Thanks to everyone who has read or replied or just thought about this for me. I had a talk with my Dad today. He says he will have a word with my Mom so she understands how huge this is for me, and if I have to get up and leave at any time during the service he will go with me and I won't be alone.

I mean, WTF? This is like being 10 all over again. But at the same time it feels really important. I remember how important having a church life was to me, and I miss it. I feel like I have a right to want it back, even if I don't know what I will get from it.

I don't mean I'm looking for some kind of saved-from-damnation scenario. A god who would punish a kid for things he never even understood isn't a god of much interest to me. But I look at good friends I have, and I see they have something I once had but lost. They talk about prayer and spiritual strength, and it feels like they are somewhere I would like to be but am not. Or rather, it resonates in me. I WAS there; I had it. But the abuser took it away from me.

I want it back.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)