Friday, September 30, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

I haven't been blogging because I guess when it rains it pours.

I have been going through some very rough times spiritually and emotionally. Some days are better than others, but on the whole, the last few weeks have been some of the most difficult of my life.

Today I found out that somehow, someway my blog has been found by a few of my former friends and acquaintances who are still a part of TeenPact. Given that fact, I feel that I should clarify a few things.

First of all, this was originally meant to be an anonymous, personal blog where I could work through some of the things that have happened in my life that have been specifically related to Christian patriarchy. For me, the primary form Christian patriarchy has taken has been the organization called TeenPact, though this is not a specifically anti-TeenPact or TeenPact-bashing blog. I wanted to have the space and freedom here to try to process and work through some past events that, for me, have been very formative. Because of this, I have not told anyone I know about this blog. My husband knows about it, and so do two friends who have never been connected with TeenPact and have no experience with the organization. I specifically resisted telling close friends who are still a part of TeenPact about it because I knew it would be unnecessarily painful and uncomfortable for them, and I wanted to avoid that.

I underestimated the internet.

Dear friends who are still a part of TeenPact: please do not be too hurt by what you read here. I won't ask you not to be hurt at all, because I have written quite forcefully about some things, and I know that an attack on an organization that is so close to you seems just the same as an attack on you yourselves. Please, read again my last post. I loved TeenPact. I STILL love the people who are a part of it. But I am just beginning to be able to process the extremely hurtful, negative and untrue things I internalized about myself and others through my experience with TeenPact. I am just beginning to find my voice. I am sure that since I am still just beginning my journey, I view TeenPact in a light that might not be all accurate - I am giving more attention to the negatives and less attention to the positives. I recognize this, and tried to express it in my previous post. However, that does not disqualify the fact that I was very damaged by TeenPact. It hurt me, and I in turn hurt others because of what I'd learned.

This is a personal blog. It is the story of one person's journey through the aftermath of something that was very significant in her life. Not all others who have gone through TeenPact have had this experience - rather, many have had the opposite experience. But this IS what happened to me. This IS how TeenPact affected me. And I know I'm not alone.

I do not hate or even dislike the staff or administration of TeenPact. Please understand, these are good people. These are men and women who strive for integrity and moral character. That doesn't change the fact that many of the tenants that TeenPact upholds are deeply flawed and damaging.

So please, friends, take this away from my blog: I never meant for you to read this. I knew you would be hurt by it. I did mean for it to be an anonymous safe space where I could try to work through the feelings of hurt and degradation that TeenPact imparted to me because of my supposed lesser worth as a female Christian. Jesus would not have upheld such a practice. Jesus specifically affirmed women. I did not once feel affirmed by TeenPact as a female. I did my fair share of affirming others, all men. This is a place where I can try to better understand what made TeenPact so damaging for me and how I can help to decry such practices when I meet them later in life. Please try to understand.


  1. ((Hypatia))

    Sorry the wolves are already circling. Christians can be so mean when they feel threatened, and I include myself in that number. Stay strong sister. You have a right to your experience and a responsibility to write about it. Don't let anyone silence you.

  2. I so appreciate your overwhelming desire to communicate grace and kindness to those who had a different experience with this organization or who are still involved. The fact that you even wrote this post shows your desire for healing, not for bashing or name calling!

    I hope you take as much space as you need to walk through every bit of your healing. It's an incredibly unique and personal process and I'm proud of you for being willing to share even a bit of it online. It's encouraged me!

    There is space for criticism of an organization that hurt you, even unintentionally. There is space for changing your mind about what you used to believe. There is grace to be wherever and whoever you are right now. You don't have to sugar coat the past or make excuses to friends! You are right to recognize that you may have to focus on more of the negatives for a while in order for them to dissipate and allow you to see positives again. Or never see positives again. THAT IS OKAY!!!

    There is space and grace for you.

  3. Also, I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment earlier. I've been off blogging for a bit. Feel free to email me at: maynard[dot]emily[at]gmail[dot]com