Yesterday was a very emotionally exhausting day for me. I took the children to church which I have only been doing very sporadically. Stanley is a hard edged atheist. He was an atheist when I married him but he was tolerant of religion and promised me that it would be ok with him for me to take any child like products of our marriage to church.
I was spiritual but no one would say I was hard edged religious. Many years ago I started saying I go to the First Church of Cuckoo Momma, and although I did go to a church building, I had in my head what my own personal beliefs are. Over time, Stanley became much less tolerant of religion and made several statements that he thought that believers weren’t very bright since “the whole thing was a pile of rubbish”. He made it difficult to take the children to church. And instead of my faith rubbing off on him, as I had hoped, his skepticism rubbed off on me. I was only snapped back into the reality of my belief when I realized how much animosity he had for believers and how that might be rubbing off on the kids. For instance we would drive by a church with cars in the parking lot and he would make a statement like “aargh, look at all those poor dumb suckers.”
|what did they do to him?|
On Christmas Day in 2007 my son, then 8 opened a gift from Stanley called, ‘Raising Young Skeptics’. I nabbed that immediately and gave him an earful later in the kitchen. IMO, The Boy was too young for that and he had never discussed with me his plan to turn the boy an atheist as well.His animosity toward believers and his militant atheism offended me and I subsequently decided I was a believer after all. Then there is his belief that he should advertise during Lent and make his FB profile picture
|this caused no end of discussion amongst my family and friends|
I know other atheists who aren’t militant about it. I respect them and their beliefs to the end of the earth. Stanley was ugly about it and lost no opportunity to let my family know that he thought they were stupid for being believers. Also, because he was smart I could see my kids thinking, “if daddy thinks it is stupid to believe in God well surely he is right because he is really smart”.
I believe that every person has the right to their opinion and to their own spiritual beliefs. I don’t respect militant beliefs of any sort or of making fun of people for what they believe.
My problem with Stanley’s atheism was
his process not his content
I wanted my kids to have some exposure to people that are spiritual. Just to give them a fighting chance to make their own decision.
So therefore, yesterday, I took them to church.
Today the message was about the love of God and letting go of failure and shame. I dissolved into quiet tears at the first mention of those words. I feel like such a failure and I am so ashamed of my my divorce. I am a failure for not being able to save my marriage. I am ashamed that I am divorced and my kids are from a broken home. As much as I have tried to protect them with this nesting thing, it is still broken. I hate this feeling of failure. I hate it. I am ready for it to get a move on. I try to tell myself that I am successful at so many other things. But like so many women, I am really hard on myself. I wonder if everyone that gets divorced feels these things. I don’t think that Stanley does. He is not introspective to say the least. But he should feel them. Because he failed me badly.
I know that I have to forgive myself to get those 2 monkeys, Shame and Failure off my back. (LMAO, I said monkey).
|Shame and his brother, Failure|
I want to move on. I want to be happy. I never want to see those monkeys again. I wish I could maintain a feeling of elation and freedom for longer than 5 minutes before the monkeys creep back in. Life is messy and currently does not look at all like I expected it to look. There is not a picket fence in sight.
Please give me the strength to move on and lose the monkeys.