Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How I Found Hope In Humanity Again

The last two years have been jumbled up in my head like a jigsaw puzzle that just hasn’t fit together, or maybe…. some pieces are missing. I want SO desperately to find them…

But where’d they GO??? Or did I ever have them in the first place?

I am learning the “Mormon teachings” stuck inside my brain come out at the most inopportune times...from the times I say “MY church” when I’m talking about the Mormon church (and I don’t consider myself mormon and never will EVER again) to over 40 years of brainwashing- that the “Us against the world” mentality is (I’m just going to say it) total and complete bullshit.

What happened to me two years ago at the time because of the Mormon church and its incredibly bigoted practices towards me and other women made me go from  this happy go lucky girl to an incredibly cautious, suspicious of people’s intentions kind of person, whether I look like it or not.

People telling on me to the Bishop about my feminist posts on Facebook, the spying on me on Facebook, the spying on me on my blog, the gossip at church just took all my faith in humanity.

I started to feel like everybody has an angle. Too many people seemed to be selling something.

Being treated for so many years like I’m not or will never be good enough by that church has taken it’s taken its toll on me.

Growing up I thought about what I wanted to be and came up empty because it had all been spelled out for me.

It’s damaging to be told your whole life your purpose in life, and to fight it, but inwardly to my shock I realize I believed it at the time, no matter how much I fought it.

And then I found out it’s all a lie. I realized that there’s more to me than being a mother, that I was never completely fulfilled and I knew it even when when I was pregnant. I knew it in my bones. I love my kids (or in my case kid) but there’s more to me than that...more than having or wanting people to take care of you your whole life as if you are this fragile little thing who has no right to have dreams, or passions or figuring out What the hell I wanted to be .

I’ve been treated like a THING my whole life. That I should be spit out, carbon copy as a baby-maker, here to cook, clean, make babies, and as one person rightly put it, end up like  livestock infuriates me.

I guess if there are stages of grief for what I have gone through, I’m in the angry phase.

I am ferocious when someone messes with me anymore, especially men.

There have been times I have been so angry, sometimes blowing up because of the sheer frustration of what I went through, and then other times I shut down and just get quiet.

Its such a fucking contradiction.

I don’t know if that’s the definition of bipolar, but there it is. Maybe it’s more traumatized. Maybe it’s PTSD.

Add to that my abusive father dying last year, and confusion has reigned in my world for a while.

But I’m angry that I’m over 40 and just figuring things out. Sort of.

I go to the YMCA swimming, and when I first left the church people came out of the woodwork telling me, you “NEED” to go to this church or that church, some people even going as far as saying I HAVE to have a relationship with God. Their God with “their religion” because of course THEY are the ones with the “Only true church” Just like my church had always said, just like EVERYONE with whatever church they chose believed... . I have found that everyone involved that has talked to me believes they they are the only true church. That they are all “God’s Chosen People” (Interesting how so many churches believe that they are “the chosen ones.) People would sometimes get this look in their eye when they talked to me about their church like "OH! I'm gonna get her to go to church with me and then she'll be saved!!!" Untuil I told them that I believed organized religion is mens excuse to play God. That would send them scurrying away.  

Hell even nations do this same we're the best crap... We are ALL the "BEST" nation, no matter where we come from.

It’s not like I need a church to have a personal relationship with God. I will NEVER be involved with any church again.

They have NO clue, and WHY would I tell them about my near death experience?  (because of my father...)  They wouldn’t understand. But then sometimes I WOULD tell them, just to shut them up. They would this vacant look in their eyes and most of them would shut up after that.

How arrogant we are!

Well, I have to be honest here.

I have shut down for a while.

Like a machine that’s running, but underneath it all has been secretly seething.

Keeping to myself. (Well, more than usual)

Honestly not wanting to deal with, well, anyone.

I am happier than I’ve ever been,and freer, but I am learning to do that on MY terms.

With that said,  I am SO much more guarded than I used to be. My life will not ever be on anyone else’s terms again.

I am trying really hard here to find a peaceful place. And there are times I find it. (I meditate every day.Oprah and Deepak Chopras meditations have really helped. Every day there is a centering thought. Todays is when I let go I find my grace.

Your welcome. Haha.

I had a counselor that said after I left the church that

“NOW you are free to figure out YOUR beliefs..

It’s not spelled out like I’m a robot anymore.

I’m going outside and feeling the sun on my shoulders, feeling free for the first time.
Throwing my arms open wide, and then looking around worried someone was watching me. Ug. Oh the conditioning churches put on people!

I feel like I want to flip off the entire world off if they mess with me lately.

I guess I’m at a point where there are days I feel like I have a giant chip on my shoulder.

Like I just want to scream “FUCK YOU WORLD!”

Its damned confusing.

This Sunday, As I have for many MANY Sundays, I slept in.

It felt delicious. I wake up Sunday when I want now, not having to go ANYWHERE.  
But this Sunday I woke up to reports about the  Orlando Florida shooting.

My radar went up again. WHERE is the humanity?  I thought. I cried watching so many suffer and for those like the mother who couldn’t find her son who was on TV like a rerun over and over begging “WHERE IS MY SON?? I DON’T KNOW WHERE HE IS!”

I have been so jaded, so untrusting and so angry at the world (especially at the Mormon world) that at times it’s hard to see straight. There is no way I can explain the RAGE I feel lately every time I hear about a new proclamation out by the Mormon church or when someone has been hurt by a church. ANY church. Especially their proclamation about Gays. I feel like it feeds the hate.

At one moment thinking about my ordeal with the mormon church my mind flashed back to a time , before I left the Mormon church where the Bishop called a class together with the entire ward. He led  some poor kid in talking about Gays in such a derogatory way, actually writing on the chalkboard there those derogatory things that I was shaking my head at the whole time. I don’t remember if I said anything or not, but I like to think that I did.I hope I did.I was so disgusted. This is what produces hate.

That day of the shooting,  I read thing after thing, watched video after video and my heart just broke all over again.

I have watched many many videos and news reports  as I’m sure many of you did. I stuck by the tv and news listening over days of  Horrifying information.

And I stewed. And stewed, Why the hate? Why the so called disgusting “righteous indignation”???

And then it came out that he had frequented the club, that he had a profile on a gay site.
Could it be that he hated himself SO much because of what he had been taught growing up...that he felt he had to kill everyone BECAUSE of his hatred of himself??? Or, was it that he did that(Got on the site, went to the club (A point my daughter brought up)  to target people? Whatever his motive, It’s twisted, and sick, and so, SO horrifying. His act of terror was  the actions of a selfish, disgusting, SICK man.

I heard the accounts..

Then the pictures of people who had died started popping up.

Young talented people. Stories were told. One guy loved singing Adele and would torture his co- workers with Adele’s songs, another had a Tattoo that said “No Gender." Students, singers, people with futures and love. And then there were those who died together.

This is what we need to remember, people who were just like us, loved and had hopes.

I was feeling sad one day about all of this when my daughter called...

She was on a road trip and was driving home from a family reunion when she started to get annoyed...suddenly I heard some choice words and then she said “Mom, someone almost drove me off the road. They were in a camper, the lanes were merging and they forced me off the road!”

Then suddenly she said  “I think something happened to my tire...let me get out and look”

Sure enough, her tire was going flat.

She said “Let me call you back later, I need to figure out what to do.”

I told her to find a place quick, it was 3 pm and most places would be closing soon.

So worrying, but praying she would be ok, I got off the phone.
She was in the middle of nowhere Utah, so I was worried.

Next time I heard from her: “Mom, someone stopped and told me they had a friend with a shop...he drove with me behind in my car, and then left. The place fixed the hole in her tire, and she hurriedly looked for her wallet.

That’s when she realized she left it on top of the trunk back at another town 300 hunderd or so miles back..


She was Panicking when a guy walked into the shop and said “I heard someone is stranded,she said “yes, that's me! “

He walked over, put $35 in her hand, no questions asked and she cried. Then gave him a hug.

Somebody made a difference in my daughter's life who was terrified that she wouldn’t get home that day.

After all the horrible news of the week, to have this bit of good news changed the way I have been feeling about things.

Then a day or two later, my doubts crept in.

What if they knew she left mormonism? What if they were mormon themselves? What if they were not mormon themselves? Does it matter??? Would they have helped her knowing she left mormonism or would they have treated her with disgust as they had me, just because of my beliefs?

What if they only did it because she was pretty?

What if they knew she was a part of the LGBT community?

Would they have even helped her at all? Would they have been just another mormon bigot with an agenda? Or would they try to help her thinking maybe they could find some way to convert her back? (that's not happening!)

Damn it...I have become so cynical because of my experience with Mormons. (sigh)

Maybe I was meant to be my daughters mama. Maybe I was MEANT to grow up in Mormonism to get to the other side of it so I could look her in the eyes and tell her I love her. That she is worthy. That she is beautiful JUST the way she is.

My problem is, most of the time I’m a complete idiot. And I say and do WAY too many times, the wrong thing. I’ve pounded my head against an invisible wall over and over because of the gazillion times I make mistakes.

Here I can sit and think about what I’m saying and then write it.

In the real world I wander around using my words like a drunk...and then it turns into freaking word vomit!

Too many times I say something and then wish I could take it back, or not haha.

Today I went to my daughter’s  facebook page when I saw that she posted something.

She came out today!  I am so proud of her in light of everything. In SPITE of everything.

How brave.

How beautiful.

She came out to me some time ago- If I had still been mormon, would she have been so open in telling me? I have to wonder, because some years back I was a Mormon with most of the belief systems of a mormon, because I THOUGHT that’s the way God wanted me to believe. Not anymore.

My daughter told me a friends mother said to me once that “kids need to experiment” and that my response that was “no they don’t!” It must have been so incapacitating for her to struggle so hard, dealing with a religion that told her she loves in the wrong way.

NO ONE loves in the wrong way. If it’s real honest to God love, it doesn’t matter who it’s to.

It took some pretty hard realities to bring me back to love.

This last week has restored my hope in humanity.

I started thinking about the people who helped my daughter and a simple truth hit me.

We do not need to know everything about each other to do good.

It is ingrained in us. We are ALL connected. We are interwoven into a tapestry that is warm and safe and loving as we allow it to be, deep down like one of those down comforters or fleece...ahhhh fleece. :p Or maybe more like a patchwork quilt. ALL of us with our differences.
Beyond the hurt and hate and the fear is a longing for somewhere we all belong where there is NO terror or hate, just love. Just HOME. Where going there is like being wrapped in a hug.  

Ah, the tapestry that  is love. That is goodness and acceptance and forgiveness. THAT brings peace. (This makes me want to wrap myself up in a big blanket ;p its a little on the chilly side today.:p)

And I remember a powerful quote.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death”

Anne Frank

Yeah. That.