The Emperor's New Clothes

I feel so hurt and angry right now. I guess I could take just so much 'crap' from people during a time when I was down. My husband died unexpectedly when my children were only little.

Quite a number of christians who I knew would say things to me like "god is your husband' or 'god is a father to the fatherless'. It all sounded so 'good and right', but to me they were just empty words that meant nothing. Although I felt alot of guilt because I couldn't really understand what was said to me.

I would think to myself, well if god is supposed to be a father to the fatherless, where is he when the kids are off playing in a grand final (very important to them) and they wanted their dad there to cheer them from the sidelines as he would do. My cheering wasn't quite the same. Or where is he when they are sick, and they wanted their dad. My oldest daughter who was just 11 years old when her dad died was a real 'daddy's girl'. My kids missed their dad terribly, and still do.

One woman who ran the christian singles group at the church where I used to go said to me that she felt very angry when people grieved over the loss of a parent, because, she said, that god was the father, and it was an insult to him to grieve for a lost parent.

Some of my christian friends couldn't understand why I just didn't 'get it' - that is the whole god concept - that I seemed to be lacking because I just couldn't 'see' what they could see. I used to think I was like the little kid in the storybook "The Emperor's New Clothes" - when he called out from the crowd that the emperor had no clothes on - when everyone else was saying how splended he looked. Thing is I just couldn't say I could believe something when I didn't.

So, right now my favourite word is 'crap' for all the sermons and advice I was given when I went to church. Excuse my misuse of the english language, but 'crap' seems to cover everything quite nicely. And I feel much better for actually saying what I mean anyway.

Thank you



Anonymous said...

Welcome to this site!

I agree, what Christians said to you is "crap", although many people on this site would use far stronger language than that!

Stick around. This is the place to vent when you have no one else to talk to.

Anonymous said...

Additional comment here, check out the forums on this site, it costs nothing to join, and it is the place to vent :-)

Steven Bently said...

So sorry to hear about your sadness, it comes across so very well. It sounds like there is so much missing in your life, and I'll just tell you right now that life in itself is not fair, not fair at all to us that were put here on this planet, not by our own accord, but by our parents doing.

Have you tried to look for a new husband, I know it's really hard to look and take care of children at the same time, that is if you really want a new husband, but I think it would really be to your advantage and your children if you could find a decent person to fill that void.

I also know that lonelyness is the worst disease that anyone can have, you must try to seek out a new companion and try to move on with your life, I know it's hard and easy for us to say, but you must try to get a new life going for you and your wonderful children.

Can anyone think of different ways she can meet a new man in her life?

You can go to yahoo personals and put in your description of the type of person and location you're looking for and many thousands will be there, it's just totally amazing how many lonely people are waiting to be with and meet others, many in your very same situation also.

Just google in, yahoo personals and click to it, put in your profile and you're on your way, most people with photos too.

Good luck to you and your family!

Steven Bently said...

P.S. If you go to the personals, you do not have to tell the others who you are, you can just browse and just look if ya want.

Anonymous said...

The insensitivity that is permitted through the substitution of God or gods for humane gestures of empathy and the knowledge of psychology is deserving of harsher terminology than 'crap.' Besides, the toilet was invented by a man with the last name of 'Crapper.'

Anyway, and this is beside the point of where you are now as an honest free thinking unbeliever. Ben means well in encouraging you to find a new mate, but since I know what it is like to lose a mate to mental illness at least I can come close to understanding the magnitude the death of a loved one can bring. I know what it's like to grieve for several years over what I thought was 'the one.' You too must allow yourself to grieve and finally reach a sense of acceptance and freedom to move on before you 'match up.' While searching the personals online brings a possibility of finding a quality mate, use your judgement of course in doing so-the last thing you need is someone who is unsavory in terms of having a hidden addictive disorder (ie:drugs, alcohol, gambling etc.) that is unresolved, and of course, religion. You will find many that list they are believers of every stripe, Christian, Catholic, Mormon, Presbyterian,Protestant, Seventh Day Adventist, 'Spiritual not Religious' etc... If you find their overall profile sounds 'modern' vs. fundamentalist religious and that their characteristics seem OK and compatible with yours, perhaps when you start emailing before meeting, you can engage the conversation early on about their opinions of non-religious people and let it be known that you do not belong to any religion and then share your views. If he comes back with a defense of his religion, well then, you've had your answer that if you did get more seriously involved, this would or could be an unwelcome issue in your life-never forget, 'what you see is what you get.'

If you choose to look online for the 'dating scene' once you feel 'ready' to meet others, you might seriously consider visiting where you will find a much higher percentage of unbelievers since you will be dealing with a greater percentage of more educated individuals of higher quality than the 'rank and file' that are in less quality oriented sites and which due to the high lack of selectivity and security on such sites, leaves the doors 'wide open' for all sorts of questionable and unstable individuals.

In adjusting to your life, you might consider engaging in activities which interest you and which men enjoy too, do you like for example, water sports? If so, perhaps boating, fishing or scuba diving will be the lead in to your next male friend and future husband. Ask yourself and pursue those things which you truly enjoy, make friends and sooner or later you will find someone if that is what you would really like, plus the added benefit for your children of a more stable household with the addition of a second parent (make sure they like him too) will make for a happy future.

Anonymous said...

"Crap" is a great word to describe what those idiots said to you! (Actually, the word that comes to my mind means the same thing, also has four letters, but it starts with an "s" and usually has "bull" in front of it.)

Oh, sure, it's all fine and dandy if one wants to believe that there's a higher power. But to be so insensitive to a family who lost someone in such an untimely fashion is just plain cruel!

And, while god may be "a father to the fatherless", he's horridly lacking as a parent. Talk about a dead-beat dad! He's never around. They say, "You have too have faith!" Yeah, faith is nice, but sometimes, there's nothing quite like a hug or a stern but loving lecture.

I frequent this site a lot, but normally choose to stay quiet and see what everyone else has to say. From what I've seen, the only people who will be total jerks here are occasional christians who show up to try to bring all of us godless sinners back into the light. (Of course, the "godless sinners" and "back into the light" comments are pure sarcasm on my part. So hard to convey using a keyboard!) Normally, they just hit once and never come back because they can't handle the scathing logic of the people here:) These are good people and I'm glad that venting made you feel better. You should always be able to say what you want.


SpaceMonk said...

It may be worth thinking it over a while before finding a new partner.
When I was a kid in church my friends Dad died young.
The mother married again in order to give the kids discipline and a father figure, etc. except the guy took his new role very seriously and was way too strict on them.

The older ones ended up rebelling against the 'new guy' and leaving when they were old enough, with one of them screwing up his life pretty badly with alcohol and debt.

They are only just now getting themself back together again, in our thirties.

Anyway, good luck, and congratulations on seeing the Emperor for how he really is.

Anonymous said...

The correct biblical term is "DUNG",...and thats just what the babble is full of,..dung!

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your responses to my letter. It was good to be able to express what I had been feeling for a while now, and I appreciate that your comments were understanding and helpful.


Anonymous said...

Hi CL,

Sorry, I think I've jumped in a little late on this issue but, as they say, better late than never.

Firstly, can I say how sorry I am for the loss you and your children have experienced. You didn't give any indication as to how long ago it was but I can well imagine that you must still feel it very keenly. I really understand your reaction to the people that said such utter nonsense to you at a time when you needed and deserved so much better, and in many ways I identify with your situation despite the fact that my circumstances were very different.

I was only a few years out of fundamentalism when my daughter was born so I was still in contact with some of my christian friends. When it came to light that she was incurably blind I knew that these "friends" would be thinking one of two things: either that it was God’s punishment for having a child out of wedlock, or that God had given this blind child to me to look after. I was primed and ready to "thank" the speaker of either those two comments and I think the fact that I was giving off this vibe so forcefully meant that I got off quite lightly; had I still been active in the church, however, I am certain that I would have felt the full strength of their "encouragement".

I also understand a little of what you are experiencing in helping your children deal with the loss of their father. I spent nine years with my daughter’s father who, it turned out, was mentally and emotionally abusive but while our daughter was young and malleable he basically left her alone. At that time I was prepared to tolerate his treatment of me, I could do very little about his treatment of his other daughter (by a previous marriage and of whom we had full custody) but as my daughter began to develop her own personality and to assert herself, then he began to turn his attention onto her as well. I adored the man to distraction but I was not prepared to tolerate that and I left him. It broke my heart. In the following year he put us both through hell, he tried anything and everything to get at me, even alleging that I was violent and that my daughter was at risk. I played it by the book and defended it cleanly through the courts and in the end he gave up the fight. But he gave it up completely so that now, despite the fact that he lives only five miles from us, he hasn’t seen our daughter for over five years. So I really understand when you say that your “cheering wasn’t the same” and you are right, it isn’t the same. But that does NOT mean that it is inferior. Please read that sentence again if you have to. Life for you and your children will never be the same since the loss of this man in all your lives, but your role is in no way, shape or form diminished because of that and I strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to really and truly believe that. I understand what Ben is saying when he suggests that you begin to find a new companion but I also understand that you may well not be ready for that right now, as is your prerogative. In the interim, have a look at the people around you and see if you have anybody in your life that would be able to provide a positive male influence. Choose wisely, of course, but there may well be a man, maybe more than one, who could provide that for your children until such time as you are ready to meet somebody new.

Since I'm not sure how long ago these events took place I am not sure how far down the path to recovery you are but it certainly seems to me that the christian "encouragement" you received still stings and you are fully justified in feeling the anger that you do, so please do not feel guilty for that. I hope, however, that there will come a time soon when the anger subsides and you can learn to feel pity for the people that said these things to you. They are ignorant, mindless comments doubtlessly emanating from ignorant mindless people who require emotional crutches and easy sound-bite answers to impossibly complex situations. It's similar to a small child who has learned no other way of dealing with life than to physically hit out and whereas his punches may sting he is still to be pitied for his inability to deal with life in a more constructive and healthy manner. If you can begin to pity these emotionally immature christians for their crass insensitivity then I believe it may well help you and your children.

My love goes out to you and my sincere hope for a much happier future.

Hugs SwissMiss x (and of course some for your children too x x)

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