A few weeks ago, I went with my asbestos friend around her neighborhood trick or treating to collect canned goods for the local food pantry. My husband and son were along as well. The activity was part of the church’s Wednesday night dinner and study. Sometimes my husband and I go for dinner. We don’t do the “study” part so much, but we often can be found at the church’s activities.
I was trying to tell my mom about this the next day, without disclosing it had anything to do with the church. I told her that we went to Blissfield and had dinner with my asbestos friend. I told her then we walked around the neighborhood because it was such a beautiful night, and that the toddlers played musical seats between the stroller and the wagon.
She got to asking me her million questions (as she has no life of her own and lives vicariously through mine), and I admitted I wasn’t telling her that these activities took place at the church.
“Just as long as you don’t find religion. You aren’t finding religion, are you?”, Mom pushed.
“I am an adult. I can do whatever the f*ck I want to do,” I raised my voice at her.
“You think you hid things from me, but I know. You told me that all those nights you weren’t really at P’s, you were out gallivanting around. I knew that,” she said.
She doesn’t know what it’s like to have a baby in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and how good it feels to know a whole church full of people are praying (or positively thinking or whatever) for him. Or how good it feels when he is finally better and it feels as though all those people’s thoughts may have moved something in the universe to create that desired outcome.
She also doesn’t know about my two tattoos, that when I used to come home and tell her she smelled car exhaust on my clothes that it was actually cigarette smoke that she smelled, that I got my roof redone and it had issues, that I have a blog, that I write about her on my blog she doesn’t know about, that I went to Detroit by myself, that I am interviewing for jobs, that our my family’s name is in the church directory.
I didn’t want to tell her when I was pregnant, but I thought even she would have figured it out sooner or later. And I was like 5 months along by the time I told her.
Back to the religion thing. I am pretty sure that I do not believe what everyone else at the church believes about God and the Bible. I do enjoy spending time with my asbestos friend there. I do believe they are a very nice and good group of people at that church, who have accepted my family even though we are a bunch of tag-alongs. I do believe that my husband was raised in the church and doesn’t mind going there. I believe it is good for my son to experience aspects of the church, including the sense of community spirit.
Have I found religion, Mother? No, and I probably never will. Because you have drilled it into my head that I am undeserving of belonging because you never wanted to.
While I don’t believe, I see where it would be so much nicer and happier and simpler if I did. I envy that people can feel like there is something out there more than their fragile human selves. I would love to believe that there is a Heaven to hang out in when I die, instead of having panic attacks as I try to fall asleep at night thinking of the black nothingness when my life suddenly stops and I just cease to exist and my whole life was for nothing.
It makes me sad.
My mom’s hate also saddens me.
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