my friends when i need them. SIGH

In the same way, it's caused me to be selfless to the point of injury in my own forgivness of another. That's my problem. Instead of setting a standard for myself and setting boundries to protect myself, I just blindly open up and put MY WHOLE SELF OUT THERE and hold them close to me. I can't bear the thought of someone feeling that cold hearted "rejection" coming from me. I know how badly that hurts.

It's also caused me to realize I don't know who I am. I spend HOURS trying to think what makes me... ME. Yet, I can't choose a direction. I WANT TO DO IT ALL. I'm so starved for EXPERIENCE, how could I possibly cut off even ONE option? It comes off like I contradict myself or that I just lack follow thru, but that's not true. Is jack of all trades, master of none really a good thing?

Is it a contradiction to listen to Pantera and want to get the shit beat out of me in a mosh pit, and then come home and put on an apron and make vegetarian chicken w/ an herbs de provence sauce?

Is it a contradiction to drink wine and listen to jazz and just be a tourist/sightseer on Saturday and then go sit in some bachelors house on some shitty hand me down couch and drink a 40 of Mickey's with the boys?

Is it a contradiction to shop and wear pink and heels and be stupid and immature and totally valley girl today, but spend my time recycling and connecting with nature and meditating on my life seeking for inner peace and positive depth and growth tomorrow?

I've noticed that this same "contradiction" manifests itself as some sort of duality in my personality. In my need to not be judged and therefore not judge others I just want to BLEND in with who I'm with - be accepted. I constantly relive every laugh and sentence and comment to make sure that it was in line with who I'm with at the time. The worry that I said or did something wrong might cause another "cutting off" is more than I can bear. I laugh it off and say "When in Rome.." but does that mean there is no REAL ME?

Let's say I want to be a better designer and web programmer. That would mean giving up friendships and fun to stay in the house and read books all day. Lets say I want to be perfectly skinny. That would mean giving up my free time to cook and clean and be domestic so I could work out at the gym for hours and hours for the rest of my life. I want to work with animals and nature and just be a hippy who owns a communal garden and runs a small vegetarian cafe, but would I have to give up my fast paced, challenging, technical job and my glorious shoes and impractical sports car? I'm lost.

This has of course gotten off subject and bit too revealing for a blog. Talk about opening up and putting yourself out there for rejection...

I think to sum it up, I want people to put as much time and effort into me as I so desperately put into them. I just want balance and acceptance. For everyone to be happy. FOR ME TO BE HAPPY. Think it's possible? In my innocence I have to say yes. I'm working on it. I'm working on it.



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