For the most part, TH has no bearing on my religious leanings. This is for a variety of reasons. He is a professed atheist and I don’t see merit in trying to change his mind (most days). It will only aggravate me to have my words ignored. He also prefers to play devil’s advocate, which I think is an admirable trait. It’s also nice to know that, as an atheist, he has the ability to see others’ viewpoint. But mostly, it is the sneakily hidden scorn that occasionally slips out from behind his mellow gaze that keeps my mouth shut the most. I feel that the conversations would turn to debate, would turn to fights, would turn to anger before anything was changed or decided. I can understand that sharing a religion with a signficant other is a very important thing in some relationships, but in ours, it never was a big thing. There were more important things that kept us together besides a similar religious practice. And after years of being together, some battles are not worth it. Besides, I can teach our son how I see fit in matters religious and that would be the only battle I would be willing to fight over…
The thing is, he seems more tolerant of my magical witchy leanings than anything else… What gets to me the most is that when he disseminates information about my practice incorrectly, knowing that it is incorrect, just to get a rise out of someone else or myself.
I don’t discuss my religion very much with his family. On occasion, they are more open than the standard and so, I am able to comment to them about various things. But, I keep my mouth closed about the polytheistic version of my faith. They would not understand it when I speak about multiple gods. I’ve seen the confusion that has marred TH’s mother’s face when I’ve mentioned it or the occasional glances when I say, “oh, my gods” in regards to something. They understand the witchy version of my faith more so than the polytheistic. And this is magic to me, in and of itself. To have a family member, even an entire family, that is willing to hear me speak about spells and joke about nekkid dancing beneath the full moon is glorious. To have an entire family that is willing to hear me speak about spells or to read Tarot for them is fan-fucking-tastic, so it is with this that I am satisfied. I have no need to speak of my gods or my relationship therein and I have no need to speak about the fact that I believe multiple gods. The witch part is enough.
Recently, I began wearing a Sekhmet pendant that was given to by OF after we stopped speaking with one another. Prior to receiving it as a gift from OF, I had been eyeballing similar pendants all over the Internet that were specifically related to Sekhmet. Unfortunately, for a long time, the pendants that related to Sekhmet that I could purchase easily were cheap or poorly made. They were not what I would have as a symbol of my faith in her. As it is, I’ve always wanted to wear a symbol of her in some form or another. I had to content myself with various stone pedants (tiger’s eye) for a long while. When I was given this pendant, I knew that it was a true gift beyond just the ending of a friendship. It meant a lot to me, more than I can convey, in the giving. My lady loves this pendant and has demanded that I wear it as often as I feel it is necessary. (I’m wearing it now.) I touch it in an effort to feel more connected to her: it’s like she is with me more than just in mind and spirit, but in body now as well. I find it difficult to explain, but suffice it to say, I wore it today.
It elicited interest from the mother-in-law. She reached out and touched it thoughtfully. She went to ask, she went to query. Before she could say anything, TH told her that it was a pendant of Sekhmet, one of my gods. She couldn’t say her name properly, so I related it back to her a few times. She asked who that was and before I could give a conscientious and careful reply, TH told her that it was a pendant for a goddess of destruction, of hatred. He went on and was just… He was a complete ass about the whole thing. I sent him the look that said, “Stop it. Stop it now,” but he wasn’t seeing it or he was ignoring it or my ability to silently communicate with him as been revoked. Either way, he reiterated it and continued on until I smacked him into silence. His mother dropped the pedant around my neck and left it alone.
I’m hurt and dismayed that he would do this. I know that it stems from the above related comments I’ve made about his “religious views.” I also know that this is his way of openly scorning me. Or maybe I’m being paranoid here because of things that have been said to me before about his behavior and my religion. All I do know is that I’m hurt; beyond hurt by the whole exchange. I’m not really sure how to broach the subject with him, either. How do I say, “You hurt me with your words. You were being an asshole and about my religion, which is no one’s business but my own. Why couldn’t you just stop it before you went too far, like you always do? Why did you do this to me? How can you hurt me like this?” How do I say all of that without flying off of the handle and lashing into him about everything? How do I say these things to him without being a bitch, but showing him the pain and hurt he’s caused?
I, honestly, don’t know.
He was wrong.
He wrought damage.
And I don’t know how to fix it.
- In Which I Discuss Two Families and Paganism.
- There is Beauty All Around When There’s Love At Home at my daily blog.