I don't know if I mentioned it but the thing that had 'opened the wound' and memories/feelings for me was the receipt of an e-mail from former church friend. She was the leader of a ministry within the church and had me as the '2nd in command' but really that was in name only. I was brought into the group as the young, punk rock, hip girl to give some street cred to her reaching out to others in my age and social group. I admit that after a couple of years of 'working' with her (going out on house calls and hosting the meetings and outreaches) that I started to see the things she was doing/saying and I didn't agree with them. I kept my mouth shut out of some indefensible sense of duty to her
and to the church. (don't get me wrong, her offenses weren't the worst in the church - just a lot of lying and subtle religious manipulation) When I finally pulled away from the church and that ministry I broke off all ties/friendships and was actually truly relieved to cut it off with her. Unbeknownst to me I had all of these unresolved angry feelings toward her and the lies she spread.
So, 3 or so weeks ago she 'found' me online and wrote me an e-mail almost demanding I can find forgiveness in my heart for her and make room in my heart for her. I waited. It opened up lots of church-related memories and feelings. I sought guidance. I decided that, yes, I could forgive her (more for myself and my own healing than for her demand) but that I would not entertain the idea of rekindling a friendship.
So, I wrote to her, choosing my words carefully. I said as much to her. I gave no details or reasons. I simply stated that I could forgive her but did not wish to rekindle any friendship. I wished her well on her journey and left it at that.
She replied last night "obviously you cannot forgive me and that's ok. I'll keep you in my prayers."
I'm actually happy to say that her reply (with not-so-hidden snipe to suggest that I'm not able to forgive her simply because I do not wish to be friends) isn't upsetting to me.
Rather, I can see the subtle manipulation in her words for what it is and divorce myself from any need to respond or play that game of "I'm right with God and you aren't because of ..."
Yay for that! :) (small steps)
P.S. Her Myspace page said that she's 32 years old. Funny about honesty... she was in her early forties in 91' :) I just found myself laughing at that 'christian' honesty...