Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Ok, so I'll take some time and think it over

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the suggestions made to my most recent post. I can't say I wasn't surprised, because I was and I've done little else, but think about it.

That and put together another music video. The creative spurt hit me and it all came together nicely.

So, first of all, Rory Kearn.....not my real name. The picture is really me, but that is easily changed. I've tried to keep names in initials and not be too specific about anything. But I'll have to re-read.

Second, my husband is entirely computer illiterate. He has one email address, a Yahoo one and he doesn't know how to get the email. I check it for him once a week. We have only two TVs in our house, he hates the television, DVDs, CDs, the computers, video games, etc. He hates all technology and would probably relish the life of Grizzly Adams. Since a remote control is not that hard to learn how to use, he watches television. But he does not use the computer, not even for billing or managing his checkbook. So you can imagine the steam shooting out of his ears when I come home from Best Buy with new CDs or DVDs. He hates that too.

Maybe I put too much stock in his computer deficiency, but he rarely goes online...and even then it is only to look at the latest camouflage wallet for sale at Cabelas.com. He doesn't know what a blog is. That is not to say that someday he couldn't hire a quick-witted attorney who would find me. So again, I'm giving the thought of retooling this blog serious time.

Beyond that, I have my own computer that is locked down. I don't think he could get in if he tried.

He thinks almost everything I do online is silly.
  • I make websites....they are stupid and cost money, but don't make any.
  • I make music videos....the hardware was spendy and I take clips from video tapes of TV shows and put them to music to tell a story within a story. It doesn't make any money and takes up my time.
  • I post on forum boards for my favorite TV shows and read up on all the spoilers. TV shows are stupid and they take up my time.
  • Etc, ad naseum.
Yet, when the kids computer gets hammered with spam and viruses....who is the first person he calls to fix it so that he can go see that camouflage wallet.....yep.....me.

I must have had my bitch flakes for breakfast, because really, he's been nice lately. I just realized in writing this post, that he doesn't think much of some of my greatest guilty pleasures in life.

Oh well.

(Note: As I put this blog back together, my ex-husband did find this blog...after we were divorced. It caused a lot, and I do mean A LOT of problems. Lesson learned? Yes.)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Musings and an epiphany or maybe an epiphanal musing....

The title of my blog has never been more true than at this very moment. When I started this it was because my therapist told me to write about how I was feeling. She gave me assignments and I wrote about them and then kept writing about other things. I have carpal tunnel though, and typing was easier and faster for me so I started keeping my journal on my computer. Then I read an article about blogging and checked it out. I thought about it for a couple of weeks and eventually decided that really, who would read my blog. I didn't think anyone would, so I put it online.

There was also a part of me that was hoping one or two people might stumble upon it and comment. I wanted to know if I was really crazy. If how I was feeling about my husband and the Mormon church was way off-base or if I was actually thinking clearly. Because when I try and talk to my husband about anything of a religious nature, I end up feeling completely insane.

In making my way out of the Mormon church I had a friend recommend a few places online to go, the main one being www.exmormon.org. I went there and was shocked and happy, and terribly sad, to discover so many others felt like I did about the church and struggled in their relationships. I didn't post much there, just read a lot. I also went to a women's ex-Mormon retreat this summer close to my home. That was one of the best things I did, because at the time I was considering some very scary stuff.

You see, being raised a Mormon and believing it with all my heart, I was feeling that if I couldn't be a Mormon mother to my kids, then I shouldn't really be their mother at all and this summer I was debating whether or not to leave them with my husband so that they could be raised without my "evil" influence. I didn't think of myself as evil, per se, but knew my husband was upset with my influence on them and I didn't want to make things worse for them. Somehow in my mind, I rationalized that if I left them to their father, I would be doing them a favor. I believed that in the end they would understand why I did what I did.

But at the retreat this summer, I met a woman who left her seven kids for the same reason. And it devastated her and her relationship, years later, with all her children, was strained. I also discovered that every ex-mo woman at that retreat had felt the very same way I did, at one time in their life, as they left the church. That is when I realized, fully, what power religion in general, and the Mormon church in specific, has on people. We are taught that it's the only way, the one true church and during our exit from it, think we are somehow less. And being "less than" adequate in the eyes of other Mormons, our families, and most importantly to God, we begin to believe that leaving those we love will somehow save them. It takes a while to get past that and discover that by staying and continuing to love those in our lives, regardless of their religious convictions, we grow out of the Mormon mindset.

The reason I write all this is that I never intended for this blog to be about my journey out of the Mormon church. I just wanted a place to work through what was in my heart. And again, I didn't think anyone would read it. But people have and are reading it. More than I ever thought. And as I look around I find my blogged linked to others as "Ex-Mormon Mother," etc, and I find myself debating church dogma with others, whether Mormon or not or ex-Mormon. I'm worried that all this discussion bores those who read my blog on a regular basis who are not religious and yet, at the same time, I'm finding that most of my brain-power is still spent on getting out of the Mormon mindset. Maybe it's because I live with a Mormon and see it's effects so profoundly. Maybe it's because I realize that my actions and words greatly affect my children and how they are seeing the church. And I wonder how long I will be on this path out of the church.

In a nutshell, I'm wondering what defines me right now. Is "Ex-Mormon Mother" the best definition? I don't know. As Pops said, I'm not just a mom with a pink-themed blog who waxes poetic about her children, yet this blog isn't entirely ex-Mormon based. But lately that is the bulk of it. And I'm struck by how many people have contacted me. Hearing from so many, many ex-mo's has been incredible. For years, I felt alone. I thought I was the only one struggling with issues of God, worth and marital inequality. I thought I was the only one who felt weird in the temple and questioned so much of the Mormon doctrine. In a way, it's comforting to know that there are so many people out there who feel as I do. I mean, who wants to be alone.

But beyond the Mormon issue, I'm just a woman struggling with my own personal issues, personal to me, but not unique to me. Not really. Everyone is going through something. Everyone has challenges and everyone feels, at some time or another, like they are just trudging through life. I used to say "why me" over and over and look around at others seemingly blissful life and wish my problems would just go away. But don't we all do that? Life is not blissful for anyone, not completely. There are moments of bliss. Moments of true happiness and those moments are what keep us going through the rest of the drudgery. Life is difficult for everyone at some time or another. Because that is the nature of life. It is to be endured for the most part and that makes us what we are as humans.

I'm speaking in the "we" here because it is what I truly believe. If I'm wrong then let me know. If you're out there and you're reading this and you're life has been nothing but joy and roses and sunshine and laughter, please let me know. It would give me more hope.

My life and my struggles make me who I am. Being an "Ex-Mormon Mother" helps to shape who I am today. Growing up without a father, being left on a vacation in small-town Montana, makes me who I am. Working from the time I was nine-years-old and worrying about money from such a young age, help shape how I run a house, my work ethic and my ability to pay bills today. Would I do the same things now if I hadn't grown up that way? Would I be the same mother I am today, if I hadn't struggled through my relationship with my own mother? Being raped at nineteen (a story I have not told yet) shaped so much about me, how I relate to my husband, other men and how I feel about my sexuality. All of these things and so many more tiny, mundane things are why I am the person I am.

My first official online blog was about these very things. The things that make me who I am. The influences on my life that have shaped the woman I am today. There will be so much more and I will continue to change. Maybe, because of this epiphany, I won't cry "why me," and I can trudge through my future challenges knowing that they are not unique to me, just my personal issues.

The thing about epiphanies though, they don't last. They change me and I learn from them, but in the moment, when life really sucks much ass, I forget. And when that car pulls in front of me recklessly on the freeway, I'll probably still wonder why that happened to me and flip them off.

So to cap this blog entry off - thank you to everyone who has commented. You've posted much and I want to respond and will.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Another week lost to a migraine

We got back from Disneyland and I was all ready to get lots of things done, pictures put in albums and work. Then it hit me, Monday afternoon and I've been a mess since. They normally aren't this bad, so I'm hoping that this one goes away and I can have some migraine free weeks or at the very least, some one-day migraines.

I've really missed being able to post here, in fact, I've missed a lot of things, like reading and watching TV and working.

Since I can't write much, I thought I'd post a picture from our trip, the one picture was I was able to scan and edit before my brain stopped working. It's of all of us on Splash Mountain. The husband, me and my kids. Enjoy!



I hope to be back in a day or two.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The happiest frickin' place on earth

OK, so I found a cute boy with a laptop. Hmmm...actually it's my ex-brother-in-law, but hey, he's cute.

The last time I was at Disneyland was about four years ago. I was 31 and it was my first time. I was working at a convention for the company I worked for and my husband flew down and we got a half day at the park by ourselves. We had a good time, but spent the entire visit saying how we knew the kids would love the rides. And now we get to see them enjoy it all. It's been great.

For the most part, we get to the park, run and get a fast pass and then split up. My oldest kids and their cousins run all over and then we meet up for our fast passes and split up again. I've never text messaged so much in my life.

I've also never waited in lines for so long in my life, except maybe at college when I was trying to process my financial aid. :)

What Disneyland/California Adventure is all about is fun and spending tons of money. The food is crazy priced and all the pictures you can buy and the souvenirs. We bought clam chowder for six people and felt like we'd been violated. So lately we've been running from the park down the block to buy Subway or Chinese food and then catch the shuttle back to the hotel to eat dinner.

All that aside, we have wonderfully hilarious pictures of us on Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror and the roller coaster. And we had one of the park photographers take a family picture of all of us. I'll scan and post them when I get back.

I have to say that the Tower of Terror is my favorite ride so far. I was so nervous going in there and freaked out with all the ups and downs, but everyone was laughing at me, and I couldn't help but cry...oops, I mean, laugh. And scream.

I've been wanting to get my kids to Disneyland for years....and we're here and it's beyond great.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Whew! Finally a chance to sit my butt down and write

I've been wondering for a couple of days what to write. I got so much out of me with the last two or three posts that I don't have many deep thoughts left. Only shallow thoughts, like should I have really paid for the "distressed" (already ripped) jeans at Abercrombie and Fitch. Probably not.

I've been busy trying to get everyone ready to go to Disneyland. We leave first thing tomorrow. Friday, I had to run lots of errands to distribute the last of my Farscape goodies to promote the miniseries next Sunday. I had lunch with my mom. Met with the guy I'm doing web design for and then went up to a mall to meet with some others in the local Farscape group to go to 105.1 "The Buzz" radio for a contest.

That last thing, I shouldn't have done. First of all, the girl who planned the whole thing, SS, she was supposed to meet me with almost everything already put together, all I had to provide was the basket. But I get there and she had mountains of paper and candy and just tons of other shit. We couldn't find a table at the coffee shop, so we went to my car. But I had to pee. So I went back to the coffee shop and thought that by the time I got back they would have everything sorted out and almost all put together. And frankly, it wasn't my idea, I didn't enter the contest, I just offered to provide a basket and drive us to the radio station. So I didn't really want to do much.

So I got back from the bathroom and SS and her mother HS have shit spread all over my car. SS is cutting all kinds of stuff out…using little kids scissors. She had pages and pages to cut. After 20 minutes we only had one gift basket ready to go. ONE. I was pretty pissed off and decided to run across the street, literally run on foot, to the Dollar Store to buy more scissors. Because the girl needed help.

I did and we finished the rest in about a half hour, drove to the station and even though it was after-hours, they let us in. We took plenty of pictures and spent some time in the studio listening to the DJs do the show. It was great.

SS better win that damn contest.

I went out dancing on Friday night. Oh, that is always fun.

And since the fun of Friday night, I've spent almost every minute getting us all ready to go. We're flying, which is a new and exciting collective family event. So I'm packing, cleaning and hoping for the best. Like our luggage to not get left in Reno when we change planes.

My kids are on a rant to get MP3 players before we go. Um, yea, it's 7 PM on a Sunday night and we leave tomorrow, so that is not going to happen. Pretty much, they've been running around taking heavy sighs and crossing their arms and staring at me. :-) They are trying to guilt me into running out tonight and buying them the players....and they are barking up the wrong tree. But by tomorrow night, they'll be in Disneyland, running around, riding all the rides they've heard about and eating cotton candy and maybe churros (sp?).

Oh the bliss.

And yes, if anyone is wondering....my husband is going. I don't know if he's excited about it and I don't really care. At the very least, I hope he's looking forward to spending the time with his kids and finding joy in their joy. That's why I'm going. Well, that and to play on Main Street Disney (the adult Disneyland). My husband told me that he's deciding right now if being with me is "worth it" to him and he's also discussed it with his Mormon Bishop. So I'm sure that was a great conversation.

At this point, I'm not worried or upset. It would be a relief to have it all over with, but I'm secure in knowing that I can't go anymore than I'm already doing. I could do a lot less, but that wouldn't help. I'm me....and if I'm not worth it to him....oh well.

OK, so now, I'm off. I won't be posting again until next Saturday, unless I find a cute guy with a laptop.

Adios!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A comment to a comment

(Thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post....it was a hard one to put out there and I appreciate the feedback. )

I've never done this before, and technically, I invited it, so I wanted to reply to something Kevin said in a comment to my blog on Saturday, September 18, "A Saturday night alone with my thoughts."

I first met Kevin on Saturday, September 9, "The Summer of my fourteeth year, " and he said he wanted to comment on some things but needed sleep. I told him I would be happy to hear from him.

I don't know who Kevin is. I don't know if he really does live in Oregon. For all I know he could know my husband or someone who knows my husband. The one thing I'm almost certain of is that Kevin is a Mormon. I gathered that from the "buzz words" in his post, words like "one true church" and "testimony" and "agency." Yes, many people in many churches use these words, but it was also the way he wrote things. Like telling me that if I respect my husbands good example, I will be more inclined to believe my husband's church is true.

I appreciate the sentiment with which Kevin wrote, and I respect that he has found a religion he feels strongly about. I also respect that he didn't tell me I was wrong to believe what I do, but he did come pretty damn close to saying that if I followed God, I would be happy.

He wrote - As we get closer to harmony with what God wants, we find happiness.

Thereby implying that I'm not going to be truly happy unless I turn to God. As many of you know, that tends to piss me off.

Why is that fervently religious people think a person can't be happy unless they are sitting in a pew at church singing songs and praising God? I hated church and was bored out of my mind with the droning songs and lengthy talks. I am happy now. I can spend my Sunday how I want to. I think about God a lot. I contemplate nature and life and where I'm going. But now because I'm unconstrained by a dogma telling me what will happen when I die and how to live my life now, I'm happy because I know that I can believe what I believe and I know that no matter what - God loves me, and I believe God loves everyone. This is am important step for me, because for years, I didn't believe God loved anyone. I thought life was one big joke. After spending years as a Mormon feeling terribly flawed and unlovable, I have never been happier than I am now.

So now, Kevin, while I appreciate your sentiment and did say in my first post that I will respect anyone's point of view, I've lived with my husband for 15 years. He doesn't do much of anything out of pure love. He doesn't care if his family his happy, he only wants to control us. If he chose to love us no matter our religious preference, I have no problem with that. But he's actually come out and said he's "given up" on us because we're not Mormon.

You said - I believe that your husband does love you.

I wrote about this in my previous post, there may be some degree of love there that he feels for me, but he does not *love* me. He could easily walk away tomorrow if he thought it was what God or his church wanted him to do (and I'm not guessing here, he told me this). He's only married because he believes it is what his church wants him to be, and again this is why he's a father. If he loved me and our kids, truly, he would be happy just knowing that we are a part of his life and he would want us to be a part of his life, instead, he's convinced himself that we aren't worthy of him or his life because we aren't Mormon. That is not love, that is judgment.

You said - I believe that because he loves you, he wants the best of everything for you.

He thinks the best for me is to be a Mormon and he only wants that from/of me.

You said - I believe that he has found what he believes to be the true church of God, and knows that by making that church a central part of his life, he will choose the best path for him.

Agreed. But then you said -

I believe that, more than anything in the world, he wants to share that path with you.

Kevin, you talk about a path that my husband has chosen. You're exactly right, and yes, he wants me on it with him. But if I'm not, he doesn't want to chose a path that involves me. He wants it his way and his way only. I'm not asking him to compromise his beliefs, I'm not asking him not go to church. But shouldn't devotion to God foster unconditional love of his family. He only wants to be on his path and he only feels like I'm worthy is if I'm on that path with him.. That is not love....again that is judgment.

You said - I believe that when he sees that you don't want that path, it is extremely discouraging to him. He feels alone, begins to lose sight of hope, and would do anything to have his family on this path with him, that he knows is so good. That way, each person can lift and help each other, instead of each pulling in his/her own direction.

Are you implying that we can only lift each other up if we are Mormon, or as you said "on his path?" What is wrong with my direction or my daughter"s? And what is wrong with each of us, as individuals, deciding how we want to live our lives and doing that to the best of our ability and still loving each other? Do we all have to be going in the same direction? His direction?

You said - I believe that his efforts to force the family onto his path become mistakes and ultimately harm them, even though his intentions are pure. All he can do is invite them and love them, and as he becomes a good example for them, they are more inclined to believe him.

I agree with the first part and if CP was being a good example, I would agree with the second. He is not being a good example of the Mormon faith, or any other, for that matter. He is being a tyrant and trying to brow beat us all into believing him. You speak of "agency" and he is not allowing that. If he was, he would respect that I don't believe in the Mormon church any longer.

You said - I believe the family has to sincerely consider the path he is on, and then choose for themselves, according to the truth they find, whether or not to join him on that path.

And again, I agree. If you've read my blog, you know I've seriously considered his path. I was raised Mormon, I believed it for all I was worth. I built my life around it. But I also asked questions, I wanted to know more and I wanted to understand. Honestly, I think leaving the church was the only course my actions could have led to. I left because I learned the truth. There is a God, and he loves us, but there is not "one true church" on earth. Every church is true to a degree. Every church seeks closeness to God. Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon church) was a just a man who wanted to believe in something, and rather than join another church, he started his own. Martin Luther did that inadvertently. It doesn't make either church absolutely true or absolutely false. They were just men, with great ideas, they loved their fellow men, they loved God and they were charismatic enough to gather followers.

So I asked questions and gained answers and I've chosen not to follow my husband on his path. It doesn't make me right or wrong. I chose for myself and whether he likes it or not, at the very least he should respect my decision. As I respect his.

You said - I believe that a person's choice of religion should be based on their understanding and testimony of their God, and disregard the imperfection of others who follow that religion. We all make mistakes.

I agree, in part. My husband is not disregarding my imperfections. He is judging me because I'm not a Mormon. And in truth, I think, that the way to harmony is to disregard the imperfections of everyone, whether they follow my husband's religion, your religion, their own or none at all. Because we do all make mistakes.

You said - Church is for sinners, and if everyone's sins were to show like a cigarette in mouth, a tattoo or a piercing, things would be different. We go to church because we have a desire to be better. We want to follow the path that our God wants us to follow. As we get closer to harmony with what God wants, we find happiness.

I don't go to church because I want to be happy. First of all, I don't believe in good or bad people, we are all just people who do good and bad things. No one can be a *better* human being that anyone else, because we were all made in God's image. I can try my best to be the best person I can be, but I can't be any better than anyone else.

I don't go to church because I don't want to be confined by one dogma. I want to learn as much as I can about everything. And I truly believe that I am following the path that God wants me to follow, right now. I believe He knows that I'm doing my best.

You said - I understand that you have the right to think whatever you want about my beliefs. Whatever you think about them, please know that the last thing I want is to offend you. I hope I put my thoughts into understandable words, and that you take them into consideration.

I do, you didn't and I did. I hope I did not offend in my reply.

Monday, October 04, 2004

An open letter to my husband's Mormon bishop

Bishop H,

I'm writing this, because at this point, I'm too disappointed in you to come in and see you. You've supposedly been trying to help out my husband and I, however, after last night and something CP said to me, I think you have been playing me. What I don't know is why, but that doesn't really matter to me anymore.

CP has made it abundantly clear in the last 10 months of his life that he wants a Mormon wife. He's made it clear that he loves God much more than he loves me. He's also made it clear that he's extremely devastated that I didn't go back to church and he's told me our marriage is not that important to him. He actually used hand gestures to indicate that God's important is huge to him and his marriage to me means about the distance ofan inch between his thumb and finger.

Even though I've heard over and over again how CP loves God more and wants a 100% Mormon life and I don't fit into that, I've continually tried to fit into whatever space/time was left in his life for me. For three months, I've made a fool of myself and asked him to go out with me on Friday night. For months, I've been throwing out ideas on how he and I could try to enjoy each other's company and rebuild our marriage. It was a waste of my time, because he loves God and told me last night that he doesn'twant anything to do with my "worldly" life.

That is when I realized that through the 15 years of our marriage, as I wondered why CP always had church or martial arts or something else to occupy his time and fascination, he's never really loved me. I was a means to an eternal end. I wondered why he didn't want to spend much time with me. I thought it was because I was unlovable. I thought I wasn't reaching hard enough for perfection. I thought I wasn't good enough. But now I see that it was never about me and it never had anything to do with love. CP married me because I am/was

a.) a girl
b.) a Mormon and
c.) I just happened to be in his line of sight at a church dance
He didn't marry me because he loved me and wanted to be with me. He did it to fulfill God's plan of marrying and propagating the Earth. I just happened to be the girl he picked.

My main disappointment with the church came as I tried so hard to get CP to love me and stop swearing at me and calling me names, and I talked to Bishop after Bishop, not tattling on CP , but instead, blaming myself and my actions for driving my husband away. I begged for support and some idea of what to do to make my marriage better so that I wouldn't be such a terrible wife and so that he would love me. All I got was to honor my "good husband's priesthood" and "read the scriptures" and "pray" and everything would be fine. I did all those things in excess and it didn't stop CP from calling me every name in the book. Him calling me every name in the book also didn't stop me from trying harder, because I'd mistakenly wrapped up my worthiness in whether or not he loved me.


And that is where you come in. Because you gave my husband just the fodder he needed to buoy him through all that is going on with us. Weeks ago when he came to church by himself and left the kids and I at home crying and I called you. Do you remember that? I asked you to tell him that we loved him and we were worried about him and that we didn't think poorly of him. Do you remember that? What you told him instead was that you don't think I really love him. CP told me your exact words were "It seems like she doesn't really love you." Thank you very much. I don't know how you got from what I said to what you told CP , but he believes everything God, prophets and bishops say. And I mean EVERYTHING. So regardless of how many times I tell CP I love him, he now only believes what you said. He thinks it was divinely inspired. He thinks I am lying to him.

And that is why I won't be coming into see you anymore. It is also why I won't be going to therapy anymore. It is why JP, my daughter, won't be coming into see you anymore and she will not be starting therapy. CP does not listen to us, nor does he respect any of us. He now looks at his family as some worldly castoffs to be tolerated until he's dead or we leave him. He told me that he's "given up" on the children. He isn't having family prayer or family home evening, in fact, he's not really into doing anything with his "family" because we let him down. He's angry at himself for becoming inactive years ago because if he hadn't then he would still have his Mormon family. And we aren't worth it to him anymore and the only way we would be worth it to him is if we are sitting next to him at church and loving the Mormon church as much as he does. Is thatreally love? I don't think so.

As an example, we went on a vacation in late August, but we had to leave early on Sunday morning so that CP could be at church. But he's going hunting next weekend and was planning on missing church, if necessary, to kill Bambi. I asked him to explain and he did. He said that he thought God would understand him missing one Sunday of church in a year for him to hunt. He said that given the choice between hunting on a Sunday or spending it on a vacation with his family, he chose hunting. He said specifically that he didn't want to give us a Sunday. I think it's because we aren't worth it to him.We aren't the family he wants anymore, we are too worldly.

There is a term for his behavior and though I don't read scriptures anymore, I got them out and refreshed my memory. It's called "unrighteous dominion" and that is what CP is exercising here. (Unrighteous dominion is from the Mormon scriptures, called the "Doctrine and Convenants." They were/are a series of revelations to Mormon prophets, started by Joseph Smith) What gives a mere man the right to judge his family as unworthy? How can he say that we aren't worth it and write us off because we aren't active Mormons? Because that is how my husband feels about us. Are we not human beings, made in God's image? Does God not love my kids and I unconditionally? Does the Mormon church now teach that unless one is active in the church they are not to be loved and cared for? Did my husband somehow become a God with the power to judge?

More important, do you care about that at all and are you going to do anything about it? If my husband is the epitome of what kind of men you promote to callings within your church, then I am so glad I'm not a part of it anymore. I lived with the hypocrisy of his life for years, but at least now I don't go in and lie to a Bishop about it and lie to my "friends" in Relief Society about it. At least now I don't blame him swearing at me on myunworthiness. He's just an asshole.

To be honest, I detest the Mormon church and all it stands for. I detest what it taught me and continues to teach young women. Mormon women cannot get into heaven on their own, they need a man and a special name to get in. Why? Because they aren't worthy on their own. Mormon women are considered nothing but breeders, we keep a home, we support our husband's as they commune with God via the priesthood, which women don't have. And when we're dead we get to look forward to being breeders again, only this time we'll be one of many, many wives of the husband we devoted our entire life to while alive, because Mormons believe in polygamy in heaven.

The church fosters misogynistic men and tolerates their behavior and what do the women like me get, wrapped up in our worth and feeling like shit and trying to be perfect. But what I never realized is that I can't be any better, I can't be anymore than just who/what I am. My husband was raised a "woman-hater," the church fosters that, and my husbands mother started it with her awful behavior to CP . The Mormon church was the best place for my husband to go. It fed his fire.

What I can do now that I understand all this is move on with my life and quit trying to be something to him that I'll never be. He'll never really loved me, he never even wanted me, he just wanted to have babies to fulfill God's plan and he happened to need a woman for that. So now that I know that it was never about me or my worth, I don't worry about why he doesn't love me. I no longer need to fret and worry over building a relationship thatwill never be. I no longer have to try and be someone I'm not.

So now, Bishop, you are right when you said "It seems like she doesn't really love you." Put more succinctly, I do love him, because without him I wouldn't have my children, but I'm not in love with him. I'm no longer seeking a relationship with him. I'm no longer going to worry that I've let him down by not going back to the Mormon church and try to make up for that failing in other ways. I'm me - and he can like that or leave that or do what he wants with it. But I'm done talking to you and trying to understand him and your church. I'm done wanting orthinking that something good can be had from all this trauma.

What CP and I are is two people headed for an eventual divorce. Now that I know it was never about him loving me, I'm not worried that divorce means I wasn't worthy or that I'm unlovable. It's just the end of something that should have never been started. But this realization also means that I can stay in this marriage for a few more years, until custody is not such a playing point with CP, and not feel worthless and sad because I'm an unloved wife. I can also stop worrying that I'm so terribly flawed that no other man will ever want me. I know that this is just CP and that I'mnot irredeemable.

CP can use his unrighteous dominion on me and our kids all he wants. And you as a church leader can stand back and tolerate it, as all in your shoes before you have, but I'm a firm believer in karma. CP will regret what he's done, and probably most poignantly where his children are concerned. He's given up on them, they are giving up on him. Someday he will be alone and wondering why and he will realize that when he wrote them off because they weren't Mormon, he missed out on a wonderful life with his kids, just enjoying who they were, regardless of their religion. And he will be miserable. That is what I worried about this most with him. CP is afraid of being alone. That is why he's a member of the Mormon church, that is why he clings to God. But he's going to be alone. I worried so much about how hard his regrets would hit him and how difficult it would be. It's why I talked to you and why I talk to him and why I went to therapy, in part. To try and find a way to bridge the growing gap between CP and the kids and CP and me, so that in the end, we could build a good life and the regrets wouldn't hit him and he wouldn'tfeel alone, like he did when his parents disowned him.

That was folly too. I've been trying to be there with loving support for a man who never loved me. For a man who cannot support me because I'm not a Mormon. CP has made his bed. He can lie in it and as far as I'm concerned you can lie there with him, as you are an accessory to the destructionof our family.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A day late and an explosion short

They say Mt. St. Helens didn't erupt, she exploded, which is apparently an important distinction, if you're a volcanologist. After taking an afternoon to drive up there with my kids and my mother, I'd say the mountain got the grippers and needed to burp.

This weekend was the Mormon General Conference. It's basically described best as watching old men talk about God and perfection for hours on end on TV. They broadcast it from Salt Lake and we get the channel on our Dish Network satellite system. So my husband was engrossed.

He didn't want to leave the old men and television to watch, in awe, of mother nature at work.

That being said, he did let my kids decide for themselves whether they wanted to stay and watch conference or drive to the mountain. They opted for the drive. And we had a lot of fun.

The only bad thing, which turned out to be funny, was letting my mother navigate. We stopped off at the last little town before the Mt. St. Helens National Forest and asked where the best place was to go and see the crater. A lady gave us a map and told us which roads were closed. So we followed her directions, but forgot to ask how far a drive it was. We drove and drove and drove and I kept asking my mother if we were OK, and she kept saying yes. But after about 30 miles of driving winding, mountain roads, the mountain was getting uncharacteristically smaller. My kids were in the back seat telling me we were going to wrong way, but my mother, ever the authority, kept saying we were heading in the right direction. She kept saying that just around the next bend in the road would be our stopping place.

Finally, when we couldn't see the mountain at all, I stopped and grabbed the map. We'd driven over 20 miles too far. So I turned around. As did the other five cars behind me who were following me because they listened to the lady at the gas station, at the small town, tell my mother and I where to go. I didn't ask for a caravan, but got one anyway, and then what I got, as I made a U-turn and drove past everyone smiling apologetically, was a lot of pissed off scowls.

Alas.

We drove back, counting down each mile and awed as the mountain came back into view. We finally found the right place to stop and view.

And dammit if Mt. St. Helens didn't look - just as it has for the last 20 damn years. There was a little steam coming from the right side, but for all I know, it could have been a cloud.



We took the requisite pictures and walked around and then bolted back for town at the speed of light and ate a nice dinner. The picture above was taken on a bridge, where we inadvertently kept stopping traffic to run from one side to the other so my mother could take pictures. Again, we got a lot of scowls, and again I'll say....alas.

All in all, a good family day.