You’ll notice this isn’t step 4 of the Snowflake Method. Part of that is due to family obligations and insanity at work (it is Christmas at Walmart, after all), but the other part is that I’d simply been having issues expanding my paragraph into a page. I think I’ve figured out how I want to do it, and whatnot, but, now that I’m sitting down to write, I find that my mind keeps returning to a conversation I had with my mother yesterday.
Yesterday morning we finally addressed the elephant that’s been following us for the last ten years. It started as we were talking about my brother. He’s turned out a lot like my abusive, alcoholic father, and about a year ago, we pretty much had to kick him out of the family. It’s a long, probably boring story, but the short of it is that he was manipulative and deceptive and felt it was his right to take advantage of my mother every which way.
My mother’s big issues with him revolved around the fact that he is a baptized Jehovah’s Witness. I don’t know if he still is, as his behavior has been bad enough to warrant disfellowship. However, he recently was in a car accident and has been getting back in contact with Mom, which means she’s telling me about her conversations, which means religion inevitably comes up in the discussion, and religion is a sensitive subject between Mom and me.
My mother began studying with the Witnesses not long after I was born. She’s been baptized for 25 years, and she took us to meetings and out in service regularly. She’s convinced that they’re the right religion. I’m not so sure, and my doubts came to a head in my Senior year of high school. I made the decision to stop going to the meetings, and my mother hit the roof.
I don’t really remember how it all went down. It’s been so long, and my memory is so bad, the specifics are lost on me. It was, however, bad. I remember a lot of anger and sadness and I know it hit my mother hard. I knew, though, that I couldn’t stay in the religion. At the time, I didn’t really know why, something just felt wrong in my gut, and the problem was, it wasn’t the Witnesses I felt were wrong, it was all of Christianity that I felt was wrong.
At the time, I knew I had questions, and I knew that I needed them answered before I could make a commitment, but I didn’t know what those questions were at the time. I was too close to the subject, too immersed in the culture to know how to put my doubts into words. I needed to get away and get some perspective.
The problem was, at the time that I stopped going to meetings, I didn’t know how to say all that to my mother. I just knew something was wrong and I needed to stop. Her resistance wouldn’t allow us to talk about it, initially, and then, when the reasons and questions began to resolve themselves in my mind, I was away at college and facing a whole host of other problems. Since that time, neither of us have ever broached the subject, until yesterday.
It was a long, unexpectedly pleasant conversation, and my mother finally understands why I left the Witnesses and respects my decision. That’s a good feeling.