(Caution: started ranting halfway lol)
Faith is harder to maintain than I ever imagined. It's fickle.
They failed me.
And I failed my faith.
That's when I stopped praying.
My cross was left there hanging in my room, in spider webs and dust.
My pure white sotana was left inside my cabinet, never worn again after the last time I served during Misa de Gallo. Never worn again after almost 3 years.
The church used to be my second home for a brief time of serving for 2 and a half years.
It was the place I ran to when I didn't want to be at home. When my home is filled with miasma of negative energy.
I ran into my beloved church cause I couldn't breathe at home. It became a habit eventually.
I used to only be at home for a day and a half, except for the night. Clearly, I spent most of my time away and I got used to it somehow.
The first time I slept in the convent was exhilarating. It has a different kind of excitement. Because we normally don't sleep in the convent. Since Father was there and we should be sleeping in the basement, underneath the altar.
My idea of belief is quite rigid. I suppose religion itself is quite rigid. I had doubts everyday, reading the Bible doesn't necessarily helps all the time since I was left with more questions day by day.
But reading the Bible randomly when you're down helps a lot. It's like you're talking to God, it was really comforting.
I know that church wasn't all good and stuff. I know there was a dark history to it. I was aware that people aren't perfect. I was aware that all of what we're doing is voluntary. I know that people have a lot of things to hide. I know those who served in church have a lot of different kinds of reasons. I'm becoming aware of it months after I became an official choir member. And I became more aware of it after a year for my investiture as a Savio, no that's the old term for that. We mostly call ourselves sacristans, an altar server.
It felt so good adding "Miss Dame" before my name while introducing, while donned in an all-white sotana. It felt so damn good.
But that investiture was a blessing and a compensation for what comes next.
We moved to a new house days before my birthday, after a week would be my investiture.
It was a blessing in disguise, that's what they call it.
But I didn't saw it as a blessing. It was a compensation.
Maybe for doubting God, maybe he gave those blessings and trials so I can be more worthy of those blessings.
His grace upon me, the jovial days of serving came to a hitch.
I noticed people were pretending too much.
Pretending too nice. No, I hate how they lied. I hate how much they keep lying.
Their tongue twisted like a snake's. Giggling while cursing.
Why are you guys serving, when you guys didn't conduct yourselves worthy of those responsibilities and commitment to church!
Didn't we promise to fix our characters? I promised to be good. In worthy of stepping on the altar! Bowing my head for God!
Why are all of you like that!?
Why is no one reprimanding him!
Why did no one told me?
I stopped feeling the belongingness. I started becoming uneasy. I was questioning everything. I know these dark sides but it felt different when you experienced it first hand. I suddenly saw things I wished they didn't do. Was church just a stage play for you?
I don't feel the same in church anymore.
I don't feel safe anywhere......anymore.
No, I shouldn't have been so welcoming.
I thought I would get reprimanded if I ignored my senior.
He has 4 years experience while I only had a year of experience at that time.
No one told me why he's out of church. The reason why he isn't present during our training. I was late to know, that he was suspended for months!
NO ONE TOLD ME HE STARTED SHOWING UP AGAIN NOT BECAUSE I ENCOURAGED HIM BUT BECAUSE I WAS THERE! THEY BECAME OUR NEW NEIGHBORS! I DIDN'T KNOW HIS PARANOIA! I DIDN'T KNOW HE HAVE SUDDEN OUTRAGE! NO ONE TOLD ME HE HAD A LOT OF ISSUES! THEY THOUGHT I COULD HELP HIM MEND HIMSELF! I ALSO DID! BUT NO! MY HYPOCRISY CAUSED ME HARM THAN GOOD!
I reported him to the higher-ups when he started insulting my parents! I didn't give a damn when he insulted me but my parents are off limits! He crossed the line for fuck's sake!
The youth council knows! The leader knows! The coordinator knows! Father knows as well!
So why didn't they dealt with him sooner? Another younger server became a victim after me! It escalated quickly, he almost got to jail.
He just turned 18, I was 2 years younger. He told my father, in front of the village chief, in front of the local police, that he was "courting" me. His father thought it was a child's play!
That was the first time I felt so weak, so insignificant. That those who had power could get away with such "trivial" things.
That was the first time I experienced power in my social life.
I later realized his father was a member from Knights of Columbus. Small world, I remember assisting him few times. Didn't realize it first.
I cope up with him for more than 2 months alone! I cope up with the aftereffects for another 6 months alone!
That's when I stopped coming to church.
I stopped serving after Christmas.
And I shut myself inside my room.
Until lockdown came.
Until I didn't want to set my foot out of the gates even if my "neighbors" changed houses.
Until I let myself rot inside my cage.
Faith is fickle.
I attest to that.