My story is not that different from most. Born to a devout Catholic family in 1980. But, I was born deaf.
Clearly my parents did something to deserve me as a child, as far as their god was concerned. There was a trio of nuns that would visit weekly and pray for me. When I turned 2, medical science was a tad more advanced, and the doctors said I was no longer completely deaf, just hard of hearing.
Well, didn’t that become such a cause for celebration. My parents church, the nuns, everyone was amazed! Their god saved my hearing! A miracle!!! I wasn’t ‘condemned’ after all.
Yeah, well…then came Catholic school which was not prepared for a hearing impaired kid in the 80’s. I spent my school years sitting with the trees, away from my bullies and rude adults. Going to church sucked, I could not sing, could not hear the rythym of the hymns. My only friends were the ravens that would visit me. Weight gain came on quickly, and again the nuns were asked to pray for me.
Can not tell how many times I have sat with clergy, asking for answers and getting none. I was 11 when I took my stand and said no more church, or prayers. Enough.
My personal stand did not go well, but eventually I was excused from it all. I became the daughter that did not exist. The other 3 sisters were ‘perfect’, and I was allowed to ‘do my own thing as long as I didn’t tell anyone my last name’.
This served me well, until my mother passed. Suddenly I had to make appearances again. Questions asked, judgements formed. Thor’s hammer around my neck was offensive, so on and so forth. People started praying for me again. My spirituality became a battleground, again.
Except, this time around, I have Odin, Thor and Loki helping. I am not alone. I am not quiet. I am outspoken. I have told the relatives to stop praying for me. I have severed ties and continue to do so. It is slightly painful, a sister who I thought always understood me, has betrayed me. This betrayal has thrown off my game, slightly. But I will stand strong. Who needs blood family when their loyalty is only there if you play by their rules.
And so, moving forward. I will create the family I desire. I will be held back no longer. I will rid the years of shame and guilt I was fed by those who raised me.
I, am finally, FREE.