The other day at drop off I was chatting with some other mothers about how we spend our childfree mornings while our little ones are at school. The usual errands, cleaning, the occasional manicure or massage, sometimes a project, or various appointments. When we get back we compare notes on what we managed to accomplish, some “made it to Costco and back!” others managed to make it to yoga, or to meet with a friend for coffee. I wrote this blog post, and worked on another in-the-works ex-Christian Science project.
I don’t really talk about what I do outside the ex-Christian Science Facebook group, and my circle of friends who are former Christian Scientists themselves. It is unlikely that my work on kind-ism will ever grace my resume, or that the other project will either.
I am ashamed that I spent so much time living Christian Science, that I believed it. In some ways I am embarrassed that I am now devoting time to it, even if it is in new, different ways, offering support and resources for those who are leaving — or who have left. There are days I have considered quitting this blog all together.
I don’t want to become the Anti-Ms. Eddy, with a voluminous tome attributed to me. I started this blog to help sort out my thoughts, helping people was secondary. I’m writing about what I know, what I’ve learned, what I’ve discovered, and what I feel. Writing helps me to clarify my thoughts, and after so many years of being told how to believe I have a lot of thoughts to clarify, but at the same time I’m hoping this blog will move on, and I’m hoping the other project will help me do that.
There are days when I feel like my ex-Christian Science projects have taken over my life, this blog, and I have to remind myself that my other project are only a tiny part of what I do, and while I feel passionately about it, I’m not being paid, so I should ration my time and energy wisely. I’m a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, granddaughter, friend, participant in society at large, and yes, all those roles take a fair bit of work. I don’t just write a blog, I cook, I clean, I garden, I sew, I bake, I encourage, I nurture, I have a black thumb of death. I build things, create things, destroy things.
Christian Science sits like the elephant in the living room, we shovel out the shit, we tiptoe around it paying lip service to the idea of respecting the other’s beliefs, but really, we want the elephant out of our living room.
Every time I schedule an appointment for the children the elephant second guesses my decisions. Every time I give them their daily multi-vitamin the elephant taunts me. I don’t know how to get the elephant to leave. I am making the best decisions I can about my care, and that of my children, and yet, there sits the elephant. Even if I was to “out” myself as an ex-Christian Science activist I don’t think I’d ever be free of the years of Christian Science programming and propaganda.
I left Christian Science for so many reasons, the largest one being my children. I’ve heard of too many women, often mothers of young children, die from undisclosed problems. I’ve seen too many failed healings to feel comfortable raising my children in Christian Science. My children are also the reason I tend to keep my activities (like this blog) quiet. I still have family and loved ones who are deep, deep into Christian Science, and I know on some level they would feel very hurt by my actions. They are aware that we don’t actively practice, that we turn to “western medicine” to solve our health problems, and that we’ve chosen not to attend church. They are disappointed.
I’m disappointed too. I’m disappointed I don’t have the courage to tell more people about this blog and my other activities. I’m disappointed that I’m scared to stand up to them and tell them how I really feel about Christian Science. Instead I am stuck in an uneasy détente with an elephant that I would much rather defenestrate than have dinner with.
Hopefully that will change.