Well, I know you're out there somewhere! And I know a year has disappeared but we are still around, still active and still waiting to hear from any former Christian Scientist!
I have often heard former Christian Scientists say that they are grateful for what Christian Science has given them....If you are a former Christian Scientist, what would you be grateful for?? I think (and I hardly dare write, "on reflection") that it has given me nothing for which I could possibly be grateful...still thinking...!!??
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I'm not sure what I'm grateful for, to be honest. I like the question, though...forced me to think about it coming from a positive direction instead of a negative one.
The only positive thing coming to mind as a result of growing up CS is maybe an ability to pay attention to the good things around me. I remember not feeling well as a kid one day, and my grandma simply telling me that I was perfectly fine. I think I went on to enjoy the afternoon...
Anyhow, I'll admit that a lot of what I feel towards CS is pretty negative. My story is similar to Jane's, actually, and I found this site looking for advice on how to handle my severely depressed, sick, and aging grandmother. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe how I could be drowning in something I chose to abandon so many years ago. The few extremely active family members make it impossible to leave behind, I guess :).
Thanks for sharing your stories on this site--I'm going to go read around for a bit!
Christian Science gave me many tools to destroy my interactions with other human beings...
- an ability to disregard others pain and suffering,
- a complete lack of empathy for people (always trying to understand people based on what I had experienced myself, aka sympathy)
- disregard for the feelings others might have in difficult situations,
- lack of understanding for how my own actions might negatively affect the people around me,
- an ability to come up with formulaic solutions to social interactions, which allowed me to avoid getting in touch with my body and feelings to understand social interactions - this especially in terms of romance,
- such blatant disregard for my body that I lacked modesty (I was unsure why being naked should be so offensive),
- such blatant disregard for my body that I didn't think of how to keep it safe (sex, drugs, rock and roll! wait, NOW I feel shitty...)
- so out of touch with my body's sensations that I have an insanely high pain threshold to the point of being dangerous (ended up at the doctor with a kidney infection because I just didn't notice)
- so out of touch with my body's sensations that I didn't know what ATTRACTION felt like even though I'd been in many relationships (I always used a risk-reward formula for choosing a mate, and evaluated what I understood to be conventional definitions of 'attractive') You should have seen me when I realized it was possible to just BE attracted to a person! You mean it doesn't require an intellectual formula?!
The best thing that CS gave me was an explanation for why I've had such incredible difficulty understanding people and the world. It took a long time to hit me that so much pain in my life came from CS, but, now that I see it, I'm free. And now I can work on all the empathy, body sensations, etc that I listed above. It's like being a child again and experiencing a new world! It's amazing!
Thanks for your site!
Thank you for setting up this site. I think there are many of us, raised in Christian Science, still trying to come to terms with what this means for us as adults. This can be a struggle, even for those of us who had happy childhoods. CS left me with an understanding of the impact my outlook and attitude have on my experience, and I'm grateful for that. The notion that illness is attributable to a person's wrong thinking or shortcomings is painful, and adds to the burden of the illness. What a huge burden of misplaced guilt.
Thank you again for your work in creating this site!
I was raised in CS and, although I don't practise it now, I still love Mary Baker Eddy's hymns, which I find comforting and beautiful.
Reading Science and Health gave me a good vocabulary. I'm very grateful.
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