Monday, July 23, 2007

Me? Angry?

I worry that you are so focused on getting angry at God and maybe that anger is misdirected.

It's funny that this should come up.

When I read this comment the first time, I was perplexed...shocked. Me? Angry at God?

And then I realized...I'm not. I'm not angry with God anymore. I am...I don't know...ambivalent about God right now. No, ambivalent isn't quite right. I'm working certainly working on my own personal conceptualization of God...what I believe...without anger. I think it is BECAUSE I am re-conceptualizing God for myself that I am able to let go of the anger. I can't believe what I always believed about God...not now. And maybe I always had a juvenile view of God. Maybe we all do until we are forced to REALLY examine what we believe and why we believe it. Maybe my confusion all stems from my own ignorance on the topic. But I don't think so.

I do have anger. But it is no longer about finding fault...finding a reason...finding the why. It just is what it is.

But I do still have anger. I will admit that. Lately my anger is reserved for those people who, from the outside looking in, are able to so easily find fault or a reason or the why. People seem to find it easy to tell you how to make it all better. If it were that easy, don't ya think I'd do it your way?

It's kind of like the same old argument my husband and I fall back into on a routine basis...I KNOW what my problem is...I KNOW what the possible solutions are...what I need is for you to LISTEN to me work it out ON MY OWN. Nothing is more infuriating to me than having someone listen to you for two seconds only to tell you how to "fix" your though you are too ignorant to see the obvious solution staring you in the face. There is value (to me) in the PROCESS of all problem-solving.

And there is value to me in finding my own path to God (or whatever I end up with). The comments here on this blog have been immensely helpful in my realization of have emails with people (with all sorts of different faiths). But the fact remains that when someone so easily sums up God (in what seems like twenty words or less)...I feel frustrated and cheated because I'm not being heard...because the process is being short-circuited for me...because I'm feeling like it should be so easy and I'm just too stupid to "get it" as easily as the next person. And THAT is where my anger still is.

God is complicated for me. It does me no good to have someone look at me like I'm dumb and tell me how easy it is for them. In fact, I find myself walking away from any and all conversations about God because people interpret and advise so freely without really putting themselves inside my head...inside my life. And then I find myself all constipated with thoughts and feelings about God and eternity and all that jazz...and nowhere to go with them. So I come here. Aren't you so glad?

So yeah...not angry at God. Just think people don't get where I'm coming from. It's easy for them and I'm glad for them. But it's not easy for me. I don't think it will ever be easy for me again.

And so there are no misunderstandings...this is not directed at anyone in particular (here or anywhere else). It is a generalization of my two years walking down this path...and how my feelings have evolved. It is my own personal self analysis...I'm not attempting to blame anyone outside of myself or condemn anyone for anything they might believe. I'm trying to figure myself out...why do I react the way I do at particular situations/comments/thoughts?

Any and all comments are welcome on this blog. Please don't ever be afraid of commenting because you might piss me off. Getting good and pissed off has, more often than not, lead to some pretty darn insightful conversations for me. As long as people are respectful with me, I will try to be the same. Doesn't mean I'll agree with you...but who knows...stranger things have happened.


Sara said...

These are the moments where I don't know what to say, because I only know what works for me. And that doesn't work so well in every moment.

But anyways, I recently read what I thought was the funniest thing I've seen in months. I wish I could remember whose blog it was on. (if you read here, remind me who you are!)

It went something like this:
Person: Don't you think everything happens for a reason? Maybe your baby's dying is a test from G-d?

Blogger: Yeah, a test for you and other people. You're all failing miserably by the way.

I was almost wishing someone would say that crap to me again so I could steal it.

Sarah said...

First and foremost it's your blog so you don't have to address the comments/commenters at all. You can be angry at whatever, whoever you please! Being angry on my blog (doesn't happen that much) amounts to me shaking a fist at the sky. And no one ever comes to the sky's defense.

And I just wanted to add that I'm sorry people say dumb & thoughtless things. The "plan" garbage is just that: garbage. I can say that since I'm not religious & I guess they are trying to explain away the unexplainable. We as humans often try too hard to put order where there is none. There are many question marks in life, for better or worse.

I'm enjoying your writing! Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Sing it Sista!! You make so much sense. The process is really important and will lead you to a strong belief in whatever you discover through this journey.

I think the thing with religion is that it's an evolving theory designed to explain the unexplainable. It follows that every single person's religion matches their need for comfort. Everything they say to you is about *them*, about what *they* have to believe to be able to live with the deaths of two baby boys. It's not even remotely about making *you* feel better, it's about making *them* feel better.

Having dead babies is the equivalent of putting faith and religion under the electron microscope. Even the smoothest surface is pitted and treacherous if the power of the lens is high enough. So if religion is simple for some folks, it's because they are lucky enough to have a crappy microscope.

You've come a long way if you've managed to not be angry at God when you were a believer before. Peace out Catherine:)

delphi said...

Sometimes we blog because we need a few of our amazing and supportive readers to leave comments along the lines of "I really agree" to make us feel like we are not losing it. Other times we blog about personal realizations that we experience. I think that it is easy for readers to confuse the two situations. I suppose that this is the real failing of the virtual contact that we have with each other through our blogs - no tone of voice or facial expressions to make our meanings that much clearer.

On to the topic at hand: I actually would describe my faith in much the same terms as what you have done here. I used to blog about it more, but for personal reasons I don't very much any more. One thing that I feel is a truth for ME: the concept of God that I had was very juvenile. The growing pains to where my faith is heading is a difficult thing to endure. I think it will probably be something much more worth while when God is done with me. But the metamorphosis is hard.

Aurelia said...

Oh geez Catherine, someday we're going to meet in person and I'm going to owe you a bar full of drinks for all the "insights" we've given each other.

Anyway, I'm glad you aren't angry at God right now. If you are, don't worry, IMO he has great big shoulders and can certainly take whatever you throw at him.

I threw a sledgehammer at "him" once. Okay, technically it was a wall, and I kept picturing different people's faces, but so what?

(I hope that made you laugh, just a teeny tiny bit?)

Anyway, you don't sound like you have a juvenile way of looking at God to me. It's just that things change as our life circumstances change. You say that you feel differently than you did 2 years ago, right? Well, I feel differently than I did 9 years ago, when I first lost Matthew.

These last 9 years have not been easy. I truly don't get the people who think god has a plan where he intends this stuff to happen. So if I've been commenting about it, it's only to say that I hope this processing continues and I know it has to, and I'm here.

And sometimes I worry. (This is where I'm misdirecting my unfulfilled mummy impulses to all of my fellow bloggers, can you say "need to take my own assvice" LOL)

Missing said...

I can totally relate to this post!
Kudos! and Thanks

Julia said...

Maybe because I grew up entirely nonreligious, I was never into the intercedence kind of prayer. And really, when Holocaust is a reality for you since you are a pretty small kid, how is it possible to think that those kinds of prayer are ever answered?

So, paradoxically, my conception of God has not been shaken by A's death. I keep wondering whether the model where God grieves with you is the one I like, but I don't expect miracles.

But any mention of "plan," "best," "deserve," or "meant to be" elicits nothing but anger from me. Towards the speaker, mind you. I think this is because I agree with Jill that people who say this stuff say it to soothe themselves, to make their world add up. And I am not going to let them. I will ask logical questions and make them run down the ridges seen in that EM microscope. I am just that kind of a mean grieving lady.

And I actually have a problem with the "at least they said something" theory. The problem is thus-- if person X gets to say a stupid thing and then feel good about self for saying *something* while I get to assume the weight of dealing with the stupidity of the comment on top of everything else, all for the sake of not offending X because you know, s/he tried, that doesn't work for me. Try harder. The person you are talking to has suffered a big blow. See if you can manage, just for right now, to actually concentrate on what would help them, and if you hurt them instead, well, try to understand why-- you may find that you were insensitive and you may want to not say the same stupid thing to the next person you were planning on at least saying *something* to.

And Sara, that is hilarious. I am SO stealing that. Wish the author would own up so I can thank her properly. :)

Lori said...

Anyone who thinks they can sum up God and faith in 20 words or less, hasn't' given it too much thought. Haven't they noticed that the Bible is a tad bit wordier, and more convoluted, than that?!?

I have come to see faith as one long conversation with God. Sometimes the conversation is heated, sometimes it's calm, sometimes there is understanding, and sometimes there are deafening silences. You're talking, and you're thinking... which to my mind means you are still in the conversation... and sometimes, a lot of the time, that's the best we can do.

Kathy McC said...

Honestly, I would like to believe that the type of God that exists would not use the death of a baby as a way to teach us something. I just don't believe God has anything to do with it. It's just a shitty part of life.

It's just way too hard for me to accept that God would intentionally put us through misery and grief just to prove a point. It doesn't make sense.

Squirt said...

This is a great thoughtful post and you put into words exaclty how I feel. One of the many things losing my babies has taken from me is that "juvinelle" feelings about God (and thank your giving me a word to describe my relationship with him). I really miss feeling that way, but unfortunately it is a lot harder going back.