The Church of England’s destroyal of me affects me in so many ways, but I was just thinking about Rosie’s helpful comments on the other blog.
She talks about church and sense of worth, and it developed into a discussion.
As I have mentioned somewhere on this blog, before I fled the Diocese of Winchester, my identity was enmeshed with the church of england and had been since I was young and vulnerable and fresh out of the cult environment that I grew up in.
As I moved on, I discovered other churches and other ways, within and outside of the church of england.
I learned that I am me and the church is the church, the church is supposed to be there in order for me to worship God, but it falls short in many ways, many times, church easily becomes exclusive and judgemental when taken over by older well off people, who devote their time and money and thus become invaluable, but who do things their way and can leave lesser mortals feeling marginalized.
I have been on a learning journey during my life homeless and on the road, and have learned only last year that a lot of my problems relating to people stem from attachment disorder, and thus I do not relate to people well, or God, or church, or myself.
I now see a therapist for this, when I can afford to.
But anyway, my relationship with God is disordered because it has been entwined with different forms of abuse and neglect since I was a baby.
I do not relate to myself well because I have not been treated in a reliable predictable way as I grew up, and have been labelled, branded and villified by the church since I first came into contact with them. So I carry a burden of self-loathing and guilt and shame, because I have been blamed and villfied for every abuse I have ever suffered and the way I am as a result.
I do not relate well to people for the same reasons.
And I do not relate well to church, church is a source of panic, fear, distress and anger, but most Sundays, as long as I am given space, I calm these feelings and can get along quite well.
Although on my journeys I have had many church people talking behind their hands about me, trying to take over my life, scornful of me and my way of life, telling me I needed to ask God for forgiveness in order to get off the streets, told that I needed to ‘move on’ from what had happened to me, or that I needed to move on, full stop.
It is incredible what people who ‘run’ churches can do and still consider themselves righteous and close to God, a classic example is the woman in Winchester who was openly slandering me to another person when I overheard her, she was repeating back what the diocese of Winchester had said, about me being mad and bad, but did not know when I challenged her, that I was autistic and had been abused.
She puffed herself up and claimed that SHE was VERY CLOSE TO JESUS, while I WAS JUST A NASTY VIOLENT PERSON.
Now these repeated damages have left me angry and raw, although I have moved on, but I have also suffered a number of men trying to be ‘pastoral’ to me in churches and crossing boundaries while I was homeless, and each time I put a very angry stop to it, too angry, because each time, I left that church and told them off, because I still do not know how to be assertive or stop abuse properly, I feel both that I have no rights because of the record that the diocese have given me, and also that I will not be believed by anyone, or respected if I set boundaries, so I both warn such men, because I don’t want them to do it again, and I leave forever. This has made life worse for me, but I have no doubt that if the diocese were able to keep tracing me, they would use such things against me in their reports without my side of things, as usual.
People in the church, such as Senator Bailhache, do not appear to believe someone can be abused more than once, but the fact is that a lone vulnerable female is very easily abused, especially if she has no family and craves comfort.
I have to say that I am safe with regards to church now and am not abused or in danger of abuse and no-one attempts close pastoral care, which is and always has been disasterous for me because of the attachment disorder.
My relationship with the church now is more mature although I am still not assertive, I do not allow close pastoral care, I slate any unsolicited interference, because no matter how old or well off church elders are, they do not have rights over other people’s lives, and sometimes they need to be told that, because their interventions can be harmful.
Church is there for me to worship in, and in the event of anyone making it hard for me to worship, I leave and attend another church, in the event of diocesan intervention, I leave and attend elsewhere and slate anyone who treats me badly as a result of the diocese of winchester.
That is how far I have got with my relationship with the church. I currently worship with both the Catholic Church and another church, I like Catholic morals but despise ‘religeon’ and any abuse, cover up or lack of support for victims, I also worship elsewhere as I am an ecumenical Catholic and like to woship without the religeon, although I do enjoy Mass, saying that, Mass is closest to the church of england atmosphere and can trigger flashbacks.
In conclusion, I am glad I broke free from the choking grip of being a church of england ‘brand’ and started to become ‘me’ after so many years, it has been liberating and interesting, especially to see different styles and ways of worship, and to see similarity and difference, for example any denomination can have a good or bad church, a healthy or unhealthy church, a welcoming or exclusive church, and I can choose and sample and also always return to Mass and Confession, as well as being alone with God, although events have strained our relationship.
Anyway, that is just some thoughts.