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 Post subject: How I Returned
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:34 pm 
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Hello. I wanted to tell the story of how I returned to the church. My journey is definitely unique and very much my own. But I would really appreciate someone else's perspective about everything that has happened to me.

I grew up in an Irish-Catholic family near Philadelphia. My parents weren't super devout or anything. I had all the early Sacraments, CCD until confirmation, and we went to mass a few times a year beyond Christmas and Easter. But we were far from strict religious people. Especially my mom, who calls herself a "recovering Hippie."

In high school, I started to realize I was attracted to other men. It was so confusing and difficult, as you could imagine. In college, I came out to my family. They were shocked at first but took it very well and have always been very supportive.

While my mom is liberal, my extended family certainly is not. This includes my mom's cousin Linda, or who I always called Aunt Linda. My mom and Aunt Linda were essentially raised together. They're pretty close in age but have always been the exact opposites in terms of personality, beliefs and just general attitude. My aunt was always very formal -- Sunday dinner with the right plates -- and goes to Mass every day. She was also super gossipy and haughty with a giant ego and bossy. And very traditional and staunchly conservative. I am sure every Priest is familiar with the type.

I was at a Thanksgiving event with my family a little bit after I came out. My Aunt was there and told me she wanted to speak with me. She asked me if there was I wanted to tell her. I don't know how she knew, because I certainly didn't want her to know, but she found out about my sexuality. And then she started letting me have it right there, telling me that if I was her son, she'd whisk me by my ear to the pastor so he could talk some sense into me.

This obviously did not sit well with my mom. There was a big argument and a lot of screaming. And my family ended up not speaking to each other. I didn't really blame myself or feel guilty or anything of the sort. It was what it was. But it always rung out the last thing she said to me -- "One day you'll see I'm right!"

However, fast-forward almost ten years. I was really involved with some gay right's groups, especilly pro-marriage. And so many things happened the past few years that have made gay marriage legal. But I felt just really empty about all of this "good news." I had no idea what to make of it and then for the first time in I don't know how long I prayed. And I realized that this wasn't the life I really wanted to lead anymore, and that what I grew up taught in the church about sexuality and the like felt right.

I tossed and turned for two nights thinking about all of this. And I didn't know where to turn to. And then I realized... I needed to see Aunt Linda.

So I drove to her house. It was so hard ringing that doorbell and hearing her footsteps on her floor. She opened the door and just stared at me. I think she realized what was happening but I explained it anways. She didn't even hesitate. She steered me into her car and to her church's rectory without any hesitation and had me brought into the pastor. I then had my first confession since the third garde.

We drove back to her house and sat down in her den and talked. She told me that she had prayed for me every day and that she had faith this would happen. Then she sat back in her chai and smirked. She said she knew she was not perfect and had a hard time with her ego. But that was her issue. But she wanted me to say it.

And I told her. That, yes, she was right all along.

That was just absolute music to her ears, as you could imagine. She had this "cat ate the canary" grin. She then apologized again, and I told her she didn't need to.

We then talked a bit more. She knew I needed help, especially since I lived closer to the temptations of the city. She lives in a far suburb. And she said I could stay with her if I wanted to -- but in order to keep me on the straight-and-narrow, it would be under her rules, to make sure I didn't fall back into that lifestyle. And she's of the "idle hands are the devil's playtoy" mentality And I definitely needed that sort of tough love approach to this. I wake up, go to Mass with Aunt Linda, go to work, come home, do the list of chores she wants me to do (cleaning, polishing, etc.), and then go to bed by nine.

I've been doing this for three months now. I've gotten comfortable with this and head out here and there to go play basketball at the local Y. But I've cut ties with most of my old friends from the gay community. I just need that distance and focus. And my Aunt has been fine to live with. Every so often, she'll make a remark abut how she wishes she could see the look on my mom's face if she found out about this or laughs at how much she's enjoying this ego-wise. But she always apologizes. I know that's just her nature and flaw and no one's perfect.

So, that's what my life has been like. It's definitely a confusing time for me, but I'm happy I made this rather dramatic choice.


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 Post subject: Re: How I Returned
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:43 pm 
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Welcome to the board, and thank you for sharing. You are not alone here, and I'm sure some of our board members can steer you toward groups or the like to help you.

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 Post subject: Re: How I Returned
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:19 pm 
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Location: The Old Forest
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Way to go! It sounds like you made quite the leap.

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 Post subject: Re: How I Returned
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:48 pm 
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Religion: Finally Catholic!
Church Affiliations: Legion of Mary, SVdP
:pray: :pray: :pray:

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 Post subject: Re: How I Returned
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:30 am
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Remind your aunt sometime how you feel about her gloating. You said she knows it's wrong and apologizes afterwards, but sometimes it sticks better when it comes from another person (even though it hurts more).


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 Post subject: Re: How I Returned
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:29 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:47 am
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This is an excellent site to explore:

http://couragerc.org/

And if you don't live near a group you can visit, I am told one can talk with a priest on the phone.

Many blessings to you!


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