Tiny Rebellions

I’ve been thinking about life in terms of my little rebellions. Just the little ones.
I think they are the most interesting when I look at the ones from my childhood. Every adult in my life then will tell you that I was very timid. Quiet, unless I trusted you or liked you or some such. Painfully bashful. I remember feeling a number of intense blushing moments. I can almost feel it, again, even!
Once of these little rebellions led to an intense blush, so, I’ll start with that. And possibly end with it. I haven’t decided what Ill share, really.
I was ten. We occasionally went to this horrid little church full of hellfire and damnation and terrible grape juice on Sundays and I went to a number or lock-ins and bible school things there. I’m not really sure what made me hate that place. In the way a kid thinks of it, it was perfect. All of my friends went there, it was close to our house, it gave me an excuse to see friends and boys, the adults were naive, etc. But something must have happened, because I hated that church. Well, I hated something about that church. So I had a tiny rebellion.
I’m not sure why, but I went up for the children’s church part of the service. If I recall, most of the older kids did because it was a fairly small church. I doubt I wanted to, but mom and dad probably made me. At this point in my days at the church, I had started to think of all of the adults as complete idiots and I started to think that they were completely blinded to basic education and logic. They were a very primitive church, I know that, now, but I had an utter disrespect for them that I did not know how to express. So, this man started the children’s moment with a question, “Does anyone know what a prophet is?” Well, I knew what a prophet was. I also knew what a profit was. I didn’t even wait for him to ask me to answer, knowing that none of these kids would answer, I just blurted out the definition of a profit. I distinctly remember that there was no inflection in my voice. My first moment of that teenage numbness, perhaps. The congregation and the man were silent for a moment, then there was a bit of laughter. Walking back to my seat, I blushed. Mom or dad, one, mentioned my answer and I just responded with, “well, it is.”
Isn’t that funny? It was in no way a REAL rebellion. But it felt like one. No one knew what I was doing, what I felt. That in that moment I felt smart and quite witty. Whether anyone realized it or not, I had done something. This story does make sense, now. Looking back, I can see that it led to many very similar rebellions that have to do with church and religion. But that one… somehow, I think that it is the one that matters. Even if no real ripple was made.
There are other tiny rebellions, of course. Many of them my older brother took part in. Getting rid of the my dad’s beer (dangerous in itself) in very dangerous ways; going places we had no permission to go- from our family or whomever owned the property, and on and on. On my own, though, I very distinctly remember thinking, at 8 or 9 years old, that the adults I was with were drunk and too dumb to realize I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing. So I just didn’t do it. Tiny rebellions. At 6 or 7 we were babysat by an older woman who was full of southern pride and anger, I hated that she wanted us to be so scared of her; that she used humiliation to get us to mind her. I remember hating that she thought I was the same as the other kids, when I knew I wasn’t. I was never a liar as a kid, and I thought most of my peers were. However, she NEVER believed me. So, I started lying to her. Only about small things. And I always got away with it. Tiny rebellions… In foster care I was blamed for fights between the high school slut and my foster sisters. Funny isn’t it, how I could be to blame for girls 5-6 years older than me having a fight. I stopped doing my chores and moved into a separate room, one with a lock. I pretty much isolated. I began drawing in that room. I, of course, got in quite a bit of trouble for locking the door. But it was so satisfying. It was the first room I ever had that I didn’t have to share. I like to think I earned it. I think tiny rebellions can pay off, really. Running from your mother when you are about to get a spanking is a rebellion, and I learned how to do it properly at the ripe age of 4. You win those little wars, the tiny rebellions, when you make her laugh somewhere en route, away from the spanking. At 5 I ran with a broom because I was told not to. That is the only reason I did it. I felt as though I was being told not to because I was too small and adults thought I couldn’t do it correctly. So I did it. I ran with that broom and I skinned my knee something awful. I fell in the driveway not 10 feet from my destination. I did not learn my lesson. I know that because I did it again about a year later. Some of the rebellions don’t end for years. Some never end, I guess.
Anyway, I just think they are all really important in my history. I think they show when I started to act on my beliefs. Which means I had to realize that some things were important to me. Not so much the rebellion against spankings, though I bet I really did have strong beliefs about not getting them. I like that I can look back at some of them and see integrity. Some weren’t good calls and most meant nothing. But I like them.


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