I was that teen that followed the rules when people were LOOKING. Put on the face, smile, let them think I’m doing it their way and then as soon as they were out of sight… I’d go back to being me.
I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup - so I didn’t - until I *got* to school.
Raised in a Christian home, I hid all my BAD books and things under my bed. I went to church, sang up front and then once free - it’s like the wildness I contained inside of me simply exploded.
I didn’t want to pretend or to lie - I wanted to be loved.
I wanted to belong. But I didn’t.
So I did my absolute best to be what they wanted me to be because that was better than feeling lonely. Obviously, that made the loneliness and depression worse, but I didn’t realize it then.
I got in horrible fights with my parents - mom especially. I was was labeled as STRONG WILLED. (good). I was put in therapy, given anti-depressants and still… nothing worked. I tried to die, but failed at that too. I couldn’t handle life or the facade it required for me to be ‘enough’.
I was a danger to myself. So I joined the rest of the dangerous teens in the special place where there were no razors, no mirrors, no sharp edges and no…. need to be ok. We were all sad, all fucked up in some way or another and all just wished we could GO AWAY because obviously there was something wrong with us. But something about that was comforting. We could all be fucked up here. We belonged.
I’d listen to their stories and feel guilty about my own pain.
I’d been through a LOT but whoa… Them? I won’t tell you. I felt like I had no right being so angry and sad. Why couldn’t I be fine?? I SHOULD be fine. I should be able to handle this. I CAN. It’s me. I’ll get better. I’ll DO better. I’ll BE better.
…this would be a cycle that stuck with me for years to come…
So I chose to be better. I said all the things happy, better people say and I went home. I dove into my church activities. I found a way to make the shoe fit. I busied myself by going to see the christian bands (totally the good thing, right?), I studied my Bible RELENTLESSLY (don’t get into a theological debate with me… I’ll CRUSH YOU!! lol) And when I say relentlessly, I could also say REBELLIOUSLY because I remember distinctly being in my English class, where I was bored and already getting an A, and pulling out my big FATTY Bible and reading it WHILE THE TEACHER WAS IN FRONT, TEACHING.
Fuck your English class. I’m reading my FUCKING BIBLE. (I never got in trouble.)
Bibles. Who know rebellion could be so easy?
This IS about rebellion as part of my character, isn’t it??? I mean, I HAD TO. If I had to be the better, happy person, I’d have to find a way to REBEL to do it. I GET OFF ON DOING IT MY WAY.
seriously just realized that.
Totally makes sense - but DAMN.
That’s why rules are so scary for me. They tell me “Be you until we tell you not to and then basically you’ll DIE.” The only RULES I can live by are the ones that say “KNOW your truth and live it fully at all times!!!
It’s not that I can’t follow rules. I just can’t follow the ones that tell me not to be or THINK AS me. Or live according to my values. So i don’t just say “fuck it” and do whatever the hell I want. (well, sometimes, when it doesn’t actually matter). When it matters, I’ll speak up. I’m not afraid to make waves, rock boats and call the truth into light.
BUT I HAD TO GET THERE!!!
And clearly, it was the Bible that got me there. ;)
no, no, no…. it was the GIRL using the bible as the starting ground to further her rebellion so she could turn INTO the woman that knows her place and stands her ground. <<<<<<
It still took so many years for me to get there.
THAT ISN’T EVEN WHAT I WANTED TO TELL YOU ABOUT - BUT THAT’S WHAT CAME OUT
What I wanted to tell you was a story about a man.
A man who preyed on that rebellion and need to belong. How it destroyed me but how it also launched me into my real healing and freedom.
And as much as I want to tell you that story - I think I’ll save it. It’s good, but I need to let that ‘prequel’ sit for a few minutes….
If you were raised and labeled as STRONG WILLED, STUBBORN, REBELLIOUS or CRAZY… I celebrate you. I see you. I’m willing to bet that those are the traits that got you through your life.
They’re the reason you kept fighting, why you’re still here and WHY I know you can do this - what ever the THIS is in your life right now.
You rebelled because you knew you were meant for more. You were meant to be seen and heard. But that didn’t come naturally. So you found a way. Sure - you fucked it up along the way, but come back to your heart. You were doing it because deep down - you knew you deserved better.
When you rebel, you’re actually fighting FOR something.
When you don’t know what you’re fighting but you can’t seem to stop …
You’re usually fighting for your IDENTITY. For you need to matter. For your permission to be fully you. For your place in the world.
It took me a long time to really see that and embrace it about myself.
So I’m hoping that today you’ll hear and know and remember that all the crazy and beautiful and stubborn parts of you are part of you because they’re meant to be.
Fake happy, fake rule-following, fake conformity WILL DESTROY YOU from the outside in AND inside out.
(OMG I could just keep writing and writing and writing on this… Book time!!)
But for now,
Tune in today:
Where are you feeling rebellious? Where have you been making yourself WRONG for what you want? What do you secretly desperately want?
And what would your life look like if you finally loved yourself enough to listen?
I’ll leave it at that.