Kari is a preacher’s daughter.
It’s not an easy life, she says.
She writes one of the most emotional pieces I’ve ever read on this issue.
Give it a read. I promise you won’t stop until you’ve made it all the way through:
The thing that makes me most upset about being a preacher’s kid — “PK” as we’re often called — is that no one really understands our specific experience, nor the specific pressures that come with it. In society, we’re typically stereotyped. Made fun of. Looked up to yet resented at the same time. It never really occurs to people to ask us who we are. And it never occurs to people that many of us are in pain. And are terrified to talk about it.
So what’s the problem with being a preacher’s kid?
… Truly though, you amaze yourself at your ability to play the part of the-absolutely-perfect-Christian: even though you’ve never had room to consider whether you believe it or not. Your range, the control you develop, is positively superhuman. It gives you something you can control, something you can be proud of, at least. After awhile, it almost entertains you. You think, “Gee. If I can play the part so well, I wonder if my minister parent is, too. I wonder if everyone is. Is all we’re praying to even real?”
But you don’t say that. You don’t say that…
It’s amazing what she — and others in her position — have to put up with, though:
You learn to be secretive about any and all of your parents’ faults, especially your own: because kids have more. You ache to join in with the other kids’ antics, the other kids’ play, but the adults in the congregation are watching you: your perfect behavior is the full measure of your preacher parents’ suitability for ministry. Not that the other kids want to hang around you anyway. They begrudingly do, but secretly they resent you. For you are the moral prodigy their parents always hold over their heads. Oh yes: you are resented. The kids live to break you. They poke you, prod you, steal from you, mercilessly tease you, touch you. “How much can they take?” the kids will wail. You are the wonder, the science experiment they can’t crack. And they hate you for it all the more…
Here’s hoping she gets support from preachers who have kids of their own.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, church, children[/tags]