Sunday, 20 September 2009

Oh, that.

I realised something today.

My experiences with my stepdad, who was a minister, were not happy ones. He was emotionally, physically and sexually abusive toward me. I don't like to talk about the specifics much and I struggle with saying anything about it here as it's a complex issue and I don't want to make him out to be a monster. He's not a monster. He's a human being. Which is scary and hard and difficult, but it's true.

Because my stepdad was a minister an awful lot of my experience of church was filtered through him. I've known for some time that this was one of the reasons I did not get on well with Christianity and with church. I didn't exactly have a positive role model.

I was thinking today about organ playing, which it looks like I'll be learning to do much better, and about my mum's organ playing. And I realised that my mother, working as an organist at the church where I was baptised, was sexually abused by a member of clergy there. I don't remember when I found out about this, but I must have been quite young as I don't remember not knowing. I remember knowing it was wrong and shouldn't have happened, but I don't remember not knowing it had happened.

No wonder I tend to automatically be fearful of male clergy.

I've since encountered some wonderful female clergy, and in getting to know local churches I have been sometimes nervous about the fact that they are mostly led by male clergy but on meeting the clergy concerned I have not felt threatened or frightened.

It will be interesting to observe how this develops.

I've had a long day and lots of other significant stuff has happened and I feel kindof shell-shocked.

5 comments:

8thdayplanner said...

My heart is sighing.

Much love being sent into the universe for you.

Jan said...

I'm so sorry.

Song in my Heart said...

Jan, 8thdayplanner, thank you for your comments.

I'll be okay, it's just a bit odd to realise after all these years that it wasn't just problems with my stepdad that were making me jumpy.

Ernest said...

Song,

I sense that these awful experiences have been formative in your life, and have caused a great deal of anguish for you.

It is sad that your perspective on Ministers has been coloured in this way.

I can't offer any real comfort other than I will be praying for you.

Song in my Heart said...

Ernest,

It is sad that my impressions of clergy have been coloured this way, but I do try to keep an open mind despite my background.

Let's just say that I have a particularly acute knowledge of the fact that the Church is not perfect and that clergy are human beings and as much in need of grace and forgiveness as the rest of us.

The kind words and prayers of you and others I encounter online are a very real comfort to me. Thank you.