Monday, November 19, 2012

This Thanksgiving...

I am thankful that I was able to leave the terrible and repressive aspects of Christian culture that I grew up in, to get out of the suffocatingly small box that it put me in, and to discover my real personality and identity. There is far more good in the world and in the people around me than I ever imagined when I was growing up afraid and isolated.  There is far more good in me than I ever realized when I was immersed in a culture of unhealthy standards, guilt, shame, and control.

I am thankful for the good friendships I have today, for the people who accept me the way I am, include me in their lives, drink with me, laugh with me, help me when I'm in trouble, celebrate and commiserate with me, really know how to listen, and trust me enough to share their own stories and needs as well.

I am thankful, although it can be painful, that I am able to distance myself from relationships when necessary.  I no longer feel compelled to be a doormat to controlling or manipulative people, to confide in untrustworthy people, to try to please people who look down on me, or to accept unhealthy levels of drama in my life,   I know that, as an introvert who grew up isolated, I have limited social energy, so I need to invest it more carefully.

And most of all, I am thankful for these two people:

My husband, who treats me with respect, who loves to give me hugs, who is incredibly intelligent and well-read, who kicks ass at his job, who loves experimenting in the kitchen, and who gets up with our toddler every single night without complaint.  Even with the challenges we have encountered, he has exceeded my expectations of what a husband and a marriage could be like, and I feel incredibly lucky that we found each other at exactly the right time in our lives.

My sweet toddler, who also loves to give me hugs, who loves reading books with me, and whose fascination with every vehicle and every animal helps me appreciate the world more.  I love that he is cautious, bashful, easy-going, and analytical, yet still squeals with delight over going headfirst down a waterside into a pool.  In hindsight, I appreciate the countless hours of cuddling and bonding we have gotten due to his terrible sleeping, although I am definitely anticipating better sleep for everyone in the future.  And I have to say, his chubby-cheeked smile is probably the cutest thing in the entire world.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Beautiful post ~ I'm so thankful to have met you that Wednesday at Harmony <3 E is lucky to have K in her life, too :-)

    1. Awwww thanks, that's so sweet! You were definitely one of the people I was thinking of when I wrote that second paragraph :D.

  2. What an awesome description of the things to be grateful for on the other side of an oppressive religious past! A lot of this resonated with me, as does much of your writing. Happy Thanksgiving. :)

  3. I'm so thankful that I stumbled upon your blog. After reading through your "My Story" section yesterday, I feel like I have found a kindred spirit. I wasn't homeschooled, but I was raised in a very restrictive, fundamentalist home in an area of the nation that was/is very restrictive and fundamentalist as well. Being with my kind husband and raising my lovely children have helped me to see the world in a completely new way. In motherhood, I believe that love and compassion are more important than fear and correction.

    It wasn't easy to go against the norm in that area of the country. But 4 years ago, I moved from the rural South to a liberal-progressive town in the Midwest. belong here. To be in a community where the question "Where do you go to church?" is not the usual icebreaker is truly a relief. But in some ways I don't belong here. I have tried to explain to current friends about my background and the pain that remains with me, but as much as they care about me, they do not really understand. They weren't brought up in that environment. The friends from my childhood are still a part of that religious culture, so there is no one from my past that can relate to me either. My scars and healing process have been (and still are) very similar to yours. I am planning to read through all of your blog posts when I can. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. It never ceases to amaze me how many people like us there are, and how we manage to find each other online! (Check out this blog list here, btw:

      I'm so glad that you've found a place where you belong and can be yourself more easily. When you are raised to believe that you must constantly be at odds with yourself and with society at large, it's an amazingly peaceful and beautiful experience when you finally figure out how to just relax, be yourself, and give/receive love and compassion. Thanks so much for reading...I hope you'll share more about your own experiences as you read more.