Imagine my surprise when after almost seven years of not hearing from you I opened up my Facebook account this morning and found your 'friend' request.
You are now wanting to be my 'friend'?
What happened to you telling me seven years ago that because I'd left Poison Creek Church for the mainstream church I was clearly 'not' in 'The River' so you could no longer be my friend. Remember all those times I ran into you in the gym dressing room and you either said cutting things to me or refused to speak to me. It also got back to me that you were joining in the prayer gossip about me. Why now?
Oh, is it because you yourself were run out of Poison Creek on a rail, emotionally tarred and feathered, railed against, gossiped about and treated lower than dirt? So now you want to pal around because we're both kicked out of that church like some sort of drunken tattooed scooter-trash?
It's not going to happen. I will never approve you for my friends list. I'm not holding a grudge against you. I've had to forgive you long ago for my own peace of mind. But forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. It doesn't mean opening the door and allowing you a second attempt at knifing me in the heart. I wish you well, I just wish you'd stay away from me.
When I left the church all those years ago I left a broken woman, pulled between what I knew in my heart was right and my friends, like you. If anyone had ever told me before I left that you would cut me from your life with the same ease as someone throwing away an old newspaper I would never have believed them. We were tight, we were sisters.
You and I, we spent so much time together. I took your kids to Canada with me on vacation, you took mine with you to Pittsburgh. The two of us did all the heavy lifting at the church for the potluck dinners, we did the planning, execution, cooking, dish washing, decorating, etc, etc, etc. I have cherished memories of the two of us so exhausted we're laughing like lunatics while we wash up the mountain of dirty dishes from a church banquet. I helped you paint one wall of your bedroom purple and you brought me meals after one of my many miscarriages/d&c's.
Remember all the conferences we went to? The wine and chocolates? The motorcycle ride up to Toronto one summer for the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship annual Party Conference? Do you remember the imaginary tea party we had one day while cleaning up the TACF church for the conference? I do.
Which is why when you turned against me for leaving our mutual church it hurt so badly. If you'd had just been someone I had an acquaintance with I wouldn't have been much bothered. But you were like a sister, a sister that seemed bound and determined to punish me for daring to do something different, to leave because my husband insisted we leave.
You say in your message to me that you want to know all about my children, mostly because you feel like they are part your children too because of those years. If they are 'like your children' then why did you feel it necessary to abandon them for all those years?
Here's the aftermath: My son is now 26 years old and he thinks all Christians are evil insincere hypocrites because of the way he was treated when we left. That's with therapy and exit counseling. He's forged himself a good life, holds a degree in film studies, works full time and has a number of freelance commercials and indie film interests. He managed to channel his hurt and grief over leaving the church into his senior film project, a film about Christians doing the work of Satan.
My youngest, my daughter who is 23, is engaged to another refugee from the world of Fundamentalist homeschooling evangelical Christianity. She is working on her MBA and still gags when confronted with anything smacking of religion. This is also after therapy and exit counseling.
If you had really cared about them like you claim you do you would have at the very least tried to stay in touch with them and been a loving presence in their lives.
They see through your hypocrisy now and so do I.
I wanted to stay in touch with your four children because I loved them too. But you told me not to call, to stay out of their lives with my corrupting apostate presence. I did.
I only have whatever time I have left on this planet and right now that means I'm concentrating on my family and those people who are my real friends, that have been there for me when the going wasn't pretty. Not those that are only my friends when it suits them. Friendship doesn't work that way.
This week that means I'm in class on two days, one day helping out my baby, another day going to court with my eldest daughter over my granddaughter's allegations and PINS (Person in need of supervision) hearing. It means tomorrow I'm spending the day with my husband and few other mutual friends who are veterans. There's not time for you anywhere in my life now.
I could have really used a friend eight years ago almost to the day when we left the church. I cried for several years while you and others decided that I needed to be punished till I came back into your narrow fold. It's too late now.