Sunday, August 9, 2009

Religion and R.A.D. A possibly combustible mixture.

Dear All,

**This post is not meant to offend ANYONE. These are simply my thoughts. Religion is special for each person that it touches. While I don't hold a particular religious belief, It's not my intention to offend anyone of any particular religious interest! I respect everyone's religious background!**

Many of the forums that I have spoken with are "Faith based" forums and I have to tell you R.A.D. and religion don't mix well. I am not a particularly religious person (in fact organized religion in my mind is ridiculous to the point of absurdity).

I remember in a previous post at the age of 12 I thought I was the devil himself. Today, I realize why I believed this. I was TAUGHT that I was the devil. Every Sunday I listened to how I can't have sex before marriage, masturbation was a sin. In fact, almost everything was a sin in my mind.

The precedent had been set.

Many, many R.A.D kids and R.A.D. adults have been cast into a world of both abuse and horror that many people will never completely grasp. We have been the abusers, we have been abused, and for many of us, those horrible memories linger in the back of our minds, ready to strike when the time is right. Religion is a major player in the R.A.D. puzzle in my mind (I'm not a professional, just a R.A.D. survivor).

My parents took me to church because I guess they thought raising me in a Catholic home was a good thing. I can't blame them as they are very religious people. What they and I failed to realize was that everything those pious priests spoke against, I was already knee deep in. As a child, the message I took from religion was that sleeping with a school teacher meant instant hell for me. For a confused, angry child, religion can be an incendiary combination. No, I wasn't the devil, but the "devil" was in my life because of the acts that I engaged in before I understood the context of them. That only scared me.

I see bloggers that are DEEPLY religious going so far as quoting bible passages and I wonder what are their R.A.D. kids taking away from those messages? "Because I had sex when I was 9, I am going to hell?". As a R.A.D. survivor, I can tell you first hand I thought I was the devil because of the basic teachings trying to "save" me from a lifestyle that I had engaged in both freely and against my will. I can understand now why that association formed. Hell and brimstone.

Many R.A.D. kids have already had sex. Many R.A.D. kids and adults have killed. Many R.A.D. Kids and R.A.D. adults have abused. How children process something they don't understand by listening to terrifying stories of hell, the devil and damnation could very well only be making the child feel even worse and setting a precedence:

If I am already going to hell, why stop now? For years, I didn't stop, I only got worse. I was already dead and hell was the only place I was going. Why improve my life?

That's how, 27 years later I came to understand why I felt like the devil. when I was a child, night after night I would slice open an arm to see if I was bleeding, or if I was devoid of human blood and spirit. We have religion and it's absurdity partially to blame for that precedence. The messages that R.A.D kids take away from organized religion can be the exact opposite of what you want them to take away from it.

I say this to all highly religious parents and bloggers out there.

Be VERY careful with what your R.A.D. child takes away from religion and it's teachings. If not, they may very well be taking away a message that they are already doomed.

1 comment:

Thandi said...

Very true.Abused religion is the cause of many problems-from unnecessary guilt to terrorism.If one is religious, the message they should be driving home is one of 'redemption' and forgiveness.ESPECIALLY for RAD, FASD etc sufferers.It's one thing to shame unaffected people, but another to cause psychological harm to an already harmed child.