I have very few friends who have carried on from my childhood to my adulthood. I guess that’s true for everyone. I don’t wanna be “that guy” but I feel like my situation is a little different.
I mean, I have a token few from high school that I still occasionally talk to (AS, MM, MH). Our conversations tend to stay on the surface which kinda irks me, TBH. I don’t do small talk. I want to dig deep & know more about you. I want to know about your hopes & dreams. I want to help you conquer your fears. I want to see you shine like the star you are! I want you to succeed in every area, surpassing whatever goal post I would set up for myself.
Anyway, so what makes me so special? What sets me apart from anybody else’s situation?
I was a PK. A pastor’s kid.
Yeah. Let that sink in.
Here’s what my experience & research has taught me about being a PK. We tend to follow one of two paths: Bible-thumping, fundamental Christians like our parents or absolutely rebellious & against a religious lifestyle. Like oil & water, I feverishly worked hard to keep both sides mixed & hidden. I had phases in my life when one side won out over the other. I would feel guilty & ashamed. I emotionally & verbally abused myself for not being “holy enough” or for “going against God & what I was taught.” I was stuck in this shame-cycle for years.
Any friends I had during that time tend to see me through one lens. Generally speaking, most saw me as Goody Two-Shoes, which I despised & led me to rebel as much as I could. They believed my life was perfect & pulled together. Nothing could be further from the truth. And those who knew I was a PK & knew my parents, they treated me…differently. I remember feeling the tension when adults realized who I was & watching them carefully word their conversation *out of fear that I would run & tell my parents about them. They didn’t know I didn’t have a real relationship with my parents & the little I did was nothing that was being portrayed Sunday morning. Believe me. There were a lot of abuse & damages behind the plastered faces of a “happy family.” One memory that jumps out is a family member screaming at me & calling me a “bitch” while we were going to church. We walked in like nothing had happened.
Fast forward several years & I found myself tired of all the fake conversations & prejudgments. So I stopped. I don’t remember what made me finally decide to be done but I’m glad I got to that point. I removed my internal gag order & spoke my opinion & beliefs more often. I’m happy to report 99% of these people stopped talking to me. 🙂 I’m really okay with it because I felt like for the first time, I was being my true self. I stepped out from my parents’ shadow & became my own person. My opinion was no longer, “Well, my parents said.” I proudly told others, “They believe in that. I believe in this. Please do not compare me to them. We are different people.”
In the midst of all of this, it blows my mind that I know a couple (DT & CT) whose opinion of me has never wavered. I’ve known them for damn near 20 years, so they’ve seen EVERYTHING. They know many personal details & deep secrets about me & yet they still love me. They’ve never judged me but have welcomed me into their home with loving arms. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve their acceptance but I am forever grateful for them.
I wanted to take a moment to showcase them & to celebrate their friendship, their love, & their kindness. They are a light in my darkness, a shoulder to cry on, & always good for a laugh. They also have the humor of a 12-year-old so that helps as well. 😉 Their treatment of me is how I want to treat others. Regardless of someone’s rough past or shaky present, if we continue to be positive & encouraging, we can give them a hope for a better future. I’m living proof of their effort & unfailing love.
Thank you both for being you. Please continue to share your love with others. You have no idea of the impact you’re making in our lives. ❤
* Not an exaggeration or example. I heard this several times.
This graphic really encapsulates their hearts, just to help paint a picture for you 🙂