no. 459 – Get Thee to a Support Group

A few months ago I noticed in the church bulletin that an abortion support group would be meeting every so many weeks. I mentioned to my husband that I thought they should have an infertility and/or miscarriage/pregnancy loss support group(every time I say "pregnancy loss" I think of another blogger who remarked on how she dislikes the term "loss" because, really, it’s not like you lost the baby because it fell behind the dresser or something).

He harrumphed in response and the conversation effectively ended.

Ever since I’ve been thinking about posing the question to our local church to see what they thought. Unfortunately, my whole opinion about God and the church has been slightly tainted and I really don’t want to feel as if I have to have the church’s blessings, as well censoring myself to prevent me from shouting, "That is so CRAP!!" every time someone in the group would make that ridiculous statement, "It’s God’s will."

Now again I’m feeling compelled to do something, but I don’t know what. It is possible that I could make a suggestion through my employer, but what scares me the most about being involved in something like this is trying to leave my Anger at the door and instead mentor and support others without just throwing up my hands and instructing everyone to just get a blog instead.

The closest RESOLVE is in a town/city three hours away (and not in The Metro, surprisingly). You gotta love the Midwest for its forward-thinking progress. BTW, if you live in one of the states that borders the Great Lakes or you are further south than Kansas, you shouldn’t be saying you live in the Midwest. Why humiliate yourself like that?

In a cursory web search for support groups, I found this little blurb. While I’m fairly tolerant with the views in not only Claire’s article and the responses, I felt my hackles rise while reading the responses from "Protect the Rock" (PTR). As the mother of 8 children she states,

Our house is perpetually messy, noisy, disorganized and underfunded. Of course, we know this is our calling, our highest good.  But there are things we can not do in our state in life, at least not at this time: like take a job for less money in Catholic education, open a Catholic book store and coffee house, write a book or screenplay, go on a pilgrimage, attend conferences, and so on. […] If He is calling you to support this group of people, then do it, but make sure you are being open to do His will. There are opportunity costs in our choices, even starting a support group.

REEeaaaallllllYYYY??!! There are "opportunity costs in our choices"?? OK, maybe I don’t quite know what the fuck she means by that, but I’m offended nonetheless by her statement that birthing and raising a big family is what she thinks is her highest good, and that because of it they have sacrificed getting jobs that they like instead of what pays better; or that they can’t hire a care-giver or leave the kids with the grandparents for a week so they can go to a conference.  In fact, I’m sure she meant to include "write a Catholic book or screenplay, go on a Catholic pilgrimage, attend Catholic conferences, …" What good Catholics they are!

And then in a later response, PTR writes,

Neighborhood Bible studies can be very good, but we should realize many Protestant groups deliberately design such activities to target and pull Catholics out of the Church. So it is wise to have strong sense of the faith and use the authoritative guidance of the Church.

Those evil bastards, the Protestants. Next they’ll be asking you to bring your cat or dog to the groups so they can perform sacrificial offerings.

Obviously I’m not in the stable mental place I need to be to provide guidance in a support group. But why does there have to be an ulterior motive when it comes to support groups following the doctrine of the church? Why can’t it be just about women (and men) who need a physical shoulder to cry on when most friends and family members just don’t understand? Blogging is great for the virtual hug, love, support and acceptance, but there is nothing – I repeat for emphasis – NOTHING like having someone who has been through this shit wrap their arms around your shoulder, pull in you so close you can smell the shampoo in their hair and feel the gentle but unyielding pressure of the hands, and tell you that they care.