Sunday, February 4, 2007

open for discussion

I need to think about my words. This is a public forum, and it has come to my attention that my blog could be interpreted as being critical and hateful of the church and the individuals who still are members there. Thank you to the relative who was kind enough to write to me. It certainly is not my intention to be hateful. If I didn't have love for my family and my ex-in-laws, I would not care how they treated me. I would be indifferent. I'm sure it follows that the reverse is true as well. Each of us looks at the situation from our own unique perspective.

Perhaps I have generalized my individual experiences and applied it to the church at large. Let me clarify that this is based on my own personal experience, and it is a way for me to process my own emotions and reactions. I am completely open to feedback, and it would be my wish to be able to discuss issues openly. I am not writing to point fingers at the people who treated me unkindly. Maybe I should assume that they acted out of concern for me. Actually I think that did cross my mind at the time, but it didn't make me feel any less devastated. The method sometimes silences the message.

Feel free to challenge my ideas, my thoughts, and my point of view. Speak your mind! I've made many mistakes in my life, and I'm certainly not trying to set myself up as being perfect. Far from it. To be fair, I should also say that I have been treated very nicely by many individuals in the church and most of my family members on a one-to-one basis. Perhaps those times have just been tainted by the memories of the snide remarks that have been said to my face and particularly the ones said behind my back.

I’m sure I have been very skeptical and thought that people only wanted to talk to me so they could go gossip about it later because it has happened so many times already. It is easy to think the worst of people when one is feeling resentful, and I have to struggle to remember that not everyone is like that. Perhaps those "happy faces" really were sincere. Maybe mine was the only one not sincere; who knows? I do enjoy the times I happen to meet a family member and we can conversate and catch up, but I feel my "happy face" is often incomplete, just a mask, because there seems to be so much that is left unsaid.

When there is a divorce situation, it is not only difficult for the family involved, but it is awkward for extended family members as well. Generic offers of help are sometimes all that a person outside of the immediate situation can think of to do, but in my case, I felt that the some of the people who contacted me in various ways were offering conditional support--that it depended on my going back to church. Whether that was my interpretation or whether they intended to say that, I can’t say.

All I can speak for is my own perspective and my own feelings, obviously. My experience may not be the same as another person's. For example, I believe that there were many rules and restrictions in the church. I have seen them change back and forth, and I don't understand that. Others see it differently--they choose to live that way and are happy about it. I cannot dictate anyone else's perspective, nor would I want to. I'm sure that most of the members are there by choice, and I have no problem with that. I also believe that I am not the only one who feels this way, but each person is free to choose, just as I am. I only speak for myself.

So I appreciate the letter; I appreciate that this person has considered me their friend. I have missed our friendship as well. If I have spoken harshly and offended others, it was not my intention. Strong feelings often spark controversial debate. I do have strong feelings about these issues, but I am more than willing to hear other points of view. Feel free to comment here or use the email info on the left to email me privately.


Anonymous said...

By reading your blogs, I maybe reading them wrong. But I feel you have a lot of resentment towards the church or certain people. Why do you blog about it? I am not familiar with the group at all. It sounds like you have a lot of guilt over your divorce. You blame it on the church. Isn't life based on what decisions you make in life. I don't think the church has a rule that says you have to marry at that age. Maybe you weren't mature enough? You couldn't provide for your children are going to remember happy times and memories, and love in the family. Did you and your spouse have a good relationship and did it show to the kids? Did you work on that relationship? I think there is more to your blog than you are letting on.

daisyaday said...

This is great! Thank you for your comments.

Why do I blog about it? Because I can. And because it helps me process things that have happened to me so I can look at my past objectively and gain a bigger perspective.

And thankfully, I think I can say today that I do not hold resentment towards the church or certain people. I know that I did at one time, but time plus distance has allowed that to subside. Literally through the grace of God, I have let go of my anger and resentment. I've learned that I can be compassionate and concerned for them, instead. It's much more productive, and way easier on me.

What do you feel I am blaming on the church? I don't understand your comment about that. I don't think I said that. I think you may be, indeed, misreading.

I also don't think I said the church has a rule about marriage. In fact, I don't think they will say they have rules about anything. Their rules are implied and encouraged, but unwritten. I am speaking in general about what I experienced and what I observed.

I do know that I'm not the only one who has experienced similar feelings...maybe you could visit the extoots blog to read more from other ex-members if you're interested.

Actually the only regret I have about getting divorced is the effects it had on my children. But if I were in the same situation, I would do the same thing again. In a heartbeat.

And yes, there is lots more to my blog, so c'mon back and have a little more conversation! Don't be shy!