The Need for More Patience

Dearest Rachel –

I really didn’t want to write this letter to you. This feels like airing my dirty laundry – and yes, it’s more “my” than “our,” because it’s gotten considerably worse since you left, and the fact that I don’t know how to deal with it has probably only exacerbated things.

But today, as Kris was over doing some touchups (and cleaning some spaces that I’ve newly freed up, thanks to my having gotten rid of a whole bunch of monitors), Daniel was explaining to her about how our church has got it all wrong about certain things. Somehow, he has gotten into his head that prophets and apostles still exist and still do their work today. And maybe I don’t understand what he means by “prophets” and “apostles,” but based on the definitions I understand, somebody calling them selves either of those are at best deluded, and at worst, trying to lead others astray.

Meanwhile, he believes that we’ve been led astray as far as the work of the Holy Spirit goes. Me, my parents, our church… everyone he knows has it all wrong, and these Internet preachers have it right. Which also means that there is no dissuading him, as anyone who might talk to him about it is part of that subset of people who have it wrong. I can’t talk to him, mom and dad can’t talk to him, our pastors can’t talk to him… well, none of this is quite true. We can talk to him, and he will politely listen and nod along… and continue to believe what he has been led to believe by people he’s never met, and will never meet. At which point, none of the talking we’ve done will have any effect on him.

I have a feeling that he would’ve listened to you. But you’re not here to listen to.

I can live with his refusal to take the vaccine. After all, he’s officially an adult; he can make his own choices. Yes, I probably could invoke “my house, my rules,” but what would be the point? Why force him to do something he doesn’t want to do, especially since we never operated that way before? And like we always thought in similar circumstances, were I to do that, he would simply resent me for the rest of his life.

The fact that he doesn’t mask is a somewhat greater problem. I’m not a fan of the concept, especially considering that I have been vaccinated – are these people saying that the vaccines don’t work? It’s not a positive implication. But in a public space, the powers that be are invoking “our house, our rules,” and if we are to use those public spaces, we have to abide by those rules. I can’t seem to get that through his head anymore. I may agree with him that it’s more theater than prophylactic, but I go along to get along. What’s the harm in that? But he sees that as “bowing the knee,” as he does with getting the vaccination in the first place. As a result, I literally cannot take him anywhere.

Now, I should be pleased with this situation, especially considering that I intend to start dating, and wouldn’t want him with me on those occasions anyway. But leaving him out of everything that I do from here on out, well, it just doesn’t sit right with me. But I can’t do anything about it – this is his choice, that he’s made.

And finally, there is the fact that he says that everything will change soon. What ‘soon’ means, well, the goal posts have moved several times already. First it was by the end of June, then July, now it’s the end of the year. Personally, I do think things will change dramatically with the midterm elections, but he’s insistent that things will change sooner than that; that there will be arrests, and lots of them. All the rich and powerful will suffer when “The Truth” comes out. Yeah, I don’t see that happening. But I can’t convince him of anything. I’m left trying to prove a negative; and as we all know, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You simply cannot disapprove a conspiracy theory, because that will only prove to the person you’re talking to that you’re part of it, or at least duped by it. I’m actually not sure which he thinks I am – most likely the latter.

Meanwhile, I cannot wait for the end of the year. I just want… I just want my son back. These prophetic pronouncements absolutely consumed his time. I can’t have a conversation with him anymore, because this is all he talks about. And again, I can’t convince him he’s wrong. Actually, I do kind of hope that he’ll be right, but… I so doubt it. And he just shakes his head sadly at my lack of faith, not to mention my attempts to live my life, when this is so much more important.

It’s one more reason I wish you were here. As it is, it’s just me versus him. And yes, it’s versus – it’s an antagonistic relationship that neither of us wants, but neither of us is willing to back down on. And until the end of the year, this is probably not going to change. I’m just afraid that he’ll move the goalposts again at the end of the year, and acknowledge nothing, leaving us still as antagonists. And it scares me.

Honey, I wish you could help me with this. I’m no more equipped to handle this then I was to deal with the dog. I’m in over my head, and I’m struggling without you. But for now, all I can do is tread water, and hope the time clears everything up.

As always, honey, wish me luck. I’m clearly going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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