Cereal Killers – Adventures in Recovery

Cereal Killers – Adventures in Recovery April 14, 2012

by Calulu

Sometimes you really have to measure just how far you’ve come on your journey out of harmful theology. It’s another part of your recovery, looking at how you handled a situation and then thinking back upon how this would have played out in your days of yore. Measure the difference and see where you instinctively line up now.

This week brought another opportunity to do just that. We have ants.

Here in the Virginia Piedmont it’s Spring. Glorious Spring. Beautiful Spring. Yards filled with gracefully blooming daffodils and crocus, shoots of emerald green grass emerging from the red clay earth. Birds singing, trees leafing out, all that jazz. Spring here also means ants, lots and lots of ants if you live in a rural area and haven’t sprayed recently. I always say I know it’s really Spring and we’ll not have any more hard freezes when the ants emerge.

Every year it’s the same. The ants awaken and make their presence known. I rush out and get fresh ant spray to spray the foundation of the house. I put ant poison in the yard and line up ant bait in the house. The ants go elsewhere or die within a few days. The rest of the year save those few days in Spring are relatively ant-free.

My darling husband fixed his breakfast a few mornings ago, pouring a big bowl of sugar frosted something or other cereal, poured on the milk and saw ants floating in the milk. He never tightly closes the cereal so when we get our Spring allotment of ant activity they immediately infest his Sugar Snaps until I spray the house once.

Outraged my darling was, scowling and frowning, showing me the bowl and complaining he might have eaten a few ants. He was upset. I looked at the bowl, looked at him and laughed before telling him that it was okay, the ants would just add a little needed protein to his breakfast. Plus they are organic.

But back in my old submitting like crazy fundamentalist days I would have apologized, whipped that bowl from his hands, washed it, sterilized it, rushed to the store to get fresh cereal, apologized again for not being a proper enough wife to keep ants out of his cereal and served him a fresh bowl. And I would have done it meekly and humbly.

Now? My attitude is if you’re going to allow a few ants to pee on your mood then you have bigger issues than a few ants.

Discuss this post on the NLQ forum. Comments are also open below.

Read all Adventures in Recovery – Sex Confessions ~ Cult of Personality ~Cereal Killers ~ Thirty One ~ The Piano ~ Barbie’s Head ~ Scaredy Cats ~ The Help ~ The Kids ~ Service Somebody ~ Circus ~ Fish ~ Boo! ~ Hi Ho Trigger ~ Surfing ~ SOS ~ The Big Truth ~ Pearl Clutching ~ Rolling ~ Can’t Dance ~

Calulu lives near Washington DC, was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blog is Calulu – Roadkill on the Internet Superhighway

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • shadowspring

    Laughing with you, Calulu. I will never think of ants the same way again. Next time I see one of the little guys, I will smile at how their presence in your house this spring served as a milestone of healing for you.

    The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah….

  • Lynn

    Ha, ha. No way, if you were REALLy submissive, the poor man would have had a hot, 4 course breakfast in the first place, not cold cereal. I always love what my wonderful grandma used to tell my dear grandpa: “If you want a hot breakfast, go get yourself a match and light your Post Toasties on fire!”

  • Calulu

    Neither of us were very good at fundamentalism. He still wanted his sugary kids cereal instead of that four course breakfast and I’d let him have his Capt Crunch. We sucked LOL.

  • africaturtle

    🙂 cute story…i can relate all too well…

  • Liz

    Cute, but I’m thinkIng it’s not necessarily
    godly to dismiss his feelings either. I’d be so thoroughly grossed out by that and if my husband minimized that and in effect told me I was wrong to be grossed out I’d be kind of hurt. I guess I’ve been thinking how we should all serve each other and submit to each other but it’s not just the one way street of female to make submission. And at the same time you can’t force the other person to submit to you but you can choose the more Godly response for yourself. If I hadn’t eaten yet, I’d suggest it would be a good day to go out for breakfast. And I’d invest in one of those Tupperware boxes for cereal.

  • I really don’t think laughing at the guy’s upset is dismissing his feelings– merely helping him to put them in perspective.

    I love this post because it points out so clearly one of the chief problems with the husband-authority/wife-subordinate form of marriage: its dysfunctional shifting of adult responsibility. The husband is the one who likes this cereal; he eats it; he opens and closes the box. Under the husband-authority paradigm, it is nevertheless the wife’s responsibility that the box gets closed properly such that the ants don’t get in. She has to constantly be checking up on him, following up on his actions as if he were a child. She has to be upset that he didn’t look at his cereal before pouring it (or even before taking a spoonful!), so that he didn’t notice the ants.

    While being fed the lie that all responsibility in the home is the husband’s, the wife assumes responsibility for her husband so that he is absolved from being a functioning adult in the realm of eating breakfast.

    Isn’t it wonderful and refreshing, as an ex-fundamentalist wife, to be able to place the responsibility for eating those ants squarely on the shoulders of the person who actually was careless enough to eat them?

  • Madamoyzelle

    godly? How about personal responsibility being assumed by the man? I wouldn’t pander to a man who’s behaving like a 3 year-old girl, either.

    Also, compared to cockroaches, ants are no big thing.

  • Sophie

    ants are some of the cleanest creatures around. I wouldn’t worry about the hygiene aspect if I had them marching around my kitchen, cos they are a hell of a lot more cleaner than the family dog, probably more so than the average human.