This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Why I don't go to church
When we adopted, we decided to go with a Christian adoption agency, so we started going to church (a requirement). I liked it, but my husband is not into organized religion because of the hypocrisy he's seen in the members of the church (flipping people off as they're exiting the parking lot) and my kids (bio and adopted) hated our choice in church. Plus, our son got himself kicked out of the youth group for aggressive/ intimidating behavior and burdening the other young teens with his issues. (He went to residential psychiatric treatment soon after this).
I've always preferred to attend Sunday School for the support, instead of church which I found boring and disconnected (I found I could tolerate the contemporary service, but Hubby hated the music). Hubby went wherever/whenever I drug him, when he wasn't teaching scuba.
As a former preschool director, a former social worker and mental health professional, and now the parent to 4 kids (2 bio with their own quirks and 2 special needs adopted teens) I felt I had a lot to contribute to conversations about parenting and yes, I did ask for prayers on occasion.
Hubby is a VERY private person so when he asked me to stop talking about our personal life, even just asking the class to pray for our family with no details added, I assumed that was why. Since I'm an outspoken person and the whole reason I wanted to go to church was for support... I eventually stopped going.
Now, 2 years later, Hubby casually mentioned that privacy wasn't why he'd wanted me to stop talking about our family. He said he saw class members rolling their eyes whenever I spoke. Since people did this all the time to my bipolar mom who couldn't stop talking when she was manic, this is one of my biggest fears.
No one at our church really "gets it," although I thought there were many who were sympathetic. Now I question that. I don't think they were judging me, but they weren't valuing my input like I thought they were.
The kids still go to church with the grandparents (when they spend the night - which luckily for us is almost every weekend), but Hubby and I stay home. I miss it, but what I want is more like I imagine Orlando to be. I want to go where everybody knows my name, and they're always glad I came. I want to be where people see our troubles are all the same, and I want people to give me Verbal Affirmation.
My very conservative sister and brother in law and my parents were having a discussion at the dinner table about Republicans and the fact that our government over-regulates everything. They feel that people's churches and communities should provide the support people need instead of taxing the people and using that money to provide welfare and support programs. They even feel that people shouldn't have to have a college education to provide medical, legal or any other services and it shouldn't be regulated by the government.
I soooo much wanted to jump into the conversation, and explain why church and community won't pay for my kids $10K a month residential treatment or hospitalization, and my 18 yo severely mentally ill son can't ask for the help he so desperately needs from a church or community he doesn't feel connected to and that he's constantly moving around? That my niece who just had her baby taken by the state grew up in an environment that taught her that a baby was the answer to needing unconditional love? That while a church in my community might be able to support my kids (not that they want to) if I'm advocating for them, but what about kids in poor rural communities with a large, needy, uneducated, mentally ill, addicted population? How is the girl who is in residential treatment until she ages out of the system who has NO family or community, supposed to access these church and community services (you can't attend a local church when you're in residential treatment and she has no family)?
There are most definitely things we as a "community" can and should do to help, but there are some things I firmly believe we need help with organizing and yes, regulating. I have many more things I could say on this subject, but it's 1am and I'm going to bed.
So lets see, religion, politics, mental illness... any sensitive subject I didn't address?