That happened just now. Talking with my husband. I don’t want to be an angry person. My sister says it’ll pass. I hope she’s right.
Since I was glorying in the beautiful cosmos this past week, let’s take a look at some of the beyond beautiful things in the depths of the ocean today.
I still say, what a wonderful world.
It’s okay to say, “I don’t know” when you’re asked or are asking how the universe and this planet came about. It’s good to study and learn, but it’s also okay to just observe and be awed by the grandeur and majesty and glory and beauty and mystery.
As I was watching a show about supernovae last night, thinking of how we’re created from stardust, thinking of the neutrinos running through our bodies, I couldn’t help but remember my patriarchal blessing and its claims that I was created from intelligence.
Intelligence, stardust, tomato, tomahto. At least that’s what I think I’d hear if I were to ask a TBM about it, unless said TBM were a scientist, and an intelligent one at that, who actually believes the scientific evidence over the ramblings of an old man with no scientific background.
So let yourself feel the stardust. Wave a friendly hello to the neutrinos that are running up your legs. Be part of something vast. It’s really cool. Trust me. I’m the Doctor. (I wish.)
- Embrace Your Anger — “You were lied to. You were betrayed. You were fooled. You have the right to be angry.”
- Get Over Your Regret — “Kick yourself in the ass a few times. Mourn everything you lost. But pick yourself up and get on with it. You already wasted time — don’t waste more drowning yourself in your sorrows.”
- Hold Steady — “Create a support network, and try to stay away from intense debates with mormons.”
- Be Cautious About Religion — “Even if you still believe in some sort of god or gods, you should probably take it easy with religion, at least for a while. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for a pattern of devotion, disillusionment, and disbelief.”
- Live Your Life in Color — “Life without mormonism can be a marvelous, beautiful thing. I urge you to take the opportunity to do things you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before when and how you can.”
Okay, so the only adaptation I made was to change the word Muslim to the word mormon. And now my own personal commentary:
Anger–that’s a big one. It’s something I’m dealing with on a frequent basis. I won’t say that I’m always angry, because I’m not. But every now and then, as I’m doing some research and find something particularly outrageous, my hot head prevails and I get absolutely furious. Blogging here helps. I found an awesome exmo meetup group and went for the first time on Saturday night–that helped, talking to people who’ve been there, done that, have the tee shirt and threw it away. Don’t stress if you’re angry a lot. Know that it’s part of the recovery process. If you find you’re uncontrollably angry, maybe you want to blog, or talk. Anyone reading this is welcome to email me privately any time at aintnomonomo(at)gmail(dot)com. My name is Faith.
Regret–I regret that I gave the mormon church 30 years of my life. I regret all the living I missed out on because I was trying to be the perfect molly mormon, or, as I now refer to it, the stepford morgbot. I regret the people I tried to convert, and I’m so glad no one ever did. I will say that I’m glad of the one lesson I strived with all my heart to get across to the young women I briefly taught: Your life may not turn out the way you anticipate, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good life.
Hold steady–find a meetup group, if one exists near you. If one doesn’t, start it. Find a forum where you feel safe. I’m a new regular at Ex-Mormon Forums, and I love it. The meetup group was fantastic. Half of us there Saturday night were exmos, and the other half were interested in the church and how it functions and how it brainwashes its members.
Be cautious about religion–because the church teaches that it is the One True Church ™, my first reaction was to find the REAL One True Church. There isn’t one, in my opinion. I immediately started looking up non-denominational Christian churches, but when I contacted one pastor only to be blown off by him, I got a little frustrated. And I kept reading and researching. Right now I’m leaning toward agnostic atheist, but the agnostic part is the greater–I don’t know. I don’t believe anyone can know. Christopher Hitchens was brilliant before he died; after he died, he knows everything that we don’t. I’m cool with being an agnostic atheist right now, and I reserve the right to disagree with anything I say, because there may come a day when I’ll find a different belief system that works for me.
Live your life in colour–Spend some time at YouTube. Look up the “What a Wonderful World” video by David Attenborough. Look up bird mating dances. Look up the bird who does the moonwalk. Look up the otters holding hands. Read. Study. Drink a margarita. Laugh loudly and be lightminded. Dance. Explore this amazing world we live in. Create art. Finger paint. Buy coloured underwear. Take candlelit bubble baths, and have a glass of wine handy. Read books you never would have read before, and realise how beautiful this world is.
Also known as my response upon reading a friend’s FB status stating that Tim Tebow is like King David of old, always giving God credit whether things go well or badly. Seriously? David? Tebow: professional football player, i.e., gets paid for playing a game. King David (if you believe the bible) killed Goliath to end a war, fought a whole other lot of wars, became king, impregnated another man’s wife and then sent that man to be killed to cover his sin, and had all his family suffer as a result of said sin. I’m not sure Tebow would be flattered by the comparison. Or maybe he would. It seems like too many people worship and adore David because to them, what he did right outweighs what he did wrong. Like murder.
Also known as my response when my alarm went off this morning in the midst of a very stressful dream. I was glad to wake up from the dream, but not glad to have to get out of bed and go to work.
Okay. Logging off now and going to work. Grrrr. I could use some quality sleep.
“Who am I, this being that I am, who walks the earth midst beings as myself? Born was I of parents; who are they? Why do I exist to walk a while and then depart? Who am I, who takes up time and space, whose motions vacillate, some bad, some good….”
Who am I?
- I am Faith. That’s my name, and it’s a name I chose for myself, and thanks to my sister and my soul sister, it’s my legal first name.
- I’m heavier than I’d like to be, but quite a bit less heavy than I was this time last year.
- I’m a writer.
- I’m a fair pianist.
- I’m a mother to two angel babies and to my furbabies (3 at the Rainbow Bridge and one in my home).
- I’m a wife.
- I’m a sister.
- I’m a sister-in-law.
- I’m a daughter.
- I’m an aunt, even a grand aunt.
- I’m a friend.
- I’m an operational controls assistant for an automotive finance company arm of a bank.
- I have a love-hate relationship with housework.
- I love fashion, but fashion my way, not necessarily the fashion you’d find in Vogue.
- I love to cook and bake.
- I love reading, and if I could find a paying job that involved cooking and baking and reading, I’d be in heaven.
- I love teaching, but the lack of certification keeps me from making a career out of it. And I don’t want it badly enough to go back to university.
- I love kids, and kids love me back. If you come into the room with a baby, I’m going to ask for it, and that baby’s going to be happy with me, until it’s time for a diaper change or feeding, at which point I will gladly hand him/her right back to you.
- I love acting, even though I’m not very good at it.
- I love singing, although I do my best singing when no one is around to listen.
- I love interior design.
- I listen to audio books when I’m driving, as that keeps me occupied and far less likely to scream profanities at other drivers.
- I love dressing people–as in, I’ll go to the store with you, tell you what to try on, tell you what looks good and what sucks, and you’re going to look fabulous!
- I love doing research.
- I’m one of the fastest typists you’ll ever meet.
- Off and on, I’m a vegetarian/vegan. Right now I’m on.
- I love dancing even though I completely suck at it, and don’t do it anywhere but home. Unless I’m at the grocery store, where for some reason I feel compelled to dance through the aisles. Go figure.
- I have bipolar depression and have to take medicine for it, but it helps, so I take it. I also have a wee touch of OCD and anxiety, so I normally prefer staying home to going out and being surrounded by a lot of people. And when I go to certain places, like Target, I have to go through the store in a certain order, and it causes me physical discomfort if I am not allowed to do so.
- I love my friends fiercely, and I won’t let anyone talk smack about my friends or family.
- I ask a lot of questions.
- I’m willing to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know. Of course, then I’m going to go try to find out.
- I’m a good listener.
- I frequently say things that I think are funny, but no one else does. I crack me up, in fact.
- I suck at math.
- I’m an exceedingly amateur Egyptologist–was fascinated with Egyptology as a kid and through many of my adult years, although I’ve since lost interest.
- I was passionately in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald when I was in high school, and read everything he ever wrote, and grieved over how his life turned out and how he died. I used to have a set of statues that I named Scott and Zelda, and they went with me from Fort Worth to Galveston to Austin to Utah, and I ended up giving them to a roommate in Utah who loved them as much as I did.
- I love to play games, but have trouble finding people to play them with me. Especially trivial pursuit, because I have amazing amounts of trivia in my brain.
- I tend to quote Boethius in thank-you notes.
- I’ve also read everything that Geoffrey Chaucer ever wrote.
- I quote Shakespeare at the drop of a hat.
- My former boss and I will randomly send each other emails or texts asking for our two dollars, or informing each other “now that’s a real shame, when folks be throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that,” or asking what the street value of that snow-covered mountain is. Kudos if you know what movie we’re referring to. And for the record, the last time I asked for my two dollars, he said he spent it, and will have to find another two dollars for me.
- I’m kind of an intellectual snob, even though I’m not all that intellectual.
- Misplaced apostrophes and misspellings drive me up a wall, as does modifying absolutes. I’ve been known to walk into a shop and point out the grammatical errors in their brochures or on their signs. I have also been known to correct the punctuations on signs that one finds inside ladies’ room cubicles. And I’m highly embarrassed to admit that I once corrected the spelling, grammar, and punctuation on a love letter when I was in junior high school. My sister, knowing how I am when it comes to grammar, frequently uses absolutely ghastly grammar just to watch me twitch.
- I love art and photography, but I don’t necessarily know how to translate my inner vision to a finished project.
- I love music–it makes me really happy, and every time I find a new artist to enjoy, it makes me even happier. I like to sing karaoke, although probably everyone within earshot is frantically plugging their ears in an effort to block the noise coming out of my mouth.
- I loathe romantic comedies, and it is damn hard for anyone to persuade me to watch one. I also don’t like reading romances.
- On the other hand, I love scary movies, if they’re scary without being gory, because I don’t care for the blood and guts stuff.
And that’s just a little bit of who I am. Scratching the surface. You could compare me with every other person on this planet, and there wouldn’t be one other person exactly like me. You could compare yourself with every other person on this planet, and there wouldn’t be one other person exactly like you.
How can someone say that God created us all with his power and glory, only to damn us eternally if we don’t follow some specific plan that seems designed to turn us all into little Stepford morgbots? Why would God create us at all, knowing that we would all be damned forever if his son didn’t come to earth, live a perfect life, give himself for us, and thus save us if we believe?
I’m not a mother, in the sense that I don’t have children living on this earth. I did IVF back in 2000, only to lose the two precious embryos that were transferred into my womb. But I can tell you that I loved those two babies more than anything on this earth. They were my treasures. I would have done anything to stay pregnant, and if I’d managed to carry them to term and bring them to life, I would have done anything to keep them safe and healthy and happy and strong and smart and to keep them with me until it was time for them to go and start their own families. I don’t know whether there is a God or not–I don’t think anyone can know for sure until s/he has died and knows of a certainty–but if there is a God, how can s/he not love each of us as fiercely as I loved those two bundles of cells that I got to carry for less than two weeks?
Who am I? I’ll answer with another song that has always been meaningful to me:
I am I, Don Quijote, the Lord of La Mancha!
My destiny calls and I go!
And the wild winds of fortune will carry me onward
Whithersoever they blow.
Onward to glory I go!
My destiny is calling, and I’m being tossed by the wild winds of fortune. And when my life is over, I will go to whatever comes next, and rejoice in the journey. “Come along with me; the best is yet to be.”
When I had my first job out of high school, I had a huge crush on someone at work. He was a beautiful man. Blond hair and austere grey eyes. I confessed my crush to a co-worker, who laughed at me. “He’s gay,” she said, and I didn’t understand. Looking back, I realise that I was remarkably naive.
I had become a mormon by then, and was a very TBM. And as I became aware of homosexuality and what it was, I toed the party line. “It isn’t good to be alone, it isn’t good, and when you find someone to love you really should join hands and be together,” to quote Janice Kapp Perry (I believe–too lazy to go double-check). And joining hands and being together meant a man and a woman. That’s all. Anything else was wrong, wrong, wrong.
And then I learned about AIDS, and how devastating a disease it was, and although I don’t remember looking upon it as God’s judgment on homosexuals, I still thought being homosexual was wrong.
I remember writing a letter to the student newspaper at the University of Utah protesting the thought of homosexual parents adopting children. It makes me cringe now–some of the best parents I know are gay, and I understand now that being a good parent has nothing to do with your sexual identity.
I worked for the School of Social Work at a university, and got to know a lot of lesbians, and they are fantastic women, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to get to know them. And some of the people I met online are homosexual, and people I’ve met through theatre are homosexual, and my life is so much richer for having them in it.
I felt so floored last night when my internet buddy (who is no longer a buddy either on facebook or on a group to which I belonged until last night) posted that horrible self-righteous question about whether we should get over the fact that some people are murderers. I don’t think I would have ever felt that way about it, although since it’s the person I am now speaking, I could be wrong. I hope I’m not. I hope that I would have never compared homosexuality to murder or any other crime.
A very large cause of cognitive dissonance for me over the last 10 years or so was the issue of homosexuality and how the church leaders viewed it. Because by then my personal beliefs were so completely opposite. I respected people whether they were homosexual or heterosexual. So I kept trying to understand how the church could say homosexuality is a sin, but I couldn’t make myself believe it. I wobbled back and forth, trying to make everything match up. But it wouldn’t. I tried thinking that I was the one who was wrong, but I couldn’t believe it. I tried to say, well, that’s how it is here on earth, and God will sort everything out. But I couldn’t believe it.
So when everything fell apart for me, religion-wise, this past spring, the first thing I felt was this huge weight rolling off of my shoulders. If I tell you now that I believe this or that, I really genuinely believe it. I don’t have to condemn people because of things that they have no control over. I realised that if someone told me I had to be homosexual, and they sent me to therapy and did the horrible things that have been done to homosexuals in the name of turning them straight, I still wouldn’t and couldn’t be homosexual. So what right do I have to insist that a homosexual person is wrong, and s/he could become heterosexual if s/he tried hard enough? No right. None whatsoever.
I am deeply ashamed for any negative things I have said regarding homosexuals and homosexuality in the past. I am so sorry. Obviously I cannot go back and undo any of that, or any of the harm I did in the past. But here and now I stand up and say enough. I will never do that again. If I lose friends because of it, then sobeit. I don’t want to be friends with narrow-minded bigots.
What’s that little saying–a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still? I realise I can’t convince anyone against his/her will. The facebook exchange last night showed me that. There’s nothing I can say or do to change that woman’s mind. I think she is miserably unhappy, and doesn’t realise how much of that misery comes from the church and the beliefs she holds as a result. And I’m so sorry for her. But no one is going to get on my facebook wall and tear down other human beings.
I noticed while I was browsing my fb feed earlier that one of my internet verymo friends was talking about the pain it causes a mother when her children leave not only for life but for eternity. Her oldest son and his wife, who had been living with them, apparently moved out under less than desirable circumstances. And based on her somewhat cryptic posts, it sounded as though religion might have a lot to do with it.
So it shouldn’t have surprised me when, not too long after I posted the photo of Sir Ian (about whom I had a delectable dream once, and trust me when I tell you he was most decidedly NOT gay in that dream), she said that she knew it would be an unpopular opinion, but what if she said some people are murderers. Get over it.
She left another couple of uneducated unkind comments as I responded to her idiocy. So I unfriended her. I apologised to my gay friends. I told my fb peeps that if I offend them, they are welcome to unfriend me, but I believe in loving people.
I can’t come totally out as an exmo until I can get to Utah and visit my mother, which won’t be until later this year. It’s going to devastate her, and I’d rather be able to talk to her in person. I’d just as soon not have the big discussion with her, but I have to be honest.
My stomach hurts.