Monday, January 31, 2011

What's going on with my dad???

I know, you can't answer that question.  I had to ask it, though.  He and I had a nice conversation about a month ago, but since then there just hasnt been much interaction between the two of us.  It's really beginning to BOTHER me.  I try to jump start conversations via email with him, but he responds with a sentence, maybe.  Sometimes it's not even a full sentence.  He's never rude, but the responses he gives are something you'd get from someone you just met off the street, not someone you used to talk with weekly and joke and fart around with.

I understand he's adjusting.  Fine.  He's had 4 months to adjust, though.  WTF?  It's starting to hurt my feelings now, you know?  I've brought up with him in the recent past that it seemed he was holding back and not interacting with me as he used to and he said he was just working things out for himself and he'd do better.  That was back in November, though.

I mean, I know better than to expect him to move as quickly through this maze of emotions as I have.  Still, I'm not seeing much of an effort on his part to keep up our relationship.  It's all me.  I do the contacting, the calling, the emailing.  In fact, I just emailed him my first little writing assignment last night asking him for a critique.  I've done this in the past with him and he's all about offering compliments when they are appropriate and bashing the hell out of my work when appropriate, but his response to my assignment was "sounds like a sad story."  Damn, he said nothing else, didnt even bother to capitalize the first word of his jacked up sentence.

Am I doing something wrong?  Am I going about this the wrong way with him?  At this point, I feel like I've done all I can do and I don't really care much for putting more of myself out there for him to ignore.  I don't want to lose my relationship with my dad, but I'm no masochist either and I don't want to continue just asking to be disrespected.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gag. Retch. Puke.

Today I did my normal seminary run and one of the girls I picked up handed a book to my daughter to read.  It is apparently some LDS teen romance novel, complete with a picture of the SLC temple in the background.  Wonderful.

Of course, in the split second I realized what kind of book it was fifty thousand thoughts flew through my head.  It went something like this:

"Ahh, neat, the indoctrination never ends."
"Haha!  It's not an adventure novel or Greek mythology!"
"It looks like a girly, romance, church fiction book.  Excellent, she hates that stuff."
"Oh, look.  She's making that 'Eww, it's dog shit!' face while profusely thanking the girl."
"Why am I making such a big deal of this?  The kid's happy with her decision to stay in the church and forcing her out would make her fight back even more."
"I need a beer."
"Dammit, I'm driving."
"Double dammit, I drank the last one in the fridge a few days ago."

...all that, and my day has barely started.  Anyways, whatever.  My kid is intelligent.  She'll figure things out eventually with my help.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hey, guess what?  Over the last month or so I've found my favorite alcoholic beverage.  I wasn't able to find anymore of that pumpkin ale (although I didn't really look all that hard for it), so I figured I'd better find something that's easily accessible from my local store as a good replacement.  I've found that I like Land Shark.  I didn't like it much at first, but it's kind of grown on me. 

Why beer, especially when I've got a complex about looking uncouth with regards to alcohol?  Pretty much it all boils down to how much effort it takes to open the damn bottle.  Even with a proper corkscrew, wine is more of a hassle to open in my opinion.  I've got a knack for effing relatively easy things up, so I'd rather just stack the odds in my favor.  I love the long neck beer bottles.  Just a flick of the metal tool thingy and the top is off.  I love it. :)

Another topic...Okay, so I'm still working on the anger thing.  I'd like get through this phase quickly, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly out of my control.  I just don't want to lose months or years of my life wading through the anger.  I want to be easier going about what former ward members/former LDS friends say about/to me regarding my lifestyle change.  I'm working on it, but it's just not in my nature to let that kind of stuff roll off my back.  I'm the kind of person that gets her feelings hurt and usually holds it in until I reach a breaking point at which time I end up taking people out with chain saws and heavy artillery.  I've got to learn how to manage that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I want to feel "normal" again.

I've been thinking about how nice it was back when I was oblivious to the truth.  Sure, I had my challenges like everyone else, but back then there was a supposed "reason" for my challenges, a big picture that I just didn't have a clear understanding of.  The upside to my current non-blissful ignorance is that the challenges I had before don't seem so challenging.  The downside is that those challenges are overshadowed by the fact that there is no real big picture anymore, you know?

Maybe I'm just PMS-ing.

Which gets me to thinking about good old JS.  I hope with "every fiber of my being" that his wives' cycles synched up and they all got PMS-y on him every damn month.  I hope they were just too embarrassed/scared to write in their journals about how they beat the shit out of that man on a monthly basis.

Yeah.  That makes me feel a little better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time to move forward...

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I can actively do to get rid of this anger.  At this point, I honestly think it boils down to moving forward and not looking back and dwelling on the pain.  Of course, that's so much easier said than done, but I can't see me making any progress until I take steps to let this anger go. 

I think this is going to translate to using my free time more wisely.  While its important to allow myself some anger, as I know it is an important part of the healing process, I think allowing myself to get ridiculously worked up is not good.  I need to pick up my old habits again and put aside my church research for the time being.  I think I've allowed it to get far too out of hand.  I just need to try to go back to being the productive person I used to be. 

I used to read voraciously, and I was actually working on writing my first fiction novel before all of this happened.  Also, school starts tomorrow and that will help me get back into my groove, as well.  I've got one semester left (this one) to goof off and enjoy myself before my turn on the waiting list for the RN program out here rolls around, so I don't want to waste my free time stewing over judgmental TBMs or moronic church leaders.

What I'm hoping this translates to is a more uplifting blog (YAY!)  and perhaps some nice off-topic posts since one of my fluffy classes this semester is a fiction writing class that will no doubt have lots of fun assignments that I'll want to share. :)

Okay.   So, life is good.  Everything is going to be okay.  I'm allowed to get mad, but I'm not allowed to develop an ulcer or dream about running over obnoxious TBMs anymore. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's 2:33 a.m. and I'm still FUMING...gotta get this rage under control.

Yeah, you know how I said the only TBM that responded to my facebook post was the sweetest, kindest friend?  Well, she ended up unfriending me AND blocking me AND erasing all of her 10+ posts.  The ouchiest part of that is that she and I had been emailing eachother privately throughout the time she was posting.  Things took a turn when I revealed to her that I had already sent my resignation letter in to SLC.  That's when she stopped emailing and shortley thereafter deleted the posts, etcetera.  The weird thing is that a few minutes ago when I finally decided to turn the computer back on and distract myself from my anger (since it was keeping me from sleeping), I saw that there was another post on there from her.  I don't get it.  She was previously off my FB list and I couldn't locate her before.  Anyways, I was so pissed off I reverted to my 8th grade self and deleted her post before I read it and unfriended and blocked her.  How's that for maturity on my part?  I swear, sometimes I embarrass myself.

Well, what's done is done.  I think my FB experiment was useful, though.  I've learned for myself that eventually my TBM friends will desert me for fear of me dragging them down to hell with me.  A friend of mine from Postmo has been telling me this for quite a while now, but I kept thinking I was one of the lucky few that wouldn't have that same experience. 

This is, of course, the main reason for my anger.  You know, I got through the fact that the church was a load of crap pretty well.  It sucked, but I adjusted and found my happy place more or less.  My big source of all-things-shitty now is dealing with the backlash from my LDS friends/acquaintances. 

Dammit.  This is the same level of anger I felt when I was going through my divorce.  This is so STUPID.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Facebook Post Challenge

I was thinking the other day about how it just took one red flag (by the name of polyandry) to get me rolling on my research.  So, I posted something yesterday to kind of plant some seeds of doubt in the minds of the few LDS friends I have left on FB. 

Here's what I posted: "I'm going to risk a few friendships here, but I'd like to know if anyone out there knows what the term "polyandry" means...and how Joseph Smith is connected with it. Just do a little bit of research." 

You know what bugs me?  The only TBM that responded was the sweetest person on the face of the earth, who has stuck by me throughout my journey out of the church (basically, someone I really, really don't want to hurt)...and the handful of other TBMs did SQUAT.  No responses from them.  My hopes are that they were paying attention to the post and multiple responding posts from my fellow postmos.  My fear, though, is that they simply hit the "ignore" button in which case no seeds were planted.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lots on my mind...

My oldest had New Beginnings tonight.  I went because...well, what mother wouldn't, right?  Naturally, I felt really uncomfortable, but I think I did a decent job at covering that up.  I saw the bishop, shook his hand but didn't chat with him like I normally would have.  I think that is the second biggest thing that bugged me most.  I felt like we had a nice friendship prior to sending in my resignation letter last week (of which I send a copy directly to him with a handwritten letter explaining to him how much I've appreciated his friendship and service, etcetera).  Unfortunately, tonight he was a little distant.  I looked directly in his eyes when I shook his hand, looking for some sort of an acknowledgement of my letter, maybe a look of understanding and respect, but it just wasn't there.  As I typed that last sentence just now, I realized how ridiculous it sounds for me to expect understanding or respect from a bishop for leaving the church, but he really is that kind of person.  Anyways, like I said, it didn't happen.

The thing that bugged me the most, though, was the fact that the first counselor talked to the YW about the importance of faith.  He talked about how one must have faith to have a testimony of the gospel, etcetera, etcetera.  He even brought up knowledge as important but something that is not as necessary as faith when it comes to testimonies.  And he teared up as he said this.  All I could think about was the fact that he was misleading so many impressionable young people in this room and undermining my authority as far as my daughter is concerned.

For so many years, I've believed whole heartedly that faith was the most important thing in a person's life.  When something didn't make sense, I just needed to have faith that things would work out the way Heavenly Father had planned for me.  If aspects of the gospel werent entirely clear to me, I just needed to exercise faith and trust that it would be explained to me in the hereafter.  It's so wrong.  It is SO sad.  And, really, when it all comes down to it, I don't care so much about the other girls in the room being misled by this man, I care that my daughter is swallowing this man's lies.

Most of the time I was there I was trying to remind myself that my daughter, who is 15, is going to choose what she wants to choose as far as lifestyle and religion goes.  And she's going to do it regardless of what I prefer her to do...she's already proved that by choosing to stay with the church.  If I take this away from her now, it will just make her want it more. 

Anyways, I went.  I conquered.  I came home and ate a Big Mac.  So very glad that thing's over.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let the games begin.

Hi.  If you've been reading my blog since the beginning (or probably even just a few entries) you've most likely gotten the impression that I'm a pretty polite kind of person.  I am.  However, I've been known to be quite the bitch when provoked.  Of course, my ex-husband would be more than happy to corroborate that fact. 

I'm bringing this up because it appears that the gossiping within my former ward has begun and I don't know quite how to deal with this in a civil manner.  From what I understand, this gossip shit is simply the next logical step in the process of leaving the Morg.

If you've experienced something like this, how did you deal with it/bring it to an end?  Any suggestions on how I can shut these idiots up without letting my temper ruin things?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Resignation Letter is in the Mail!

This morning I dropped off my resignation letter (in triplicate for the sake of thoroughness - one copy to SLC, one to the stake prez, the other to my bishop) at the post office.  It felt scary, amazing, and liberating.  A little more than two months ago I set off to become a better TBM by studying the history of the church and BOOM!  Here I am no longer a member of LD$corp.  I never wanted this.  I just wanted to feel better about my efforts and better about myself.  Crazy thing is, I do feel better about my efforts and better about myself - just not in the way I had expected.  You know what?  I think I have some bad-ass in me after all.  This has been no cake walk.  It has sucked beyond all suckiness and I'm positive that the pain will continue for years to come. 

As a part of the liberation process and in an effort to prolong my "high", I'm including a copy of my resignation letter.  I used the generic part in the first part of the letter and then added on my own sentiments, so I'm only including my own sentiments.  If you like parts of it, please feel free to use what you'd like to.

In addition, I would like to add that after 23 years of faithful membership, having served a mission, married in the temple, and done my utmost to be a member of the church in good standing, I was devastated to find that the church history that I have been taught is a white-washed, less than truthful version of what really occurred.  I find it unconscionable that many issues involving church history, its early leaders, and doctrines have been toned down or completely falsified.  I resent being lied to and I resent the fact that, because I chose to seek out objective material that was not specifically endorsed by the church, I have been told by a member of my bishopric that I was somehow in the wrong and that it is no wonder that my faith has left me and the Spirit no longer sees fit to accompany me. 

Of course, I understand completely why the leaders of the church feel the need to suppress information.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints simply has too much to lose.  Heaven forbid the members find out the truth about, for example, Joseph Smith's dealings in polygamy and polyandry, or his so-called translation of the Kinderhook Plates, or perhaps the fact that Lehi's Dream was just a retooled version of a dream Smith's father had many years prior to the appearance of the Book of Mormon.  Sure, some members would continue to cling to those feelings we have been taught are witnesses of the truthfulness of the church. However, I'm sure that most, like myself, would be intelligent and courageous enough to face the facts and put the warm fuzzies aside.  What would you do then?  I shudder to imagine how many malls the church would not be able to build, or land that it would not be capable of buying.  In short, what would the church do without those of us, who work our butts off paying tithing, offerings, and donations for our salvation (with the looming threat that if we don't meet those financial demands we will not be worthy of living in the presence of God and our loved ones in the eternities)? 

I can't quite imagine Christ supporting the decision to grace downtown SLC with a beautiful mall complete with retractable roof, costing several billion dollars in total, over using that money to feed, clothe, and shelter his brothers and sisters in this world.  Please THINK about this for a second.  Where is the SENSE in that?  I no longer regard the leaders of this church as men of God called to lead God's people.  They are nothing more than shrewd business men, who have fooled even themselves into believing the lies that have been perpetuated over the last 150+ years.

As I've had a chance to step back and take a more objective look at the dealings of the church over the years, I have come to the realization that I am profoundly ashamed to be associated with it on many levels.  I am horrified that I accepted the church's philosophies so willingly and without proper research of my own.  The church has willfully ignored scientific research in the areas of biology, anatomy, and physiology and asserts that homosexuals are somehow defective or simply not “trying hard enough” to be “normal” and, therefore, undeserving of the right to legally marry. I highly doubt that any of the leaders of the church have ever had to deal with being attracted to a member of the same sex and, thus, haven't the slightest clue how wrong it is to tell a person that they must pray harder, sacrifice more, and live more righteously so that God might take that “curse” away from them.  Although, judging from Elder Packer's statements and hyper-vigilance on the topic of same-sex attraction, I might be inclined to think he's struggling himself in that area.  Regardless, I'm embarrassed that I bought into this faulty line of thinking that the church so firmly advocates. This is just one example of many, but it is one that I have had to come to terms with on a deeply personal level, not because I am attracted to members of the same sex but because my ex-husband is.  He did what he could to fit in with the demands of LDS culture, served a mission and married me, but ultimately he could not continue to live a life that was not authentic to who he is at a very basic, biological level. 

Fear not, though.  For you haven't lost my family entirely.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has hoodwinked my oldest daughter and, as far as I can tell, she'll be a faithful follower for quite a while.  She's intelligent, so when she grows up and enters her chosen career field I imagine you'll make a pretty penny off of her via her tithing and various other donations.  My hopes, though, are that she'll be able to separate feelings from facts when she reaches adulthood and is no longer involved with the YW program and seminary, which are really quite effective programs you've got there.  Again, a very shrewd business move.  Get 'em while they're young, impressionable, and looking for a group to identify with. 

In case you haven't detected the not-so-subtle hint of anger in my letter, let me just tell you directly that I am beyond angry.  I have experienced a lot of heartache in my lifetime, but NONE of it compares to the devastation I feel at losing what I thought was the only true church on the face of the earth.  You've deceived me and violated my trust and there is simply no way to make amends for what you've done, whatsoever.

In my first set of scriptures my step-mother wrote, “Just remember, the church is true even if its members are not.”  We've all heard that saying before.  It was a warning not to be offended by any actions of our fellow church members.  I think it was good advice except for one part.  She had it backwards.  It should have read, “Just remember, the members are true even if the church is not.”

Of course, there is an upside to all of this.  I'm finding that life outside the church isn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be.  There was a point in time not more than two months ago when I thought my life would lose all sense significance if the gospel wasn't true.  I simply couldn't imagine how I could derive meaning from life without “Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.”  It was a terrifying time in my life.

However, what I'm  finding is that my life is actually more meaningful to me now than it ever was before.  I have no idea if there's an afterlife or even a god for that matter.  Therefore, I am learning to live my life to its fullest, to do good things for others because it gives me joy not because I'm required to or because I have a list of people I'm required to serve.   

I am also finding that I actually have time to breathe now.  There isn't this constant dark cloud hanging over me anymore of my “celestial to-do list”—attend lengthy weekly meetings, do my daily personal scripture study, daily family scripture study, monthly visiting teaching and reporting, monthly enrichment night, ward social activities, temple attendance at least once a month, weekly FHE, etc, etc ad infinitum.  I no longer have the nagging guilt of knowing in my heart of hearts that I just can't meet every expectation placed upon me by the church.  It's an ugly feeling knowing you're falling short, promising to do more next time, and falling short again.  I'm so relieved to be free of the guilt and, more than that, to be free from the control the church places on its members.

Hope you enjoyed. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Having a moment of anger...feel free to ignore me.

I'm beyond disgusted with the leaders of the church, both early and current ones.  I am enraged when I think of the people that lost their lives trekking across the United States, the people that died in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and all of us who have been members as we have been manipulated and lied to and had it pounded into our heads the importance of obedience and blind faith.  When I think of people who've taken their own lives because of the faulty doctrine that unless you are straight, you are a deviant and damned to celibacy in this life or condemnation in the next, it makes me sick to my stomach. 

I feel absolutely helpless in dealing with these emotions.  What is my recourse here?  Where's the payback?  I'm sending in my resignation papers in about 12 hours.  Myself and 2 of my 3 girls will have our names removed from the records of the church.  Also, I will do my utmost to get the information about the truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints out to my loved ones in the most effective way possible.  Still, I feel helpless.  It's not good enough.