Then I posted on the women only board at Life After Mormonism, begging for help. I started having a panic attack--fast breathing, getting clammy hands, it was absolutely awful. And they were there for me. I got all kinds of wonderful advice, mostly along the lines of Nancy Reagan's famous injuncture against drugs: Just Say No.
So I said no. I emailed him back and said that I had changed my mind. I didn't want to meet, as there was really nothing to discuss. Nothing personal against him--I think he's a very nice person and I do respect him, but there's nothing that can be said to change my mind. I'm not offended by anyone in the ward (well, technically speaking that's not true, but the offense and hurt are not the reasons I left TSCC). I also said that I was speaking for myself, not for my husband.
He responded. He was very disappointed. He'd had me and my husband on his mind for a couple of weeks. He guessed he'd waited too long. Um, hello--he would still be waiting if I hadn't taken the initiative to say that I didn't want to be contacted. He told me that he thinks very highly of me, and if it's okay, would still like to be in touch occasionally. I didn't answer his last email. I think that if I did, things would still keep going in circles, and I am ready to leave this part of my life behind.
One of the awesome women on the Life After Mormonism board reminded me of a quotation from one of my favourite movies:
Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me!Thank you, Stormyfire, and thank you to everyone else. You got me through it. And that quotation from Labyrinth is getting printed up and will be hanging on my cube wall as soon as I finish this blog post.
If you recognise that quote, just pretend that you're Sarah. Your bishop DOES NOT have power over YOU. Don't give him that power.
I have to stress here, though, that my complete loathing of TSCC has nothing to do with most of the members I have known. Most of them are good, honest, hard-working people who genuinely believe what they're teaching. My bishop, for example, is a very funny, hard-working, honest man, and I really do think highly of him. I've liked him since I first met him. I hated having to send him the email requesting no contact. It would have been much easier had it been the previous bishop, who loathed me and my husband and never made any pretense otherwise. But things are as they are, and I needed to take that action for my sanity.