You’ve kept me closed indoors under surveillance for such a long time, under the guise of “protection,” that I now doubt my ability to survive outside on my own. If that’s what it takes for you to add members to your flock, if the only way you can keep your young at home is by clipping their wings, then goddamn, that’s desperation. Nevertheless, I’ve still managed to make a few observations.
You told me the world is full of uncaring, cold-hearted people, but I keep meeting lovely people. I suppose they’re all exceptions to the rule.
You said I’d find the working world full of minority lazy-ass (but you won’t say ass) drifters who take every opportunity to slack off, leaving the few honest, white hard workers like myself to cover for them, but I’ve found that my coworkers work as hard as I do, and sometimes I’m not the poster child for industrious labor. (And thirteen of our group of fifteen are white to boot.)
You assured me that everyone who disagrees with your political views is either lazy or on a mission to take away our freedoms, but you’re the ones with a lousy work ethic and the anti-choice protest signs stashed in the closet.
You said that thanks to my fine home education and the godly instruction of my parents and church authorities, I was well-prepared for anything life might throw at me, in fact, better prepared than my sad little public school counterparts, but now it seems they’re the ones who know how to do things, and I’m the one scrambling to catch up, fill the gaps.
You taught me that people who put their faith in other gods are dangerous and evil, and that atheists (despite having more faith than anybody) are sad, lonely people at heart, but you forgot the part where you make excuses for violent Christianity and avoid meaningful relationships yourselves.
You warned me about spurious organizations and Strangers who are only interested in exploiting me for my admittedly limited supply of money, but I’ve found that a little common sense goes a long way, and there are so many generous people–people who don’t necessarily have a lot of resources at their fingertips but think nothing of giving you a ride home when you’re stranded, buying you ice cream when you’ve had a long shift and you’re tired, people who’ll chip in to help cover your expenses in a pinch.
You’ve drilled into me that I can’t go anywhere, can’t do anything, can’t survive on my own–not that it’s forbidden, just that I cannot–but miraculously, armed with a GPS, the internet, and several libraries, I’m discovering that you’re incredibly wrong about my ability to do these big and frightening things by myself. I think I’ll get there.
You warned me that people out there are untrustworthy, but you’re the ones going through my personal belongings and searching my internet history. You’re the ones blacklisting my best friends.
You made sure I knew without a doubt how alone and unhappy I’ll be if ever I forsake the path you chose for me before I was born, but nothing has filled me with more despair and self-hatred than trying to walk this road for you.
You told me I am easily swayed from my principles and led astray, but you have no way of knowing how laughably untrue that is. After all, you’ve been trying to shake me from my sense of myself and the world as far back as I can remember, and though you may refuse to accept it, I’m still myself, for all your efforts.