This past Saturday, I took my parents out to dinner at TGIFriday’s. While there, our waitress asked me about my pendants. I normally wear two pendants:
- A silver pentagram which is a little bigger than a dime. It has a bear at the top point, walking on all fours.
- A brass spherical cage, which contains a piece of amber resin.
Both pendants are religious in nature and are deeply personal to me. I’ve had a handful of people ask about them, and I’m usually quite happy to answer their questions. In fact, the only two times I’m hesitant to say anything are as follows:
- When I’m at work (or a work-related function) and there are customers around
- When I’m with my parents, especially my mother
Sadly, this situation falls into that second category. And I could already see my mother’s expression when the waitress asked about it. The problem with being the sole witch in a family that consists mostly of evangelical (and even fundamentalist) Christians is that it can certainly strain family relationships a bit.
After a brief hesitation, I simply told the waitress that they are religious symbols of significance to me. I think she realized I was being somewhat avoidant (and I hated that I was being avoidant) and let the matter drop. Fortunately, the subject quickly changed.
Then again, maybe that’s not so fortunate. One of the messages that I keep getting over and over is that I need to be more open with my family. I need to let them into all aspects of my life. The problem is, that’s difficult when there are certain aspects of it that they don’t really care for. Certain subjects cause hackles to raise.
In fairness to my parents, it’s not just them, either. Any time the subject of my faith comes up around family, I get defensive. I automatically expect a problem. And that’s not fair. Not only that, I’m beginning to wonder if on some levels, my own family is unconscioually reacting to my own defensiveness. It wouldn’t surprise me.
But at the same time, I still haven’t found a good way to overcome my first reaction in such situations.