This weekend my little bro goes through the temple for the first time. He reports to the MTC in November. I'm doing some interesting compartmentalization with this as I interact with him: expressing my support for these mile-stones in his life, separate and distinct from my own feelings on those matters. I am finding that my own change of belief hasn't affected my ability to swap stories and experiences in a non-offensive non-confrontational way. The hassles and humors of mission life, the funny little mishaps of temple attendance.
But this weekend...
This will be the first family temple event where I will be waiting outside. I knew it was coming, I guess I will find out just how ready I am for this. My mom asked if My Lover wanted to attend the session and I think he will. I think he should. He can represent us, be the one on the 'inside' to show our support. She knew not to invite me; by the seams no longer visible under my clothes, by the flesh that flashes where there should be a glimpse of white cotton she knew that I was no longer wearing garments. It wasn't a 'you're not invited' gesture, I think she just didn't want to put me the position of having to say "I can't go" and I appreciate that. What I am more anxious about are the reactions of the rest of my siblings (and cousins, uncles, aunts, etc...) when they realize that G is on the outside.
Holding to tradition, I am sure we will all go to dinner afterwards at the Mexican restaurant across the street. Happy, excited, noisy... And I'll be happy, excited and noisy too. I think. I hope. I may be faking it. Perhaps many of them will be faking non-bafflement at why I wasn't inside. Maybe we'll all just happily avoid the big Non-Temple Attender Issue.
Or maybe not.
This brings me to my point... How do I explain?
I think I'll try to come up with a couple good one-liners for this weekend in case I am asked. Maybe something like "oh, I'm just working some things out." (Yeah, that's lame. Any suggestions?)
But eventually, sometime soon, I should find a way to discuss with my family 'what is up with G'.
They don't know about this blog. (I think!)
Initially the secrecy was in part to avoid painful accusations of being deceived, of being unfaithful, etc... But, well... I got a parental email the other day that accused me of just those things. So my secretiveness didn't protect me from that. Perhaps it's served it's purpose and it is time to start opening the door.
Here's a tentative plan. I'll start with my mom, because she is the one who has been the most hurt by seeing the writing on the wall yet not knowing the WHYs of it all. Perhaps I'll email her links to John Dehlin's (extensive) essay on how to stay in the church after a challenge to the faith, and to Richard Bushman's paper on Losing Faith Over History (thanks, Adam, for that one). Sort of laying some ground-work from a fairly faithful viewpoint. Depending on how things go over that email, I will then let her know that I have a blog where I talk about my feelings on these things, perhaps start her off with links to the posts I wrote about returning my temple recommend, where I come to a watershed point, and then where I finally decide to take a break...
Just for starters.
Just an idea.
Sorry... I'm just kinda talking/typing out-loud here. thanks for bearing with me.