Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sigh

I just need to vent. I'm angry and I need input. I can't post this on my blog because it's too public.

It's been almost 6 years since I left my ex-church.  SIX years. You think people would get it by now.

Apparently not.

Some people from my ex-church seem to continue to be concerned for my faith. In the last month I have been invited to BSF by one friend and to a Graham Cooke conference (at my ex-church, no less) by another "friend". These two people are close friends with each other, and I sense a conspiracy. The one who invited me to Graham Cooke I haven't heard from in almost two years. (And if you don't know who Graham Cooke is, he's a prophetic and charismatic speaker.) The other friend is on my relay team, and I thought we were developing a really good friendship, until she invited me to bible study. I guess I'm not clear enough with people about the condition of my faith.

But I sense that there is some conspiracy to try to bring me back.

Why?

Why?

I don't want to be a bitch, but seriously...SHE POSTED IT ON MY WALL ON FACBOOK! How to be gracious and not insult her beliefs, while still getting the message across that I'M NOT INTERESTED.

Not even considering that I have no desire to enter the doors of my ex-church and attend the conference with my ex-friends...I'm not into the whole Graham Cooke thing anymore. Not at all. Years ago I would have jumped at the chance to hear him speak, back when I believed all that hyper-spiritual prophetic nonsense. I suppose this "friend" thinks I haven't changed in six years? And then the whole assumption that I "must have gotten over it by now"...WTF? I'm never going to "get over it". What went down there is forever a part of my being, and she was a big part of the problem.

So here I am angry and bitter all over again, because somehow my spiritual health seems to be other people's business. I don't get it. I mean I do get it, because evangelicals think everyone's spiritual health is their business, but do they not know when to leave well enough alone? I guess not.

It makes me soooo angry.

Thanks for listening.

18 comments:

Sue said...

Oh, YUKKINESS.

That amazes me too, how evangelicals think that other people's spirituality is their concern. I find it Stepford creepy.

Of course, when you believe in a God that's sending everyone to hell, and that their blood may be on your hands ... well, then, that doesn't give much space for people to be gracious, does it? I don't know if that's how your friends see it, but I feel like so much bad Christian behaviour stems from those sorts of beliefs.

So can you clarify for me what annoys you about the fact that she posted it on Facebook? Is it that she asked you in public, and to say no you feel like you will be rude if you say no in public? I'm not sure what you mean ...

So did they actually tell you in so many words that they "thought you were over it by now"?

There is so much arrogance within Christianity. Perhaps they don't even realise it but ewww, it's ugly.

Erin said...

Hi Sue. Yes, I don't know how to respond because I feel like it would be rude and possibly hurtful to say "no" in public. Not because I'm afraid to say no, but because she went out on a limb to ask. I just wish she hadn't done it publicly. I'm going to send her a private message.

And the 'get over it' thing..I guess I just assume, because both these people know what happened and know how I feel...but somehow they think enough time has passed that it's ok to invite me to church things again. Like I'm in some passing phase, and eventually I'll snap out of it.

It's just hard for me. I don't know what to say and I hate how it makes me feel. I hate feeling like people think they have to "fix" me. I'm ok just the way I am.

Erin said...

Ok so I decided I don't have to make excuses and I don't have to apologize. I responded to her post, you can read it if you want.

Sue said...

Good stuff. I thought you were very gracious in reply :)

Why is it so hard to stand up and say "Thanks but no thanks"? It takes until we're, like, 40 to do it well :P

I had to tell a bunch of schoolfriends no about something a few months ago. Started having these crazy dreams where I was being molested. I know it sounds crazy, but it was so hard for me to do, to say no, I felt like I was going to get into trouble somehow. Weird.

Maybe I should write a post about that. Been thinking about it but not quite sure how to. Rather personal stuff, and writing about being molested by old men in Akubra hats is not really a light topic :)

Erin said...

Thanks for your support...I needed it. Yes, it must take until just about 40 :) , because God knows I have just recently learned to say "no" without excuses and feel ok about it. Strange as that is.

I think, Sue, that if you were to feel inspired to write about your experiences, your audience would be kind about it and you would be an encouragement to some people, I'm sure. But no, not a light topic, and you have to have peace about the idea of writing it before you begin.

I will admit I had to look up what an "Akubra hat" was -- non-aussie that I am. :)

Manuela said...

Gosh, how very annoying. I'm sorry Erin... geez!
This is one of the reasons I'm not on facebook...
best to you and hugs

Manuela said...

oh and glad you were able to say no graciously. Some people REALLY need to back off, ugrhrrrrrr

One Voice of Many said...

I try to think that people like that mean well but it is still very annoying. I'm sorry, Erin. You handled it very well.

Mike said...

Hi Erin. Before coming in here to post to you, I went to your FB page and read the response. I think that her request was fairly innocent overall and your response was very gracious and kind.

The one thing in her request that I found disconcerting was "bring back some good memories!" This makes it pretty clear that she is still stuck in the "what was".

One of the things that I have discovered very recently is that I don't want to live in the past, I would rather "start over" (if you will) and make some new memories. Not that I don't have good memories, living in the past leaves no room for growth.

Erin said...

Thanks guys.

You know, it's wasn't so much that I didn't know how to be gracious about it, with some effort...it was how awful it made me feel. It's that same mentality...and I wonder, how long do I have to stay away before people leave me alone? What is so hard to understand about "I'm never going back there"? Why do they continue to feel so compelled to "fix" me?

Sigh.

Erin said...

Mike - I think her comment about bringing back good memories was more for my benefit...like "remember how much fun we used to have?" so I would be motivated to do it. And like "why WOULDN'T you want to do this?" It's manipulation.

I don't know...the whole thing makes me mad because I feel like I have to be defensive or people don't get it.

Anyhow, thanks to all of you. It's nice to know I have a place to come unload this kind of thing.

One Voice of Many said...

Erin
I've wondered that too -- why the compulsion to "fix". I wonder if it's just that if they don't try to 'fix' that means they might have to see what's really broken. Don't know - just my guess.

It is irritating and hard to be gracious back. Barry's post about not being silent anymore rings true to me. We should be able to walk openly about how we feel and not feel bad about it.

We're trained to let others express their beliefs and yet not want to be offensive with our own. All we can do is gracious hold our ground I guess.

Nate said...

Just checking in again. Worry I wasn't in the initial conversation. All of my anger and bitterness is gone now, and of course, it did not happen to me. The way I see it, she still loves you, and is concerned for you. As you would be for her if you saw something in her life that you felt was unhealthy for them. But convincing them of your faith, and that you are in no need of help is much harder. My hope is that you do not hold her good intentions against her.

Erin said...

It's nice to see you around again, Nate.

I realize that people who are still caught in that don't know any better. It's like if I were to travel to some place with a completely different culture than the American one, I might say or do something offensive to a native person, without even knowing it.

The only difference, is, I suppose, that if I were corrected, I would be humble enough to not do it again -- I wouldn't insist that whatever I said or did shouldn't be offensive because it's right.

But in Christian culture, people are so attached to what they are certain is "the right way", and there is no room for learning.

Barbara said...

Hi Erin! I got a comment from Ruth today which inspired me to get my @ss over here and see what was cooking in the Kitchen. I know this post is a month old but I wanted to comment anyhow.

Its good for you to vent your anger. It makes me grateful that the people I went to church with for years didnt' give a sh*t about me and didn't even notice when I left. BUT I do know what you mean because of my 17 years in ministry! I didn't tell people about my faith issues because I KNEW I would become a PROJECT. The few I happened to tell that I no longer went to church freaked out and would not leave me alone but because I was working there at the time they assumed that I was "okay" other than lack of church attendance.

I know you know this but I will say it for myself too: They are doing this because its been programmed into their minds that its the right thing to do. Of course that doesn't make it right. I doubt they understand how if feels to be treated like a project rather than a person.

I say tell them all to jump in a lake :)

Erin said...

Hi Barbara. You know, I completely get that they don't know any better, and they think that projects are their Christian duty. But then I think, what does it say about the state of Christianity that people can't learn grace for those who disagree with them?

I don't know, the entire thing made me feel so dirty. And she asked me out for coffee, but so far she hasn't been able to commit to a date. Figures. I think she really just wanted make herself feel better by asking me...but didn't really care.

Barb said...

My daughter and I just realized something on a cruize ship two months ago. She had let a massage therapist actually hurt her because she felt that the therapist - with all her training - knew more what she needed than Britt did her own body. (she has fyrbomyalgia) In talking it over we realized that all our years in the church/cult we had deffered so much of our own opinions without speaking up that ANYONE in authoriity or even a friend could "tell" what was better for us than what we knew was good for ourselves. We vowed to never let someone ask us something or tell us something and not speak up about it. It is hard. People - especially sure people - want to direct our lives.
Britt went back for a second massage and asked for exactly what she needed step by step. She walked out triumphant and relaxed.

Not that is what you were dealing with, it just struck a chord again in me to not be afraid to speak up as I need to.

Erin said...

Speaking up can be so hard...I think many of us as Christians were taught not to have our own opinions about things. It's hard to unlearn.