Tuesday
Jul152003

« Cyber Confessional Roulette »

I was wondering if you would be willing to be on the receiving end of a cyber-confessional/dialog that sort of is itching to be had. I didn't want to dive full in at first, but it would mean a lot to spill out some stuff to a disinterested party, and since I am not Catholic, maybe this is the way to go?

A little background might help put me in some context though: I'm a youngish man (29) that grew up in a family where practicing religion was optional but encouraged from my grandmother, who was a well known figure in her church, and a real genuine person. She left the door of faith open to me for years for the most part. Good thing, because I ran in and out often. She was the brightest light in my family life, like grandmothers tend to be. She died a couple years ago, and I made some peace with her after some confusion in her later years that I have come to regret. My father is the last relative I have in my local family. He and I. That is it, and the looming reality that I will be the only one bearing my name out here in California is one that bends my mind sometimes. I have a larger family in southern CA that is the entirety of my mom's family—five siblings, some nephews, a niece, and so on. But we are estranged from each other. It's not for lack of trying. There have been three distinct periods of trying to relate to that clan. And all three have crashed and burned. I don't know which foot to put forward. My older sister is the only one I feel a genuine kinship with, but even that is based on some angst that is as old as I am, so it's not grounded in a healthy place. So far that side of family history has been a disaster, and almost killed me from the emotional weight a few years ago.

My ex girlfriend is someone who is becoming more of a sister to me as time passes, and we just got reacquainted after more than a two year break while she was gone to another state. She is married to a class A loser, who abuses her emotionally, financially and is generally worthless to her. They have three kids and she is just overwhelmed at the fact that she is the breadwinner and he is off doing drugs, and all that nonsense. It was like this years ago, and it bothered me then too. The thing is, I sort of feel as if I have some debt to pay back to her. A long time ago, she got pregnant by me and had an abortion and it was early on in our relationship. She was already given to being a little escapist. She wanted out of her home life, and wanted to start a family. Good things done for the wrong reasons, I fear. So it's little surprise that she ended up with someone like she did, right after we broke up. I think she is not as hip to the idea that getting married and having kids is as cool as she thought before. Anyhow, my feeling of debt to her is to put an effort into her emotional health. She is scared that her husband is sexually abusing the kids when presented the opportunity—while she is earning money for them all. Obviously, she needs an oasis. She has told me a few times she wishes that things had gone better between us, and in light of what I know now, I wish so too. I get the feeling, I am one of the few people who she might trust with her feelings, so I want to handle that with kid gloves and not do more damage than already exists.

The issue of family is huge to me. My experience is broken from the get go. It's an injustice I never had a say in, because my parents never showed me anything about how to keep a family together. So it's a huge task of trying to understand a million things about family and interpersonal dynamics in the modern world, which is no healthy place for families, or individuals, often enough. I'm a bohemian sort of person, I have no love for a lot of what modern life has to offer, though I avail myself of the stuff. But I know that I could turn the computer off, the TV off and leave the car parked. The thing is, the rest of the world can't or won't, so begrudgingly I move with them. I feel like an old soul who wants to live in tune with all the old ways that worked for years and years, either with nature or with a societal contract. But I feel that I was cheated the basics. What it does is paralyze me. I am afraid of having a job that pays well, lest I become materialistic. Or I am afraid of not having a job lest I become a second class citizen. I feel my bohemian days are numbered but I don't know where to go, or how. I know some bohemian types that never left that nest and are doing pretty bad, so I want to avoid that. I am scared of failure, scared of success and scared of inaction.

But I am moved by what I hear in church. I used to not be. I used to laugh it off and speak disparagingly of it all. To be sure, religion has blood on its hands, and no one should forget it or excuse it, but I am not into it for the religion, I am in it for the spirituality. More and more, instances of the Christian ideal are affecting me. Faith was not so much an issue for me. I knew that life would lead me to make a better believer than any evangelist could do. And life did offer chances to eat bullets or get on with it all.  More and more, I begin to believe in the mission of Christ. I still am not religious; but I am given to believe that he is a model citizen, and am touched to the core when I hear of instances that fit that mold. Little by little, my armor has been softening.

Well, I guess that was a little more than a "little background" but it helps give you something to work from. There is more where that came from, if you can help let me move it out of me. Thanks.

Namaste.

—pup

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