In some ways I’ll tell you anything you want to know, but in others I’m quite guarded. I feel like there were compelling reasons to be so guarded growing up but I just know now that I can’t shake them off completely. There’s a part of me that still wonders all the time if I’m “allowed” to do certain things, if I’m “allowed” to want the things I want, if I’m “allowed” to be the person I am. It’s funny in some ways because my background wasn’t particularly religious but the parts that were I absorbed really quickly and unthinkingly – to the extent that I used to think if something bad happened (say, bullying for example) it may have meant I had done something wrong and God was punishing me. And in an odd way a part of me still thinks this way long after I stopped believing in a God. Like when I have to be somewhere and my car doesn’t start I’ll automatically slip back into a “What did I do THIS TIME?!” kind of thinking.
I actually have a great interest in religion despite not being a believer. I wholeheartedly believe everyone should have the right to choose whatever resonates with them. But by the same token I am acutely aware of how damaging my personal experiences have been to me, how religious ideas informed a particular world view that left me in turmoil for years. I still struggle to understand a theology of sin that suggests your only redeeming feature is your capacity to be loved by a supernatural being. I don’t know how a person can feel good about themselves within those parameters. Isn’t that just the worst kind of codependency?
I want to feel good about myself. I want to be proud of myself. I want to be able to operate as a human being without feeling guilty. There’s a lot to unlearn. There’s a lot to shake off. I hope I’ll get there one day.