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. 

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