Friday, January 29, 2016

Asshole (disguised as a nice guy)

I have dealt with some interesting things in my life. 

I have aqlso gotten to know some interesting ladies at a pool at the YMCA as I work out there almost ever day..  I have loved hearing their stories.

Because they are older than I am, I have learned some good lessons from them and they have some amazing advice.

A couple of them have felt a bit like surrogate mamas to me.

Others I have learned not to talk to.  

Some too late.

I have learned who to trust, and who to not trust. (I hope)

They have gathered around me when I was hurting when my father died and just held me. (the story about my father is coming later- just taking a while to gather all my feelings together)

I got so confused and angry that I didn’t have a real father, and my emotions threw me into a real black hole I wasn’t sure I could get out of.  At times I just felt frozen.

They were there.

But so is Jim (Name changed)

Jim is well liked at the pool.
Hes always cracking jokes and people think he’s hilarious, and just a nice guy.

I’m not so sure.

From the beginning, he talked to me like you talk to a puppy.

I am not a puppy. It got really annoying. It was almost an annoying baby talk kind of thing.

In the summertime when it’s hot out, I like wearing halter top dresses that are long and flowing…it keeps the air flow going if you get my drift and I don’t get so hot.

When his wife was in chatting with the ladies in a room at the gym and I was in the doorway he came up behind me where she couldn’t see and touched me on a bare shoulder…it gave me the heebie jeebies.

He would get closer and closer to me at the pool and then touch me again, and again, and again.

I finally said something to him right in front of his wife.

I said that I didn’t like to be touched by anyone else other than my husband and to please stop.

That brought on a reaction that is too familiar to me.

Once I tell some guys to stop touching (I have had to do it too often... aggravatingly enough) many times after I do they turn into a flaming ass..

Because I talk to people and am friendly, some men in my experience assume  that it is ok to touch me. Do women do this to men?

Not in my experience.

After I tell them that, these guys  get MEAN. 

Which is what Jim has done…bothering me about doing this and that…

He started doing this really strange thing when I came into the pool…

He would suddenly get closer to me and yell “HI HEIDI” so everyone could hear. It was just bizarre.

The crowning jewel was a day or two ago when I was walking the pool with weights.

I have a back injury and was with a lady friend I go skiing with.

All of a sudden, a pool basketball is rammed up against my back, I am hit with water, and he is right behind me holding the ball on my back talking loud to me, excruciatingly close.

I am furious, and angry that he is not only pushing a boundary that I have made, but he is being a bully.

I say Jim, I don’t splash you… and get that ball off me!

He didn’t so I yelled

I mean it…STOP IT NOW!

And then I say to a lady who I really like there who sees the whole thing, "now YOU can splash me, but I’ll dunk ya!" (Deflecting the attention away from him, as it seems to be all about attention with Jim)

This whole time his wife is turned the other direction and somehow hasn’t seen a thing.

I am thinking…you bastard…you are crossing a serious line here. I decide who touches my body, not you. 

It’s MINE.

I’m still furious.

And I wonder if he’s a predator.

His wife is the sweetest woman.

And I have seen and heard from others how he controls her and it rips my heart out to think that this decent, sweet woman is being manipulated, when I see how strong she is.

When I did my One Billion Flash Mob Dance practice the one and only time in the pool this year she did it with me which was heartwarming (The blog on OBR should be below)

I talked to him the next day about the basketball he pushed against my back.

I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of his wife so I asked him if I could take him aside. He said really loud "anything you say to me you can say to my wife".

I said so you remember the other day when you pushed the ball against my back?

He said No

(There are two people who saw him do it)

I said, don’t ever do that again. I mean it. I know you like to be a funny guy but you are starting to feel like a bully to me, so just stop. I mean it.

He said ok, I know you mean it.

He better. (GAH)

One Billion Rising, The Pool Ladies, And Me

Today, I’m a little angry at the state of the world.

To be more specific, the state of my little world.

Actually, no, I am shaking my head at the state of the world AND angry because I am stymied at how people can sometimes be so calloused and uncaring.

I WANT to believe the world is better.

I have to.

Otherwise I wouldn’t try so hard and I would just give up.

Today I feel like giving up. I'm just exhausted.

Some days I feel like I am the only one who cares that women are beaten and abused, treated as if the only value they have on this planet is given to them by men who say they have to look or act a certain way… that it is ok to touch and act as if a woman is there to be treated as if they are owned... like a piece of property.   

I say NO. It is NOT ok, and it is the reason I try to make a difference. I try not to give up. No matter what, I WON’T give up.

I have been involved on my own:

I’ve done One Billion Rising (A flash mob dance called "Break The Chains") for three years now and have seen the impact that it can have on places and people.

I do it in my Nia class at my house (Break The Chains) and I’ve done it once at a gym…with interesting results…

It is amazing to me that one little dance can impact women so much. It empowers them, and I am proud to see it happen. 

Every. Single. Time.

I watch the people in my Nia (martial arts, healing arts, dance arts) class this year who I am showing the dance to, I see a light go on in their eyes…there is a power and energy in the dance that just feeds my soul and tells me everything is going to be all right.

No matter how many or how little of a group of women, it is empowering to stand up and say no more.

One Billion Rising:

"One in three women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That's 1 billion women and girls. Every February, we rise -- in hundreds of countries across the world -- to show our local communities and the world what 1 billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant injustice that survivors most often face. We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness -- one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.”

I have met with plenty of resistance and today, I feel beaten. 

But I KNOW and REFUSE to not get back up. I will prevail, I know it. In my gut, I know it.

There is a gym I frequent and last year, I tried to get some ladies involved. They have a pool group of older ladies that I have gone to water aerobics with that I have really grown to respect and I thought, how amazing would it be to get them involved with One Billion Rising? Even more amazing would be having ladies at the pool do such an empowering dance.

I started to do the “Break The Chains” dance with them…

And then I realized, there is a MAJOR generational gap. As I taught it to the women at the pool, some women just stood there, defiant.

I told them, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to…and this lady and a few more led the charge to undo my efforts… (There were hours I spent on practices in and out of the pool) and it snowballed. (As far as I saw anyway)

I tried to keep a brave face, but nobody knew how defeated I felt.  I tried to hide it as best I could.

One lady said to me one day, “they just don’t want to think about that kind of thing. Many went through this and some are still going through this…but now that they are older, they just want to forget about it.”

I was thinking, well, what about your daughters, and granddaughters and mothers, what if they came to you. Would you believe them, or ostracize them and pretend it wasn’t happening?

What about standing up for them?

This is the one thing about women.

Women either pull together, and when they do it is an amazing thing to see.

But when they ostracize one person, single them out and label them, it might as well be a witch hunt.

It can be used to protect and shelter other women, or condemn her.

There is a woman in Bangladesh, who speaks of her country and how it is changing..

“Now (since she has gone there and help change things), if a woman is a victim of domestic violence, the other women will rally to her, and get her medical help, and legal assistance, and they will shun the man who attacked her. I have seen this happen with so many women – the discovery that they don’t have to be beaten; that they can be stronger than their attackers.

And it goes even deeper. I have seen the attitudes of men change. When I first went to the villages and suggested men share the housework with their wives, people laughed in my face, they laughed at the men who attempted to share housework. Today, it is spreading across the country, and some men talk about sharing with pride. Women aren’t forced to put up with being attacked at home like they used to. They have hope. When I hear how they speak now – it is amazing to me. It makes me think that anything is possible.
It’s very easy to stand outside a situation and say ‘I will do this for you.’ I have tried to work differently – to stand alongside people and say: how can I work with you? If you are beaten up, if you are intimidated, if you are afraid, I’ll stand with you.

For me, that’s what One Billion Rising has been all about. Women are engaged in this fight all over the world. Every February 14th, we come together to resist the violence against women that is happening to women all over the world. In Bangladesh, we had around 400,000 women and men who came forward and rose and danced in our streets, in villages and cities, held rallies, human chains, sign petitions, for freedom for women from violence and sexual abuse. I looked across during our rising in Dhaka, our main city, and I saw all kinds of women, women in saris, women in pants, women in hijabs, all dancing as one.”

And here I am, in my little town, trying to bring awareness, and these women (and a couple men in the class) try to shut me down.

And yet, in another country, 400,000 people dance.

Last year, I did get 5 amazing women to do the flash mob, and I still remember how empowering it was to me watching (and dancing with) these beautiful women despite the resistance there. To their credit they stood up and danced, despite having to do it in the gym where honestly, no one else but us could see it. It was a “shove them in a corner somewhere” and hope they will go away kind of feeling. But I felt so empowered watching them.

But just looking at them brought tears to my eyes. I know their stories. I am so proud to be their friend.

Here I am in America of all places where the women are supposed to be so independent and brave and I see…FEAR....and embarrassment.  I think they have been so conditioned that they don’t know any other way.

Its sad to watch some of these ladies look at each other for approval, as if they need the ok, and then when they don’t get it they bow their heads and just walk away in embarrassment. Even a couple who seemingly got brave shut down after long… but not all, and I am proud of those ladies that were so brave.

There was one woman who was my greatest supporter. I will never forget a time or two that she stared the others down and stood her ground when no one else would about doing the dance.

Me, I am asking for help in a small town in America…and I’m feel that at times I'm looked at like I have three heads by older ladies who can’t stand that I’m playing a song and inviting, not forcing anyone to dance to a song, that heaven forbid, has the word “No more rape and incest” in it.

The worst thing last year was no one from the actual gym staff was even willing to do the dance. No support. 


One young teacher started to do the dance (and I appreciated it) but she stopped (she couldn’t do it the day we did, she had to work) but no one involved at the gym would help. Not one.

Again….women in the world do two things. They either boost or protect a woman who has been brutalized, or they gang up against her, victimizing her AGAIN…

I really need to get in with a younger group of women.

I realize this is the generation that was taught to “keep the family secret” to stay silent.

And THAT is why the men get away with so much.

Shut up

Sit down

Pretend abuse isn’t happening.

But guess what?

he younger generation isn’t shutting up.

Some of us are so loud that we will shout it from the roof tops till someone listens.

I will be one of those people.

Some people might think that One Billion Rising isn't for everyone.

Well it is.

If you have a mother, a sister, a friend, chances are you know someone who has been beaten, raped or abused.

It is uncomfortable subject. But…I REFUSE to stay silent.

That is the enemy here.


No one will EVER silence me as hard as they try.

Silence is the only reason abusers get away with what they do.

There is a shift going on in the world for women. I can not only feel it, I SEE it.

(Just look at the O.B.R. dancing that will be going on all over the world.)

This is my third year doing O.B.R.

I was told this year by the pool manager that he would help me in any way he could, so I set up doing the dance at the pool and did it once…and THEN, after that news gave me hope that maybe they would help garner interest, and CARE….well This year, first I was talked to by someone about not doing it, and then the gym manager emailed me and said they “Admired my passion” but weren’t interested in doing it.

Ahhh the old school way of doing things. Hide it, bury it, pretend it doesn't happen.  

If you care, if you “admire my passion” don’t patronize me damn it, HELP!

Well guess what?

The younger generation is leading the way here and we are unstoppable.

You cannot stop a hurricane. We are a force of nature. We will NOT be stopped.

1 in 3 women are abused in their lifetime- They are. That's one Billion women.

If I could shout it from the rooftops, I would.

And still, in Bangladesh, 400,000 dance.

I will be dancing too. (I will do it in my Nia class this year.) I will not bow down. I will not be silenced. EVER.


Ever again.

My favorite One Billion Rising clip:
The actual One Billion rising dance: with a HUGE group! :)
My favorite Tutorial for the One Billion Rising Dance:

Now go find out where your flash mob is and JOIN. (If you so choose) I am with you all the way J

Break The Chain!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Remember, Remember! The Fifth Of November,The L.D.S Treason And Plot; (the new rules on treatment of gay parents and their children ) And My Resignation From The Mormon Church.

Remember, remember!
    The fifth of November,
    The L.D.S treason and plot;
    I know of no reason
    Why the L.D.S.  treason
    Should ever be forgot!

(Thank you Revo for bringing up the point that it happened on November 5th)

November 5th 2015 the L.D.S. church issued a new statement for their bishops (etc) in their L.D.S. handbook.

Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing. A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be  baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows: A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:

1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.

2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship

I really think what Paul Toscano sais here relates“LDS leaders' latest attack on same-sex couples & their children denies Christ's Atonement and echoes the hatred of the Nazi Nuremberg laws.”

This announcement of the church I'm afraid, will give others fuel on the fire to treat anyone who is gay and their children with even more venom than before.

I was treated horribly just for being a part of Ordain Women and this has triggered me, so much so that I have had trouble functioning for the last couple of days. It brings back too many memories of alienation and that “if you can’t conform, leave” mentality I dealt with those two years ago. I am being triggered, PTSD episodes are haunting me as we speak… but this is nothing.

I can't even imagine some of the treatment that children will endure from their peers (not to mention adults) because of the churches latest statement.

The same thing happened before with Ordain Women the minute there was an announcement. Suddenly, people who were kind, turned cruel. (that is here:

But I didn’t have to deal with it my entire life.

 They will.

I guarantee that it is happening right now.

This statement will hurt, and I dare say kill some of the world’s most sensitive souls.
(During my ordeal with the church there were times that I even felt suicidal because of the treatment, even though I told no one-not even my husband. This brings back so many bad feelings, mostly now disgust because there is so much more to life than this and believing that another soul has the right to judge you. (yes, YES, I know that they say its supposed to be God judging you, but I'll leave that to the REAL God, not the Mormon God. I am afraid that their God is just a man in sheep's clothing) I am freer and happier than I ever was in that bigoted church, but I am heartbroken for so many right now.) 

I am terrified that some will not be able to bear it. The blood is on the churches hands, and it just breaks my heart.

I have heard so many excuses over the last few days from Mormon people on the treatment of gay parents and their children.

The more I hear about it the more I think there are people in that church who have Stockholm Syndrome. ...they will make any excuse... even with all the abuses of this bigoted church to so many people to excuse the behavior. It makes me sad.

That is what happens when a church or a person controls every tiny little aspect of your life.

This comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling for same sex marriage.

Who do they think they are? Children who don't like the ruling in the Supreme Court so they throw a temper tantrum? What about the churches stance of following the laws of the land? I'm sorry, they don't speak for God.

This is flat out bigotry.

I read Steve Bloor's blog the other day who had a guest blogger Joseph A Hollenbaugh.

I am going to add it here because I think he hits the nail on the head:

"The Church itself holds the ultimate power of determining who may, and who may not, obtain the most important of God’s gifts and rewards. 

For believers, there can be no greater desire than to maintain “good standing” within the Church, which is tantamount to acceptance by God himself. To lose one’s place in the faith (or never to gain it) is to lose one’s place with God. It is the ultimate rejection, the ultimate failure, and the ultimate loss. Is it any surprise that Church leaders exercise that power fervently and jealously? And this late move against same-sex couples is simply that; a raw exercise of power.
You might say that is obvious, but to what end? Why this? But power needs no motive; it is its own motive. Yet the power to punish innocent children, or withhold “blessings” from them, seems entirely gratuitous on the surface. This policy, however, is not about punishing children. It is about exploiting children. Yes, exploiting. As in, using children as a means to an end. As in, using children as leverage to control the parents, and extended families, and the courts of the Intermountain West of the United States.
The use of Church affiliation as a means of control and coercion by Church leaders is nothing new, but the recent policy is a calculated and ingenious mutation of the practice. The Church has long used political and economic power to control its environment and membership. Yet political and economic power are trivial compared to the power over eternal reward or punishment for individuals and their families. The new policy brings all of these powers to bear and makes children the pawns in a devilishly intricate chess match."
See the whole blog here:  And to add to insult, at 18  the child of a gay parent has to denounce their parents gay lifestyle and not live with them in order to go on a mission.

Since I left the church almost 2 years ago I have wanted to resign, but have heard horror stories about people being harassed and sent more letters even though they resigned. I didn’t want that. But I just heard about a lawyer (God bless his soul) who is sending the L.D.S church resignation letters for free (you have to send a letter to them for your records to be gone) and he represents you so they can’t harass you.

So now, finally, even though I  thought it was too big of a hassle before, I am finally getting this monkey off my back.

I hate that this is right but someone posted somewhere that Mormon Church is like Hotel California..."You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

I will say this...I may be out, and happily so, but I will NEVER stop speaking out against the bigotry and misogyny that I see too often used in "the name of God.” against my brothers and sisters. I am just so furious about this.

So…I just sent my information to the lawyer who is helping those for free who would like to resign from the Mormon Church.

I haven't considered myself Mormon for almost 2 years. This will make it official.

I see so many people hurting today... it's ripping my heart out.

I am so glad that people are outraged. And they should be. It will not get shoved under the rug.

I hope the gay community feels how much love so many of us have for them and for their children.

I just wish we could all reach out and collectively give them a hug. To anyone that is know that we are. You are not alone and we are with you.

Remember the picture online of Christians holding hands in a circle protecting Muslims in Egypt as they prayed in a show of solidarity?

Well I feel that circle right now around the Gay community and it is coming from all over the world.

Love, in the end will always win.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Face Off With Death (My Near Death Experience : Chicken Soup For The Soul Submission)

I loved to dance when I was a teenager.
In the middle of winter my best friend Jennie and I would slide down the street in what we called our “slidey shoes,” whipping down the side roads covered in ice. She launched me down the road like a racehorse, both of us giggling. I pushed her too and we played “crack the whip,” kind of like you do in roller skating… all the way down the long road to go dancing.
We would end up falling flat on our backs on the road laughing.
What a memory.
We slid into the parking lot of the Galleria, a dance place for teens. No matter the weather, or what my day was like, I could let off steam and dance. And every year they had an all-night party there into the wee hours of the morning.
Jenn and I were always the last to leave. We were there till 7 am.
We were going home, and as an afterthought, I asked my friend if she was going to take the self defense class that the high school was teaching that week…after all, you never knew who you would encounter dancing. I had taken the class the day before, and I felt empowered! She said no, but that she would.
After that memory, there’s nothing happy about it. Not that day.
I came home from dancing that morning after the all night to morning party and tried to sneak Spaghetti out of the fridge.
I would try to be quiet about getting food from the kitchen without my father finding out.

With my father’s room right by the kitchen that was hard to do.

My father:  Incredibly abusive when I lived with them to when I left. He knew nothing of love, (thanks to his abusive father- I think that's where he learned to be such a bastard,) egging on even my sisters to abuse me even while he was beating me.  He controlled everyone and everything around him.

That is my father.

He would do his best to catch me eating: From 10 to noon we weren’t allowed to eat. After 10 pm we weren’t allowed to eat either. Any excuse to beat me to a pulp if I ate at any forbidden times.
I opened my bedroom door (that was also next to his) and closed the door as quickly as I could sneaking quietly, (or so I thought)  through the small corridor to the kitchen. I was starving. I couldn't stand my stomach growling anymore.

At 10:30 am, just as I was looking into the refrigerator door, he grabbed me.
He attacked me, hitting hard.
Years of beatings culminating in one moment, and that empowering self-defense class…I thought I could finally fight back.
For the first time in my life, I really fought back for all I was worth.
That took a lot of guts for me.
I realize now how sad that is, that I felt that way. That I almost died for eating that day is laughable. It doesn’t make any sense. But in my parent’s house, nothing made sense.
The norm was, when he attacked me, I would go completely limp. Like a prize fighter who knows he’s lost the fight, all the light going out of my eyes.
One shuddering sigh, and I gave up.
Cowing, I tried to protect my face, and swatted weakly at my father.
Enraged, he suddenly had his hands around my throat.
I looked up into the face of a mad man. It didn’t even look like him to me; this red faced, spitting monster with his hands so tight around my throat.

It felt like he wanted to will me out of existence with his bare hands.
Suddenly everything went black. I stopped struggling because it didn’t hurt anymore.
I didn’t feel his hands around my neck. I didn’t have to struggle to breathe anymore. And strangely, I felt peace. I have never felt anything like it in this life.
I could hear everything going on around me. And I could hear my mother yelling “you killed her”!!!
There was screaming chaos all around me, but in that moment, I felt at peace.
One of my sisters told me my face turned blue.
I couldn’t move. Weird, maybe I wasn’t breathing. Strangely I thought “huh…. I’m not breathing. It doesn’t hurt anymore”.
I only saw blackness, but in that blackness a clear, indescribable love. Pure, unadulterated love just flowed through me. It told me everything would be ok, that even though I stopped breathing, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was love.
Everything that I felt in that moment towards my father, hate, anger, fear: gone.
People who have had near death experiences say that they felt love and weren’t worried.
I didn’t feel worried.
Once, I heard of one woman in a car accident who lost a young daughter and she felt love. As she walked down a corridor with her little one, that little one kept walking to the end of the corridor without her and she knew it was ok to let her daughter go. She knew her daughter would be ok because she felt that love. She felt that peace and she let her daughter go.
That is exactly how I felt.  I knew I would be ok. I felt that love. I was enveloped in it. I knew it. It was familiar. Nothing else mattered. I felt cradled in it. I let go.
The only way I can describe it is being “Held by God”… I felt held by love.
People talk about that darkness before they go through the tunnel.
I think I didn’t go “far enough down the rabbit hole” to see that tunnel.
Suddenly I gasped…
I’m back! I thought.
That God held my life in his hands and didn't end it speaks volumes to me and to this day, I remember.
God chose not to end it.
My life had only just begun.
Years later when our teenage daughter tested me my husband said that maybe one of the reasons I didn't die could be so I would learn the lesson my father never did.
You can't control other people.
There were many lessons in my life, but the one that sticks with me is this: my young daughter flying down a ski slope getting closer and closer to the edge of a cliff; I fly as fast as my mommy skis can towards the safer side (near the cliff but making it so she can't get too close to that cliff) to reel her in to safety, but to still give her wings so she can fly down those slopes.
My daughter, who is always unafraid when she skis.
Now that she's older, I want to give her wings, not take them away. I may not be perfect at it, and I have made my fair share of mistakes, but when I see her fly, I am so proud.
These days, I eat whenever I'm hungry. I will never allow a child (or friend) to go hungry in my house (in fact anything is fair game- you hungry? If you’re at my house, you can eat it.)
I am a writer working on my biography about my life to help others who have been through abuse like I have to know that they are not alone. And I am a Nia instructor (Martial arts, healing arts (yoga) and dance. Yes, I still dance.
God brought me full circle. Nothing can stop me from dancing. I have found out…
I can fly too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Haunted Standrod House: Don't Go There. (I Did)

Video we took of the Standrod house years back...

Since I have been a child I have known to have "feelings" about places. Now, this could all be in my head, but I have learned to follow promptings and feelings.

 Years back  I had a feeling not to go with a friend somewhere, and three hours later I got a call telling me my friend had been in an accident. A big grain truck had hit the passenger side.

I was grateful I listened to that feeling. I don't know if I would be here if I hadn't listened.

I have learned to listen to any feelings I have about things like this, CLOSELY.

There are things I won't even go into here, where I have known I am protected because of what I have seen in my life.

I have to wonder if my near death experience opened up something to me in some way, I don't know...but life, and death are a funny thing. Nobody comes back once on the other side.(well, usually ;p)

Guess I'll just take a wait n see approach. ;p

Which brings me to this...

The Standrod house...

When I went there I have a feeling  something bad happened here…how a house feels depending on who lived in it many times stays.

That has been my impression.

The house I grew up in has that same feeling.

I am hyper sensitive to people and especially places where bad things have happened.

I think its because of the home I grew up in. The feeling of being in a place where "everything is not right" is familiar to me, as for the first 16 years of my life I was in an incredibly abusive home and almost died.

Its just natural that I feel the vibe when I am in a home where things have gone wrong.

Years back, before we got married my soon to be husband and I were looking for a place to have our reception before we got married, and we checked out a place called the Standrod House.

The minute I walked into that place I felt something very, VERY wrong there.

They had a picture of the old family there and I could not help but gravitate towards it.

 I took a long hard look at it, and saw a teenage girl and the father of the family, those were the two that really struck me for some reason, and I actually felt physically sick.

I told Joe "There's a really bad feeling in that place."
 There is NO WAY the reception would be there.

I had such a horrible feeling that something really REALLY bad had happened there.

He said "Heidi, I can't tell you here, but I'll tell you after we're out of here" so I  had the tour of the house, but I had this sickening feeling all through the house. I just wanted to get out of there.

When we left, Joe (Who had lived in Pocatello for years before I did) said "Heidi, the teenage girl you were looking at was going out with a boy that her father didn't approve of. That boy disappeared and they never found him. The girl went up to her room, wouldn't leave and got very sick over time. She died."

The feeling in that house is VERY familiar to me. I think because those feelings tell me she dealt with abuse, and I dealt with abuse- ( so much so that I almost didn’t make it out of my fathers house alive.)  The feeling in that house is familiar to me. And not in a good way. But I KNOW the feeling of an abusive house as a child, and it felt the same. I think she was beaten, or who knows what else. I tend to trust my gut, especially when I get that same feeling that I had when I lived in that awful house in my youth.

I actually had a prayer with Joe for that girl, that she was at peace. I felt so sad for her and kept crying. I couldn’t explain it to my fiance but I think he understood.

Years later we went back to Pocatello and happened to go past the neighborhood and we went there... again. The doors were locked, but when we went up on the wrap around porch the wind picked up suddenly and whipped through my hair…it set the chimes off on the porch…it was just CREEPY.

Sometimes there's nothing you can do but hope that whoever lived in a house like that is at peace.

 I hope she is.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sex /The LDS church/ The Boy Scouts/ And The Strange Parallel: The Mormon Clergy's (men) Interviews Alone With Women

When I was a teenager, I acted like a teenager.

 I made out a little bit, just like most kids my age.  But I was completely clueless… Pretty much about everything.

With that said, growing up in the Mormon Church, my parents really didn’t talk about sex. Most of it was pretty taboo.

Most Mormon parents I knew didn't talk at all to their kids about sex, at least that was the impression I got from people I knew. Strangely, the guys at my school sometimes took it upon themselves to educate me (One even taught me how to swear:) One particular guy would say, "Hey Heidi, so you know what this means?" and then go into gory dirty details I didn't understand. This guy even painted a fireman in ceramics class and took it upon himself to give it to me. And the fireman had a hose in his hand. I had NO clue why he gave it to me but wondered why all the guys in class were snickering... :p

Sex ed was such a problem in my area that in the little town 15 minutes from me, they called the drill team the marching mothers...for good reason.

Sex just wasn't talked about.

So...I had to be one of the most naive girls on the planet. So much so that when I was in high school and took home ec (in my senior year mind you- that's how my Mormon school was and how little we were prepared)  for sex ed in this little Mormon town, I said penes (think of pen-es) instead of the obvious male anatomy, and my best friend wouldn’t let me live it down. She still doesn’t.  Every once in a while she takes out the p card:p 

And the day I got married I had giggling fits...I had NO idea what certain things looked like if you get my drift, which led me into more giggling fits...

I was that naive.

But I am not now.

But with that said, there have been times in my life that I feel like I have had divine help, and I am grateful…

Which leads me to this story.

I had a bishop who I would go to any time I was worried, (not to mention that in the Mormon church you are assigned a Bishop that you have to go to 2 to 3 times a year, whether you want to go or not for a personal worthiness interview- you are expected to go)

One time I felt I had made out with a boy a bit too much. 

Well I got into the bishops office, he closed the door and I told him I needed to confess what I had done (making out) well, he suddenly went into such a tirade, asking me so many questions that I could barely answer them fast enough.

Suddenly he was asking all of these very personal questions. Specifics of what I and the boy had done. 

Things I had no idea what they meant, and when I asked what they meant, he repeated some very dirty things to me, in explicit detail.

Something told me that this was VERY wrong. It got to the point where I didn’t feel safe. Everything in me was screaming, “Get out of here” ….he is getting turned on and you owe him NOTHING. I told him I wouldn’t tell him anything more and I got up and left.

My whole life I've had to have the guts to get up and leave or stand up for myself and what I believe in , father friends, bishop, doesn't matter. I may have been afraid to speak my mind, but that's never stopped me... its innate...its who I am. BUT what about people who don't or haven't been taught to stand up for themselves or to question the motives, (trust the leaders no matter what mentality that sometimes is pushed on the youth..) ESPECIALLY someone who is supposed to be protecting you? As someone who is supposed to "be an intermediary between you and God"?

What would have happened if I would have stayed?

I don’t know. But I DO know there have been cases of sexual abuse before (Example: )

Now, I don’t really know, but I feel that I was protected by something bigger I was .

I was just a naïve kid.

 Which brings me to this statement and these very good points from my friend and blogger Amy:

 “Earlier this week, the Mormon Newsroom released a statement regarding the potential end to the long-standing Boy Scouts of America (BSA)-LDS Church partnership, citing the recent decision to allow openly gay men to serve in leadership positions. 

As discussions popped up across social media, individuals in favour of the split reasoned that those who are attracted to the sex of the minors should not be in isolated situations with them. Many assured me their concerns were not due to prejudice and bigotry. In fact, they would be the same if men were to oversee and be in isolated situations with young women. (Me: WTH???ARE YOU PEOPLE BLIND TO WHAT YOU JUST SAID????)

The problem with this assertion is, of course, that LDS men are frequently in isolated situations with young women and hardly anyone bats an eye.” This is something that needs to be addressed, and yet isn’t." “

I hope someday this practice of having middle aged men interviewing girls and women changes.

Until then, the abuse of women won’t stop.