Wednesday, February 22, 2006


So we went to Glastonbury today.
Last time I went there was just before I lost my faith.
This time I took the terrible two, on holiday from school.
It started badly.
Senior moment beckoned and I entered my PIN wrongly three times while buying petrol thus locking my card.
We also had a traffic jam on the way and when we got there, the little teashop in the Abbey was closed.
T was, as ever furious and sulked his way round the Abbey, till I got him to talk about his latest computer game.
He went into overdrive, forgot about the teashop and recovered sufficiently to laugh at Mw trying to stop me taking a picture of him by the thorn tree.
We went into the little chapel then, Mw and I, T staying outside, walking up and down, talking away to himself.
Mw instantly turned to me.
"Mum? Why don't you believe in God anymore?"
The effect of the thorn tree, the legends we read as we walked around were playing on his mind.
I hestitantly explained that I don't believe because I cannot see a god anymore, I don't have evidence that he exists but I cannot prove that, neither could anyone prove god exists. It all boils down to faith.
In so many words.
Mw thought.
He told me he believed in god and without god could see no point in living.
Why live, just to die?
There has to be a god or life is pointless?
At this delicate moment, T barged into the little chapel, glared at us both and refused to budge.
Mw stopped and wouldn't continue...

So from there we walked into "town."
T developed that air of fantatism that only he has.
Town= place with at least one computer games shop.
(City=place with >1)
We marched up the street, calling at the bank to try and unlock my card (the machine was broken) and stopped off for a quick lunch break.
He managed to find his shop and bought a cheap game he had wanted for ages.
It was only when I glanced up that I realised the PS section was next to the adult porn section, which was, um, pretty explicit.
Mw was very amused by his mother's discomfort and his brother's total lack of interest.
I covered his eyes so he couldn't look...

And then home, uneventfully, and unlocked the card.
I didn't get to see anything I wanted, I had hoped to look in a bookshop or two, but such is life with T, we're used to it.
And they enjoyed it and were relaxed and happy the rest of the day.

Now all I have to do is continue the conversation with Mw

Monday, February 20, 2006

Funny feelings

I've had an interesting 24 hours or so.
I felt awful yesterday, after the call from my SIL and we went out and about.
During the drive, as so often, I slipped into praying (it's still a habit) and pleading.
And for the first time, I had what I used to have, an answer.
Now don't ask me what now, because I cannot remember, but it took my breathe away.
It only happened once
I have thought about my "answers from God" that I used to get, and decided they were my thoughts, my wishes, but it hadn't happened since I stopped believeing.

Anyhow, things stayed much the same overnight.
Couldn't sleep well again and finally got off to bed at gone 1am.
Up this morning, usual routine, except the kids stayed in bed (half term)
I switched on the computer to check the emails before work and (naturally) logged into the forums.
I read a couple of mesages sent to me and posted once or twice, switched it off...
...and then was overwhelmed with a feeling.
Now it may sound fanciful, but it sometimes used to happen before when I believed, but not for ages.
I felt wrapped in love, that's the only way I could describe it, and joy.
The awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that had been there for the last few months went.
I didn't have anything else than that and I just held it.
I folded the wings of intellect and just held it.

What was it and where did it come from?
I know what some of you might say...

So I drove to work, past the spot where I looked into the sky and realised god wasn't there all those weeks ago
I looked into the sky again, and still did not see god there
But I felt something inside, not god, but some sort of strength
Perhaps because I suddenly realised what I was feeling
It was a lack of fear and dread.
This is what I had read, and these words spoke to me and reassured me.

After hearing all that, I looked at this bright young man and said “You’re right, there is no such god like that. I am an atheist too when it comes to that god.” In fact, the god he described to me was more like the pagan gods of old who always had to be kept happy or they would not send the rain for the fields or they would cause other mischief in humans’ lives. These false gods of our pagan past were more like powerful super humans who were self centered and self serving. Of course these gods didn’t exist.

Now, I know that I still don't believe in god.
But at least I also know that people who believe in God don't believe in this one either
This god of horror and torture and fear

None of this probably makes sense to anyone but me, but today for the first time in ages, I felt OK, really OK.
And I know if God is there, he will not let me go, and I can say that with confidence.
And if God is not there, I have done my best to live this life the best I can for me and my family and that is more than enough for me...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Talking to people about it all

I can talk to hubbie
At least, I talk, he listens, although he did get a bit forceful with me today over the matter of faith
He reckons I believe on faith just as much as he does, that neither of us have proof.
He may be right.
But he also knows I cannot force myself to believe.

So yesterday I visited my parents, my brother, wife and child were visiting.
All Christian
And of course, church came up
"When are you going to church this weekend" she asked
I rapidly thought:
1.Mother has not told them
2. Do I lie or do I just tell the truth

I went for the truth.
There was an awkward silence...
Nothing else was said until later
As I went to leave, SIL followed me and asked me what was happening.
I was too upset to talk and said I couldn't talk about it.
So she rang me today, wanting to know what was wrong.
"I realise I don't know you like I thought I did." she said.

I couldn't talk to her about it- I was in the bath, I hadn't slept much and I just couldn't get the words out.
So she's going to email me something she wants me to read and wants me to reply, telling her what is wrong.
She also told me my mother cried after I left...

I hate all this.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I hate Thursdays
They are my Mondays really, the first day after a break and so busy!
Added to which, the new wonderful computer system me must use has at least 20 of my clients missing from it. I found 15 of them this afternoon, but the rest may not even be on the system...
And someone turned up half an hour late and still needed to be seen and the Crisis Team (or the Panic Team, as one of my clients mistakenly but hilariously called them this morning) had a difficult client that I prevaricated about.
Hassles, hassles, hassles!
In addition, I forgot my tablets yesterday so ended up taking a double dose today.
The Pharmacist was not impressed.
"Perhaps don't forget them in the first place" he said sternly as he was on his way out to "check the perimeter for intruders" (ie, have a quick ciggy with the ward manager.)

And yesterday was the preparation night for Lourdes- hubbie's first one as regional chair.
It went well and to time even though I got all my forms confused and the group leaders all sighed as they saw me coming with my bits of paper. In 8 weeks time- we'll be off for the trip, time will fly past now...

Son2 is low, with his tests coming up and he seems to have something preying on his mind, but he doesn't want to talk about it.
"You know you can always tell your lovely mother" I told him.
"Humph! I don't HAVE a lovely mother..."
He did laugh after saying this

And T is T, off school for half term and looking happy as he's seen the new area in their workplace where they'll be playing with computers.
No farm for two weeks!
What more could he want!

Now, when I used to write in my old journal, by now a verse or psalm would have leapt into my head to sum up my mood and end my thinking.
I miss those days.
I miss God...
Just an empty space now for you to add your thoughts...

Monday, February 13, 2006

This morning

I prayed this morning
2 decades of the rosary
There have been a lot of talk on GA about trying to believe/not believe and I thought I'd give it a go again
But something was missing
I couldn't connect
I got back to the pleading stage again
I just tried to open myself up to God and say sorry, forgive me, come back
But it didn't work
My mind wouldn't switch off
It kept interrupting with all those rational arguments that got me into this place in the first place
In the end, I stopped.
I had intended to do all 5 decades but I only got as far as two
I still prayed, though, till I reached work and walked in

Then all else blew out of my mind as I faced once more the awfulness of man's inhumanity to man
And thought, is this all there is?
With God, at least I can imagine a glorious ending to the sorrow
With this, nothing
Perhaps Stormy was right, I'm just trying to fool myself, no one else
But I cannot believe any more, despite all the arguments I read as to why others believe
I'm stuck with my grey world, adrift on the sea of subjectivity, wracking my brain for "answers to why" when my whole being cringes at the thought of certain wrongs.
And with no one to blame but me...

and it's a big but
I DON'T believe and I can't believe just because I want to.
I want it back so much today and it just won't come.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Our Lady of Lourdes- yesterday Feb 11th

I'm off to Lourdes in a few weeks. For information, this trip was booked almost a year ago, I'm regional medic for the trip and I screen the forms of the children going on this annual pilgrimage in our area. Children with a variety of severe medical and physical and emotional problems all being given a trip into the mountains where Lourdes is found. Flying in by several planes in groups of about 20-30, all together several thousand in the largest childrens pilgrimage to go to Lourdes each year.
So I'm busy ringing up group leaders and asking them to get more info and visiting kids and trying to work out how on earth we can manage a child who requires tube feeding 18 out of 24 hours a day (answer- rechargeable pump that gets attached to his wheelchair!)
And I'm trying very hard not to think of the various discussions this trip could lead to. Or the emotions.
Lourdes for me has always been a place of high emotions, I met hubbie there, I first overcame the problems of suffering there, I broke down there the year T was so ill and didn't recover for 6 months. I remember the moment even, when sorrow overwhelmed me. It was when Bishop Regan started the Mass saying "the only way that we can be unhappy is if we are seperated from god."
I looked at my son, cowering in a corner, who was tormented by the voices in his head and thought how wrong he was. Misery and sadness flooded into my soul and have never really left.
But Lourdes has brought fun and laughter, as those with great difficulties show how one can live despite the pain and anguish.
I have no idea what it will do to me and to be honest, I really don't want to go.
With any luck I can still get out of it.
If only I didn't know I am needed so much to go...
People with my skill mix are unfortunately few and far between on the trip. So I guess unless I can find a replacement, I'm going.
Any volunteers?

Thursday, February 09, 2006


T is ill today
Actually, he started getting a cold the other day, but tonight he has a temp and usually with T that leads to a restless night and him throwing up
I got him to sleep in my bed and then walked him to his own, half asleep and deliriously muttering about too many people in the room
So I stand prepared
It wouldn't be too bad, as I just had terrible dreams the last two nights as I contemplate and ruminate on the events of the last week
At one point I was being bbq'd and looked down to see my flesh turning a lovely crispy chicken skin colour and texture.
But all things will work their way out
Ho hum

Computer system training is now over and the new system arrives in work next week.
In true NHS style, the system is incompatible with the social services system and the social workers are not permitted to use it.
Politics, politics..
But it is actually a user friendly system, we just have to make sure it works for us and not vice verse

The Lourdes forms and phone calls continue to flood in and I am gaining reputation as a bit of a witch. The group leaders all hate me, to a man (and woman)
But who'd thought it be so difficult to ensure the forms were correctly completed before they get sent in?
And at least I do most of the work myself, only once or twice as a form comes back with virtually nothing filled in do I send it back.
Tomorrow after work I'm going to visit a little boy we're taking who has been in hospital for a year.
They can't get funding for the nurses they need if he is to go home to live (he needs feeds through a tube, 3 hourly catheterisation, meds, physio, so much attention)
I hope we can take him- it'll be difficult but he'd love it so much!
Fingers crossed....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


First a disclaimer...
Please don't feel obliged to answer this
I'm writing things because it helps me get things out
It's going to be a bit of a pity party, so feel free to skip it if needed- talk about death and sorrow coming up
I'd advise you go and get a cup of tea and skip this until I post again.

On Friday, I saw someone
By Monday, she was dead
When I found out, initially, I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary, but today I feel an overwhelming sadness
My first experience of death since losing faith
Before I would always have the hope that goes with belief
Now death = the end
No more
One day, I too will die and be no more
Every day I live brings me one step closer to that day, which will come.
And inside I feel a deep sorrow
Perhaps sadness is a better word
It started yesterday as I thought about T and his emotions
And it had its echoes in the weekend, where Mw asked me about who would look after T when we go
As I once more face the painful truth that T will always be in need and I will not be there to look over him, as I once believed
Not able to be there and pray
Not able to be re-united in heaven with him, now whole, now beyond his suffering
He suffers now in vain, it has no meaning
However tortuous before the meaning I made, at least I gained some comfort from it
Now no comfort points, no rejoicing in the Lord
Just sheer unadulterated sorrow
In what is and what might have been.

I'm so sorry...
Sleep sweetly

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Reading back

I had a look at my old journal, round about six months back, when things started to go wrong and fell over this post and felt unspeakably sad, which worsened as I read on.
But T is still full of beans, bless him and is still into pirates
He got a game about pirates and became very concerned and wanted to sell it
"Why?" I asked puzzled (for he had been having the most enjoyment he'd had for months)
"It's too much fun and it makes me worried"
He cannot cope with too much fun, our T, it gets him confuzzled
Too much of any emotion is hard to manage
So we decided to limit the time he played on it and consequently, he managed to get the fun quota down to acceptable limits!
Problem solved...

Now only another two thousand problems to sort out before bedtime!


I did write a post about circles, but it disappeared.
Things go round in circles, I mused and told the old joke about the little girl who said to her cruel mummy
"Why do I keep going round in circles?"
Cruel mummy: "Shut up, or I'll nail your other foot to the floor"
Now when I was little, with two brothers of the tormenting sort, that seemed so funny (based as it was on a truly awful advert for washing up liquid.)
But now I feel like someone has nailed my foot to the floor and I'm going round in circles.
About hell, about belief, about everything and getting nowhere fast.
And I'm so fed up with reactions to my disbelief-
I think too much, or worse still, I never really believed, never had faith in the first place.
I was a weak, wishy washy Christian and and cafeteria type catholic.

But today these circles seem less important.
I can't really post about it, but things went badly wrong in work today and I was left ruminating on things that were done and on the finality that some acts are.
Choices are difficult things sometime, we act on the best information we have and yet it is often not good enough.
And when decisions end up like they did, the sadness can be overwhelming.
But everyone was so sweet and I just got on with things
In the sad but certain knowledge that this isn't the first time and will not be the last.
Sleep sweetly, my friends...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Missing post

My last post, which was actually a little upbeat for me lately, has mysteriously disappeared, along with some comments. So this will be short and sweet, just in case it goes too!
Today we celebrated Grandma's birthday
The grandchildren and two aunties went round with her in a limo for an hour
It was a surprise and she really enjoyed it, sipping champagne and waving to passers by.
Son1 wouldn't go, of course and after a restless 24 hours or so, I took him for a walk to relax him.
Fortunately we passed a computer shop that as open, so he went in and wrote down lots of prices of various specs of computers (he's into that at the moment.)
Now we're home getting ready for the evening.
A couple of the Lourdes group are coming round to discuss children they're taking with me (I haven't told these two about you know what yet) and I am really tired with the prospect of a week of training on our new awesome computer system for work (we go live and paperless Feb 10th. EEEEK!!) draining me somewhat tonight.
Life goes on, folks, life goes on.
And the sunset was beautiful and the stars will be out soon.
I used to look in the sky and think of the Psalms
Now I just look
But it's awesome still
and it still gives me peace as I gaze skywards
and I still wonder if on another planet light years away a little green woman is doing the same...

Reckon I'll never know!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An unbelieving heart is evil...

"An unbelieving heart is declared by God to be evil. Why? Because it mistusts God, and mistrust is evil - it knaws at your soul and grieves the heart of God. Indeed, mistrust and unbelief seperate you from the living God. One thing, however, can help you to overcome unbelief and mistrust. Picture to yourself the image of Jesus, the Lamb of God, in His amazing love for you. Worship the Father for His unending love in giving His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for you. Then you will not be able to do otherwise than trust Him.Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. Heb. 3:12"

Posted today at CF
The problem is, when I picture God now, this is what I see...

"See, this is my problem.
It is perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks I have with regard to Christianity of the sort that believes in hell for eternity.
And perhaps the best way I can explain it is this.
Imagine sitting quietly in a room with a piece of paper.
On that paper write down the name of the person you love most in the world.
Then write next to that "will spend eternity suffering in hell."
Look at that paper.
Imagine hell, the hell you believe in and then imagine the person you love most in the world there.
Whatever torments you imagine for someone, imagine them going through that, without end.
Now picture yourself face to face with God.
Keep that image of the one you love in your mind, their cries, their screams, their pleas for mercy and look into the face of God and see justice, love and mercy and want to worship him.

I cannot do that.
I have tried.
If I cannot imagine my loved ones suffering, how can this infinitely compassionate merciful just God do that?
Like I said, for me, one big stumbling block."

I cannot conceive of there being a god who is like this anymore.
In fact, I can no longer see a god as more than the wishful thinking of humans desperate to live forever.
Which I no longer believe in.
So why can I not get hell out of my head?
Why the pre-occupation?
Because it is burnt into me.
I don't know if I will ever be able to walk freely like others seem to do.
I think I'm condemned to walk forever with a weight in my heart and on my shoulder.
Forty years of belief is hard to leave behind...