Growing up wasn’t all rosie for me. I faced my own share of self-inflicted and circumstantial hurdles.
As a child, I often dreamt of a life a lot simpler and easier. A life where no one would know pain or question their worth, I soon realized that such a life is just a fantasy. I’ve been labelled all sorts of things due to my impractical perspective on things; childish, pessimist, emo, etc. Too many times have I heard the words “grow up”, so much so that it doesn’t faze me really.
There has been a downside to this “impractical” worldview. For so long I’ve struggled to make sense of my life experiences. I think I should dive a little more into my upbringing for this to make sense:
I grew up in a somewhat unorthodox Christian community that placed high emphasis on prosperity, so much so that if your household was not prospering, evil had to be the cause and seriously investigated.
As a child, I often heard people blame almost everyone in my family for my father’s death and my mother’s emotional state (as a result of losing the love of her life). The people my community used as scapegoats were people I knew very well, and seeing the pain in their eyes made me ask God so many questions like do we only exist to experience pain?
Another major teaching my community focused on was faith. I remember being told that if my life wasn’t getting better was because I didn’t pray hard enough or didn’t have enough faith. I was taught to pray for everything or pray everything away. If I wanted good grades, I just had to pray. If I wanted our household to have more money, all I had to do was pray. God willing, it worked for most parts, but one thing I couldn’t pray away was the emptiness of my father’s death and its aftermath.
My childhood taught me empathy, that every living soul has a reason for the way they are and function. It taught me that we need to be kind before anything else and that is something I am grateful for.
Rosie is still not a word I can use to describe my life today, so much unlearning has had to take place and it’s a never-ending process. In hope to encourage people to share their stories without fear, I need to be a little more transparent about my mental struggles, I was about 5 years old when I wished to no longer be alive…