I feel like screaming


#1

I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this… :shrug:

I feel like I’m going to explode…I have so much anger, frustration, resentment…all built up in me.

I converted Easter '04. We’ve been going to the same parish the whole time (aside from trying other parishes here and there). I am SO lonely. At my Baptist church there was tons to do (that didn’t cost anything — 98% of the activities at the local parishes COST to go to…and usually not a teeny amount, and often they’re for kids/families - we don’t have kids). At my Baptist church the people there would always reach out…they truly cared. It was a family and I miss them. At our parish I don’t even know if a whole 10 people know my name (and yes, though I’m not outgoing I HAVE tried reaching out in a variety of ways).

I’m falling deeper and deeper into depression. I go thru cycles…Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I’m fine. Thursday and Friday I go…oh, the weekend is almost here… I wake up Saturday and start into a BAD depression cycle. I just DREAD going to mass. Like more than I can say… I get really withdrawn, really negative, really upset. I try not to…but it’s just more than I can fight. We finally started going to Sat. evening mass and making me go out and do errands or something right up until it’s time to go there at 6pm just to attempt distraction from knowing I have to go there.

I dread it all…talking to the people there, going thru the motions (that’s what it’s finally come down to…and yes, I know that’s not good), especially the sign of peace…I don’t like talking to strangers - it REALLY freaks me out…and there it’s a “forced activity”. :eek: I leave with so much anger in me I have to be careful not to lash out at others. :mad: It takes me several hours afterward to calm down.

Before I converted I would go to Bible studies, pray all the time, do devotionals…lots of praise and worship. I had a very happy, Christian life. Now I can’t even look at any of it. I get completely upset and I freak out.

I dread Holy days of obligation just because it’s yet another day of depression and misery for me. I get frustrated when the fasting days come along because all my friends are protestant and they just don’t get it (though I try to do the “no meat” thing on the sly) so I end up feeling like an outsider. :frowning:

I just feel like screaming. I don’t want to go there…don’t want to be there in the least. But, it’s the only Church with THE sacraments. So, I look upon a lifetime of depression and misery…and I just don’t know how much more I can take. :frowning:

Please…no flames…tomorrow is Saturday and I’m already starting into a depression cycle (obviously).

Would appreciate any advice on how to live like this…and not spend every weekending in misery.


#2

I am so very sorry you are suffering in this way.

Have you tried to talk to your priest?
Have you considered seeking professional attention for your depression (doctor, counseling, etc)?

Have you looked into volunteer programs at the church? Like teaching religious education or joining a prayer group (rather than looking for “activities” that may cost $)?

You’re right… there aren’t many parishes that offer true “social” outreach. Most of the relationships and friendships people build is when they work together… volunteering or in prayer groups. Wonderful friendships can be built when you work and pray together too… not just in “social” settings…

I will keep you in my prayers… I’m so sorry you’re having a difficult time.


#3

You are not the only person who feels that way. I have heard of parishes trying to work more fellowship into their parishes but it usually doesn’t work. Our parish is trying something new and I know it will not work, mainly because its unrealistic - but also because the ones in charge I wouldn’t want to spend time with anyway. People don’t talk about it, but churches have their cliques too - just like high school. I’m just as guilty as anyone else of this…but I just don’t enjoy everyone’s company and being a single parent my time is very valuable. I can’t choose to go to a pitch in dinner at church with these people over my kids’ homework or the laundry.

I don’t know the solution, but I know that I just go to church for church. I don’t think of it as a social experience at all. But then I am someone who naturally is a homebody anyway. I don’t expect to get anything from Sunday mass except Sunday mass.

Then that leaves the social gap in my life. Whats funny is that my counselor says to be active at church to meet people - I don’t know what church she goes to??!?!! Just my thoughts

Terry


#4

I’ll post again just to share my personal experiences…

My parents are part of a “small faith” group… a prayer group that gets together once or twice a month… they’ve formed good friendships there…
My dad teaches RCIA and my mom is usually a sponsor… again, good friendships.

DH and I volunteered in the youth group for many years. The team that helped run the group has stayed close for many many years.

VOLUNTEER… it’s the BEST way to socialize. :thumbsup:


#5

When I first returned to the Church I joined a fairly large parish with 2500 families. In the 8 months I went there I only met three people.

I lucked out and discovered the smallest parish in my area, and what a difference! With less than 400 families it’s easy to recognize the same faces every Sunday. Plus, we have social time after every Mass and people usually bring something to eat. I must have met 20 people my first Sunday there.

Maybe you could look a bit further afield for a different parish?


#6

Yes, I’ve looked into volunteer things at Church… Honestly, it’s all I can do to force myself to go there once week. I wouldn’t be a good CCD teacher…I don’t want to be there myself.

The other volunteer opportunities are greeting/usher/reader (again, I can barely force myself to sit through it and not cry or scream). And there’s a group that does some sort of volunteer stuff…they meet on Monday…I have no clue what it is, but that night doesn’t work with my schedule.

That’s it…everything else costs…and usually a LOT. They had a Thursday night/Friday all day/Saturday daytime thing…it was a bunch of different speakers. It would have been $100 EACH for my hubby and me to go. $200 for a couple days!!! The next day in the mail I got a postcard inviting me to something at a protestant church…guest speakers, music, and food for a full evening…it was $5. I see things like that and just cringe. I would LOVE to be able to go to things like that…positive, upbeat…joy-filled.

I work my tail off day and night just making ends meet…I don’t need more work (which is what the volunteer opportunities are at our parish)…I need fellowship…I need a time to regain some joy…

Our parish doesn’t have any prayer groups or Bible studies.

Yes, I’ve thought about going to a counselor…but to be honest…we don’t have medical insurance, and we are very low-income so there wouldn’t be a way to afford it. And, aside from that, I was a relatively well-adjusted person before I converted…I don’t know how they’d “fix” that??? :shrug:


#7

Yes, a small parish would be wonderful… Ours is over 600 families and is the smallest one in town. There is a Byzantine Catholic parish about 8 miles from us that I think is smaller?

My old church had about 300 members?? It was a nice size…

Our parish has donuts and coffee after mass (only on Sundays)…we’ve tried going a couple times. Last time 2 people said hi to us… The time before no one did. And it costs to go to…at least it’s only $1/each… Unfortunately, by that time I am SO completely freaked out and upset…we’ve been doing Sat evening only mass for a couple months now because it’s less time for me to spend “in dread” of going. There’s nothing after that one.


#8

I was a Baptist pastor’s kid and ended up marrying a Catholic. I since have become Catholic and found I also miss much of the fellowship and in depth bible studies that I enjoyed as a protestant. My best advice is to pray and believe. Ask God to give you an opportunity to use your gifts and talents to serve. I promise you if you are sincere he will give it to you. Being a blessing to others in an unselfish and sincere way is the key to happiness and peace. Try to find God’s still small voice showing how He wants to use you for his glory instead of the focusing on the irritation you feel. Think of how by your simple actions such as smiling at someone shaking their hand, holding a door for them you can be a blessing to others and your own worries and irritation will fade away and new opportunities will present themselves.

As far as the Mass goes I had difficulty getting into it until I realized that is not about me. Everything about the mass is concentrated worship of GOD. Everything in the mass points to God’ greatness. Try to follow where each part is leading; to appreciate and worship God for all He is to us. It really helped me to think of it in that light.

Finding a guided daily personal Bible study to go through can be very helpful for gaining spiritual nourishment in a personal way unfettered by pomp and circumstance. I have found Beth Moore’s bible study books to be both insightful and inspiring.

Keep praying and trust that God wants what is best for you…
ask and you shall be given, seek and ye shall find , knock and the door will be opened unto you in God’s time.


#9

Remember, your Baptist congregation was supported by tithes and offerings - everyone who attended contributed. Most Catholics contribute 1/10th or less what an average Baptist does.
Soooo, the Baptist congregatoin can afford to do lots of things for “free”, the Catholic Parish has to ask for $$ (and they will ALWAYS waive the fee if there is a financial need).

I felt exactly like you did. One week, I got tired of it, I walked up to the DRE and said “what can I do to help”. Two weeks later I’d been through training and was teaching CCD. That was a few years ago. Now, DH and I are both so involved, we have made fantastic friends - and lots of aquaintances - we actually have to schedule time to be home we have so much going on with the Parish.

I challange you, this Sunday, find the youth minister or the DRE or the Church secretary - and say “what can I do to help” - then, stand back :slight_smile:


#10

I’m sorry you are feeling this way :frowning: I wish I could come up with the right things to say to help out…

Well, I’ll just tell you what came to mind.

First of all, welcome to the Church! Communion of saints…are you familiar with this? It might help to know we are all one in the Church, along with saints that have lived way before us and Catholics all over the world, different colors, languages, cultures… you name it :slight_smile:

My second suggestion is reading more about the Mass. It is such an amazing thing, even if there are only two other people at Mass with one it is still just as valuable for one as if there were 2 thousand with one. Scott Hahn has a book on the Mass (he is a convert too! :slight_smile: ). I think maybe if you get to know more about the Mass and how amazing it is, especially being able to receive Christ in the Eucharist, it wouldn’t matter how friendly or unfriendly the people around you were. Did you know the sign of the peace isn’t even a required part of Mass? Just thought I would mention that.

About meeting people, I’m not sure what to suggest in that area. If the activities are either too costly or at the wrong time, how about going up to your priest and suggesting another activity you think would be a good idea (I’m not sure what type of activities you would be interested in, but anything from a pot luck after Mass, to a prayer group?) that maybe you can head up or just tell him you would be interested but aren’t able to head it up at the moment, just in case he knows someone who would be interested in doing it. Other than that, you can just go up to your priest and tell him how you are feeling and see what he has to say. Also, you can look up what is going on in your neighboring parishes, maybe there is something you would like to participate in there.


#11

How about RCIA? Our RCIA class is around 20 “RCIA-ers”, 20 sponsors, and the other 30-40 people who show up are Catholics who enjoy the study and fellowship.


#12

Are there any feelings of guilt that you have for leaving your previous community, or are you given a hard time by friends or family that may still be baptist?

Do you have any friends from your former that would be open to friendly debate of catholic teachings, or would you not feel comfortable/prepared to do this? I have a friend that I debate with all the time. Sometimes we agree sometimes we don’t but we’ll always be friends.


#13

My main reason for going to church is not so much to make friends or for people to know me, but it is to recieve Christ in The Holy Communion. Jesus is Alive in The Blessed Sacrament! Jesus is there for us and is being given to us every day in the Mass. Try and reflect on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Your brother in Christ

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire!” --Saint Catherine of Siena


#14

No bible study you say? :shrug: Then it’s a perfect time to start one. You mentioned you would not make a good CCD teacher - however CCD is not the only volunteer group in a parish.

There are a bunch of clubs you could start - singles club, bible studies, perhaps a pot-luck dinner, the parish picnic, coffee hour after mass.

Endless opportunities if one just would ask. I think most parishes lack 2 essential elements and are in need of:

  1. donations and money
  2. Able bodied volunteers

I am betting there a several things one can do to meet people and feel the sense of community.

My fiancé used to have the very same comment - he missed his Baptist sense of community - the “family”. Though when they all realized he had started going back to the Catholic church, the “family” vanished. No where to be seen. All his friends vaporized. So much for family.

.


#15

You could start something new -

Our parish has a WINGS group ***W***omen IN ***G***od’s ***S***pirit]. They meet in the parish once a week [When they first started they had a day WINGS and a night WINGS to accomodate those who worked outside the home in addition to those who worked at home. Now I think they just have te day WINGS…

This was stared by a group of women who say a need for fellowship, bible study etc…this group has bible study, guest speakers, and fellowship… They support each other in various ways - meals during ties of need - illness, birth of a baby, etc.

Thay have at times offered child care for those who needed it [don’t know if they still do or not]

Another lady started a Respect Life Committee, our parish did not have one and when she moved here from California, this was a way to become involved, meet other parishioners and fill a need she saw …

If you cae through the RCIA, you could go back and help out…greet others, bring treats help the staff with orgainizing materials [copying and stapling]

Offer to host/lead a small faith sharing group in your home during Lent…our parish has had Lenten Small Faith Sharing Groups every Lent for nearly twenty years…you so not have to buy a program…you can use the Sunday readings and develop discussion questions…

Laad the Stations of the Cross during Lent…our Parish invites speakers [no cost] from various charities to come speak at a simple [soup and bread] supper after the Stations. A free will offering is made to the speaker for their charity…the soup and bread are usually donated but the cost is free…various ministries in the church take turns offering to leadt teh Stations…

Not everything needs to be costly, but all of these activities take someone to volunteer their time to put it together [leading, organizing, getting speakers, donations, opening up your home, identifying a need and making a difference]…

Please reconsider your position and look for ways to become involved…If you are not being sustained in your faith, you need to recognize that and take responsibity to seek help…but you just can’t demand that others do all the work…you will have to lend a hand…

Where are you assiting others in their faith journey…
We are a Church, a Community of Believers, A Family of God…like all families we have chores to do. We all need to pick up after ourselves, assist those who are younger or in need of help. Work to support the financial needs, clean, cook, and scrub…We also share in the love, the laughter and the joy…


#16

Our RCIA is (sorry, not to be critical - just honest) a snoozefest. We had to go through it coming into the Church. I literally was falling asleep in class and there were only like 6 or 8 people in ours. I absolutely love to learn (bookworm)…so, that was totally unlike me. :confused: It was just that boring. And the sponsors aren’t there all the time…it’s only for 2 different days before Easter Vigil.


#17

Yes, the protestant churches do seem to get a lot more donations and tithes out of their people. And all the guest speakers and such are very fun. But, the things that made the most difference were the simple fellowship times…potlucks, game nights (puzzles, board games, cards, etc.), etc. I used to LOVE the “Sing-spiration” nights! Everyone would just get-together in the sanctuary and the piano player would be there and all would have a hymnal and everyone would take turns shouting out what song they wanted to sing. Soooooo neat! :smiley: Anyway, my point is…those times didn’t cost anything…everyone brought food to the potluck themselves…or games from home (and then took them back home after)…the hymnals were already there…just everyone got-together and sang. Simple things like that make wonderful memories.


#18

So much for family? But I have also found this and I have no friends and I am so lonley too. I would never have been lonely in my old church. Also, if you are depressed, volunteering might not be an option. It wasn’t for me when I was at the height of a depression. nobody from church ever came to visit me either when I was agoraphobic. The only friends I had hen were JW who used to come and chat with me. Not even about their faith, about stuff I was interested in. Oh, this thread is too close to home for me and making me feel melancholy. Gonna have to leave.


#19

I hear you. My wife is a recent convert and she dreads the Mass. Probably the only thing keeping her from tearing her hair out is that we know and love the priests–and they give good homilies.

I know that’s not your main criticism, though…

Socially, we’re very lucky to have a good parish. In fact, tonight there’s a young adult holy hour and then a swing dance social. Cost: Free. Donate $5 if you want. These things are usually well-attended, and we go just so we can meet like-minded people.

But I’ll be the first to admit that our parish is not the norm. It kills me, but we live in an era when the Church is not the center of our communities. We’re uprooted Catholics. The community is barely that.

If possible, just try to be clear about the difference between theological issues and social issues. Yeah, a particular parish might be terrible with the social/community stuff, but that doesn’t mean the Real Presence is false. And if possible, find a parish that has a little more going on. I know I’m spoiled–this is the first place I ever felt at “home.” There are surely other parishes out there that feel the same.


#20

Thank you all for your replies…it’s nice to know there are people out there who care. :blush:

I’ve suggested quite a few things to the priest and the committee that schedules things. Nothing has been changed…I keep hearing “we’ll work on it”… :shrug:

Would it be okay to go to Mass on Saturday night and then go to protestant church on Sunday to have fellowship and activities? :confused:


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