My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Confessions For a Friend

A friend of mine recently posted on her blog some defining moments in her life. I was not aware of them and was kind of thrown by her confessions. But confessions is the wrong word. It implies some sort of wrong-doing on her part, when the truth is she did no wrong. These things happened to her, not because of her. There is a big difference.

She encouraged her readers to reveal some defining moment/s in their lives, but I was not able to right off. And as I have pondered some of my defining moments I realized they were not things I should reveal in someone else's comment trail. If I am going to confess them, I must needs confess them openly. I must display the same kind of courage she did. So I am posting.

Well, not the same kind of courage. I'm posting here, where only one person has ever left a comment. And that person is no longer blogging. So I am making my confessions in an empty room. Not so brave after all.

So what were some of the defining moments of my life?

Probably the first was watching my mother's red face as she shouted at me how much she hated me. I hate to say that was a defining moment, but I was no older than five. And it was a scene repeated many times until I finally left home and didn't go back.

For some reason it sticks in my mind that as I was coming up the stairs to the living room where my parents were talking with my maternal grandmother, I heard they were talking about me. I tried to slip back down unnoticed, but still overheard my grandmother saying, "I feel so sorry for Bevie." I have no idea what she was talking about, but after forty years the memory remains vivid.

I remember the first time (and only time, by the way) I asked someone out for a date. I was told to wait for answer. Then I learned that there was a table of about twenty who were laughing at me, led by my intended. I learned this from one of the revelers who saw fit to let me know. Not to be nice, though.

It was a defining moment when I later fell in love, but dared not confess it for fear of another humiliation. It was a defining moment when I changed school for half a year. I met someone who liked me, and we were becoming friends. Then, suddenly, without explanation, I was cast away. All efforts to recommunicate were rebuffed without a word.

When I fell in love with someone older, and then learned I was just a plaything, that was defining. So was the first time I spent the night in a lover's bed. I thought it would be wonderful, but all I felt was guilt. Ultimately, though, that would lead me to God, and an understanding of forgiveness. I can still recall that first night. It was as if I could feel God enter my body. My room was lit as with a glow. I could read my books by it, and often did for that first year.

A few years later I thought I was to be married. I kept us "pure", resisting hints to take advantage of our alone times. Then, my would-be fiance suddenly returned to a previous fiance and was married. I was just a last fling. An amusing toy.

I resolved to keep myself alone. But then someone showed an interest. Having lost someone for "being pure", I willingly gave myself in order to please. The result of that was a reversal of the night I found God. It was as if I could feel him leave, and since that day I have questioned my status with God continually. I leave myself to his mercy and forgiveness. Without that, I am without hope.

This sense of abandonment has made me weak. It has filled me with fear, self-doubt, and even self-loathing at times. It has broken me, possibly beyond repair. I am easily manipulated by those who enjoy such things. I became a willing cyber partner for someone who gave me kind words, as long as I did what I was told. And to hear (read) the words, I did.

My defining moments have not made me stronger. They have brought me ever lower. It is why I write so often of my fear of hypocrisy, for I look at myself and see that I willingly give myself to those who would pretend. For that reason I am terrified when my friends have to leave, for whatever reason. I try not to be afraid, but I can't forget all the times when others, having taken what I willingly gave, decided they needed no more from me and left. Of course now I am both old enough and fat enough that nobody wants anything physical from me. In that regard I am now safe. The fact is, I have nothing to give, except a willingness to accept and love.

My life became lonely because I didn't know how to live it.

I have new friends now, and that may be my greatest defining moment of all. I can give them nothing, yet they still like me. They visit me and they encourage me. They are accepting me for who I am, which is broken. A few have done that in the past, but they were all forced to leave. Stephen was the last. After he left I had no one. Now I have several. It is a defining moment. May God forgive me for being so selfish over it.

But that is why I am a hypocrite. I preach a godly life, but the false promises of love still entice me. I am a weak person. Yet if God can forgive me, he can forgive anybody. And if I can love anybody, I know God loves them more. For I cannot love more than God. So if I tell you I love you, you can know God loves you, too.

So, if you are a broken person. If you find yourself giving in to wrong in the hope of tasting love, remember that God loves you. I know this. For without meeting you, my heart yearns to comfort and help. If I do that, who wallows in low places, how much more God, who is the Spirit of Love?

In honor of you, my friend, I have written this confession of defining moments. I hope I have not said too much. Please forgive me if I have.


fairyhedgehog said...

That's very moving, Bevie.

When I read how rejected you were as a child then it's not surprising how broken you often feel. I believe that everyone needs unconditional acceptance from someone. The trick is to give it to yourself. (I know you can do it - you do it so well for other people.)

You are a very precious part of this universe and you have to choose: to be kind to yourself accepting yourself just as you are, or to be unkind to yourself thinking that you are not good enough. If you aren't kind to yourself, no one else can do that for you.

Sorry, that must sound lecturing but I don't know how to put it any better.

I can't promise I will always be there for you because the future is unknown to both of us. Let's not let that spoil our enjoyment our friendship now.

Bevie said...

Thank you, Fairy. I did cry, but not because I'm sad. Friendship is a peaceful day. It's that "Happy Place", the little house in the hollow. I'm not alone. My friends are there, providing the music which charms me into gentle repose.

I have people now who like me and aren't afraid to correct me and put me back on course. That makes being nice a lot easier.

Thank you so much. It has been a long time since I have been this happy. I owe that to you.


Jennifer said...

Bevie, the most important thing to know is that your mom said something because of what she was dealing with not because of you. And it's unfortunate that that colored everything after. But maybe now you can go back and heal that little boy.

Bevie said...

Thanks, Jennifer.

You know what's kind of funny? I don't think my mother even remembers doing that. She suffered a lot of indignities through her life. She grew up in a time when women were especially downtrodden by men in this country. Sometimes, just to keep a job, women were forced to do things they did not want to do. I do not know for a fact this happened to my mother (she would certainly never tell me), but there are reasons why I suspect it did. Growing up when and how she did filled her with a great dislike for men in general. And part of her resented her children living a better life than she (and then complaining about it).

My life has not been hard compared to what many others have had to endure. But it has been unhappy. Until now.

I have my wife. I have my son. When I lost my high-paying job I waited for her to leave me, because that was what was happening to the other men in this neighborhood who were losing their jobs. There are a lot of them. In all other cases, the wives took the children and left. Spouse stayed with me. And there has been no condemnation for what I want to do. Only support. Son, too.

Having you and Fairy join my family, supporting me because I am me, means more to me than I can ever hope to express. The two of you, each in your own distinctive way, are helping me address the twists, bends, breaks, and scars of my past so that I can live a real life in the time I have remaining.

I am reliving my life in some ways. That's what blogging seems to have given me. A chance to relive a life with new understanding. You and Fairy are my friends and guides along this journey. I am so glad for both of you. You two are my friends, and I just love saying that.

I think all will be okay. So often God loves us through other people. I hope you and Fairy both feel his love through me.

Thank you.