Eight years ago, after quite a bit of scientific study and no small amount of soul-searching, I left the Christian Faith and began life anew as an atheist. My mother is, and probably always will be, crushed that I left, and is terrified of the prospect that I am (in her mind) going to burn in torment forever.
Occasionally she expresses this hurt and fear to me. It runs so deeply for her that it comes out unexpectedly harsh.
I dreamt last night that we were at a casual family gathering & I was being a bit of a friendly, but unnecessarily coarse smartass & it set her off. She laid into me with the wrath of Moses & I blew up like so much gunpowder. In a moment she was in tears.
I have in the past endured and brushed off her occasional barbs, and we've never had an exchange like this in our lives. The dream left me unsettled for most of the day, but gave me something to think about.
Deep within me is a quiet rage against myself, rage for huge mistakes I've made in my life, and bitterness for believing a fairy-tail for 34 years without ever questioning it deeply. I find myself venting this anger in subtle, self-destructive ways, and at times in passive-aggressive ways to friends and loved ones, often only in my mind. It's a rage I need to resolve, carefully, like de-fusing a bomb, before it goes off and causes real harm to myself or someone I love.