My favorite radio station, K-Love recently had a poll in response to as study that showed most people believe later in life what they believed when they were 13. They asked people to call in and share their experiences. Well, I could not get through on the phone, and even if I could have, it would have taken a very long time for me to give my side of the story. So, here I am, explaining why I am not like most people, and how many if my beliefs have changed since then.
By the time I was 13, I had already lived in 2 different states, 5 different homes, and attended 6 different schools. I had learned English from television, and my parents and I were living in a country far from where they were raised. The language we spoke at home was not spoken anywhere within miles of our home. None of our neighbors even knew our religion existed!
Fair to say, my beliefs may not have matched the beliefs of many other 13-year-olds. My experiences were very different. There is one that I must confess did not change, and I wish it had. I was raised to always sleep facing the bedroom door because it was much safer to be able to see if someone came in than looking in some other direction. Amazingly, over 50 years later … I find that I am still most comfortable in bed if I am facing the door. I haven’t gotten rid of that one!
Here’s a list of those beliefs that did change:
- If I tried hard enough and was good enough, then both my parents and God would love me more.
- I had not done enough nor had been good enough for that love I so wanted.
- The church was filled with people who were better than the people on the outside.
- The only way to get teachers to like me was to behave in class and get good grades.
- The only way to get my classmates to like me was to be funny and misbehave in class.
- I had earned and deserved every bad thing that ever happened to me.
- I did not deserve to have anything really good happen for me or to me.
- The itinerant life was going to be the only one I would ever have.
- I would not be able to trust anyone, and would never have any close friends.
- If anyone knew my deepest, darkest secrets … they would totally reject me.
- I could never, never take off my mask. I had to hide behind it.
As you can see, there was a lot of fear back then. It’s not all gone, there are still some things I fear.
I leave it to you to decide if they changed for the better or worse.