I'm posting this mostly as a reminder of what Laura's mom pointed out to me:
Last week I didn't have a church to attend, I wasn't leaving my apartment as often, and wasn't in counseling.
This week I have a church to attend, a reason to go out more, and a counseling appointment.
So, in one week, things had changed that much. :)
She also says I'm still a part of their family, and she prays for me daily. I was kind of blown away by that. We ended up talking for 2-1/2 hours tonight. I found out that Laura is happy that her mom and I had spoken previously. I don't know what it's like for "normal" people, but having grown up in a very unloving, critical, judgmental home, it amazes me that I can be loved despite causing four years of pain for Laura and eventually leaving her.
I also got a call from Greg. Incredible pastor. We spoke for a while, me mostly listening, and I agreed with everything he was saying. Just goes to show that when people speak from love, you can receive and accept what they say. Greg also invited me up to visit.
I can forgive pastors who judge me, and appreciate pastors who love me. Yippee!
I've been wanting to find a "tolerant" church that would "love" me, not condemn me, and I believe I found one.
Attended a bible study there, and spoke with the associate pastor, who seems to be a kind, respectful, considerate person. Instead of insisting on what my name was, he asked me what name I go by, and asked about how he should refer to me. He was so nice about everything, that I decided that he could use my birth name. (It was a pleasant difference from being in "conflict" with someone who decides what my name is, or what gender I am.)
If God loves everyone, everyone should be able to go to church. Maybe it's simplistic, but I want a church that doesn't hate people for their lifestyle or whatever.
Anyway, this pastor offered to meet with me if I wanted, and I want to, so I've called back to make an appointment. It's odd that I had wanted to seek help from a psychologist, but am now open to seeking help from God/religion, but I suppose I should figure out if God loves me, or why God would love me, so it's all good.
As an aside, the pastor told me that I'm sad, that he saw it as soon as I walked in. I appreciated his gentle directness (compassion), and it made me think. Sadness is apparently such a norm for me, that I'm not consciously aware of it, but it's outwardly apparent.
I know why Kathryn was happy and confident. Time will tell whether I will be as happy and confident as she was.
Oh, spoke with my wonderful sister again. If I have a reason to be happy or feel happy, that's it.
(Speaking of family, I prayed about forgiving the people in my family that abused me when I was a young child. Apparently forgiveness is the first step in "letting go" of the past, which I generally am constantly preoccupied with. I don't want to hate them or judge them, I definitely want to continue to feel sorrow for them. But the other side of the coin is that I shouldn't hate, judge, blame, or condemn myself in their place.)
My younger sister is really wonderful. She's someone who wants everyone to get along, she's very much like my dad (who was a good person).
She and I spoke again today, and we're going to get together this weekend, just to see each other.
Sometimes you get down when things aren't going well, and you forget what's great in your life, and how you're blessed. My younger sister is what's great, she's a blessing (to so many people). Yeah, she's one of those people who you think, "The world is a better place, because she's in it."
Somehow she figured out how to be loving, despite being raised in a place that wasn't kind or warm. Kudos to her.
(I don't feel right sharing her name in a public journal entry.)
I've been estranged from my family for over a decade.
It's pretty certain that we each had an abusive childhood, so we weren't as close or loving as some families are.
Anyway, I've called up each of my siblings, and we're all going to meet up together. I'll have to remember to pray that we can make a good, happy memory.
And, eh, I've told them that I'm queer. I think they probably knew, but I think this was the first time I've "outed" myself to my family. I don't think they've met that person either, but they've all said on the phone that they love and accept me, so. Teeny bit of relief? Still will take some courage to be who I am, with them, in person.
So, yeah, February. Sibling get-together.
(As for the childhood abuse, I don't talk specifics with them, or even mention it to my youngest sibling, but what the oldest ones do share now, what we experienced, there have been some common experiences. This is the first time I've broken the silence of being abused to my siblings. I have to figure out love and forgiveness, so I can come out the other side, having forgiven (not blaming) myself, and feeling that God or others can love me.)
I don't feel like I'm losing my mind. I feel like I'm losing what's _in_ my mind. Words. Meanings of words. Memories. Knowledge.
It's disconcerting. Unsettling.
I have a "friend" who is a Christian. She's a bit judgmental, and likes to tell me that my beliefs are wrong. Recently, she's been saying "The truth hurts, ..." then says something I consider hurtful.
There shouldn't be any justification for meanness or hurting others. I wish she would stop using that saying as an excuse.
It's getting more difficult to respect her.
I spoke with a dear friend today, who also happens to be a Christian. It doesn't matter that our beliefs widely differ. He's a friend first, and he loves me, no matter what. I was literally crying on the phone with him, because he's NOT judgmental, and he doesn't argue with me over our differing beliefs. In short, it was a BLESSING.
He's a man of God. He's someone I respect, admire, and look up to. I'm thankful that there are Christians who can be kind and considerate and respectful of my beliefs, even though I'm pro-choice and support gay marriage.
I tend to spot differences or changes in myself, and tonight there are a lot of differences.
I feel happy, even to the point of spontaneous laughter. I feel confident. Tonight at the grocery store, around people, I could walk among them, look at them, smile, and speak up, normally (not softly, timidly).
The other difference is that I don't feel mixed feelings about my mother. It's nice not to have to feel bad about simultaneously loving and hating her. I don't feel love or hate. Perhaps that's a problem, but for now I'm celebrating the freedom of not feeling torn or confused.
I know I'm not well, but I feel better. Euphoria. So, tonight, I'm simply celebrating and enjoying the good feelings.
I hope you also have a nice day. :)
I hope you have a nice day. :)
Stop and Shop. Open until midnight, except for 9PM on Sunday.