It's been months since I parted from the Orthodox Church. I spent years as a catechumen and I must confess, I'm heartsick for it at times. I attend an Old Catholic church but the worship and piety is radically different from Orthodoxy. The music is miserable, the Eucharistic practices are cringe-worthy. I also am not sure I agree always with what is preached (sometimes one of the priests will talk about the Immaculate Conception or Purgatory). I guess I go because I feel I have no other home spiritually and it's hard for me to "make God real" in my life without church.
The reason I left as a catechumen was I struggled for years with the churches teaching about homosexuality, and also the reality that I am unmarried and I'm not sure if I ever could get married ,if my partner would want to join the Orthodox church (if that would even be possible): she would lose her disability if we got married, and I myself am disabled, too. I have friends in the LGBT community and I've even been active at gay community centers and have considered volunteering more there. I didn't start out like that, though... it was only through a lot of prayer and reflection that I came to change my mind (before I had just been ambivalent...if I had not loved God so much I think I would have dismissed God as a practical joker- a devout, serious person like me being drawn to the gays and lesbians? IT was definitely not my comfort zone). The Old Catholic parish is "gay affirming" and most of the clergy there are gay men. I like that aspect but the piety, worship, and some theology is alien to me (It's run of the mill Roman Catholic, even using the same folksy hymnals most Roman Catholics use).
My Orthodox (OCA) priest was sympathetic but thought it was best I try another church, one that was more liberal, and he encouraged me several times to do so over the years, but kept accepting me back into his parish each time I would return and tell him "this just isn't working". I'm not a Protestant and its really hard for me to fit in with those churches. The local Episcopalians are also pretty much Presbyterians with incense, so again, it's difficult to feel at home there (I used to attend an Anglo-Catholic Continuing Anglican parish, many, many years ago), when so much of my spirituality is less about Evangelical Protestant subcultures (men's groups, potluck suppers, emotion-based and God-is-your-buddy spirituality), and more about identifying with "Mere Christianity" with a catholic flavor.
I've thought about talking to the Old Catholic bishop but he deals with a lot of physical disabilities and has been very busy. The few times I've managed to talk to him, he seemed eager to downplay issues like Purgatory when I asked him about it (frankly, I'm not sure what to believe- though I think the idea of "toll houses" is another possibility, just because I know people that have described things like this dealing with death, particularly if the person has "demons" in their past, so to speak). He told me I do not need to agree about any Marian doctrines except that Mary was the Mother of God, yet it seems like all the clergy there do not agree with that assessment (some are old time Roman Catholics, I'd guess).
I just feel so spiritually messed up, a few months ago I went through a horrible period of profound doubt and I fell into some bad habits again and became quite angry. Things felt hopeless. I feel torn between Christian traditions to the point I just wanted to not believe in any of it. This all comes in a period of my life where my life situation has gotten worse too (my disability hearing was delayed, appealed, several times... I lost my driver's license due to government beurocracy, I had a brain tumor scare...). Needless to say, I feel like I'm spiritually running on empty.