- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
HOW I GOT CLOSER WITH GOD BUT WAS SHUNNED BY MY CHURCH, FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CLOSE TIES AS HAPPENED TO JESUS HIMSELF!
THE MORMONS CAME TO MY HOME ALL THE TIME UNTIL I REALIZED I WAS SHUNNED BY THEM!
THE LAST STRAW WAS WHEN 3 CHURCHES SHUNNED ME, I'D HAD ENOUGH, OK, I'M ALONE WITH GOD, NOW WHAT?
When I turned 50 years old, I actually had an old calling crop up. It was a "calling" to be a nun. I'd had the same pull many times throughout my life since age 6. I remember the first time I felt it clawing at me.
I was taking a bath in my own private bathroom. I looked up and suddenly wanted to climb up to the sink and look in the mirror. Once perched and balanced there on the sink I wrappred my head with my fluffy, clean smelling towel around my little head and fashioned it into a nun's habit. Not much of a calling at that time, but why was I doing it?
I'll admit, maybe it was not much of a calling, but all the same, there was something brewing there. I noticed when the the nanny taking care of me recognized what I was dong and started to tell me about God and Jesus Christ as soon as she could sit me down quietly. She was an "devout Italian Catholic" woman my parents hired when I was 3 and seemed the only one out of the siblings that wanted to learn about God.
A few days after that, Fran took me to my first church mass. It was a basic sermon, close to Christmas, and at a beautiful church. Winter snow made little sparkling lights as I walked with my head down, feeling sort of strange, as if my life was about to change. I heard the crunching of my boots against the freshly fallen snow on the path to the church entrance.
Although at first i was scratching at my little collar on a white dress and suit, I stopped when I saw the other people all dressed up and looking very happy to be there. Fran had dressed me in this fancy outfit and coat, with a cute bonnet. For the first time I was inside a church. I was in awe for a 5 year old, and very intrigued about this new thing my own parents never discussed with me.
Fran sat next to me with her own daughters Gail and Alberta on either side of her. The service began. There was singing, standing, sitting, standing and sitting again. Then the priest began his sermon. As I was listening to him speak, I suddenly felt a strange feeling welling up inside me as I listened and looked around the little church. A weird anxiousness overcome me. And as I first react to new stimulus, I began crying, so Fran took me to the bathroom, thinking I had to move my bowels.
"I don't have to go," I said, as I squirmed to get down.
"Then why are you crying?" Asked the older woman, whom many said I looked like.
"I don't know, I felt strange," I told her, tears streaming down my little cheeks.
As she buttoned me up again, the woman got very excited. She held me up and hugged me and laughed and cried at the same time. "Honey, you felt Jesus Chirist" She was a bit in awe. "What did you feel that made you cry?"
I looked off into space, training my little eyes on the door of the bathroom stall. "I felt so strange. I got scared. Did I really feel Jesus?"
"Oh yes hon, you felt him. He touched you, but maybe you are just too young still to understand it. It didn't hurt, did it?" She asked. She carried me out of the bathroom and back into the chapel where they were continuing mass. She went up to one of the Alter boys and whispered into his ear. He, in turn, went to another older priest standing in the wings.
All of a sudden i felt important as they signaled that communion was going to be given to us. Fran stood me up when she stood to get hers. She directed me out of the pew and into the aisle and up to the podium. The priest gave each person in line a round white wafer. "This is the body of Chris," he said to each, so by the time he got to me, I was ready.
"This is the body of Christ," he said as he slipped a white wafer on my little tongue and wiped the silver bowl and moved on, giving Fran and her daughters the same. I felt the wafer get stuck on the top of my pallet and was afraid to dislodge it, thinking I'd ruin the effect. So I let it just sit there and my tongue got stuck in it. I let it melt until it was mush and finally swallowed it. I felt joy and tears at the same time.
"Now how do you feel?" Fran steered me back to our pew.
""It wasn't a hurt feeling. It was like a sad feeling," I told her.
"A sad feeling? Oh, I see now. Honey, don't worry. Embrace it, don't ever be afraid if it happens again, it's a very good thing. God wants to know you," explained the one woman who managed to stop my tantrums and rages and brought beauty into my life. It wasn't about how much my parents loved me, or how much money we had, or if i could have toys, or candy, or more chocolate pudding. It was something else. I felt like I could lose it at any moment. that's probably why as a child I cried when I first felt Him.
It seemed after that experience, that I had indeed felt Jesus Christ. After that day, I thought about him and God constantly. It was automatic, as if something came and opened this door in my soul. And although I was only 4 at the time, Fran kept encouraging me, coaxing me, and explaining every feeling I felt from it.
I'll admit, not every feeling I felt was because of that church. The majority of it was from the way my mother and I were starting to relate after I did discover a higher power. I recall being with Fran from the morning until almost evening when my father came home from his Lace factory. Then Fran would make us dinner and then go home to her house.
I also slept over Fran's house many times. She had been with us since I was 3, and as I got to know this wonderful lady, I became attached. It was like she was my mother. I know I had a very beautiful, smart and worldly. I think she potty trained me, because I remember getting up and loving to use the toilet. I fascinated with my bodily functions. When Fran went home I would cry and kick and scream. I begged her to stay. Sometimes she did. But on the days when I felt anxious, and she left, I would have a tantrum and even scratching up the expensive wallpaper in my bedroom with my Hush Puppies didn't make her come back.
She'd drive up every morning, especially when my mother became pregnant with her 4th child who she claimed was a "mistake", but they had her anyways. Once my sister was born, and they gazed into her beautiful face and saw she didn't have crooked fingers as I did, and all her joints were in place. Her feet were perfect, not like long, narrow, hard fit, size 9 gunboats (as my father called mine) I had, but rather my sister seemed perfect. She rarely cried like I did. And everyone wanted to hold, kiss, rock and carry her around with them.
My family was wealthy and lived well. When we were sick, the doctor came, when we fell down, we were bandaged up, when we were hungry, food was available, and lots of it. At that time, we were all close. I loved my brothers and sister. I adored my father. But I didn't gel with my most exquisite mother at all. From the very beginning of my conception, we never got along. She told me that when she was pregnant with me, all I did was kick her and give her gas. When I finally came out, I was in a hurry. My head was coming out as the cab pulled up to the hospital.
I was born very quickly, the only natural birth my mother had to exerience. With my other siblings she was put out. The doctors said that her first child, my older brother, was going to come out weighing 13 pounds, and when he did come out, he had a full head of hair. He as so big that they had to pull him out with tongs. But just 1 year and 6 months later, my mother gave birth again, my other brother. There must have been complications with his birth as well. Maybe his size. He stuttered horribly and got to be very fat. By the time he was 9 they had to put him on a small dose of a Hypertension drug.
As I grew up, I was scared of everything from water to fish, and they could not even get me to use my first bed blanket after I as removed from the crib and put in a child's bed. It was a blue blanket with hundreds of shag strings. They'd tickle my legs and felt like bugs or worms. Even Fran could stop me from tossing and turning with that blanket over me. It was just terrorizing me and caused anxiety.
My birth in its self was vastly different than my siblings. So much so that it was traumatic for my mother. I don't know if they told her to hold back until they got to the hospital, and that may have damaged me, given me a form of anxiety disorder that I cannot shake to this day.
Back then my parents refused to give me any medication for it. My dad even tried way he thought would stop it. His mistake was that he thought it was all in my head, or that I was faking it for attention. He used to call me "The boy that cried wolf". I even was mistaken for a boy many times as I grew up due to my mother making sure the hairdresser cut off all my natural curls, making me look very boyish. "Can ya' cut it into a 'page boy' style," my mother would ask the hair cutter.
I was afraid and crying when I had to get my hair cut for the first time. I remember sitting in a barber shop and watching this little boy get his hair cut. He started crying for no reason, so i thought the hair cutters were hurting him. After the ordeal that I had to watch, I saw the barber give the blond boy a red lollipop. I wished that he would give me the lollipop first. Right away this guy saw I was going to be a problem. As he approached me with cutters in hand, I began to whimper and say things under my breath.
"Wait now, I got something special for you to ride, little lady," said the barber. He had gotten my attention and I stopped whimpering, which usually led to a full on tantrum if I was egged on. He took me out of the big black chair and carried me to this cute wooden horse with a real saddle. There were huge mirrors all around it, and he sat me on the horse and I calmed down very fast. He began to cut my hair. I had always had this "little girl' intrigue with the mirror. So as he started to cut my hair, I was staring at myself intently in each mirror, and really enjoyed it. I was staring at myself as he turned the horse around to get to the back and sides of my head. After that, because I was so good, he gave me my red lollipop.
My older brother developed a learning disability from loss of oxygen when he was being born. It must have been a super hard birth for my mother. So they put her out with ether. Once she was out, my brother stopped moving in the birth canal, and lost precious air, so finally they had to use tongs to reach in and pull him out. They might have waited too long because when they brought him home and he began growing, they noticed he was sleeping a lot, and wasn't really developing like an normal baby.
It must have been absolutely devastating for my parents, especially my father. It stung him hard. But he was determined that my brother would have as normal life as they could offer him. They never gave up on him. He was the oldest, so therefore they couldn't just put him in some facility. My mother screamed, "Who the hell do you think he is? Rosemary Kennedy?" Then my other brother was born exactly the same, except he never spoke. The word 'learning disability' was stricken from our vocabulary. Told to us one time, what was wrong, and then never discussed.
Flash forward 46 years, when I began embracing the Mormon religion and going to Church there at a ward near by my home. I was 52-year-old blogger queen and am reflecting back on my wilder, younger years on Facebook when I went crazy my family and friends of the past in not such a nice way usually.
“I can truly feel comfortable confessing that I started believing my family! I didn’t think I would ever get married or settle down,” I admitted to the Mormon Missionaries. "I'd met my husband and settled down with him. He is a theater director. So I have to put my unruly past behind me," I said honestly. Maybe too honest.
But I feel my family misunderstood my wild ways of my early days on Facebook and know they carry a heavy grudge against me.
The tumult of her a strange genetic mutation I had in my blood called BRCA 1/11 status didn't help the situation. In 2010 I had a full hysterectomy and double mastectomy no reconstruction and I never had Cancer. After it was all done and said, I made a video diary of my acceptance and recovery from the surgeries and my mother found out through my sister and an old friend of my mom's/ Mom was livid about what I'd done, said and posted on a blog they had showed her, people
I thought my family would understand and love me enough to support me, not turn on me and stab me in the back. All I wanted was to be outspoken about having to get the risky "Cancer" saving, yet bullish procedures, then post videos and photos of my recovery on the net for all to see.
They all told me I'd never marry, never have a real life, and never meet anyone decent. I finally realized their intent when I converted to being a Mormon, that in my life I was always trying to live it to a full throttle. I wanted their acceptance, but never got it.
Something in the book told me that ... “If you don’t express yourself and experiment as a writer, or if you hesitate or are afraid to say it, or there’s things you are doing that is freaking out your family, you might as well say it anyway, because if you don't, some other big writer is going to say it instead.".
I never meant to be so mean to my family — it's that need to find the right way of communication and to break apart the plaster around me. I wanted to be free to say whatever I wanted back then. But in the process I hurt many family members and they ran as far away as they could get from me.
As for the relationship between my mother and me. I started to feel that my mom was always trying to tie me to her apron strings and get me into a certain lifestyle I had never embraced, so I sort of rebelled against it and I came out of it looking like a mental case and it may have been interpreted wrong by her and my family, but I was only trying to find out who I was and dealing with the loss of so many things.
Guess they could not erase from their minds when I was sent to jail and began posting about it on all the online newspapers. That was the deal breaker between me and my family and it caused an instant damning by them against me. Even my own flamboyant mother had disowned me for making brash posts and revealing embarrassing details about her family on the Internet.
Now I realize I was living a miserable life, and the only way I can be true to myself is to admit I went off the deep end, because at the time it seemed the only way I felt I was following a path of living rather than something easy, safe or traditional."
In the last few months, no one can accuse me, the rotten retired Blogger Queen of leading a half-assed lifestyle. I could still blog the best of them under the table, and I do have many gifts I learned when the Mormon Church didn't exactly start to embrace my ways and thoughts on God and Jesus Christ. I even tried to be more involved in many things connected to it, but in the end, i just walked away and never came back
But it did give me some new found security. I noticed that the Mormons have been an inspiration to me, and although they didn't accept me as I am and could not forgive me for my past antics and ways of conducting myself at chapel, or the sins against my own family, then maybe inspiration lies in God himself, not the congregation.
I do miss every Sunday when we all got together to worship God and make ourselves better people and feel inspired by each other, as I thought I was doing.. It is a challenge, but in the end, the congregation shunned me and I found myself sitting all by myself. I become all of a sudden de-energized.
It has taken time for the full acceptance of my failure with my peers at that church. I didn't realize how much of the rules I was sort of breaking. I guess I didn't create a “history”. When I should have calmed down. I didn't count on the fact that everything would become really deep and comforting on their parts. My mind, which should have been at ease and be procuring a deep love of everything, soon turned to anxiety over the fact that I was being thrown away.
I had thought that admitting my past transgressions would make them accept me. Boy was I ever wrong. And the lady teaching me, I found out later she was suffering from the early forms of Dementia, so I received faulty training.
It also got around at the gossip end of the church that I was at odds with my brothers and sister's after my mom suddenly died. We have not been through the trials and tribulations as a family in over 30 years. They probably don’t even remember me much now, so now they avoid me, call me a drug addict or religious fanatic, and they threaten to call the cops on me and get me as a stalker.
But I have God and my what I've learned from the Church on my side now. And my husband too, to a certain extent. We’ve been through so much together, I still feel blessed"! And who knows, maybe my family will come around one day.
If you are one of my Facebook friends or see my photos on Facebook, you can clearly see that I seem more at ease and mellow and comfortable than I've ever been. Recently I went on a shopping spree and bought a whole new slew of clothes and seems even more comfortable than ever. In one Facebook shot, you see me smiling brightly with the missionaries who invited me into the Mormon Church. In the photos. I finally looked happy as I smiled and mugged for the camera!
Even so, it would seem to my family and past ex friends that my life is still riddled with thorns, still a rowdy, misunderstood, misdiagnosed freak alert! It will not stop me though! I've decided to stick with my idea of a happy ending and future. God bless.