I committed to writing this blog on the one year anniversary of the death of my father. My relationship with my father was tumultuous, strained and stressful. Yet he was still my father so I hoped, sometimes believed, it would all work out in the end. It didn’t work out.
I estimate I have roughly 30 years left on this planet and truly can’t take another day stuffing my truth, hiding in fear and worrying about what others think of me. So I’m sharing my thoughts, feelings and life stories here.
I will disclose that though this picture is me the name I’m using is not. I use the alias Ashlynne Whitley as protection from people from my past. Maybe I’ll talk about that later. We’ll see. Ashlynne was going to be the middle name of my child if I had a girl (had a boy) and Whitley was my grandmother’s maiden name. I was born in Dallas and I love the Southern feel of this name.
A lot of my blog will be about God: Is there really a deity? Do I care? Can I live with horrible combination of doubt about God yet fearing hell?
I was born a pastor’s daughter (and don’t even dream of calling me a “PK” unless you were one yourself). Hated it. Yes, we lived in a fishbowl. Yes, I was under more scrutiny than everyone else. I wavered between good little Christian and hellion.
Belief in God wasn’t something I questioned. It was ingrained from birth. I was spanked for not knowing my bible verses. I never considered I had a choice but to believe! After my parent’s divorce (this will take many blog posts to let it all out) I floated in and out of church. I despised church but felt I had to be there.
A pattern started: try to find a church, go for awhile, hate it, say, “Fuck this!”, feel guilt and then start the process all over again. Then I found the Crossing Church. My story about my time there is on my blog Thoughts From the Back Alley.
I no longer go to church. I no longer believe. I call myself Agnostic, but mostly because I still have hell and Rapture fears, otherwise I’m probably a gutless Atheist. So as they say, “I don’t know and neither do you.”
This begins the process of reclaiming my life.