Sunday, October 30, 2011

I did it!

There has only been one assignment from therapy that I didn't do. I tried. I went to the massage therapy school on more than one occasion... But I never could go through with it. (I couldn't even go to the place with the CHAIR massagers because it freaked me out so much way back then.)

I did it today. I got a massage.
I went to a professional place - not the school, because I wanted someone who had been doing it for a while who wouldn't freak out if I did. That cost me more money, but I decided it was worth it for a good therapy session.

Trent was awesome. A DUDE. A GUY gave me a massage.
I wore a tanktop and shorts, because that's what *I* was comfortable with.
He asked what I wanted, and at first I was going to say, "Deep tissue". I stopped myself, and instead said, "I have PTSD from sexual trauma." (Deep tissue would have been easier for me to handle - the more painful the better... But it wouldn't have brought the same healing as what happened next.)

He nodded and said, "I know exactly what to do."
He made sure I knew to let him know if at any moment I was overwhelmed, and we'd stop immediately.
He put his hands on my back. I started to cry and shake. He just kept his hands in the same spot until my physical reaction passed. No more shaking or crying. Then he moved to the next spot and we started all over.

There were a few spots that brought very specific memories/thoughts.
One, "Why can't he just love me?" and then after a few seconds, "He does." (don't ask me who he is, I don't know.)
Another, "Please don't hurt me." and then, "I won't." (again I don't know who I is, but I don't need to know.)
There were specific memories that seemed to pass through me in the same easeful way.
I also had the thought at one point, "I can't wait to tell Paul (my old therapist)! He'll be so excited." 

It surprised me that my most strong reactions came when he touched my feet. Feet? Why? I don't know. But he did the same thing there as everywhere else.

He ended by massaging my head and neck a bit.
It was not a pleasurable experience, and at the same time... It was perfect. Exactly what I needed.
I'm glad I didn't push myself to go earlier, because by letting myself be ready, it went so much better. If I had forced myself, or white knuckled through it, it just couldn't have been this awesome.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My mom and I

This morning, talking to my parents, I got the question, "How do people even find your blog? I've tried searching, and I can't find you."

I explained I have made it so you can't find the blog by searching for me, but if you search abuse, or church, or the name of it you can find it... and then paused, "Wait, you've searched for my blog? Why?"

My mom wanted to read it. All of this time, I thought she'd never asked to read it because she didn't want to. I talk about it to her, to my dad, and we've had several discussions about it... But she's never asked for the link, or if she could read it, or why I haven't sent it to her.

When I first started this blog, I wanted it to be public but anonymous. I don't really feel that need anymore. I do understand that I am talking about very sensitive and intense subjects. I'm telling my stories, and I don't want to subject anyone to my stories that doesn't WANT them. I admit, I used to feel sad that my mom didn't want to know my stories...I got over it. I hadn't even thought about it for a long time.

Which is what makes this so ironic... She was feeling sad that I "didn't want her to read it", and I was feeling sad that she "didn't want to read it." Heh. Sometimes my mom and I are so much alike it's silly.

So, now... everyone welcome mis padres... my parents now read this here blog. Which is awesome.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The poker game

A good friend of mine wrote this blog post, and I think she hit it spot on.

I especially love her analogy of the poker game.
"I would compare it to a round of poker.  “Genetics deals the cards, environment determines the number/skill of your opponents, and you play the hand.”

I also love this:
"In other words, don’t obsess about your body in front of children. Don’t encourage them to try fad diets.  And, of course, eat cake at their birthday parties.  Your children will thank you."

Only, I doubt your children will thank you, because they won't know any other reality. They will just know what it was like to have parents that eat birthday cake. They won't know that some people don't get to enjoy such wonderful things.

Love your body.
You're beautiful!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm listening.

I got a note from a friend asking how I was doing today. As I was replying back, I started writing about the animals that surround me. I wrote the phrase, "They are my spirit guides. They can't explain what I need to do - they just show me."

The past few days, my cat has been extra "needy". If I sit anywhere, she immediately jumps in my lap, starts purring, and goes to sleep. I feel bad waking her up, so I stay sitting. I slow down to pet her, and I am calm.

My horse has stayed right up next to the fence. When I go out to the pasture, he stays right next to me. I feel like he's watching over me. Yesterday, while I was petting him, he laid down and stretched out in the sun. I laid down next to him and put my head on his neck. I don't know how long we laid there, but it was long enough.

I feel... calm.
And I feel amazed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy flashbacks with just one breath.

Putting up some fencing this morning. Ran out of materials. Here in town, there is a little tiny hardware store that is jam packed full of everything you could ever possibly think about wanting. It's kind of awesome.

During the summer, they keep the front door propped open, and today was the first day I've ever been there with the door closed. A very strong aroma hit me as I walked through the door.

I breathed in deeply. It smells like...

Saturday morning trips to the hardware store with my dad. He'd buy me little gifts. Candy bars. Key chains. Notebooks. Pens.

I didn't care much about the gifts. I just wanted to be near him. People would say we had the same smile. I'd talk his ears off. He'd explain to me how he was going to fix whatever it was he was fixing. I'd listen intently, even if I didn't really understand.

I'm used to smells and sights and experiences triggering flashbacks.
I'm not used to those flashbacks being so simple and happy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's still not what I want to say, but it's getting closer

I started to write this on September 11, 2011. Ten years after the world trade towers fell.

I was in college, sitting in my American Sign Language class. In that class, there was no speaking allowed, and even if it WAS allowed, my teacher was deaf and did not speak.

A student came in late to class and stopped the class to share the story. The first plane had just hit. I watched him say what happened, and I was sure I misunderstood him. The teacher repeated it back, again in sign language, and although I understood him, it just wouldn't connect in my brain.

As a class, we all left and found a TV in the hallway and watched the news in silence.
Even with the words in English, and the pictures in front of me, I still could barely believe what I was watching. As the day progressed, and we learned it was an act of terrorism, my heart broke. How could anyone devalue life so much as to kill so many innocent people? How could the terrorists possibly believe they were following God?

Fast forward eight years (to two years ago).
I was reading a book on government that quoted Ezra Taft Benson.
"Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of man kind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own… The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooder,’ who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others—with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”
(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)
I am not sure the context that ETB meant this quote in... Here's what I saw:
The person that THINKS he is a God, or believes he speaks for God, will do far more damage than anyone else on the planet. Think of all the wars fought over who's God is the right God. Think of the crusades. Think of Hitler. Think of bin Ladin. Then think about the abuses that are closer to home. Think of the men who treat their wives and children as possessions. Think of the wives who are constantly criticizing and controlling their husbands. Think of the way the GLBT community is being treated today, or the way black people have been (and still are) treated. Think of the roles of women. Think of the roles of men. Think of the bishops, stake presidents, or even general authorities who believe they speak for God and give HORRIBLE advice.

When I read that quote, I was pretty much out of the church. I was out of EVERY church. (It appears, I suddenly became a Deist. I believe in God, but not in religion.)
I don't believe God is a controlling God - all of the commandments and rules and laws that people believe came from God came from another man. A man who wanted to control other people. (I do believe that some of the commandments are good suggestions, but not even the truest of believers believe that any of the commandments apply all of the time.)

What better way to control people than to make them believe you speak for God and can offer them salvation above what any other man can offer them? What would YOU be willing to do for salvation? If you just believed it was real, would you steal? Lie? Stay in a relationship that was abusive? Suicide? Make slurs against others because they don't live the way you think they should? Make laws that don't allow others the same rights you enjoy? Marry another man's wife? Murder? Mass murder?

A few months ago, I started reading from Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Did you know he was a Christian? Did you know he believed he was doing not only God's will, but Christ's as well? I was always taught he was on a quest for power, but that is not what HE believed. He thought he was doing God's work by killing so many. And the Allied leaders believed they were doing the work of God by taking Hitler and Nazi-Germany down. Who was right?

I understand some will not see how the dots are connected. They will say:
"But our church is different. We have God on our side. Hitler just THOUGHT he had God on his side. We really do."
or maybe, "But our church doesn't hurt people. We teach good things."

The church might teach some things that are good, but they also teach things that are very VERY harmful. To couple false teachings with the words, "God said" only leads to suffering. A lot of suffering. How can you argue with someone who says, "God said"? And especially if you believe the church is what it claims to be, and it gives the authority to speak for God to mere men...

What makes this difficult is that I believe in God. I believe in following the divine within. I believe that each of us has to find our own path, and the only way to do that is to search and walk and do what feels right.

So how is it that I hate what "God's followers" do and I still want to be one?


I'm having a hard time writing what I want to say, because I'm trying so hard not to offend. I'm trying so hard to say it in a way that will be understood. I guess I'll just leave at this for now, and maybe I'll try again later... In the meantime, what are your thoughts?

The title used to be, "A question to all the bloggers out there". It should be something else now, but I don't know what...

This is a public blog. Anyone can read it. It's not anonymous, but it's not really connected to me either. Only the people who know it's here can find it.

It's a public blog, and yet I'm feeling invaded. How is that even possible? And more importantly, how do I deal with it?
Do I make the blog private so that I can still write and process the things I need to process?
Do I try to just ignore the problem?

"What's 'the problem'?" you ask. BJ's ex reads my blog. And then she sends texts and emails. In one to BJ, she pretended that the spirit had guided her... I love being The Spirit. She doesn't like what I wrote about fast offerings. She doesn't like what I've written about the church. She doesn't like that sometimes in some things, BJ and I think alike. She doesn't like what I've written about her, and wants him to get me to change what I write.

Ignoring her isn't really working. I go to write and just feel blank. Or I want to write down really angry rants about the church, or members of the church who use the church to manipulate other people, or people that say they love someone and treat them like shit, or people that abuse or control their spouses... (Kind of a, "You didn't like that? THAT was nothing. What do you think of THIS?")

I don't want this blog to be a THAT either... which also brings me to a place I came to a few months ago. What DO I want this blog to be?

This blog has been the place where I write about what I'm going through. My thoughts and feelings in the moment. Some of the anger has gone away almost as soon as I have written about it. The fear leaves as quickly as I can express that I feel fear.

So, I'll express my anger and my fear: I feel afraid of what she will say or do to BJ as a result of me speaking my mind. I'm afraid of the stories she tells her kids that affect him. I understand needing to speak her own truth - she doesn't like me. I don't really expect her to. I really don't need her to. I just don't like the way it feels watching her say hurtful things. He doesn't need me to protect him. He's perfectly capable of standing up for himself, choosing who and what he wants in his life. I just hate watching him NEED to stand up for himself against some really fucked up and abusive shit. I just wish it didn't exist. And there is still some belief that I can control other people by NOT speaking my mind. Somehow, if I can make myself stop existing - she'll be nice.

That's rather irrational. I've never been able to stop abusers from abusing. I've only been able to get myself away from it, or step in front of it to prevent someone else from getting abused. Oh. In an effort to try to protect him, and her, and the kids from having to face what IS, I've been willing to take the blame... I didn't see how it was hurting me. The truth is: My existence never made her say the things she said. She was saying hurtful things long before I was around. My existence never made her think the way she thinks. He tried to explain to her for many MANY years, and finally gave up. He started planning years ago for divorce as soon as the kids were grown and out of the house. The plan for divorce gave him the strength to stay as long as he did. My existence didn't make BJ leave, or move far away... My existence didn't make him feel so lonely that he was out looking for a friend. Someone who was willing to just listen and know HIM. My existence HAS helped him find a friend. 

Some people are really grateful I exist. Some people are really grateful for the support I have been to BJ. Some people would like me to fall of the face of the earth. Some people hate me for being a support to BJ. (Word: If you actually cared about HIM, wouldn't you be grateful that he found a friend and that he found someone who could listen to and support him, even if that wasn't YOU? If you loved him, wouldn't you want him to be happy, which would mean getting out of situations that harmed him? And when I say harmed him - I say that because HE says that. If you loved someone, wouldn't you listen to them and believe them when they tell you what they feel? What they want? If someone told me something was harming them, I'd listen... I would say, "I'm sorry I've hurt you. I don't want to do that, and I understand if talking to me isn't good for you. If anything changes let me know, but until then, I'll leave you alone.")

Like usual, this isn't the direction I was planning on going... It was supposed to be a question, but I seemed to answer the questions I didn't even know I had.

This is my blog. My thoughts. My feelings. My stories. If you don't like them, I don't understand why you're reading them. (Maybe I do understand. I compare it to a person with an eating disorder reading fashion magazines. Or me reading conference talks. I know they're going to upset me, but for a while I insisted on doing it. I'd go crazy. And everyone asked me "WHY THE HELL do you keep doing that to yourself?" I had no answer, except that I just had to. Maybe it's like that.) Sometimes I'll write about anger. Sometimes I'll write about my past. Sometimes I'll write about my present. Sometimes I'll write about how other people's stories are affecting my stories. Sometimes I'll write that I'm happy. Sometimes I'll write about fishing and horses and mountains. Sometimes I'll write about how I'm continuing to learn and grow and change. Sometimes I'll write about what I want to write about.

I'm just me. Deal with it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bring back the anonymous douche!

This blog makes me happy.
She doesn't write in it anymore, which is very unfortunate, because I have now read the entire thing.

And laughed. A lot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dancing, Crying, and The Doll revisited

I'm feeling a little bit stuck. I have about ten entries started and saved in Drafts. None of them feel complete enough to post yet.

So, I'll just write about music.
This morning my friend, Kate was listening to James Blunt. I clicked on the song. Suddenly I was crying. Big cries.
Then I switched and was listening to Coldplay. I felt like dancing.

Music has such an incredible power. Both of those feelings (emotions?) were there in me. Right now - without the music I feel like crying and dancing. Crying for the past I left behind. Crying because it didn't go quite the way I planned. Dancing because it is much better than I ever planned. Dancing because I'm alive, and I CAN! Crying because I'm afraid. Afraid of the unknown. There is a lot that I don't know that I used to think I knew. Dancing because there is SO MUCH I don't know. The world offers so many amazing things to question, explore and learn about.

I feel like I'm on the precipice. It's both scary and amazing.
The music doesn't create what I feel - it just resonates with what is there and helps me release it.

(I'm also remembering a post I wrote a while ago. I dance now. All by myself. Usually in the kitchen, but sometimes while I'm working. I don't belong to anyone, and no one else chooses when I dance, or laugh, or live. I'M ALIVE!)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The GC

I'm feeling sad and lonely this morning.
My family is getting together for breakfast right now. It's a tradition they've had my whole life.
My dad makes a big breakfast. Everyone comes over, eats, and then watches conference together.
They are all there, and I am not.

I told them I wasn't coming because it was too far to drive. That's not really why.
Conference makes me crazy. It always has, but I don't sit quietly when I disagree anymore.
I'm invited to be there, but I'm pretty sure they don't actually want ME there.
At this point just the sound of the old men's voices make me want to scream, and I disagree with so much of what they say.
(Some is good. Some is helpful. I'd rather find the good and the helpful without all of the other stuff too.)
I have friends who are all watching conference and discussing it, but even if my family WANTED to discuss it, I'm not there yet.
I would either explode and say exactly what I'm thinking. Or I'd sit there and shake because I'm trying to hold it all in.

I feel lonely because there was a point in my life where I had this in common with them, and two weekends a year it is made VERY apparent to me that I don't anymore.
I feel very lucky. I know that my family is far more understanding and compassionate and accepting towards me than most members of the church are to their family who leaves.

Yesterday, I was going to drop by to visit my mom after my rehearsal until I realized it was conference.
I called her and told her I was planning to come to visit, but I was also trying to avoid conference since it makes me crazy.
She chuckled and said, "Come on over. It's safe. We won't watch it while you're here."

I know a lot of people that tell their "apostate" family and friends to "make sure (you) watch conference", and others that manipulate them to try to get them to watch or listen (but heaven forbid tell them what you actually think about what was said at conference. They can tell YOU that you have to watch and listen, but you can't even tell them that you don't agree. It's an icky double standard.) The fact that my family sees ME, loves ME, and accepts ME is beyond awesome!

I feel sad and lonely because I feel like I am doing them a favor by not being around them on conference weekend. I am protecting them from me. I'm also protecting me from my own anger. I don't like to feel angry, and I really don't like to feel angry and sit there and pretend like I'm not.