Monday, December 31, 2012

WIIIIIILD


One of my all-time favorite moments from church came during a chastity talk. I know. Odd.

This golden moment happened when our straight-laced bishop--like UBER straight laced--started talking about how waiting until marriage was wonderful, blah blah blah. He talked about how we needed to make sure we lived within prescribed lines before we married. But then he got this goofy look on his face, and started to do this awkward dance with his hips and said, “But after you’re married you can get as WIIIIIILD as you want.” His wife was sitting just in front of me in the rows of desks. She turned to me and said, “Oh please, can you EVER imagine the bishop WILD?!?!”

I doubled over and laughed so hard that I was in tears and my sides ached. It still makes me giggle. If only every chastity talk were that wonderful.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Followup


Victory.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The War on my Christmas

Christmastime has been hard the last couple of years. Last year it was because I was on the verge of a panic attack 24/7--if I wasn't in the middle of one. I’d only realized what had happened to me on my mission about 5 or 6 weeks previous to Christmas. I was home, surrounded by love, surrounded by people that cared about me. Some knew, some didn't. Love can really hurt sometimes for various reasons that maybe I’ll post about later.

This year I was flooded with memories of the Christmas on my mission and that made it especially hard. My trainer’s birthday is Dec. 23 and I remember distinctly the full week leading up to Christmas. To put things succinctly and bluntly, she gave herself many Christmas and birthday presents that week, multiple times a day a few times, all at my expense.
She’s a horrible person. HORRIBLE.

This year I decided that I was going to take my Christmas week back. I did things with people that loved me. I hung out (have been hanging out) with friends that care about me, that love me. I have been able to be around my family and feel safe; I have been able to feel love and have it not have it feel like overwhelming hurt and pain. I have felt more like Vanessa this trip home. I’m a different Vanessa than I was before I realized everything about my mission two Novembers ago. My life has been changed irrevocably, and it has been hard--SO BLASTED HARD--sometimes. But when I do things, often it’s because I want to heal. So the Vanessa that I am now is a healing Vanessa.

I have taken time over these last few days to do things that will be new memories. I made it through Christmas. I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get here emotionally. December 26th seemed like a crazy dream. But I was DETERMINED to get to today with a feeling of safety. I didn’t want the days leading up to Christmas and Christmas Eve/Day to be days of mere survival. I wanted them to be days where I could look back with pride, with new memories forged, with my Christmas reclaimed from the horrors of my past.

A few days back a friend asked me a question about something, how I felt in regards to something in my life. My response was, I feel like a victor.

Today, December 26, 2012, I am a victor. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

blah blah mayans blah blah blah

I'm starting to realize how unbearable facebook is going to be for the next 48 hours or so. Mayan jokes.

But I'm glad that BYU had their bowl game on the 20th, just in case. I'm also glad that their defense is such a good offense.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

North Carolina Relatives

I went to visit a friend in Charlotte Monday night, and then hit up some areas in old Tryon County, NC. In reality, I traipsed around all of the present-day counties in the erstwhile Tryon County.
Why? FAMILY HISTORY!!

So first I went here. I met a woman that I'm distantly related to, like fifth half cousin twice removed. But still. I went to this building and met a relative:


Then I set out to find some of my own family's history hot spots. Took a wrong turn near Cherryville, NC. No worries, found another family name! Eaker! I mean they were neighbors.



But don't fear! I found the main reason why I'd gone all that way: 


This picture shows the marker set up on Christian Mauney's land (an Nth great uncle). Here in 1775 my Nth Great Grandpa Jacob Mauney signed his name to the Tryon Resolves. It was a treasonable defense because they stood up against the Crown, decrying the actions actions Massachusetts. It's hard to describe how I felt standing there. I'd be lying if I didn't tear up a bit thinking about it all.

I was the first member of my family's direct line to stand in that spot in probably 220 years.


 Close-ups:

Uncle Christian donated the property for the site of the old court house. Also Cornwallis camped there? Huh.


I broke off a small branch with a few leaves to dry them. I also decided kinda on the spot to get an old water bottle and put some dirt in it, some of the earth where my ancestor stood and fearlessly signed his name for freedom and rights of man.
I stood there and soaked it in. It was so overwhelming. It has been more than 237 years since the Resolves were signed.

I bumbled around Cherryville a bit b/c my ancestors essentially settled what became the city. Also, I went to the filthiest (in many ways) and most revolting gas station I've ever been to. Ew.
Ew. Ew. Ew.

Then I drove back down the Old Court House Road to go to this intersection. I drove on the Mauney Farm Road for a while, because it was the land of my Nth uncles, the most accessible by car. I rolled down my windows, opened the sunroof and soaked in the area.
I got out of the car to take this picture and a woman stopped to ask if I was lost. I told her what I was up to. Her words, "Oh! My grandma, my mom's mom, was a Mooney!"
Seriously, I have distant relatives everywhere there. She then described things to me, the lay of the land, how many Mooney's there were. She thinks the people that kept the "Mauney" spelling are the snooty, have-money ones. Hah!



Then I drove the nearest I could get to my Nth Great Grandaddy's land I shook head my thinking how he was a tanner just over the way, how he had 300 acres the butted up against the creek that I was at that moment driving over.

I really couldn't believe it.
Could not believe it.

So, you know, all I've got now is to go to Pennsylvania Dutch country, Alsace and Switzerland. No biggie.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

7 Billion Others

There's the website call 7 Billion Others that I'm enamored with that has videos from dozens and dozens of people, well probably hundreds now, from around the world. The topics are common to the human condition, family, career, God, life after death, etc. It's fascinating to see and hear what the people have to say.

Anyway, that's all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

And

...And then Mariah's like, so today we're gonna keep going with this, today is totally gonna be one where we continue thru emotions, not the verbal.
And I'm totally all, yeah, no. Let's talk about guitars. I own three. I'll bring two so you can totes play one. And I'll play another.
And she's like, you totally brought that back to the cerebral and we're gonna keep with the emotional. mmmmmm K.
And I'm like totally pouting.

And then, I mean, we're like totes listening to beautiful music of my choice that moves me, like deep down, ya know?
And I'm soooo crying and drawing pictures of warmth and safety.
And I'm going to be OK.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Previously Hidden Details

I never know how I stumble onto things on the internet. Well, it's probably a safe bet to say that tumblr made me do it. Usually it's really funny things that I find. Or things that are really useful. And then there's the awesomeness the internet provides. Or things that are from of Brazil. Important things, too. etc. etc. etc.


The one that I found yesterday isn't in quite the same vein, but it's caused me to think a lot about what I've posted on this blog and how I've posted it--well, better put, what I haven't explicitly said and why.

I found this link and some of the things said resonated with me:

"I kept it to myself because it was an embarrassing thing: I was bigger than she was." 
Because society does not widely recognize female-perpetrated sexual assault, women who experience it are less likely to call crisis lines or go to therapists immediately after the assault.
"I had never heard of women doing that, so it just didn't fit into my reality."
Yes to all of that. Part of the reason why I had wavered back and for about even putting anything on my blog about the molestation I suffered was because it was by another woman. I was bigger than she was. I was an adult, older than 17. In fact I was 21 and on my mission. The person that hurt me was my mission trainer. I was with her for a bit more than 4 months. Her work on getting me to the point that she could abuse me took little more than a transfer and started pretty much on my first day in the mission field.

It just wasn't in my reality that this could happen on a mission. You know, trust your trainer, she'll help you out, she'll teach you the ropes. She totally power tripped on this, I mean, obviously.


Another part from the website that I found had this statement to which I gave an AMEN:
If we are raped by a woman and are not lesbian or bisexual, we may fear that people will assume we are gay.
I was terrified of people thinking this of me, not because I find homosexuality wrong, but because then it would mean that I was complicit. Who would understand? I knew that I was straight. Was I just giving off a vibe and so she acted on it? For years I figured that it must've been that. It was my fault.

I'd already had had a person--a family member--start spreading a rumor saying that I was gay and he even decided to let people know who my mystical lesbian lover was. I've already had to come out as straight once. There's nothing like someone spreading rumors about your sexuality. It all played right into my fear. Obviously I give off that vibe. orrrrr maybe that person was just a selfish jerk (which I realize now). But this was not long after I had realized that I'd been abused. Talk about terrible timing.

It's taken me a long time to be able to post this aspect outright. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I still feel embarrassed about it here and there, that I don't think guiltily, "Well, I was bigger, I should've just pushed her off."

But abuse isn't like that. After she got transferred away from being my companion, she was in a neighboring city and we all went to the same stake center for district and zone meetings. She would corner me in the bathroom and get her quick fix. We would have to spend the night in the main zone city sometimes because of zone meetings or whatever reason. Those were her favorite nights. She'd make up for lost time.

I write this last bit to show that size and distance doesn't matter. When a victim is thrown back into a situation with an abuser, paralyzing fear takes over. I was always terrified that someone would walk into the bathroom, think that I was the instigator, that I'd get sent home. I thought that one of the other two or six sister missionaries would've figured it out and told. I'd get sent home from my mission. The shame and the sorrow. The one thing I wanted more than anything was to serve a mission.

She was transferred away from that area on my half-way point in the mission, the day before my 22nd birthday. Best birthday present ever. I spent the second half of my mission with the goal to serve faithfully, to make up for how I'd obviously blown it. Maybe the Lord would forgive me. Maybe he would be magnanimous enough to let me have the Spirit so that I could teach the people, the people that I loved so much. I love the Brazilians with every bit of my heart, one that they said was like totally not American, but was so completely Brazilian.

I left the mission thinking that I'd failed, that I hadn't done enough.

Now I know that I served a faithful mission. I served and fought thru so much, while believing every day that I was failing. I worked hard every day because I loved the Brazilians and I loved the happiness of the gospel. I knew that Christ loves us so much. My goal over the last months of my mission wasn't to baptize everyone, it was to make sure that each person I talked to felt lighter in their heart, that they knew that God loved them.

For so long I felt like she'd taken my mission away from me. But she never did because I worked every day. I worked every blasted day as much as I could. I will not give up.

Monday, December 3, 2012

For ye shall laugh

Heavenly Father let me know that Luke 6 had some answers for me, specifically the verses that I've copied below. The highlights are mine.

17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Jud├Ža and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

 18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh

I've had some many tears over this last year plus. But when I read that verse stating that I was promised not only joy, but laughter, tears of gratitude rolled down my face.
Then I looked back over the verses and my eyes stopped on "vexed with unclean spirits." I still have to fight hard to push the feelings of being unclean away from my heart and attribute them to the person they belong to. It's a hard habit of over a dozen years to crack. But when I read the words, I was reminded that it really is about healing because abuse is all about poisoning the abused with violence. 
I bore my testimony on Sunday. I quite literally don't remember the last time I did that. But in my testimony I spoke about these verses, about Alma 7 and how the atonement heals our wounds and our pains. How the atonement and the kindness and love of others has been hacking away at the burdens and pain that were enveloping my heart. I mean, I didn't even know they were there, camping out, messing with my heart.

I love the New Testament.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

overly obedient

Today a memory randomly flew into my mind while I was teaching.
Years ago I worked at the MTC Copy Center (which tons of people heard as "Coffee Center" and ended up well confused). One day an elder brought in a project but had forgotten his cash. Normally we'd tell the missionary to bring it back once he had his money. This time I jokingly told the elder that he needed to do twenty push-ups to rectify his blunder. I turned away to do his job fast and looked back to tell him that it'd be done in a sec, but he was gone. His companion was still there, so I was really confused. Then I looked outside the copy center and the elder had dropped to do the push-ups.

Sometimes jokes get swallowed up in the missionary flare for obedience.


And I chuckled in class for no reason apparent to my students.

Monday, November 26, 2012

sit and be fit at my 70 years

As Kim pointed out in her comment on my last post, maybe I think of myself as a 70 year old.
If that's the case, then really I should probably focus on these exercises as I sit thru my long seminar classes:




Also, on the suggestion videos on the right on the youtube page, the 2nd Presidential Town Hall is listed. Hah!

prune pruner prunest

I love prunes. Like a lot.
I wonder what this says about how I perceive myself age-wise.
But whatever, prunes are delicious, especially when they're chopped up into bits.

Just a random FYI for your day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

11 years

I realized yesterday that I landed back in the US and was released as a missionary eleven years ago. Well, it's now eleven years and a day. So eleven years ago today I was shivering no matter the thermal top, long-sleeved shirt, sweater and coat. Utah is way too cold. The 70ish degree temperature change was simply cruel.



A lot of hell went down on my mission. A lot that I'm still sifting thru and figuring out and stuff. But here's the picture from my last proselyting day in the mission that shows just how much the good can overcome the bad. The more that this year has dragged on, the more I like this picture.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

I've got enough at this moment, why worry about tomorrow morning?


There's a verse of scripture that I've finally started to understand, Matthew 6:34

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I can't tell you how absolutely confused this scripture made me for years and years and more years. Wasn't I supposed to think about the next day? Like plan for the future?

As I've been working thru the panic attacks (not stopping myself from having them, mind, but allowing myself to have them), I've come to understand the wisdom of these words. My mind would run (well runs still, let's just be honest) thru scenarios, past and present. What would I do in all of these situations? What if I freak out, have a panic attack? So I was panicking about panicking. Not useful.

As I've started to see and feel more clearly, this verse has grown more clear. If I'm worrying about the next morning, how can I focus on being healthy or simply living thru the present? Yeah, exactly. I can't.

This has been a hard thing for me, getting rid of years of this and that. I always feared when the next attack or molestation would be b/c I was stuck, I had no way out. So even planning for (trying to protect myself from) that horrible future moment, whenever it was, was useless. I mean what could I plan for anyway? Who knows, honestly.

But I can't be fussed about tomorrow or next month, I can only focus on the present and feel how I feel right now. Tomorrow and next month will take care of themselves.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love More

Today I was chatting with my professor, the same one that jaywalked with me (as per my facebook post) and she told me a quote that she once heard.
If you don't tell the people you love that you're hurting, you deny them the opportunity to love you more.



I liked it a lot and thought I'd share as my 5th post in 5 days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Caveat To My Last Post

I've realized something in the last two days since writing my last post. I ended the post with this:

"...my path to healing, a path that Heavenly Father laid out for me. What I’ve learned from this is that everything happens in its due time."

I realized that it's not just a path that Heavenly Father laid out for me. I have say in this whole thing, too. In fact, I have all the say because it's my life and he won't forcibly interfere. I've had access to Heavenly Father's words and promptings, which is a huge relief. I really feel that it's a mutual game plan, me and Heavenly Father, well, and Therapist. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Church in its own due time

Church has been this kinda weird thing for me over the last however long. A few years back it began to feel like an uncomfortable place, physically and emotionally. It wasn’t overwhelming or anything at the beginning, it was more like it was emotionally confusing. Since I’m such a huge fan of emotions anyway, I had NO IDEA what was going on. I think the confusion had been there for much longer than I was aware, probably years before.
Eventually I couldn’t get myself to go to church meetings. I would think every week, OK, this Sunday I’ll start going back. Then Sunday would hit and it’d be like an anvil dragging my heart down. This is what I’ve understood in retrospect. At the time I thought that I was just lazy and had a lagging testimony. I tried to convince friends that I was lazy. I just couldn’t figure out why church was so hard.
You’d think that once I realized last November what had happened to me, that the abuse had happened repeatedly at a stake center and in other church settings, that I would’ve realized that I wasn’t lazy and weak of testimony.
Yeah, no.
I still struggle with thinking that I have a strong testimony. A friend commented a while back on my blog, “And just in case you ever question, you have a strong, strong testimony.” It actually made me cry, because I just don’t feel it all the time like other people tell me they can see it.

So what has coming back to church been like? 
Last January I got a blessing from someone I care as much about as anyone on this planet. One small snippet that I’ll share is that I was told that I would feel safe at church. So did I immediately go right back to church? No. I couldn’t. Like, physically and emotionally I wasn’t there yet.
Doubts about myself creeped in, of course, since I’d been told this in a blessing and I knew that it was true. But then it was like my mind was opened and I realized that not everything in that blessing that I was given was intended to be an immediate fix-all. The blessing was much more of a path that Heavenly Father was laying out for me. It was like pressure just rippled off my shoulders.
It might seem weird for me to say that Heavenly Father was chill with the fact that I wasn’t going to church. But really, that’s what it was. I know now, looking back, that if I had tried to force the issue, I wouldn’t have healed. Healing from abuse isn’t something you push. Abuse is something that is pushed onto you, you feel so out of control. Pushing back isn’t healing. Healing happens the way that it needs to if you want it to happen in your life.
I know that there were people that sometimes thought, if only she would go to church, she’d heal so much more quickly. I know this b/c of not only the vibes that were sent my way, but sometimes the words that were used.
Sometimes I felt like I was healing wrong.
I’m grateful that Heavenly Father has been so open with me, that he has never given me the feeling that he’s displeased with the way that I’m doing this healing stuff. To be honest, when I was in dark places, I wanted him to be angry at me. But I never, ever felt his disappointment or condemnation.
I’m pretty sure that it’s this support that helped me continue on doing what I needed to do, including not forcing the issue about church. When the bishop called me at the beginning of September, that was when my heart was ready for that part of my healing.
It’s my healing, meaning that the path of my healing will be unique. It’s taken me a while to realize this. I think it started to sink in over the summer. I’ve had to push back a few times against others’ ideas of what to do. For so long I kinda did whatever. I’m independent and stuff, but on certain things I acquiesced where it wasn’t healthy.

Going to church can still be really hard. Today was terribly hard for some reason. I feel like the biggest victory of today was the simple fact that I was there. I had to fight for it the whole time that I was there and I have no idea what was discussed. Today’s lesson from church seems to be that I can be there. But finally I’m going because I know that it’s helping me instead of hurting me. I’m not going because other people think it’s important for me.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less if other people want me to be there, if other people think it’s important for me. Right now I need to listen to my heart and let it drown out the outside noise and let in what helps. Maybe that sounds harsh, but it’s only when I do that that I have been able to heal.

Church is now mine, it’s part of my path to healing, a path that Heavenly Father laid out for me. What I’ve learned from this is that everything happens in its due time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Unbreakable


There's this website that I found last January. Someone had linked to it on my tumblr dashboard, which is mainly stuffed with baseball pictures and news blogs. I didn't return to until last weekend when I was ready and able to look at it.  The blog, Project Unbreakable, is a collection of pictures of survivors of sexual abuse and assault and of rape. The survivors hold signs with words of their attackers. It's pretty powerful. What a way to break out from under their grasp, exposing them for what they are.
It's understandably a very heavy site and should only be viewed when you're in a "safe place," as it were. It'll be more difficult for some than it will be for others. It to me to months to be ready for it.

One page shows the pictures that the blog's creator has taken in her trips to cities and campuses. Another section of the site shows submitted pictures. The lag is about three months from submission to posting because of the number of people that have sent in their pictures.

On Saturday last I looked thru the blog. By that night I knew that I wanted--needed--to submit a picture. On Sunday I wrote the words of my abuser on cardstock, took a picture and promptly submitted it. I'd gone back and forth about if and then when I'd share it here. In my last post I talked about feeling exposed. Well, it's time that I expose {dirtbag} for the terrible person that she is.


The next night I went outside and burned the words.






Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pain is Good; Pain Heals

I’ve had three posts running thru my head this week. It’s taken me a while to be comfortable with each one to even be able to start writing them. Chatting with a friend earlier this week, she asked whether I needed to write for me or for others. Frankly, I still don’t know. I really did start posting about what happened to me b/c I didn’t want others to be alone. But I also knew that it would help me, too.

With that unknown out in the open (and still up in the air), I’m going to give a warning about this post. I’m not going to be graphic or anything, I’m not even going to be very detailed. But I am also not going to be shy about a few things that happened to me and the fallout because I think that it’s important, important that others know that these feelings are normal and ok, even good.

From my past experience, I know that these types of things can be hard to read. So the (trigger) warning stands.


A couple of weeks back, Therapist said that I would get to a point where I was grateful for the pain and that I'd also be grateful that I felt sorrow about what happened to me, when I would be fine with it. I looked at her like she was nuts, because, seriously, that was nuts. So it floated thru my mind for a while and I didn’t know how that could all play out. Therapist has the unfortunate habit of being pretty much right about everything, so I knew that eventually I’d get there. Eventually. Because seriously, that’s nuts.

So I thought about what she said, how eventually the pain wouldn’t be the prohibitive weight on my heart, how it’d remind me that I was good and had worth.

A bunch of memories of what {dirtbag} did to me have come back into my mind over the last couple of weeks, or at least memories came back more clearly. I remembered how physically uncomfortable for me most of what {dirtbag} did was. Not a few times it was simply painful.

What I realized is that this physical pain showed to me at the time and it shows to me now that I knew something was wrong. Even in my demoralized state, I knew that something was very wrong. In an odd twist, this showed/shows me my worth, that I knew that I wasn’t for hurting, even though I didn’t know a way out at the time. And frankly due to the circumstances, there wasn’t much of a way out, anyway.

(Much stronger trigger warning for the next paragraph)

One horrible thing that {dirtbag} required was exposing a part of myself normally clothed before anything else would happen. It’s hard to describe how this worked, and perhaps it’s best that I don’t divulge details, but it was so that {dirtbag} could let me know that I was nothing, merely an object for {dirtbag} to get off on. I can’t really describe how miserably horrible this was, how much it hurt. I felt like a sex toy.


Then on Tuesday I realized that I use the word exposed and that felt exposed every time it happened. The word expose insinuates showing something that shouldn’t be. It was like knowledge settled into place for me.

I felt pain. I felt exposed. I was grateful for this knowledge. I was grateful that I felt pain when it happened because then I knew at my very deepest that everything was wrong. I knew that I was worth so very, very much more than what was being done to me.

{dirtbag} didn’t get at my core, didn’t destroy who I am. For this {dirtbag} will forever lose.

I am worth feeling the pain. I am worth feeling the sorrow. I feel pain because I am good and I am kind. What {dirtbag} did hurt me so much because I am pure and I am clean.

If I were to see {dirtbag} today, right now, I would be able to stand tall and look at {dirtbag} with all the disgust that is due. {dirtbag} is repugnant and I am strong. I can feel pain and {dirtbag} didn’t take that from me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Paring down the FB

In the last couple of weeks I've gotten rid of over 100 FB friends, tons from HS. It's not that I don't like my classmates, I just quit caring anymore, I think. After 15 years of not being a student at Spanish Fork HS, and probably almost as many years of not seeing some of them, meh. I realized that in both the short run and long run, mostly (most of the) FB "friendships" don't really matter. I like FB, but I like the idea of paring down its scope in my life.

I've been all about trimming things down lately, getting rid of things I don't need. It's about being unencumbered by stuff that I've surrounded myself with.
I guess I'm just searching now for a simpler essence. Maybe the path of least resistance, too?
Whatever the root of this all is, I'm enjoying feeling lighter.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The words escaped before I reined them in

Before I could stop myself tonight, I let a phrase slip while I was talking on the phone, "I'm finally starting to treat myself like I treat others."

It was one of those weird moments where you say something that you know is true before you can stop yourself and doubt all over it. So now I'm stuck with the truth.





Also, initiatories at the temple are by FAAAARRRRRR my favorite part. It's especially great when you get to go with a friend that's going back to do them for the first time as proxy. It was pretty much the best.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Ever learning-ish


2 Tim 3:7
This post will be a bit stream of consciousness-y because I don't have fixed ideas totally yet.

My Philosophy of Language class always sends me off on some kind of reverie of thought for at least 15 minutes every Monday. This is where I went today:

Therapist mentioned last week that I'm so analytical that I have to understand something before I can trust anything at all about it, including emotions or whatever else it means for me. This can be useful and not so great all at once.

There's a verse in 2 Timothy 3:7 that has eaten at me for years. I've been concerned for a long time that it's describing my brain and my faith. "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." And in verse 8, do I resist truth? I think part of this goes back to my post on healing about how I was inactive b/c I was lazy or something.

So here's what I maybe learned today, or at least had reinforced today.

Maybe my faith "problems" are really just a fear of my own ability to do right--all based around the idea that if I'd simply done right, I wouldn't have been hurt. Only I was doing my very best and others were bent on hurting me to get their perverse jones. The idea does still haunt me that "if only I hadn't been so weak..." I still feel this. But I was trained to be weak or at least to feel weak.

But on the other hand, I have fought thru this--I've shown my inner strength. I've fought to be myself even in the face of a couple of other people trying to control my soul and destiny. These people tried to rework my insides for their own purposes. Yet I am who I am and not what they wanted me to be.

So imagine my surprise when I realized that this shows my faith in myself and the idea of me--no matter the horrid manipulations and frankly wicked attempts of others. I believe that this is my faith in God, but it also necessarily is a conviction about (a previously unrecognized) faith in myself. A faith that I know that I can be ok someday.

If I didn't think that I could do this--survive successfully--I wouldn't be pushing forward and I'd leave myself in a swirl of pain, which, let's not kid ourselves, I still often feel myself stuck in. I'd continue to believe that I deserved what I got.

So I'm guessing that I don't really understand 2 Tim 3:7 at all. I think part of the trick is found in D&C 8 where you have to understand in your head and heart. I'm afraid to feel b/c I've been big-time hurt repeatedly to the point where even being around people that love and care for me, it's pain. Being loved hurts. It hurts a lot. I also know that it's healing me.

To quote the Fresh Prince, my life is being flipped-turned upside down.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thumbs

Today I was talking with my therapist and I asked why after, all these hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution, nature couldn't have done me a solid and evolved out of emotions. I mean, if it can do opposable thumbs, it seems like this would've been a good use of its time, as well.

Hmmmmph.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

GenConf can be like magic

A few weeks back a friend wrote to me and included something that she heard a professor at the BYU say. It's OK to be mad at God just as long as you tell him about it. Since I'm still pretty much a confuzzled jumble of emotional hodge podge, nailing down what I feel is very hard. But yesterday I knew one thing for sure: I felt very abandoned. I think it's a lingering feeling that ebbs and flows in intensity. I'm pretty sure that feeling this is not only normal, but in a way a good thing, b/c it shows that I'm worth not being abandoned, if that makes any sense.
Because of the place(s) where I was molested and in the church setting and stuff, I have wondered why I was so abandoned and not protected. How could I not feel this way? It's normal and has nothing to do with faith or anything like that. The principal reason, I think, is that abused people are made to feel that way. One of the greatest weapons of an abuser is isolation.

All of these emotions rushed to the surface yesterday at around noon. During the first half an hour or so of the first session of Conference, I started to write down some of my feelings, some of which I'll share here:

I'd never thought about this before, but since I was baptized and confirmed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I was blessed to have him with me at all times. I was a good kid. I've never thought about it until just now, because it was so terrible and dark when {dirtbag} was hurting me, but my guess is that I was being protected somehow. I mean, I want to believe this. I think I'd almost like to see it somehow, so that I can feel almost retroactive protection or something. I guess it's that I felt so left to the dogs, that I want to know that I was important enough to be protected, even in some way that I couldn't feel at the time.
Then came Elder Shayne Bowen's talk and the rush of answers and probably nothing short of 3,500 tears:
I don't think the Lord would want me to punish myself for the abuse done by another. Thru prayer the Lord can give me a new heart--not because an old one is tarnished with sin, but one that can begin to see me for who I am. I will be able to look forward with hope and not back with despair.
The Lord will not leave me comfortless, but will come to me--succor me. He will send his Holy Spirit to guide me, comfort me, love me and protect me.
I am learning what my core is, even though it can be hard to believe that I am not worthless or that I deserve to be protected and loved. It's very confusing at times that so many people love me. At the same time it's comforting--but it still blows my mind.
Through therapy and the love of others, I'm essentially retraining my head and heart so that they know that I don't have to be isolated, that people actually want to be around me, that I am not a danger for other people. {Dirtbag} made me think that it was all my fault. That I wanted to be hurt and that I knew that I deserved it. I isolated to protect others from me.

But no more, because:
I am a good woman.
I am a kind woman.
I care deeply for others.
I am a loving woman.
I am not dangerous for others to be around.
I am good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Temple


After doing initiatories, I was rather emotionally exhausted and asked if there a place where I could sit down and be alone for a while. The sisters all bustled around me in their loving way and took me to the Bride's Room. I sat down and sobbed for a long while.
Eventually I looked up, ready to go and it was then that I saw my reflection in one of the mirrors. I was sitting there, in the temple.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hard Things

I realize that the last few posts, with the exception of the lightening bug post, have been about hard things, but successes mostly inasmuch as we can gauge this type of healing that way.
When I decided that it was time for me to start opening up about what I've been through, I had two main ideas in mind:
#1 Post so that other people know that they are not alone, so that they know that what they're feeling is normal and part of healing. AND that they're NOT bad people. That the crap we feel is normal.
#2 Post what I feel guided to post.

I've felt a lot of successes lately, during these last five weeks. I've felt a lot of sweet blessings from the Spirit and those around me. I've felt healing that I wasn't expecting to feel in ways that I didn't previously comprehend as possible. And through all of this I've had panic attacks. This is what this kind of healing is. This morning I knew that today I would be meeting with the stake president to get the final signature on my temple recommend--physical proof that I was worthy not only before God, but looking in the mirror I knew that I was worthy. And that was a really awesome realization.
Also, this morning when I was brushing my teeth I dry heaved. That's what this kind of healing is. I don't say this for sympathy or anything (although IT SUCKS), I say this because it is what it is. The good days and bad are intertwined. The fact that I'm having panic attacks is normal and is actually a good thing, I guess. Well, that's what my therapist says. It is what it is, and I hate them and hate having them. They suck and are terrible. They wake me up in the night with my body cramping. They happen outta nowhere in a French phonetics course. It is what it is. And this is my new normal. This is my healing.

The reason why I'm writing about this is because I want to share something that I remembered over the last couple of days:

That Sunday after I first met with my bishop, I asked what I needed to do to get a temple recommend and he said, "Just start coming to church." I realized that same Sunday that I was totally freaked out by the idea of getting a temple recommend by the end of the month, because I knew that would be the possibility if I started going every Sunday. So I was chatting with Heavenly Father about it. I flat-out asked him if it was even possible for me to do this after a few weeks, to be able to deal with so many things. I remember distinctly the words, "It is possible. It will be hard, but it is possible." Then I asked again, "Can I even do it?" I remember feeling that Heavenly Father knew that I could, but that it was OK if it didn't do it in a one-month turnaround, that He was happy that I was working toward it.
I just went about my month and didn't think tons on that conversation until a couple of days ago when I realized that I had done it.

I can do hard things.

Heavenly Father knows that we can do hard things.

Proof.

Today I signed my name to something that means that I know that I am worthy, that I am good, that I am pure not only before God, but when I look in the mirror.


Proof.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Crazy September

Today I met again with the bishop because I'd called to make an appointment. Last Sunday I realized--while I was locked out of the house and stuck star gazing on my deck--that it was time for me to get a temple recommend again.
This realization was actually pretty hard. I've spent the last however many years sure that I was filthy and unworthy. Not having a temple recommend was proof positive of that. I wasn't worthy anyway. (Although Anna-Lisa will have my head for writing that.) But I was sure that I wasn't. No doubt.
Realizing that I am worthy has been hard b/c it means that everything that I thought about myself in this way has been wrong. It hurts to be worthy. It's a huge relief to be worthy. It's overwhelming to be worthy. At times it's still unbelievable to me that I'm worthy, although it's becoming more believable.


The bishop said that it is extremely important that I get my recommend as soon as possible, so by Sunday everything should be signed. He said that the three signatures, from the bishopric, the stake presidency, and--especially--mine will be so important. Proof.


My sister Laurel is coming into town next week for her birthday. All three sisters will be together. She went through the temple in '11 and I wasn't there. Today I sent her a text asking her if it'd be OK if we went to the Atlanta Temple to do initiatories for her birthday because I want my first time back to be special, with her there. Her response: "yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!!" She said that I made her cry.
I texted my mom and told her what we were going to do for Laurel's birthday. She started to cry. My brother said that he want to come with. I wish he could!


When I wrote my post about healing a few weeks back, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how people would react. I have wonderful people in my life, so I knew that there would be love shared. But the comments and notes and messages blew me away. They forced me to realize that the way I saw myself was not how everyone else saw me--much less how Heavenly Father saw me. A door opened to further healing. I wouldn't be less than a week away from doing initiatories without the messages I received. I'm not overstating it. I believe I'm understating the effect you all have had on me.
I've been driven to healing tears over and over these last few weeks. Tears that worked as the Balm of Gilead to a soul that had been raw and exposed for too long. It has very really felt like with every tear, I've been strengthened. I've felt love from people on both sides of the veil. I've been buoyed up in inexplicable fashions. I had no idea how much pain I was in until the healing over these last weeks.



Today has been an emotionally overwhelming day. I came home after a long day of school and decided that it was time to do something, something that I'd been waiting for the perfect moment for. I broke into the fridge and pulled out my last bottle of my favorite root beer, popped it open and downed it. Today I deserved it. But, I'm realizing, I deserved it in August, and pretty much everyday before that, too.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

follow-up?

I've had no idea how to follow up my last post. So I've decided that it's going to be this:

Riding your bicycle at night can be really awesome when the fireflies are crackling.
But it can always be really gross when the fireflies slam into the back of your throat.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Healing

I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'd ever post this part of my life's story to my blog. Today I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'd post this particular story from earlier today to my blog. As I'm typing this I'm still not sure if it'll see the light of the internet b/c we all know how trustworthy the internet can be. Perhaps just typing it out is what I need. We'll see if it gets posted.


First the necessary and not-at-all-pleasant background so that you'll know why the resolution that I got today was so profound for me.

Years ago over about a half a year's time, I was repeatedly assaulted and molested by {dirtbag}. I'm pretty positive that none of the five people that read this blog know {dirtbag}. This horrible person worked my soul into the ground so that I had no fight left, so that I didn't have the emotional strength to fight back. {Dirtbag} turned me into an object for whatever sick need {dirtbag} was feeling at the time. I was not a child when this happened, I was much older. Age didn't matter. {Dirtbag} and predators like {dirtbag} don't necessarily focus on age, they focus on want they want and go after it. 

I was not cognizant of what happened to me until last year, around November. It was like I knew it but mostly my brain didn't understand what it was and so that part was shut down. But when I realized what it was, my life crashed around me: night-long flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, inability to concentrate, etc. 

Different aspects of my life began to make sense, as well. I hadn't (haven't) been active in the church for a while. I thought that I was simply lazy, or that maybe my testimony wasn't strong enough, or that maybe I was just a bad person. No. What really was going on was that {dirtbag} molested me and attacked me various times at a church. What had been so pushed back into the deep recesses of my mind could no longer stay; it was leaking out and I was in pain--a lot of it. Because of all of {dirtbag}'s attacks in church-related settings, my emotional ability to handle even simple scripture study or prayer was like reliving a bit of the pain. I had no words to describe it, except that I was sure that I was weak, pathetic and lazy of spirit.

No. I wasn't.

At the end of last November I began seeing a therapist, and thus the healing began.

It's been hard. I've had to fight so many times just to be able to do a bit of homework. There have been times where I've had to fight for the next minute, where my hope was that the next minute would bring the peace and solace that would be enough for me to survive to the minute after that.

I have had better times, times where I've laughed, had fun, had my worries and my burdens lifted. Days where I don't feel the pain and the pressure smashing at my heart. There have been times where I've even felt victorious.

All of this is leading to what happened today. 

We're in a new ward after the move. The bishop called me on Wednesday b/c he wanted to meet me, so we set up an appointment for today. We chatted for a while and then I told him why I hadn't been active in the church for so long. Without going into great detail I explained how I'd been attacked at a church repeatedly and elsewhere. The look on his face was one of concern, love, sorrow and support. We talked a bit and he asked me about my healing--if I'd felt any, especially thru the atonement. (Yes, very distinctly at times.)

Then he said two sentences that became the catalyst for this post: "I want you to know that it wasn't your fault. You are divinely clean." My head tilted a bit to the right and then the tears flowed down my cheeks. I sat there with the tears on my cheeks, as they are again now, and I knew and I know that what he said was true.

This feeling and this knowledge is why I decided to write this and post it for the masses to read. I am not alone in this. Countless others have suffered a similar terrible fate to mine. {Dirtbags} exist everywhere. But knowing and feeling that nothing these horrendous people have done to us is our fault, that none of it makes us unclean, or dirty and filthy like I've felt for so long, this gives us the power back. 

I write this to share this knowledge and to no longer hide behind the shame. I'm speaking out so that maybe one more person won't feel so alone. What happened to me isn't who I am, but it certainly is who {dirtbag} is. I refuse to hide anymore behind a veil of pain and guilt. The more that we can speak openly about surviving molestation and sexual assaults in a safe way, the less power the perpetrators have. The more that we act with understanding toward victims and survivors, wrapping them in protective and healing love, the safer this world will be.


After the bishop and I finished our discussion, I walked into sacrament meeting, sat down by a couple of friends and their perfect little girl, and took the sacrament as though it were the most normal part of my Sunday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plans

A while back Brian was waxing philosophical about some things that he's heard people say over time and it's gotten me thinking on it for a while now.
He was talking about how people use some variation of the phrase "it was Heavenly Father's plan" or talk about how we don't understand the plan of our Father in Heaven when something terrible happens.
Brian mentioned that there are times when the phrase is big-time misapplied, and I think he's right. I think when tragic things happen--especially when someone else has done something terrible to us--it's not cool to comfort people by using the phrase, "It's all part of Heavenly Father's plan." Someone doing something bad to you is not part of Heavenly Father's plan.
I've noticed that the sentence is used when we're at a loss for words or when we're uncomfortable with the other person being sad.

When something sucky happens we should feel sad and we should let other people feel sad. Telling people that "it's all part of Heavenly Father's plan" can be like telling people that they're wrong for feeling sad. "Just be happy!" as a friend once told me. Or "fake it until you make it!" was another gem. Yeah, no.


It's easier to feel sad and deal with the problem. I think that's why we're told to mourn with those that mourn. It just works better.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oh, dear me

It's the first day of class, so posting twice on my blog seems like a good use of my time.
I was skimming thru Tumblr and saw this post, which is blah blah blah election year blah blah blah.
But the BEST part, and the only part we should all care about, is that the guy who's gonna run as a democrat in the race created a website to challenge Ryan's proposed gutting of medicare called:

HandsOffMyGrandma.com


BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!


Seriously, it sounds so scandalous and just a bit pornograph-icky. 
Time to troll out the nun picture again.

Frivolous Protection

This really might seem like a frivolous post, but it nonetheless laced with truth. Each Mormon man that is endowed, and thus has to follow certain clothing guidelines is one more protection against the too-short boy short problem of exposed man thigh.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Weirdest thing I've done at a motel is...

OK, maybe the title of this post sends the reader off on the wrong trail. I'm a very boring person, so the end of the sentence is ...build bookends.
Yep, Tuesday afternoon I grabbed my tools, bought paint, sandpaper, wood glue and got some lumber cut then headed to a motel in Manchester, TN to get to work:

 The sanded them over a bag to catch the dust, then organized pieces of wood.
 TV: Sportscenter & BBC News

Then I got to painting them bright colors, again on more plastic bags. I love painting things. I only splattered paint once and it was on the black mini-fridge. Luckily it wiped clean. Phew.
TV: Chopped

Drying for a few hours.
No TV: Sleep

The next morning I woke up early on my own, two hours before my alarm because building bookends is fun. I glued the tower parts to each other after touching up the paint a bit. I also fixed a hole I had accidentally made in one of the blocks, because I'm just that coordinated.
TV: Mike & Mike in the Morning (ESPN)

Finally I attached the towers to the green slab backing.
TV: Little League World Series!


Then I packed each end into a black bag for safe keeping and drove to Nashville to watch Anna-Lisa knock the dissertating socks off of her committee.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Facepalm

That absolute facepalm of a moment when you post this about the de facto WASP hegemony (whose sovereign is HRH Dollar) to facebook:

People who complain about how extending rights to others means that you're somehow taking away their rights are pretty dumb. It's not that your freedom is taken away, it's that the privileged pedestal you've been coasting on is now being fairly populated by others and you've simply gotta work for things instead of being spoon fed your "successes."
and a Ron Paul supporter--a woman!--clicks "like."




just smh, S.M.H.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WIMotW: Edict #4

First, my last blog post was #600. Huh.

Number 601 stems from a convo that Anna-Lisa and I had tonight.

Smoking is selfish. Unless you smoke in complete isolation and take sonic showers to remove all of the chemicals from around you, it is simply selfish. The idea that it's your right to spread toxic chemicals that cause cancer, etc. diseases, into the air that other people breathe is nuts. Oh, and selfish.

So When I'm Master of the World, my 4th Edict will be this:

  • Outlaw cigarette and chew ads completely, 100%. No more ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards or at/on stores.
  • Make it illegal to sell any clothing, etc. item, that has the company logo on it, except maybe the packs themselves. 
  • Make the tax on a pack/carton of cigarettes or chew 99%. Half of the tax money will go to cancer research. Thirty percent will go to programs that help people quit smoking.
  • Any store that sells cigarettes or chew to under-21s is immediately fine $10,000 and their license for selling cigarettes and chew gets revoked for at least a year. 
  • If a cigarette company switches production from tobacco, plows under the tobacco crop and plants vegetables or fruits or the like, they'll get a nice tax deduction for at least six years.

I think this is a good plan. They're not completely outlawed, you can still buy them and stuff, but we'll get rid of the coolness level and will make them prohibitively expensive while creating funds for important health needs.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2nd art. of faith vs.(?) chastity talks

There's this thing that's been sitting in my mind for over a year and I think I figured out a way for a succinct post regarding it. (Well, succinct for me.)

The very Second Article of Faith in the LDS Church reads thus:

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
Essentially it means that humans come to earth with a blank slate and aren't damned because Adam and Eve ate some quince. It also means that I'mma not be eternally damned for someone else's sin. Makes sense. I've got mine, you've got yours. Seems fair.
And we members of the Mormon Church are like all stoked about this truth. Well, until things like chastity are brought up. I should still be in charge of mine and you should still be in charge of yours, but (young) women in the church are not taught this, nor are the (young) men. We're instead taught that if the (young) women don't dress modestly, the (young) men will simply lose control, that we women need to "help the men" so that we can all stay pure.

Bull.

I've dressed modestly my whole life just b/c it's in my nature and I would be this reserved if I weren't Mormon. It is NOT my duty to dress modestly so that a guy can avoid getting all hot and bothered. It is the other person's job to deal with their own arousal, not mine.
First, the idea that men get aroused faster than women is a myth and is completely untrue.
Second, each person is supposed to watch their own thoughts, words and deeds. It's insane to think that if I wear a V-neck shirt that dips only 3 inches and not 4, that I will have magical control over someone else's brain and arousal mechanism.
Third, teaching (young) women that they carry the burden for their male counterparts sinning/not sinning completely negates the ENTIRE PRINCIPLE of the second Article of Faith.
Fourth, placing this heavy burden on (young) women and telling them that if they don't dress modestly guys will get all aroused up and then, who knows what sinny-sin will go down?!?! is the same thing as telling a (young) women that she deserves what she gets if a guy does something against her wishes.
Number 4 is a damnable lie, and by damnable I mean it in the strongest sense.

I haven't had a chastity talk in a while, but if I ever end up in another one, I am no longer staying quiet. I am going to stand up for the (young) women and I am going to place the burden of thoughts, deeds and actions squarely on the person that has those thoughts, deeds and actions.

I know I've been emphatic before on my blog, but this is perhaps the most emphatic entry I've ever posted. EMPHATIC.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

docs

I like to think of Star Trek as documentaries from the future, in case anyone was wondering.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Dangers To Be Had When Naming Children

I mean, not that I personally have ever had this problem, except when I try to convince friends to name their daughter Vanessa Gretchen or Gretchen Vanessa. But during my intense Masters and Doctoral research of Harry Potter I have noticed some important naming patterns that I think must be taken into account.

For example, Remus John Lupin. He wasn't born a werewolf, as he was bitten by Fenrir Greyback in his childhood. But his parents were nuts for naming him Remus, it's like they were carving his fate in stone.

Also, Fenrir? Who names their son Fenrir? Psycho parents, obviously.

It's not hard to believe that Narcissa Black Malfoy's parents would name her such. They were huge snobs.

Her sister, Bellatrix? Their parents had some serious bellicose fantasies they wanted to live out through their daughter.

Their cousin, Sirius Black, is named after the dog star. His form as an animagus is like so unsurprising.

Dolores Umbridge has the most perfect name. She totes deserved it.

Mundugus Fletcher? Nasty name.

There's a nice ironic name, too: Bartemius. We don't know about Sr.'s dad. But I'm guessing he was an obnoxious, letter-of-the-law type of man that totally missed the point of life.

etc. etc. etc. I could continue the list due to my exhaustive research into the matter, but meh, I'm done.


Anyway, just be careful when you're naming your kids is all I'm saying.

Friday, June 29, 2012

What I have been learning

This week, perhaps more than at any other point in my life, I have learned that when things feel dark, hopeless or bleak, loved ones may be the only glimmer. And that can be just enough to keep trudging up a seemingly insurmountable climb.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Broccoli

In light of today's excellent SCOTUS decision, I'm thinking I'm going to have some of my favorite vegetable to celebrate.



Seriously, tho, I'm quite relieved.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A follow-up

I haven't posted in 4 months and now there's a twofer today.
I have an idea about a way to save money and apply it in a more useful way.

#1 Did you know that the US spends 5 times as much on the military budget ($711 billion) than its closest competitor (China at $143 billion)? Do you know how much of that is needless spending according to an old Cold War mentality? Yeah, billions.
So how about we only spend 4 times as much as China? Then we can use the rest of the money to help the soldiers that are coming back. We can give them job training. We can apply better funds to physical recovery. We can apply significantly more money to help soldiers recover mentally from the horrors they've seen. Maybe this way we can drastically cut back on the suicide/day rate that the military now has. We can apply money to stop the rampant sexual trauma that women--and not a few men--suffer in the military.
Could you imagine if we did that?

#2 (This is based off the previous post)
For people like the person that I mentioned that pay so very little in taxes yet have exorbitant wealth, how about we draw things a bit more close. This family friend of ours pays about 40% in overall taxes, referenced wealthy person pays 13.9% in federal on some of his money--not all of it--and pays maybe 1% or 2% more on some of his money for other state taxes. Considering his $250 million in overall wealth, and that he only pays taxes on some of it, makes you wonder. Anyway:
So how about we don't even make numbers match? How about we have this wealthy group of people pay their taxes, use their loop holes, pay state taxes, etc., AND THEN we have them pay up to 75% of what middle class America pays? So then these wealthy tax dodgers end up paying only 30% in overall taxes. And it's still less than my family friend.

Now with all of this money, we can easily afford things every year like money for education and teacher training, money for job creation, money for research to develop 21st century industries so that we can compete on a global scale like we used to back when this type of money was applied to research.


How about we start with these two ideas?
But, you know me, I'm just a 1980s Republican. Or, in modern parlance, a socialist.

It's gotta be said

Mild rant. yeehaw:

Someone posted an absolutely horrendous thing supporting the mandatory drug testing laws in a few US states for people that need welfare. Pass the test, you get money. Seems like a good idea until you realize a few things:
#1 People being tested have to pay up front. They'll most likely get reimbursed later. But people with no money have to pay for it up front.
#2 The only requirement for getting this tested is being poor, no suspicion other than poverty. This also happens to be against both the spirit and the literal law of the IV Amendment.
#3 People on welfare do drugs per capita the same as the rest of America. White America? The same. Black America? The same. Hispanic America? The same. In fact, drug use is at the same percent across the nation regardless of wealth, skin color, etc. etc.
But really, we should pick on the poor people.
#4 It COST Florida more than $45,000 in the end. It didn't save them money, it cost them money. It didn't save them any money on welfare, nothing changed.

So FB poster went off about how he earns money and his 40% after federal, state, gas, food taxes shouldn't be going to these leaches on society.

Here's the thing, and I pointed this out to him (and he ignored it), a certain wealthy man has about $250 million dollars of personal wealth and he paid about 13.9% on a fraction of that, not even on the $250 million. If you add the rest of his property, etc., taxes, he doesn't even come close to paying half of what this 40% man pays.

So why on earth are we attacking the poor? If we closed the loop holes in this one man's taxes, we cover welfare for how many people for how many years?

Yeah, exactly.
So we should totally attack poor people, because they're the problem.

Friday, February 3, 2012

All kinds of info

I ran across this website that has all kinds of amazingly interesting (and sometimes disheartening) information.
Here's one tidbit that was especially frustrating to me:


There's the average for the U.S. and Kansas is in the best position. Utah's in the absolute worst, and it's not even close.

The overall tax burden once everything's taken into account is rather fascinating as well.

There's a lot of other stuff on there that didn't get my dander up, but I thought I'd point out those two lovely bits of info.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grandpa

I had this really sucky moment tonight where I wanted to call and talk to my Grandpa Pittsley, you know, just say hi. It took a couple of seconds for me to remember that he passed away a few years back.

It sucked. Big time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIMotW: Edict #3

When I'm Master of the World, my third declaration will be the healthy ceasing of cigarette smoking. We'll turn the area of the factories into reclaimed areas for after school learning and rec places where kids can explore their talents. All of the money whored up by the companies will become our funds for this process. Factory workers can be transitioned to different jobs created by the construction of the building.
I see this as a win-win-win-win for all involved. More wellness trips to the dr than the current alternative. Punishment would be tree or flower planting or something. Or maybe hugging trees... Something like that.
All's I know is that we gotta keep growing tobacco to help out those cows in some way.


Now, to make this WIMofW less boring, you should all want this.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today it hit me

I realized why so many people in the LDS church are enamored with Ron Paul. This article illuminated my mind.
A quote:

“The Ron Paul brand is actually relatively intellectual,” Cassino says. It’s “A brand that’s about, ‘I’m smarter than you are.’ … ‘All the politicians are telling you one thing but I know better.’ ” This is the brand for those who feel different, who see themselves as a little bit brainier and more marginalized than everyone else.
Followed up by this one:

It’s also that those drawn to Ron Paul are narrowly self-selecting—they are attracted to the idea of being the rare voices of reason in a culture of foolishness.

So why the connection? Mormons pride** themselves on having a special truth, they're "in the know." Of course many Mormons would find this appealing--for all the wrong reasons. Ron Paul's stances are a cacophony to many of the actual teachings of the gospel. But it's more about a special secret than an actual truth that is appealing.

Ugh.


**word choice used  for many reasons...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A small-ish rant

because I can use my blog to complain about idiots on facebook.

It's stunning to see how many of my Mormon friends are madly in love with Ron Paul. If the U.S. had followed his cockamamie ideas of foreign policy, the Church would not have had access to make the inroads around the world in such a fast manner. We would not have the connections that we've had over the last 70 years.

A presence in Southeast Asia? not a chance
How about South Korea (and its temple)? not on your life
Official recognition in Romania (the only place in Eastern Europe)? not even. That was Sen. Reid's connection.
The list continues and continues.
Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of current members wouldn't have ever heard of the Church.


But hey, if you're in the mood for a return to a strongly patriarchal society that favors only upper middle class white males and sends us into civil non-rights with the repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which Paul would repeal), vote for Ron Paul, he's a sexist, racist peach of a man hiding his beliefs under a banner of "liberty."

He's a prick.