Yesterday was better day all the way around, and what I find amazing about words-blogging, journaling, writing letters-is that once they are out of me, out of my head and onto whatever medium I am using, is that they lose their power. Same as going to an AA meeting and sharing, once the words are spoken or written, they somehow don’t have the hold on me like they did. I can really easily get into my head, get myself all messed up and projecting things and assuming things that aren’t necessarily the truth, and god, I know better but it doesn’t stop me from doing it on occasion. The whole thing with Steve and the email? I am over it-partly because he seemed genuinely shocked that I was angry at him for not even having the courtesy to reply, and he was like,”What? You forget that not everyone checks their email every day or hour like you do.” Well. There is truth in that; in fact, a friend and I have talked about that very thing, about how not everyone gets an email and replies immediately, which I try to do and it bugs the shit out of me when people don’t respond for days and days (though admittedly I have been terribly bad about that lately, so my apologies, those of you who know who you are!). Anyway, the bigger part of it is knowing this: whether or not he was living a lie, I wasn’t. I loved him as well as I knew how to do, as wholly as I could (and god help me, I still do), with parts of my heart that were previously too damaged to love anyone. So I am back to feeling, while sad, that I did something right, and in a big way. Not so much for him, because what he chooses to do with that gift is his, but for me. To love unreservedly (most of the time, anyway), to allow someone to break down the small barriers and BE trusted, albeit slowly, with those secret parts? That was my gift to him, but more importantly to myself, to my children, to my daughter.
I will not apologize for my defeatist, broken attitude Saturday either, because those feelings were valid then, just like they might be again tomorrow. Yesterday, though,was a better day. I slept in until the unheard of hour of 7:00 am (hallelujah!), then got up and did some review of some of the things I am going to be working on re: editing, and then Sam and I got all cleaned up and we went to church. My friend J. was speaking and that is always nice, and afterward there was a coffee hour in the Parish Hall, which I always enjoy. R. and I were talking about J.’s sermon and it was funny-we are both egotistical enough to be sure she was talking directly to us individually, and I suppose that is the mark of a good sermon. I love their church because it is so simple and uncomplicated, just a group of people who get together because they love.
Sam and I took a long walk along a new walking path the city has put in along the river, and on the other side there is the golf course; I never have understood the game, have no desire to learn more about it or god forbid play it, but I like to watch other people play. They take it so seriously, each move precise and beautifully controlled, and for some reason that makes me happy. Hannah and I also went on another long walk last night (because walking with Sam is fun, but it isn’t exercise; he is more of a meander-er), so I went to bed feeling tired in a good way.
The only thing that really marred the day was getting into a very heated discussion with the Bishop and his sidekick; one might conceivably call it a fight, should one be so inclined. The short version is that they came by my house, unannounced, to tell me that they heard I was upset about Hannah not being allowed to go to the Young Women activities now that she is pregnant; no solutions offered, of course, and they were confused as to why we feel like she is being shunned. “Because,” I said,”for over a year she has been talking to these girls who were supposedly her friends once and twice a week and suddenly no one has talked to her at all. Because she has been shunted off to the Relief Society with the older married women who have not once called to invite her to an activity or expressed concern about how she is or even offered help of any kind. Because as soon as she started ‘showing her sin,’ so to speak, she has been ignored completely.” The Bishop was saying something about how it takes two, and if we weren’t willing to give a little then the church women shouldn’t be expected to either. And I agree with that; it is a two way street, absolutely. However, they are talking about my family as a whole, and I have always been honest with them in that I am not active, I have no intention of becoming active, and if I want to show up at church then I will. Hannah, however, has been going to Young Women consistently for over a year, three times out of every four on average, including additional activities on weekends. So why is she being punished because I choose not to go to church? The thing that REALLY set me off-because up to this point I was upset but relatively calm-was when the Bishop said, “You have to remember that we are only human, and even though we try to go by the guidelines the church has set down, we ARE human.” THAT pissed me off-and I ripped into him like you would not believe. “I am so tired of you people using that ‘we are only human’ excuse for shitting on people. Yes, I know you are only human, we all are. But when you are only human, you come here and tell me everything I am doing wrong and lord your superiority over me and my family, and still get to go to bed at night feeling like you have done your Christian duty. When other people are only human, like my daughter, they get shunned. You all like to call yourselves Christians but you are NOT, you are all a bunch of hypocrites.” I think, at one point, I perhaps may have accused him of being a liar, and (ahem) may have also said something along the lines of yes, I smoke and I drink coffee and I was living in sin with someone and had a baby out of wedlock, but I am a damn sight better Christian than he is because at least I am honest. I also may have let slip that I would prefer to never have anything to do with them again. I can’t remember exactly what I said at that point, because I was pretty angry. I am pretty sure I did not call him a motherfucker, anyway. It was almost funny in retrospect, because I could see the look in his eyes like “oh shit,” and just as he was starting to get panicked, Steve showed up to bring Owen home and he (Steve) said that he really just looked like he couldn’t WAIT to get out of there. I felt sick about it afterward, because I try really hard to respect that everyone believes differently, even my own children, and I didn’t feel like I had handled it nearly as well as I could have. If it helps any, later I was in the church parking lot with Owen while he rode his bike and the Bishop pulled in; I waved at him and smiled, but for some reason he didn’t respond in kind. Hm.
So much for that being the short version of the story, eh? Well-they were here talking smack and trying to get me to come around to their way of thinking for about 40 minutes, so I guess it is. I worry, though; this is a small area, and predominately LDS-I hope I didn’t mess things up for my kids later on down the road. I think I might have said some things that could be considered apostasy, actually, which is a really bad thing in these parts (and for those readers who are LDS, I am sorry, I know how important it is to you and I love you, but I can’t defend these actions in the name of Christianity; I hope you understand and don’t hate me).
So that was my Sunday, and even taking into account the big conflagration, it was a good day, far better than Saturday. Now it is a sunny Monday morning and I am getting ready to go to work, and another week begins. There will be good days and bad days, but it is all just this thing called life, and I will get through whatever the day brings.