You Have No Power Over Me

Today, myself and I had an argument. We read in one of the emails we still get from the church that there would be an event, and we wanted to go so we could blog about it.

October 1, 2016

You don’t have to do this. There’s a library up the road. You could just walk on by the church on your way to the library. You don’t have to– my feet left the sidewalk as I walked across the grass to the church fellowship hall. I had made up my mind, and I was going. Myself and I had had a furious argument.

Me: But what if pastor asshole is there?

Me2: So what?

Me: So he might–

Me2: he might what? You are not the same person you were 3 years ago. You have a job, you have a house, and you have a bus pass. You can leave anytime you want to and if he tries to make you pray with him or talk to him, you can leave, and there won’t be a damn thing he can do about it. The only power he has over you is the power you give him.

Me: He has no power over me. He…. he has… he has no power over me.

And just like that I had made up my mind. I was going. I put on my glow in the dark necklace, my diamond necklace, skull and crossbone earrings, my Slytherin Pride t-shirt, Slytherin pride bracelet, 2 opal rings to remind me to be strong like aunt B, and 2 other rings because they’re pretty and the glittery one spins and it amuses me greatly to spin it.

The X box was taking bets on how long it would take for me to get prayed over.

It had been 3 years since I’d been at that church. 3 years ago feels like a completely different lifetime.  Much has changed. Much has remained the same. Since turnover rate in the collegiate group I was part of is fairly high, I assumed nobody would remember me. I’d just be another anonymous visitor, who heard about the event through a flier or something.

The moment I set foot in the parking lot, I knew this wasn’t how it was going to happen. I saw a familiar face.

“B–?” I called out.

“Hey, I’m gonna have to call you back.” B— said. He immediately hung up the phone. “No way!”

I held out my arms as I came closer. “Yeah way!”

“In the flesh?”

I should have sarcastically responded that I was a demon posing as myself, but held my tongue.

“Are you here for the meeting?”

Right. The meeting. The reason why I was going. I nodded and said out loud “Well. And the free food.”

B– and I hugged. He said he had to finish his phone call but that he’d be in shortly. Well, at least there was one person I knew. He said he missed me and it was good to see me. I was surprised to see him, as last I checked he was in China. Apparently he had just returned that week. Perfect timing.

As I walked into the fellowship hall, this man started talking to me. Is that Pastor Asshole? I thought as he asked me where I’d been all this time. He seemed surprised that I’d never left the area. He was sure that when I’d disappeared I’d moved somewhere. He had changed so much that I did not recognize him right away. He had gained a lot of weight, and I do mean a lot of weight. Far be it from me to judge such things, but my guess is that this job had aged him. He did not come into a peaceful church, and I doubt much has changed over the years, if recent events are any indication.

In any case, I stepped through the door. L– was greeting. “Mr. Abominable Snowwoman!” He gave me a hug. “The lost lamb has returned to the fold.”

Oh god. Well, at least Lincoln was another familiar person. I scanned the crowd for familiar faces. “Welcome back,” said a woman I totally didn’t recognize. “You’ve been missed.”

Do you even know my name? I thought, but didn’t ask.  D— came up to me and we struck up a conversation. I spent most of the evening with him, as he was the person who I know who I felt most comfortable with. Everyone was so excited to see me, no one asked what I was doing there. Which is good because I was having trouble coming up with an excuse.

Fortunately no one thought to ask.

Soon, the food was ready and oh my god I have MISSED THIS! IT wasn’t Mrs. P’s cooking, but it was still good old Adventist vegetarian food. The stuff that no one else likes but that I was raised with and have fond memories of. It tasted just as good as I remembered. I didn’t even spike the punch, though I was sorely tempted. You can all thank me later.

I learned many things while talking with D–. K– and G—are dating. I didn’t believe that one and had to go around asking the 2 other people I knew if it was true. I couldn’t say “holy shit” in front of them, but I did say, “whiskey tango foxtrot are you freakin’ kidding me?” I think a few “damns” slipped out in the conversation but D–kinda ignored them.

I never really got to know D– when I was part of the church group, but now I feel that was almost a mistake. He’s really an interesting, nice sort of guy. I sort of kind of approve of him as C’s boyfriend. Maybe.

In any case, soon the pastor announced that it was time to head over to the church. I sat with D– and we sang a few hymns while waiting for everyone to arrive. There was an overwhelming feeling of love. “We missed you. How are you. Where were you. You never left the area? How did you manage to disappear like that, then?”

You see, once I left, I never looked back. Well ok there was that one time but we don’t talk about that. That one time I tried to come back for a visit and ended up having a full blown panic attack when the pastor arrived. Nobody talked to me, then, and I felt extremely lonely. Now I felt the opposite. Here was the love I had been craving and dreaming about for 3 years.

As we finished the hymn, D– said I had a good voice. I thanked him. I’ve missed singing so much. I hadn’t even realized it until I joined in. I wished we could have sang something besides Jesus crap but hey, I take what I can get.

I went to the bathroom, and on the way stopped by one of the empty Sabbath school rooms. There were some Guides laying out on the table, and I took them. I will blog about them later.

The blog. The reason why I was here. To write about these people, to snark on them. How could I do that when they loved me so much? Maybe I could come back. Maybe I could have my foot in both worlds. I could hang out with Doug and Jessica and then have my church friends on the weekends. It’s what I was doing before, and with Doug working so much now he probably wouldn’t notice.

Then the meeting officially began, and I slowly realized that there would be none of that. There could be none of that.

There’s no going back to this way of thinking. It has no power over me.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me. (Sarah, Labyrinth)

 

 

 

 

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