This will be a bit long-winded

September 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

People with disabilities are individual…much harder to ‘classify’ than the able would like.

I hope I’m not just speaking for myself when I say, stacked against all the physical and personality stuff about me that I would just like to bag up and roll to the trash bin, the good stuff about having and integrating impairments is that you become both pragmatic and adaptable at the same time. I’m hoping others with impairments see those two qualities as positives that they possess.

I’m no Super Crip.  I’ve not integrated my newest stuff.  Not at all…  And, too often there’s a delayed level of almost adolescent frustration when theres something I *need* to do, but the body simply refuses to oblige.  And most often it’s the oldest impairment the one that I was born with that causes the petulant temper tanturm.

I did not have this level of frustration in my teens or my twenties, so the more rachety, less controlled emotions that go hand in had with my bouts of bipolar/depression are obviously playing a role.

I’m also frustrated because my roomate continues to  seek isolation as safety and that means I get less help than I like in getting about.

And the least socially acceptable of my impairments crops up whenever I am waiting for a bus or van…much to my humiliation.  I’ve got enough of an ego (yeah yeah, I know) that I’d rather isolate myself than gamble on gut trouble in public So, I stay home as well.

But…

I’ve come to understand that I need a couple of things in my life.  I need socialization, and am unlikely to try the bar thing.

And the second thing…is active participation in religious observance.  Not the ‘just at Christmas and Easter’ thing of my youth…or my truly scary time among well meaning evangelical protestants….

There are *so* many great churches in downtown Denver…that have no parking to speak of and at best are only partially accessible.

There’s a beautifully accessible Pentecostal building not far from either the old apartment or this one…but it’s way way way too full of what I see as dangerous foolery. I feel so bad when I see thousands emotionally stirred up….and then encouraged to either harass people toward their theology, or pay, pay, pay more and more of their paycheck to reach what they see as the afterlife.   (Also, been told there that my disability was a clear case of lack of committment or faith)

I have to choose my place to commune with my higher power based on three things.  The music has to reach a certain level of quality…because music is one of the ways I connect with Whomever is Running The Show… and…accessibility….I have no choice in that.  Pragmatism isn’t the usual path to understanding God…but that’s the road I’ve been given…

And the third deal breaker…I will not be part of any group of believers that interprets Scripture to mean that each and every one of them has discernment enough to constantly impose their theology on the outsider, and in doing so, utilize fear of damnation to coerce ‘conversion’….. In other words the Thought Police of God extended to every single layperson in the pew.

It’s bad manners to go door to door harrasing for God, and even the late spouse could not convince me otherwise.

There are other acessible buildings, one likely to hand me the same story as the place above…so I’m going fairly fair afield from the churches I’ve spent time in.

I have doctrinal issues with *all* of them.  It’s just a matter of which accessible place I have the least issues with.
I need a network of people for the long haul..as I’m coping with more and more physical issues.

The roomate–of simply friendship and financial partnership, is getting strained and stressed trying to handle it all…and I want to find a place that can take on some of the load for ‘watching out for me’ before the roomate gets all the way to the end of their rope.

Many would see this as a selfish reason to begin to attend services.  Let ’em.

My family, and my family-of-choice are far away…very unlikely to be available if I should need much more help down the road. I’m clear that I’m on my own out here.

So we’ll see.

I’m not intending to ‘get religion.’  I do intend to try to take on a little contemplation and stillness, and yes, try to understand God.

God as I seek him, not any god or belief I would ever try to persuade others to adopt.

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6 Comments

  1. bridgett said,

    I’m a UU. I came to the UU because I needed child care and an hour to sit quietly holding my husband’s hand. It became more because I actually do find that their insistence on religious freedom speaks to me (as well as their idea that all humans have a spark of the divine within them), but that’s really why I started attending services. I get it, really I do.

    Most UU congregations — including the ones I’ve investigated in Denver — have “Caring Committees” that frequently provide transportation to otherwise homebound people. I know that their hymns sound a little like Dr. Pepper jingles, but they are as a whole good and earnest people who try to walk the walk. They are also committed to accessibility in their churches and inclusiveness in their services. You could do worse.

    If you want, let me know via e-mail what quadrant of Denver you’re in and I can do some checking into UU churches near you to see if they offer any kind of transport.

  2. imfunny2 said,

    Theres a UCC church down the block, but the pastor sends my warning bells off. He’s too satisfied with himself. I love the downtown UU church, but the turn from the ramp to the door always seems to rip off one of my front chair wheels…

    email is forthcoming.

  3. pennylrichardsca said,

    We recently shifted our Sunday attendance again–we’re three churches and two denominations away from the one we technically belong to, now–it’s so frustrating! I don’t think our needs and expectations are outlandish, and it doesn’t sound like yours are, either, so what the heck?

  4. imfunny2 said,

    I’d be interested to know…have any of your previous moves (or this one) had to do with the attitudes of some of the congregants? Not asking about doctrines, but how they behave around your family? Just curious.

  5. pennylrichardsca said,

    Two of them have been about atmosphere rather than doctrine. When a church replaces a ramp with steps for aesthetic reasons (yes, this happened in the past decade), or when we attend regularly for over a year and nobody asks a single question when our son shows up with casts on both legs (too polite to inquire, you see), I know it’s not the place for us.

  6. pennylrichardsca said,

    (The third move, I hasten to add, wasn’t about doctrine–warm, wonderful place in our usual denomination, but just too far away to feel like a place we could really get active, or to justify in a time of $3/gallon gas.)

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