Wild Child

Preacher's Daughter of the Day: Toni Braxton

When I was eleven my dad decided that it was time for us to go back to church.  It had been ten years and because I was so young when we left the church, it was a complete lifestyle change for me.  It wasn’t that bad at first, but once he started preaching and I hit my teens, I think I went into shock.  My dad went through phases.  The one that I remember and hated the most was his “women must wear dresses and have long hair” phase.  He has long since grown out of this phase, thank goodness.

I remember one day when I was thirteen and he wanted to go out to eat.  He came in and told me to get ready and put a dress on because we would be leaving soon.  I asked why I had to wear a dress.  He just told me to do what he said.  I got upset and told my mom that if I had to wear a dress I wasn’t going.  I think that was the beginning of my rebellion.  Before then I had pretty much always been a good kid that did as she was told.  It sounds silly I know, but for a thirteen year old, it was the end of the world as I knew it.  My mom must have had a talk with him because not long after, he backed down on the dress issue.  Once he backed down, I stopped being so stubborn about it.

It wasn’t until late in my junior year that I really started rebelling again.  I had a friend that he didn’t really like and I didn’t really care.  Still, my version of rebellion never included alcohol, sex, drugs or anything too bad.

I was still a good girl until I turned twenty-one and then I met back up with a friend that I went to high school with and started going out and partying at clubs and bars.  Still, there was only alcohol involved.  Compared to most people my age, I was very tame.

When I was twenty-two I lost my virginity and moved to the big city.  I partied, did some drugs, drank a lot, had one-night stands, sex in public places, all that good stuff.  That only lasted about six months, then I was burnt out.  After so many years of repression, it was about time that I sowed all my wild oats and then some.

It’s been almost fourteen years since I lost my virginity and sowed all those wild oats.  I think having a birthday recently has caused me to reminisce about the good old days.  When I read over my journals for that time period, I still can’t believe that I did some of those things.  What the hell was I thinking?

2 thoughts on “Wild Child

  1. Seems we came to similar places from opposite directions. My parents raised me to be religious. Even took me to Sunday School when I was very young. Then, though they didn’t lose the faith or anything, they just started sleeping in on Sundays.

    Young and impressionable as I was, I had learned enough to know that I was supposed to go to church. My parents had told me so. And coming from an era when a kid under 10 going about unescorted on the streets wasn’t strange, I continued to go.

    Some of my earliest memories must be from about age seven or so when I started to get myself dressed and prep’d for church on my own. Complete with blazer, good pants and hair slicked down. (Made a mistake there only once and when I came home and they questioned the smell I memorized that the clear jar was Vicks Vaseline, the blue jar was Vicks Vaporub. Honest.) I even took my own allowance for the collection plate.

    Not being escorted, I was not limited to being stuck in Sunday School. If it was like any other school, why not go to where all the big kids went after graduation I figured. So I sat in the main church service, Sunday after Sunday, listening intently, singing when everyone stood to sing, and relatively oblivious to the strange stares of the adults around me.

    Unfortunately I was also almost as much oblivious to any message the preacher delivered. Without Sunday School I didn’t understand much of what he said. But I went every Sunday for several years even though my parents or brother seldom came.

    Eventually I started to question just what this was all about. All of this “God” stuff seemed to make no sense. I’d really tried. Said my prayers every night. And never saw any proof of anything. All of the subtleties of God’s creation and the wonder of life were lost on a kid my age.

    So when an argument at dinner time spilled over to the table my father, once again, said, “Maybe Bobby would like to say the grace. Or maybe he’s not grateful for what he gets!” He’d said it before but it’s not like it was a regular occurrence. Simply something said authoritatively enough that it usually shut me up.

    But this time I was about 12 or 13 and entering my rebellious stage. So I shot back, “Sure I’m grateful! But not to some hokey God that doesn’t exist!”

    I had said it more to stand my ground than anything else. But it was a pivotal moment for me too. It caused all of the questioning I’d been doing to gel and suddenly my viewpoint was clear.

    My father was taken aback and, trying to be the fair father he really was, said that if I didn’t believe in God then I didn’t have to join in grace. And though he was surprised when I didn’t from then on when the family bowed their heads, I stood my ground and didn’t. With each passing meal my conviction grew stronger. I KNEW there was no God.

    Still feel that way.

    Sorry for a long comment PD. Just felt it fit here. Surprising that we reached similar epiphanies from opposite directions. Guess the lord really does work in mysterious ways. 😉

    Thanks for listening.

    – Quidmont

  2. Pingback: Why I call hubby #1 the Con Artist – part 1 « Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

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