Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Parallel Time Dimension? Fuck Yeah!

I read a piece by Kiley a few weeks ago titled Would You Really Change the Past? and it brought up so many things for me that I thought I would like to post my response here. Kiley wrote her piece in response to a post that she had read at N.O.M (New Order Mormon), which asked If you could have all the things and people you love in life and erase Mormonism from your past present and future would you do it?”. Kiley answered “no”, I answer YES!

I side more with another viewpoint I read this week. Eliza R. Snitch talks about her experiences at BYU (Brigham Young University) -

“I felt that I’d been cheated out of the college experience that I’d always dreamed of, and I was pissed off about it– and rightly so!.......So there you have it. How to get through BYU without going crazy. But really, the best way to survive BYU? LEAVE. As soon as possible.”

I hear you Eliza!!!

Although I cannot attribute all of my faults/weaknesses to Mormonism (wouldn’t that be somethin’!) I do feel that I was shaped in a very big way by my religion. From where I stand right now I do not like what I see. I know that if I had grown up without religion that I would most likely have chosen some very different directions in my life. I would also have grown up minus a shitload of guilt and shame. Now that is a Maureen that I would like to see! Bring on the Star Trek type parallel time dimension!

Even without the guarantee offered by N.O.Ms scenario (that of keeping the same people in your life etc) Rockstar and I both agreed that we would still do it. I guess that might be because we don’t believe in destiny or soul mates. We figure that we each would have found people we love just as much as we love each other and that we would have had happy, fulfilling lives.

Kiley said “I don’t think that different decisions would necessarily result in a better life”. I disagree. I believe very strongly that my life would have been markedly better had I been raised non-religious. I feel jealous of my friends who were raised this way.

Now, I do acknowledge that I gained good things from Mormonism (In fact I’ve been thinking of writing a piece about that and I think it had better be the next one I do eh) however I would much rather have learned my life skills elsewhere, you know, minus the baggage.

I agree with Kiley that I need to “…get over it, get past it, learn from it…” and I agree that I have grown a lot in the last year, II can also use my experience to help others through the tough ‘coming out’ process. I see these things as the silver lining of a very dark cloud. I find it very easy to identify with Kileys description of feeling like a survivor. Kiley, that does not sound pretentious to me, it sounds real. It feels real. I don’t want to downplay the scars that religion left on me. I feel like a survivor. That’s why I like to thrash it out in my spin classes, sweat off that anger.

Then I get to the end of Kileys piece and she says - 

Truth be told, there are few people put in a position to have experienced such sweeping changes in their lives and ways of thinking, than people who believed and lost. As painful as such an experience is going through such things provides a point of view and perspective of the world that few others will ever earn.”

I do feel like I’ve been through the fire and I feel damned lucky to have made it to the other side. I even think, Kiley, that you may have convinced me. I surely would never choose it again (being born in the covenant) but for this life, the one that I am living now, I think I can live with it and possibly be somewhat proud of the journey and the tremendous opportunity for growth. As Christopher Hitchens says, I am glad I grew up. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Intruder Alert

Ok, enough already! I’m going to prioritise a blog post today. I keep sending this blog to the bottom of my ‘to do’ list and it is just never going to get any love that way.

Well, one interesting thing that came up during my long absence from blackbikini was an online conversation that DH had with a friend from his past. DH told me about it while we were watching the kids play at these indoor pools that remind me of Las Vegas, so I was feeling pretty laid back at the time (I have a ‘thing’ for Las Vegas, maybe that’s why I love The Killers so much) which I was glad about since the information DH gave me may have really pissed me off had I heard it at some other time.

Once again the story plays out at our friendly neighbourhood watering hole… Facebook. A chat box popped up and it was a friend from way back (not a mutual friend btw, this ‘friend’, who shall now be referred to as ‘Intruder’, has never met me) and conversation soon turned to religion (or lack thereof vis-à-vis Atheism), always a crowd pleaser!

Intruder complained to DH about how it was just such a terrible shame the way that his wife had dragged him away from the gospel; “what happened to the old __________ that I used to know” Intruder continued.

Well DH defended himself of course. He had his doubts about the church waaaaay before I did. The amazing part of our story is that for most of our marriage DH managed to keep his doubts to himself. He saw that I was really invested in the religion and that I seemed happy there. He didn’t want to disrupt that since his doubts were speculations and church life seemed to be a ‘good thing’ for our little family. When I ran headlong into polygamy (you can only hide it away in your closet of things you’d like to ignore for so long you know!) he saw the tide was changing. I was M. A. D.; change was coming. He took the leap before I did. He had been contemplating the god theory for at least 10 years and he was ready when the opportunity to openly question it presented itself. His disaffection was cleaner, more harmonious with good mental and physical health. I on the other hand felt like I had been ripped to shreds, hence the emergence of blackbikini, my lifeline.

So if there are any other lurkers out there who think I put on my fishwife boots and dragged DH out of the arms of god then think again.

As for “the old __________” that you “used to know” firstly, ‘know’ is certainly an overstatement. After 10 years of marriage I’d say DH and I are just beginning to scratch the surface of who the other really is, or is becoming. Secondly this statement is one of those pesky little things that Mo’s say when someone leaves… “where has the ‘real’ you gone??” , well I’d like to respond to that in like fashion “do you mean the Automaton that looked like me and smelled like me but that was really just , well, an Automaton!”.  For god’s sake, see the person not the ‘apostate’ people!!!

Finally, Intruder backed off from the ‘let’s dump this shit on his wife because she’s clearly the problem, what with that loud mouth and all’ rant and moved on to bagging my blog (blackbikini is like a train wreck to some people, they just can’t look away!) and then some truly delightful insights into ‘the problem’ with ‘the gays’. Nice.

Now, Intruder, you and I have never met (pray Allah we never do). This piece I’ve written here is sure to rub you the wrong way but I hope it will make you stop and think the next time you open your mouth (especially on facebook, people get ‘braver’ read stupider on facebook). I do have to thank you for one thing though, well no, two things. This story gave me a good laugh at a time when I really needed one; your bigotry turned my Las Vegas oasis into a chuckles retreat. The other payoff was that DH and I got to have a good laugh about something Mormon together.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toot Toot!

Time to toot my own horn as Koda would say.  A splendiferous LDS friend of mine asked me to write a piece about my deconversion for her blog. Most of the readers are LDS and they have been great. Have a peek if you want, the discussion going on there is quite interesting. I am learning a lot.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Anyone know the Faith No More song 'Collision'?

Mike Patton roars "Collision" and your skin and hair ignite... bloodrush, you're alive! It's the first word in the first song on 'Album of The Year' (those guys have no problems with self esteem!).

I'm expecting some hair-raising fun at the screening of 'Collision' this Thursday, 5 August at the University of Western Australia Tavern. UWA Atheist and Agnostic Society is putting on an event with the UWA Christian Union. There will be a screening of the film 'Collision' featuring Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson followed by discussion, yay!!!

Can't wait. See you there.

For more info visit Good Reason.