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Foster Family , & spirituality


mscat
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I grew up in a foster family who was and still is very religious. They are good people, I will say that and it is the honest truth .

The problem is that I chose to go my own way , and now I am very much like the "black sheep in that family" I was very sheltered growin up. The religious community was very tight and rigid , but that was ok . I still did not ever feel like I fit in though , not even in the family who took me at the age of 3, never fit in , always different, and knew I was a " foster child" WHen we moved to anther state is when things really became worse for me. Now, the kids in the church acted as if I did not exist . No friends at the age of 11. That really was a difficult time. I hated going to church all the time , and it was very long every Sunday. To make things worse my foster mother was emotionally and verbally abusive , sometimes physically as well.

SO on the outside , people thought we were the perfect family. Upper middle class family who could go on caming trip water ski , snow ski and live on a lake.

It was far from perfect. I was far from perfect. things became worse and worse for me. I started to rebel , and got beaten for it. I was raped the first 2 months in high school and could not talk about it . It made me a mess.

Nothing was ever talked about in this family . commuication was seriously lacking. I could not talk about things either , I learned to internalize everything and believe what my foster mother would tell me.

This really shaped me and my spirituality as an adult. I call myself agnostic. THe family are still highly religious people , and good people , b ut I have nothing in common with them. Still an outsider. But it is easier to accept it as an adult because I have more room to be myself.

I still have major trust isuues , and do not like people who pretend to be something they are not.

My family still does not know all the things I do , which I think they probably would believe I was going to hell if they did , LOL . But, I do not live near them . ANd I choose to live my life the way I want to .

I just wish spirituality was not such a big deal in my family , or they coudl accept me for ME . ANd they cannot do that, even though I am 41 yrs old they are the most narrowminded people I know. ;)

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Guest GingerSnap

Oh, mscat: I wish I could make your past go away but unfortunately, I'm just not that powerful. Spirituality and religion as a whole have been abused. The two are not the same to me anyway. Spirituality to me is the "real" thing. It is the feeling of something greater than you existing like when you walk outside and see the miracles, the flowers, the bugs, the beautiful sky and you get a feeling of not being alone when physically, you appear to be alone. To me, it is like I am part of what is that greater than me thing that I feel. I am not Christian but believe in God and only follow the Golden Rule. Have you ever read any of the principles of "Buddha"? The Buddhists believe in God, not Buddha like you may have heard - God meaning also a greater power and they have so many beautiful and thought provoking writings. I just stopped in briefly today, have been very busy with life in general lately but doing well and I hope the same for you. Experience life, the good parts is my wish for you. Take care of you and yours, Cathy

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Hello mscat

I read your post with great interest. I seriously feel for you. I can hardly imagine what being raped is like so I can only say how sorry I am these things have happened to you.

I think your "going your own way" is an incredible strength. On the subject of "religion and spirituality" I agree with GingerSnap. I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and took it so seriously that I considered becoming a priest. The trouble is that most of the ideas are good but they get hijacked by control freaks and turned into a religion. Then it's more like a self-interested cult. On the subject of Christianity I often wonder what the scene would be like if the Pope and Jesus met in reality. That pretty well tells me all I need to know ;) I am an atheist and proud! And I am still happy to talk about God. But I am primarily an atheist because I am not talking about "their" God. I am talking about that spirituality that GingerSnap refers to.

And I know what it is like to be in the "perfect middle class family". It is all such a trap. You must tell the truth to be good but if you do tell the truth it is disloyal and you are a bad person. What a load of crap. And I understand your comment about your foster parents. I have a different take on my parents. I think they are dreadful people. But I only got there when I realised that I am not their judge. It took me a little longer than you have lived to discharge my repressed feelings and to "see the light" (metaphorically - to be clear about this :() Things are different for all people and I am not suggesting that your view should be any different but I want to tell you my view. I got to the point that after a lot of crying for the pain and distress that I had stored up over all those years I began to realise how wonderful I was. I had a daughter to help me because when I looked at her and imagined someone treating her like they treated me it made me cry so much. Then I began to see that my parents had treated me badly but because I was free of some of the pain I could see how they didn't know any better. They were trapped by their own fears and pain. They fought so hard in spite of their (warped) perception to do the best they could. I am only here, free, and able to be the liberated "me" because they gave me the freedom to trust myself and to dislike them. Paradoxical? Not really. They are good people but they didn't always do "the" best for me just the very best they could. It seems to me that it is one of the great traps we suffer that we love our parents but they hurt us. We can end up feeling responsible for their pain and carrying it around with us like a mill stone. The book of Job in the bible is a favourite of mine. Job ends up being very angry with God. The devil proposes that this is Job falling from grace but God sees this as Job staying true to himself and all his friends who wouldn't hear a bad word about God were sycophants and less worthy than Job.

I know I'm rambling a bit and I hope that's okay.

You say "I was far from perfect." I don't believe you. You sound very close to perfect to me. Even if you tell me to sod off.

Now for another thing relating to your point about them accepting you as YOU. I don't know how it all works but in my case both my parents are still alive. My mother (the volatile one) seems to have made progress and does accept me as me even if sometimes we fall out. My father is just a heap of rigid, authoritarian, judgemental, patterned behaviour. From where I stand I cannot see the human inside of him. All I see is an intransigent git. I suspect that will never change and the further I get away from the desire and hope that he might change the easier it is to deal with him. I fear some people simply cannot change. But I leave that in the hands of the Universe.

Just a thought. Have you read Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion". Check it out and see if it seems interesting to you.

And thanks for explaining how it is for you because it helps me to know I am okay too.

Wishing you well

Sam

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Thank you both Gingersnap and Sam ... I think I am more of a spiritual person as you have described , because I love nature and apreciate the beauty in all animals and life. I agree with you that religion is a whole different concept.

I learned from and early age that my foster family were frauds> menaing they only cared about what people thought of them and their own rreputation , especially my foster mother, my foster father is more down to earth. Thankfully is not so narrowminded and perfectionistic .

The trouble is that all of their own kids , I was the only foster child , is that all of them have grown up to be sucessful , independant adults with very rich , and meaningful lives. One is a Doctor , the sister N law a engineer , and anther a school teacher in music , the other followed in the fathers footsteps and became a insurance manager.

Me, well I am on full SSDI , raising an autistic child, had a baby out of wedlocck , which was something they all thought was a deadly sin , LOL . I raised him since he was born, not asking for any help from family at all.

They are Mormons , which are indeed good people, but some say it is much like a cult ... I am not into all of that myself. I am just me, disabled, and trying to cope with lifes everyday chalenges .

Since the first three yrs of my life was marred by severe childhood abuse I already had that strike against me. When very little , age 6 i "played doctor" with my little neighbor friend,, a girl my age. Well I was sent over to their house and was kicked and thrown accross the rm by her mother for leaving a scratch on her.

After that experience I NEVER trusted my foster mother again, she was the one who sent me over there, and new the parent was enraged.

I was constantly told i was bad , or made to feel that way growing up. Had no self esteem whatsoever, and discovered I could gain control by losing too much weight.

Then the rape occured , which messed me up even more. Their is much more to this story then that, but , I do no twant to say right now.

I like the Budda religion and it is always interested me. However, right now, religion was ruined for me at an early age by very mean foster parents who never took the time to understand me. I guess I was already a , "messed up " little girl which my foster mother did not like , NOT PERFECT> she could not save me.

I have nothing against religion at all , it just has left a bad impression on me from a early age . I do however, think spirituality is a powerful concept in which I can easily accept.

Cathy

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Guest GingerSnap

mscat: My mother didn't like me and it shows in the photos all the way back since I was like a year old. She is dead now. I see that there was nothing about me for her not to like, at least, that would make sense. No matter what I would have done or not, it would not have changed because the issue was inside her not me and I think you have the same situation. You are a good and worthy person and you always were and considering what you have went through and you are still standing....I mean, really, you're super! You are a great mother and are here giving support to others. You have a good heart and are loving. "Bad"? Poop-poop on that. You're AMAZING! I said so and frankly, you don't want to dispute it with me. So, there. Hugs from me and a big lick on the nose from my chow mix. Cathy

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Mscat,

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

I read a little and cried a little. And it so strange because I wanted to talk about parents and love tonight. Anyway, maybe you can glean a little something from what I have to say.

I have thought about parents and love a lot and trying to be what/the way my mother thought I should be or wanted. She's gone on now, but on her death bed, I asked her why she never loved me. She wasn't surprised, and she just smiled and said

that you were the one that I prepared for
. I had told her often that she didn't love me, while growing up. She never said anything at those times, just seemed to get madder at whatever was taking place. Anyway, I've thought about that since then, many, many times and came to the conclusion -- maybe in her own way, but not like I needed or wanted to desired to feel the comfort of someone's love. I said that to say this: some people, many people/parent don't know how to love. Sometimes, I think they give bit better (not much) than what they experienced. Even, like I called myself loving my child. She says that she knows that I love her. (I ask sometimes because I still crave love and want her to know that I did love her, while raising her.) It was not so much the giving of things, but time -- taking her places and just spending time with her talking and listening to her. Everyday when I came from work, when she was young and in grade school, she wanted to talk. To tell me about what when on that day. I gave her a clock and said 15 minutes. I'd pull off my clothes and get in the bed, and she would get at the foot of the bed, and started talking. I did those things to show that I was there for her. My mother never did that and I could not even talk to her. Just different things happened. When I was in high school, my mother had a next door neighbor, her age, who would tell me to come over to her house. She talked and let me talk. She would prepare these dinners, using the most elegant silverware (silver and gold), and different things. She had boys, and I became her girl. My mother didn't seem to care, but seemed glad or satisfied that I was with her. She would tell people (my mother) that I was a bit much -- strongheaded was a word that she used.

Later, I talked with my psychiatrist about my mother. He talked about slavery, when and if you showed love of your child, your child would be sold.

Now, I realize that you come for a different background and everything, but it is something still in the period of the way humans thought and acted that could possible have a tinge effect about the parents who raised you. Maybe? Who knows? But I do think it is a wonderful thing that you are trying to understand your childhood enviornment -- the cause and effect, perhaps. And I believe with all your searching you will get an understanding. And I say this now because I see some of your searches into the depths.

7.Proverbs 19:8

He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.

6.Proverbs 16:16

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Best heartfelt wishes,

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mscat: My mother didn't like me and it shows in the photos all the way back since I was like a year old. She is dead now. I see that there was nothing about me for her not to like, at least, that would make sense. No matter what I would have done or not, it would not have changed because the issue was inside her not me and I think you have the same situation. You are a good and worthy person and you always were and considering what you have went through and you are still standing....I mean, really, you're super! You are a great mother and are here giving support to others. You have a good heart and are loving. "Bad"? Poop-poop on that. You're AMAZING! I said so and frankly, you don't want to dispute it with me. So, there. Hugs from me and a big lick on the nose from my chow mix. Cathy

Gingersnap ,

it does seem correct that our mothers were the same, as they treated us badly for no reason at all. OMG, how could any adult treat a young child badly I still become highly upset when I see a parent smacking their child. IMO, their is no excuse for it.

When my son was small he did get a swat on the butt sometimes , but never to hurt him. just to get his attention .

Thank you so much for your kind words. I think u are pretty wonderful too. Thinks for the big lick on the face from your chow mix, doggie kissess are the best. My yorkie would loves giving doggie kissess to everybody .SO does my Tzu , but she is more laid back , miely gives me kisses all the time, and it is fun when both of them decide I need to have doggie kissess all at the same time. :)

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You are corrcet , mormons believe that God, Jesus , and the Holy ghost are 3 separate beings.

I am not a practicing mormon , Jetliner, a lot of what I was told, I have forgotten until their is a spark of memory ... LOL . A lot of people believe that mormorms are a cult religion, I do not know about that either. I do know that I am not one of them. AND it is difficult once the mormons have your name in their church to get them out of your hair ... Those darn missionaries are always trying to knock on my door. I run and hide , :) YUCK .

I do not care that my foster family wants to believe in the mormon crap , it is just made a impact on me as a child who never had a choice in the matter. Now I do and I am free , YAY.

Still , more agnostic then anything else . ANd at least I understand what that menas far easier then the mormon doctorine which is confusing to me at times , + too many rules for a free spirit like me. :)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Jetliner, Mscat and Everyone,

I am somewhat concerned about a number of statements that have been made, in a well intentioned way, but that can be easily misinterpreted and found to be hurtful. For example:

1. Taking "False comfort" in organized religion:

There are many people who are committed to their organized religion. They take great comfort from that. Comfort is comfort. There is no such thing as "false comfort." Not all of us question or even want to question. I question but, I have an older brother who does not question at all. In fact, the comfort he derives from his faith (Faith) is huge.

2. "Mormons" are not Christians and Mormon belief is "crap."

Please, everyone, we must be aware that their are many people who hold diverse beliefs. Some are atheistic and others are everything else under the sun. We must work hard to be accepting of diversity and aware of the fact that other people are sensitive about their beliefs. If a Mormon considers him or herself to be Christian who are we to question that?

I know that all of you mean well. I know all the people whoa are participating in this forum and I know that none of you want to cause hurt. When you write about your beliefs, please be a little careful about the fact that others can become easily offended.

Thanks,

Allan:)

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Hi Jetline

On the subject of #2, how's this then? I have white skin; but I consider myself black. Now, who are you to question that? See? There's no offense there; not even splitting hairs; just plain hard facts. If I want to say that I'm black, all I need to do is look in the mirror to see that I'm not. Is it not better to learn the truth than to live a lie?

I read what you were saying and thought about it for sometime before I deceived to say anything. Basically, your perception of things are a bit off.

  • 1. about religion

whether you believe or not religion and people's beliefs have been around since the beginning of time. The facts are in history, and there are books that go with various doctrine. Christianity, Morman, Islamic and other religions have been around a long time and to say that they are crap is blasphemous to them.

  • 2. your perception about having white or black skin and being black or white.

the truth about this is whether your mother told you the truth about your father, black or white. ie. if she didn't tell you that your father was Black, looking in the mirror is not always, what tells a person whether they are Black or white. The truth is there are Black folks that look white/caucasian. You would not know unless they told you what heritage they were.

None of what I say is to offend or insite you to outrage. The truth backed up with facts.

I understand your beliefs are your beliefs. However, unless there are facts/ truths to back them up, they are not believable.

Sorry, but I think you should know what someone else thinks of what you write.

Thank you,

No harm, no fowl because maybe you just don't know.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi John,

The error that I believe you are making (my opinion) is that you are assuming everyone thinks and feels the same. People take comfort in lots of things. If they find out later that they were manipulated, they may feel angry or disappointed but it does not change the fact that they felt that comfort. With regard to faith, there are myriad of people worldwide who have faith in their religion with not questioning at all. You and I may find that difficult to comprehend but it is, nevertheless, true.

As to taking offense at something we write here, please remember that our intentions, when writing, might be and often are, completely misunderstood. Religion is such a very personal issue and such a hot ticked item, that people are quickly and easily offended regardless of our true intentions. I do not advocate censoring ourselves but just writing with the awareness that there are others reading whose feelings are important. We can never guarantee others won't be offended. In fact, some people get offended regardless. Well, we cannot help that but we can strive for some sensitivity.

Your thoughts?

and those of others?

Allan:)

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I was the one who said mormon religion was "crap" I am sorry . I was raised as a mormon, my whole foster family and parents are LDS , and I see how and what is the most important to them. AND it is all about looks , and wealth. Family is important them , yet my foster mother had no problem treating me with abuse , verbal , emotional , which scared me badly.

coming from a biological family that was already extreme abuse and were separated at the age of 3yrs old , all my siblings ... everone gone. Then placed into mormon families only to have conintued absue occur.

They only care about wealth , and their reputatation. NOT all mormons are like that , but How I was raised it was like that. My foster parents only hung around the crowd of people who meant something ... Then badmouthed those less fortunate then them .

Yes, they had money , and on the outside looked liked a perfect family , when their were very serious problems going on withing the household.

I HAD to leave that environment in order to find who I truely was , and still struggle with this in terms of disociation.

I had to leave that family and into a few mental hospitals for 2 yrs , and a group home, in order to separate from all this chaos .

no problem with religion , or spirituality for others who strongly believe. I am agnostic , but do not judge others for their own beliefs .

Jetliner, I can see where you are coming from . I mean no harm in this post , it was just something that I am still struggling with persnally .

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Guest GingerSnap

To claim to be faithful or Christian or anything else means nothing. God measures us by our actions. You either know God or you don't. He is in your heart or he is not. To me that feeling of something so much greater of which you can feel a part of is God, his warmth. Religion is nothing more these days than for the most part a mask to hide the emptiness that lies in the heart and/or a social statement. So, mscat, the problem there in the foster family was that they did not know God, were not of God and well, I am glad not to be them. Hugs and a big, sloppy kiss from Rinnie the Pup

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