11/23/06—Thanksgiving Day, and I have to struggle to be thankful. I’m fighting a very real depression as I try to get over an illness (my allergies and asthma has resurfaced for the first time in years), try to get over the financial and emotionally devastating impact of my recent involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, as well as deal with a whole host of negative issues from unemployment to legal crisis.
I went to Eucharist at All-Angels church last night, not so much as because I am depressed as because the intensity of my personal prayer and yearning is so great that it needs to be relieved by community worship. I had decided that I needed Eucharist after a dream in which my father was driving me around and agreed to wait while I went to get breakfast. But I didn’t like their ready to go breakfast so I made myself a huge “cafeteria” burrito, but then when I wanted to pay for it, they wanted 63 dollars for it, so I told them to keep it, and woke up hungry (I wake up hungry a lot because I’m doing serious dieting). I interpret the dream to mean the SLI and Opus Dei, who I identify as abusive patriarchal authority, just like my father, are trying to feed me food I find inedible or overpriced. I decided that the dream was telling me I needed spiritual sustenance, but because of the abuse I have received at the hands of the Roman Catholic community, I will not return there. The SLI and Opus Dei probably think they have got an angle on me, but they are so wrong. They have destroyed my dignity as a child of God and turned me into a thing, and while I cannot prevent them from wreaking their suffering upon me, I will no longer be a willing participant in their machinations. And I certainly will not identify myself as one of them, either now, or ever in the future. I don’t believe in spiritual conversion through abuse andpower tripping, ever, under any circumstance, and I will not identify with any religious community that does that, and the fact that Roman Catholicism is so vulnerable to that is their serious sin, and I just want to be separated forever from that worldview.
I don’t know that I want to be identified as an Episcopalian either, though there is much that is attractive about their community—sacramental, but more open and inclusive, and certainly more gay-friendly than Catholicism (for I intend to be a sexually active lesbian as soon as I escape the repression from the religious right, and I am free to be me). I just want to be a faithful Christian layperson, and not really closely affiliated with any denomination. It did help though, to go to church. The homily was from the gospel, “behold the lilies of the field.” The first time I really prayed that gospel, I was 19 years and flat busted broke. My family had sent me money to join them in California because a promising summer job in Memphis TN, had netted me $60.00. I knew I wasn’t going back to Vanderbilt, and I had no idea what my future held; for that matter I had no idea who I was. I was at the very beginning of my year I now know as my Post-Adolescent Identity Crisis, and it was only my father’s death that resolved that. So I was even more vulnerable than I am now, when I’m much more sure of who I am and have a good idea about the possibilities for the future, both hopeful and scary. I just need this surrogate patriarchal father who has put their hooks into me to die a natural death (or maybe I have to kill them). One thing is for sure---my declaration of independence from them has no effect whatsoever. I am not a free person to them. I am a thing to be used for their purposes and end. So I have to seek my sustenance where I can until I can break free, and All-Angels seems to be the most promising place for that. As the priest (a woman, I might add), preached, lilies are nothing but dead pulpy masses on the ground this time of year, and as such are a symbol of hope. I feel like a pulpy dead mass, but my faith leads me to hope. I just have to hold on to this hope during these long days of unemployment and intense prayer.m God has a plan for me. It will come when it comes.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />