Thursday, March 27, 2008

Horrible, shocking confession.

We didn’t celebrate Easter this year. We did nothing.

See, our church? The church that we’ve been going to since we got here and we love? Doesn’t really feel like our church anymore. For a lot of reasons, most of which are way too painful and involved to get into right now. But one of the biggies? Is that someone whom Jason used to work with goes to church there as well and she did and said a lot of things that were horribly untrue and horribly unkind and hateful and mean and terrible and I’m getting really freaking worked up just thinking about it. And she just happens to be related to our pastor.

Now, I have been very honest when I say that I would not want anyone in my life judging me based upon my relatives. I have family members in jail, family members who have abandoned their children, family members who have not abandoned their children but are such horrible parents that we all wish to God they would, family members on drugs, family members who have been on Jerry Springer (no, not kidding, wish I was) and more emotionally crippled, socially retarded family members than one could shake the proverbial stick at.

I know what it is to have a messed up family. I live it every day of my life. The weird part is? They think that since I’m the one in therapy? That I’m the crazy one.

I know, right? LOLtastic.

Anyway, back to my point. I don’t think it’s the pastor’s fault that his relative is a lying box of used sanitary napkins. Nor am I trying to blame him or say that the reason she is the way she is has anything to do with the fact that she attends that church. That’s not fair and it’s not correct.

My problem is, my husband, the man with whom I share my life, lost his job in part because of the lies this person told. I haven’t told the entire story of what happened when he lost his job. Maybe I will someday but I can’t yet. It’s still very raw. And even though he has a new job now, and thank God it seems to lack the multitude of Crazy and In Charge that the last job did, still. It was a huge, huge blow to him. And it just wasn’t. his. fault.

And he doesn’t need to have to see the person that was partially responsible for that. He just doesn’t.

I’ve questioned myself lately if we are the type of people who just run away from their problems instead of confronting them, head on. We don’t have a relationship with my husband’s birth family because of how horribly they treated me and the Boy and Girl Child. That was Jason’s choice, but frankly? I’m glad he made it. I cannot imagine how infinitely more difficult my life would be right now if I had to deal with them all the time. I do not deal well with some of the people in my own extended family. It is very hard. I’m trying hard to get well. I’m doing all this work in therapy and it’s getting easier all the time. But it’s still hard to undo thirty-two years of feeling like I am Wrong and Will Never Be Right and Horrible and Awful and a Mistake. It’s like, if I’m okay, the Earth will stop spinning. It will all fall down around me. All I know how to be is crap.

I don’t know how to be okay. Or normal.

And until I figure it out? I shouldn’t be around people whose lips I wish to rip off. It just doesn’t seem safe.

Easter morning I got out of bed early and went outside and sat on my porch swing. I prayed for a while that I would have some wisdom and understanding, because, frankly? I need all the help I can get.

I felt calm about Easter. I felt at peace. Pretty sure that God is cool with me and my logic.

Later that day Jason went out and sat in the swing, on his own. I feel pretty sure he was reflecting as well.

When he came back in he said, “You know, there’s a church that’s less than a mile from our house. Why don’t we try that next week?”

So we will.

I think we will find our place somewhere.


Heather {Desperately Seeking Sanity} said...

Praying that you will... :D

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think I'd end up in a smackdown with that beyotch if it were me.

I'm glad that Jason is in a new job with normal people.

We've all been there, in jobs with horrible people who just seem to be the Spawn of Satan. And surprisingly, sometimes they're related to men of God. Go figure.

KJ said...

Ugh. Not going to that church doesn't sound like running away from your problems to me. Sounds like not rubbing your face in a pile of crap. Hope the new church is a happy place.

KJ said...

You know what? I just had to come back. Because this stuck with me, "All I know how to be is crap." Because I think that is bullshit. And I mean that in the friendliest way. You're an awesome writer, a great mom, a supportive, cool wife... I'm sure there's stuff you suck at and that you mess up on even the stuff you're good at, because who doesn't? And who actually totally lives up to their potential? Really. I just had to say. I don't know you much but I think you're cool and definitely not "crap".

Tarasview said...

I'm sure God understands your logic just fine and loves you all the same :) I don't know how to be normal either.

J said...

I am glad you guys are trying a new church. Don't let the bad people keep you down, keep moving forward. Yay for you!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Oh hun...owie. How hard to have someone come into one of your happy places and wreck it like that. I really hope you can find welcome someone more comfortable for you guys.

Actorgirl said...

Boy do I understand the messed-up family and the feeling always like you're never good enough!

As for the church, I don't see it as running away. There are family members I don't see and haven't seen for many years because it is simply not healthy to do so. And, frankly, I don't think you have anything to prove to this woman. I don't see any point in going someplace to worship God where you will feel too uncomfortable to do so. It's not running away, it's healing and caring for YOURSELF and YOUR spiritual life.

Wishing you both the best and SO glad that Jason has another job!!!! :)

Denise said...

Someone once told me.... "God doesn't care what church you go to, as long as you go"> Now I am a non believr and i don't go to church, so take what you will fronm that. The saying is def cute.

Anonymous said...

Oh Chick. I know just how you feel. Really, I do. I mean, I can totally understand not wanting to go to a church where you feel beat up on when you can do that just fine all by yourself.

I almost lost my faith over shit like that.

I think you should approach the pastor (pray about it first) and let him know why you've decided to leave the church (if you're actually leaving for good). He needs to know what happened. If He's really anointed? He'll receive what you say in the right spirit. End of.

What's that passage in Matthew? (I'm googling it now).
Okay, I'm back.
Here it is:
Matthew 18:15-17
"15"If your brother sins against you,[a] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[b] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

Where it says the church - I wouldn't do it in front of like the WHOLE church - but I would definitely go to the pastor - or some elder/deacon - someone in authority in the church who's got the right spirit about these kinds of matters. Someone who cares about the health of the church.

This stuff is what tears churches apart. NO ONE in church should make you feel you're not welcome there anymore. You shouldn't allow - or give ANYONE permission to do that to you.

And no one in a church should put up with church members acting like that!!! They need to be called out on their behaviour.

Chick, I think if you walk away quietly? And don't deal with this? It'll follow you somehow. (I don't mean it's your fault either). I mean this scenario will happen again. I think it's a spiritual thing going on - maybe a test of faith - maybe a nudge from God for you to turn to His word and seek answers there.

Don't let that asswipe (you know who I'm talking about, right?) win. You've got a greater power in you, if you ask Him for guidance on this one. It's His battle with cancerous spirits like this - not (y)ours. Hand it over to Him. And stand strong in faith that He'll deal with it.

Here's the next part of that verse:
Matt 18:18
18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[c]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven."

Bind that bastard from having any hold over you. I have a hunch you know where to lay it.

There. How's that for some sisterly encouragement? I think God will forgive me for going way beyond 'crap', don't you? Self-righteous church members wouldn't, but then I don't care what THEY think.

If you wanna chat about it some more - lemme know;). {{{hugs}}} I'm here. And I mean that.
Bless you - xoxo, TLG

Tricia said...

We celebrated Easter...well the bunny part. Not the God part. I have a feeling that is bad. I mean, I observed lent and all, but then it came down to Easter Day and NOTHING.

Tricia said...

Oh and seriously. That is why I stopped going to church. Because, you know, it is generally the pastor's sister or wife or such who is the person who causes the most drama.

Edie said...

You know what? I don't blame you one little bit. I do the same thing, and I think it's a self preservation mechanism. Focus on your family and ya'll can get through this together.

Good luck finding a new church. It's hard, I know.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's running away. I think that you are in between a rock and a hard place there, so you should go to another church. I don't blame you.

Jenski said...

Going to a church you want to be in and see people at and feel at home and relaxed in is wonderful. It is unfortunate that the one you had been attending has worked out and I hope the one down the street is wonderful.

And all that other stuff? No one is normal. It takes tremendous courage to face you problems and get better, no matter what you think. :p That is wonderful that it gets a little easier every day.

KiKi said...

Seriously? COME ON. What a loser.

It's been my experience that the most "religious" people (in all faith at that) are usually the most condescending, critical, and hypocritical folks. Not that she's religious by virtue of being related to a pastor and all...

Good luck with finding a new spot.

PaintedPromise said...

good luck in your search! we finally found a place. it's NOT church. it's a "bible study" like no other bible study you have ever seen. the leader is an ordained minister who hates organized religion! what hooked me was that his class on "relgion vs. relationship" - yeah, religion is man, not God, if it was God there would only be ONE. i know you are too far away but you and Jason would definitely be welcome on Wednesday nights :)

no matter what else, we tell ourselves... WE GOT WEDNESDAY!

LzyMom said...

I think that too many of us can identify with not being good enough.

The most powerful thing I have come across lately is forgiveness. I can't explain it fully (see Louise Hay books) but it's like the more you rage against someone and what they've done to you, the more power they have over you. It just hurts you in the end.

Oh yeah, and forgive yourself too. :) You are awesome and strong and an incredible writer. :)

Anonymous said...

Most churches today are filled with people like this lady. It makes me mad. People should go to church to form a strong bond with god and the people within their community. Not to destroy it.

BandK said...

You know what??? We didn't do anything either!! Shhhh don't tell. But I think the Big Guy in the Sky doesn't care about that. He knows what's in your heart, and that's all that counts.

My husband and I come from different denominations, and we've never been able to find a happy medium, so we haven't attended church in years. I'm Methodist and he's Episcopal, so I'm used to a more casual worship style and he's used to a very formal worship style. I'm not comfortable in his church and vice versa. I miss the fellowship, but we're at loggerheads over it.

Anyway, no worries. The Big Guy loves ya! :-)

BandK said...

p.s. I totally agree with Tiger Lamb. If you slink away without stating your side of things (to the pastor only, as she said) then it will look like the witch-with-a-capital-b is right and they might think that maybe Jason DID do the things she says he did, even if he didn't. And if the people in the church know you guys, and they all believe her over him? Then truly after speaking with the pastor, you really need to find a new church home that 1) doesn't participate in vicious gossip, and 2) has a spirit of acceptance and love.

Good luck to you! :-)

BandK said...

p.s. I totally agree with Tiger Lamb. If you slink away without stating your side of things (to the pastor only, as she said) then it will look like the witch-with-a-capital-b is right and they might think that maybe Jason DID do the things she says he did, even if he didn't. And if the people in the church know you guys, and they all believe her over him? Then truly after speaking with the pastor, you really need to find a new church home that 1) doesn't participate in vicious gossip, and 2) has a spirit of acceptance and love.

Good luck to you! :-)

BandK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sabrina said...

I'd go to the church, walk up to the lady and say "Thank you so much for being a lying cheating sack of whatever and getting my husband fired. He got a much better job that he would never have had the opportunity to apply for and he's making a ton more money, so I really wanted to thank you for doing us a favor"

Even if it's not true.

yeah, i know. There's a special place in hell for me.

I need to find a church also...

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

All I will say is that God is watching her and she will have to answer to Him.

You do what's best for you and your family. It's not running away. You don't go to church to gossip and see who's wearing what and seeing who. You go to worship.

Julie said...

I think God is ok with your logic too!

CHurch, in my book, is a place where everyone should feel safe, welcomed and comfortable. If you don't I think checking out a new church is a great idea.

Heather J. said...

Damn Chick, you made me cry.
I am sure God got your logic.
Why does life have to be so damn hard!?

CPA Mom said...

We didn't go to church either. Since I was in bed recovering from surgery and all. And high on vicodin. but still.

I applaud your decision. You aren't juding the paster by his relative but keeping Jason and you far far away from a skank that needs a lesson or two taught to her and really? church isn't the place to do that.

Try the new church. Make your peace anyway you can. You deserve it.

I hate church on Christmas and Easter anyway. It's too crowded with the 2x a year churchgoers. We'll be back tomorrow and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts (mmmm, doughnuts) that the church will be empty again.

CPA Mom said...

oh, and seriously? Jerry Springer?? WTF?

EE said...

I'm waiting for the Jerry Springer post!