A, B, C, D, E is where I stop. I used to be able to say the whole alphabet. Sounds weird right? Well, my alphabet wasn’t like yours (hopefully). There was a Bible verse tagged to each letter that I have to remember and recite. Every day my m. would drive me to school- I had to recite these verses with where they could be found in the Bible.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of my spiritual abuse. It goes deeper than this but this is a good start. I was actually driven away from Jesus because I thought he was only about rules, regulation, memorization and worse pleasing my m. She would twist and turn verses in order to make her point valid and to make me obey. I was never taught about his true love but I was able to recite it like word vomit.
A- Be sure that your attitude reflects that of Christ Jesus
B- Be sure that your sin will find you out
C- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
D- Do everything in love
Those might not be completely accurate but I hope you get the point. It has been over 10 years ago and I still know some of those verses. When I was in my “prime” I would go through all the ABCs and started another set of memory verses in the same format of ABCs.
I did it please her because in my previous blog I told you as a young girl I made the connection that if I did what she wanted and did it perfectly- I would gain affection and approval from her. I desperately wanted that. I thought that was love.
Now that I am older I realize what a true mother’s love is supposed to be like. It isn’t earned. It isn’t fake. It isn’t based on accomplishments that she would approve of. It is unconditional- like Jesus’ love for us. But I also was given a very false impression of his love too. In my mind I thought that if this is how she is and Jesus is like this too, I really do not want to love him at all.
I do not know what her end goal was with me in teaching me all of those things but all it taught me was to despise it. She calls it love- I call it torture. I was forced to do things she wanted me to do, to learn and to grow into what she wanted for me. I forced to clean everything, cook, sew, learn the Bible, listen to the Bible on tape, listen to the Bible at night, watch Bible movies, go to Church, go to Vacation Bible school (which was just at our house with my cousins).
I understand chores and I do not disagree but to the extent of what I was doing- wasn’t right. Meals like breakfast were planned out each day what I was allowed to eat. I had a couple options and that was it. For a snack I was allowed either apple, banana or orange. I use to always take the apple because I would be so hungry and now I cannot stand apples. I do not like to cook or sew now because it was forced on me. I can do a little bit of it but it is too much of a trigger for anger outbursts.
The really weird thing about church was we moved around from church to church. We never stayed at one long enough. I will let you in on a secret of why I suspect that is… she longs to be valued at a church. For example she wants to be put on this “you are an amazing woman” pedestal by providing for the church. At small churches she wants to be in charge of music, help out the youth, hold a women’s study, clean the church, provide for the sick, cook meals and more. She wants to be looked at like she is superwoman. If she can’t have that or if people start to question her she leaves the church. I remember for awhile we would have church at our own home just because we couldn’t find one.
I am not meaning to put her down or to paint her in a awful light. I am trying to process all of this to help myself realize she is sick. She is not normal. There is a complexity in telling my story. I want my voice to be heard but I do not want to hurt her. I want to protect her and make excuses for her. If she ever found out about this- I would be even more so uninvited and despised.
I feel like I am an awful child for speaking out about this which causes me stress and anxiety. I feel brave enough sometimes to speak but other times I feel like it’s all my fault and I am just putting it on her. I am so messed up myself from all the manipulation- I don’t know which way is up, right, or down.