I grew up in Utah when I was a wee lad and wasn’t allowed to hang out with any of the other kids because my family wasn’t mormon. Eventually a JW and a Catholic moved into the area and I had two friends but that’s a different story.
The issue is the feeling that you’re not welcome, you feel less than human or unworthy of affection from others. This is how the children in Utah operate beneath the surface and it’s saddening. Either you’re a part of the group or you most definitely aren’t and everyone lets you know it and sadly the children are simply mirroring the behaviors their parents teach them.
Why am I bitching about this? My therapist is busy and I have access to the internet…
Seriously though, I had a conversation with a coworker about her daughter. This coworker and I often discuss religion because we’re very different in that regard and I truly believe she is trying to understand other peoples’ perspectives, so I respect that. However, this conversation was about how her daughter didn’t want to go to church with them and felt strongly that she didn’t believe in their religion. The mormon religion doesn’t take kindly to defectors, much like scientology it seems (thanks Leah Remini). There are a lot of similarities there too, yet again, for another day.
Free will means they should let her choose, right?
Her daughter’s choices were to either attend seminary school every day (our highschools have mormon churches on campus, it’s weird) or go to church on Sundays, and she still had to wake up and study scriptures with them every morning and pray with them.
I’m not a child psychologist (surprise) but I have felt ostracized by this community and I told her that I felt like this was in a way going to make her daughter feel like she wasn’t living up to her expectations and will create a divide between her and the family without a doubt.
Turns out that this is already the case.
She admitted that her daughter has been having some self-esteem issues, has been acting out and has been keeping things from her. I asked her if she thinks it is possible for her daughter to trust her own parent, with whom she doesn’t feel worthy of being around, with anything… anything at all?
It’s sad that I had to say this but I told her that she should just love her daughter, treat her like she is capable of making decisions and that she will love her no matter what… only then will she be able to have a relationship with her own daughter. I’ve been in a similar situation and it worked for me, so… of course it works for everyone, right?
Anyway, is this child abuse? Possibly, like I said, I’m no expert but in my opinion yes. I just know that if I had felt the same kind of aggression I felt at school and in the community as a child when I lived at home, I wouldn’t have been long for this world.