Fundamentalists DO NOT Have All of the Answers

At the same time as I was struggling to come to terms with the idea that somewhere inside me was a boiling cauldron of rage, incidents continued to feed the fire.

During the affair, J managed to dent his relationship with our daughter, not from the infidelity, but because he seemed to be dwelling in a weird religious place that actually led him to lecture her about her faith – or lack thereof. This phase passed fairly quickly, and they had never discussed with one another – although she had spent some time ranting about it to me.

Earlier this week, she came by my office by my office to see how I was and to find out why I had been so off every time she talked to me, and I told her about my realization about the anger I had floating around. I explained why I thought that I was having so much trouble processing it. I couldn’t analyze it away, I didn’t think I was mad at her dad. I also said that being mad at a stranger seemed stupid, and she agreed. She is used to me getting angry and then being over it in a flash. Sometimes when she has done something that made me really angry, I have vented and am over it before she has even managed to formulate a response. I also shared my perception that anger at God or fate is inappropriate and useless, that I do not believe that God or the universe messes around in individual lives, causing or preventing disaster.

As we were walking to the parking lot for J to pick me up, she reminded me that she was not sure she believed in God at all. J heard her say it, and started lecturing. He sounded very like he had during the disaster time, and E and I were both really taken aback. She started to get mad, and I signaled her to calm down and we left. When we were half way home, she called crying and wanted her dad to call her when he got home. She felt totally discounted and like he wasn’t willing to recognize an important part of who she really is. I tried to explain to him what she was feeling, and how much the peculiar religious crap had hurt her. He called and talked to her and everything seemed fine.

Then the next day on the way to Austin, we had a peculiar blowout over religion and his perception that I was bossing him around and messing up his relationship with E and HIS recovery. I was furious. I also realized how hurt I was that he had treated me like some sort of know-nothing heathen throughout the disaster period – and even afterward, when he asked me how I was able to write that email to the other woman using Biblical texts – as if I somehow would not know a Bible verse if it bit me. We somehow smoothed this over, and managed to do what we were supposed to do in Austin, but it made me really angry.

During the Spring Break feng shui frenzy, I had actually discovered Sunday school awards and Bibles I had received for church attendance when I was a child. I had forgotten how often I went to church alone, even in elementary school. My family was not devout, but my dad was perfectly willing to drop me off and pick me up. I have attended church off and on through my whole life, and while I do have some issues with some branches of the Christian faith, I have always tried to live my life in such a way that I would not be embarrassed to answer for my behavior. I couldn’t believe that my spirituality was once again negated, and I was made to feel somehow less that her – AGAIN.

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