Coming out Isn’t Always about Sexual Preference. The Reality of Revealing My Belief system.
I was raised in a strict Irish Catholic household and attended Catholic schools right through college.
If you’re Catholic or were raised as such, I don’t need to explain any further. For those of you unfamiliar with the church’s preferred educational method, I can sum it adequately with one word: fear.
Fear of committing sin. Fear of going to hell for all eternity, or at least purgatory. Fear of corporal punishment for, well, things so minor I can’t recall. Fear of humiliation. And in school, even fear to ask to go to the bathroom.
Nuns warned us that the devil would get us if we smoked or played hookie and they told stories to back-up their claims. They herded us off to church for some saint’s day or confession or to beg forgiveness for being a sinner. Everyone was a sinner. You were born that way! Even a first or second grader had sins.
It was no better at home. You didn’t question anything the church said or did. You went to church every Sunday without argument. After all, God died for our sins. The church was their to save our souls. You wouldn’t get to heaven without them.
I still remember rolling my eyes, at least in my mind, while my father, mother, or the nuns spewed this dogma. Sadly, they believed it and thought they were doing the right thing. But I wasn’t afraid. I was disgusted, though I never uttered a word.
This was my experience of the Catholic Church.
You get it.
I had always been fascinated by the The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone and often snuck out of bed at 1:00 A.M. to watch them. I read ghost stories and believed in things that went bump in the night. I never believed they were bad, they were just apart of the physical world.
I also took a liking to the notion of reincarnation, which is another forbidden belief.
Mozart wrote an opera at the age of 14 based on what he had learned in this life? Get real. And when I learned about St. Patrick converting the pagans to Christianity, I did some research into those pagan rituals and discovered the Druids, tree huggers, and found them pretty cool as well. And oh, how I wanted to dance around the stones (monoliths.)
I have five siblings and as the the years went by, one of us rebelled outright, two tolerated the church and one became entrenched to the point of being a fundamentalist. I was the one of the ones who hung on for lack of direction. I was grateful for the belief in an afterlife and the fact I was raised something.
I looked for years and finally found a belief system that felt like home to me: Spiritualism. By Catholic standards and definition, it is considered pagan.
A pagan is described as ‘a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions.’ A broader definition is “anyone involved in any religious act practice, or ceremony which is not Christian.”
Pagan does not mean devil worshiper or involve human sacrifice. It is a demeaning term like the word hick. In classical Latin, it is derived from the word pagus meaning “of or pertaining to the countryside, villager, rural rustic; civilian, unlearned and non-combatant.”
I like that!
My mother was dead and my father too old, I felt, to deal with my new belief system. It would have crushed him, so I never told him of my departure from the Catholic Church. There was no need. Though my family doesn’t adhere to my beliefs, they all knew about them, except for one person.
Now after 17 years the secret is out. He read the words spiritual medium on my Medium profile when I shared one my stories with him.( That will teach me to ask for claps.)
It’s what I believe.
It’s refreshing to go forward in life with the perspective that we’re born good and sometimes we makes mistakes. These mistakes aren’t sins or the end, but lessons to help us become a better version of ourselves.
There is an afterlife with no hell and no heaven, though I do believe that people create their own here on the earth plane. You continue to learn and grow when you pass over to spirit. And you continue to live!
Blasphemy! I am cursed. It is occult. The Bible says so.
Don’t even get me going. Though this sounds sarcastic, I am not taking this lightly. This is a huge loss.
There are five of us ranging in age from 58–71 and I’ve often felt blessed that we’re all still alive. We get together as a group and I see each one on my own as much as possible. So many families are estranged, but that has never been the case with us. We’ve squabbled over the years, but in the end we enjoy being together.
On holidays, this means good food and drink, laughter a concert of sorts with some preferring the piano and some a guitar. My brother is a fabulous, though humble, guitarist with a nice singing voice. Sadly, I don’t play an instrument, but I love music and my brother and I share that love.
But now I have been cut off. He wants nothing to do with me to the point he will not drive in a car with me to my son’e s wedding.
And it’s a long drive.
I know we won’t be going to anymore Saturday afternoon movies and I don’t know what to expect for holidays. The possibility exists that he might refuse to be in my company.
There’s nothing I can do from here except wait and see.
I see that for him, his belief in right and wrong is etched in stone and it is stronger than love. The term “dead to me” bounces in my head from ear to ear. I see his back to me forever and fear I will never sit down with him again to sing or listen to him play the guitar.
I’ve come out, but this has been me for the last 17 years. It’s just that he didn’t know about it. And I didn’t choose to believe what I believe. It feels right. Just like someone who is lesbian, gay , bi-sexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), fluid, this is who I am.
I know. Welcome to their world.
I will survive.