Brave On

Brave On July 13, 2019

Brave OnBrave On

When I was a child, I never had a relationship with my mother. Perhaps when I was preteen there was something between us, but I doubt it. A leopard doesn’t change its spots, and I cannot recall the last time my mother called me on the phone. I stopped trying when I sent her a birthday card years ago. The kids on our street took it out of the mailbox because they thought it had money in it. It never arrived at her home but I told her I had sent it. I was walking the dog and found the envelope on the ground a week later. When I told her, she just smiled at me with that smug smile and told my sister later that I had lied to her. Brave On

I Quit My Mother

I used to try with her, calling and keeping in touch, but it was always condemning, always that distance I could feel between us. She might have sensed it as well and just didn’t have the capacity to traverse the distance between her narcissism and my life. When I was a child, my world was all about my mother. If she was happy, my day went all right. When she wasn’t happy, I was miserable. My life was like a planet that revolved around her as my sun, and somewhere deep down I hated her for it. Brave On

Brave On

The Things We Do Not Speak Of

She’s still alive, and I pause to write more about the things my mother did, because you may think I’m not a nice person. After all, we love our mothers, right? Even when our mother’s are monster’s, we pause and hold it all in so that people will not blame us or think we are the “bad guy”. Yet, truth is truth and sometimes for the telling, it can change things for the better. Brave On

Mommy the Monster

What kind of person drugs their own grand children with cough syrup when they’re not sick, so they will lay down and take a nap? An abuser. What kind of person injects their dog with drugs (that cause it to suffer horribly) because they are tired of taking care of an old dog and don’t care enough about that dog to take it to a vet? A narcissist. What kind of person tells their own child that they would “be so pretty if they just lost weighBrave Ont”? A monster. Welcome to my world. Brave On

Mother Says I’m a Liar and a Thief

Back when I was still kissing her ass and I went to her house to see her, she announced she had painted me something. My heart leaped, even though my head told me not to do it again. Every time I trusted that perhaps she might be the mother I needed, she would let me down. She would say terrible things about me to my siblings and it would come back to me in the form of a dagger of disappointment. Brave On

Hell, I could go out of the room sometimes, and she would start talking about me like I wasn’t even there. The thing is, she never bothered to know me past childhood. She never took the time to know me as an adult, and all her perceptions were from when I was a mixed up little girl. Brave On

Trauma Score

Brave On

We have an ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score in mental health. It has a score of up to ten points. The questions are about childhood and trauma. To give you an idea of why I was a little mixed up, I will let you in on a secret. My ACE score is a 9. If you have a score of 4 on the ACE, you are 200 percent more likely to have mental health issues, substance abuse issues or physical health issues. Brave On

My score slated me at over four hundred percent more likely to get hooked on drugs or alcohol, have depression, anxiety or worse, or suffer with my physical health. Fleeing from my family mess at the age of 18 probably saved my life. I left behind alcoholic parents who fought when they drank. Memories of dad holding mom hostage in the bathroom, threatening to shoot her and then himself faded. I would be re-parented by adults in the military and elsewhere that helped me to heal.  Brave On

Military Bound

When I was eighteen, I ran to the military because it was the only refuge I had. Too dingy to figure out the college application, and with no support, the Army was the next best thing. Mother set it up and let a horny middle-aged divorcee take me for a weekend to make sure that I was under the weight requirements and out of her hair. Brave On

He stripped me naked, wrapped me in cellophane and turned HIS waterbed up on high for me to sweat out a few pounds. I narrowly escaped being raped and made it just under the 144 pound weight restriction, to become a military police officer in the Army. Brave On

Brave On

Hesitant Anticipation

Even though I was hesitant to believe her when she told me she had “made something for me”, the fact that she had given all my brother’s and sister’s something and left me out had me longing for her to bless me too. When I asked where this painting was, mother said we had to go get it. It made me nervous to go, but I drove her into Millington to a small restaurant where she led the way and I went in behind her. She had that smug look on her face that seemed like confidence but I think there was something else, like a personal satisfaction. Brave On

It’s Okay, It’s Just My Crazy Mother

As the door opened to the bustling little restaurant and the bell sounded our arrival, I was wide-eyed with curiosity. Why had she brought me here? There were booths that lined the walls on the left and right. The kitchen was only twenty feet or so back from the door in classic Michigan style. Mother walked to one of the booths and climbed up on the seat. The painting hanging in the booth was one of Jesus facing me. He sat at a table and was breaking bread for communion. Brave On 

Brave On

“What Are You Doing?”

She took the painting down and turned toward me smiling, without saying a word to anyone in that restaurant. She used her eyes to point me back toward the door and in a few moments we were back in my car. “What are you doing”, I asked puzzled and aghast that she would just walk into a place and take something off the wall without asking anyone. “It’s okay, they know me”, she blew me off and I knew better than to ask anything more. Brave On

Brave OnDisappointed Again

The painting stayed in my car and I took it home. When I got there and carried it in the house, the inside of the frame had black permanent marker written on the canvas,

“Dear ones, the Lord…”

That’s where I stopped reading and my arms sank with the huge frame still in my hands until it rested on the floor. She had not painted this fricking Jesus painting for me, but had intended to sell it in the restaurant. When she had decided she no longer wanted it in there for whatever reason, she had used me to get it out of there. Brave On

No Deposit, No ReturnBrave On

Months later she called me trying to get it back from me under the guise that “she could do something better for me”. I decided that, because this is my mother’s best for me, that painting will stay with me as a reminder of who she is and will always be. She is a monster mother. I know, you may probably be struggling with me calling my own mother a monster. Brave On

A New Mommy

When life conditions us to revolve around someone else, religion sees us as perfect marks. My life went from revolving around my mother, to revolving around my husband and when I divorced, it revolved around religion. I dove deep into my Jesus fixation, and he was far better to me than my mother. I gave him everything and religion became my new monster mother. Brave On

Give Till It HurtsBrave On

My new religious mother demanded that I serve in every office of the church, every time the doors opened. I gave and poured finances and talents into her. She was a narcissist that didn’t see me as any more than a cog in the machine. Those who ran the machine were the important ones. It took me about seven years of servitude to the church, and much like Jacob in the Bible, I realized that I had married the wrong “sister”. It was then that I went out and eventually built my own Christian hierarchy where I could be considered a “servant leader”. Brave On

I Quit The Hierarchy

Just like my mother, when I left the church I was hesitant to speak ill of her. There were those that judged me, called me angry, a bad daughter. They said I was hurt and was striking out because of that. My second monster mother would never acknowledge that I left for valid reasons. She said that I was deceived and invalidated me. Yet gradually, I began to find a commonality with people that had experienced the same thing as I had. Brave On

My New Community

Brave On

Oddly enough, I had to return to the past in order to escape my monster mothers. When I was a child, I found God outside of church. God was in the woods where I often hid from my dysfunctional home. I would sit in a tree, sometimes for hours, watching the wind sing over the golden wheat in the fields. God was in everyday life, and in the moments where I took time to just listen to my heart. What I have found in that place has helped me to not need as much socialization as Christianity required. Now, I am thankful for the precious moments of fellowship I have when it comes. Brave On

Behind Me

My monster mothers are behind me now as life has taken on a simple and predictable balance. I now look positively forward to the future. My heart holds no animosity toward my mother or the institutional church. I find myself now reaching out for those who may have endured monster mothers or fathers to offer comfort and encouragement. You can grow beyond your upbringing. Freedom from the tyranny of religion is allowing the simplicity of loving God and others to reign in our lives. Welcome to the true family of God. Brave On

Available publications by PK Langley

PK Langley
PK Langley

PK’s Fine Art Store where you can find many of the Frustrated Grace Prints.


PK writes short stories about life. They are in the form of ebooks for $1.37 each. Get them here.


Religious Deconstruction, The Frustrated Grace Series is now available, with over two hundred comic images on Amazon. You can get a preview of every single one here.

All Things Equal,  is an exposition for women and how God

sees them from a very “biblical” point of view. It was what I needed in my first push toward deconstruction. If you are still in a church, and a woman, this is a great book to start. Get it here.


Deconstruction tools

LangleyTown has a specific page for materials that will help you with your deconstruction. Find them here.

PK Langley’s most Popular Blog Posts!

I Quit Church And I’m Happy About It




God Made Me Gay


Straight Pride?




Check out, Paradigm shift to Spirit led living.

Read, “When the Good News Goes Bad” by clicking here.

Social Connections

You can find me on Facebook at “PK Langley

Thank you for stopping by, I’d love to hear your comments!

"Raised fundy Catholic in the 50's and 60's.Never fit in; gender non-conforming and demanding answers ..."

Celebrating a 20 year Lesbian Marriage ..."
"Such a great story of love. Two people who love God, love one another and ..."

Celebrating a 20 year Lesbian Marriage ..."
"Fractal, Thanks so much. We are no longer involved in Christianity, though we call the ..."

Celebrating a 20 year Lesbian Marriage ..."
"Rou,After twenty years, I beg to differ. I think you are dead wrong, judgmental and ..."

Celebrating a 20 year Lesbian Marriage ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Hersh

    I find this both interesting and heartbreaking. I am sorry your mother was such a disappointment, I came from a family with two loving parents and I feel for anyone who misses out on that. A “loving mother” should be deemed an inalienable right. I am more saddened your experience with a church was so unfulfilling. I have viewed your Facebook page and there is much there I love, especially your personal cartoon that illustrates God cannot be contained in a book. I find you a delightful person with wonderful insight. Church can be good, but I learned long ago not to allow the church to wear you down. For that matter, don’t allow a family, a political party, or an animal rescue sanctuary to wear you down either. I wish you well. Continue to seek God and his kingdom, both of which reside in your heart.

  • Hersh, thanks so much. I don’t find it heart breaking for myself. I share stories in order to encourage others. I’m thankful that so many humans parented me when my natural parents did not. It helped me come to a place of true wholeness. So, please forgive me if it came across that way. I do appreciate the admonition as well to “continue to seek God and his kingdom”, but please let me suggest that if that kingdom resides and we have found that place, perhaps there is no need to seek? I find it more just living in relationship to my creator now. One that is varied and beautiful. I SO appreciate your comments Hersh, and your heart felt kindness. Thank you for reaching out. Here I am reaching back. All the best! PK