Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Pastor from Hell

Okay, I am still wishy washy...My resolve for divorce has waned again. I have been bouncing between wanting my husband to get help and just wanting a divorce. I am back to wanting it to workout again, despite knowing that only 3% of abusive men ever change (or so I've heard from counselors in the past).

My husband had been talking with a pastor...the title kinda gives this away...any who, said pastor called me two weeks ago. I had thought my husband talking to a minister would be a positive thing...turns out it wasn't. I have never talked to a pastor before who claimed to be the smartest person on the face of this planet...well, now I have.

This guy knows that I've been in an abusive marriage for nearly 4 years, so you know what he proceeds to talk about? He questions my salvation. The phrase "you claim to be a Christian" came up more times than I'd like to count. He asked me what I believed the gospel meant, I told him, but obviously I'm too stupid to understand it. He proceeded to tell me that I'm going to hell and that I don't love God. WTF? He does not know anything about me, he doesn't know how I live my daily life, or what the condition of my heart is. At least I know I don't go calling up battered women and tell them how worthless they are and they are doomed to hell. This guy is no man of God, but I think he thinks he is God. His attitude is exactly what the Bible says should not be. He is judgmental, condemning others, talks his own praise, says others are stupid...all thing the Bible plainly says are wrong.

This guy focused on the part in the Bible that talks about the woman being submissive to her husband but he totally skipped over the part about the husband serving his wife as Jesus served the church. It's because of guys like this why many people hate Christians or think they are all bigots. I think he is hateful, prideful, and a definite sexist (which the Bible DOES NOT teach). He makes me sick. I am not worthless, even going off of the Bible alone I have great worth. If God is all knowing and all powerful, how could something he created and loves dearly be considered worthless? The Bible says God loves all people, but hates some of the things they do.

This guy gave me an example of how wrong my behaviour is, which by the way, he knows nothing about me and has never even met me in person. He told me that if a child disobeys the parent, that is solid proof the child does not love the parent. This really scares me, because this guy is a parent of 3 children under the age of 3. How could any person with a child be THIS freaking ignorant? Children disobey because it is in their nature, it is how they learn. It has nothing to do with their love...NOTHING! Just because my daughter refuses to pick up a toy, does not mean she doesn't love me. Anyone who has spent any time with small children should understand this simply from observing them play. It's like saying I wouldn't love my child if she spilled her Kool-Aid on the floor. could someone be so out of touch and get these radical and stupid ideas out of the Bible when they aren't even there? This guy seems to pick a few words out of a verse and twist the meaning on it to suit what HE wants.

The biggest area where this guy is screwing things up, is with his beliefs on depression. He thinks depression is a matter of the heart and therapists are all atheist. He basically said that therapists that "claim" to be Christian are going against God. He also referred to antidepressants and talk therapy as "bandages" that only mask the problem but don't heal it. I wanted to scream at him and tell him he was a fucking idiot. There I sat with steam coming out of my ears, and so pissed my face must have been bright red. I didn't say anything to him. I wanted to tell him off more than anything, but my lack of confidence wouldn't let me openly question him.

I was so pissed when I learned that my husband has been wanting to get into therapy and this ass is telling him not to. This pastor actually told my husband that he wouldn't help him at all if he went to anyone else for help. He told my husband to go off of his antidepressant medication and told him not to go to anger management or domestic abuse classes. There have been signs that my husband might actually change...mostly that he has been accepting responsibility for what he did. His crying doesn't change my mind at all as it has been a manipulation tactic in the past. It's the "I know you aren't at fault for what I've done" comments that really get to me.

I'm not sure if I'll ever know why my husband has not been getting help. Is this all a farce and he never planned on getting help? Or is it that the "pastor" was really holding him back so badly? I haven't gotten any of my info on the pastor from my husband. He has called me twice and all my knowledge about what has went on between them is straight from this guy's mouth. I do know that he has been threatening not to help my husband if he gets therapy. I also know the ignorant shit he told me. It is a real possibility that going to this guy is the reason why my husband is not currently in any therapy and living at a homeless shelter (no joke, he really is living at the local homeless shelter until he can make enough money to support our current bills AND an apartment).

Thankfully my husband finally pissed off the pastor by questioning his beliefs about depression and treatment. I'm hoping this means he also leaves me alone, but that may just be wishful thinking. We are still talking on the phone some, and I had suggested a church to him that has been recommended to me. We can't go to the same church because of the no contact order (which we are ignoring by talking over the phone, but it isn't as obvious as being seen together in public after all). Anyways, he has attended the Thanksgiving service at this particular church and received a lot of encouragement from the assistant pastor and some of the congregation that he has spoken with. I don't know to what point he has informed them about the situation, but I know he has discussed the abuse with the pastor and has a meeting set up to speak with him further.

This new church that he is attending is a community focused church. This means that instead of sending missionaries to Africa or India, they help out in the community and minister to people in need here. I think that is probably one of the best places he could seek help from right now. His ex-pastor had a "do what I say to prove you are good enough, then I might help you" kind of attitude where this pastor has a "let me help you" attitude period. I'm hoping some positive things happen as a result of this.

I see that the ownership of what happened is there, and I see that he really gets what he has lost and how much better his life was back before he became abusive. The biggest problem is that so much of the abuse became second nature to him. He didn't stop and think about it, he just said the hurtful things automatically. It would take a lot of hard work to reprogram himself to think of me and consider me before opening his mouth. I know he has a lot of problems...but nothing justifies threatening to hurt someone or saying hurtful things consistently throughout the day. I think he has the building blocks to change, it's just that I don't know if he is willing to do the work that it would take to undo all the bad behavior and replace it with good and positive behavior.

Right now he is taking his antidepressants (he hasn't picked up the 2nd generation one yet because of lack of money, so it's just the Welbutrin XL that he's on now) and he is going to church and reading two books about healing from domestic abuse and changing the bad behavior. I know staying at the homeless shelter is something that he really didn't want to do, so I am a little impressed that he has been staying there. He also got a much better job, although he has to yet sell his first car (yes, he is a used car salesmen...those guys make better money than one would assume actually...). He has only worked there a few days though, and he does have several sales lined up where he is just waiting on the other people to get their financing approved from their bank or similar situations.

I know he has been thinking some about what things used to be like between us. He has brought it up when we've talked over the phone. He told me that he had forgotten how he used to feel towards me, and says that it is a big shock to think about exactly what it was that he lost by being abusive to me. I don't want to have false hope, but I can't help from thinking that he is starting to see how badly he fucked up his life.

Time will tell what happens here...I just really hate all the waiting. I am very thankful however that he is done with talking to that demented minister.


toygirl said...

I think you could probably report this pastor to church elders/his bishop (I don't know what denomination he is. Everything he's saying is *completely* out of line. My dad is a priest, so I know what they're supposed to say in these situations, and this guy is being a total jackass. Don't let him poison your sense of self. I'm glad your husband got away.

BustyBulma said...

Thanks for commenting :)
There are church elders I could report him to, but I know they wouldn't believe me or care. The church was without a pastor for quite awhile, and they are basically worshiping him. My word would never stand up against his when it comes to them.
My husband did tell him not to call me anymore though because he felt the pastor was upsetting me (no shit!) and the guy actually hasn't called since. I am thankful for the peace at least.