A new post

Well, it’s been almost a year since I last wrote a new post. I had thought at the time that I’d just take a break for a few months, but it ended up being a longer break. As I said, I’m not quite finished with this project, but I’m probably close. How close is anyone’s guess (including mine). For now, I’m just going to post when I feel inspired, rather than returning to a regular schedule of posts.

There’s definitely been a lot of water under the bridge, both good and bad this past year, and I’ll be writing about some of those things later. However, I’m happy to say that the main reason I took my break from writing here is that after nearly 10 years of being single, I have a partner to share my life with. It’s been a wonderful year of getting to know each other, sharing our stories, and integrating our lives. One aspect of our relationship forms the idea for this post.

My partner knew absolutely nothing about Christian Science before she met me. She had never even heard about it. I’ve written in past posts about what it’s like to explain Christian Science to those who’ve never encountered it before. It’s not easy, and I usually just avoid it, or keep it at a very superficial level. It’s generally not worth the effort to go into much depth. You lose your audience pretty quick anyway. I would liken it to trying to describe colour to someone who’s been blind since birth.

However, with a partner you share your life with, you do have to explain things like this. You don’t have any other choice, if you’re going to have an open and honest relationship. Christian Science, for better or worse (mostly worse), has framed a large part of my life and it is a part of who I am. I grew up in it, after all. So to know me, she has to know Christian Science.

To some degree, she understands what I’ve been through. She does not really understand Christian Science, and I don’t think she ever will. Even though I grew up in it, went through Primary Class instruction and all that, I don’t fully understand it, and I don’t think I ever did. Many a die-hard Christian Scientist will cite a ‘lack of understanding’ as the reason why I’ve never seen healing in Christian Science–it’s the most common excuse in the book. But, I do think she understands enough. She is truly an amazing and intelligent woman, and I’m very fortunate to have her in my life; and not for one minute do I think any deity put her in my life. It was a fortunate decision I made to go on a camping trip last June that put her into my life; nothing more, nothing less.

Her opinion of Christian Science, the circumstances of my parents’ deaths, and some aspects of my life as a Christian Scientist is that it is undeniably crazy and completely illogical. She has also mentioned on more than a few occasions that if we had met and I was still in Christian Science, we probably wouldn’t have started a relationship. I agree with that sentiment. Her feelings in this respect centre largely around the fact that if I was still in Christian Science, I would largely eschew medical care, and philosophically, we’d be miles apart in a lot of other ‘big picture’ things in life. My partner is quite medically-oriented, and the thought of not seeking medical care is foreign to her.

For me there are a few other reasons why I don’t think we’d have gotten together. I don’t think we would have gotten together simply because many years ago when I was still ‘in the faith’, I was a much different person than I am now. My partner values honesty and genuineness in a companion; at the time, I was not living my life as the person I believe I really am. As I’ve written before, I was always trying to be a Christian Scientist, because that’s what I thought I should be. I’ve come to realize that it’s not at all who I really am. Since I’ve left Christian Science, I feel as if I’ve never lived my life more honestly than I do now. I acknowledge reality–the good parts, and the ugly ones. I grieve. I get angry. I even hate things sometimes. It’s all part of being human. Christian Science forces you into a lie that says “everything is good, since God created it.” Let me tell you, every word of that statement is a lie. Christian Science itself is a lie. Trying to live Christian Science is living a lie.

So, life continues anew for me, and it’s very good! Yes, sometimes it’s challenging and stressful, but that’s what life is. It’s good, and it’s bad. Only someone else who’s escaped Christian Science could fully understand how liberating it is to simply acknowledge that there’s bad and evil in this world in addition to the good. I know it sounds weird, but it is liberating. Honesty is liberating.

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6 thoughts on “A new post

  1. Nice to see you back. I’m still expanding my understanding of the affects of growing up in CS, and my husband has grown in his understanding of what that means as I’ve grown in mine. Sometimes a bit of a memory will come back to me and I’ll realize how strange and different it was, though it seemed normal at the time. Thanks for your post.

    • Thank you! It’s interesting trying to help a non-CS partner understand some of the ‘weirdness’ that is part of who you are. I’ve found the book ‘fathermothergod’ by Lucia Greenhouse to be a good one to offer the non-CS person. My partner somewhat ‘gets it’ now…well, as much as she ever will. She will always think it’s the craziest thing she’s ever encountered.

  2. Great post! You point out well how quickly we lose our audience if we try to explain CS to the unitiated. When I left CS, I dated ( and eventually married) a MD. Being a kind man, he listened silently while I did my best to explain how I grew up and what CS “meant”. Months later, he shared with me his initial reaction: dumbfounded. He was without words for ages because he could not fathom how ANYONE could believe such nonsense that defied science, logic and the practical world. Sometimes I wonder if that is why I don’t speak up against CS more publicly. Perhaps there is a part of me that feels shame for believing.

    • I often have to remind myself, when I marvel at how people can believe in the truly crazy stuff that Mormons or Scientologists believe in (or most other religions for that matter), that I once believed in some truly weird shit. I think for me, my reticence sometimes in speaking up (non anonymously) against Christian Science stems from a simple lack of desire to try to explain the truly bat-shit crazy stuff. To me, it’s like describing colour to someone who’s been blind from birth.

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