I have not had much time to post, nor much inclination. I’m not sure where I am, but it isn’t particularly good. I’ve been in hiding.
I think I spend lots of my time in hiding and pretense. I’ve spent a good deal of my life pretending one thing or another. Childhood I spent hiding from myself that my mother was mentally unstable and both my parents hated each other. Consequently I had to hide them from my friends and pretend that I had a normal home life, one that wasn’t full of screaming, paranoiac rants and emotional violence. In college I hid behind a carefully constructed counter-culture image. It’s rather nice to instantly repel the people you would least like to talk to, simply by wearing certain clothes and dyeing your hair. I could hide my amazingly shy and self-conscious self behind a grand display of plumage. I started work I had to pretend that I was competent, or assertive, or downright aggressive, as the job demanded. Then I had to pretend that I knew how to be a mom. I’m still pretending that.
Now, at work I pretend that I’m a conservative, orthodox Christian. I bite my tongue and find myself fighting my own cynicism and negativity. When they start bashing Democrats and liberals, I sometimes feel like screaming, “You’re talking about someone like me!” The people I work with are wonderful, caring people. They love God passionately. I doubt I would find another job where my employers are so understanding about the need for moms to take off for sick children and school events. But there is no way on earth I could ever be real with any of them. I don’t express my true views about anything: parenting, women clergy, homosexuality, the war in Iraq, President Bush, immigration, biblical inerrancy, evolution, predestination, sovereignty. The list goes on. My beliefs about any of these would find me on the wrong side of the fence. I spoke with someone who mentioned that a vote would be taken by Denomination X on ordaining homosexual clergy, and that he knew for a fact that a lot of people in Denomination X weren’t even Christian. There is a lot of talk about “true Christians.” Who is and isn’t in the camp. Do you go to church every week? The right church—an orthodox reformed church with no taint of liberal theology? Read the Bible every day? Vote Republican? Believe that creationism should be taught in school and that the United States should make Christianity the state religion? Think that homosexuals should be barred from certain jobs and denied partnership rights (but loved, oh yes, they should be lovingly taught their essential wrongness)? You might pass.
I don’t pass, not nohow, not noway.