I have lived almost 60 years and have finally come to face something. It is a realization, a painful fact that I must face, that I am a woman with no place in the Church I love so much.
My parents were not Catholic and I was raised with many misconceptions, which I did not believe, handed to me as facts, but I still knew I was His handmaid. I would look at the sisters and nuns I had the opportunity to see and long to be as beautiful as they. But physical beauty was never my strong suit and I was mostly led to believe by my peers that any compensation by being intelligent, talented or any other redeeming quality was not in my corner, so I had to fight and pray to find myself and where I might fit in His Plan.
Lacking in almost any virtue was difficult, but I still sought it out for myself. I thought maybe I was called to religious life. However, it was made perfectly clear that I had no money, no standing, no talent that was needed... nothing. My marriage was a non Sacramental disaster that produced one lovely developmentally handicapped daughter. After I had my marriage annulled, I adopted another special needs daughter. It was the right thing to do, but none of this filled that emptiness which was trying to do His will
I tried with no success (mostly major failure) to be a part of single again ministries. I visited some religious communities and various ways of the consecrated life, all to no avail. When I spoke to people in the vocations office, I left in tears. I was told to, "Focus on being a good mother to your daughters." Of course I do that. Yet, there is that heavy cloud of painful desire to be something, someone, a great love, just as Jesus wants. Therapists have admonished me not to attempt to fill my void with my offspring. It is unfair, so I do not do that. But as a role model, I am nothing.
I have tried to start my own congregation of lay associates. One for women over 45 who have lived and still not found their niche. We are few and none of the others must deal with that burden of being too ugly for others to respond. I am working on it and praying each day that if saints can get through it, so can I. I put on the full armor of God and give my sisters a strong face.
I suppose the worst part of this all and perhaps the most painful, is that if a woman is a widow, she is not blamed, is held harmless and is accepted by many people in almost any variety of vocations. I did not get my annulment to marry again. Lord, no! I wanted to just be free to serve Him. I fear, I am not made for that either. Divorced women all try to find another one who can give them companionship. If a widow re-enters the world, she is met with some empathy, an assumption of her worthiness as a wife and that she will always be loved, even in death.
An annulled woman is a reject. She is assumed defective. That is if she got an annulment for no other reason than to be completely free of the so-called marriage My ex husband was standing, breathing and so he qualified. We never went out or shared any moments. We did not have to do anything special to achieve natural conception, because it was a rare occasion where he touched me while he was drunk. Sadly, I learned that he suffers from a mental illness. It was not his fault, but he couldn't have a "relationship".I still have no idea what having one of those is like. I have always been single. And, no one will ever admit it, but a woman like me is frowned upon in the Church. Even trying to find life as a consecrated lay woman is discouraged. You are not trusted. Something is wrong with you. You are damaged goods. Oh well. If it did not hurt so much, I could go on, facing that fear that I have carried all of my life. But, I am living all of my worse nightmares: Alone, ugly, useless and with no where to go, but to wait for my final reward. If I haven't screwed that up and that is not waiting for me, nothing but the life of a servant for those I had wanted to love when I was on earth.:nerd: