Friday, August 12, 2011

A Deprived Life..

This post is about my upbringing and how it deprived me of regular everyday things. Please understand that I am in no way coming against any religious believes. In fact, I strongly believe in God. What I have issues with are some people's interpretation of those believes. Back in my youth most religious people judged in the manner in which they were taught. Therefore I understand it was not entirely their fault.

Also understand that I in no way hate my parents. On the contrary, when my father died, I felt like a little something died inside of me. My mother, who is still alive, is the kindest individual I know. Nonetheless, that is what they learned. Their upbringing made it extremely difficult for them to see life any other way.

My friend Amelia James and I are sharing our thoughts on the similarity of our upbringing. She is an extraordinary writer so please click here to read her blog after you've read mine.

Now here are some rules. Do not leave a comment slamming religion or your parents. You may explain what happened in your life without slandering anyone.

As a child they did not permit me to play in a park or go to the beach. They prohibited me from wearing certain clothing for reasons unknown to me to this day. The first time I attended a baseball game at a stadium it turned into one of the largest altercations in our home. My brothers married at seventeen to get out of the house and escape these rules. Later, they became angry with me because to them, my parents granted me more freedom than they had. So they must have had it even more difficult than I did.

I always felt sorry for the girls in our church. They had not been allowed to wear pants and had to freeze their legs in the winter snow with only nylons to cover them. Kids in school ridiculed me for wearing geeky clothes. I could never wear jeans or sneakers. They never permitted me to spend the night at a friend's house, and I could only play outside within ear range. If they called me and I didn't hear them, there went my outdoor privileges.

You'll love this one. My parents only allowed me to date Hispanic girls. I remember the first time I brought home a blond haired, blue eyed, white girl - Okay I like blonds and redheads with fair skin - Anyway. All hell broke loose in the house that day. I had to wear my hair the way they wanted me too. I could not wear jewelry of any kind. And I could only play with the friends they picked out for me.

It was pounded into my mind that anything bad that happened was punishment from God, and anything good was his blessings. I lived in constant fear that if I did anything wrong, I would be punished. The problem was I could never live up to the standard of being good. In my first marriage, I continued to be judge by the same rules by my ex-wife. I live by everything I was taught, loved her, and my children unconditionally, and hid my unhappiness by giving myself to her completely. Only she didn't see it that way. As with God, apparently I couldn't live up to her standards either, and she asked for a divorce.

After trying to be good all my life, I decided to pitch a fit, and have a tantrum. So I got drunk. For two years. After which I had to learn how to live. I learned to forgive and understand the reasons why these people pushed this life on me against my will. In this process of learning to live, I created a bucket list. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you hit the bucket (die).

I was introduced to a different God than the one from my youth. I met a woman who does not judge me. I got my ear pierced, bought necklaces and rings. I got me some shorts to go to the beach, and watched the sun come up, and go back down. I drank fruity alcoholic drinks to enjoy the scenes around me, and went jet skiing. I took lessons and learned how to dance. I laughed and rejected every thought that tried to convince me of punishment for these things. I understand the generations before us, but shouldn't we be teaching our children differently?

I'm not drunk anymore because I don't want to be. I drink a glass of wine with dinner at times. But most importantly, I'm living, and not just existing.

Have you gone through anything like this? I find it therapeutic to share.

And always remember… Stay in your write mind.


  1. Wow that was a lot worse than what I went through. I also thought I was being punished when something bad happened. I still have to convince myself that's not the case.

    My husband introduced me to a different God too. I never heard the word grace until I met him.

  2. @Amelia: This was just the tip of the iceberg. I have stories with deeper scars I couldn't bring myself to writing down without feeling that pain again. I've lost many things, and many friends in the name of religion. I'm just glad I finally found truth.

  3. I was also raised inappropriatly strict, and it failed miserably. To this day I love people who are poor, homosexual and even people with a different skin color than I. I don't mind another's religion so long as they dont mind the lack of mine. Live and let live: don't worry about what went wrong, just fix it and stop the hate.

  4. @anonymous: I love that mentality, "Just fix it and stop the hate." I couldn't have said it better.

  5. My mother would be able to relate to this exactly. because of her parents strictness that resulted from the way they practiced religion my mother abandoned religion when she came to nyc in 1972. She didnt teach me about our religion. She didnt teach me about God. When i became an adult i went searching for God, i wanted to learn about our religion. with access to the internet and so many temples and gurus in nyc, i've come to understand my religion in a way that she was never taught. so maybe its good that she never taught me. though she ridicules me now, i do understand that she was taught in a certain way, and since my practice doesnt coincide with that way, she looks down upon it, even fears it. In learning about my religion i have learned many important things. god helps those who strive to help themselves. god will walk with me down my path as long as i ask or whenever i feel weak. karma is a bitch and it's not my right to judge and bring revenge but it's left to god and nature. i've learned that being a good person and doing all i can for my fellow man is my duty and god will grant me blessings for it. and i've learned that i can make mistakes and god will forgive me, i just have to open my heart and understand where i went wrong and strive to be better. my mother learned to fear god. i learned to love god. one thing i have always told my children, Mankind created religion. Mankind set forth the "rules". i'm hindu. Hinduism has become very conservative, but if you learn of the ways it was originally practiced, you realize that it's been made conservative to fit society. hindus were never even known as hindus. it wasn't a specific term for our religion. hindus became hindus because villages of people who lived by the Hindu River worshipped together, so the british categorized them and named them hindus. i believe we all have the right to worship god in the way that brings us inner peace. i think being a good person will bring us blessings.
    man i'm rambling. lol. great post. you've got me thinking.