I’m just a Coward with an “illness”

It’s the start of a new week, and the start of a new month…and here’s to hoping for improvements in the world that is me, my thoughts, and my demons. The main reason I haven’t done a “31 Days of BPD” is because of a response to my blog, or more specifically the response to a link that I shared to my blog. It has really hit me like a low blow. It hurt me, it infuriated me, it belittled me, and I feel the need to defend myself publicly the same way I was “called out” publicly. I may not be taking the “high road”, but I honestly feel that taking the high road and not saying something will only result in more ignorant comments In the future. This post will be a little less colourful then the draft I would have posted before calming down… but I really do feel that I need to defend myself. So here goes…

To all of you that will listen,

The main platform I’m using to share my blog is through Facebook and Instagram. There are many people on my wife’s Facebook that are not on mine, so she usually ‘shares’ links to my blog entries. She’s been getting some replies from people from our old church that we used to attend in our small town. We attended this church for 8 years… my wife was involved in music there, and I actually ran their youth program for a few years. As a result of some events that unfolded in our lives this spring, our family took the initiative to respectfully and willingly leave our church. We have since been attending a church in Saskatoon that we really enjoy. It’s young, vibrant, and growing. (side note… if you’re looking for a church in Saskatoon, I highly recommend C3Saskatoon. 10:00am Sundays in the Broadway Theater. If you read this Brock…there’s your plug!) We’ve kept our reasons for leaving quiet and private… but as things with me and my personal struggles have been more difficult to hide and control, we’ve had people from our old church asking how we’re doing when they see us around town. My thought was “why not share a link to my blog on the church Facebook page… then everyone who wants to can follow my blog, or add me on Facebook.” So, I shared my link with a post that went something like this… “I’m not really sure if I’m allowed to post on here anymore, but there’s been a few people asking how I’m doing, so here’s a link to a blog I’ve started. Feel free to follow, and share which anyone you think might benefit from it.” Simple… Innocent… Harmless… right? Well, here’s the response that I got from “the Church”.

This post will be deleted in onehour. Dave Stone, you have hidden for months. Once you meet with me(page administrator and elder), (the pastor), (another board member), and a few select others of my choosing – then, and only then, will you be allowed to post here. Your “illness” causes you to crave and demand attention and control people. We will not allow that.

Not really the response that I was expecting from “church leadership“on a public wall. I would have thought if there was issues, they would have been addressed privately, but I guess this isn’t how this board member handles things when people with “my illness” are involved. I’ll admit that I reacted out of emotion. I private messaged this response… “Is that seriously how you handle things? You can’t just private message me? I don’t really know what makes you an expert on my sickness, but thanks for putting me in my place. Being an elder of the church with a well thought out response, I’m sure you won’t mind me sharing the (church) response to me posting my blog link on their page. I can at least share it with some people of “my choosing”.” I know, not exactly taking the high road myself either… but extremely pissed off at the time. That same board member was kind enough to respond with a private message this time.

Sorry Dave, not giving you the attention you want. Meet with (pastor) and us in person. Quit being a coward.

I was fuming… I wanted, and still want nothing more than to knock this “elder’s” teeth out. My wife, being more level-headed than myself, messaged both this elder and his wife to reply to her with some sort of explanation. She called… She texted… She emailed. Well, it’s been two days and shockingly, I know, no response. So, here I am on this Sunday night “blogging away”.

There’s some things you need to know. Like I said, we attended this church for eight years. We have a larger circle of “non-church” friends than “church friends”, but we were still fairly involved in the church. We knew this church had a reputation. While attending, we defended “our church“. And since leaving the church, we’ve simply been impartial to comments and opinions people have towards the church. But it wasn’t until now that I felt the sting of that reputation. I’ve never before felt actual “hate” towards a church. I would never have seen myself “calling a church out“. But I am.

Now in all fairness, an argument could be made that this wasn’t a “church” response, but rather one arrogant and ignorant elder’s comment. And that might be true. But this elder is very comfortable being a spokesperson for the church through his activity on their page, so I think it’s fair to say this is a “church issue“. First of all, the comment that I’ve “hidden for months“. I could give him the benefit of the doubt that he is unaware of the reasons for us leaving the church… but considering his position in the church, and his circle of peers, I’m 99% confident that is not the case. It was simply a jab, from a church elder. The fact that he is so knowledgable about “my illness” is also quite impressive. I’ve been in counselling for six plus months, and seeing my psychiatrist for four months. They haven’t yet come to conclusions on the effects and implications my “illness” has. But, luckily this “elder” has the knowledge and expertise to not just diagnose, but publicly on social media, announce his diagnoses. My thought is that this elder is pretty good at his “google” and “wikipedia” searches. But the kicker for me, was calling me out as a “coward“. I don’t care who you are, calling someone a coward is an invitation for a well deserved punch in the teeth. I have honestly never been called that by anyone, but then again, it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to knock someones teeth in, so I guess it makes sense.

Christians are known as self-righteous hypocrites. It’s fair to say that a large number of “non-church” people hate the church, and think “church people” are arrogant. I am now seeing through the glasses of truth as to why this is so widely believed. The fact that this elder had the balls to sit behind his laptop and call me out as a coward, and to call out my “illness“. Thank you, mr elder, for showing me first hand why people hate the church, why people hate christians, and why they want nothing to do with church whatsoever. I know this is not an “across the board” statement, but in this case, it could not be more accurate.

That’s my rant… thats my rambling.

Sincerely,

“A coward with an illness”

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4 thoughts on “I’m just a Coward with an “illness”

  1. Crap from church elders and ignorant church goers is why a lot of people I know with mental illness do not feel safe disclosing their struggles in church.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That elder obviously did not take the time to read your blog Dave. Writing this blog and sharing your world, your life, your illness is the single most courageous thing you could do. Stay strong and thank you for sharing,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is through actions, like those of this Elder’s, that has left me disillusioned with most organized religion. I’m sorry that you had to endure these unwarranted and bigoted comments since you are the complete opposite of a coward for putting yourself out there and trying to help people through your own struggles.

    Signed… A fan and friend of a “coward” with an “illness”

    Like

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