It’s now 2015, and although this is late I have a medley of words swimming in my head that I have to get out on paper.
2014 was a year of changes for me. I started the year on a downward spiral with my mental health, and it got bad (a stay in a psych ward for four days) before it got better. Unexpectedly, over the summer, things started looking up. I got off my meds (five months now, knock on wood) and I stabilized even as I lived at home and experienced the challenges that came with that. Within days of moving back to school for the Fall semester, I discovered HA and CRHE, and along with that came the realization that I have years and generations of spiritual abuse and fundamentalist programming to overcome. Any lingering desire to come back to a fundamentalist tradition was quickly squelched. I clung to my sanity for dear life as my head, ideas, perceptions, prejudices, assumptions, and beliefs were challenged and stretched beyond what I believed possible.
In the latter half of 2014, I started to confront my own racism and transphobia. Some of it felt preprogrammed–things I’d never really thought about but simply accepted as true. Regardless, I said some stupid stuff as I tried to sort through what I honestly believed. In reality, I’m still in that place. The events of the past few days have brought, once again, my indwelling prejudices into full focus.
I’m scared. I don’t know where 2015 will take me. I am scared that people who I ask questions of will think I’m backwards or prejudiced. I’m trying to hang on to that loosely, to realize that my heart is in the right place, to rest in the fact that I know that I have people who love me. I’m hanging on as much as I can. The foundations, the boundaries of where I thought my feminism and liberalism would take me are being shaken up and I’m seeing a whole new world that I don’t want to see or deal with. I want to turn around, bury my head in the sand, and ignore those issues. I feel like my brain has already been stretched enough, maybe too far. I almost miss the surety of fundamentalism and the knowledge that I knew where I stood, at least with regard to the rules and beliefs and doctrines of my cult. Now I’m in uncharted territory and I can’t just play the God card to end a conversation. I’m in a foreign country, and I don’t know the language, customs or anything else–and there’s not an embassy or consulate I can retreat to. I’m on my own. And it’s scary. I often feel fear that God is going to knock me down because I’m not following him, and I don’t know how to change that fear. I don’t think I believe it any more, but it’s still ingrained in my psyche, and I don’t know that I’ll ever get rid of it.
I hope that 2015 proves better than it seems at the moment. I resolve to live in spite of my fear–to not let it stop me from traveling, reading, learning, asking, listening, changing, adapting. I will live my life in the face of my fears and nagging doubts, trusting my gut and resting in what I hear.