Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Why "faith over fear" is bullsh*t: what faith and fear are and aren't

Hi friends. Part two about why the "faith over fear" trope is dangerous bullshit based on my experiences. I ended the last post pointing out how the promoters of this don't know what faith or fear mean. To continue with this, let me say what faith isn't. Presumably, when they say faith, they mean faith in God. But you have to wonder. 

Especially when someone tells someone in a difficult situation, to have faith, when the teller isn't in the situation and knows nothing about it. That's toxic positivity. And hypocrisy. And shaming. If someone is in a bad place and afraid, telling them to have faith over fear is just opening your mouth and crap pouring out. Faith in what? That the abuser will keep abusing? Yep that's for sure. That they should just tie a knot and hang on? Tell me you don't care without telling me you don't. Or just shut up and love them.  

In the case of a pandemic, telling other people they won't get Covid if they have faith is like clicking your ruby slippers together and hoping you'll get back to Kansas. Another problem is telling others to have faith while we are living very unfaithfully. Or bragging about how much faith we have. That's not about God at all. It's just me, me, me. Honestly the way some people talk, you'd think they were God. Oh wait.

My parents were masterful at weaponizing scripture about faith against me. They themselves Hedonistically did exactly as they pleased. They twisted their every foolish, dangerous, illegal and abusive choice into an act of faith. They said God told them to do it. And how can you argue with that? It's impossible to prove God didn't tell them.  Oh and they loved the verse "lean not unto thine own understanding" as it applied to me (not them, I later realized). Any time I questioned, I'd get accused of trusting myself and disobeying God.  

I lived with that crazy gaslighting all my life. Until I started really listening to God. Then I began to see the flaws. It wasn't God I was to obey, it was them. They were gods, not subject to the real one and making up rules for me as they went along. Their will for me was self-centered and their demands, contrary to God. 

Running around on each other and dragging me along. Shacking up with dangerous, abusive, narcissistic partners and making me subject to them. Making me parent them and their children. Neglecting my care. Stealing from me. Forcing me to do their work. Putting the focus on their selfish wants and needs. Leading me astray. Subjecting me to deviant, immoral, degenerate behavior. Making me be an adult without ever being a kid. And calling all of it God's will for me. 

So yeah, I was afraid. I was in a perpetual dry-drown of fear, self-loathing and shame. It was so bad I didn't know how bad it was. I thought constant pain was normal. I've blanked out not just experiences, but months and years of my life. My memories are like Swiss cheese and not baby Swiss. Huge gaping holes where memory is supposed to be. More hole than cheese actually. But at night, they're there. In endless dreams and nightmares. They are so constant, vivid and pervasive that I have trouble separating dream from memory. And it's all so scary. 

But I'm supposed to just smile and fake none of this happened? I'm supposed to say the right words and hope it gets better? Because that's what this "faith over fear" crap implies.  I'm supposed to feel ashamed to admit that I know nothing but scared shitless? I should feel guilty because I don't even know what let alone who to trust? Well, been there, still do that. My problem isn't trusting, it's trusting too much and the wrong things. It's being too obedient to my parent-gods. It's putting them above God. 

Now that's a problem and maybe the crux of it. God's first commandment in the Jewish and Christian Bible is to have no other gods before Me." Well, blew that one. My parents made themselves my gods. But in my defense, I was a gaslit (brainwashed) kid. I was taught wrong. And recognizing that is where I'll find my healing. 

Bear with me while I get this sorted. So, I was taught to make parents, their partners and kids, gods. But there's no other god before the God. I put my trust in these false gods. I shouldn't have but I didn't know better. I was terrified of them, their crazy demands and harsh punishment. And the fact that I was, shows they were fake. Because God is LOVE. His commands make sense. He forgives. Also the fact that I was so signally uncared for, mistreated, unloved, neglected, manipulated, abused and shamed shows up their wrong. 

We're told that God cares, loves, shepherds, nurtures, tends, teaches, leads, guides, walks with, carries, supports. He also warns us against danger and dangerous people. Unfortunately, I was so little when the abuse began that even if I had heard His warning, they would have shut it down as wrong. I would have been shamed for daring to hear God when they were only receivers, especially if He was saying they were wrong. They firewalled me off from God, lest I catch on that He was real one and they weren't. 

They created a little narcissistic fantasy world, a parallel universe, in which only we existed. Religion was such a convenient weapon for them. They could hide their own sinful behavior behind a smokescreen of Christianity. They twisted scripture to not only condone but command their wickedness. 

But hold on. I've said I wouldn't have understood those warnings even if I'd heard them. Well, that's because I would have assumed that God would never contradict them and what would stupid me know anyway. But what if, on some deep level, I did hear and understand. Was my gut telling me all along that something was rotten in Denmark? Is that what the dreams are about? Is that why big pieces of my memory are gone? Was that God shielding me from too much pain and suffering?

There is a large faction of so-called Christians who preach that trusting your gut is evil. That you're trusting yourself, not God. Ironically, those are often the people, like my parents, who are doing things that send up the red flags that your gut is responding to. I say that our inner voice is the only thing we can trust, especially victims of parental abuse. That's where God's  Holy Spirit (the still small voice) resides. I may not have understood what I was hearing or even that I was hearing anything. But that doesn't mean God wasn't there. 

I didn't feel it at the time. I still often don't. But I guess He did protect me because I'm still here. However it wasn't because I had enough faith. It was because He has enough love. I didn't do anything. I don't always even reach out to Him when I'm drowning. I just keep splashing and He rescue swims with me. 

Why faith over fear is bullshit and how that toxic positivity destroys traumatized kids

 Hi my friends. Last post I promised an earful on why the "faith over fear" trope is bullshit. It's generally bullshit but especially when it comes to traumatized kids of narcissistically abusive parents. "Faith over fear" is unChristian, unBiblical, ignorant toxic positivity that just smacks hypocrisy and slippery slope selfishness.  It was a raw spot for me to begin with. Covid made it so much worse. 

I'm so damn tired of hearing, during a bloody pandemic, how we could avoid Covid if we just have enough faith. And how taking precautions like wearing a mask and getting vaccinated is "fear-mongering." When used with traumatized children who are terrified of their scary bullying parents, it's sick. I've been physically, emotionally and sexually abused, neglected, abandoned, manipulated, parentified, dismissed, scapegoated and gaslit. And let me tell you, no amount of faith is going to see you through that shitstorm. It's fucking horror movie you can never shut off. I dream about it every night. 

I was weaned on fear. Fear of abandonment which could and did happen with alarming frequency. Fear of my dad taking his own life as he threatened to many times. Fear of what bizarre and scary thing my parents and their partners would do next.  I was told to be afraid, very afraid of what my mom and dad and their partners would do to me if I didn't obey. If I didn't let them do whatever they wanted. Living in fear was my God-given duty. To not fear them would be sinning. 

So tell me, how then was I supposed to also have faith and not be afraid? What's wrong with this idea that faith trumps fear is in how it's used and with whom. It is always someone who is not struggling with a terrible situation (or who has his or her head wedged firmly up his or her posterior about said situation) pontificating to someone who is smack dab in the middle of the shit. 

And they never tell you how to leverage this magical faith let alone what it even is. And I'll tell you why. Because they don't know themselves. It just makes them sound like they know what they're talking about and that makes them feel superior. And because the Bible kinda alludes to this, bonus brownie points added. 

However, the scripture they are referencing has nothing to do with how they are using it. "Perfect love casts out fear" is the correct quotation. Perfect love. Which is from God alone. And it's love, not faith that drives demons away. Because another thing they get wrong is the definition of fear. Fear is not caution. Or trauma induced obedience. Or compassion. In some cases, it's just common sense. Fear in this case is the slavery to demonic forces that we in the world are subjected to. So love casts out evil. We are also told in other scripture to fear the Lord. We are commanded to fear! Fear in this case means respect. 

But being accurate isn't something the "faith-over-fearers" worry about. In fact, being vague and hinty is part of the passive-aggressiveness. It's meant to make a person with rationale, reasonable concern feel inferior to their moral superiority. Held up to a little clear-headed scrutiny, their kitschy catchphrases are shown as meaningless, baffling bullshit. 

Because if they don't know what fear means, they surely don't know what faith means. None of us really does. You can put your faith in a lot of stupid things. Is it belief? We believe a lot of stupid, untrue things. That just sounds like opinion to me. And like buttholes, we all have one. Is it blind trust? That sounds dangerous! And then there's the matter of what one says he believes in versus what he lives like he does. 

A lot of right-wingers (who are usually the faith-over-fearers, proclaim to believe in God. But they live for Donald Trump. They wear shirts that say "Faith, FLAG, FIREARMS" (not in that order.) So your faith is in a piece of cloth and a gun. Hmm. Gotcha. So if you get Covid because you won't wear a mask or get vaccinated, you're gonna run it up the flagpole and then shoot it? And if you give someone Covid because you won't take precautions, that's honoring God?? Wow. Stay away from my loved ones please. 

But the biggest concern with "faith over fear" is with people who've suffered from abuse and live in terror of abuser. That's going to require a part two. So stay tuned. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Why I'm too reliable and why I hate it

 Hi friends. Mar here with  more on my life with narcissistic parental abuse, neglect, abandonment, manipulation, parentification, exploitation, unrealistic expectations and gaslighting about it all. Today I'm looking at why I'm too reliable and why I hate it. 

First, you might be wondering, can you be "too reliable" and isn't that a good thing? As one who has been through a lifetime of being the predictable, stable adult  amid the very childish behavior of adult authority figures, oh hell yes, you can and no, it's a very bad thing, for me. 

Lately, I've been opening up about how the four parents (two bio, two step) have always put way too much expectation of me. Heavy housework, taking care of adults (who didn't need care and didn't take care of me) parenting their children and foster kids (including sleeping with them so the adults could have "privacy."), being always obedient and never questioning, basically not being allowed to be a kid and certainly not a teenager. 

They would gaslight me that it was my God-given responsibility to be bossed around by but also to care for them, their boyfriends and girlfriends (later stepparents). I was even subject to their kids. I literally had to babysit my parents and tend to their petulant and unrealistic demands as if I were the parent and they were the kids. But yet they still expected that I would obey them like a little child, even when I was nearly an adult. Both ways of treating me were inappropriate. 

When they threw temper tantrums at me, berating, hitting, screaming at, shaming, name-calling, cursing, I was expected to just forgive and forget without ever getting any apology. And not just my two bio parents. That would have been more than enough to deal with. But they also expected me to tolerate whatever anyone did that they forced into my life. 

I learned very young that I had better be on pointe at all times, to say yes ma'am and no sir. To comply with any and all expectations and to read minds about what they expected. In so doing I might, just might, earn their love. Yes, earn. I didn't deserve it, you see. And (wait for it) no matter how hard I tried, I never succeeded. I see now that it was very much in their selfish, self-interests to keep the prize just out of reach, so I'd keep striving. I didn't catch on till I was 59 that I was never going to reach it. 

I was always so frightened of them as well. They saw to that. By gaslighting, shaming, setting me up to fail, pulling the supports out, raging, beating, blaming, manipulating, guilting, belittling my feelings, mocking, leaving me behind, leaving me out, weaponizing God against me and a host of other shitty narcissistic bullying tactics, they had me terrorized. 

I obeyed because I believed their gaslighting that it was my duty but also because I was afraid not to. Which is never a good reason to do anything. Fear is a great motivator but poor mentor. I never had the luxury of making mistakes, of being obstinate or recalcitrant or just plain lazy. That was for others. Interestingly, the very people who were so angry at me, were also failing me as parents in colossal ways. 

My every error was not only rubbed in my face but made to seem catastrophic,  till I was sick with self-hatred and sense of failure. I see now that every wrong I was accused of was either a mistake, blown out of proportion or flat out lied about to protect the real guilty party. Which usually was the parent or stepparent who was doing the blaming. They expected me to just pick up the ball when they dropped it but were savagely unmerciful if I dropped it. 

It wasn't that I was so good. It was that it was unforgivable not to be. If I'd grown up in a more realistic and loving home, I'd have been your average mostly nice, occasionally naughty kid. But I didn't. So I never learned how to be good, just obedient in the extreme. I was reliable because it was dangerous not to be. 

How they must have laughed behind my back at what an idiot I was, working so hard to get what they were never going to give. And how badly frightened and cowed I always was. It's sick to say, but even sicker to realize, that they knew how traumatized I was and didn't give a fat rat's ass. I dream every night about these terrible memories. So being too reliable, too dependable, too helpful and obedient has had a disastrous effect on me. 

I've  never dared to be anything but. It makes me nauseous to contemplate not doing what people say, giving them what they want, disagreeing, challenging, dropping balls or in any way failing them. I'm still obeying. And I hate it. Don't get me wrong. I like that I'm reliable. What I hate is why I'm reliable. I wish I could relax and fail occasionally, like all humans do, without feeling such hideous toxic shame, guilt and fear. 

And lest anyone chime in with "faith over fear" let me stop you right there. That's the worst thing you can say to anyone who struggles with fear from parental abuse. You'll get an earful on that from me in my next post, I promise. 

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