i was raised by evangelical, fundamentalist, christian parents. not a day passed without hearing biblical rhetoric and “churchie” platitudes, spilling from their mouths. they were literally programmed, to “vomit” on their children, in an attempt to program the next generation into conformity, dependence, assimilation, submission, and absolute obedience to “the church.”
please be patient with me, as i share. i realize that i can be very verbose, but this is how i learn about myself, and process information. these are things that i heard on a daily basis: “honor thy father and thy mother,””disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft,””spare the rod and spoil the child,””it’s a sin to lie,””god loves a cheerful giver,””love thy neighbor as thyself,””get right or get left (behind by the rapture),””god’s going to give you a spanking,””children should be seen and not heard,””actions speak louder than words,” and others.
i grew up fearful and stigmatized by my twenty-two years of “fundie” programming. i grew up just waiting for that “spanking from god.” i was terrified by noises made by trains in the night, thinking that they were the horns of archangels, signaling the rapture…and, i just knew that i would be left behind, because that’s what my dad always told me. i was terrified to look in the mirror at the end of the hallway, because my parents were convinced that i had a demon inside…and i was afraid that if i looked into that mirror, that i would see him/her. (ironically enough, i met someone else, a few months ago, who had also heard that she had a demon inside. we used to laugh about it 👺👹).
of all of the things that my parents used to say to me,”actions speak louder than words,” used to piss me off the most. why? because of all of those things that i was programmed with everyday, that was the one, that i absolutely knew to be true. that was the one that my mother used to “guilt” me into doing things, that i didn’t want to do with.
i can still hear her voice saying,”kw, dinner is almost ready, and the table isn’t set yet.” i would answer back,”okay, i’ll do it in five minutes.” she would respond,”that’s what you said, five minutes ago. you know young lady, that actions speak louder than words.” and me, knowing that it was true, and feeling manipulated to do it on her time, would get up feigning anger, muttering under my breath. when really i just felt guilty for not doing it the first time that she asked.
everytime that i felt guilty, it just added to my perceived pile of guilt and shame, for being a disobedient, disappointing, selfish, and damaged daughter…who just couldn’t and wouldn’t do it on anyone’s time, but her own. it always ended up being a negative for me…another thing that i didn’t do right, or fucked up, or self-sabotaged. eventually, every little thing, snowballed into resentment, and a very venomous tongue. thinking back on it now, i am truly remorseful for being a “test” to my mother only. i did ask for her forgiveness, and she did forgive me, before she went.
now, thinking over the last three to four months, suddenly today that phrase popped into my conscious mind. “actions speak louder than words.” i have been mad, sad, frustrated, and confused, about a lot of things. i have gone over and over them, in my head, trying to make sense of the whole ten piece puzzle, when all this time, i’ve only had three pieces. let me tell you from experience, that is a crazymaking exercise, in futility.
it hit me today, that there was a lot of that going on, with the last woman, whom i dated. it started with me saying that i would “unfriend,” the woman whom i had dated before her, on facebook. i said it several times, before she called me out on it, and then i did it right away. similarly, i told her that i would cut off communication with sarah…which i did, but sarah still texted me, even when i was with d******e…which made me look like a liar.
i realized today, that i wasn’t the only one whose actions didn’t match up to their words. i don’t want to rehash it, because it is a very raw subject, and i will never say anything bad about d******e, because to me, she was/is/and will always be a very special person to me, that i will always love.
today, i was up at five am, trying to make n*** a*** a happy woman. do you have any idea how hard that is to do, being seven hours behind, and a continent away? no, i suppose not. anyway, i have been helping her with some tech projects, and one moment everything is fine and dandy…and, she is very pleased with me. but then, she starts messing with it, it all goes to shit, and suddenly, i have a very displeased woman on my hands…wanting it fixed an hour ago.
mind you, i also realized this morning, at the very same time, exactly what my “type” of woman is. i seem to have a propensity for strong-willed, stubborn, bossy, control freak, very opinionated, confident, powerful, authoritative, emotionally compartmentalized women. women who push me to the brink of both, insanity and greatness. women who challenge me to be my absolute best self. women who know that i will do anything for them, always.
(i apologize for my digression. i needed to write that all down, before i forgot it…therapy is on tuesday.)
anyway, n*** a*** and i have been talking a lot lately about expectations. i guess i have been letting her clearly know, that i will not continue to perform like a trained seal, for sardines…if she can’t make more of an effort to communicate clearly with me, keep me in the loop, and not disappear without letting me know. we had this talk two days ago, and she agreed to my expectations. she filled my ears with beautiful words…but…”actions speak louder than words.”
after working from five am, until nine am, helping her, with her project, she texted me…”wow babe you’re doing a great job,” and that was it. poof…she disappeared again, after promising to tell me first. her words are nice, and sometimes feel good to hear, but if they aren’t backed up with matching actions, they are worthless. i’m not a trained seal, and i think sardines are disgusting.
today, it hit me loud and clear,”actions speak louder than words…”