40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Printable Version
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40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Kate - 04-20-2012 05:08 AM
It's been 40 years and I am still being haunted by a fundy former friend! What is the deal? Don't these people have lives? I just got a Facebook message from a friend named Cassy who said this gal called them out of the blue wanting my phone number. She had to do an internet search to get their info. She had heard them sing at a pastor's conference, and they also play professionally at a cowboy chuckwagon dinner theater, so the search for them was relatively easy. And she knew we were friendsof mine. Bless, them...they didn't give her my number. They know the history.
She and her sister and I were friends in junior high and high school. Their dad was pastor of the very first fundy church my family had encountered in our travels with the Air Force. They reeled us in when we moved to North Dakota. After a few years there, the USAF moved us to Denver. Within less than two years, the pastor felt "called" to plant a church in Boulder and he bamboozled my dad to leave the nearby church we were happy in and commute to Boulder. Sly move. He got a song leader/choir director upon whom he bestowed the slick title of minister of music, and a pianist--me. We drove back and forth from east Denver to Boulder three times a week for several years, holding church in any place we could rent: Seventh Day Adventist basement, Odd Fellows' Hall, and even a funeral parlor. And then, we built our own building.
The gal who is haunting me is a year older. She went to HAC its first year as a sophomore, having attended a local Bible college in her freshman year until HAC was ready to go. That was the year I was ready to start college and wanted to go because both she and her sister would be going.
Dad was getting a belly full of the IFB nonsense by this time and he said no to my going to HAC and promised to pay my whole first year and transportation if I'd go to the local BBC. God bless him! Before Thanksgiving had even rolled around that year Dad yanked the family out of that church for good. He had been getting fed up with the Mog mindset. Dad is not one to suffer fools gladly, and he challenged the pastor and Mrs Mog, who was really the brains of the outfit. Rather than dealing with the issues my dad exposed, the Mog aligned the "men of the church" (deacon board, of whom my dad was one) against my very shy and sweet mother, falsely accusing her of gossip in a meeting to which she was not invited. She had no clue what was up! She never had a chance to defend herslef. Another sly move. We never socialized with anyone from the church, except the pastor's family. Phone calls in those days between Denver and Boulder carried long distance charges, and Dad would have been well aware of any of those on the phone bill. My mom would never have made a long distance call unless it was necessary. I remember the night of that meeting. Dad stormed out, got my mom, my 5-year old brother, and Grandma and me and we hit the road and never went back. We avoided any church with BBF on its sign after that.
Several years later I was teaching in a Christian school and the younger sister hired on there as a teacher. She was probably the more "normal" of the family, but I was still uneasy around her. That was a BBF church school. Yeah, you gotta know what's coming. Long story short, they had not required that I join the church when they hired me because they were desperate for a 6th grade teacher, and whether or not that figured into the reason they replaced me after three years there with no warning, I don't know. But they did not even bother to tell me that I wasn't coming back the next year. The jerks!
Years later I run into this gal at a Creative Ministries Conference my band attended with our puppet ministry. We chatted some. I got the impression she was kind of intrigued that I had actually realized a dream I'd had when we were kids...singing cowboy music in a female trio. She called me up once after that and invited me to go to church with her at the church where I'd done my student teaching. So I did go one evening to a special meeting. Yup. That was enough of that. I had changed a great deal from when we were kids in high school. I wasn't the shrinking violet behind the thick glasses with the 60's big hair any more. I'd lost weight, got contacts and had a fashionable Farrah hairstyle. I didn't dress fundy anymore, either. Not immodest, just trendy. I wasn't the same geek they had subtly bullied in high school.
So after that I thought I was done. Not so. Fast forward. I had gone off to Arizona find a job. Friends invited me to stay with them while I got my feet on the ground. These are the parents of the friend who messaged on me Facebook this morning. To my astonishment, good ol' Pastor Mog and his new wife (he was widowed) and his two oldest daughters were living in a town nearby. The oldest daughter was severely mentally handicapped. Anyhow, my friends had started a church, he being the pastor and of a BBF background though not wacko. And this put them into the fundy circles in the area. To my astonishment, one day I got a call that had me shaking with PTSD for an hour. "Guess who this is." I hadn't seen this gal in decades! How was I supposed to guess? Like I lived in a vacuum and hadn't met anyone since highs school? Not to mention being in a traveling ministry for a dozen years! We were in our 40s now, for crying out loud! She told me she was getting married and invited me to her shower a year from then. Huh? I said thanks, let me know in a year.
A short time later we got news that Pastor Mog and his wife were in a terrible car accident that took her life and left him with two broken legs. I did call a nd leave a message with my condolences. Didn't hear back, beleive it or not.
These people keep turning up! I don't get it! The friends, Seth and Cassy, who messaged me this morning had sung at a pastor's conference a few years ago where they heard ol' Pastor Mog preach. Or rant, I should say. He was all over the no facial hair on men and you should only drink bottled water. Seth reported that they got up to sing after that rant. Seth has a nice little "almost" goatee. He said when they took the stage he told the audience, "Well, I have facial hair, but at least I drink bottled water" and he held up his bottle. They said the guy was seriously off the rails. They did chat with the daughter who asked about me and Seth told me later, "Every time we run into her it seems like she's always trying to one-up you." He did report that she did not ever get married after all.
I suspect that's why she wants to contact me now-- to one-up me. I googled around to see if I could find her, and I did, on Facebook. Her dad is in his 80s and is a missionary to Mexican prisons and is recovering from a broken hip. I had wondered earlier if she wanted to tell me he had passed away, and I'll admit, I don't care. I figure when he finally does, Jesus will have a chance to get his attention an make him hear the truth!! She says in one post she is dating. So I imagine she wants to tell me she is getting married. And that would be nice. She deserves some happiness. But she'll have a hard time one-upping me if that's what she wants. I am married to an amazing guy, now, and am living the dream in England. My Facebook page is spilling over with pictures from our recent trip, with the aforementioned friends, to Venice. God has blessed me beyond my imagination!
I toyed with the idea of sending a friend request and letting her contact me that way. But I hesitate. Her Facebook profile is full of the usual fundy junk like "sin-hatin' Bible thumpin". Someone had posted a graphic that says "If you been baptized on the name of Jesus Christ and not ashamed to shout it click on share" (sic) to which she replied, "Baptism doesn't save. Asking Christ to save you does." To her credit on the first sentence, but since when did the act of asking save? I am SO tempted to respond to that. Can of worms anyone?
So...do I friend her? Or do I hide again and hope she'll quit haunting me?
Forty stinking years!! It's uncanny! Is the world really that small?
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - laurat99 - 04-20-2012 05:18 AM
For your own sanity, don't friend this stalker, and put her on your block list. Life is too short to have recurrring nightmares like this while you are living the dream. Have a Jaffa Cake for me. Or a pint, whichever you prefer.
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Kate - 04-20-2012 05:31 AM
(04-20-2012 05:18 AM)laurat99 Wrote: For your own sanity, don't friend this stalker, and put her on your block list. Life is too short to have recurrring nightmares like this while you are living the dream. Have a Jaffa Cake for me. Or a pint, whichever you prefer.
I've never had a Jaffa cake. Now it's on my list. Thanks1
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - elfdream - 04-20-2012 06:15 AM
My advise is to have nothing to do with her and tell her. You can do it nicely and say something that you wish her well etc etc but as you have few things in common there would be little point in trying to pursue any kind of friendship. The only way to stop this sort of behavior is to stand up to it.
I realize that's hard for former fundies. After you do something like that you feel like you've done something wrong but you haven't. You are just trying to get on with your life and you don't need hangers on from the past who trigger all kinds of memories that we want to move on from.
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Sharon - 04-20-2012 06:50 AM
That's. . . weird. And creepy.
When I started reading, I was thinking maybe she wanted to be your friend in order to apologize for something, but that became increasingly unlikely as I read on. She probably wants to witness to you because you're backslid.
SO, yeah, what Elfdream said. I like being direct--saying "over the past 40 years, we've just grown too far apart to really get close again." Unambiguous. Not namby-pamby.
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - C_Fresh - 04-20-2012 07:33 AM
I'd echo the 'don't do it' advice. No sense exposing yourself to people who are like that if you can help it.
I am only willing to FB friend a handful of people I knew in college (other than my NJ crew). Several have tried multiple times to friend me and I've just blocked them. I have no interest in keeping in touch with them. On a good note, we just had a couple from my school come to our church last week. I was apprehensive about it because of how things were at the school but it turned out that he seems to have been able to throw off the fundy mindset. He presented his project for starting a multi-ethnic church in Astoria NY. We were sitting around talking later and he was sharing how his mindset had changed over the past couple of years. He lost a lot of contacts when he changed. His old pastor wouldn't write him a letter of recommendation when he started school for his post-grad studies.
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Bob M - 04-20-2012 08:52 AM
I echo the "put her on your block list." You know it might be that since you were friends in high school that she has never had any other friends. Or she is just a stalker who wants to one-up you. I wouldn't bother figuring out which it is.
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Kate - 04-20-2012 09:50 AM
I appreciate the advice. This has been bugging me all day! Memories popping up I thought were long gone. At least it verifies that I still do have a memory. :-) Though I do want to avoid this blast from the past, there is a part of me that dearly wants to tell her what her parents did to my parents while she was nicely tucked away at HAC. I can guarantee she never heard the truth about why my family left. And that rankles! So, as to the small possibility that she would have any thoughts of apologizing...she has no clue that any apology would be required of her. And it wouldn't be of her anyway but of her dad. But it's like I want her to know what they did. I want to take all that silly "sin-hatin', bible thumping" rhetoric, all the Brother and Sister So-and-so titles, all foolish admiration of preachers whose greatest asset was how high they could jump on the platform not how well they loved the Word of God, who then turned around and ran off with the secretary, all the manipulation of minds, the stupid circus tricks to attract kids to ride the bus, the Pope Jack hero worship...all of that, and lay it out in front of her face and say, "Do you have any idea of what this crap did to my family? That's why have been avoiding you for forty years! Now go away until Heaven when Jesus can sit in on our meeting."
Sorry. Rant over.
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - pastor's wife - 04-20-2012 10:45 AM
I REALLY hate confronting people. I hate conflict and hurt feelings. But I also love the truth and justice.
So, if you're not wanting to friend her anyway or even block her as some suggest, why not go ahead and let her know why you're not in the movement? She might get mad, but unless you think there's a way she could hurt you by using your words to gossip about you and make other people mad at you, why not tell her the truth? You don't have to go into what specifically happened with your father, but you could tell her how God has worked in your life and how you now view the sort of religion in which you grew up. It would be like giving your testimony, like witnessing, only about true freedom in Christ to someone still in bondage.
Something like this:
I just wanted to let you know how Jesus has led me in the past few years. More and more, I am aware of His grace and love. The beauty of His Gospel is in stark contrast to what I have seen in many churches. Sadly, those churches were full of "sin-hatin', Bible thumping" rhetoric, unbalanced by true compassion and gentleness. The Brother and Sister So-and-so titles fostered fakeness, and the foolish admiration of preachers whose greatest asset was how high they could jump on the platform not how well they loved the Word of God encouraged an outward and assumed righteousness instead of true inward regeneration, because some of these people turned around and were involved in the grossest and most obvious type of sins (like running off with the secretary). I saw cruel innuendo, manipulation, silly circus tricks to attract kids to ride the bus, the Pope Jack hero worship and so many things that showed NOTHING of the fruit of the Spirit and that left people wounded and desperately hurt. I feel strongly that the type of Christianity I saw when we were young was NOT what Jesus was talking about in the Gospels. Instead I have discovered that Jesus wants His leaders to be humble and patient, focused on others, forgiving and compassionate, not harsh and angry.
I am rejoicing at the life God has given me and delighting in freedom in Christ into which He has led me.
**** Sometimes it better to just walk away; attempts to engage often just result in more pain and personal repercussions as angry fundies who think they're defending God Himself do underhanded things to "put you in your place." But don't some of them need to hear the truth for once?
RE: 40 years of Being Haunted by a Fundy - Bob M - 04-20-2012 01:35 PM
(04-20-2012 09:50 AM)Kate Wrote: I appreciate the advice. This has been bugging me all day! Memories popping up I thought were long gone. At least it verifies that I still do have a memory. :-) Though I do want to avoid this blast from the past, there is a part of me that dearly wants to tell her what her parents did to my parents while she was nicely tucked away at HAC. I can guarantee she never heard the truth about why my family left. And that rankles! So, as to the small possibility that she would have any thoughts of apologizing...she has no clue that any apology would be required of her. And it wouldn't be of her anyway but of her dad. But it's like I want her to know what they did. I want to take all that silly "sin-hatin', bible thumping" rhetoric, all the Brother and Sister So-and-so titles, all foolish admiration of preachers whose greatest asset was how high they could jump on the platform not how well they loved the Word of God, who then turned around and ran off with the secretary, all the manipulation of minds, the stupid circus tricks to attract kids to ride the bus, the Pope Jack hero worship...all of that, and lay it out in front of her face and say, "Do you have any idea of what this crap did to my family? That's why have been avoiding you for forty years! Now go away until Heaven when Jesus can sit in on our meeting."
It has been 40 years and you still have a strong feeling of wanting to do it. I recant my earlier position. Tell her. In love. And tell her you wish she would come out too. And if she goes all hyles on you, block her at facebook. Oh, and make absolutely sure that she cannot see your email address on facebook. Its a privacy setting.