I saw the face of God, he showed me how to live, I threw it back at him
– Face of God, The Drums
I am now an atheist.
I think I “decided” while I was working as a trainee teacher in a Catholic school, that I could try to be agnostic, because I couldn’t quite give up on God. However, it was eventually white people who took my faith away from me, which is ironic because it was supposedly white people who gave us their Christian God in the first place when they enslaved us.
I’ve started to remember some memories from my childhood, which I’ve begun to talk through with my partner and I’ve been coming to terms with the notion, that I may have been groomed by my father’s father. This is something that I knew for a fact my mother knew, because she would explain to me the lengths she would go to, in order to keep me away from him, yet when I came to talk to her about what happened to me, she didn’t believe me?
Does that make sense to you?
No me neither.
Which was also another nail in the coffin for my faith.
I used to feel so guilty for feeling this way about God, until I realised: why should I? If he does exist, HE DID THIS TO ME, HE LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME. And then I was caught up in this endless loop of wanting to let go, but in order to do that, I had to forgive myself for feeling like this, but I’m the child, I’m the victim in all this. So therefore, there is no God.
As a child, my mother would also reprimand me for sitting with my legs open, around men, which I would do absentmindedly as a tomboy. She wasn’t the only woman in my family to do this. She was however, the only one to say that not only was it unladylike, but also that I was tempting my father.
With sex, it was bad enough that it was dirty for me because of what had happened to me, but Christianity also seemed to soil it all the more.
Plus I only knew sex in terms of abuse from the environment I’d grown up in, and that was it.
Nobody taught me about love.
Nobody taught me that sex could be loving, consenting even!
And with my career, those people also used religion to make me feel inferior, just like my mother did. It didn’t need to be words, I just naively thought that as a disabled person, struggling with my faith anyway, I would be safe with Christians.
But now that I reflect, I do recall my Head of Department saying this to me when I joined the team. So there you go. I expected love, and got hate. When I do the sums in my head, even out in the world, the majority of the people who claim to love the hardest, have the darkest of hearts and also claim to be disciples of Christ.
When I was first put on suspension, The Keepers (2017) came up on my things to watch on Netflix. It’s a shocking story. I’ve had my issues with the Catholic church long before I could form opinions, but this is really something else.
These men abused their authority, in the name of religion to abuse these girls. The crimes they committed were so HORRIFIC the girls were forced to repress the memories of the abuse.
Justice has never been served.
Now I want to talk about abuse and race.
Let’s return to what my mother said about tempting my father….
R Kelly has not so recently been in the media for holding young, black women in a cult and abusing them, and the comments from people of colour – in particular, have been SHOCKING. Some have responded that it was their (victims) time because they’d hit puberty early, that they therefore tempted him and he had no choice in his actions. We as people of colour all know, that this is not the first time – he has a problem, but we make up excuses for him.
My mother reprimanding me on my body language, was this what she was implying?
I recently read an article Oprah shared on Twitter, and MANY women of colour, including people I know, have the same opinion that within our culture, we are very compliant when it comes to child abuse. The article went for the angle of victim blaming, which I agree with, but on the other hand I have to bring religion into it, because instead of doing something about it, we stand back and say “well let God deal with him” which is exactly what my mother did.
I ended up getting into a dispute with a white girl on a thread on Twitter about this article; she felt it was #rude to make this about colour.
I felt it was #rude to not make this about colour. Why do white people have to make everything about them? She called Oprah out on sharing the article in the first place, because white women follow her and therefore it wasn’t appropriate!!!!!!!!!!!! This girl even had the audacity to say that white women should be able to date black men and not have to know about their culture, which really pissed me off, because she was pretty much telling much telling me that she should be able to fuck black men and deal with their culture. This comment was part of her “apology”, after I had shared part of my story of the blame culture in black culture specifically, which is what the article was directing its argument at. You can read it here.
Anyway, I’m shaking that girl out, like the kinks in my weave.
Back to my abuse; In the end, both of my father’s parents died of cancer, and my mother honestly believed those deaths to be God’s justice for what they had done to us. And for what they did to me, her child. Instead of going to the police, she blamed me and “waited for God’s justice”.
And where is my father now, while we wait for that justice?
While I struggle with my mental health, and my mother has now lost her child?
And that is why I am an atheist. Because a little girl who deserved justice, had it stolen away from her by the people who should’ve been protecting her, using the name of a God that doesn’t exist.
And which is why I am now using my experiences, and also studying and MSc in Mental Health and Psychology, because in some way or another, I am going to help children who were once like me who needed the help and justice that I didn’t get. We don’t need any more fucked adults in this world do we?