I was taught that I had no rights, only privileges. My father spoke this over me time and time again. That’s a powerful weapon. I was taught I had no right to speak, eat, drink, laugh or play. Everything had to be given by him through a privilege.
I had to earn everything in the home I grew up in. As a kid, it felt like that included the air I breathed. Coming from that kind of control distorts the rights that God has granted to all human beings. A right of choice.
I am still learning what that means. I tend to give too much to everyone else because – it’s not that I’ve forgotten, I never knew how not to give all I had to someone else.
Learning what rights I do have, has been most difficult to learn in life. I have the right to work and I do it well. I have the right to love and I try to do it to the best of my ability. What other rights do I have?
Do I have the right to choose unwisely? I think so. If I choose to drink don’t tell me to go to AA. I’m learning. If I want to take time to myself, don’t tell me I’m selfish.
I had to fight the belief instilled in me that exercising my choices was rebellion. All choices aren’t going to be right, but they are still mine to make.
I’m still learning my rights, but at least now I know I’ve got them. One of my choices is to share my story. It’s not very exciting for all the people in my life. I think some of them wish I’d just be quiet about it all. But, you know what my answer to that is: An emphatic no – I won’t stop.
I am going to tell my story with a loud rebel cry! Maybe I’ll start a new rebellion!