Yes, that’s the lame title I came up with.
I had “Depression: In the Trenches” for a post on how I’m dealing with my depression. One word: horribly. I’m miserable, crying a lot more, very fed up with work (and with the three idiots I work with), dealing with the fact that not only was I abused emotionally and verbally I was also physically abused through spanking. I’m not sure I can leave out sexual abuse but most of that stems from not being allowed to have any boundaries. I wasn’t allowed to bathe alone (my mother was forever coming in and using the toilet when I was showering), not allowed any privacy (my mother was forever going through my things but never my sisters; even as an adult home during summer break from college she would go through my things as would my sisters and they were never punished), and told I was fat and ugly and bought clothes several sizes too big to cover my fat, ugly body. There was the not being allowed to be sick (getting a cold was tantaumount to sending my mother to hell because I was ruining her life) which left me seeing getting sick as being weak and useless and learning not to take care of myself. Then there was the whole “bad girls like me go to Hell” and you better believe that I was on the fast track to hell just because I was me.
I’ve been feeling so bad lately, especially when I work, that I try to focus on getting sleep instead of doing anything else. At this point, even going to Mass is difficult. I had been going to a different parish because my geographical parish was just too different from what I needed and I had been there for over ten years. They’ve gone in a different direction and I wasn’t taken along for the ride. Granted, I wouldn’t have been taken along anyways because I’m not married or have kids, don’t have family in the parish, and am a single working woman who wants more than just to settle or be pushed to the background though that’s exactly what’s happened. The “new” parish (I’d been going there for the occasional Mass and for Reconciliation) was good: good homilies, quality music, people understood that babies needed a moment in the narthex to pull themselves together (as much as babies can do that but you get what I mean I hope) and that children were to behave. Then I went on Sunday after not going the week before (which I needed the sleep since that night the supervisor decided to target me and tried to pull a ship load of crap on me) and wish I hadn’t. I didn’t sleep well, Mass was hard to sit through (there have been many times that for the first half hour of Mass it takes all my will power not to walk out in tears because I’m trembling and hurting and in tears because I just can’t handle it. There are probably times when I should have walked out just to preserve my sanity but I didn’t thinking that I was going to end up in Hell for leaving and that there was no valid reason to miss Mass. I was actually taught that there was no reason AT ALL to miss Mass. Not even being in the hospital and deathly ill was a good reason. Since missing Mass was a mortal sin, there was no good reason not to go or to be late (there have been several times when I arrived in the middle of the reading, even once being as late as the Gospel).
I’m not sure I should go to Mass for a while. I know that I have a moral obligation to attend Mass but when I end up sleep deprived and mentally ill does that matter or am I not allowed to take care of myself? I’m not allowed to take care of myself, having being taught that others are so much more important than me that if I have to sacrifice my time and health then so be it. So now that I think taking care of myself is important am I sinning by getting the sleep I need even if it means I have to miss Mass? I know that in my mental state and upbringing and others would say yes. God is more important than my health or my job. Yes, that is the mental thinking I have. I was taught/learned not to value myself, especially not as a person and not as a woman. I think, as much as it hurts to write this, that I need to take care of myself and if that means missing Mass for a while, then so be it. I will suffer the consequences but I need sleep especially working a twelve hour graveyard shift and to help treat my depression.
Then the traddies have been at it again. At least the thread on what women should wear is gone (yes, there was a whole thread and oh so definitely not the first on the matter on how women needed to dress like an Amish women but in a burqa because men are pigs and if they saw skin they would be led into heinous sin and even rape and beat women even though it’s their fault anyways. I see a movement even among non-traddies to marginalize and even demonize women. The Phoenix Cathedral has decided to limit altar serving to boys again. I don’t have a problem with that. The problem I DO have is that there are so many people who go “look, see, if they hadn’t allowed girls to serve in the first place we wouldn’t have had to deal with feminism, the sex abuse scandals, few priestly vocations, the OF, Protestants, and Donald Trump’s hair.” They see women and girls as evil and as the cause of everything that is wrong in the world and in the Church. They think they are the arbiters of all things Catholic and can dictate what the Church does and does not allow. They act more Catholic than the Pope.
This post by Br. JR highlights something extremely important about the issue:
There is certainly nothing immoral about female altar servers. Those who claim that it is immoral, scandalous, sacriligeous or evil are sadly mistaken. The Church never endorses evil. It is allowed and therefore, this is not a moral question. It’s a question about liturgical roles, not about morality. It is not a social justice question either. Social justice would mean that someone is being deprived a right. Serving at the altar is not a right.
We have to be very careful not to make it a moral issue or a social justice issue. It is neither. When children hear adults talking about this as a moral issue or a social justice issue, it sends the wrong message to them. It tells them that the Church is wrong, cruel and uncaring, because she does not allow women servers. On the flip side, if children hear us calling female servers a scandal, we’re telling them that the Church endorses scandal and sacrilge. That’s horrible too.
I’m tired of being told that being a woman is bad and that I am the cause of all the problems in the world and if I just dressed in a burqa, was submissive all the time, and permanently pregnant then all the world’s and Church’s ills would be cured. That’s not how the world will be cured. It will be by Christ and not us that the world has been saved. The world isn’t a horrible, evil place that we must avoid at all cost. It is good but fallen place that contains people who choose to do evil things and to sin rather than to love God. But people and especially Christians would rather pigeonhole God and others than understand that that doesn’t work. God doesn’t obey people, people are to obey God. People would rather make God in their own image rather than be made in God’s own image.
Why do Christians (and yes I include Catholics in this) demonize people who self-identify as homosexual? They think that homosexual are all about sex and molesting children. It’s like homosexuals can’t be people, that they are only their sexual organ being used for the wrong purpose. I’ve seen people (not talking about Westboro Baptist, though they are uniquely fringe and yet there are people who think WB are right) say that homosexuals can’t be saved, that they are really heterosexuals that just need to be “cured,” they are always having sex with multiple partners at a time, that they are going to molest children no matter what, that they should be locked up, that they should even be executed all for having a disordered sexual orientation. Christians and yes, even Catholics, have advocated these things. Homosexuals, transgender, transsexual, bisexual, queer are PEOPLE. They just have an incurable disorder that they have to live with (I know this really simplifies a really complicated issue but I’m trying to point out that they are people not an orientation/self-identification). They are God’s children as well not just heterosexual people who have sex only to have babies. Too many Christians, too many Catholics refuse to see that. I bet if they met a real life LGBTQ person they would act differently (maybe) than what they spout on the Internet though I highly doubt it.
I mention all this because I work with a LGBTQ and that person is extremely professional and good at their job. I like working with this person. They don’t talk about their personal, private life or make waves about their lifestyle. They do the job they were hired for. I can respect that. Yet, there are people that think this person shouldn’t even be allowed to work because they might lead somebody into their horribly evil lifestyle and away from Jesus and that all they want is sex. I don’t get it. I’ve worked with three LGBTQ people over the years and the only issues I’ve had have been with either their lack of professionalism (they didn’t put very much effort into the job they were doing if they even bothered to show up) or they didn’t take care of their self (one had diabetes and never seemed to care that just a few little things meant they could live a long, healthy life) not their sexual orientation. They weren’t and aren’t evil people. Sinners, yes, just like me, but not evil and yes living a sinful lifestyle that had long term consequences but not completely evil minions of Satan (I think Justin Bieber and Katy Perry are more likely).
A song that seems to describe parts of how I’m feeling right now:
(Ignore the fact that it is a NUMB3RS video)
And some Casting Crowns: