Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Secular Easter

For some reason this feels like our first secular Easter, which is weird because...well, it's just weird. And it's not our first. I don't quite know how to feel about it. People have been passing around pictures of Jesus in a bunny suit, holding a cadbury creme egg (/swoon) instead of a lamb--and, you know, I've laughed even though the point is hardly an original one. We all like to point out that hey, Easter is a pagan holiday. And it is. But somehow Christians have fanagled it to be one about Jesus--and considering the timing, I have to wonder if that's really all that fair. Passover and all, you know. It's not like Christmas for god's sake.

It is ridiculous to equate a really frightening looking bunny with the resurrection of Christ, but you know. Whatever.

I've been walking the atheist walk lately, generally unbothered by everything. Unimpressed. I'm writing my rhetorical analysis paper on retention in the church--24 pages long now--and happily feel nothing about it. The church, I mean. Once you get down to the nuts and bolts of something that isn't true you lose all feeling for it. I'm okay with that. I'm happy with that. I wonder if it's a for real, permanent thing now or if sometime in the future I'll go back to being pissed off enough to rant and rave on a semi-regular basis about it.

I'll just ride the wave, I guess.

But on holidays like this and, it seems, Easter especially I find myself wanting to watch the History channel shows about the life of Christ. I also curiously find myself really interested in shows discussing the Catholic church. I don't want to become Catholic, but I wouldn't be against attending a service or two--preferably in an older building. It's something how influential the Catholic church is, and I often wonder if it bothers the LDS church that the Pope is so revered by all. I learned last night that it was the Catholic church that made our new year begin on January 1st--apparently once upon a time it was sometime in late March.

And I love the music. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing. Maybe it's simply the music itself. But I like it.

There's something reassuring about religion, let's face it. When you get rid of...well, most everything, it's not so bad. Throw in the "you're a horrible person who doesn't deserve Christ's mercy but you're getting it anyway SO BE GRATEFUL, DAMMIT" and it's not so pretty, but when all is silent there's something comforting about it. As a budding constructionist I tend to believe it's just how we've been molded, but that doesn't really matter anyway.

So we're staying home today, away from the drama. I was told it was "okay" but that I needed to "get over it." Whatever. I need to stay home as my anxiety has been through the roof, through the roof, but being away from a crowded home of people who you both love and drive you insane does make the holiday different. Maybe that's what makes it feel secular.

I'm all for celebrating the beginning of Spring, the budding of flowers and the warming of the earth. New life, fertility, the impending and welcome end of a school year. But it is different, and I find that we're not really talking to the kids about it all. Religion, the meaning of a holiday. I'm not really sure how to, if we ought to. I think we ought to, considering the climate of the rest of the family and what they come in contact with. How to handle it. How to feel about it.

I'm still taking the temperature of a few things, but you know. It is what it is.

Happy Easter, everyone. <3

Friday, April 22, 2011

In the meantime...

Someone on my FB wall actually said she'd totally vote for Trump and a few people "liked" it. I think that's more obnoxious than saying you'd vote for Palin. Be disenchanted with Obama, fine, but for fuck's sake.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Boundaries. Want to know a funny thing about me setting boundaries? Joining the church was a way for me to do that with my mama.

Isn't it ironic.

it's been a long, long time since I've set boundaries with my dad and my stepmom. My mom is constantly pushing things, but with my dad it's been very chill over the past ten years or so. We just came to a "don't ask don't tell" kind of understanding, and my husband taught me how to love being at his house. I became friends with my stepmom. Things got weird when I became friends with my sister, though. Conflict of interest.

Setting boundaries with friends is a little trickier. They've mostly set them with me. You know, "I won't read this," "we can't talk anymore," "please don't say that," "prolly not a good idea to post that on my wall" etc etc etc. There are even the subtle ones between new people I meet. "Don't get me wrong, I'm Christian," they say. The claim is a strong one.

Or maybe it's just me, defensive. Assumptive. Gun shy.

I've let a lot of people be themselves around me. It hurts when I can't be myself around them. Then I ask myself what is the line there, too. In high school my big thing was being accepted for who I was. I went to drop off a job application in not-so-nice clothes. You don't like it? Go to hell.

I feel myself going back there, but it doesn't work. It barely works for a 16-year-old, it sure as hell won't work for an almost 30-year-old.

So I'm seeking the middle and finding it may not be that happy. That scares me. My husband finds it easy to be private. I'm fairly open--too open--with most things. Not everything, but too many things. I don't go looking for fights, and often I lack the courage to say much, but when I have it I don't back down. Piss me off enough and it doesn't really matter where we are. I don't say that to be all "fuck with me and i'll fuck you up" or "don't mess with my family, bitches," but it takes a lot for me to be aggressive. Not so much for me to piss other people off. That's a talent I seem to have. Seems to be the one way I know how to set boundaries. Probably not the best way, but it can be entertaining. And painful.

Everyone who has left the church--probably most any church--talks about boundaries between friends and acquaintances and leaders. I will say my husband is great at that. It takes me a bit longer. I'm there now, but it took a bit longer.

It's interesting, how members are so much quicker to set boundaries with others than former members are. I think it becomes easier the more confident one becomes with the decision to leave.

What's with the people pleasing?

We haven't talked to anyone in the church in a while--well, except when Eric attended priesthood session with his father. The guy who would be our bishop invited us to church "anytime." Eric thanked him and said it wouldn't happen. The bish was very respectful, apparently. "Yeah, I know."

He had to try. It's in his job description.

Eric made it painfully clear to his mama about where he stands at least. Atheist. Comfortable. She took it well at the moment, at least, but still asked if it would bother him that they would pray for us. Have at, cats. She asked if it bothered him that they talk church so much. Eh, you know, it's who they are.

They're good people.

The issue of boundaries seem to be more on my, non-LDS side of the family at the moment. Not saying this is the norm in the least--I couldn't say that with the stories I've heard, but it's my situation. It could change very soon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A revision of a vent

The story is so much more complicated than I can put into words.

I want to see my dad and I want to see my grandma and my sister.

The rest of them, at this point, can go to hell.

I don't want to spend Easter at this house. It's bad enough because it's the first holiday not at my grandma's and it's a small house and a ton of people and far too many of them are engaged in serious shit right now. I can hardly handle a happy, semi-functional home without breaking into a full-blown-anxiety-attack-complete-with-migraine. This?

Then there are the kids. Her kids. I don't want to hurt feelings, but someone has to stand up for these kids.

And it makes me physically ill to think of being around her. Moreso to think of being around her boyfriend who doesn't understand boundaries. It scares me to be around someone I want to rip into but, when I consider myself, I'm afraid I'll back out of it (ripping into her) at least a little. She's a fantastic actress, so fantastic that even when I know she's bullshitting I feel just a little sorry for her. Like I shouldn't. Like she deserves a 70 times 7th chance.

Y'all, I'm not above giving second or third chances, or even fourth. I've given her more. We all have. When she abandoned her kids out of nowhere to move from California to Oklahoma to be with her boyfriend WITH NO NOTICE, that was it.

 I don't know why. She's done so much worse.

I think I'm tired of the rollercoaster. I'm tired of the rhythm of phone calls and conversations: "she's coming home" to "she's in rehab" and "she's doing better, we're talking about her having the kids back by christmas" to little red flags that sound like "my friend from rehab is pregnant again, isn't that awesome?" to "she was late today" and "she didn't show up" to "she quit her job" to "she's dating again." Cue the phone calls saturated with tears and anger and why why why? When she shows back up at their door the kids regress.

My family doesn't mean to put it on my shoulders, but that's what happens. They trigger my loyalty. They trigger everything I've watched since I was 9-years-old. Twenty years, you guys. Years and years of drama. When she was 16 (no, more like 13-14) she took off to Canada to meet a guy she met on the Internet. My dad picked her up in Detroit. Ask my father about how much he loves Detroit.

Her boyfriend basically waterboarded my nephew to make him a "man." She allowed it.

When aforementioned boyfriend was finally deported back to Mexico, she did well for a long time. It's the men that bring her down, her choice in men. She had a job, was clean, was saving for an apartment. Then the cell phone bills became longer and longer with calls received from Mexico...then Los Angeles. She paid a coyote to smuggle him back in and all went to hell again.

Just a little of her history.

But don't worry, y'all. She made sure to smoke meth outside the apartment. For the kids.

My stepmom is unwilling to draw the line. She's her daughter, I get that, that's what I stood up for for so long. But the babies, y'all. The babies. My nephew has PTSD, my niece, fetal-alcohol. She smoke meth too while pregnant with my niece, if not my nephew as well. My nephew hoarded food because he was never fed. He has rage issues. My niece has various developmental disabilities. Thankfully she was too young to remember anything violent. I shiver to think what might have happened to her. I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility.

I hear their "mom" got her CNA in Oklahoma. Came home and tried to get a job at a nursing home, but you know those "child neglect" charges among the litany of other charges on your record can be a bitch.

I want to step in. I want to do something. Or not do something. But there's so much drama in the family right now. Then again, I know this cycle and I know this manipulation and I know that when we go everyone will pretend that everything is fine because that's just how we do things even though THIS TIME everyone knows what shit is going down. They can pretend because they can figure it's nobody's business, but everyone knows. Everyone knows.

I can't breathe in that air.

I just don't know how to tell my dad. My stepmom. I'd rather tell my dad, but she tends to cockblock my dad. Not on purpose, necessarily, but involuntarily? She suggests my husband go with my dad when they're helping with our yard and there's a dump run to be made. Girls and boys, girls and boys.

I need my dad.

I think he'd understand. I think he'd be severely disappointed--he's taking the direct brunt of it all. I don't want to hurt him. But I don't hant to be around this girl and I sure as hell don't want my kids in the general vicinity of her boyfriend.

Then there's my sister. They gripe about how she's not going to church or is questioning god. They gripe because she tried (and smokes) pot and is, you know, 17-years-old. She's fucked up once--community service. She has some scary ideas that are beyond me regarding her logic ("I want a baby!"). She needs a place to escape. She hasn't been here since December because I can't do it right now and I feel so terrible about it. Maybe next week.

I don't want to be a wuss and go. I don't want to overreact and not go, and hurt my dad my sister and my grandma. I want to make a statement, to ask a question: why do you keep allowing her back into those kids' lives? I can't stand by anymore.

Is that my place?
Where do you draw the line?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I don't get it.

The new movement (if you want to call it that) on Facebook is to send your panties to John Boehner for women's reproductive rights.

I guess I don't get the connection.

Then again, facebook movements aren't exactly known for their logic, especially given the fact that tossing your panties at a man is generally considered a bit of a, uhm, compliment. A expression of affection, shall we say.

Really girls? You want to do this?

Have at, I guess, but Johnny might take it as a gesture of approval.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Orgasm Girl

If you'll indulge me.

Last night I had to take my husband to the ER (everything's fine). As I'm sure you all know, the ER is a great place to people watch if you absolutely must be there. We took the hour trip to a nicer hospital so the pickings were a bit slim, but we still had a few great groups.

There was the group that seemed to be having a hell of a time, making jokes and laughing. I've been in this group before. Nothing helps an ER visit like joking like idiots, though I will say it does nothing to convince the triage nurse that your condition is at all an emergency. Even when it is.

Then we had Super Scary Guy in the wheelchair. Snce Eric was having cerebral issues and having random fits of blank staring, I advised him to take pains to not stare at SSG. He had already thought of it.

THEN, then there was Orgasm Girl.

It was horrible. I felt terrible. She walked in with her hand clasped to her heart. She looked awful as she sat right in front of us. It was uncomfortable, and not only because she was Orgasm Girl--though that didn't help. Poor thing just writhed and moaned for the next twenty minutes or so.

Writhed. And. Moaned.

Let's just say she needed to take it down an octave. And though I don't think they meant it like that, even the doctors referred to her as "The Screamer" for the duration of our stay.

It's also probably not all that encouraging that her boyfriend seemed completely unimpressed.

We got home at 4am. That makes it just short of a cool 24 hours since I last woke up. I don't think I fell asleep until 5, and then I had to wake up at 8:30 to call SIL who had my kids. I've been up since.

It was date night. Happy date night.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

my first screenshot

(awww. get it in now, y'all. you won't be saying that inna minute)

Also, trigger warning.

This was on my friend's wall. It's a link to a local story of an East Indian woman who was carjacked at 5:45am at our local grocery store, taken to another location, raped, and then driven back. The article mentioned that the woman didn't speak English, and the man who kidnapped and raped her didn't speak Punjabi.

Submitted to STFU Conservatives:

Forgive the crazy ass penmanship.

But seriously, the fuck?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Enough enough enough

If it weren't for a few things, I wouldn't have known this weekend was conference. If it weren't for a group I was a part of, I wouldn't have known jack shit about what they talked about. My husband did go to priesthood with his dad, but that's a tradition important to his dad. So I do know what they talked about there. My husband now intends to call his sister and tell her to keep on keepin' on. She's 21 and living life with no intention to get married. After yesterday and last night, the pressure might increase. We want her to know how much we respect/admire/envy her, and to keep it up.

So I left that facebook ex-mo group I was a part of. There was drama. So much drama.

Online drama isn't worth it.

And neither is focusing on this church.

The drama, at least, taught me that I'm learning to stand up and fight back. That's showing up more often lately. It also taught me to just leave. Enough.

School is teaching me this, too. Leaving the church is teaching me this. There's a bit of an identity crisis that continues, but it's promising, i guess? There's the athletic part of me that I'm regaining. There's the more feminine part of me I never had. There's the badass part. The merging is impossible.

It's also taught me that the less I focus on the church the better. I don't think it'll go away for quite some time, if ever, but I want to live my life without it. It was nice this weekend, not thinking about it. It's a beautiful day, not one to be stuck inside watching four hours of pious old men in suits, spiritually jacking off for me to wax righteous about.

We got donuts and took our kids to the park. They flew a kite for the first time (got it stuck in a tree) and my oldest boy made his first basketball shots.

Really, folks? Can you beat that? Why dwell on bullshit more than you have to?

So I'm weaning myself off as much as I can.