We have discovered that my husband’s medical diagnosis was released to our church’s leadership council during the first weeks of his medical leave.
No one asked his permission or notified him of the release of information.
The senior pastor’s wife also has known of his diagnosis all along, because the senior pastor spoke with my husband’s doctor on his cell phone while his wife was in the car.
WTF?!? WHO THINKS THIS IS OK?
Apparently, the church council was sworn to secrecy. How reassuring! A dozen people are walking around church, making important decisions related to my husband’s life, and clandestinely toting his personal information. You may as well just stop me in the hall and say, “I don’t give a s*** about your family.”
Why would a church council ever discuss anything about anybody if they needed to be sworn to secrecy?
It also turns out that some council members suggested that my husband be fired as soon as he went on medical leave. Because that’s legal. And ethical. And, you know, compassionate.
There are so many things about this that make me want to scream and kick and punch everyone. The one I keep returning to is that this affects our entire family. The pre-existing conflict and the exposure of his medical leave already made me feel anxious and unsafe on Sunday mornings. Now I also feel like I cannot trust the leadership of our congregation to treat us with respect.
I have no idea what was accomplished by sharing this information. Maybe it helped them decide not to fire my husband? Perhaps I should say thank you.
I feel like the purpose was to satisfy some voyeuristic, morbid curiosity about our family. As far as I can tell, we have not benefited from any compassionate impulses inspired by awareness of his condition. There’s been almost no indication that any of the council members imagine that we might all be suffering as a result of his illness, or their cavalier attitude toward it. I am hopeless in trying to discern how to protect my family and have a forgiving, compassionate attitude toward these people. It feels like we are at entirely cross purposes.