And You Have NO Idea Who They Are, But It Scares The Fuck Out of You….
I’m not on FB nearly as much as I used to be. I don’t have a reason why, I just don’t seem to give a shit anymore. I log on now simply to see my favorite people, posts about their freaking incredibly brilliant kids and what is going on that might not be shared in my ongoing FB Messenger chats.
Tonight I saw a suggestion. We had a number of mutual friends.
He is a PRIEST.
I tried like hell to place him. Did I really know him? The name sounded so goddamn familiar. It used to be that I never forgot a name OR a face. Now … well, now I seem to be able to forget both. It fucking sucks. I did a screen grab and sent it to one of my besties and asked if I knew him. She responded that we had gone to school with someone by that name to a certain point until our school districts had split.
I dove into my closet and dug out our yearbooks, looking for the pics of the kid I thought this person had been when we were young. After a few minutes I realized that it wasn’t the person I was afraid it might be. But, I did find a few great pics to share with some other friends and snapped some quickies to send off.
However, when it comes right down it to it, yeah … I was a little freaked out that I might have been hooking up with a dude that was now a fucking priest. Warranted? I don’t know. I mean, I’ve known a few dudes that I made out with that came out as gay, that doesn’t bother me. Why would knowing someone that I hooked up with before I was legal becoming a priest freak me out? I wish I had the answer. I think it has everything to do with the indoctrination of the Catholic Church. Those fuckers. [if this offends you, please skip to the next entry … my experience with religion is crazy for my age, but the Catholics left the most sourest of tastes in my mouth].
I moved to a very Catholic town when I was in the 5th grade. It was a bit strange. I was in the same Valley prior to living there, but before moving to this town NONE of my teachers were part of the clergy. Yes, the school prior would walk us across the lot to the church for a class once a week, but that was as close as we got to religion.
When we moved to this town, I was almost immediately visited by a Nun. She taught in the grade school and I quickly came to realize she was just one of many. I wasn’t raised Catholic, and everyone in this town [really the entire Valley] was French Canadian unlike me, so I had a couple of checks against me from the very beginning.
When I attended my first day of school, I was so confused. They placed me a grade behind and I sat there wondering what the fuck was happening. I kept saying that I had already completed this grade, they just kept shushing me. Finally, the teacher took me aside right before lunch and said she’d sort it out. She was married to the Principal and took me down to the office during lunch. They confirmed I was definitely NOT in that grade and found a place for me in the class which I belonged.
My teacher was a *spinster* as they may have called her at one point in life. She had a very European hair style, incredibly flamboyant handwriting, she often brought unblessed hosts in for snack time and smelled terrible. I mean, she probably had a gland problem that she tried to cover with awful perfume, and no one was fooled. She also had a spitting problem.
That doesn’t mean she wasn’t a good teacher. I learned a great deal in her class. The school had an open classroom system and we were allowed to excel at our own pace, which was wonderful. I won a number of creative writing and science contests. Unfortunately, that meant I had to attend events with her. One of the great joys of my childhood was meeting Lois Lowry and having her tell me that I had a unique writing style; she loved my perspective and hoped that I would continue to write. That really meant the world to me and is something I will never forget.
That being said, I was one of a handful of kids that grew up in this place without a French Canadian heritage or stake in the Catholic Church. It was really difficult. Most families looked down on me because of it. I was intelligent, talented, athletic and well-adjusted. I’ll give them credit, they weren’t accustomed to having foster kids in their town like me. I plugged on like I was normal, I insisted they treat me like I was normal and eventually they had no choice but to treat me like I was a normal kid. After all, that’s exactly what I was a normal fucking kid.
I did find myself excluded from some things, such as Varsity Cheerleading. The Coach was afraid I would ‘report’ her for praying before each game. Thus, I was delegated to the secondary team where no one cared. I was still the best fucking cheerleader the secondary, AKA the GIRLS Varsity Team, ever fucking had. I used to run out and hit three pointers before we all ran drills. It didn’t take long before I was recruited by the coach and I was playing on the basketball team.
Honestly, when I try to explain where I grew up to people, it’s part Twilight Zone, part “Fucking Nuts”. School , well I explain that as attending a public parochial school. At least 50% of our teachers at the time from K-12 were Nuns. I will give credit to those who taught science. They did it appropriately and they did it well.
All in all … I am honestly just happy that I didn’t do anything with a kid that ended up as a Priest. I really resent the people that tried to keep me down. The people that tried to make me out to be some sort of degenerate simply because my parents had issues and I unfortunately ended up in the foster system. They treated me like it was my fault, like I’d done something to deserve that placement and I was less-than as a result.
Now, of course, they all pretend that never happened. Everyone likes to think they were my champion. It pisses me off. It really pisses me off when they press it and I have no issue reminding them how they treated me when I was in school. I don’t give a fuck who they are, who they were or what they fuck they are doing now. It’s unacceptable for adults to treat a child the way that so many adults treated me back then. Even if it hadn’t happened I would have still donated, helped and looked out for foster children; but honestly the treatment I received has given me reason to try even harder to make things better for as many children as I can.
In short, I will never forget where I came from. I may have difficulty explaining where I went and the place I currently am. I just want kids to know that their parents mistakes are not who they have to be.