.24 Intention vs Reality

You say you’re providing me with ample opportunities to open myself up to whatever wonders may be in store for me by forcing me to church every Sunday morning. In reality, you just cultivate the anger within me to where I’d rather shut down than try.

Is my reaction healthy? Probably not. But neither is force-feeding me something I should be able to decide for myself as an adult.

You say you’re helping, but I just feel shafted and hurt.

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.23 The Never-ending War

This evening I tried to put my foot down. I proceeded to get knocked the fuck over and bruised a little bit.

If you’ve been following me for a while (or looked back at previous posts), you know that religious functions/opinions and I generally don’t get one well. I will state again that I don’t have anything against people who follow a religion, those who practice faith, or anyone who goes to a place of worship. What I do have a problem with is when religious practices are shoved in my face or down my throat. If I ask about it, please educate me. Clearly I have things to learn as I was not raised within the church.

My mother has recently (like 2+ years ago) become a follower of Christ. What denomination, I couldn’t tell you. And she has seen positive changes in her person and is wholly happy with her decision to give her life over.

That’s swell. Kudos.

But she has made it her mission to bring the family together under faith. And this is where my problems start. If she wants to be a woman of faith, then by all means I encourage you to do what makes you feel good about yourself and your life. That does not mean I want to be constantly hounded to attend services or worse: be forced to go to service.

I’ve been fighting this war for two years now and I continue to fight even though I’m not winning. I have my reasons for not going, but they are valid enough for her to give me a damn break. I have to be honest that I’m just simply not interested in learning about it. Being forced to go is not going to make me feel as though I need to give my life over and start praying and reading the Bible constantly. If anything, I want to run farther and faster away because I want to make my own choices.

This is part of the reason I didn’t want to come home. I was quite certain she’d continue throwing me under the Jesus bus, and I just didn’t want this hassle. Aside from, you know, having my own space and living my own life.

Regardless of how much I complain now, I’ll still be at church tomorrow morning. I will be unhappy about it, and every single person will know. I won’t say it, but I can guarantee that tomorrow morning will not be a pleasant experience for this family.

Immature much? You’re probably right.

An Unwelcome’d Change

Today we’re switching it up from the subject of my failure with men to my failure with religion/faith.

My mom has recently (and by recently I mean months ago) started her walk within the Christian faith and it has done wonders for her, so she continues to tell me. She feels happier and she feels stronger; I’m extremely happy for her and glad that finding her way back to the church has helped her accomplish these things. I want to preface my personal comments with this: I have nothing against people of faith, people who have faith and worship regularly, or any combination of words speaking about people/religion/faith, except those that seem to be on the path of setting people on fire. I’m not a fan of the extremists.

Two days ago, my mom approached me and told me that because I still live under her roof and by her rules, I’m required to join her and my brother at church for the rest of my summer vacation. I’m very displeased with this, for one, because before I had the choice of whether to attend church or not because I’m an adult. My younger brother didn’t have the same choice, and now because it’s a “standard” (which I don’t agree with actually. It’s not a standard, this is her walk in faith.) I have to follow suit.

A few times before this conversation, my mother and I have actually talked about my relationship to church and why I’m uncomfortable with it. It basically boils down to feeling uncomfortable and non-authentic when I’m at a church because I’m gay. I’m not entirely myself and just feel obligated to keep a shield about myself, so I feel like a spy almost. I don’t enjoy going to church and then hearing messages about how terrible homosexuals are and how we’re destroying kingdoms and other ridiculous things like that. They’ve the right to their opinions, but that doesn’t mean I have to willingly subject myself to these things.

So I don’t.

I also have this thing where I don’t understand how anyone can pick one religion over another and then claim that religion is the only correct one. There are X many number of faiths and Y many number of people that follow each one. If they’re all right, then they’re all wrong. There’s a problem there. And my mom and I have had conversations about this where she insists that she knows for a fact that Christianity is the only way to go and I tell her my thoughts and receive a weird face and then we continue about our lives.

But back to the angry, bitterness about being forced to go to church. As I said, I don’t have a problem with people who go to church: everyone has there thing, but going to church isn’t mine. It’s taken me a very long time to be okay with who I am and start to like myself as a person who just is gay. I’m very proud of the progress I’ve made, and I believe myself to be a damn good person! I didn’t go to church for that, and I don’t need church to tell me what’s right to do by people and what’s wrong. That should be common sense.

I’m curious about religion in the fact that those who claim to have one are equally crazy in their beliefs based off how they view other religions (blanket terms are easy. I know this isn’t true for everyone). I have questions about some things when they come up, but at this point it almost feels like she’s trying to change me and I no longer have a willingness to ask questions about something I’m being forced into. Experiencing this will probably be a way to find the answers myself, but I’m not willing or ready to immerse myself into a walk within the Christian faith to discover if what they say is true for me or not. Now I’m just going to sit awkwardly in church like I always do, but this time, I’m a little upset with her.

I know she means well, but if you want someone to convert to your religion, throwing them isn’t a good way to make them want to stay. I’m already prepared to run the other way.

UPDATE:
When I wrote this, I saved it as a draft because it didn’t seem like it was making much sense. I’m still not sure if it’s completely coherent to the point where I can say “this is exactly what needs to be said about my feelings” but I’m sharing it now anyway. It’s an accurate description: it’s fucking jumbled and unsure and difficult, which is exactly how I think and what I feel about all of this.

I’ve since gone to church with her, and I was obviously upset the entire way there. I watched, but I did not participate. I feel like it’s best to be honest and do nothing than to pretend that this is what I’ve always known and done. I don’t want to be dishonest: that seems offensive to the church and feels like I’d be mocking them. Let’s keep it classy and quietly sit in the back and just observe. I’m really hoping my mom will stop trying to make me love it. The chances of that are…slim.