Do You Know What It Is Like?

by Anne Wanger

(Note: This is to a certain extent, my story, but I put myself in the shoes of a 17-18 year old trying to grapple with very mature emotions and situations that her age had not really prepared her to deal with. It is not the whole story and is written more like a poem.)

Here is something that I have written myself verbalizing my feeling concerning my involvement in UPCI. Please feel free to pass it on to anyone who it may help or put it on your website.

To grow up feeling isolated from your peers because you have been taught that they are lost and going to hell, thus until they are saved you cannot be friends with them?

To be the butt of unkind jokes played on you by your peers because of the "holier than thou" attitude that you have been taught to carry?

To be one of only two other young people in "the only right church in town" and the other young person is your brother who is 5 years younger than you are and be told that you can't join a Christian youth club because they teach the wrong doctrine?

To try to find solace in those that supposedly believe the same as you do, but treat you like trash because you try to play by the rules preached from the pulpit?

To feel lonely in high school even though you try to rely on your faith in and on God (at least what you thought God was)?

To have your mother kicked out of supposedly "the church" for standing up for someone she gave birth to and to try to help keep her from being verbally abused and run over and then no longer feel welcome in that same church yourself?

To have your dad look at you and tell you you are going to hell for leaving "the church"?

To see extreme disappointment and condemnation in your dad's eyes on your high school graduation night because all he can see is a little dab of pink fingernail polish and a $3 necklace around your neck?

To try to tell your mother that things will work out and be all right while she is crying on your shoulder because her husband tells her she is condemned to hell for leaving "the church"?

To have your parents talk about divorce within 1- 1 1/2 hours of going to separate churches?

To find your mother asleep on the couch and dad asleep in their bedroom and wondering what will happen to your family?

To go to a youth camp that you have been taught you don't belong and at night when the phone rings wonder if it is your mother saying that she has gone to grandparents because of dad?

To wonder if you will even have a family left to come back to after camp?

To find out, sometime after the incident, that your dad threatened to commit suicide when he left "the church"?

To go away to college and worry about your mother and what kind of verbal abuse she is putting up with from dad because of his warped sense of God?

To try to fit into any other church denomination and find it impossible because of what you have been programmed with all of your life?

To try to trust another church or pastor after being burned so badly, even trying to trust God is almost impossible?

I am sorry for being so long on this, but these are just a few of the questions that verbalize what I have gone through in coming out of UPCI.


Posted April 13, 2000

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