Who Was That Masked Man? Part 1

by Calulu

This is a new series that I’m starting. I actually started writing about my history with the one person that impacted me the most during my days at the old church. I’m flip, I’m sarcastic in this series but mostly I am processing what happened to me because it seems like a plot straight out of the recently cancelled series GCB (Good Christian Bitches). After telling my therapy years ago about this man I was encouraged to write it all down. I did and if I didn’t laugh and poke fun I’d be crying right now. It was the most corrosive relationship I’ve ever been in and I didn’t even have the common sense to run from it. I’ve changed names and some small details because until recently this person still stalked me in an effort to make me return to my old beliefs. I have to believe his extreme inner hurt drove his behavior.

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If there was one person that affected my journey both into and out of a Patriarchal Fundigelical church that man would be Tom Smith. He was there at the start and he still haunts me like a cackling insano Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick around an endless ecclesiastical sea. He has a monomaniacal desire to either force me back into our old borderline fundamentalist way of life replete with a submissive attitude or to hound me about going to hell. Sometimes he seems to spit at me “ … to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. “ but it sounds more like, “You are going to HELL for going to THAT church with homosexual abortionists and unGodly UNSAVED!!!!” Eleventy1111111!!!!

Back when the husband and I were new believers we ended up going to the same church as he back in 1995, PCC. He and his wife pounced upon us at once, inviting us over to watch movies, play cards, or share a meal. We didn’t know anyone else in the church at that time and they, Tom and Tina, had four boys ranging from just older than our son to the same age as our daughter. The kids loved to get together.

From the first I was put off by Tom’s fake-seeming Jesus Freak persona. He would do things like stop in the middle of a movie or game to lecture about Jesus. He prayed very publicly in almost a showy fashion at the drop of a hat and constantly had Christian rock and roll playing at full blast. These things set off my internal bullshit detector but since we were newly minted kool aid drinkers I thought I was the wacky one.

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