Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Why do I torture myself?

Even though I'm still a parishioner at the church where I was formerly employed (even though I don't go to mass there), why do I bother with reading the weekly bulletin? It just makes me tense and angry and then I end up more depressed.

What did it this time? I just saw that the woman who was the bane of my existance, the thorn in my side, the person who most made me want to either commit homicide or suicide, is the new high school religious ed. coordinator. The woman not only has a sketchy theology backgroud (despite starting her Master's in pastoral studies), she has not one whiff of empathy for her fellow human beings. She has repeatedly made me feel like the tiniest person in the world. She has humiliated me not only in front of other adults, but also in front of young people. And I've seen her do that to other people, too. When I went to the pastoral administrator for help in dealing with her, since we had a rather obvious personality conflict, I was told to grin and bear it because she is so influential (she is the CFO of the largest medical practice in Baton Rouge, and over half their physicians - about 50 - are parishioners of St. Al's CCC). This is what money and influence get you - another opportunity to have your ego stroked and to pat yourself on the back and say, "Look how wonderful I am."

Wanna hear something funny? This...witch with a capital B is studying spiritual direction. HA! Why would anyone want to go to a spiritual director who is going to tell them that they are worthless and wrong? We were talking about prayer styles one time, and she actually had the audacity to tell me I was praying wrong. Since when is prayer right or wrong if it is doing what it is supposed to? Another time, we did Myers-Briggs on a leadership team retreat (her type, ESTJ, is the exact opposite of mine, INFP. Even our numbers were the same in the opposite direction). She intimated that my personality was the wrong type to do the type of work I did, despite the fact that all research on type indicated that ministry, teaching, etc, are careers that INFP's are drawn to and do well in. In that conversation, she stopped just short of saying I was an inherently bad person. I didn't stop crying for a long time over that.

I need to put this whole, nasty mess behind me, but I can't. As long as I'm here and within St. Al's CCC's sphere of influence, I'm just going to continue to drive myself crazy with this stuff. I hate having to pretend to be happy and content when I'm not. And I hate having to pretend that I think the Catholic church is the be all and end all of churches everywhere. It may claim apostolic succession, but it is anything but the church the apostles founded.


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