I’m tired of being told I’m brave.

I’m tired of being told I’m brave.
I didn’t set out to be brave,
I set out to find others.
Others.
Others whose mother’s had handed off the phone
To the elderly woman who told me what I saw with my own eyes was a lie,
What I felt in the swollen flesh was a falsehood.
I was fine.
I was more than fine,
I was a Perfect Reflection of God and nothing could Harm me.
What I saw with my own eyes was ERRONEOUS THOUGHT.
Not swelling, or pain, or distortion.
Gaslighting much?
Others whose father’s had told them it was important
To get good grades in school
Because we were still living on this Earth
And because we had not yet gone into the next one –
Yes, there is a next one, he’d seen it in a dream.
We were Spiritual Beings there,
The Matter dies.
I thought Matter was unreal.
And even though none of this was Real,
Yes, Real with a Capital R.
We still had to learn about it because there would be a test.
A test that really wouldn’t matter in the Big Picture,
But in the Little Picture it was important to get good grades.
To go to college,
To meet a nice young man,
A phrase that doomed more than one relationship.
To raise good little children up in the religious tradition of our youth.
But also not to have sex,
Because sex is a distraction
From the Spiritual Path
But you should get married for protection.
From what?
None of this is real.
We all pounded on the table in Sunday School,
The immaterial table.
The idea of Table?
The manifestation of the idea of Table?
Mental gymnastics.
WHAT ABOUT THE TABLE?
So brave
Brave to speak up
Brave to speak out
Brave to establish community
Brave to break the cycle of mental gymnastics.
I don’t want to be brave,
I don’t want to “endure or face unpleasant conditions or behavior without showing fear.”
We were taught FEAR isn’t real
False Evidence Appearing Real.
The Evidence is not false.
The religion is a lie.
It is founded on lies,
The damage is real,
It was not imagined or supposed.
I just wanted to find Others,
Others who I could simply tell
“I was raised in Christian Science”
and they could nod knowingly,
Understanding my pain,
No need to explain,
No need to peel the onion,
The layers of anguish, frustration and lies
The shared trauma
Different, yet very much the same.
No one to look increasingly horrified as I unpack the trauma
No one to say “you turned out so normal!”
In a tone that implies it is not necessarily a compliment.
What is normal?
I’m human.
I’m flawed.
I’m functioning and getting through the day.
I’ve chosen to educate myself
Or try to
It is a process
I’m still learning
I’ve chosen to leave
My life depended on it.
It wasn’t brave
I was terrified.
There are days I’m still terrified.
Bravery has nothing to do with it.
My survival does.

5 thoughts on “I’m tired of being told I’m brave.

  1. tildeb says:

    Very illuminating. Not being raised Christian Science but having some family that has been, it explains a lot. Thank you for this effort. It offers me some insight I have not been able to obtain.

  2. Betsy says:

    I was raised in Christian Science along with other misogynistic Christian dogmatic lies. I can identify with every line, every word. I had forgotten some of the quoted CS gibberish but the internalized insanity still terrifies me. F.E.A.R. Thank you for pointing it out so clearly. I was brave. I was brave because I had to be brave to survive the abuse, the insanity, the gaslighting. I had to be brave for my children. My motto to survive become “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” I seemed to work for a longtime but it took its toll. Maybe the relentless terror I am living with now is recovery; maybe it is being back in the secreted craziness. I honestly do not know, but I cannot do it alone and I am so completely alone and terrified right now. The only help I can find takes me right back to the source of the problem.

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