Five days ago: definitely catching up!
The last place i have not been out publicly was church. It is hard to explain. So many people get this back to front. i don’t mind people looking strangely at me. i can even accept that over time i will meet people who cannot stand me for what i am.
OK. i’m a wimp. or maybe, as i see it, i just get on with life and have enough difficulties being myself – without obsessing about other people.
Therefore for me, the issue about church was, in part, that i might upset others. it is…it was…the single most scariest place i have come out yet – because i had no idea how those i had met but not really got to speak to would react.
They were wonderful.
i arrived for sunday school with the boy, beskirted and wearing minimal make-up. i sat down with the other mums and looked round the table. Any questions. Nope. They had all read about me in the paper in one form or another. No surprise. No problems.
Then the offertory: the bit where we drag the kids down the aisle to offer up their scribblings and colourings-in for general approval. That was the scary bit.
i couldn’t look…couldn’t connect at all. every step of the way was utterly mind-numbingly terrifying: the sense that a couple of hundred people were watching, judging and making up their mind about me at that moment. Of course the vast majority were doing nothing of the sort. i knew that rationally.
It just didn’t quite work with the panic.
Again, the mum’s were wonderful: one or other stopping at different points to say something encouraging; touch hands and… at the end…to hug.
thank you, especially, to fiona.
At the very end of the mass, after being good throughout, i cried. Honest. It was happiness. That and the fact that the final hymn was a favourite: “Shine, Jesus, Shine”. Ultra-kitsch as hymns go…but just right for my mood then.
How strange. i got home and read the day’s hand-out for the first time. The message for the day was headed….transformation.