Religion Ruined Me

Organized Religion Ruined Me: Part 2

I will never do this to my children

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"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24).

This should be the catchphrase of the 'church' I attended. Forewarning, I'm not going to include real names of the church or people involved. Those who know the real names just know but I'm not going to give this place the publicity that it wants but rather an insight to the twisted stuff I went through as a child that they knew of but said nothing.

The people of this church really pushed this verse onto my mom. She already had a temper and was just a very angry person. Granted, she didn't have the best childhood herself, so her temper and anger have been with her since she was little. That also doesn't give her an excuse for the things that went down.

Karen and Brenda *real names changed for safety purposes* would push and push until she broke. Her abuse was existent even before we moved to Georgia. It wasn't as bad, but it was there. These two women made it worse. She took what they said to heart and really did her part. It started out with just yelling at us for no reason. If we did anything wrong or anything that upset her, it didn't matter what time it was, we were dragged to Brenda's office and scolded and punished.

One time my brother spilled his drink onto his plate of food, and he laughed. Laughing was obviously not the best choice because that made her especially angry. She dragged him down to the church and we sat there until past midnight while they punished him. Another example is my brother and I got into an argument about whether peanut butter should be kept in the fridge or not. That upset my mom and we were dragged into the office before school and I was paddled and so was my brother. I mean, I was 10 and it was peanut butter.

Eventually, they got tired of my mom dragging us down to Brenda's office or Karen's house (which was built on the property as well as Brenda's office was in the school) whenever we did something bad, so they practically gave her classes on being a 'parent.' They told her that children were to be seen and not heard, which is a common phrase, but also that we needed to be beaten into submission. They explained stories of how they were punished until they were "black and blue" which is an exaggeration of course, but sometimes deaf people don't understand idioms. So, she took that to heart too. If one of us even looked at her wrong, we would be taken into her room and beaten until we couldn't even stand and had no tears left to cry. Screaming didn't help because she was deaf. It got to the point where I would find myself hiding in a pile of clothes in my closet for fear that she would find me.

The thing is, I was a preteen. I did things that any preteen would, like take some of my mom's makeup or cut my hair (my bangs). She hated that. I was labeled a thief and a liar throughout this church community. She hated everything I did. She would scream at me the same sentence over and over: "What do you think Karen is going to think? That I'm a terrible mom. She's going to blame me because you're a terrible daughter, I hate you." She always said that. My mom idolized Karen and Brenda and did everything they said.

Brenda, Karen and Karen's husband, the founder of the church, Ronald, knew that she was doing it too because I told them. Did they do anything? Nope. They did their best to help, I'll admit, but they never reported it to anyone nor did they interfere. I was given a cell phone and told that if my mom got in her moods or was angry I was to call Karen. So, I did. It didn't do much because she would only console me over the phone and just ask if she needed to come down here and calm my mom, and I always said no. If my mom knew that they knew she was hurting us, obviously it wouldn't end well.

How did religion ruin me? Well, the verse I began this article with. All in the name of God and Jesus Christ.

"Why am I beating you? Because God wants me to." That's a brief explanation of all drama. That was the explanation throughout the whole church. If I wore makeup, I would get punished because God doesn't want me to wear makeup. I would read Twilight and many other Young Adult books and get punished because God doesn't like books that aren't Christian. I would listen to a Christian song that had a beat to it (music that came with the sound of drums), I would get punished because God only likes music that makes you feel dead inside (that's a joke).

This is a bit of information to take in, I know. I want people to understand the level of pain that my siblings and I endured and, honestly, the pain my mom was going through as well. Not only did these people bully me, a 10-year-old, they also bullied my mom. They criticized her and made her feel small. They continued this for 5 years. The rules got worse as the years went on, and the abuse got worse. I lost my mom along the way and at the end of 5 years, I lost her altogether.

This place specifically ruined religion for me. My next article will be about how they advocated for my dad's arrest and the court cases that go on.

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
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Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another — not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that.

Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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I Used To Think Height Didn't Matter, But Maybe It Really Does

I've come to a conclusion

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I've had my fair share of boyfriends in the past. A common theme in my past choices of boys is that they were all an inch or two taller than me or the same height. Now, I am a little on the taller side considering that the average height for a woman in the US is 5 feet 4 inches tall. I'm not saying all the tall boys belong to all the tall girls and the shorter guys should stick with shorter girls, but I do think there might be something behind all this madness.

My reasoning for this is simple: I've been in an amazing relationship with someone who is fairly taller than me. Is this reason totally irrational and have no sort of concrete evidence for this argument? Yes, totally, but hear me out. All my other relationships haven't been this good or even had the potential to be this good. Is it a coincidence that they were all shorter? I think not!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with boys who are under 5'9''. There are some nice ones who probably don't talk to 5 other girls while you're dating, I just never happened to come across one back when I was in the game. I just find it interesting that I've been in a really healthy relationship for awhile now with someone who is over 6 feet tall.

Many amazing relationships have happened between all different types of people, no matter the height. It's just if you are having problems with boys who are under 6 feet, you may have some thinking to do.


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