I am a writer and a nanny. I am also a friend, a lover, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt. I love to read and write more than anything. I currently consider myself an agnostic.
I was born in Indiana while my parents were attending Hyles-Anderson College, we then moved to the Berkshires in Massachusetts where I lived until I was 26 years old. My mother became a Christian in her early teens and my father became a Christian in his late teens. Neither of them were raised in a Christian home. Both of my parents got sucked into Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Christianity right from the beginning. My father attended Hyles-Anderson College and my mother attended Bob Jones University. They met at the Bill Rice Ranch in the summer of 1984, were married the summer of 1985, and I was born September of 1986. After they married they both attended Hyles-Anderson for a year and then moved to MA. Neither of my parents finished college. My father is a police officer and did later complete both his bachelors and masters degrees in criminal justice through UMass. I believe my mother is now still working on completing her bachelors degree.
The only thing I have ever known my entire life is IFB. We attended one church for a while when I was very young that I don’t remember all that well. We then began attending a different IFB church when I was about 11 years old and we remained there until all of us 5 children were basically grown. I and my 4 siblings were homeschooled until I reached high school. After years and years of serious educational neglect, my father finally decided to send us to the private Christian school that was part of our church. I finished high school there and then attended Pensacola Christian College. My youngest brother did attend public high school. He is joining the Navy in the Nuclear Engineering program.
This is my journey to healing. I no longer attend any church. My education is one of my biggest regrets. My parents are divorced after 27 years of marriage. My father also no longer attends church. It turns out he doesn’t actually believe any of the things that he and my mother taught us for so long. I don’t know if he even still considers himself to be a Christian. I am still pretty close to my father but I do not speak to my mother. She and I have never had any kind of “good” relationship. I am very close to my siblings. We hold each other up. My entire childhood can be summed up with a few words. Isolation, indoctrination, religious and emotional manipulation. I learned to read and was then left to learn on my own and “teach” my younger siblings. I didn’t really receive any kind of formal education until high school where they used A Beka curriculum.
I have only ever learned anything from an IFB perspective. Home life, high school, college, friends. It all revolved around IFB. I never learned to think for myself. Only that what everyone around me was telling me was the only right way. If I dared to veer off that path I would have a life of misery. Any mistake in their eyes indicated that I probably wasn’t saved or I was in rebellion. Also as a result of the intense social isolation I experienced growing up I never really learned how to make friends or develop healthy adult relationships. I have had some incredibly unhealthy relationships that I still fight to get over. And I am incredibly grateful that I did finally end them. It is one of the most difficult things that I have to deal with everyday. Thankfully I have a few people in my life now with whom I do have very healthy relationships and they are my lifeline.
Finding my voice is the perfect description for what this blog is about for me. I was invisible. I was silent. I was afraid to speak up and no one ever asked why. This is scary and hard and I am afraid. But I will not let that control me anymore. This is my voice.