So we remember how this past Sunday I wrote a blog saying I admit defeat in my three year fight to get the story of my life as a member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas out in the open? Well, I just realized something: The scars run deep.
And the weird part? It’s not just with Catholic Daughters but rather with some other elements of my spiritual life.
The first time I noticed it this week, I was on Facebook group for Baptists and this one conservative guy quoted the passage about women not dressing like men which to the fundamentals, justifies women always wearing skirts. I pointed out that some argue that what the men wore in those days were a tunic, and this man said, “No, they wore pants.”
Not how I learned it, bub. I learned that it was a tunic and I learned it as a Roman Catholic sitting through countless Good Friday masses. I got angry and told this guy, “Maybe you should be nicer because I’m still learning here.” He claimed he was but to me, he wasn’t very sincere to begin with. I mean, I read several versions and they say “tunic” or “Vestment” in the Passion when talking abou Jesus’ clothes and how the soldiers would cast lots for the one article of clothing.
What does a tunic or a vestment look like? A dress. I rest my case.
I didn’t leave the group but I simply blocked this guy on Facebook. Reason? I don’t need someone like that insulting me. It was bad enough that he made me feel like my church that I have been for over 18 months now and feel a thousand times at home at is not a real Baptist church because my pastor’s slides on his sermon had a citation from NIV when he claims real Baptists use King James. Of course at my church, there are some that use King james or New King James and others that use American Standard. I personally use either King James or NIV but that’s because I have a copy of the King James that has sentiment attached to it because it was given to my mom when she joined the Baptist church she is at now (which is where I am as well) back in 2003 as a gift from one of my cousins.
It really reminded me of this woman who was the chapter president from my Catholic Daughters days who would ALWAYS gaslight me when I would say something. She would always say, “That’s not true.” It got to a stage where I kept thinking, “May God grant me the serenity not to pop this woman in the mouth.”
The second time was today. We all know that Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Accord which had to do with global warming issues and since the announcement was made, I have seen my Facebook flooded with posts related to it and while I think he was stupid for doing it, I can’t really say anything because of the same woman screaming at me when I discussed human rights issues on my Facebook because she said it was “Too political” and “National would come back and say something because the tax exemption would be at risk.” She made it seem like I would be thrown out for being a human that is concerned about other humans.
And I wasn’t really in violation of any rules because while Catholic Daughters of the Americas says you can’t be political and they do not endorse a political candidate (wonder if that will change since Trump relaxed part of the Johnson Act in the tax codes), you could ideally do this. How? You do it as a private citizen and do not identify as a member of this overgrown sorority.
That’s how I did it. I wasn’t “the member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas,” I was “the citizen of the United States of America” in my statements. Furthermore and this is what I tried to tell this woman we will call Meg (not her real name) was that my posts were all “Friends only” and the only way they could see them was if I tagged another member OR if someone screen grabbed them and sent them to national. Furthermore, on the national office’s Facebook group (I don’t understand why they didn’t do a page), I always asked questions on why was it okay to talk about certain political things there. Yeah, I was like the Leah Remini of this organization.
I now realize that Meg didn’t have an issue with national getting mad, she got mad. She hated my viewpoints and do you know how I know this? It was because of an incident that happened about a year later when she talked about this case where a kid was running away from a cop after shoplifting from a Walmart and he tazed the kid. I simply said that I don’t know who to blame because the facts are showing both parties could be at fault, the kid shouldn’t have shoplifted and the cop shouldn’t have tazed the kid, and truth is we as a society also failed the kid because we don’t give these kids structure.
I thought Meg being an educator herself would agree but I get a private message saying, “I deleted your comment.” And when I went to defend myself, she actually had my comment but it didn’t sound like my words. I tried to defend myself again, and she didn’t listen. After that, Meg started this movement to sabotage me but God forbid if I threw it back at her because she only did worse.
I left in 2014, went through a spiritual limbo where I ended up at an Episcopal church where the (female) priest was another Meg but after I realized that she along with at least two other (female) members were Megs, I left. I am now at a Baptist church where all they say about politics is pray for the politicians to do the right thing.
Oh and for the record, I did write to politicians and ID as something other than a private citizen. I did letter writing campaigns through the parent company of the hospital I volunteer at and I IDed myself as such so in your face, Meg
I’ve been thinking about these events a lot lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about them because while I feel like I have finally been set free of the abuse that Meg and women like her did to me in the environment of a religious organization, I do not feel 100% free.
I feel lost really and I’m doubly lost because of what happened to me and when people like that man I came across in that Facebook group say things like he did, it makes me more confused.
What makes me happy though is that I am not in a situation like I was two years prior. I mean, remember my blog about Episcopalians on Facebook? I rest my case. That was ugly and I really didn’t have anyone to turn to because at the time, I was in a church where no one really cared.
I am somewhere that people care now. I talk about my past with my Baptist friends because I found a lot of them get it. A few of them are former Catholics themselves so they doubly get it.
But one thing was interesting and that came from a friend of mine who is a missionary that works with young people. He reminded me that there are people who interpret the bible differently than others and that it’s all about the relationship with Jesus. I met this friend because of my mom and because of going to her church (which as we know I joined in 2015) and all I have to ask is this: WHERE WAS THIS GUY WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH SPIRITUAL HELL THREE YEARS AGO!?
Truth is I have had a ton of these moments in the last couple of years. From the guy I just mentioned to a man who dealt with his own personal issues and tried his hardest to help others to the woman who opened her heart and “adopted” an international couple and became a grandmotherly figure to the couple’s child to the teens and young adults who reach out to many even at their young age to the point where they are going to travel thousands of miles to another country and hopefully reach others with their words.
I’ve met people that have dealt with addiction and now use their experience and knowledge of The Word to help others who are dealing with it, the woman with a disability who fights her hardest just to get through the day but never gives up on what matters. And of course they are all guided by a pastor who is dealing with the heartache of having a grandchild with one of the most disabling and often deadly forms of muscular dystrophy out there, SMA: Type I. Even with this cross to bear, he still finds a way to enlighten and guide his very diverse flock which I am proud to say this mixed race (I’m white & Native American), disabled writer who has been through her own personal hell is a part of.
Truth is these days I have to think of this. Yes, I am dealing with 30 years of pain and anguish caused by bullying and mental abuse and it really came to a head in 2014 but I am also trying to heal from that. I did end up undergoing psychotherapy but I also realized my spirit was broken and thankfully both are slowly undergoing repair.
It’s like putting together a puzzle, you do it one piece at a time. And even in the piecing, you can still help others because trust me, I have done that too.
“Sometimes a small thing you do can mean everything in another person’s life.”–Matthew Perry
As always, don’t forget to be awesome.