by KieryWhen we arrived, my boyfriend’s family and pastor took me in and became my adopted family. They ministered to me and loved me, and generally instilled the confidence in myself, in God, and in family that I had lost.When we announced the news of my engagement, my family started writing my pastor and generally trying to sabotage my wedding by not sending my dress or supporting me in any way. To give me my dress would the same as giving money to a homeless drunk in their eyes. My in-laws and my boyfriend paid for everything, and we used the church for free.It was a (perfect) small wedding. My grandparents came and I walked the aisle alone. I liked this because, it was me, making a … [Read more...]
Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 6: Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit of Happiness.
by KieryA failure, that’s what I was, a giant failure. I couldn’t be the daughter my parents wanted me to be. I had tasted freedom, and I felt like I deserved it. I couldn’t go back to being the second mom after being told I was an adult. Adults can’t take their children’s adulthood away, can they?The 6 months between the split and my 18th birthday were the darkest days of my life. I was horribly depressed, I hardly ate, I contemplated cutting and suicide on more than one occasion. Honestly, if it weren’t for the friends I had made before and my boyfriend’s pastor stepping up and reaching me when I cried for help, I don’t know where I would be. I was mad at God, mad at my parents, mad at … [Read more...]
by KieryThe 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 … [Read more...]
by KieryMany people tell me I’m brave, they can’t believe how strong I am. Ten years of playing “mommy 2” isn’t overly common in the outside world. People at church would often tell me how lucky my parents were to have me and say “I bet you help out a lot, huh?” and I would nod and say “yes” while scanning the room to keep tabs on my siblings. “You guys are so blessed!” They would exclaim to my parents, “I don’t know how you do it.” My parents would nod in agreement while other families noted how well behaved we were.It seemed people either wanted to have our faith or detested us. They would aspire to become like my family, or think we were crazy lunatics. We prided ourselves on being p … [Read more...]
by KieryIn time, I would begin to envision myself as a fair rose hidden inside metal armor. Afraid to grow, afraid to feel, staying inside a metal cage meant to protect. As far as appearances went though, you’d never know I felt that way. I don’t think my own family knew how I felt, when it comes down to it. Appearances were very important - we always had to look perfect, the house had to be spotless, when we were moving we had to be all happy about it (even if we weren’t), that way people wouldn’t think there was something wrong. The worst thing that could happen would be for someone to wonder if there was something wrong/ someone wasn’t “happy”.I joined a speech club when I was 13, an … [Read more...]
by KieryI’m no stranger to hard things. In ways my life was built around doing hard things and part of that has made me who I am today. I’m no stranger to sacrifice, conflict, or rejection. For a while, these things seemed to follow me and my family wherever we went.In 19 years, my mom’s had 10 pregnancies and 8 children, most of them taking place over the last 11 years. At 8, my life would become a cycle of doing my own thing, and then that being put on hold to take care of everyone and keep the house running until the newest baby arrived. This wasn’t always the case...We started homeschooling when I was in kindergarten, according to my parents, primarily because my private school w … [Read more...]