I said I was going to do this yesterday, but I actually didn’t have time. I wasn’t feeling great and there was just too much else happening. So I’m posting it today.
I mentioned on the Facebook group that I was taking a week to try to figure out what was going on because I said some hurtful things that just came from a pretty dark place. I try very hard not to harm others when I’m feeling bad, but I let it leak out. And that was a sign to me that something was just very, very wrong.
A big part of it is that I lost a lot of the emotional closeness with my husband over my changing perspective. If it were just the spiritual stuff, it would have been easier. In fact, we still actually share the same core faith; it’s how that looks in practice that’s changed for me and not for him. For example, he is still hell-bent on teaching our kids abstinence till marriage, and he still believes being gay is not a choice but “acting on it” is (and shouldn’t be done–though he assures me he will “love our kids anyway” should they be gay; his attitude makes it hard for me to believe that). And as good a man as he is, these are HUGE issues for me. We’ve had raging arguments about them, and he still insists that I’m wrong and have an “ungodly” or “unbiblical” view. When he says those things, I have a pretty “ungodly” view that he’s being an ass. Obviously, no two people are going to agree on everything. But these two issues are, for me, particularly important. I would rather my husband disagree with me about hell (strangely, that’s one we agree on–we don’t think it exists) than the other stuff. The result of it is that I have felt like I can’t be totally honest with him about where my doubts are and the thin thread of belief I have that threatens to sever.
Last weekend, we finally talked over some of the things I experienced in all the years of being in borderline fundamentalism. It not only hurt me, it took a toll on my family when I went that way. The conversation started at my sister’s house where we were talking about our regrets, and I said I regretted going to that church in high school–I felt like I’d lost my teenage years to self-righteous religion. After we came home, my husband asked me about all of that because he finally had started to understand where I was coming from.
The problem is, he has inadvertently contributed to it over the years. He’s nowhere near as conservative as I used to be, but we have things in our history together that we’ve tried to hash out but never really resolve. A big one for me is that before we were married, we were physically very intimate but he refused to have “real” sex because it was “wrong” or I might get pregnant (um, hello, birth control–which I was on after we got engaged). There’s too much to that to untangle it here, but it’s another thing he refuses to examine. He’s basically said, “I’m sorry you felt that way, and maybe we shouldn’t have done any of that” rather than acknowledging that what we did wasn’t really the problem–it was the layers of guilt. It’s so frustrating trying to walk through this with him because of his absolute refusal to see any other perspectives on it.
Along with all of that, I’m still trying to figure out how to cope with chronic pain from the fibromyalgia (I’ve been able to manage the fatigue and mental fog, but not the pain). I’m utterly burned out from being a stay-at-home mom for so long, but right now, changing that isn’t an option because of my daughter’s therapy (she has a behavioral disorder and her doctor feels it’s best to continue homeschooling until we can help her–long story). That would have been okay, but we don’t have a homeschool group due to the religious nature of most (and the food/health/ant-vaccine fundamentalism of the non-religious ones). We no longer see my friend and her daughter on a weekly basis because of issues in my friend’s life that make it difficult and potentially unsafe for us (related to drugs and alcohol and a family situation). Plus, it’s winter, and I already have issues with the lack of sunlight and the cold.
I’m a bit of a mess at the moment, and I’m not used to saying that. I’m always the one to hold everything together. But lately, I’m the one falling apart, and I honestly don’t feel like I have the tools to cope with it. I’m trying; I really am. But it’s hard. And last week, I got triggered into days–literally–of crying because I very much felt like I was being told that being this unhappy is my own fault and I should just “change” things I don’t like. Well, fuck that. I’m unhappy because my life kind of sucks right now, and some of it (like losing a friend) can’t just be changed. I’m sure it won’t be like this forever, and I don’t intend to talk only about this and nothing else. But it’s the attitude that if I talk about it I’m dragging others down with me that makes me so angry. I don’t want advice or platitudes or to be told to fix it if I don’t like it–I just want to be heard.
Anyway, if you made it all the way through, thanks for listening.