8 Signs You Grew Up in a Conservative Household

8 Signs You Grew Up in a Conservative Household

The good ole days.
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Children who grow up in conservative households are taught traditional rules and guidelines from a very young age. Conservative parents have a specific way of doing things, and conservative kids feel the result.

1. You weren't allowed date.


I remember feeling so left out in middle school and high school for not dating anyone. I remember being the girl that wasn't allowed to date.

Today, I really appreciate that I've had only a few relationships. In middle school and high school, those “relationships” were hardly dating, even if I didn't realize it until now.

2. As soon as you could walk, you could work.


Yep, my conservative household found this very important and so did I. I was hired for my first job before I even turned 16, and by the time I was 18 I had at least 4 jobs.

3. At some point, all of your family parties have turned into political debates.

When my family would get together, on holidays or events, somehow politics was always brought up. I didn't understand it when I was younger, but now I appreciate being able to chime in my opinions with the rest of my family, even if some don't agree.

4. You definitely got spanked.

Yes, I said it.

Spanking is ok!

Today when people look at kids being spanked, it's perceived as cruel or abusive. I got spanked here and there when I broke the rules. Spanking is ok! It taught me to respect authority, my parents, and adults. If I wasn't spanked as a child, I wouldn't be as disciplined as I am today.

5. You always went to church.

If my family and me didn't go to church every Sunday, we went to church during the week. My parents made sure that my siblings and I had a religious education. Once a week on a week night, my mom would take us to church for class where we learned about our religion and the Bible. While we were in religious education classes, my mom helped out at the church.

6. Only 1 piercing was allowed per ear.

All of my friends were getting their nose pierced and had triple piercings on each ear. I remember wanting my nose pierced so bad I did it myself! Now, I'm happy my parents never let me, because I don't have tons of piercings I need to take out before going to work.

7. You couldn't cuss.


This may sound pretty self-explanatory but my parents were the kind of parents who though everything was a cuss word. When I was young, I wasn't allowed to say “that sucks” because "sucks" was a swear word.

8. Family first.

You guys are always together. While all your friends went to the movies, you went to visit your grandma. And on holidays, when all your friends got together for a New Years Eve party, you stayed home with your family. Spending time with your family was always more important than spending time with your friends or by yourself.


I wouldn't change a thing about my conservative upbringing!

Cover Image Credit: cachevalleyfamilymagazine

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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Poetry On Odyssey: My Shadow

*Trigger Warning*

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*Trigger Warning*


My shadow

Casting itself upon the brightness of others

At least

It comes back


I found it difficult to remember a moment

Where I was held by someone

Held with the idea of love in mind

Held.


Sleeping in the same Cinderella nightgown every night

Dreaming one day I would get away from my evil

Only I am the evil.


I dreamed of arms wrapped around me

Moments later I was raped

So I stopped asking for hugs

For fear it'd be another "game" he'd play

Another room I'd be locked in

Another nightmare.

I stopped dreaming

I stopped thinking

I stopped


I


I am still the little girl begging my "parents" to help me

I am still the little girl begging God to take my life

Needing a hug

Crying from moments of bruising

Leaving more lesions than love

I am still


Still in the solemn presence of my own self

Hearing nothing but the echo of my own heart beating

The sound of my breath leaving my otherwise lifeless lungs


It hurts


The movement of my eyes

Fluttering, blinking

Searching for a visual other than my own reflection

I am tired of seeing "that"

When I look at "it"

All I see is her hands striking my face

His secret parts, kept from the world

Not kept from his sister

I see pain


Pain


The feeling of the blade

The one moment where the word "feeling" makes most sense

Where I think I've felt it for the first time

The first time I held it

Close to me

I was at peace.


Peace for myself, not for others

Questions

I don't answer

I nod

And leave.


I've gotten pretty good at that

Leaving

It's the only thing I learned from my father

To be physically present but otherwise absent

To be numb

I've made a habit of leaving.


People always ask me why I complain about loneliness

When I am the cause

I tell them I am not at home in my skin

I have no place to invite them.


Them


The ones I thought would answer a text

A call

Declined.


My sister

The younger version of myself

The girl I used to be

Part of who I still am.


My sister

My whole heart

Heartbroken.


I tell myself and others I am over losing her

I am not

I keep her picture next to my bed

Under a sheet

Next to my hand while I sleep

For the comfort that maybe someday she will know

Just how much I've loved her

How much I still love her.


But just as I go to sleep every night

I am reminded...


My mother

One part abused, one part abuser

A contradiction

Caring? Never

Hopeless.

I ignore her.


My sister

A part of my mother

Myself

A part of nothing.


Nothing


A black wall of nothingness

Hopeless in all ways

Dark.


My hands have touched many suicide "notes"

Many letters to others

Many papers.

But I do not end it

Because in a way

It ended awhile ago.


I am a skeleton

A lifeless body without will to live

The will they stole

They stole my life.


They

My abusers

Doubling as family


Depression.


I walk to class every morning

With nothing by my side but my shadow

Because no one really loves me


Hell, I don't even love me.


My shadow keeps me company

Watches my every move

Stays by my side

Sure, my shadow may leave when I enter darkness


But at least it comes back

The next day.

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