Time has not softened those last few years for me. The more I talk it all over with my friends, the more I realize just how wrong it all was. Time has not softened the memories, nor allowed me to “forgive and forget.”
For instance, I recall days I attended church services, then, after church I tried to approach church members, trying to make friends. I recall trying to invite someone to coffee. This never worked. I tried to speak to the person, and whoever it was backed off, usually making a face. Often the person walked away from me even before I had finished my sentence, or engaged with another person, ignoring me, or pretended I did not exist. Other times they pretended they were too busy with their kids and didn’t have time for me. Other times, they jumped up and faked that they had to leave, just as I was approaching. I was a member two years. I lived only a few blocks away from church. Making friends there was a lost cause!
I asked to help out at church. I wasn’t ever allowed to do anything, not even the usual duties. I was bypassed the “greeter” duty that all church members were supposed to do. I asked why, and they made excuses. Like I was too stupid, I suppose. I offered to write something. Oh no, we have enough of that. When other members, artists, had gallery openings or had their works published, this was a big deal and they were publicized or they were even allowed to sell at church gatherings. When my book was published, this was totally ignored. They did everything they could to silence me as a writer, and failed to acknowledge my professional degree. Anyone else that had a master’s degree was by all means acknowledged and appreciated as such. I was seen as a nuisance and nothing more.
Recently, I’d say maybe last summer, the minister and his family was hiking in Maine. They ran out of water. The situation was dire. No water! Well the minister is a little older than me and this was serious. He was dehydrated. Some nice people gave him water. Guess what? He’s been ranting in his sermons over the body’s need for water for the past year. Yep, ranting. Ranting over his dehydration.
You know, I arrived at that church in 2011. They heard me talk about Massachusetts General Hospital and how something terrible happened there. They told me to shut up and not one person even asked, “What happened?” No one asked and no one cared. They called me a dangerous sicko instead.
MGH deprived me of water. And that would have killed me. I was NOT delusional, nor faking it.
So on and on, the minister rants, and rants, and rants about his own experience on Mt Katahdin. They were wrong all along to call me dangerous.
I’m not there anymore. I can’t believe it. If I send them a letter, they’ll only assume it contains a bomb or something, because of their mass paranoia, so it’s pointless.