Sunday, January 17, 2010

I try

My astrological sign is Libra. Actually I'm a Virgo/Libra cusp so I am really well organized when I make up my mind - there in lies the rub!

Some of the attributes on the Libra side are: always trying to find the good in everyone, hates conflicts, tries to be a mediator and likes harmony.

The flip side of that is that I am often blinded by trying to find the good side that I don't often see the really bad side of people until much later. Also - in a argument situation I could never mediate because both sides seem equally valid to me. Decision making - horrifies me to the point of paralysis. If you ask me "what would you like for lunch?" my typical answer will be..."anything you want is fine with me".

I am learning to ask for what I want and be OK with my decision, but these are life long patterns that won''t be changed easily.

The reason I bring all of this up is that my children are starting to hear from my ex-husbands side of the family. There is a long story in here that I really don't want to get into for my children's sake but I will say that when my ex and I divorced and I came out as a lesbian - his fundamental religious family were not too thrilled with it.

I was told that I would still be loved by them, but I would never be allowed to enter their home if I choose to life this lifestyle. I was harassed by telephone calls from my former sister in law telling me that I am a sinner and i will probably go to hell and since my ex-husband defaulted on a load that his parents co-signed with them they will be in debt and somehow that was my fault too.

My ex in-laws sued both my ex-husband and myself for visitation rights - we never denied them those rights in the first place but we did ask them to respect some guidelines to which they refused to do.

To say that what they did was hurtful to me is only part of it. I just could not understand how quickly people can turn against you. Especially Christian people.

I cut them off from my life a long time ago, but I had always thought it was very important for my children to stay in touch with them. They are family. They went away on vacations with them (most of them were religious camps that I never had a problem with).

Over the years though both my son and my daughter have slowly pulled away from that family. I don't know all of the details but both of my children have said to me many times that they are extremely judgemental, and have repeatedly said some unkind things about me and my lifestyle which has hurt them.

Now that both of my children are over 21 my ex's family has been trying to get back in touch with them.

Out of all of them - the ex sister in-law is the worst. She like the rest of that entire family are very good at manipulation and spinning things around to make whatever they say as being right and whatever you think or feel is wrong.

They love to throw a bit of the bible in there where necessary, remind them that their Grandma had to sell her home so that she could pay off the debt her son left them with but wants to invite them to sit down and meet face to face to talk about this in person so that they can hear "their" side of the story.

This is from an e-mail that they sent to my daughter: "I know that you know we've always tried to make the best of the time we could spend with you. If you want to try and pretend that that never happened and you want to 'buy' your parents story 'hook, line and sinker', then there is nothing we can do about that."

Oh and this is another good one: "We have done the damage? Think you should thank your parents for that."

This are the kinds of things that they have been telling my children for over 15 years now.

Now - I am not a saint. My children are very aware of my views on organized religion and so I know that has had an influence on them, but I've tried to be open to whatever they wanted to explore. Unfortunately I feel that they have only seen a very negative side of Christians. The ones that buy into the Pat Robertson ideology and probably thought that Ted Haggard was the most amazing man. They gave me James Dobson's books when my kids were young - and I could never get through them with out getting very angry. And that was at a time when I was pretty involved in my local church!

I was the superintendent of Sunday School until I came out and then all of a sudden no one wanted their children around me.

I'm a lesbian - not a pedophile!

I sang "This little light of mine" not "I'm Coming out!"

arrrrrrggggghhhhhh - this crap makes me really pissed off when I re-hash it so I don't usually.

Now - for some reason my ex in-laws are trying to reconnect with my children and my children don't want to be reconnected with them at this time. Both my son and daughter have told them that they do not with to be contacted anymore and the ex sister in-law keeps harassing them with e-mails and text messages.

I'm no biblical scholar, but harassing someone is not like witnessing is it?

My daughter came to me in tears last night about this and I asked her to share with me everything that was going on. I can only comfort her and let her know that I love her and how ever she decides to handle this I will be on her side.

My son has not really said too much to me about it right now - but I've seen the correspondence back and forth and I am very proud of him for standing up for himself.

It makes me sad and angry when people hurt the people I love - ESPECIALLY my children.

So to end this cheerful post and in true Libran fashion I wish that my ex in-laws have a long happy life and will respect my children's wishes. Peace be with them.

As a peace offering I think it only fitting to play this song:

Bless the ENTIRE world


neetzy said...

What is it about Christianity that brings out such hatred, judgmentmentalism and contentiousness in people?

When I tried to be a Christian, I was told that I wasn't the right kind of Christian by other Christians? I think if Jesus were alive today he would say "Fuck you" to those people.

I've met some "Christians" who were genuine, loving people. They were not judgmental. Jesus was only judgmental toward hypocrites. Imagine that.

Your children are very bright. They know that you love them. They have chosen your love over the in-law's bullshit. You went through a lot.

The "family values" propaganda has been twisted to mean "anti-gay" and "anti-abortion" only. Unfortunately people are blinded by this crap. I often talk to my students about this.

Hang in there.

BTW The Libra thing explains a lot. You and Mom are alike that way.

Maria said...

I have found that Christians are the most manipulative, mean spirited types in the world. Not ALL Christians,mind you...but the ones who seem to be the worst also seem to be the ones who insert their religious beliefs in every sentence that they utter. The Christians that I like the best are the quiet ones who set a good example by their deeds.

neetzy said...

Amen to Maria. I feel the same way. There are lots of quiet, unassuming Christians. They walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.