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This is the sequel to When I was an atheist https://400wordsforwomen.com/2012/04/10/156/

In April 2004, I met Michael. I had just turned 29 and one decade of sexual relationships had confused me about myself and men. On our first date, we did a lot of walking and talking in beautiful Metz, France. At the end of that wonderful day, Michael tried to kiss me. I panicked, pushed him away and burst into tears. The only explanation for my behavior was: “I’ve had two abortions and I’m a bad person.” What did that have to do with anything? I was like a pressure cooker, that for once had the good ingredients poured into it, but was so full of the bad stuff that it was about to explode.

I liked Michael’s gentleness, simplicity and intelligence. He was a grad school student and besides my work as an archivist, I was volunteering at the library and singing in a (secular) choir in my community. I loved the elderly people there and later I started a creative writing workshop for them.

Earlier in the day, I explained that I had quit the choir over religious songs. Being an atheist, I was offended to sing Kyrie Eleison and praises to God. He smiled and said nothing.

I told him about my sister who had parasite cells feeding off her thyroid, just like a fetus. Removing the nodes and part of her thyroid was not different from abortion. Even as I was making my point, I was half chocking with tears of confusion. It is hard to be a Liberated Woman when you have so much baggage.

I laughed at the European nations who wanted to include God in the preamble to the European Constitution. Michael mentioned that he was a practicing Catholic. It bothered me but I liked him very much. Then he went on saying that he, his mother, sister and thousands of Americans were “Pro-Life”. It scared me. What is “Pro-Life”? Was he a member of some secret society like the Masons?

He mentioned John Paul II’ writings, a man I hated, so I just decided to ignore some of the things Michael was saying. Denial had worked well for me so far.

The angry atheist and the gentle Catholic got engaged in December 2004. A new chapter of my life started but I was not yet opened to God.

To be continued: Marriage Confusion https://400wordsforwomen.com/2012/04/26/marriage-confusion/