OCD – Obsessive Christian Disorder

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Being the one black sheep in the family who struck out on their own to explore faith, rather than regurgitate the family belief system, is a tough road to walk – especially when the rest of the family has gotten rather obsessive over the recruitment aspect of greater Christianity.

Some times I just want to smack the lot of ’em.

I do not share out my own belief system, because I simply do not believe that faith is supposed to be shouted from the rooftops.  Faith should be the most personal of things, the truths you carry in your heart.  You’ve never walked another’s path, lived another’s emotions, or felt the stirrings of another’s heart – so how could you possibly share the exact same truisms?

The only way another could fully understand my faith is to have lived my life…every last second of it  – and imagine what my brain and the influence my life to this point would have me believe all the future seconds hold.

My faith is the always-updating culmination of my life experiences…it shapes itself with every breath and with every heartbeat.

Got ya confused yet?  Yea…me too.  But not everything has to make sense, because the human brain isn’t designed to understand every significant aspect of this rock we call home.

That’s one of the core truisms I believe…not everything is going to make sense.

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My family (like most families in the US) is Christian.  They read scripture, cite Bible passages, go to church, praise Jesus, believe in Heaven, lament Hell, and raise good, God-fearing children.

Once again, I prove to be the exception here…

For a long time, my options when faced with the family faith were simple:  either get extremely quiet when such faith-based exhibitions were active (preferred), or leave the room (frowns).    Attend the church services when a family gathering coincided with one (preferred), or pretend to be too tired to go (frowns).

And, above all…DON’T QUESTION THE FAITH!

I ceased to pay this grossly unauthentic ‘lip service’ to the family faith around 7 years ago…

And the family…

Was not amused.

I’ve paid the blood price for that coming out in more ways than I can detail…from emails  filled with passages from the Bible, links to ‘important’ Christian websites and Jesus-Memes, to Facebook postings, to gifts with religious iconography branded into them.

I believe my Dad, however, is amping things up.

For the past 2 years, he’s been dropping little hints and requesting a little slice of my time to speak of matters regarding faith, which is odd, as in my growing years, he didn’t seem to be that interested in the church.

The strange thing is, every time he does a little reach out in the faith department, he’s hesitant, unsure, a bit awkward in the approaches, which is NOT the father I knew growing up.  At the family gathering this summer, he performed his latest approach.

It was weird.  Every alarm in my head went off.   The lines of his body language screamed misery.  Torment trod across his face.  His eyes were heavy with moisture.  His voice quavered with each syllable.  Every visual cue in the unspoken language of his body was screaming at me:  “This is wrong, this is wrong, this is WRONG!”

What.  The.  Actual.  Fuck?

My dad is one of the most rock solid, dependable, and mindful individuals it has EVER been my luck to interact with.  His mind is knife-sharp, analytically keen, and once in possession of all the facts, unfazed by any manipulation attempts.   He constantly analyzes everything – even his own failings – and does the right thing even when it runs contrary to his desires.

He voluntarily gave up his light-aircraft licence even though he LOVED flying, because he determined his eyesight and reflexes were no longer up to his own, high safety standards.

So to have him approach me in this manner – where he’s borderline terrified of the conversation he has in mind??

What.  The.  Actual.  Fuck?

The conversation will be one of 2 things.  Either he’s gotten a holy person so concerned about ‘the little lost lamb (that would be me) needing to be rescued,’ that he’s being pushed to perform this little ‘intervention,’ or he’s honestly in research mode, and wants to know more about what drives me.

Queue up the title of this post…

It’s not the 2nd.  That’s my wishful thinking again…

 

I don’t think anyone in the family reads my blog except my eldest son and DIL.  The rest of ’em may see the photo that loads into Facebook (occasionally commenting on that), and the blurb that posts along with it, but I don’t believe they ever click through to WordPress to read the actual content.

In fact, I know they don’t – no heads have exploded yet…

I’ve had quite a few conversations with myself as I pound the pavement to and from work.  I’ve never quite worked out the entire dialog, as I manage to get either irritated or depressed (sometimes both at the same time!) whenever I drag this subject out of the recesses of my mind and attempt, once again, to resolve it internally.

I’ve also torn apart this particular blog post more times than I can count in search of that same resolution.

I guess I’m down to my favorite quotes, after all.

(1) – I’m not lost – I’m just on a different road.

(2) – If the core of your being says something is wrong – you should pay attention.

(3) – The only one wasting his time is the guy at the bottom of the mountain, screaming at the climbers for taking the scenic route.

 

So Dad – if you DO actually read this poor scribbling – I’m not a little lost lamb, and I don’t need to be returned to the safety of the paddock…I’m a full grown ram, and I’m off doing Ram-Things.

(Insert Supernatural Being of your Choice)’s got my back.

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7 thoughts on “OCD – Obsessive Christian Disorder

  1. It takes a woman of faith to talk about faith. You done yourself good. It must have been 45 or 50 years ago that my mother told me, I don’t care what you believe, I just care that you believe. I don’t know if the first was true but I know the second was. I think after all these years, it done me good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the thing that bugs my family the most is I refuse to name a ‘brand name’ for faith. I don’t follow anyone else’s set path or cling to a holy writ.

      So, in the eyes of the family, I can only be an Atheist, because their limited list doesn’t include my option. They can’t separate spirituality from religious dogma.

      Like

  2. The only one wasting his time is the guy at the bottom of the mountain, screaming at the climbers for taking the scenic route.

    I love that. I hope your dad sees the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!

      I’m glad you can see the impact behind the lines here – at least I know some people out in the wider world that get it.

      I’m not ready to have the conversation yet…don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for it…but, like most impactful things on this rock, I suspect the conversation will jump me at the most inconvenient time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand what you mean by unauthentic lip service, though I’m very fortunate that in my family, it is only my sister who is trying to ‘save’ me and wants me to believe in her religion. We finally came to an agreement – she could either back off, or lose me as a sister. She chose the former. I think she now realizes that I can appreciate what her religion has done for her, and celebrate her happiness and faith, without being part of her religion. I think she needed to know that rejecting her religion didn’t mean that I rejected her. (Religion and personal identity are tied together pretty tightly in some people!)

    Hope you can find an agreeable compromise with your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right now, the compromise is simple – it’s the huge elephant in the room that nobody discusses – we just hang hats & coats on the thing in an effort to hide it.
      It’s a horrible feeling, it really is. And it gets worse when I start running senerios in my head on all the ways a conversation could go very south. That’s usually when I chop off the ruminations and shove the whole mess back in the cellar in the mind.

      Liked by 1 person

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