Why are so many people self-righteous, and so uncaring? Has anyone else noticed this trend. Maybe not, maybe it is me, or where I live.
Most of the time I feel invisible to all around me. I am pretty sure if I disappeared one day, no one would notice.
It used to bother me, it no longer does. I just go on each day existing. I have no friends, I have no one outside of my two children that I can talk to. No one to laugh with, no one to cry with.
I am very lucky that I have two great, caring children that I can count on, and they know they can count on me, for anything. If I didn’t have them I don’t know what I would do. My daughter is 18 and my son is 25. Both are the biggest blessings in my life.
I used to have friends, I used to have others that I could share my life with, and I would share theirs. Now it’s just me and my kids. When I moved from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, twelve years ago, I thought that I was making a good choice for my children and myself. Little did I know that I was moving to an area where the people are very judgmental, and very closed off. I assumed after visiting here several times that it was a wonderful ‘Christian” community, filled with loving, welcoming people. When in actuality it has been nothing like that. If the people out here really think that living in Jesus’ image means judging all, talking behind each other’s back, never extending friendship, and never accepting “strangers, then they really need to sit down and read the Bible, that they so eagerly quote scripture from when it pertains to a situation that they are trying to condemn you with. They love to make scripture sound like it means something that it was never intended to mean. They certainly don’t live by the words that so easily roll off of their tongues.
Friends. My children also once had a lot of friends. That was until their judgmental parents saw that I wasn’t a stereotypical “cookie cutter christian”, like them. My kids had no bed time, they made their own choices on hair and fashion styles. They didn’t just watch “Disney” movies. But what my kids did have, (and still do), was a Mother who genuinely cared about what they thought, what choices they made, where they went, and who they spent their time with. They were allowed to be free to make their own choices. Their opinions mattered to me. I wasn’t satisfied in just believing that if a home they were going to was a “Christian home”, that they would be safe. My door was always open to their friends, as it still is. I preferred to have their friends come to our home.
I was, and still am, a divorced single Mother. When we arrived here to Lancaster County, I may as well have been a witch, sentenced to be burnt at the stake.
Oh in the beginning the homeschool families and the church people we met seemed welcoming, seemed genuine. But it wasn’t long before I started hearing that so and so wasn’t allowed to hang out with my 14 year old son because he wore black all the time, or that he was allowed to watch…..shudder….. PG-13 movies!
We were no longer welcome to visit at a family’s house, that we had become good friends with, because my teenage son, and their teenage daughter liked each other. We were welcome prior to that, while I helped the mother go through cancer recovery, and took care of her kids physical needs, along with her emotional, and spiritual needs. But once she was fine I was told that we were there too much and that our children were becoming “too close”.
Another friend would call all the time to have our sons get together. She liked my son, and she liked that he and her son were friends. Her and I were very also very good friends. She no longer wanted anything to do with me once I told her that my son did not want to hang out with hers anymore because he was into drugs. She just cut off all contact with me. Apparently I was lying………
A family we went to church with stopped letting their kids hang out with mine because I was marrying a man younger then me from the same church we all went to. *Note: I am no longer married to him. That is another long story for another time.* Before any of that happened, they were also very particular in letting the kids come over or do anything for that matter. They were overprotective to a point of being very overbearing to the kids.
And yet another wonderful conservative Christian family, whose son was one of my son’s best friends, saw my then fiance, kiss me at a Wendy’s. The mother then called me to tell me to firmly tell me that it wasn’t right that I was dating and showing public display of affection in front of my children when I was still married. What she didn’t bother to find out first was that my divorce had been finalized long before she had ran into us at Wendy’s. So once again I was judged, convicted, and sentenced before any facts were even found out. Needles to say my son never did get to see his friend again.
Another “church family” Mom, wrote me and told me that her daughter was not allowed to hang out at our house or with my daughter any longer. It seems that I committed the ultimate sin! My daughter had a sleep over with her and another friend. I took them to Wal-Mart at midnight in their pajamas……..aaarrrggghhhh!! Please condemn me to hell for that one. I was with them the entire time we were at Wal-Mart. The pajamas they had on were not at all revealing. They were long pant and t-shirt styles. Yes, the kind that you see multiple teens and adults wearing out all the time. Apparently I had no right to subject her daughter to such a sinful outing. Let me back up. The main reason that she e-mailed me that she no longer wanted my daughter around hers, and to complain about the Wal-Mart incident, was due to my telling her “precious daughter” to stop harassing my daughter through Xanga (remember Xanga?) messages, posts, and IM’s about a boy she had met at a Christian outdoor concert here in PA. Apparently she felt compelled to warn my daughter not to “do anything” with this boy, who at that time lived 5 hours away, and then started IMing him asking him personal information about him and my daughter. I guess my telling her daughter to butt out of my daughter’s personal affairs, and to stop making it sound as if she was some kind of whore that would be sleeping around at 14, and then my e-mailing her Mom to tell he about her daughter’s behavior didn’t go over too well. In the meantime she also got my daughter’s other friend to join in the harassing of my daughter.
One other person who’s child practically lived at our house for a few years, and that I helped through so many problems, including an abusive relationship. Stopped talking to me after I refused her help, because I just couldn’t do it at the time.
I knew I was in trouble when three of my son’s friends told their Mothers in one way or another, that they wished they were more like me. Two of the Mothers actually called to tell me this. If my son told me that, I would be devastated. I slowly became very unpopular with the other Christian families in the area.
My daughter once had a lot of friends. I would pick up her friends, bring them over, take them home, take them all shopping, out to eat, etc.. Most of the time they would sleep over. And then my daughter and I were in a car accident in 2005. I went through the windshield and almost died. She sustained a concussion, but was allowed to leave the hospital the same day, under my son’s care. He was 20 and she was 14 at the time. I was in for three weeks, followed by a very long recovery. The accident left me permanently disabled, and my daughter and I both have PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks.
During that time, though everyone knew what happened, not one person offered to have her come over and stay the night, not a phone call, nothing. At 14 years old she became my care taker. My son worked full time, and when he wasn’t at work he was shuttling me to doctor’s appointments, shopping, and trying to run errands for my elderly mother who did not drive, and get her to appointments, etc.. Therefore running the household, cooking, and taking care of me, who had no real memory of anything for close to 6 months after the accident, fell on my 14 year old daughter’s shoulders. And not once to this day has either one of them complained about all that they had to deal with at the time.
I don’t complain either, not out loud anyway. I just silently obsess over the fact that not one person offered any help, to bring a meal, to drive, to do anything. There were very few phone calls to see how I was, or how the kids were doing. The people who did care, and helped in any way they could, were all far away. The boy that my daughter met at the concert? His Mother, who I met one weekend before everything happened, would call and e-mail. She also sent me a package that included vitamins and herbs to help me to recover. He would call my daughter every day, and came down for New Years that year. She always says that If it wasn’t for his support, she wouldn’t have gotten through it as smoothly as she did. His phone calls were life a lifeline to her. My ex-husband from Massachusetts, came down for a week after the accident, and again at Christmas time to do what he could. And that was it. So all of these people that I had been there for over the years, whose children were a big part of our lives, completely ignored us. Not a card, not a call, not even an e-mail.
Both of may parents moved out here from Massachusetts in 2003. I am an only child. My Dad became very sick with lung cancer in 2004. He passed away in January of 2005. My Mom was never one to handle things well, including hospital visits, etc., so everything fell to me . In the end I had to make all the arrangements, let my Dad’s family know what had happened. Most of his family live about an hour and a half or so from here. There were several calls to make to Massachusetts as well. After it was all over the chore of making sure all of my Mother’s needs again fell to me. She never drove, and never really took car of things the way they needed to be taken care of. A year after my Dad passed away, and I was still going through the mental recovery from the accident, my Mother started to go downhill. First a diabetic episode, then she broke her hip, and then she was diagnosed with end stage breast, and bone cancer. She passed away in 2008. And once again it was up to me to make sure that everything was taken care of. During both of my parent’s deaths, again my children stood by my side through it all. Again, not one person was there for any of us. With the exception of the boy my daughter met. Who is living here now, and was here at the time of my Mother’s passing. *Note: He is no longer just a boy she met by the way. He is now her fiance, and they have a wedding date of next April :)
Now for an update on all of the perfect Christian families who turned their backs on me and my family;
The family that did not like my son’s choice of movies or clothing color? Their son turned to drugs and drinking. Their daughter slept with everyone she could. The father turned out to be abusive and punched holes in the walls where they lived. I still am not sure that he didn’t hit the Mom. (Only an observance, not a judgment).
Once we were not allowed back into our friend’s lives because it was thought that my son was “after” their daughter, their daughter rebelled badly. She ended up taking her family to court to be emancipated from their home at the age of 15. She won. Apparently their was a history of physical and sexual abuse throughout the household. I personally witnessed mental abuse, and my daughter heard the girl being slapped and yelled at loudly. She ended up with a guy going to jail for drugs, and a baby. Another child from that family got involved with drugs, went to jail for a time, and is now a Daddy at the age of 19. I am so glad that our “bad influence” did not contribute to their corruption.
The boy that my son didn’t want to hang out with due to his drug usage has been arrested more then once that we know of. The last time he purposely drove through a corn patch, causing $500.00 worth of damage to the crop, while legally drunk.
The ones that did not like my choice of husbands, and no longer let her kids be with mine, actually moved back to upper state New York. But, left behind their son who got a girl pregnant at a very young age. And their once very nice Christian daughter? The last time we saw her she had moved into the city and had developed a “ghetto” way of speaking and dressing. We also found out that she had moved out the moment she turned 18. It’s great to see that being so overprotective really made a difference in their lives. Unfortunately it isn’t the kind of difference that I am sure that they wanted to see.
A few months ago we saw the young man that was no longer allowed at our house because my fiance gave me a kiss at Wendy’s, working in a local Wal-Mart. He seemed very awkward and really did not know how to react, or what to say. It’s lovely to see what judgmental parents can do to their kids.
The girl that made accusations that my daughter would most likely sleep with her new boyfriend, turned out to be quite a loose young lady with the boys. I have been told that she too is into drugs and drinking.
I am not publicly making everyone aware of who these people are. If you think you know them, or recognize that it may be you, please do not ask me. You will not get an answer. If you ever did treat anyone badly for no reason except for assuming things that were not true. Ask for forgiveness and never treat another human being in that manner again. And then move on as I finally am.
There is a hard lesson to be learned here. The old saying; “People Who Live In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones”, really came to life once I really took a good look at how it all turned out. This was not meant to be a mockery or judgment of others. It is all the truth. Nothing here was made up, or assumed.
And how did my kids turn out you wonder. My son is 25 and works full time with mentally challenged adults in a group home. He is “straight edge”, which means that he has sworn to never drink, smoke, or take drugs. This was his own decision, I never had even heard of being straight edge until he told me. He is not afraid to tell anyone that he is straight edge, and is proud of it, as am I. The main problem that he has is finding a girl that too has the same mind set as him. He is a wonderful young man that I am so proud of and thankful for.
My 18 year old daughter is also straight edge, and very much in love with the boy, now a young man, from the concert. Everyone said their relationship would never last. Their wedding date is April 23, 2011. I couldn’t be happier that they are together, and that she was able to meet a young man that also held her values and morals. She works part time, and helps me with everything in the house. She is very crafty, and is a great cook, baker, and cake decorator. She is also my best friend.
My daughter’s fiance now lives with us, and has become like another son to me. he is always willing and eager to help out in any way that he can. He also works with mentally challenged adults, but is seeking a job that pays more, so that when he marries my daughter he will be financially secure.
Now I know what you must be thinking. “Oh look, she wrote all this bad stuff about everyone else’s kids, and hers are perfect”. I never said mine are perfect, we all have faults. I just never had any huge, serious problems or worries with either one of them. And the ones that were not allowed to be in my children’s company, for the most part, turned to things that are not morally right, or “Christian”. Yet my kids were always made to feel that what they were doing was wrong. When in reality all they were doing was simply living, enjoying life, and making some of their own decisions. Something everyone should be able to do. Young or old.
Though I have forgiven all who have judged me and my family, the ones that ignored all of the tragedy that we have been through, the ones who pretend like nothing ever happened. I still cannot forget. But, now I can put it all behind me and not let it eat away at me. But I will never forget. I do know that I will never judge another living soul, I will smile at strangers, not look the other way. If someone looks lonely, I will talk to them. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves to not be cast aside and forgotten. I will do my best not to let that happen to those that I will encounter in the coming years. Remember this, the next time you go to judge, and condemn someone, before actually getting to know their heart. You may be ignoring someone that really needs a friend.
When I encounter people that tell me right of that they are a Christian, an invisible flashing caution sign goes up. It doesn’t make me think that you are a good person, or better then others. It makes me wonder how much you are judging me while you stand there with your pasted on smile. Deep down we all know that the next time you see me you will avoid me because I don’t fit into you “mold”. I am who I am. I don’t put on any airs. I don’t try to act pious or all high and mighty. I Love the scriptures, but with my short term memory problem, I cannot quote them if my life depended on it. But because you can, you act like you are a better Christian then me….why?
Though I no longer call myself a Christian, by no means am I saying that I don’t believe in Jesus. I very simply refer to myself as a follower of Christ. And that is what I am. I try my best to live my life in His image, and remember all that He has given us, and what He has taught me. Most importantly I believe with all my heart that I would be dead today if I didn’t scream out to Him at the time of our accident. I will never deny His love, or my love for Him.
I know this is very long, and if you are still reading it, thank you. You will never know how much getting this all out has helped me. Please never jump into a situation that you know you will have to stick out, without really researching it. This area looks great on the outside, and it is beautiful. But, I have never felt welcome here, or like I belonged. We have been to countless churches. Most have all the bells and whistles, but fall short of being a real community. A caring community of believers. You would think that wouldn’t be hard to find here in the heartland of Pennsylvania. Among the beautiful Amish farms, and gorgeous scenery. Think again. The old saying; Nothing is ever what it seems, fits perfectly for this area.
Before I actually wrote all of this out, it was bottled up inside of me. Poisoning my mind and my emotions. I felt like my soul had been suffocated, and I was turning into a bitter, angry, resentful woman. Now that it is all out I feel lighter, and cleaner inside. The bitterness slowly crumbling away.
Peace and blessings to one and all.