The thing about training is that eventually, you grow up and exercise what you were taught. I was taught to think for myself, to stand up regardless of pressure, and in the end, that’s what I did.
The last half of my 16th year my parents spent drilling into me that I was a capable adult and ready for marriage. I went to visit my boyfriend after christmas and I think my parents fully expected a proposal even though (despite me being 16) we’d only been together since September. I was nervous, naturally. A hasty marriage was being pushed by my family while his were much less hurried. I was scared, because at 16, I interpreted this as there being something wrong…maybe they didn’t like me, maybe they didn’t want us in a relationship. Over the next few months I realized that this wasn’t the case, they just didn’t want to rush us.
My family refused to think that my initial fears were misinterpreted or that we had already resolved the situation. The summer of my 17th year was filled with long discussions about how I was wrong and nothing was resolved, even after I had told them it was.
This is the point in my life where I started thinking for myself, realizing how to solve conflict, and put what my parents had taught me into practice. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well.
Towards the end of the summer, my mom got pregnant, and I freaked out. My parents had decided they’d had enough of me being in a relationship, and with my boyfriend asking (twice) if I could come up for a week in August, they decided that I’d experienced enough and needed to go back to being their helpful daughter, which meant no communication was allowed between me and my boyfriend (otherwise, I wouldn’t break up or move on!).
In fairness, they did give me 3 days to decide if I would break it off, and they did give me some incentive ($300) before they made the move on their own and I woke up one morning to an email saying:
“After much prayer and careful thought, we have decided that the courtship between Alex and Kierstyn has to end. You may be aware that a few days ago, I had told Alex that I am forbidding him to propose to Kierstyn and I’m forbidding her to accept his proposal.”
It went on into much more detail, but this marked a turning point for me. I was devastated, I tried so hard to do everything right, I was doing what I was trained to do. I was seeking God for myself, thinking for myself, and making my own decisions, like adults do, like I was told I was supposed to do. And then, this happened. I screamed harder and louder than I ever had before, it was this guttural sound that was somewhat akin to Wesley in the Princess Bride.
God Why did you do this to me? what did I do to deserve it? that was all I wanted to know, I tried so hard, and apparently, failed.
Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things by Kiery: