It was a very emotional day today. After several weeks of not being able to tell the old church I was not coming back I had finally composed the email to send. I explained to the Rector that the church had become unhealthy as evidenced by the series of angry and vengeful emails that have been sent out by parishioners to everyone in the congregation. I also stated that I felt M2 was not being accepted for who she was and was repeatedly treated differently then the two other girls her age in church.
I went to the new church feeling sick though I knew I was not actually. I listened to the sermon about giving to others what they are due and felt horrendously sad how much I felt M2 had been given that she did not deserve. I tried to snap myself out of the pity party but my thoughts kept returning to the “old church” and how we had been treated. I forced myself to refocus, there was no point in dwelling on what I could not change. It was over and done we had to move on.
After church the youth leader came to me and asked if she could talk to me a minute. I agreed and she started to tell me about the Christmas Pageant. She asked if it was all right with me if the girls participated. I said I did not mind but that M2 is sometimes hesitant to do these things due to her speech impediment. The youth leader smiled and said “No problem, we need stage hands too in order to be successful” I wanted to cry because last year the week before the play was to be performed M2 had been pulled from the Pageant because she was too shy to say her line. The Rector pulled her and did not assign her another role because it was too late. M2 cried for three days straight. M1 even protested saying it wasn’t her fault that she could not talk but no one listened. I hurt badly last year this time.
I go to pick up Little Bit who is grabbing my leg and the Deacon walks out. He puts his hand on my shoulder and says “I know it is hard for you to trust us but please come in to the coffee hour and meet some of us” I defer saying that I had to bring Little Bit to the gym with the other kids and he insisted I bring her inside with me. I walk in with her in my arms and he introduces me to another Mom with a 14 month old. We talk a bit and the kids played. I hear the kids bound up the stairs and M2 talking as she goes. Wow this church is different.
We come home and I see an email from the Rector’s wife and I catch breath concerned about what it will say. I brace myself it is only words, what is done is done and I can’t take back the email or control their reactions. In the email she tells me all about how she understands the discrimination I face and that other people have talked about her Granddaughter who has Aspergers so she understands. I cringe internally because you can’t understand my experience because you are not me and yes your Granddaughter has Aspergers but not Mental Retardation, Speech Delays AND Aspergers. You can relate; but what have you done to educate or address it if you have seen it? I know I did nothing either I should not throw stones. I need to let go of the anger and disappointment as it is not helping me.
I still feel a little sad but at least I have cleared the air. I have stated what I need to and not been abusive or offensive which is important to me. So now we go forward with the new church knowing that things are going to be different and praying they will be better.