Intern Paul has some words for the second letter writer in today’s Dear Prudence, aka, the girl who went through a slutty phase and has now been basically kicked out of her super-Christian family because her judgmental controlling turd of a brother snooped in her email and told everyone about her wicked ways.
First, here are my words for the brother: Way to shine the light of Christ’s forgiveness, fucko. Truly you are an example to us all. Did you go through all of the private communications of everyone in your wedding party to make sure that no human frailty would mar Your Special Day? I mean, that’s just due diligence on your part, right? You wouldn’t want anyone who has ever committed a sin to put on formal wear and stand near you on such an important milestone in human history.
You know who else thinks that the sexual behavior of their female relatives is their business? The Taliban. Yeah, awesome. I guess we should be grateful that you didn’t feel the need to stone your sister to death or burn away her face with acid.
I’ll let Intern Paul take it from here.
Dear Penitent Whore (and it fucking pains me that you called yourself that):
Your brother is an asshole shitbag, and you need to contemplate cutting him out of your life completely. Seriously. I’m not going to comment about the supposed “wickedness” of your previous behavior (about 100% of the population has engaged in at least 2 of those 3 things), but I will take your word for it that it was getting to be too much. And do you know why I will take your word for it? Because it was YOUR LIFE and the only person that was being potentially hurt by your behavior was yourself, so you are the best person to judge what was going on. Not your shitty brother, not his shitty wife, not your shit-enabling parents. Your brother doesn’t care about you one bit, if he did would he still be shaming you for your previous behavior at every turn? Is that a good way of dealing with somebody overcoming addiction issues? To constantly remind that person of how “repugnant” they are? All your brother cares about is showing off how “Godly” and how “better” than everyone else he can be (I am reminded of the lyrics to “No Earthly Good“). I am even tempted to think that he relishes the thought of you “falling” again because it would be a big boost for how he views himself.
I am not a Christian, and I think that the Captain is right that your brother’s investment in your sexual history is some scary, reactionary, Taliban-level bullshit. But I’m going to make this argument to you from a Biblical place because that is where your worldview is coming from. If I really had my druthers I would ask you to just tell your brother to fuck off and go back to the drinking and sex if it made you happy. Hell, it always works for me.
But no, even the Bible condemns his behavior. Prudence hit the big one with Matthew 7:5, but there are others. Proverbs 16:28 – “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Philippians 2:3 -“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Would your brother say that Mary Magdalene (the original penitent whore) wasn’t good enough to consort with Jesus? Or to be the first to witness His resurrection?
I realize that cutting your family off is much easier said than done. Clearly your parents have been no help (as I said: shitty). I would ask if your pastor has any thoughts, but given that your family is probably all in the same church I doubt he would be very supportive. So here’s what you do: 1. Get therapy (preferably of the nice non-judgy secular kind) to help you with the guilt and self-esteem issues stemming from how your family has shamed you. 2. Issue them an ultimatum: Either your brother apologizes and the shit stops or you are done with them. After all, “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw away.” Causing you to hate yourself over how God has made you sure sounds like a fucking sin to me. Given the way they feel the need to police your behavior in order serve their own warped esteem issues, you’re probably going to need to invest in some African violets. This will be hard, and it will be painful, but with the support of a good therapist and good friends (please tell me there are some who haven’t bought into your family’s bullshit) you can do it. Your life will be better for it.