As I was overcome with hopelessness and hurt as the well-intentioned home teachers left with their praise of patriarchy ringing in my ears and the million thoughts of what-I-should-have-said or what-I-should-have-done running through my mind, I once again found myself sobbing into spouseman’s shoulder, mentally begging my Heavenly Parents to never let this happen again.
I think the hurt is worse, when someone enters OUR home– the home spouseman and I have have built together, and tells us that only one of us is the leader. Only one of us “presides.” Only one of us can decide who should pray.
That is not what we have worked toward. That is not how our little family works.
After they left spouseman held me for a long time, apologizing for not saying anything. Thinking of a game plan of showing those hometeachers next time that “our family is different.” Seeing the defeat in my eyes and validating what I was already thinking–“We can feel the spirit much stronger here at home together than in Stake Conference. Let’s not worry about going.”
So we stayed home. We spent the day learning and caring for one another. Reminding ourselves that this is our home, we are equal presiders and equal “guardians of the hearth.” We decide how things are, and we will not let someone else tell us how things should be.
I am still wounded though. I am hurt when I see and hear this kind of thing in church, or in a devotional or read it in the Ensign or in something for a religion class. But I have never felt so stripped of my power and my equality with my husband as I did today when someone came into my safe haven, my home with my husband–and contradicted me.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to hit something. I wanted to demand they stop talking. I wanted to throw the front door open and insist they leave right this moment and never come back.
But instead I kept frosting the cupcakes spouseman and I had made together that morning. I held in my tears and suppressed my anger and betrayal. I shook their hands and even smiled as they left.
And then I cried, and began to nurse my spirit back to health and happiness for the hundredth time, slowly beginning to realize that 100 times is only the beginning.