I am done.

Dear world,

I am done. I am so so done. I am done with being associated with people who are mostly filled with hate and judgement. I am done with feeling the deafening roar of silence in the face of violence, because either they feel like violence is more justified due to the victims’ “lifestyles”, or that we should accept horrific things happening to us because “we deserve so much worse”. I am tired of platitudes, and Sunday morning faith, of lack of community, of there not being true transparency between people of faith because there is so much judgement, that we are scared to show our true selves. I am tired of hearing of scandals involving leadership of churches, and tired of hearing of people who are advised by their spiritual leaders to forgive and reconcile with their abusers, and then ending up further victimized, or sometimes dead. I am tired of hearing about the awful turmoil affecting LGBTQ youth in Christian or other faith environments, and reading the stats on their suicide rates. I am tired of hearing justification after justification of hate in the name of religion, and particularly in the name of Christ. I am tired of right wing religious people creating a false issue – smoke and mirrors around transgender people’s use of bathrooms, of them inferring that all trans people are depraved pedophiles out to get our children. I am tired of hearing the true stories of abuse of children and vulnerable adults, and seeing time and time again that the perpetrator is ::usually:: an entitled power-hungry white man in a position of authority (not in any way suggesting that this is the only group of people who abuse, but the people who are trying to legislate agains trans people are totally blind to the fact that many if not most abusers look more like them than they do a person who has transitioned) I am tired of racial divides, and of seeing people of color in prison for possessing ::sometimes for life:: for possessing a bag of weed (the mandatory life sentence for a third offence in some situations), while a convicted white rich rapist gets a few months in protected custody. I am tired of hearing right wing political propaganda preached in the church, and of people aligning themselves to a nation who are committing apartheid because they have some kind of theological belief that a massive spiritual/political end times is coming, and that somehow that trumps compassion and human rights for marginalized groups. I am tired of being considered a lesser human being because I am a woman, because I have mental health problems, because I live with chronic pain and have to take opiates. I am tired of seeing and experiencing being part of a “justice” system that is a million times stacked in the favor of abusers in every nation.

Following the awful atrocities committed in Orlando this weekend. I am done with being part of groups of Christian women who debate all the things which one should be afraid of getting involved in, lest they somehow contaminate us or our children spiritually , but who are happy to ignore marginalized groups of people who are right on their doorsteps. BECAUSE THEY ARE MARGINALIZED BY THE CHURCH. I am done with seeing what happened in that group on Sunday – that a thread on how to deal with being attracted to someone other than your spouse (not a bad thing to debate, I’m happy to be a part of that) got constant attention, yet when someone finally posted about the Orlando killings, there was a shockingly low level of sorrow shown about the events, and even less compassion shown to the victims and their families, just that deafening silence. I would have thought that perhaps it was because of it being Sunday, and therefore people being busy spending time with their families – after all, I didn’t even head about Orlando until mid afternoon because I was in bed sick, and then spending time with my kids and husband. I wanted so hard to believe that this was why, but then there was that other thread, which told me the opposite. I wanted to believe that the lack of my Christian friends and acquaintances condemning that violence was due to them having a policy about not posting about these things, but I remember, I remember one of the last high profile mass shootings, and seeing them debating gun control and utterly condemning the violence, because the victims were “nice” Christian people (although I also saw racist bastards condoning this violence because of the color of the victim’s skin).

I am tired of being mainly silent about issues of my childhood, because it might cause distress to other people (respect for other survivors of this issue is the only reason why I have stayed silent to this point – I have not wanted to rip the scabs off people’s wounds when they are not ready). Tired of feeling like I live with a piece of duct tape over my mouth. Tired of feeling like I’m seeing a church’s reputation being held up as more important that the acknowledgement of deep evil committed, and a humble desire to support or at least validate the worth and suffering of those involved. Of instead every year finding more women who were hurt in the same situation and finding my survival methods stripped away because I can no longer tell my psyche that it is not real, that somehow I made it up for attention. I am tired of not finding a safe place in the church (different churches) to work through my issues. I am tired of people speaking instead of listening. I am tired. I am tired of never finding any kind of mentor – someone who has walked through their suffering with integrity, and not repressed their pain and called it Godliness. I am tired of not knowing if I am a Christian anymore, and of the fact that living on the fringes of the church, especially now living in America, has made me more and more feel like I do not want to be associated with this God who they say they serve, because he is not the God that I see in the bible, or that I believed in for so many years. I am tired of utter certainty being preached, instead of an acknowledgement that we all interpret what we read through our biases, and choose which bits we feel that ourselves should live by, and that we feel others should live by also. I’m tired of people trying to combine Church/Islam/others with the State, and trying to legislate others’ behavior – but only the ones which bother us personally/affect our finances/offend our sensibilities.

I am tired.

I don’t know if I am a Christian anymore. I am angry, I am hurt, and I am confused. And I do not see in most of the church a safe place to be that – to work through that stage of grief. I am finally starting to be in touch with 30 years of repressed anger, and most Christians would try to argue me out of that, not understanding that if their God exists, he’s at least as angry about these issues as I am.

But I am also grateful. I am grateful that I have a husband who accepts my anger, even if it’s difficult for him and my kids when it spills over onto them. I am grateful to have just a few friends who listen more than they speak, and when they do speak they do it with grace and a lack of ego. I am grateful for seeing the outpourings of love to the victims of the recent shootings, and the brave and fierce woman who stood up to that young man in court even as he showed no remorse, and was basically let free by a judge who shared his fraternity and was impressed by his swimming times – telling her that the safety of this young man was far more important than hers, or any other women whom he may come across – of the extreme anger poured forth rightly from many people all over the world, at that injustice. I am grateful for people of all faiths and no faith coming together to condemn what is wrong, and focus on what is good. And I am grateful that there are things that have improved for our generation in this, despite all of the dogma which says that the world is getting progressively more awful. I am grateful to still be alive, and to be able to hold space for others in their suffering as some have held space for me.

This is very much a stream of consciousness, typed in a stolen 45 minutes on the first day of my children’s school holiday, and I don’t know if I will go through and edit later. I am aware that I may get negative responses to this, and I honestly don’t care. I’m all about the constructive criticism, but if there is judgement without listening, platitudes or hate, frankly people can fuck off. But overall I am hoping that I and this blog can continue to be a place where people can be honest, and hear back from others that you are not alone, you are accepted, you are loved. Because if Jesus existed I know that’s where he would start, not by highlighting every way that we are failing to meet perfection as we walk through life.

So today I will keep breathing, and hope that tomorrow I wake up less exhausted and more able to continue to love.

Jenn, xx


~ by jennkeast on June 15, 2016.

5 Responses to “I am done.”

  1. Dear Jen, I am really glad that you have been able to share this frustration and anger and rage and new realisations with people. It feels like a new place to start from and it has an energy and a power behind it that now released must feel so grounding.

    I have no faith, I realised very early on in my life that organised religion had no place for me. Despite that I have worked hard like you to be a person who cares deeply about the local community I live in, and for equality and acceptance at al levels of all humans and their right to live freely in respect of others. I have been challenged constantly by prejudice against disability but have found many ways to deal with this both for my sons good but also through my professional role in developing teachers for the sector I worked in. At all times our core values, and I feel strongly that they are our core values, arrived at through our own understanding and not those given to us by any others no matter who they were or what they represent, are the values that shape our actions and thoughts. They are what I hold onto when I am angry or sad or confused or just plain mad at the insanity that we often see around us.

    As a professional therapist I have worked with women who have been abused in some way or another by adults in their earlier years. Releasing the furry and often their feelings of guilt that somehow they might have been accepting or partly responsible for anything that happened was a massive starting point for them and sometimes during the therapeutic process they have expressed that anger in the most imaginative and creative ways that have well and truly put he abuser exactly where they wanted them to be for the rest of their days. I am sharing this as I also know that sometimes even the smallest abusive actions by others can have huge significant impacts on us and how we see ourselves for many years in the future.

    So rant away Jen, be as angry for yourself and the world as you want to be, be as angry as you are, you are right fuck them all because at the end of the day those people who really matter are those that love you for who you are, and listen and accept and simply allow you to be, and to grow into who you will become. I have learnt to chose my battles carefully, l have learnt that my circle of influence is small but allows a local impact. This is as much as I can do, I also get really upset at all of the injustice and hatred and aggression we see around us, it makes me sad . Humans are not very nice and yet have the potential to be most amazing and wonderful. Also there is much good in the world to celebrate sometimes it just gets hidden away. You say tomorrow you will keep on breathing, good plan, because that is the difference between life and death, just one breath is all it takes to be here, then not, each one is precious. X Alison

    • Great comments as ever Alison, I have a lot of respect for you, xx

      • And I you Jen, be who you are, what you could and can be , and never what anyone else tells you you should be. I love rage and anger it makes us huge… When so often we have been dimished and made small by circumstances and others.

  2. Thank you, I love you and you are an amazing woman. I need time to digest all of this but just for today …..you go girl.

    Salaam (peace)

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