Sunday, April 26, 2009

My little girls are growing up. This has been a big weekend for them; one they've been looking forward to all school year. Aren't they sweet? Just a very biased mom here. Hmmm... the picture doesn't look right now that I've shrunk it. Oh well. They looked beautiful, they acted beautifully, they had a very special time. Fr. Bruno, our Tanzanian priest said Mass. He had all the First Communicants come up around the altar for the homily; he got down on their level to talk to them. Then during the Consecration, he again had the children come up and kneel around the altar. B.G. and Abby (B.G. is on the left, Abby on the right) volunteered to distribute and pick up collection baskets, a task they took very seriously. They children did the readings, prayers of the faithful and took the gifts to the altar. After Mass they went back up front and sang a song. Very sweet. The chidren are able to be so much more involved than back in my day. After Mass there was a reception in the church hall. Rachael's fiance was here this weekend, and he joined us as well as Hannah's boyfriend. Neither one of them are religious, but were willing to come along. I appreciated that.

Helping prepare them for First Communion and Reconciliation this year proved to be a struggle for me. I started off the school year saying, okay, if I'm catechizing my children, I need to believe what I'm teaching. So I went through this period of faking it. I fake it by saying 'I believe', 'this is the truth' when down inside of me I don't believe. Made me depressed. So I stopped. Put up the catechism (they get a little bit at RE) and just started reading stories. Spiritual stories, stories of justice and love. And just talked to them about love, justice, etc. No dogma, doctrince. I'm just not good at pretending. I can say, the church teaches this, but I can't say I believe this. I do share with them what I believe - just not doctrine so much. And I do love the traditions, the connections that I feel to all other Catholics out there, past and present. I love the liturgy. I'm not sure what I believe; if pressed, right now I would have to say I probably don't believe in the traditional understanding of the Eucahrist. I'm working on my own belief, what I can say 'yes' to. Oh well. Enough of all that for now.

Rachael and Dan came by so I will go talk to themf or a while.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Defeating Anger and Resentment

I've made some progress in getting the best of anger, resentment, bad feelings especially with my mother-in-law and my sister. Long stories there, and ones best left alone. Anyway, I always tried to bury anger and ignore it, but it was always there under the surface, seething, waiting for the right moment to boil to the surface. Finally, I just wallowed in that anger for a while: talked about it, wrote about it, worked through it, and finally, almost, have put it to rest. I've made my peace with my sister and my m-i-l. They are who they are, and I need to work on myself. Occasionally, something comes up that sparks those feelings, but I'm pretty good at looking at them head on and dealing with it.

But, there is this event, this thing, these certain people, that I have not been successful in any way with putting the resentment to rest. It's the one thing that haunts my conscience, slowly tears away at my peace. I know it, I know what it is, I see it, but Good God, I'm having a hard time getting over it. It involves what were a couple of very, very close friends, a son of one, a daughter of another, and my oldest daughter. I won't say very much out of respect for my daughter other than to say it involved abuse and betrayal of the worse kind. My daughter spent a year working with a therapist, and I still see so many unresolved issues that stem from this past event. Even worse than the abuse, was the betrayal of her very closest friend. It truly tore her apart, and she's still trying to put the pieces back together. But it's not the same. She is forever changed.

So when you hear the hardest thing to forgive or get over is a wrong done to your child, let me tell you, there was never a truer statement. I've been fighting this for three years. I'll do fine for a while; I simply don't think about them. But then I'll see one of them, hear something, and there it is again. Yesterday Tim and I dropped over at a friends and heard that the girl (dd's friend) is getting married. To the abuser of my daughter. I didn't think I'd make it out of the house. I was physically ill. All evening. Couldn't sleep last night. I confess, I want vengeance. But not really. I like to imagine it, but I don't really want it. Anyway, I hope I don't. It wears me down.

I think a lot of this comes from the guilt I feel. I introduced my dd to this family. I took her into their house. I let her meet their son. The son of a very good friend. A friend who was the most pious, most holy Catholic you could hope to meet. This family, I thought, could have been the poster family for what a faithful, serious Catholic Christian family should look like. Oh, how deceiving looks can be. If I could go back and change any one thing, it would be that day. But I can't. The damage is done. There it is.

Also tied up in this mess, is the mother of the girl, my dd's closest friend, the one getting married. Her mother was my closest friend. She was the woman that I shared the most with, opened myself up to honestly. When I shared with her my faith struggles, told her the questions I had, was honest, she moved away from me. She pretty much intimated that my loss of faith, my turning my back on Catholic doctrine was what was responsible for my daughter's trouble. Never could it have been the fault of the boy's family. They were such good, holy, pious, law abiding Catholics. But me, the heretic. You know. Anyway, not only was my daughter seriously hurt and damaged, betrayed by her closest friend, I also was betrayed my closest friend. Many, many emotions stirring around in this pot of anger.

I'm so ready to be through with this, over it. Anger tears away at your soul, and when it's destroyed you, it will start destroying all those you love. I know where I need to be; I'm just having a terrible struggle getting there. People forgive murderers, horrible, terrible events. This is probably small compared to those. I think I need to see the victim on the other side. When I'm being sane, I realize the boy was a victim of a sick, religiously fanatical mother. When I'm sane, I realize my friend was a victim of her own, big insecurities. I know these things. I know....

Take a deep breath, go outside, breathe the fresh air, take a walk. Let go.