get out of my house

kneelingforgodLast week, I was asked by a friend to go to mass with her on Ash Wednesday. I’m not sure if she felt like I was in need of some holy intervention or she was just being friendly but, after much hesitation I figured, ‘why the fuck not?’ What’s the worst that could happen? The communion will give me diarrhea and I’ll have to step over everyone while they’re kneeling in the pew? I’ll trip and my boobs will accidentally fall out of my shirt in front of the poor virgin priest and his ragtag band of alter boys? I could survive those, right? No problem.

Well… I made it about twenty minutes in before I was convinced I was dying.

Me: Do you think it’s hot in here? I’ve got some swamp ass brewing.

Friend: No… I’m actually kind of chilly. Are you okay?

Me: Well… this is it. I’m dying. I’ve crossed into God’s house, and he’s striking me down and it’s only a matter of time until I burst into flames. This was bound to happen. I’m a terrible person.  Yesterday I stole an extra cracker from the sweet old lady handing out samples at Publix. It wasn’t even good but I couldn’t help myself. Who does shit like that? WHO?

Random Guy Next To Me: Everyone. Everyone does that.

Me: Oh. Really? That makes me feel better. Do you also try to secretly grope your spouse in public when you think no one is watching? God could be pissed at me for that. I’m pretty handsy. Do you do that, too? It would make me feel a lot more relieved if you did. You seem like a regular here and God hasn’t smited you yet.

Guy: Uh… can you stop talking to me?  You’re making me uncomfortable.

familyguygod

I don’t think I’m welcome there anymore. 

Do churches give you anxiety? I grew up in a religious family and I’m pretty familiar with them. Yet… they still scare the shit out of me. What the hell?

Everyone stay safe out there. There’s some bad weather brewing.

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193 thoughts on “get out of my house

  1. allyheynow says:

    Absolutely! I use to go to church every now and then but now I absolutely can NOT go. Besides the anxiety of being in a large room full of people i also feel guilty in a way for NO good reason. I have 2 major memories from the last time I went to church. One was while I was working at Planned Parenthood as a nursing student, mind you my facility did not do abortions only provided referrals if desired. I went to church and surprise surprise the priest starts talking about Planned Parenthood. I was sweating so hard that day I thought I would pass out. The last time I went I was still high from the night before. I was so paranoid. I thought the babies knew and were staring at me. Plus I got a random fit of coughing. It was absolutely MORTIFYING but good story to tell lol.

  2. Ealachan says:

    Churches don’t scare me – I actually find most of them really interesting. This may be entirely down to the fact that I’m NOT religious, though. My dad kind of wanted us to be SOME sort of religious but a) he couldn’t ever decide on what (his mom was kind of a religion-shopper for most of his formative years) and b) my mom is an outspoken atheist, so it just never really panned out.

    My mom DID used to send me to vacation Bible school for a few summers when I was young, though. It was entirely down to the fact that it was a convenient and free child-care option for her for one week every summer. I told that to the pastor outright the first day (to my mom’s extreme embarrassment), and to his credit, he was like “That’s ok, we’re glad you’re here and you can have fun with us even if you don’t believe in Jesus”. Which was pretty cool, because that could have ended a LOT differently. And I DID have fun there, for the most part. The general take-away was always “don’t be a dick”, and that’s something I’ve always been able to get behind.

  3. usabaker says:

    When I was still young; and my parents were still together. They converted our family to LDS (Mormons) When I was finely out of my dads house you couldn’t drag me to church. In the Military I converted back to Catholic. Did my first communion at 18 with a bunch of 7th graders. Went to church for awhile but got tired of feeling guilty not being able to put money in the fourteen million baskets they would cycle though during mass and the fact that I was not allowed to take the sacrament because I was remarried and the church believes me to be living in sin since I was married the first time in the church; regardless if it was my ex who was the one who was cheating and eventually needed to “Have Her fun because I married her right after high school” yeah, hmmm still don’t go to church unless my wife asks me too.

  4. Rebecca Connors says:

    My ex-husband wanted me to convert to Catholicism for our wedding, so I attempted to try church…3 times. It was during an election year and on top of it just being really uncomfortable in the first place, the priest just kept preaching about how it was Gods will for everyone to vote for George W. Bush, while randomly falling asleep mid sermon. Let’s just say I didn’t convert, in the end and as it turned out, my ex wasn’t even Catholic after all. His parents had paid off the local church so their son could get married in the church to appease the older relatives (who already thought I was the anti-Christ), but so he didn’t have to spend the time going through the proper steps!

  5. Rasma R says:

    When I was growing up we went to church quite often. I used to sit there and as I got older started to think of fire and brimstone, about death and by the time we got to leave the church I needed air. As a grownup I didn’t mind taking the occasional trip to church especially when it was time to repent for us Lutherans. It meant kneeling at the altar and taking a piece of wafer in your mouth followed by a great big swallow of wine. I did really love church at Christmas time and I miss going to services on Christmas Eve. Where we live now in Riga, Latvia the church is not very close and we have no car. Perhaps next Christmas Eve. I never waver in my faith and I pray each day and that is enough for me and I keep a hold of the Lord’s hand. Yes, I wonder what it is about the houses of worship that gets us all so strange.

  6. Kaitlyn says:

    All I’m gonna say is one time when I was younger I went to church with my friend and her family, and as we were all standing and holding hands… I fainted. Like fall down hit my head on the pew fainted and had to be carried out. The paramedics came and that’s a whole other story. Needless to say… Yeah. Scares the fucking shit out of me.

  7. Julian Lisette says:

    “Do you also try to secretly grope your spouse in public when you think no one is watching?” – actually, I purposefully do it when I know someone is watching. It seems she likes it better that way.

  8. SY Gibson says:

    I, too, grew up in a strict, religious family. I struggle with religion as a result…a lot of anxiety, shame, and resentment. I’ve almost had panic attacks at both Churches and funerals.

  9. Ellen Auchter says:

    Churches do give me anxiety! I don’t know why I used to torture myself and go to mass. Something about sitting still and silent, packed in with other people, gets to me. I do enjoy just walking around a cathedral and lighting candles.

  10. dsmith4205 says:

    Interesting post, Blair. A lot of people are intimidated by church. But I guarantee there is a church somewhere around you that will be in your comfort zone. There are a lot of mediocre churches, you just need to do some visiting. God has a special church home for everybody.

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