How did it happen, that your teller of tales was booted from the broom closet?
It started, innocently enough, with a post on Facebook.
Everybody’s on Facebook, and I am no different. A good portion of my coven mates are also on there, and they are my family. Yes, this is how I think of them (give me a little time and you’ll hear just why it is I think of them in that way).
I was feeling really grateful to have them in my life, and so I posted this: “To all my friends: You have made the difference in my life, and if I haven’t told you that lately, I’m sorry. I’m blessed to know you all.”
I got some really nice replies (my coven mates are awesome people), and then the Bestower of Righteous Silliness pops in wanting to know why I never told her that, and that blessings come from the Lord.
I groaned out loud and mentally, not wanting to get into it with her on a public forum. I made the mistake of engaging her back on Samhain (Halloween, my favorite holiday ever), and I left that comment war with a headache.
Having learned my lesson, I left it alone. A couple of my coven mates didn’t, however, and there began a huge back and forth.
BoRS only made three comments now that I see (yes, I copied and saved the exchange) but wow, what comments! Accusing my friends of being cultists, basically saying that we’re all lost sheep who will pay on Judgement Day, and saying that my friends are a bad influence. Not to mention that she manages to praise herself for being there to “counteract” the “bad influences” that my friends have on me.
…Yeah. You see this face? :0 That was my face through this whole thing.
How did that manage to boot me from the closet? you ask. If it was just that, I think it would have been all right, as I wasn’t stupid enough to talk about my beliefs at home where people could hear me.
So the day after this, I was in the car with Keeper of the Holograms and her cell phone rings. It’s BoRS, wanting to talk to me. I roll my eyes, ask for strength, and take the phone.
“Do you know what your friends have said to me?” she opens with.
I say no, as I hadn’t been on Facebook yet that day.
“Well, they’ve said that I was being judgemental and un-Christian and then–” and here BoRS paused and took a deep breath– “they quoted the Bible to me! But they took it all out of context!”
I told her that from what I’d read the day before, she had sounded judgmental and un-Christian. I also told her that my friends were pretty knowledgeable about the Bible and its history, considering that a lot of them grew up Christian and/or had read and studied it at some point.
She waved that off, and plunged on. “And what is all this “one of us” stuff?”
I asked her to clarify because I had no clue what she was talking about.
“One of your friends said something about me judging you and Pagans and said you were one of them. One of who? Are you Pagan? And what is that?”
And here it was, the time I’d been dreading. I was stuck in the car with the Keeper of the Holograms, who is very opinionated and not inclined to listen to any but her own thoughts and opinions about anything. I had BoRS on the phone asking me if I were Pagan or not, which I didn’t want to confirm. It was better for me in this house if they couldn’t confirm anything about my beliefs, and I took pains to avoid confirming anything. Maybe they knew already, but as long as I didn’t say yea or nay, they were never sure.
But, joy and rapture, here was BoRS on the phone (not speaking softly either I might add) . I couldn’t put her off until another time, though I tried. She would not budge. So your heroine screwed up her courage and said yes.
Absolute silence on the phone. Then “Let me talk to Mom.” I handed KotH the phone, feeling like I’d just signed my death warrant. I knew what was coming, but I had the vague hope that just maybe, this once, KotH would actually listen to me and not put me down.
She and BoRS had a short, animated conversation, and then hung up. KotH turns to me and says, “So is what [BoRS] said about this Facebook thing true?”
I said that if she meant that she’d insulted my friends and then they got in her face about it, then yes, that’s true.
The look KotH gave me let me know that she didn’t appreciate my attempt to be funny. “This Pagan…thing. Is that true?”
I told her that that was my business. I didn’t want to discuss it with her.
“You’re in my car, on my phone. It stopped being your business,” KotH said. She was wearing her “stubborn and preparing to steamroll you” face (that’s where BoRS gets hers from) and there was no point in trying to put her off. I told her yes.
“Like that stuff in that movie you like, that Craft movie? All that chanting and calling on the power and all that? That’s devil worship!” KotH said stridently. She wasn’t yelling yet, but it was really close.
I said that it wasn’t, that we didn’t even believe in the devil, and that she shouldn’t believe everything she sees in movies.
“So what is it?” she asked.
I brightened. Maybe wishes did come true! She, the Keeper of the Holograms herself, was actually going to listen to me explain something about myself. I must admit that I felt almost giddy.
I opened my mouth to give her a thumbnail explanation (in hindsight I think I got as far as “I believe that nature is holy and a manifestation of the Divine…”) when she shut me down.
“Shut up! I don’t want to hear about it!”
I asked her why not, since she asked me to tell her what it was.
“You’ve been taken in! You’ve let these people you don’t know and who don’t care about you mislead you into believing lies!” Now she was yelling.
I told her, voice level and calm, that this wasn’t a recent thing, that I’d been a member of my coven for a space of years, and a Pagan for over a decade.
It was like I hadn’t spoken. “You never use your head. You just go and talk to people and you just take everything they tell you at face value and never think about it. ” KotH went on in this vein. The upshot: I was stupid and naive and going to go to Hell. “Your soul will be lost,” were her exact words.
“It’s because you got that computer and are not talking to real people,” KotH said after she finished with the previous sentiments.
I said that my decision had nothing to do with who I chose to talk to. I was beginning to get a headache (this is a common thing for me after trying to explain anything about me to my family).
“You need to go back to church and get your head right. I ought to take that computer away from you and make you go to church with me,” said KotH.
Remember, folks, your teller of tales is legally an adult. The computer in question is one that I bought with my own money. This is SOP with the Keeper of the Holograms. This is the way she talks to me.
I opened my mouth to say something, but she told me to shut up and then said that she was disappointed in me.
And that’s the end. Sad little tale, isn’t it?
I was booted from the broom closet. If my loudmouthed sister hadn’t called me and put me in the spot I found myself in, they still wouldn’t know. I had never planned to tell them.
I could have continued to stonewall them, but that wouldn’t have worked; they would have kept the pressure on, insulting me and prodding at me until they got what they wanted.
Something good came from it, however. This blog. Now I can maybe help somebody else.