It’s been a long time since I wrote about any of this.
Wrapped up with a job that requires endless hours of work and with taking care of my two kiddos any chance I can to give my 9-month pregnant wife a break, I haven’t made time for this.
What is “this?”
The “this” is this: My parents, particularly my father, are still very much living life using the broken framework of Christian Fundamentalism. My dad helped lead a ritualistic, abusive cult until I was 15.
They still have but a tiny group of people who are “centered in Christ” enough for them to commune with on a regular basis. They still view the world through the prism that most people “just don’t get it.” That the rest of us are not on point with our relationship with God. That so much suffering might be avoided if only we all had more faith.
For those who aren’t up to speed on my full story, I suggest you read through the archives of this small blog for the nitty-gritty details.
But the bottom line is this: I went in for surgery on April 1 (my third) for herniated discs in my back, along with the removal of many disc fragments in my sciatic nerve. It was understood that I’d be staying with my parents (safe environment, firm bed low to the ground) for at least a week to recover.
Seven days later, even though I made it known going back home was a death sentence on my still-tenuous back, I was booted out of my parent’s home and was told my fears were unfounded.
“You’re living in fear, son,” were the words my father spoke to me, along with “If you get hurt, I take no responsibility.”
I was not allowed to stay in the safe environment because, essentially, I didn’t have enough faith that I’d be safe at my own home, with its stairs, bad bed situation, kids and dog. Of course, I told him he was full of shit and that my back was NOT ready for the move.
My stitches broke the first night, and I was right back at the hospital the next day. Since that time, my back has been as much of a painful burden as it ever was, and I deal with sciatica on a daily, hourly and minute-by-minute basis.
My parents haven’t called to check on me, my wife, my two kids or the one on the way.
Not once since that day.
I missed my sister’s wedding, partly because I couldn’t make the trip, and partly because my wife is dealing with serious PTSD stuff, stemming from the actions of my parents.
After the wedding, I called my father and told him I wanted to talk.
He called back after I left a message, and yes, I yelled a bit. And I told him how much he hurt me and my family. When I was finished, I asked to hear his side of the story.
The answer given in return was outrageous.
“I’m not going to talk to you about this until you’re no longer angry.”
I told him he was being manipulative and controlling, telling me I had to be a certain way to be worthy of hearing him out.
He reiterated his stance that he would not offer me anything in the way of a response until I was “no longer fueled by rage.”
I’ve kept this dispute private since mid-April, but it’s time for everyone to know what me and my family are going through right now. We desperately need support. At this time, only my wife’s mother can be counted on to help us, and we are barely treading water.
We’ve been abandoned — nay, shunned — by my parents, who won’t even deal with me until I essentially conform to what my father believes is an acceptable state of mind.
We don’t have or make many friends because of my back situation and partly because we just suck at being normal, due to being raised up in an abusive, ritualistic cult that did nothing but break us down.
Most of the people in my family don’t seem to really understand what is at work here. We get a lot of “are you SURE that’s what they meant?”
Um, yeah, pretty damn sure.
Pretty sure my mom rejoiced when my wife lost a baby last year because having another child would have been a burden.
Pretty sure my dad said in the spring that “99.9 percent of Christians aren’t centered in Christ.”
Pretty sure my dad kicked me out of the house post-surgery because I was “living in fear.”
Pretty sure my dad won’t talk to me unless I’m not angry.
And by “pretty sure” I’m saying yes, we know they said these things and that they meant what they said because we’re not just making shit up here. These things literally happened and the quotes are real.
News flash, pops, I’m effing pissed, and it’s probably going to be this way for a long, long time. The horrifying reality is this: My father is cool with cutting off his first-born son and family because we’re not where he thinks we need to be…and it’s for our own good.
The only person in my family who seems to “get it” is my brother, and he grew up in the cult with me.
Let it be known: My father helped us financially for months when we needed help. They actually do have a heart that is sometimes in the right place, and we were SO GRATEFUL for the financial support.
But that doesn’t gloss over what else has happened.
If any of you reading this have a desire to reach out to us for any kind of support, whether that’s a phone call, a visit or physical help as we prepare for a new baby, then by all means reach out to us. We really are desperate for love and support.
And, if anyone reading this has the inspiration to tell off my parents, that’s welcome, too.
I was brutally abused as a child and into my teenage years. Physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually abused.
Nobody EVER stood up for me, my brother or any of our friends.
To this day, nobody has done that for me, and to be honest, that hurts more sometimes than the pain I feel as it relates to my estranged family.