Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Raw Feelings

I belong to a moms group, MOPS. I take AJ a couple times a month, put him in the nursery (nice break) and go discuss relevant topics for mothers of young children with other mothers. Oh, and we get to pig out on some really good food! We meet a couple times a month and every meeting has a "guest" speaker. We may have a Q & A time with the entire group but we always have time at the end for a discussion with our smaller group. Last week the topic was on schooling choices and the pros and cons to public, private, and home schooling.

Some background on me.

I spent Kindergarten through 7th grade in the public school system then attended a private school from 8th to 12th grade. It was a very small, unique K-12 school. At the time of my graduation there were about 45-50 students enrolled. At this time, 15 years later, I believe 75-80 students are enrolled.
I have often explained the atmosphere to be like a family or a small town feeling. Everyone is so close and knows each others business. I've also described it as a one-room-school-house. When I was attending, we all sat in the same room in divided desks and basically learned all the different subjects on our own at our own pace.
It definitely has its upsides (I try to impress people by telling them that I graduated second in my class, Salutatorian, but the truth of the matter is that I graduated last in my class since there were only two students) and drawbacks (again, everyone knows your business). I could publish blog after blog describing the private school I went to but I will spare everyone the details. Unless you really want to know, then I will tell you how it works.

JD is in 3rd grade and has been in the public school system since the beginning. I chose public school for various reasons. One being that his father requested that JD not attend a "religious school. Another reason is based on my own experiences with private schooling. CJ and I will most likely keep our children in the public school system since he is a teacher in a public high school.

So back to the MOPS meeting. There was a panel of three women with school-agers. Each has chosen a different way to school their children. As the session wore on I found myself getting very upset and wanting to leave. Apparently I still harbor anger and bitterness about my private school experience.

Don't get me wrong. I have many wonderful memories. Like singing and acting in programs that I probably would not have done in a public high school because of my excruciatingly shy nature. Also the close relationships that I was able to develop with other believers in my peer group.

I also have the not so good memories. I wish I could really nail down what I mean but I can't even explain it to myself. There was some serious dysfunction going on. Yeah we were taught about God and basic Christian values and morals that I still uphold to be true and right, ("where Christian principles are taught and caught") but some of the examples were less then exemplary and lots of the teaching was "cram it down your throat and agree to my every idea or pay" style. I guess my slightly rebellious nature was having a hard time with all the legalism and lack of humility on the part of some of those who were supposed to be my "mentors" and leaders.

I think I still feel so strongly because I have close friends and family still involved with the school. Also, within the last few years there was a HUGE dispute between the school and my former church in which it inhabited and associated with. The school has since moved to a different location and the church has since cut off any support and association.

The wound is still raw.

I will be working on letting go of the bitterness and sadness and allowing God to heal my heart. I will definitely be revisiting this topic and exploring my healing because I want to heal.

When we broke up into our smaller groups, I was beckoned via pager to gather my very unhappy, screaming infant. I breathed a sigh of relief because I didn't want to discuss the schooling topic. I was afraid of losing my temper and quite possibly breaking into tears. Not that I can't in that environment, I just want to know the ladies better before I get all psycho. It is sort of a hot topic with us women so we'll probably be discussing it again. I won't be taken by surprise next time and I will be ready to face my feelings.

I will give them comfort and JOY instead of sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13b

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm very much with you on this one. We were taught a lot about what we were supposed to do and not do and how good Christians were supposed to look, but it was all surface stuff. Our value was all based on outward things. I feel like I'm still in recovery from my experience. Given the choice again, my parents wouldn't not have sent me to that school.

The combination of legalism and lack of accountability (at all) on the part of the administrators was a bad combination.

Just my 2 cents.