Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Complicated Life

Lots of people know my dad. My mom, too, but mostly my dad. 
I was abused as a child. Not by my parents, but it's created some incredible tension in our relationship.
Yesterday I had lunch in a local diner, and as I was leaving I ran into a minister from our church. He was having lunch with someone who's recently moved to our city to work in adoption ministry.
I was making casual conversation and mentioned that my brother was adopted. One thing led to another and my dad's name was mentioned. The newbie knew my dad. The minister, who knows my story, got that "a-ha" deer in the headlight look, and I started to panic. The minister knows my dad.
We were having one of those conversations with our eyes, while the newbie rattled on about how great my dad was and memories he had of him. I said something inane like, "Yeah, I get that a lot" and excused myself.
By the time I got to my car I was shaking, and I couldn't even figure out why. Then it dawned on me. I have a lot of respect for this minister. My husband and I work closely with him at our church. If he knows my dad will that alter his opinion of me? Will he choose to see me in the same light my dad does? Will he think less of me because of things I have shared about my difficult family relationship? Will he choose "their side" over mine now that he's put 2 and 2 together?
So I called him and posed this situation to him. He assured me that it doesn't change his opinion of me. I believe him . . . mostly.
Family complications.

linking up at Writer's Workshop


  1. Your story sounds hard. If the minister does judge you then he has the problem not you. I commend you for bravely confronting him with your concern. Oh, yes family is terribly complicated.

  2. Remember that he is a minister... he is uniquely qualified to understand that minister's families are not always as they appear. He is a good minister. Her knows that he may not always be what others see. My guess is that he completely understands the situation you find yourself in. If I had to guess, I would say that you have made him look at his own family and think about his own kids in a different perspective because you have shared with him your experiences. Trust him when he tells you it does not change his opinion of you. Our parents reputation does make a relationship, we do. Your minister has a relationship with you, not your family.

  3. *does not make a relationship (I hate typos)

  4. I have discovered something I did not previously know about my BIL and I find it hard to stomach things that folks say about him that are not true. In this case it is not really a complication, it is just annoying. I am sure the talk with the minister will do good.

  5. Glad you called him to ask that. I think he is most likely telling the truth when he says this doesn't change his opinion of you. Let's recall that your story is really too much to be fiction. If you were the sort of person who was inclined to invent a story, why would you make up something like this? Love you.

  6. The abuse done to a child really does last a lifetime. I pray for your strength. Hold tight to what you know to be true.


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