Postponing Today's Planned Post...

...because something else really got under my skin today and I clearly need to vent about it or I won't be able to focus enough to do the things I need to do today.

So... let's go back in time, shall we, to late last summer.  One of my best friends' first child was born with some issues.  Lil Spencer spent many a day in the NICU.  While he was there, his terrified mother and my dear friend repeatedly made requests on facebook and the like that if people were so inclined to pray for her newborn son.  Or if not the praying type, to send positive thoughts, good juju, whatever was right for them to send.  I liked that.  I liked the way she did that.  "Please do what makes sense for you and within your beliefs to send some hope to my child."

Now jump ahead a few months to when I was sick.  From day one, people were praying for me.  To a god (or gods) I don't believe in - not even in the slightest.  But those prayers made sense for them - and I truly believe that any and all the positivity people can throw out into the universe makes a difference.  And, hell!  I don't know that their god DOESN'T exist and more than they DO.  So best to cover all your bases, right?  And as I've said before, I have a lot of respect for the comfort people can find in their faith.  When folks take religion to a positive place, it can be an amazing thing.

Unfortunately... some people don't take it to a positive place.  Or maybe it's a positive place, but not a place that is respectful of others' beliefs.  And I feel like it is a really important thing to respect others' beliefs.  Even if you think they are a little off, completely wrong, or out and out bullshit.  Especially if they are looking toward their personal beliefs with YOUR best interests at heart.  I am not someone who would normally look someone in the eye who truly believes in god and who repeatedly says that they KNOW their health is in god's hands and tell them that what *I* believe is that if that were really true and they really believed that - then they wouldn't be going to the doctor.  They'd just be hanging around eating ho-hos waiting for god's hand to fucking heal them.  I would not normally say that because I believe that everyone's beliefs are sacred.  But in saying that I wouldn't NORMALLY say it, I suppose I am kind of saying it.  Because let's face it.  I would not be all wound up and posting about this if it were some hypothetical nonsense.

It is, in fact, real nonsense.  Unfortunately.

Someone I know (though only from the internet) who has been fighting their own cancer fight, was going in for some testing today.  This person posted a request for prayers on her behalf on facebook.  Not one to pray, I simply sent a message wishing them luck with the scan and even offering to go with if they needed a shoulder to lean on.  The response I received infuriated me.  I am paraphrasing (and leaving out various unnecessary capitalizations) but the gist of the reply was "Thanks but luck has nothing to do with it. It's all up to god and I trust him regardless."

I am Jack's total and complete aggravation.  (Not sure why I used THAT... I didn't really even like "Fight Club".)

I guess if I am going to be 100% honest and true to MYself, I have to accept the fact that posting this blog in general will end this "friendship".  But honestly, I have not been feeling it from the beginning.  This post will undoubtedly hurt this person, but not expressing my upset is hurting ME and if I "got" anything from this entire thing it is that I need to pay attention to me and how I feel.  And I do not feel good when I talk to this person.  I try to, but it feels like a fucking act.  I want positivity and verve and hope and that kind of shit.  And I don't really feel like I got any of those things from this relationship.  It was just worries and complaints and Christ and His Grace and God and The Lord... and fuck me!  Enough already!  This is exactly what makes me HATE religion - no... not even religion... just... it's followers.  It's bible-thumping, blindly-following, hypocritical followers.  When I know someone IS religious, I do not shove MY non-religious views down their throats at the end of EVERY sentence.  It's rude.  It makes people think you're an asshole - it doesn't make them believe what you are saying.  And nowhere in this post or my entire blog will I try to convince anyone who does believe in god that they shouldn't.  Because that's their own goddamned business and has nothing to do with me.  Am I wrong here?  Am I the asshole?

I feel like I sent out my best wishes.  And because they were not "prayers" they were shoved back at me as if by a wrinkly-nose child with a plate of brussel sprouts.  "Ew.  No thanks."  I feel like I was told what I believe is wrong.  And in a thinly veiled shitty way that was only pretending to be positive.  And it's not the first time I've felt that way with this person.  From the minute they asked me about MY religious views and I responded with a very long email explaining exactly the what/why/and what NOT about my beliefs... I have felt sort of judged and looked down upon.  And not even in a way that hurts me... just in a way that makes me roll my eyes.

Today's reply hurt me though.  And the hurt turned into anger.  And the anger turned into just a prickly annoyance... like a burr in my underpants.

So I guess I am picking it out.  And moving on.

Because I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE that people prayed for me while I was sick.  And I love that several continue to do so.  I loved sending  healing thoughts out to Spencer and various others over this past year.  I even loved lighting candles in Catholic churches in Italy and making silent wishes for people's wellness.  I love my Saint Peregrine.  But I do not love being looked down upon or choked by capitalized pronouns.  And that's how I have been feeling.  So I am moving on.  Sans burr.

And on a positive note, if you want to read another really inspiring, really positive, really funny, and equally as swear-y as mine blog... check out my friend, Emily:

Love love love (and apologies for any offense this may bring unintended),


Anonymous said…
I apologized..sorry you refuse to accept it. I am not in a good place right now mentally.. no excuses I shouldnt have thrown it back in your face and had I known you would get this upset I would NOT have said it(I guess you seemed more thick skinned than that from what I gathered) . What I dislike more than anything is that I may have given Christianity a bad rap by doing this.- I am new on my walk with Christ and I know this I am not ashamed of my beliefs and never want to force it in someones face..however... I should not and will not HIDE that I DO THINK it is in GODS HANDS - I dont think I can say more than that. I will still keep you in prayers that you will live a long cancer free life Phoebe. We are still survivial sisters and that is that.
Andrea (the one that was blogged about..duh)
Anonymous said…
Well said! So many of us have been battling this for years. Believe what you need or want to believe, and rise above those who feel compelled to shove their beliefs down your throat. Hang in there! Love you.
M said…
I find this whole thing sad, including Anonymous Andrea's response. Not only did she reject your support and well wishes, but was also insensitive by saying she thought you had a thicker skin. She couldn't just apologize and leave it at that- she had to take another jab at you. And then took it one step further by saying that what is MORE important than hurting you is the POSSIBLE "bad rap" she MAY have given Christianity. Wow. I think being kind and thoughtful of others, especially those who are trying to be helpful and kind to you, is much more important than the REPUTATION of a religion. You have tons of friends and loved ones supporting you Phoebe. Who needs that kind of negativity anyway? No one needs a burr in their underpants! xo
I'm with you on all of this 100%. No one knows for certain if there's someone/something in charge of our fate. Whether that be a god, juju, Flying Spaghetti Monster (see Pastafarianism). I would take whatever I could get because any good thoughts pointed in Spencer's direction came from a good place. A place of love and genuine concern. Saying good luck to someone comes from your heart. It means you want the absolute best outcome for them. To have it rejected because you didn't put "God" in control??? Pffffft.

I believed in God until Spencer was born but switched gears. If everything is really just in the hands of one person/being, that I hold him/her/it responsible for the most pain my family has gone through and that's unhealthy. I don't want to believe that God chose to give Spencer his developmental issues or that he chose to give him cancer at birth. And if everything is in God's hands, we have zero control and why aren't people more mad about the cards they're dealt???

What happens in our lives happens. It's up to you to believe why. But I think the most important thing is not what you believe, but how you live. And you live in a good place. Your friend was way fortunate to have you wish good luck from your big ol' heart. And if there is a god, I'm pretty sure he gives your good intentions a thumbs up.

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