As some of you know I'm a contributing author in an anthology that came out last month. To put a long story short, my local religious community shunned the book, removing it from their book club queu and informing the facebook world that they hated it. While I understand if someone doesn't like it and I didnt' frankly expect them to given their conservative leanings, I didn't expect them to defy the norms of politeness and announce it so harshly online for all the world [including me] to see.
I'm not as spiritual as I'd like but I do want my son in addition to having friends of all walks of life, race and faith, I do want him to have friends in the religious community, the issue is where I live my particular religious community sucks. No other word for it. They are stunted at 10th grade with 10th grade bullying, gossiping, drama, and pettiness. They judge you for the cars you drive, the purse you have, and no matter what they will be your best friends as long as you host tons of fun parties and invite them to it. It's small petty and as much as I enjoy me some guilty-Real House Wives of Blank County on BRAVO I don't want it in my personal life.
And yet that is what I have. That is my community.
I want my son to have friends who are part of his faith. I'm terrified that I'm setting him on a road where he will not have faith and for me this is important. HE can choose later if he doesn't want it, but I need to do my part to give him the opportunity to want it. But what do I do? Invite people I hate who are rude to my face and talk about things that dry up my soul so he can play with their kids? My parents did it. Do I have to do it too?
I feel guilt that I want nothing to do with these people. And guilt that all I have to do to give W these friendships is to host a couple of dinner parties and put on a pained smile and then go to the homes of these people myself. I'm so torn over this I'm literally walking around choking back tears. Part of it is hurt to be publicly called out. Part of it is a deep fear of how much my son will be shortchanged.
I've struggled mightily with sharing this on my regular blog but the shitstorm that could erupt makes me think its not worth the trouble especially since the ramifications could also affect my husband and his friendships and I don't think that will be worth it, so I'm coming here to my safe space. Thanks for reading, have any of you remotely had to struggle with this? Any advice or perspective would be much appreciated. Thank you.