It's hard to post on the weekend because Tom is in and out of the room and I'm not ready (probably never will be ready) to let him know the change in direction I've taken spiritually. He tends to read over my shoulder while I'm online so I try to be careful what sites or blogs I'm reading while he's around. For the past couple of weeks he's been baiting me politically, trying (and on one occasion succeeding) in getting a reaction from me. He loves head games in which he comes out superior; it's the way he and his siblings were raised.
On the other hand, he was really nice over the weekend, mowing the yard and finishing up the laundry on Mother's Day. He and Zach bought me some art supplies including oil paints, which I've wanted for several years but never mentioned them before because I thought they were a luxury. Of course I can't think of a thing to paint right now. My mind is a complete blank.
I didn't go to church on Sunday, not because I wasn't feeling well, but because I just didn't want to go. I used to love the church and all the rituals but now, not so much. Knowing I wasn't going to go to church, I dropped off the vest I knitted for a church member and felt so strange in there. One problem I have with quitting is that is my sole community. I was the stay at home mom who homeschooled her son so I had no friends aside from Tom's family and our (former) church. But I had some issues with his sisters and sisters-in-law in general, mostly due to the difference in how we were raised. They were raised to believe making fun of people is good fun. I felt hurt and abused by them. And of course, the church "family" didn't actually consider me a real part of them since Tom didn't go to church with us so I was considered, for all practical purposes, as a single mom. And single moms in fundie churches don't fit in well so I was left out of a lot of family stuff.
Pagan's generally aren't organized into "churches" and being in the midst of Wisconsin's bible belt county it's darned near impossible to find one. I remember when I was in the homeschool support group after moving here, one of the "concerns" was that Pagans or Wiccans would try to join so we had to sign a statement of faith. I found it deeply disturbing on many levels, especially the paranoia that existed that "they" were out to infiltrate and seduce our kids to the dark side.
Looking back I wonder just how committed I was to fundamentalism. I think maybe it was a role I was playing because there were certainly many things I had to force myself to "believe," like creationism and how a "loving" God would tell the Israelites to kill children in order to wipe out neighboring tribes. In time I found I couldn't believe in the trinity or substitutionary atonement anymore. But that only happened after I allowed my reason to surface and not stuff my fingers in my ears and sing the la la song.
I came out of Christianity feeling foolish and betrayed. Foolish because I made myself believe things that flew in the face of evidence and reason; betrayed because there were truths out there that were suppressed and even hidden from Christians because they would cause them to doubt and/or leave Christianity behind. I'm a perfect example of that happening.
So I remain a bit isolated aside from some friends online. I find myself subject to huge shifts of withdrawal when I start getting close to anyone, online or in person. That all started in my fundie days. I was thinking yesterday about how adventurous I used to be prior to fundamentalism. I used to get out there and meet people and do things. Now I'm reluctant to leave the house.
I wish I knew how to change all this. Part of me thinks I need to leave my safety net behind. Not use the people at church the way I have been doing. I rely on them to be my social network instead of making myself get out there and find friends who enjoy the same things I do. I stay there because it feels safe and I don't have to start over again. I don't have to put my heart at risk anymore if I just remain there and let them be acquaintances but no more.
Viewing life through a Pagan lens is so different from that of Christianity. In many ways it's liberating and exhilarating. In other ways it's frightening that I have to constantly push myself beyond my comfort zone and get out there and grow. In Christianity all growth is within a small bubble of experience, mostly internal and rarely freeing.
I do love the Pagan path and am letting my feet take me where I need to go and my wings to let me soar where my heart needs to soar. I bought some bandanas yesterday for a dollar each because I needed some new altar cloths and just don't have the money to buy one or the time to sew one right now. I've been reluctant to spend any money on spiritual things because I spent probably thousands of dollars on Christian books, bibles, gadgets, how-to books and such trying to keep myself Christian. I don't feel like I need to do that to remain Pagan. Not that there is nothing out there worth buying or that I don't drool over. But I don't need it to make me feel more Pagan or a better Pagan. I have my back yard, the black birds, the hawks, the occasional deer appearing in the next yard over, foxes, trees, flowers, the wind. Much better than a confusing book that contradicts itself and creates animosity between the different sects.
I do hope someday soon, I'll have this out of my system and no longer feel the need (and yes, for now it's a need) to deconstruct Christianity. For now, though, I'll let myself work it out because I am no longer under the burden of blind faith and suppressing my reason and logic and experience.