Monday Club — An American Christian Mini-Post XI
To say it’s been a while since the last post is an understatement. While I needed some time away from this project for my own mental health, I’ve also been going through a bout of writer’s block.
Despite an almost infinite list of topics and experiences to cover, I kept hitting a wall every time I sat down to write. I’d change positions, environments, keyboards, beverages, strains, etc. Nothing helped.
I needed a break.
It’s difficult to think about and process pain and trauma day in and day out. While it's been more helpful to get the poison out of me and onto the page, it wasn’t sustainable to do it several times a week or even a month, for that matter.
I also received some feedback from others that felt like I was too negative and that I should talk about some of the good times that were had as well. I’ve tried to pepper some of that in and plan to do so more in the future, but the fact remains that all of what I’ve been covering is unequivocally negative. And I’m not the only person who’s felt that way.
This is hopefully helpful to those that feel alone, to those that are questioning their faith or dealing with the PTSD that comes with extreme spiritual abuse and trauma.
So, no, it’s not very cheery, and that’s ok.
This isn’t meant to be short, uplifting stories to perk you up while you drink your coffee and prep for your monotonous job. This is my therapy, and it’s fucking painful. I don’t say that out of anger, but a necessity. I’m often perceived as a pessimistic person because I’ve never had any trouble airing my grievances. While this is a fault that I continually work on, I also can’t hide behind a false smile and pretend that the good memories I have of church and GTC weren’t shrouded in a cloud of anxiety, fear, guilt, exhaustion, bigotry, lies, implicit biases, and dubious dogma.
While I have many memories full of joy and positivity — encounters with people and places that I wouldn’t trade anything for — it doesn’t excuse or alleviate any of the above symptoms of the disease of American Christianity.
The stories we tell ourselves about the past, or what we tell ourselves about our present situations, we tell in order to make our lives livable. At the very least, to make our lives bearable.
I’ve learned that when I write, if I become angry at the subject or people whom the topic involves, then I need to stop. While it may be cathartic for me to write out all the frustration and animosity, it does little to heal my broken brain and does even less to help others. My pain can be used affirmatively, but I feel that my anger will cause more pain. I do not aim to inflict pain upon those who inflicted It upon me; to continue the cycle of abuse. So, while these writings may be dour and harsh, they are meant to heal.
In time, that healing may contemplate the good memories with more freedom and equitability.
While my penchant for writing has transformed once again into a fount, I expect to be doing more of it; at least I intend to.
The list of topics is ever-growing and ever-changing. Still, I intend to tackle the enormous topic of purity culture, perhaps in several parts and perhaps with multiple perspectives. There is no timeline, and that’s probably for the best.
That being said, I didn’t mean to end this post in ambiguity. So, sorry about that. Know that more topics are being written, and some more sanguine stories.