Strange and unprepared.

				<![CDATA[<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Original here</a>.]]>

Strange and unprepared.

				<![CDATA[<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Original here</a>.]]>

This is a post that I don’t know how to write, because I am afraid.

I see them in my mind’s eye, wary, expec­tant, prob­a­bly judg­ing already. They’ve noticed that I’m not the Dani they used to know and like. I’ve changed, and they are not okay with the change. I share things and say things and write things that they think are seri­ous­ly wrong. Maybe they hold onto hope that one day I’ll “come to myself” again, like the prodi­gal son did. The ones who try to talk to me appeal to God, to the Bible, to the tra­di­tion of the Ply­mouth Brethren in which I grew up, to the mem­o­ry of the Old Dani who was so devout and sin­cere and earnest in try­ing to live a life pleas­ing to God, the Dani that they looked up to or at least respect­ed in some way.

This is a con­ver­sa­tion I don’t know how to have.

How do I write about no longer iden­ti­fy­ing as a Chris­t­ian in a way that won’t turn my entire world upside down?

I guess I’m doing it some­thing like this. But I’m not hold­ing onto hope for keep­ing my world aright.

The lan­guage of Chris­tian­i­ty is still my moth­er tongue. The cul­ture of Chris­tian­i­ty is still my home­town. I don’t know any­thing else.

This is a strange place for me to be.

I plan to explore my decon­ver­sion fur­ther in future posts as I con­tin­ue to work out how to inter­act with my world in a mean­ing­ful, con­struc­tive, hon­est way. In fact, that’s a large part of why I’m writ­ing this. I need a space to doc­u­ment my thoughts and expe­ri­ences hon­est­ly. A large part of what has been hold­ing me back from writ­ing on this blog is the fear of what will hap­pen when peo­ple I love find out that I do not share their faith. And I can’t keep liv­ing with that fear. I can’t keep hid­ing.

While I’m not going to talk about the whys now (in part because I’m still work­ing through things and in part because it’s just not the time for it), I am going to set some bound­aries.

Many of the peo­ple who have reached out to me to express con­cern (or even just counter my points of view) are peo­ple with whom I have not shared a close rela­tion­ship for years. Some of them are peo­ple I haven’t shared a close rela­tion­ship with ever. It’s not appro­pri­ate to assume a lev­el of close­ness we don’t share in order to con­vince me of your right­ness and my wrong­ness. Any mes­sages I receive of that nature will be ignored, and any com­ments of that nature will be delet­ed.

Please respect my deci­sion by not try­ing to con­vert me. I will afford you the same cour­tesy by not try­ing to decon­vert you. Depend­ing on our lev­el of rela­tion­ship, reli­gious top­ics are not off lim­its by any means. I don’t expect you to refrain from men­tion­ing going to church or camp, or ref­er­enc­ing how you feel God is work­ing in your life (so long as that doesn’t turn into a sneaky ser­mon). I under­stand that God is the cen­tral focus of your life, and I have no inter­est in chang­ing that or forc­ing you to pre­tend that He’s not. If some­thing is inap­pro­pri­ate or mak­ing me uncom­fort­able in our con­ver­sa­tion, I’ll let you know. And I expect you to respect that.

If you feel the need to grieve, I under­stand com­plete­ly. I’ve been there. Your feel­ings are your feel­ings, they are valid, and it is healthy to grieve some­thing you feel is lost or dam­aged. But I am not respon­si­ble for mak­ing you feel bet­ter about my per­son­al choic­es. You can grieve, but please don’t grieve at me. It may not seem like it to you, but this is at least as dif­fi­cult for me as it is for you. This is not some­thing that has hap­pened quick­ly, or with­out great thought, many tears, lots of heart­break, con­fu­sion, and fear — and I don’t owe it to any­one to help them deal with their feel­ings about my life.

And just like this is a post that I don’t know how to write, I don’t know how to end it, either.

Except maybe with a plea that I seem to voice quite a lot.

Be gen­tle with me.

Posted in Fat Girl,