While in the IFB, I had the experience of being both a missionary kid and a pastor’s kid. Trust me both suck!
First, life as a missionary’s kid (MK.) My dad decided he would be a missionary when I was around 10 years old. The next two years my family and I lived out of a van. Every day we were at a different place in a stranger’s house in a stranger’s bed and with stranger’s staring at you as you got dressed. Yes, that did happen a couple different times. Perverts! We were lucky, if we got to go to a missions conference. This meant staying in one place for about a week. That to us was luxury.
Besides always being on the run, you always had to behave like an adult. People always were watching us. My brothers and I were not allowed to be kids. We had to stand still and answer questions about a country we had never seen before. And if we didn’t have an answer my dad would spank us.
Also at this time, I had a nervous break down. I had a fear of being separated from family. I got so nervous that I would pull out hair or scratch my arms till they bled. It never occurred to my dad that I needed help. Instead I would get beat for it.
Life on the field, as the IFB would call it, was ok. I had a home. I made friends. And we were away from the church that ruled our lives. Little did I know that they were still keeping a firm grip on us. After 7 years of the good life over there, my dad was called back by the pastor. The pastor was going to train him to be the pastor of his church, college and academy. Yeah the guy had his own empire.
This brings me to the life of a pastor’s kid. (PK) I found out a day before the entire church did, that my dad was going to be pastor of this big congregation. I had to process a lot within 24 hours. One of my fears was that I would never go back to the country we were missionaries to. That country had become my safe haven, my home. Horrible things happened there, but it was the one place the pastor wasn’t in total control.
The day after it was announced to the whole church, I suddenly had people that wanted to be my friend. I also felt like I was being watched all the time. I could have sworn that church had eyes in the walls. Anything said or did went public.
At first it wasn’t too bad, I went along with the pastor and my dad and played the role of a perfect pastor’s daughter. I did my duty and enrolled in the college. I was on a bus ministry. Went visiting every Saturday from 9 AM to 6PM. Then I would go visiting between then with my dad.
Something changed though. While at a bookstore, I found myself in the romance section. Found a book. And for the first time I read about sex. Sounded good but still didn’t know what was what. My curiosity grew and when I got a computer, I looked up porn. You want to talk about culture shock. Well, that was one big one! LOL Of course, a member in my family found out and turned me into the pastor.
Immediately, I was kicked out of school. I wasn’t allowed to talk with anyone. I am not kidding for half a year the only people I talked to was family, and that was just to get a list of cleaning to do during the day. (That is a whole other story and one that pisses me off.) I was forced to read my Bible and pray and ask for forgiveness. It was suggested I write a letter of apology but the pastor wanted to save my dad’s reputation so that never happened.
Not too long after that, my dad decided to not be the pastor. He told me then went away for a week. It was then it was announced in church. People automatically came for me. They wanted to know what I had done. So the pastor had people come and escort my brothers and I out of the building. The rest of my time at that church was awful. Rumors, people watching, people being critical. I was not even allowed around children any more because they were afraid I would molest someone. Seriously. From watch adult porn. Once! (While I was there.)
It was then that I hit the deepest depression. I ate all the time to fill the emptiness. I tried to kill myself. And life was hell.
But I got out of it. And i am very happy to say that I am free off all that BS of being a MK and a PK.