Getting Right with God

Soooo… it’s thanksgiving tomorrow and I am home. Home, like the place where I grew up ( kind of) in Maine. It’s here that I feel like there is suddenly a spot light on all of my symptoms that’s following me, simultaneously freaking me out and cracking me up.   It’s here that most of memories originate – and come flooding back in particular clarity. We arrived last night and when I woke up like I always do *BING* at 7am I got up for coffee and had conversation with my mom about this past weeks events in more detail. Our conversation of course led to my appointment at the Hallowell Center last monday and my diagnosis.

As I was speaking, I was also having these concurrent revelations about my entire childhood and the things about me that would just confound my parents. All these additional memories were just clicking away and she also began to connect the dots. We took turns telling stories while laughing about all the quirky things I did that no one ever had an explanation for.  Then a really funny thing happened- she asked me if I would join her for church in the morning to celebrate, and my face fell.

Church was a special kind of hell for me growing up. I dreaded it all week long and come Saturday night I was beside myself – my skin crawled in anticipation of the routine weekly service.  Sit, stand, sing, sit, stand, sing, kneel, sit, sing, sit, shake hands, stand, sit, kneel, stand, sing. By the time I got out into the fresh air I was literally twitching with pent up energy and agitation. I was unable to hear almost anything while I was in service no matter how hard I would try to concentrate.  My mother mastered “the look” with me in church and she would literally burn my skin with her steely glare if I was unable to sit still.  As I sat- year after year I had lots of time to reflect on just about everything, including my sins. As soon as I went away to college I never ever went back – other than when I would come home to visit at my mothers insistance.

This particular aversion to church has always caused my mother a tremendous amount of pain.  She has taken it so very personally as a sign that I rejected the religious upbringing she provided.  Sitting there with her this morning I realized how completely perfect this all was.  It explained so much to me about how many things in life for me were this way… it was not that I was unwilling to listen. learn, or please my parents… I just simply could not, and after years of failing at it- stopped trying.


For me, church represented all the ways in which I had failed them especially by my glaring character flaws.  It’s ironic to me now to realize that GOD ( Great Spirit) made me this way…and that in order to really learn this love and search for my own spirituality I had to move, dance, act, fight, draw, tap, sing, and FEEL, and in order to do that I had to be anywhere but church.

I think that’s a revelation… don’t you?




  1. says

    Yes Monica, another revelation. It is so liberating to be able to slough off another layer of shame, when we are finally able to recognize that as children we simply wanted to please, and if we were failing at it of course it was not intentional. We simply were not able to fulfill others expectations. And so the life lesson of loving self no matter what begins, no matter how others judge us, see us and expect of us. You are enough, more than enough. Love you so very much, Andrea

  2. says

    Yes! One of the most difficult things about building an adult relationship with my mother, one of mutual respect and admiration, is her personal anguish over both my sister and I leaving the Catholic Church.

    She too takes it as a personal (and perhaps punishable) failure on her part. If only she could see that it is the values of love and acceptance that she taught me that guide my current beliefs and politics.

    Much light and peace to you today!