Friday just gone I had my appointment with my therapist. It was quite productive and I now have a ‘to do’ list for the next two weeks. I shall be looking into the self-publishing process, job searching and other socialising activities.
Near the end of the session my therapist repeated something she said in the previous session. She asked me about religion.
In the previous session it was brought up in the context of places that have activity noticeboards, along with cafes, community centres etc. When I said that me and churches don’t get on (did I ever mention the time all the church ladies scowled at me for pointing out factual inaccuracies during a nativity play – my niece got the starring role as Mary – and nobody from my childhood church has spoken to me since?) she suggested that they have the community thing right and I didn’t have to get involved in ‘The Truth’ aspects.
Then on Friday, completely at random, nearly at the end of the session when we’d discussed my progress and set new goals for the coming fortnight, she suddenly brought it up again, but prefaced it with “I was talking to a friend the other day, and they said something I thought might be useful to you, how do you feel about religion?” then she repeated the church community thing. I told her I’d looked at the local church notices, the Methodists don’t have notices outside and the Anglicans don’t have a vicar at the minute. She told me I should have gone in and asked and that the people at churches are usually so supportive and inclusive.
One, I’ve already told her I have problems with churches and church groups due to the hypocrisy of Christianity. I don’t see the need to cover the subject again.
Two, this is the second time she brought it up, not ‘something a friend mentioned a few days ago’ – I last saw her three weeks ago so funny definition of a few days. The first time she brought it up was legitimate, we were listing places where I might meet people or that might have listings for community groups. The second time there was no reason whatsoever to bring it up, no context in which it was a valid point. We were finishing the season and recaping my to do list.
Three, church ladies are some of the most small minded people I’ve met, after UKIP supporters. They don’t like any change in their little world, they’ll hush up immoral behaviour by church figures so that everyone can boast about how wonderful the vicar is, and they can be downright pushy.
Also, may not have noticed this but I’m pagan, and I don’t hide it, much. Actually, maybe she did notice and that’s why she’s being so pushy? I don’t know, but if she brings it up again I’ll try to be firm and tell her I’m not interested in Christianity, I spent the first 16 years of my life in that world – C of E mostly but there was some Methodist Sunday school, long story boils down to the C of E vicar didn’t like children in his church services so we all went to Chapel instead – and I made a concious and informed decision to leave it.
I had to fill in a form to refer myself to the organisation that I have my sessions with; they had the usual gender, sexuality and religion sections. Three different types of Christianity, and each of the rest of the major religions represented, ‘none’ represented, but no ‘other’ option. I almost rewrote the religion section for them, but my natural politeness prevented me. I might put it on a suggestion form though.
If the church community group works for some people that’s fantastic but I’ve said repeatedly that that is not an option I’m interested in taking. Anyone who had spent time around secular activities based in churches and run by church members – such as parent and toddler groups or Scout/Guide units – will have experienced the way you get sucked in to things. It starts out harmless enough, just getting involved with the group, and before you know it you’re getting Confirmed.
Not again; it’s a mistake I made in the past and I’m not repeating it.