I always knew it would be tough. I did not expect to feel like my heart had been torn out.
I told my mom about my discernment on Sunday afternoon around 4:25pm.
Remember that meeting I went to in Ann Arbor in November? Well I met a sister there and she recently emailed me about a retreat for the last week of June. It’s for women like me who are thinking about but are uncertain of religious life.
I’m not going to waste my time, or give dignity to the things that she said to me. They were insulting, and she still looks at me with disgust and acts like I’m contaminated or contagious. There was nothing left un-insulted from my friends, the Faith, God, and myself. She insulted my judgment, my competency, my modesty, among other things.
Monday morning, my father instructed me to remove all religious items from my room: books, conservative skirts, prayer cards, Rosaries, statues, etc. There are four religious items in my room left: KJV Bible, a St Benedict medal above the doorway, a small Crucifix, and a nondescript statue of Mary. My mother stayed home from work this day because she was so upset. I was not allowed to stay home while she was there, so I spent the majority of my time in my car in parking lots. All my religious items and clothing for postulancy are in my car.
Tuesday, I went to Bible study in the evening, but everything felt like it was going through a filter. I was walking around in a spiritual haze.
Wednesday and Thursday I have been feeling better, but there are still moments.
My father has removed his support from me. He says that supporting me would ruin his marriage.
I have to purchase 3 years of health insurance for postulancy and novitate, and my father does not want anything less than full coverage. He will not let me attend the pre-postulancy retreat (6/27-7/3) unless he finds something that is satisfactory to his standards.
My mother and grandmother want me to work a year before considering religious life – if at all. My father is attempting to use this as leverage for me to buy the perfect health insurance plan for myself. However, if I were to work, as a social worker, what would remain after the government took from the paycheck, I would not have enough to afford his coveted ideal plan after several years of work.
If I do not go to pre-postulancy, my ability to enter on August is largely shot. Additionally, I need to pay off or have someone assume my $47,500 of student debt.