View Single Post
Old 21st April 2014, 06:22 PM   #22
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,409
Re: 20 years Trapped

Originally Posted by freddo View Post
Im sorry, Raymond, but you have picked a red-rag-to-a-bull metaphor for a vicar's wife:

"Thinking of it like a property. We are all responsible for our own property. We will have a fence and a front door and we only allow the people in that we want to. In the same way we are responsible for our own skin so to speak. We open the gates to who we want to but keep them closed when it's not safe. It is really our own responsibility."

We have never lived in our own property. To the outsider this sounds like a great blessing and I am fully aware of all that it gives, but few are aware of all that it takes. Few live life never feeling safe. Our house is not our haven into which we choose those we invite. If we work in a tricky area with no church facilities the vicarage is the church facility. There are meetings, counselling, weddings, baptism, funeral visitors, complainers, people asking for drug money, people wanting food, people begging for help, people wanting to tell us what's wrong with the church today......and that's before you add the traffic of my pupils or the children's friends. The phone, the doorbell.....added to the office being next to the sitting room with no bolting door! We have been broken into 4 times as we have a probation hostel 3 door s down- at the end of the day when the doctors and lawyers and social workers have finished their do gooding days and go home to their fenced in houses-we are left to live in the imploding community.
We move around the country as hubby turns a parish around and gets it thriving and is moved onto the next challenge so you can never invest any emotion in furnishings or bricks and mortar.....yes I know we all say these aren't important but why is b and q so full if we're not all enjoying the colour of our walls (which we're not allowed to paint!)
So you see, I've never felt physically safe. I spend a HUGE amount of energy making sure my childen do -I'm first to the door with the iron poker if I smell trouble and they don't know about 3 of the break ins. They're pretty street wise so it's taught them that, but I've spent many hours sitting outside their bedroom doors while hubby at church as someone banged on door and windows downstairs demanding money (even locked us in the bathroom severalmtimes when they were tiny!)
If you are a strong team bonding together against the world then such conditions are bearable. When the team is fractured then this survival-type instict is even harder. And you're right....resentment sets in.
The kids are teens now....the bond is strong but inevitably going to change. My main reason for being so strong and protective will no longer be there. Without that passion, I'm not sure where my strength will come from.
Many, many clergy wives struggle with this lack of privacy even if they are not in areas where safety is an issue. You are married to a public figure.....yes like a doctor or a politician.....but it invades the place you are trying to call home. Without that very solid place underfoot it's very exposing.
I'm sorry if I chose a sensitive metaphor Freddo. Your answer highlights the problems you live under. One has to ask if people are really being helped in that system when your boundaries are just walked over like that. Where is your protection and your privacy to enable you to recover? How can you serve God and give out when you are drained? There is something desperately wrong somewhere. True ministry is doing things from an inner conviction not because you have to. I don't know anybody who lives like you in our local five churches and yet a lot of good is done. I have a couple in my housegroup which I run at present who are doing serious deliverance work for someone who was sexually abused throughout their childhood. They will receive the counselee when they decide and arrange the meetings when they think it is right but they keep their boundaries. I don't think we are teaching others to keep good boundaries if we give them the impression that we are at their beck and call twenty four hours a day.

We have a pastor in our church who lives safely in his own house with his wife and children. There would be something desperately wrong if people just went and rung his bell any time of day. It would be a red light to most people in our fellowships. The scriptural thing is to go out and in not stay out. Even if you could prove the system is the correct one there is still the problem of calling. You are obviously not called to that and even if you were things have to change for your own health and protection.

I do think you need proper spiritual counselling maybe outside your circle. The knowledge is there but you need to seek and find it. When you do find it then you need to confront your husband as the way it is now is not working. I am amazed you survived twenty years like this. That doesn't sound to me like a burden God put on you. He's not like that. Serving Him is always something you want to do not what you have to do.

As an aside Freddo. I was brought up in different orphanages and was sexually abused in one so therefore was quite needy. My recoverey came simply through going to the right meetings and through fellowship basically. That is what God used in my life. I don't remember ever being personally counseled about my past but God still sorted it. If we wanted pastoral care we would go to the meetings. Occasionally we might need prayer in our homes if we are sick. Things can really work, even without a vicarage. I wonder if a martyr spirit is abroad here which doesn't come from God.

Last edited by Raymond; 21st April 2014 at 06:37 PM.
Raymond is offline   Reply With Quote