The Memorial and the Speech

Sorry for the wait, I got majorly busy last week. I got a job though! Yay!

And it’s high paying too, at least for a non professional worker. Though at this point, I really am a profession, they just don’t give certificates in nanny and babysitter–well, I think they do, but how many people really bother to get them? (Maybe I should though…)

And some of you who read my recent posts may be wondering how my Grandmother’s memorial went.

Well the answer is, actually, very well, all things considered.

It was odd hearing stories from her sons and step kids, and granddaughter, and realizing I’d heard most of them from her personally. I’ve seldom had that experience at a memorial, I usually hardly know the person in question…which is less sad for me, but can feel like a waste too.

The weird highlight of the day was my Dad’s speech.

Yeah, brace yourself. This is just my crazy family.

My dad was glaring at me most of the time leading up to the actual service. My friend came with me, and he didn’t seem to dare to approach, and I walked away any time he got close. I think mostly, he just did it to reject me, and tried to make a sad face. The result was more of a sullen one, but he never knows how it looks.

I ignored him, and no one else took much notice of it. I’m sure he talked crap about me to whoever would waste time listening to it, but I didn’t hear any of it. I only know because I know him too well.

Anyway, so when he got up to speak, I thought “Why…oh.” and I knew exactly what was coming. I thought “He’s going to put some message directed at me in his speech.” And then I thought “But, at a funeral? And when it’s about Grammy?” Deep down, I knew though.

And I swear to you all, I am not making this up for dramatic affect, my friend has never met my dad before, and she told me he was looking right at me a lot of the time. And she could tell it was directed at me. My mom could too.

My dad chose 1 Corinthians 13 as his text for the speech, not that it was necessary, we weren’t preaching sermons. As soon as she said that, I knew what I was in for. I grabbed my phone and kept my eyes on that.

“I’m not given him the satisfaction of seeing me make eye constantly,” I thought. When I looked up, I made sure to look at the wall or my mom or friend I did steal a few glances at the others but I couldn’t’ tell if anyone else know what was up, but my aunt probably did. He maybe even talked the idea over with her!

Anyway, this was what he said, in a paraphrased nutshell:

Reference himself, he said there was a time when he didn’t speak to his parents for 2 years because he thought he hated them, or they hated him (or both, I don’t remember, it doesn’t matter).

Then he said a lot of stuff about love (1 Cor 13 is about love, if you don’t read the Bible). Dwelling on where it says love suffers long, is kind, keeps no record of wrongs, and all the other stuff about love and forgiveness.

He said my grandmother was a very forgiving person (which is true)

And that she was very loving (also true)

But the way he said it all, I had heard those phrases directed at me many times, always to wound. And I knew the tone he used was the one where he tries to sound holy and profound… but it’s really just begging for sympathy.

My chiropractor, who know my dad, told me he’d come in months ago, after I started coming, and had displayed behavior that indicated he’d had no change of heart. If I go into specifics, it would be too disturbing for many readers.

I wasn’t surprised.

But this speech sealed the deal. I already knew nothing has changed, but I really thought, my aunt will have nothing to say to me after this. If she even tries to tell me he’s different, I can point to this incident.

At a memorial!!!

My friend was disgusted, and she’s a much less judgmental person than I am. I warned her though.

Yeah… really, I was just glad he didn’t say it to my face… then again, if it was too my face, I could have told him off. Doing it this way was sure to guarantee I couldn’t’ call him out on it, he can deny it. No one would believe that who knows him well, but he could still claim it.

While it was less uncomfortable for me, since I knew, at least not everyone there would know it was aimed at me, it was underhanded and petty on his part.

It’s also impressively conniving. I mean, once you renounce any sense of decency about respecting the dead, it’s genius isn’t it? Perfect security plan.

Ugh….

Well, I endured.

It’s okay, when I Write my book about all this, everyone will know the truth. My friends say I should write a book, I’m sure I will… I just haven’t decided quite what I want to say yet. I mean, I can tell my story, but I want to know how God is going to get me out of it, even more than now, before I try to tell people about it. a blog is one thing, you can update it, but a book is just out there, unchanging, unless you re-release it…so it would be wise to be sure I was saying the right thing before I write one.

But maybe I will soon. I’m sure some people would be interested in the story.

I’m not about revenge, but it would be a real relief to set the record straight… and can you imagine the look on my dad’s face if he read it? Ha! Priceless.

I would definitely not name any names, just to avoid humiliating him… though that would, of course, not be something he would do for me. But I’m not that low, you know.

Well, that’s a subject for another time.

I guess the profudn tpoi o fhtis post could just be: What do you do when your toxic family just refuses to stop being toxic?

Well, you can two things (that aren’t unhelaty)

You can ignore it, learn to not mind it, by growing more and more apart from them, and forming bonds with healthy people who really love you. And not being around said family anymore than you absolutely have to be. In my case, they were all civil except for my dad. Who is probably just pissed that I didn’t care about his temper tantrum.

The other thing, which is what I had any writer and artist do, is use it all as fuel for the fire.

Difficult experiences are what turn your writing, (or art) from good to great. If it’s possible for you to achieve greatness, it is usually through pain or toil. My writing got exponentially better during the period of darkness following my dad’s exeunt form my life. It was hard, but I faced more gloom and doom than ever before, and coming out on top, I learned from it.

Even this blog changed. I never used to lie to share my personal business, I was ashamed of the situation, I knew it wasn’t right, but I though I could never complain. My blog had pretty doubled in size since I started sharing personal stuff. More of you comment, more of you like and share. And not that I do it for that, but I think it shows people connect to what I say more.

My blog has more of a theme than it used to.

And I have become a kinder person through all this. And more stable, as odd as that sounds.

I also have become a little craftier. I know how to get around a difficult situation. My dad may be petty, and childish, and psychotic at times…but I know how to prevent him from doing much real damage.

Folks, you have to get crafty sometimes.

Jesus told us to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” That should be a Bible Study series, I’ve yet to hear it preached on though, we don’t like being told to be wise and shrewd do we?

But we must be. If we wish to navigate this dangerous world we live in. Some risks cannot be avoided, but they shold be the smart risks, the ones done for the right reason.

My dad is smart, unfortunately, it would be easier for us if he wasn’t. But I am smarter. And God is on my side in all this, so, there’s always a away.

And if you’re in the same boat as me, turst me, God will be on your side too.

I don’t know why everyone does not get delivered the way we did… I do think, very few people would have done what we did. I’ve met no one so far who has, I’ve read no account of it.

All the prayer and healing I did for years alone was what enabled me to have the courage to go through with it. And it’s worked out amazingly, I must say.

All of us are happier now.

The hardest thing to convince our family of is that we could really be okay. The drama in the family (melodrama at times) has killed a lot of their joy and happiness in life. How can we be any different?

Jesus, that’s how.

I’ve stopped asking why it happened, mostly.

Everyone has bad stuff happen to them. I was lucky that through the bad stuff, I had good stuff too. I was lucky that I never got permanently hurt by it. I was lucky people helped me get out of it.

Others may get more or less than me.

But here’s what I know:

Jesus said that God will pay everyone the same wage, whether they worked all day or only for a few hours.

In the same way, God will heal everyone to the same degree.

We are not all given the same amount of bad things in life, or of good things. Anymore than we can compare the bad and good of humanity as a while from place to place, without having a hard time deciding where it’s the worst and best.

I was given more bad than some, and more good than others.

I do know, that once you give all that to God, the good, the bad, the ulgy, the beuatiful, He makes it all a par to fhte samething.

To God, compairng our evil is pointelss. He knows he can reedem it all the same, no matter how bad it is, just like luangdy sopa wil clearn both a shirt that’s been dragegd thorugh the mud, and one that looks fine, but has been worn for too many days straight. Both get clean in the end.

Sometimes it’s harder to clean something that looks fine to begin with, until you get closer and see it’s not so fine.

At least I can point to were a lot of my issues came from. That’s useful.

Some of you who feel you’ve had it way too rough my actually be better off than someone who thinks they are fine, bcaue they aren’t fine. And you aren’t hopeless.

Really, after all I went through, I circled right back to where I began. Like Chesterton said, we go looking for a new thing, and find that the old thing was right the whole time. We just didn’t understand it.

All right, I think I will wrap this up for now, homework is calling me, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

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Irredeemable? Endeavor’s arc from the perspective of an abuse survivor.

Well, I’m back with the anime topics.

I watched episode 2 of MHA Season 5 yesterday (I’m not a premium member, that stuff is expensive) and I assume anyone who cares about spoilers will have watched it already, if not, don’t read this post.

My Hero Academia Reveals the Public's Response to Endeavor and Dabi

So, the fandom has known for a while that Endeavor is getting a redemption arc, and it started last season anyway, but this season has finally caught up to the manga enough to really get into it, and the outrage was predictable.

I can’t believe how often I see this not just in for this fandom, but for Webtoon fandoms (Webtoon comics have to be the abuse capital of fictional venues, every freaking story has an abusive, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, or ex, or in one case, sibling. I thought anime was bad, but it’s even worse.)

I am often surprised by how unforgiving people are, and how easily they let their emotions be manipulated, in fandoms.

Naruto icons »🍜 - ¡Itachi! ♡ | Personagens de anime, Personagens naruto  shippuden, Desenhos de anime

Exhibit A: Itachi from Naruto, kills entire clan save for his brother, including babies and elderly people and his own girlfriend, leaves village. Pins whole thing on Sasuke not being strong enough to stop him, later uses his hypnotic power to make Sasuke relieve his trauma until his mind actually shorts out, and then fights Sasuke 3 years later, saying he will steal his eyes, then dies because he exhausts himself. Later he is reanimated, and gaslights the crap out of Sasuke because other people as well as himself claim it was all done out of “love.”

Based on what I just described (which is the literal events of the show, and not an exaggerated fan rant) Itachi is an S-class abuser such as you rarely meet in real life, and it’s terrifying when you do.

You know what this jacked up fandom says about him? “Oh, I wish I could be a brother like Itachi.” “Itachi is such a good brother, protecting Sasuke.”

I wanted to throw up, and it’s not like these fans are being ironic, they put this on freaking inspirational GIFS.

Even if by some twisted stretch of the imagination, Itachi did love Sasuke in his own psychotic way, he’s a terrible person. He committed Genocide because he was too much of a sheep to stand up to Leaf, and he didn’t shed a single tear over it (until the retcon anyway).

I was amazed that out of all the villains to redeem, the writer chose easily one of the most evil people in anime, but even analysts who’s opinions I generally respect have bought into it. I’m confused by how the show has manipulated people so much into calling evil good.

The power of anime and its emotional flashbacks and reframing of villains into tragic anti-heores. We can never just call it evil.

Exhibit B: We have Endeavor, or Enji Todoroki. He’s a pretty bad guy, I won’t deny it. Smacked his wife around for disagreeing with him. Drove one son out of his home (it’s still unclear whether it was his choice or the son’s) and pushed Shoto way too hard in training. He’s also just unpleasant to pretty much everyone.

However… Endeavor was never shown to be cruel or unprincipled completely. He is never shown to be psychotic. His abuse comes form anger issues and not liking his worldview questioned. It’s notable that he doesn’t abuse Shoto for talking back to him however, in the future, which indicate to me that he already began to understand that it was going to far to do that.

Endeavor is not a good person, but is he straight up evil? No.

People are hating on his redemption arc to a concerning degree, and I wanted to address it, as someone who’s been abused, and has perhaps an inside perspective on it.

It wouldn’t be fair not to acknowledge that they are right about one thing, abuse is inexcusable.

When I explain the reasons why Endeavor did it, it’s not to say that gave him an excuse. That’s not the point. The point is that abusers are some of the hardest people to change, in life, even in Christianity, the most life changing religion, abusers lurk and cover their sins with false spiritualism, that it can take a very perceptive person to see through, and not all Christians have that gift (we are just humans with different weakness, after all)

Different types of abusers:

To properly understand how to judge Endeavor, you have to know that people are abusive for different reasons.

  • 1. There are some people who are abusive without meaning to be. They act off what they were taught, and no one ever told them it was wrong. These people can often learn very quickly if they make friends with others who actually confront the behavior. Provided they are not too bitter to listen. I don’t even call these people abusers properly because for them it’s not a power trip, it’s just a habit. And they’re whole identity isn’t tied to maintaining it.
  • 2. People who are abusive in order to stay in power. This may be the most common form of abuse. Someone will use brute force and violence to get their way because they don’t have the maturity or humility to talk it out and admit it if they are wrong. This person has massive insecurities and usually needs to deal with those before they can change their behavior.

3. The psychotic abuser: This is the worst kind. The person who is twisted enough to enjoy getting the reaction they do. Scarily, even playground bullying can run dangerously close to this, but when bullying has merged with an even bigger amount of control and sway over others, and close emotional bonds with them, it becomes abuse. This abuser is cruel, merciless, and will gaslight the victim so they can keep the cycle going.

My dad is a number 3 mixed with a number 2. He wasn’t very violent, as most of you know, but when nothing else would serve, he’d become aggressive. Then he would play the victim and say you left him no choice. I detest number 3.

I detest number 2 also, but I’ll tell you, it scares me way less.

I might have to worry about being punched by a 2, but, I don’t need to worry that they’ll keep kicking me once I’m beaten and humiliate me just for the fun of it, once I stop bothering them, they have no interest in hurting me more. They’re a bully, but they aren’t a psycho.

I shouldn’t have to put up with either, but if I had to pick who’s more likely to realize the error of theirs ways; I’d pick a 2.

A 3 likes being the way they are too much to change most of the time, the only way is if they lose all ability to get what they want by being that way, then they have to reevaluate. But thanks to the toxic circle of people they surround themselves with, it’s rare for them to be left that way.

When it comes to deciding if Endeavor’s redemption make sense, we have to decide which group he is in. So let’s look at the facts:

We know from the show (what most of us have to go on) and from what I hear from manga readers that Endeavor

  1. Hit his wife when she crossed him.
  2. Pushed his sons too far in training
  3. Refused to listen to reason
  4. Put wife in mental hospital after she snapped completely and burnt his son’s face
  5. Refers to Shoto as his “masterpiece” or “creation” at least in the 2nd season.

All this is pretty bad. But what no one ever talks about is the more interesting things Endeavor actually does, which one wouldn’t normally expect.

  1. Though he hit Rei for crossing him, we are not shown him hitting her at any other time. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but he also does not keep beating her once she’s down, which a more textbook abuser would have done.
  2. He pushed Shoto in training, but we are never shown or told that he beat him at any time. Pushing him so hard is a form of abuse, but it’s one that has nuances, exactly at what point it became too far would be hard for someone like Endeavor to say. No doubt he pushes himself just as hard and feels it’s not wrong.
  3. When Shoto tells him bluntly that he will not do as he says, Endeavor doesn’t react like an abuser. He tells Shoto it will not work, but leaves him alone after that. Basically waiting for him to try and fail first. An level 3 abuser would have used manipulation to try to get his compliance.
  4. When Shoto blames Endeavor for what his mom did, Endeavor makes no attempt to squash his rebellion, instead, he seems to take it seriously. Also not textbook abuser behavior.
  5. Endeavor does isolate Shoto from his siblings, but does not isolate him from his friends. When Shoto pushes him, he doesn’t double down on his controlling, he actually allows Shoto to do pretty much as he wishes.
  6. Finally, Endeavor is never shown guilting Shoto for failing later in the show, if he did it before, it seems he may have realized his mistake. He only ever shows concern for him. True he embarrasses him at the remedial course, but it’s not done in the spirit of guilt.

Does this make him a good parent? No. But you have to understand, I’ve lived it, and it would have been nice to see my Dad do any of these things. That never happened for me. If I saw even this much of a chance of redemption for my dad’s behavior, I would not have blocked his number and cut off contact with him. Because you can reason with someone who can do all that, but not with someone who only uses you for their own benefit and then discards you.

Granted, Endeavor did do that with his other children, but he doesn’t abuse them in other ways, so it makes him more negligent than abusive. Negligent is more understandable.

What I think makes the show writing brilliant is that Endeavor’s redeeming qualities, such as they are, were not all introduced in season 4 and 5, as early as season 2 he demonstrated better characteristics than just his past self would have led us to believe. To me that indicated he’d already begun to question his past.

In a strange way, I got the impression Endeavor actually respects Shoto because he is tough and still stands up to him, though it annoys him, he kind of likes the little punk. Evidenced in season 2’s Stain Arc, before the redemption arc officially began for Endeavor, Shoto still asks his Dad for help, and to my amazement, Endeavor complies without even giving Shoto any crap for it later. And he doesn’t downplay what Shoto tells him, as soon as his son says it’s important, he sends back up after him. We never see him scold Shoto later for acting rashly.

This is season 2, the same season we even learned what an ass Endeavor was to begin with, and yet we already are shown some actually decent aspects of his personality. he’s doesn’t screw around with saving people, even if he’s very stiff about it. And he takes Shoto seriously, even if he doesn’t understand him.

I don’t say any of this because I like Endeavor, I actually don’t really like him. I don’t think I need to like him to judge him fairly, I just need to be… well, fair.

Let’s talk for a minute about Rei.

Pin on Todoroki Family

Really, Rei is the only reason that I even consider Endeavor abusive at all, as I wouldn’t say what he did to Shoto was abuse, at least in his own eyes, and would be hard to pinpoint like I said. But it’s not okay to beat your wife.

I can’t excuse it either.

But, there is no going back, I always say, there is only going forward.

Ignoring what Endeavor did in the past, what did he do later? Does he act sorry? And is his regret believable? Let’s look at it.

Fans seem to ingore two things when they accuse this Redemption of being too rushed.

  1. Endeavor has had 8-10 years of watching Shoto be miserable in order to rethink his actions.
  2. Rei is not compeltely innoncent here.

It’s not the 1900s okay. If your hsuband is beating you, you can leave.

Now hear me out before you say “No! She couldn’t leave! He’d never have let her.”

If Endeavor really cared about it, he would have put more effort into keeping the family together. I honestly think he wouldn’t have chased Rei down had she just down as she said to her mom and “run away from this life.” He could have hushed up the whole thing, and let her live on her own. I think he would have, she was just an annoyance to him anyway, after all.

Even if not, she could have tried it first.

Yes, she was terrified. But, the guy was not manipulative, we never saw him threaten her, nor does he threaten Shoto, so I assume, he doesn’t threaten people that often.

That tells me a lot of what Rei feared from him was in her own head.

I’m not saying that makes it not his fault. I feared stuff form my dad that he never did, because once you feel unsafe around someone, you imagine they could do anything to you. They’ll turn everyone against you.

It’s terrible to be trapped in your own mind like that.

But, to be honest, not all of that can be pinned on Endeavor.

I can’t victim blame here, but being unstable isn’t just something you can blame solely on one person. Even if you are mistreated, you can control your response, you can seek help. You can do something to save your sanity before it gets to a snapping point. That was what I did. I escaped before I went crazy because I knew what would happen if I didn’t.

Rei is not to blame for Endeavor betting her, but what she did to Shoto was her fault. I’m sorry if that bothers someone to hear, but it is.

You cannot excuse psychotic behavior on “She was driven crazy by Endeavor.”

It’s a lot of pressure to be with someone you’re afraid of. But, when you start projecting that on others, like your own children, you’ve crossed a line. If you now you’re doing that, then, you need to get out. Run away. Turn yourself in. Do something. Don’t wait to snap and hurt someone.

Am I the only one who got the uncomfortable impression Rei hurt Shoto partly so Endeavor would get rid of her? Does she really seem unhappy with the results?

As terrible as it is, her level of remorse just does not match the situation. She seems relieved to be out of there, and hesitant to talk to him. I mean, if she wanted to apologize to Shoto, she could have sent him a note via his siblings, she could have told him it wasn’t his fault, and not to hate himself…something. Not that it would have made a difference, but the effort could have been there.

Shoto believed he would only cause her pain by visiting her, and that in some way, he needed forgiveness for never doing that.

I’m sorry, but the 6-8 year old needs forgiveness for being terrified to go see the mom who burned half his face?

It’s interesting, that Shoto is actually way more traumatized by his mother than his father. It always hurts more to be betrayed by the person you trust. He blames Endeavor of that…but who does he feel safe acting out on? Who does he actually go to for help?

He may not like it, but he knows in a strange way, he can count on his Dad, and he can’t on his mom. And before someone says that’s because she’s locked up, do you really think it would be any different if she was free and just lived somewhere else? No. It wouldn’t.

She will always be the fragile one, in his mind.

And, hey, that’s the way it is sometimes. It’s not her fault really, but it’s not Endeavor’s fault either.

Rei was clearly unstable before she married him. We can assume her family life wasn’t too great if they were willing to sell her to Endeavor to be his baby mama. Heck, for all we know, Endeavor initially might have treated her better, until she was no longer of use. It seems like they didn’t have as many problems in the past.

I love Shoto, but he is a bit naive if he thinks his dad started all of this. You can bet Rei brought plenty of trust issues into this partnership that didn’t get helped by Endeavor, but didn’t start with him either.

Rei went off the deep end because she lacked the mental strength to get herself out of the situation, and to not project Endeavor onto her children, and that is just not fair to them.

My issue is that people ignore this. Endeavor gets crap for abusing his wife, but Rei gets not lame at all for literally scarring her son, and giving him the guilt of thinking he was like his dad for years.

Give the woman credit, she also taught Shoto to be true to himself. He should be grateful to her for that. And she’s trying her best.

But, one can’t get away from it. She gave up. She didn’t carry it to the end. She let herself lose her grip until she hurt him.

When she burned Shoto, it wasn’t because she thought he was Endeavor. It was because in a crazy moment, she thought it was the only way to protect herself.

And I’m sorry, but Endeavor was completely right to put her in that hospital. I notice no one ever says anything about that, but…what else would you do? A wild animal has to be confined too if they lash out at innocent people, and if a person become like that, what else can we do? She’s not safe for anyone to be around who’s not a professional.

Endeavor says he put her there because she hurt Shoto, but she could easily have hurt his siblings too, and even Enji himself, if he was caught off guard. What if she threw water at whoever walked through that door?

Why it’s personal

The reason this matters to me so much is because I’ve been Shoto before.

At first, when my dad moved out, I thought I could blame the entire situation on him. That would be simple.

But I soon realized my mom had plenty of problems of her own. Not all of which I could pin on him. She had them for decades before she knew him. My dad was drawn to her because like attracts like.

My mom could also be cruel to me, and inconsiderate. Some things I still cannot believe she said to me. I think she treated my badly because she couldn’t take it out on my dad, so she projected onto me.

Like Shoto, I got the idea that I was a monster from my mom, almost more than my dad. From both, really. What do you do when one parent accuses you and the other just tells you where you could do better?

I am not being hard on Rei because I am angry at my mom, though no doubt, some frustration is part of it. But because, I know the importance of being honest. both parents are at fault.

An abuser can’t abuse without an enabler, usually.

Endeavor was a crap husband, but putting Rei in the hospital was the right thing for her, and for the kids, sadly. Even if it feels cheap that he was the one who did it.

But, moving on from that time, it seems he began to see Shoto’s point.

I don’t agree that Endeavor made Rei hurt Shoto. I might excuse her hurting Endeavor himself on the grounds of self defense because she snapped, but not Shoto. Nor do I think she can get off just because she went crazy. Clearly she had some idea of why she did it and could have acted differently prior to that.

The worst of it would be if she ever admits that one day… because, I’ve had people tell me to my face that they knew what they did to be was wrong… and they still did it in that moment because they were too scared to do anything else. But that fear was their problem, not mine. I just paid for it.

Look, people, either we take responsibility for our own actions, or we don’t. If we say a victim has no responsibility, then everyone who makes themselves a victim will get away with literal murder. And, why do you think that mentality is so popular now? People love getting away with their crap.

I confront people and expect them to take ownership of their actions, and they usually blame me for them. Like I made them do what they did, sheesh. I did’t force your to do or say anything, I didn’t even tell you to do it, you just did it. How’s it my fault?

It’s not Shoto’s fault either. And, it’s not Endeavor’s. He didn’t threaten Rei to do what she did, if anything, hurting Shoto should have been something she was afraid to do because it would anger him.

That proves to me that she knew, somehow, what would happen. And she chose it.

It’s ugly, but it’s human nature… I wish it wasn’t. I wish we all could be noble enough not to hurt each other just to save ourselves.

Enji and Rei are both jacked up, that’s for sure.

But, Enji has had time to reflect on his actions, and he’s realizing that he got nothing he wanted the right way. I actually buy it. I think getting the No#1 spot in a away that he didn’t want would make him question whether he got anything in a way he should have. One epiphany can lead to another, you know. That’s how it is for me.

And realizing now that he is number one, he can’t maintain All Might’s rapport, it’s exactly what would show him his character deficiencies. Plus, Shoto is a constant visible reminder to him of his failures.

I think it’s to Endeavor’s credit that he doesn’t resent Shoto for this at all. Instead, he’s admitting it was his fault. That he doesn’t deserve what he has, and he needs to change.

He’s as clumsy at it as most people are when they try to change and it seems people are not willing to give him any leeway at all.

I know Natsuo is hurt and all, and I can understand him, but, the fans? Not so much.

I mean, it’s like you expect 20 years of dysfunction to just go away in 2 months. Endeavor’s heart may be changing, but he has no idea how to act, how to be, no one showed him how. And Shoto and Fuyumi are the only ones even willing to acknowledge he’s trying at all; and Rei herself, perhaps.

I actually feel bad for Endeavor now. I had to change once (and still do) I used to be mean too. I remember how little encouragement got from anyone. Instead, I got constant criticism from my parents.

I know it’s hard to change, and when people refuse to let your past mistakes go, it’s even harder. It takes character to decide to change even when people think you ca’t.

But when you truly have repented, you know you have to change, or case to be.

When God got a hold of my heart, there was no going back for me, I was going to become a godly person if it was the last thing I did. So I studied, and worked at it, and swallowed my pride.

8 years later, I live in the fruit of that. I’m not perfect, but I can control my temper, act with maturity, and forgive people much more quickly than I used to. I love not being ashamed of myself anymore.

And, if Endeavor were a real person, I’d root for him all the way. Believe me when I say this people. I am not kidding. Real or imaginary, I don’t care. I judge them the same way. If he’s legit about this, I’m all for it.

And I hope to goodness, that there are people like Endeavor out there, realizing that abuse is wrong, and changing. We don’t her enough about ti.

The abuse cases make the news, the cases where someone changed never do. They don’t make the surveys either. But, it happens.

And you see, no matter how rare it is, if it happens at all, then I owe it to people to believe it can happen for them, until they prove otherwise. I owe everyone the benefit of the doubt. Some might have said I would never change, (actually, I think , my dad did say that), but I did.

Endeavor’s redemption arc is actually really good. The events leading up to it make perfect sense to me. I consider the Todoroki family to be the best written aspect of the show, along with Bakugo’s character development. The author shines in interpersonal drama, much more than he does on plot. That’s what drew me in, for crying out loud. Shoto Todoroki’s story is why I got hooked on this show to being with.

This post ran really long, so I think I should end it here.

What about you? I don’t know if you were at all interested in this debate or just clicked out of curiosity, but did it make you see a little differently? Just curious.

Thanks for reading, until next time–Stay honest, Natasha.

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New Life, New Season

I suppose it’s unchristian not to do a post about Easter… have I ever done one before?

This may not be the most conventional subject for an Easter post, but I was thinking today about some of my old posts. Back from 2015 and 2016.

I wrote one post about how much I didn’t like being wrong. This was not long after I started my blog, probably just a couple months. Nothing has changed, I still hate being wrong.

Being wrong and surviving

And I wrote another post about forgiveness, at this time I was about 16 or 17, I’d say. I know it was before I moved.

At the time, my dad was still at home of course, and would be for a few more years, and he was as awful as usual, though at that time we interacted less, he was addicted to video games and unless I interfered with that, or was working with him to earn money, we hardly spoke.

By then I was already reading books about healing and coming to realize just how much pain I had from him and my mom. This is an except from a post I wrote at the time.

Then

Letting it go-from another angle.

“Forgiving is hard. Yet, I wonder why? We all make mistakes and so why are we so hard on each other for making them? Maybe we want to see a fairness in others that we don’t possess in ourselves.

Let me be clear; by forgiving I don’t mean letting people get away with serious wrong doing. Nor do I mean living in a sort of denial that the damage other people’s words do to you, is not that bad. It is actually much worse than most of us know. Forgiveness is actually acknowledging they did wrong and letting it go. In the words of Stasi Eldredge “It was wrong, very wrong, and I release you.”

Forgiveness is actually more for us than the offenders… Emotionally most of us have probably heard about the necessity of forgiveness. When you hold on to the actions of another, you build them into your brain. I don’t mean in a mind control sense. But when you hate someone you obsess over them, you think of them and the things they’ve said and done to you; if it’s someone close to you then you struggle with not having their approval on your life even as you despise their opinion. You feel indifferent to their pain and even glad when they suffer. You say you’ll forget them but you can’t, because you can’t let what they’ve done go. If you don’t remember who will? It won’t matter to anyone. And that is what scares us, that our pain won’t make a difference in anything. That we ourselves don’t matter. These people who hurt us were right about us then. The emotional and mental damage this does to us couldn’t be fully disclosed if we took hours and hours to talk about it. To not forgive is to agree with the people who hurt us and to sink to their level at the same time.

That is why the first step toward forgiving is admitting it was wrong and you were damaged. A lot of people don’t get this far. They won’t admit their weakness. Or in some cases they will only admit their weakness but never that they can overcome it. They wallow in their pain all their lives…

So, if you are willing to take step one and admit you have been hurt–bad (And someone may be thinking “I can so do that.” Well hold on.) What is step two? It varies. It may involve crying your heart out. Grieving the wound the Eldredges call it. (I highly recommend their books Wild at Heart or Captivating for more detail on this very important part.) In my own journey of forgiving, I cried several times; I shared my pain with trusted people–but don’t do it with the person who hurt you, that was always a disaster–I prayed about it. To which I attribute all progress I made. Pain can be scary because it is so deep. Sometimes we wish we’d left it alone in apathy and numbness. But really that’s even more frightening.

After sadness, or sometimes before it, will come anger. More anger. And fear. Here we face yet another choice, we can press on, releasing the anger and fear, or we can let it drive us back. At this point you will not feel like forgiving, nor will you feel like the person deserves it, it will be purely a choice. I suggest writing it down. Saying it. “I choose to forgive (insert their name).'”

Now

Now that I know so much more than I did then about the situation, this level of grace on my part astounds me. Yet, I know it wasn’t me, I wan’t that wise, I was simply following what my teachers taught me, I always did have that childlike faith.

Actually for some context, (sorry for burdening you with my dark past), at the time I was attending a very toxic church– not by choice, my father forced us all to go. I hated it. “

Well they hounded us from the pulpit about forgiveness and how unforgiveness would land us in hell.

I don’t disagree, the Bible is pretty clear about that… but this church took it to an extreme that ignored that real damage other people’s sins did to you. No talk of therapy, no talk of long term healing.. I ‘m not sure the idea of emotional healing was ever introduced. I know plenty of the parishioners had family issues.

My dad would repeat all this at home, expressing fears over himself not making it, and praying that we all would. His fear scared me, I would not have felt dubious about my own salvation, but he constantly introduced doubt. Small wonder I still struggle with it.

I’m not naturally much of a doubter, not anymore, but it seems sown into me. Popping up when I least want it to.

My dad also found testimonies on the internet about people who’d been to hell and back, or saw visions, and warned about unforgiveness.

I cannot say how much of it was true, all I know is the Bible has no stories of any Christian visiting hell and coming back, and no precedent for it, though heaven is permitted we know from Paul and John. Perhaps hell is not impossible, though no one would like it, but at the very least, many of the testimonies were too much like Dante’s Inferno, a human’s explanation of what hell would be like, and I am skeptical hell could make any more sense to us than Heaven, and no human would come up with what the Bible says about Heaven (read Ezekiel sometime)

That’s not really the point. I have to thank my dad in a way, that is what pushed me to salvation, finally. One has to learned to be thankful for what good did come of anything in our crappy past, though once I felt offended at the very idea. And I wouldn’t take kindly to anyone else telling me that, since they’d be dismissing what I went through.

No, my dad did a few things for me, though not really out of kindness in this case, it stands more to God’s power that the fear and doubt of those years actually led to something good for me, God truly can make goodness out of anything.

My dad also read the post I quoted above. Which I wrote with him in mind. I heard him talk to my mom about it while he was reading it. I remember what he said, I may never forget it:

“I was reading (my name)’s post… I can’t imagine who (she) could know that would have hurt her so badly.”

In said post, I wrote how talking to the person who hurt you did no good… thanks Dad, for proving me right.

I really didn’t want him to read my post, and wished my mom would have stopped him, but turns out I had nothing to worry about. I think that was one of the last times he read my blog at all. I know he doesn’t now, he’d not like what I write about him, I’d be sure to hear about it.

Now, I no longer think that telling someone they hurt you does no good, if they are a mature person who truly loves you. Or even immature, but not toxic (it’s not the same thing, after all), but I was right not to tell him.

Years later, probably a year before he moved out, my dad also said in one family meeting that he got a sense that I had very low self worth, and he prayed for me about it.

I was aware enough by then to be thinking “Thanks Dad, who do you think gave me low self worth”

Wasn’t you treating my like dirt my whole life, neglecting me, abusing my emotions, telling me I was responsible for all your problems.

Now, this is not a post just for me to whine about my life.

But, we’re talking about rebirth today.

I’m starting to, like Paul, boast in my weakness. If I can take pride in nothing else, I can take pride that I have this terrible story (though it wasn’t all terrible), and I still held onto my faith.

There are man things I am still waintg for, the fullr edmeption of my past, the full meaning of why it happened t o me. A chance to tell more peopel my story. I aprpeciate ou 220 or so followers, but IW ant to reach even more peopel, more and more.

I haven’t to dlit all here, some things I did not even realzie were significant until later. soem thing sId id not feel comfortable sharing yet.

What can I say about this trial that other, wiser, better peopel have not alread siad? All I jave if my own story.

I can tell you that I’ve never heard of anyone else doing what I did, reading the books, pupmping thmselves full of self-help, roads to healing, seeking and seeking and seeking.

It was terrible to go through that dark time last year when I feared all that was for nothing, I invented years of my life in healing, and I though I ended up just as screwed up anyway.

While no amount of reading could have prepared m for the shock of getting out of abuse, it did give me something to fall back on. I took the leadership role in my family in my dad’s absence. Not fully, perhaps, but as the other dominant personality, it just happened naturally.

I felt I had to protect them, that since I hatched the plan to get rid of him, I had to make sure they were okay.

It’s been a blow to crumble as much as I did, and not be able to work steadily either, but I had to let go of the idea that everything is my responsibility.

When my dad left, I got my life back.

Really, I was getting it back every time I wrote those posts like the ones above, that I was basing off my real efforts in prayer and self reflection. My dad put all that venom into my brain, and I spat it all out through prayer, tears, songs, and resolutions.

5 years later or so, I still do that. Thouh I make less resolutions, I’ve learned to be suspisonv of those.

While I was still deeply damaged by my dad, the way I handled it back then, by God’s leading, has gotten the poison out of the wound, so it could heal, and I’ve haled faster than I thought I would.

I still have bad days, today even, doubt assaulted me again, even in Church, but I didn’t give way to it like I sued to, I do not know when I will stop being tempted, but I am a lot stronger now.

I gained back the weight I lost too. I’m walking straighter than I ever have, and I have less stiffness and back pain.

My chiropractor tells me I will be a new person when the treatment is finally completed. It’s taken 3 times as long as I wanted to see results, but God never promised it would be done when I wanted, just that it would happen.

I eat more now too. I think I eat more now than before all this happened since I’ve learned when I feel bad, I’m usulaly hungry and low on calroies, not sick.

My gaggin epidose have been over for proably 5 months or more now.

New year, new me, is what I said when 2021 started.

But when I look back at those old posts, and remember how I was then, and see that my heart was more pure than I thought, and that I was trying my best to obey God, as I always have… I think, I’m also just ht old me.

Somehow, my dad never dseprtryon who I am. Though he treid. Somehow, I kept waht I wanted in mind. I’ve never waved for long on what I want.

I want to have a great ministry.

I want to write great books

I want a great marriage

I want many children.

Whether all that comes in the form of adoption, or whatever I end up dong, and travel, or staying home, I don’t care as much as I used to, I know that all this must be part of me for a reason. I was born wanting those things. Except writing, that came once I knew I could do it, but I was always a storyteller even before that.

For ears I eceived little t ono enocuagemanet form anyone about these deams, but I didn’t lose them. That’s a mircale, from what I hear form others, pretty much everyone loses their fdreams as they grow up. To raitne then till you’e 22 is rare. Bt hte ime I’m 30, it’ll be a minoritiy.

I have a feeling I will still wan the same thing at 30 as I do now, only hopefully, I’ll have some of it by then.

I’m a girl from a toxic, abusive family, I’m not supposed to be the statistic that gets a good marriage, and becomes a good parent.

I’m the one who got told she was wrong, and criticized for everything, I’m not supposed to succeed at my talents.

I’m the one who had someone sow doubt into me a lot, I’m not supposed to have a good ministry.

Well, flip all that, God is the God of the unexpected.

Sure, right now, I have small blog, smaller YouTube Channel, and only a couple short published books on kindle that no one reads. I’m not in a lot of ministry, and I’m at a point in life where it feels no one sees all that much in me.

Perfect time to be suddenly launched into something unexpected, God has a pattern, but He’s not predictable.

I don’t know what will happen in the next 5 years, but I haven’t waited all this time for nothing, I’m sure of that.

New Life means Old things getting a new vitality, and new things springing up. Jesus coming back to life didn’t just give us His old life back, it gave us an entirely new kind of man, as C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity.

An odd hybrid between the Divine and the mortal, that is what we are. One that you won’t find anywhere else in heaven or on earth, and how can I say what the purpose of it is?

John said “It is not yet revealed what we will be, but we know that when He is revealed, we will be like Him.” (1 John 3:2)

As I’ve come out of my depression and anxiety, they’ve begun to make less and less sense to me, I no longer understand the logic behind them. I am sure, that is God.

To be sure, I’m still tempted at times, and I won’t say I have the cure all for either of those two problems, since the path I walked had to be for me personally, and my fears, but some stuff overlaps in our lives.

I can’t even be certain I’ll never have another time of my life where I feel this way, though I can’t picture it fooling me ever again. Feelings are not the same as mindsets.

I do think some changes will last.

Someday, I hope, God will give me the words to describe what happened to other people. Just now, I am still too much in the process to explain it, and I’ve noted others don’t really understand me if I try.

But someday, surely, I will be able to look back and see it clearly. Hindsight is 20-20. (That’d be a good blog post title)

I get it, some of you are still in the darkness. I hope some of you have begun to see light.

If you wait long enough for something, with God, it will happen. Or something better will.

God showed me that, actually, one time I was talking to Him, and He brought it to my attention that if I just waited long enough something was bound to change, no state of being is permanent for a human.

We hate being told it’s just a phase, but everything is a phase. The Bible calls it a “Season”

I don’t know if any angry teen or young adult will read this, but if you’ve heard those words “it’s just a phase” I know, it’s annoying, but, take it from me, you’ll want to believe that. All pain can pass. Even the worst and deepest kinds.

And while I was not assaulted with what humanity considers the worse crimes, I’d venture to say I knew that deep pain as much as the next person. I take things very seriously.

At least I could not lie to myself that way. God made me this way for a reason. If I could be blind, like others, I might still be in that situation.

One thing I kept saying to my sister was this “No pit is so deep that He is not Deeper Still” (Betsie Ten Boom).

Well, I tink that is enough for today. Thank you for reading, and have a great day

Until next time–Natasha.

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Coming Up

Y’all might be wondering how my recovery process is going… okay, you probably don’t actually wonder that, but you might not be adverse to hearing about it right?

Well, actually, these last couple months, I’ve been doing really well. My life coach has been very helpful, mostly she helps me realize I already know the answer, I just need to believe that I do, and that God has given me the key.

I actually had a brief bout with nausea that was the worst I’ve had in a while, but it lasted probably just 20 minutes or so, and I was able to stay much calmer than I used to and help it get lighter instead of stressing myself into feeling sicker than before. Mostly, I catch it before it gets bad now, but even so, now that I know it usually passes quickly, I’m less scared of it.

I feel fine most days. Though with the Summer heat coming, I may have to take more steps to stay cool if I want to avoid that heat exhaustion.

My mental problems are also at a new low for the last year. I really can’t believe how bad it was not that long ago, it seems foreign to me now. I’ve always come out of these periods, since becoming a Christian, after a year or less. Usually less.

I never came out of it when I wasn’t a Christian fully, I had better and worse times, but fear plagued me constantly back then, whether there was a trigger or not. Christianity works for me because that fact that I’ve known freedom at all is something I didn’t really have before. Something important to remind yourself of if you go through hard times again as a believer.

I’ve realized too that the person I a has never really changed, she just went into hiding for a while, only occasionally showing herself, now, I see her a lot more often. I needed to believe she was real in order to be her.

You have to believe in your own healing, in the healing that has already taken place, in order to keep healing.

If you live your life as if you are still hurt, even once you’ve healed, then you might as well still be hurt. That applies to physical and emotional injuries too.

I suppose it’s about time I mentioned that my step-grandmother’s memorial is this month.

I plan to go, but would you believe that my aunt has already been trying to get in some emotional manipulation on my sister over it. It’s so nuts.

I now my dad will be there, likely as not, and I am trying to prepare for it. I don’t know that’ll I’ll share my strategies here until after the fact, if they don’t work, I don’t want to take the chance anyone will emulate me, but I think they will.

However, someone in my position might wonder what the prospect of facing my abuser in person again feels like.

I’m not looking forward to it, but I am not utterly terrified.

It’s because my circumstances are a little different than one would normally have with a violent person.

My dad is aggressive, but he’s not generally the type to lash out in public at someone without provocation, and he would not be able to seriously injure me at a gathering like this without someone stepping in, because too many people would be there. He would not like to lose face, he’s never hurt me that badly, physically. My feelings were always more bruised than my actual body.

Some might not even call it abuse, but I call it that because of he power struggle and attitude involved, and the roughness of how he did it.

I don’t use the word abuse lightly, however. I see it all the time, people call stuff abuse that I don’t think should be called that. Abuse has a particular feel of powerlessness on the victim’s part, and sick satisfaction mixed with excuses on the abuser’s part. It’s more than temper, thought hat is part of it, it’s to break you, make you submit, feel like trash.

I mean, what’s abuse to one person isn’t to another, sometimes, but that’s a very vague line.

I guess what I mean is, sarcastic comments are abuse to some people, but to others it’s normal banter, and I don’ think victims should impose their standard on people who see it as a way to bond, the tone and timing will tell you whether it’s destructive or not. Someone should always back off if you make it clear you are seriously uncomfortable, but if you know yourself, and know you feel weird only because of past experience, and that this person in particular is not actually trying to hurt you, it’s also good to try to grow thicker skin. We have to heal from both directions, insider and out.

For me, a little light shoving isn’t abuse. I knew when my dad was being rough, I know when my siblings are being playful. I can compartmentalize.

I realize I am lucky to be able to do this so easily, at least in some areas, though not all. I am far more sensitive to verbal stuff.

I got into another work situation where I feel disrespected and criticized unfairly, and blamed for what is not my fault. I wonder why I keep doing this… and then my sisters stores of working at a sandwich shop tell me I actually ain’t even seen it all.

Seriously, I get people telling me I should work on my babysitting skills, she gets people telling her she’s got no idea what she’s doing. Whose job is worse? Well, it’s income.

We both like what we do anyone, but nothing is ever a positive experience 100% of the time, that’s not realistic.

Notably, this time, I am handling it differently. I’ve always been bolder that my sisters anyway, I stand up for myself. But I used to do it immaturely by getting really defensive and rude. Now I choose my words more carefully.

My dad responds to criticism by getting defensive and losing his temper, that’s not how I wanted to be, but I couldn’t go the route of my mom and just never stand up for myself at all. I literally can’t, I think I’m incapable… trying was excruciating, and I failed.

So, with no role model here, I’ve had to learn by trial and error, but I’m starting to get better. I try to acknowledge people may have a slight point, or grievance, but I refuse to let myself be belittled.

I had a mom tell me today that at my age (22) I may just lack the experience to understand how to take care of a 5 month old, and how a mother feels.

I asked her “How many kids do you have?”

This is her first. She’s 30..

I’ve been in childcare for 15 years. Paid and unpaid, private and in groups, doing int alone, and doing it helping adults. I have two younger siblings I’ve had to be basically a surrogate mom to for several years, at least in some areas. I have two cousins I provide love, attention, and mentoring too. I have taught Sunday school for over 6 years.

I looked at her and I said “I understand you are his mom, but I will not let my years of experience be disrespected just because I am a little younger than you and your other nanny.”

Where does this lady get off? Sure, she’s his mom, but this is her first kid, having a kid doesn’t automatically mean you understand child reading, as I think the loads of messed up kids form broken homes is proof of. I’m 8 years younger than her, so what? She didn’t give me any prior experience she had with children.

The amount of disrespect nannies get is unreal. We take care of children, the most precious things anyone has, and we get treated like barely above slaves with no rights to opinion, no better qualifications, and no right to complain if someone is literally filming us why we are doing our job, without our consent.

Isn’t that illegal in other circumstances? Sheesh.

And yeas, the nanny cam is real. Some people think it’s myth, nope, I’ve worked for two or more families at least with one. And one family just straight up spied on me with their friends. They told me this to my face.

Well, it would take a whole other post to list all my negative experience babysitting, but it has been a great trial by fire for seeing how well I can get past my issues.

If you have low self worth and want to get over it, there’s really nothing like having someone treat you like an appliance in their house and getting frustrated over it to push you to stand up for yourself. Seriously, if you aren’t annoyed, it’s probably just reinforcing your problems, not helping you grow, get out of that job.

But for learning self control, self assurance, and what you actually want, nannying has it’s benefits.

Back to the prospect of seeing my dad again…

I am nervous about it, but I’ve learned that if I acknowledge that, and decide before hand what to do, it doesn’t often turn into panic… actually, it never turns into panic.

That may not work for everyone, but I am a more confident person in areas that aren’t related to abuse, so channeling that towards he areas that are is mostly a matter of self control and prayer for me.

I also have learned not to overestimate myself. I should try to face my dad alone. I need other people around. I shouldn’t treat myself like I’m expendable and can carry the weight of everyone else’s problems by taking his crap.

While it would be theoretically cathartic to tell my dad off in person, I don’t expect it to happen.

At most, I think, I could tell him to leave me alone, that I won’t be engaging with him, and this day is about Grammy, not him.

Now, my aunt once tried this when her son died, my cousin, and my dad completely ignored her, so I don’t expect that to work.

But I have a few back up plans. It’d be really satisfying to just say: “Look, I already know what you’re going to say, and you’re going to be abusive, and manipulative, and there’s nothing you can say that will alter my opinion of you, and no apology you make will convince me you are sincere, and nothing you can say will make me feel guilty or bad for you. You abused me, end of story. Deal with that reality, or stay out of mine.”

I’d never get to finish that speech, even if it’d work. But it’s fun to fantasize about it.

The reality is, it’s best to just avoid talking to him. He will probably try to talk to me, unless he gets some idea of proving he doesn’t need me by refusing to talk, e might say “I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable” Which is a lie. He would only do it to show how innocent he is to the family, if we were alone, he wouldn’t hesitate, so I will have to take great care never to be alone where he can see me.

It’d be best to have another man around I can trust, as my dad will be more bold with women watching than men, I think, he can be a bit sexist.

Anyway, those are my basic ideas. But the rest will have to wait till after the fact to see if it worked.

Many victims remain oblivious to what their abuser will do to them, as long as they are locked i the cycle. There is strong deception associated with abuse, the perps lie, the victim believe them because otherwise they would despair.

Once you get out, mentally, not just physically, you start to see through it all, and you can predict their tricks. Then you can prepare for it.

I have picked up this stuff quickly due to be observant by nature, and I had to manage my dad for years before I finally got away from him. I know that I cannot win with him expect by not playing his game, he cannot stand that.

I also now that truth is powerful, but it must be worded carefully.

Pro tips for anyone consider in confronting their abuser:

Don’t try to be nice. Don’t try to be subtle, don’t be vague.

Don’t do it at all if you think they still have power over you, and don’t do it alone. Don’t do it in private either, they can hurt you if you do. Others should be able to see you, even if they can’t hear you. I’m not at therapist, this to me is just common sense.

Don’t confront them expecting to change them. It should be either to establish a boundary, or for closure. They aren’t going to change.

Don’t expect them to take it with any degree of dignigity.

You can expect immature jabs, passive aggressive digs, angry outbursts, accusations, or self righteous “I was only trying to…” statements.

I would say not to dignify any of that with even acknowledging it, say what you must, don’t change it no matter what they say. They won’t listen, but you need to know you were able to say it.

This is all assuming it’s the right time and right kind of situation for this to be appropriate. Some people should never confront their abuser, or go near them again.

I will have to do it sooner or alter, or else act like a pariah in my own family, and not all of them are bad people, so I prefer to make realistic plans for how to deal with it.

But some will not have the luxury of any family they can risk seeing again, and there’s no shame in admitting that and deciding not to see them again.

If it helps anyone else, these two passages have really helped allay any guilt I feel over not seeing my toxic relatives:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).

“Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.” (Psalm 45:10-11)

The Bible is so kind to people who have toxic relatives. Jacob is told to flee his brother who is plotting to kill him. Joseph is put in a position of power over his brothers who sold him into slavery. Tamar is given justice for Judah holding out on her. The list goes on.

Contrary to what may Christians think, it is not Christian to stay with an abusive person. Especially if that hinders your walk with God. Plenty of Christians left their families and went on their own to serve God. It is Christian to be single, it is Christian to marry and have children. Paul says we should turn people who refuse to live in a godly manner in the church out.

He also says church member should be kind to their family, and if they are not, they should not be in authority, maybe they are even false, if we follow his logic.

When my life coach pointed out this simple fact, that my dad was deceiving us into thinking he was devout when he was really not acting at all like a believer, it was a game changer for me.

Suddenly I felt hte fiel of not haivng to call what my dad did “trying to be a good chritian ” anymore, he was not trying, he was whining. There’s a huge difference.

Who knew, I was lcoser to God when I stopped playing alon eiwht his chruch, his prayers, his devotions, becaue the fakeness isckened me too much. AS a churhc girl, It hought It hsould like all those things mroe, but the duplicity was too much.

I now hate hypocrisy more than almost any other vice. I can’t claim I am never hypocritical, but I try not to be.

One other big change: I am starting to really believe that I am Allowed to have a happy life.

Whooo! Somebody get excited with me right now!

Maybe it’s okay to like myself. Maybe I don’t need to punish myself anymore. Maybe my anxiety isn’t permanent.

Some of you are afraid to believe that.

There are a few rare cases where someone has something their whole life in order to learn patience.

But I don’t think God would command us to be anxious for nothing, if most of us were not supposed to be completely free from anxiety.

In fact, that verse makes me think anxiety is not one of those life long struggles we are supposed to have.

We cannot force ourselves not to be anxious, but we can learn to stop ourselves from becoming anxious. The Bible said that thousands of years ago.

Perfect Love casts out fear.

I don’t feel full of love all the time, but I Know God loves me, I believe, it, I remind myself of it, and I don’t need to feel it for it to cast out my fear, I just need to now it.

You see, God’s love is so powerful, even the knowledge of it crushes fear, and the feeling of it makes you forget suffering period. I don’t feel it as often as I’d like, but I also don’t need to, knowing it’s there, behind everything, gives me hope.

“And now abide, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

I hope this post encouraged you, until next time, stay honest–Natasha

How to suffer gracefully

I found this post on under-reconstuction.com and I really liked it, you all should check this blog out if you like my recovery posts.

Under Reconstruction

When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.

Blessed Sebastian Valfrè

I came across the above quote a few years ago, while recovering from a depressive episode, and was at once bewitched. Those words by a seventeenth-century Italian Catholic priest presented to me a refreshing angle from which to view my own struggles. If one could suffer “badly”, as Valfrè wrote, then conversely one could sufferwell. But how?

That was the question buzzing in my subconscious when, as my friends went around the table sharing our new year resolutions, I’d said, “Honestly, I just want to learn to live a little more gracefully.” The year was 2017, and I was entering into the second half of my twenties feeling rather battered. By then, four years had passed since the first mental…

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