A CHRISTIAN HOME
NO ONE KNOWS HOW it was. As an only child
raised by strict Christian parents, I never had a choice
when it came to religion. We were a perfect family, a
great example in the church and its selfless servants, or so
people would say.
There were no messaging friends during school nights,
no going out on weekdays, no television, no gaming, and
the computer was strictly for homework. This is how strict
they were. I know the rules existed because they cared,
but I wished for more freedom—even just a tiny bit.
Growing up was honestly a pain for me. From spankings
to punishments to being sent to the corner, I received
them all as a kid. My academic performance needed to
be straight A’s and nothing less. To satisfy my parents’
demands, I needed to maintain a 97 percent average all
year. Needless to say that my 80 percent resulted in me
being yelled at, slapped, and grounded. At a young age, I
seriously contemplated running away. But where do you
go when you live in Stanstead, and you’re ten years old
and small for your age? I was a premature baby. Most of
the kids around my age were taller than me. Although I
grew up with no health issues, I stood out from my classmates
due to my lower-than-average height and weight—
a lingering gift to the premature.
My father’s dream of becoming a preacher was stomped
by growing up poor. Instead, he preached the Good Lord’s
word to us every night for as long as I can remember. On
Sundays, it was church, no matter what the weather was.
My father said grace at every meal, and I was taught Bible
stories and had to memorize hymns and other Christian
songs. When I was allowed to watch television, my parents
needed to approve the content. It was inevitably a show
with a Christian message.
I was sheltered from the outside world until I was six
years old when I started school. My interactions with the
other kids at school first clued me to how abnormal my
home life was. I was always an outsider because I could
not relate to peers whose every move was not measured
against Biblical standards. Even my classmates who went
to church had more worldly knowledge than I.
In sixth grade, I was still firmly under my parents’
strict control. Now that I was getting older, the differences
between my classmates and me were even more apparent.
I wanted to make friends, but I was rarely allowed to
socialize with anyone outside of school. Much of my time
was spent attending church youth-group events, which
were the only activities my parents would always agree to
I always felt that my mom only had me out of obligation
and not because she wanted me. As much as she
wanted to show her fellow church members what a good
Christian mother she was, she ultimately didn’t want me
around all the time. Her coldness towards me is one of the
most painful experiences I had to deal with in my life.
Because of this, I struggled with depression and experimented
with self-harm. When my parents found out, they
treated me like a monster.