Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Barriers

Now Playing: The Smiths - What Difference Does it Make?

This is a quick post.

I mean, Happy Soon-To-Be Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving-Eve?), hope you have a great turkey, hope all goes well with you and your family/friends/food/football.

Kinda wish I had something happier to share here. But I just need to get this out because I'm so angry. And yes, this is a post entirely written in anger. Maybe my thoughts will change. Right now, I doubt it.

Because I tried to be respectful. I tried to have a Live and Let Live attitude. I never claimed their beliefs were wrong, never claimed to know any better. Never even truly thought I was 100% in the right. All I wanted was for this boy and I to be allowed to make our own choices. I wanted us to make our own mistakes and learn from them all on our own. I didn't expect much--I thought I could trade my respect for their indifference. And while I cannot claim to know everything this group of people have experienced, what they've gone through, how their culture and history shapes them and changes them, the strength and validity of their beliefs, etc, I cannot bring myself to be respectful. Not after this happened.

Endless phone calls later. Way too many lectures from strangers who love to hear themselves talk. Complete, crushing self-doubt from a boy who just wants to be accepted by his community. I am done.

I understand, in some way, that religion is supposed to give you not just a sense of meaning, but a sense of acceptance. Of belonging. I understand that when you feel alone in the world, religion and its followers are supposed to embrace you. Open arms, loving hearts, a knowledge that even if it's difficult right now, a group of people care about you, wish you the best, know that if you follow x, y, and z, you will be rewarded soon. Join them and jump together. Be saved together.

But what's the point of that if you then have to isolate yourself? If you have to reject and push away those who cannot and will not think exactly like you?

I don't see the point of this isolation. Of all this judgement. None of the people who--for the past couple of months now--have heard about me from E's accounts actually know me. They don't know me. They see me as a concept. A test. Mess with the nice religious boy with a broken home and a broken spirit. Tell him fleeting fun is more important than eternal salvation. Lead him astray. Be the girl who's too young to be certain in her beliefs--or lack thereof--and who needs to be discarded as quickly as possible.

I get to be another nameless outsider, another example of everything that's wrong with those who aren't like them. They won't respect me enough to think of me as a complex individual. I'm not even three-dimensional enough to be a voice through the phone. I don't need to speak. They'll say everything that needs to be said. They know better.

Maybe I'm being too judgmental. But that's honestly all I've experienced since E and I first exchanged words. Judgement, judgement, judgement.

And maybe it is childish of me, but I'm mostly annoyed they get to come out winning. Good job, guys. You've effectively convinced this boy that I'm bad for him. That I'm not worthy of a friendship or companionship or anything. I need to disappear, to be a quick memory he cringes at years down the line.

And there's nothing I could have done to make it better. You know. Outside of just not breaching past their precious holy barriers.
~Becky

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