Society, My Heart

                         A Recovery Unsensored Guest Appearance!

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By: Nadya Bergeron

Dear society,

I am writing this to thank you for the priceless lessons that you have taught me. After twenty-one years within your walls, I have learned enough to begin questioning your textbooks. I thank you for that. I thank you for giving me a voice with which I can speak my mind. And I thank you for cultivating a culture in which I can further grow my mind and exercise my intellect. So, this is a tribute to you, society, for all of the lessons that you have taught me and so many others. Thank you.

I first would like to thank you for teaching me math. For without you, society, I would have never learned how to otherwise best count calories, dollar signs, friends, sex partners, Facebook likes, etc. I would have never learned how to divide my world into “cool” and “boring.” I would have never learned how to multiply my problems in such a way that draws pity into my life. I would have never learned how to tear down enemies simply by calculating their weaknesses. So, thank you for this valuable skill. It has suited me well.

History is another major lesson that I have learned from you. I have learned that we must question everything we learn. And when in doubt, we can simply blame it on aliens or government conspiracies, because it is easier to support that than a divine plan. You have taught me that coincidences don’t exist, except for the Big Bang and evolution.

Society, I have also learned a lot about the psychology of people. I learned that people feel uncomfortable when hearing the truth. I learned that people crave a false sense of honesty that keeps them in a utopian state of mind in which they are good people with loyal friends. I have learned that we can learn more from subtweets and sarcasm than a long-winded Facebook response to a controversial post. I have learned that people that feel the most pretend to care the least to preserve their reputation and emotions. And above all, I have learned that we are urged to be “real” and transparent, but only if it lines up with the culture’s recent sense of normality.

And society, above all else, I want to thank you for teaching me about love. I learned that love is a feeling that we all are chasing. I have learned that love is a game that is nearly impossible to win. And until we find our soulmate, we are entitled, in fact, sometimes we are urged, to practice sleeping around so that we can gain experience and memories. We grow accustomed to sharing about our escapades with our spouse later in life, ignoring the jealousy and bitterness that we feel knowing that the person who says “I love you,” once loved someone else. I have learned that marriage is now more about sexual compatibility than a commitment to unconditional love. And once that compatibility ends, we have learned where to find the contact information for the best divorce lawyers. Today, you have taught me that women must measure up to those in the dimly lit movies and men should measure up to fairytale princes. Society, you have taught me that love is so fragile that it can end over something so trivial as social media or weight gain. Society, you have taught me that love is conditional based on every individuals’ immediate and daily needs. Society, you have taught me that vows are simply place markers to feign security until something (or someone) better comes along.

And finally, society, you have taught me that lives do matter. In fact, they matter so much that sometimes it is acceptable, or even downright encouraged, to take some lives to benefit the rest. I am not speaking as some anti-war hippie. No, I am talking about the day-to-day. Society, you have taught me that it is okay for me to tear down my neighbor for the sake of my own reputation. It is okay for me to kill my enemies for the sake of justified revenge. It is okay for me to decide which human has a right to life and which human is simply not “enough” for me to sacrifice for and love.

And society, I disagree.
I disagree with your theology because I believe in something greater than the newest pop sensation. I believe that I deserve to feel beautiful despite the perfect bodies that show up on our Instagram pages. I believe that I should value my character more than the numbers on the scale, bank account, or newsfeed notification page. I disagree that I am simply a number to manipulate.

Society, I disagree with your dog-eat-dog world because haven’t we “evolved” to become better than that? Haven’t we “evolved” into humans by now that do not need to fight each other to reach the top? So why compare us to dogs and chastise us for using terms such as “bitch” in public?

Society, I disagree with you that only specific lives matter. We are all the same. And we all look different. Maybe we should stop differentiating between “black,” “Hispanic,” “Asian,” “Middle Eastern,” and whatever else we like to put a label on. These titles simply fuel the fire of racism that you’re trying so hard to fight. Labels are meant to divide and categorize and I’m tired of us being another file in a cabinet. We were given different races so that we can enjoy Earth’s garden of humanity, not so we can pick and choose which flowers look best in our front yard.

And society, on the topic of lives, I disagree that older means wiser. I disagree that bigger means stronger. I disagree that infant means inconsequential. I disagree. I disagree because that science that you shove down my throat about the millions of years this earth has been around also tells me that the fetus that grew inside of me had a heartbeat. Outside of the womb, you need to sign a DNR before they will stop machines from pumping blood into your heart. You need to sign a waiver for the doctors to stop artificially assisting your every breath. So please, please, please tell me why you think it’s acceptable to simply blow out these flickering candles? Even the smallest flame can start a forest fire. Society, I disagree with your idea that we can hypnotize women into thinking that they have no other choice. I disagree that we can redefine a human life based on our immediate and current needs. Why does our level of dependency define our humanity? Let us appropriately clarify terms before we sentence our next generation to premature graves.

Society, I am tearfully honest and woefully blunt with you because our church’s prayers and speeches have not reached your ears. You see us as conservative bigots that vote only for Republicans because we want to keep guns in our houses to protect our Bible from the sinners. We are so much more if we gave each other the opportunity.  Because while we’re arguing about modesty and the color of the walls behind our cross, people are killing each other outside, believing that it is better to sell their dope than asking for help from a highly judgmental group of “Jesus followers.” Don’t believe me? How many times do you respond with “I will pray for you” rather than truly listening to the problem? Prayer is wonderful, but so is company. You see, Christianity and the Bible have become prescriptions that we take when we mess up. How many times have people feigned innocence by quoting a Bible verse? And how many times have we quoted those verses in the midst of our sins?

Society I am ashamed to say that I fell for your tricks. I fell into the pattern of thinking that I was not good enough because I did not have provocative pictures of myself on social media. I fell into the trap of thinking that I could not please a man because I have not traveled around. I fell into the trap of thinking that I could not be loved because I do not reflect my Instagram feeds’ bodies. I fell into the trap of thinking that if I cared less about myself, someone else would care more for me. Who cares if there are roses, all we can smell is the coffee brewing, feel the sharp sting of cocaine in our nostrils, and cave under the jabbing pain of heartbreak where our hearts used to be. Society, you have taught me that it is more attractive to act heartless and harsh rather than looking foolish for the sake of compassion and love. Look. We are here now. It has taken us “billions and billions” of years, but we have survived longer than the dinosaurs. And somehow, I feel like we are the monsters.

It does not have to be this way. Society, you can change. You can heal. There is hope.

Society, I have learned a lot. And now I would like to return my textbooks for a refund. I don’t need this degree.

Sincerely,

{Student ID NOT FOUND}

 

About The Author: Nadya is a stay-at-home mom, always writing and drinking coffee. Adopted as an older child, she’s always tried to find a place to “fit in” and thinks she’s finally found it with the community of hurting people. There to help. There to heal. Nadya continues to write and blog in hopes of one day publishing her own book on how she survived to see the other side. Check out Nadya’s blog at https://nadyahope.blogspot.com

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