THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU who replied to my last post. I appreciate the honesty you displayed in sharing your struggles (or not) with organized religion. To those of you who do attend church, that post was not intended to exclude you or worse, to start a debate. At this stage of my life, I really don't have an ax to grind.
When I was younger, I was admittedly very opinionated and self righteous. It was my way or the highway which was ignorant and divisive. Getting older and traipsing along the path of hard knocks has the benefit of softening rough edges. It also has the benefit of fueling what was for many years a dry tank of empathy.
Speaking of rough edges, I spent my tender years in a dysfunctional home. My father and stepfather were violent. My mother and stepmother were terse and dismissive. No parent considered it their duty to love and nurture their kids. Consequently, I grew up believing a lot of things that weren't true about myself and the world. As an adult I've not only had to rethink a boatload of erroneous beliefs, I also had to learn several things that many if not most adults take for granted. For instance, I was either completely boundary-less and kowtowed to people out of fear of hurting their feelings or I was rude and crass, completely oblivious to their feelings. As an adult, after years of discomfort and incredulity, I was able to train myself to correctly consider the feelings of others while keeping my own boundaries in tact. This is just one example. There are many.
If you don't mind sharing, did you grow up without parental nurturing and if so, what things have you had to learn as an adult?