Thursday, January 31, 2013


After the horrid end of the last relationship, I had a knee jerk reaction and signed up for a dating service. It didn't take me long to cancel it, because I didn't want to date, I couldn't date, it was even traumatizing to go through the experience, but the most interesting thing about it was looking at the men's profiles.

The dating site had people answer questions. One of the questions was, 'How honest are you?
 a. Always honest
 b. Mostly honest
 c. Sometimes honest
 d. Rarely honest.

I answered mostly honest because that was the honest answer, as no one is always honest (I don't tell my friends they look fat, I don't tell someone they have bad breath, etc. I don't want to unnecessarily hurt someone's feelings). These are small things, however, not the big, important things.

What I found so intriguing is that 100% of the men that looked at my profile answered they are always honest. Their answer showed they are dishonest.  How about with holding information? That is also dishonest.  There are lies of omission and commission.

I have a girlfriend whose husband used her silverware to pick up the dog poop...when she was upset and insisted he buy her a new set, he just said he wouldn't tell her next time. He wonders why she is upset with him twice.

I'm okay with not being told a certain outfit is unflattering.  I'm not okay with with big lies that hurt.
With all the shit I have been through, I don't need one more lie in my life.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Often, when contemplating a concept, I like to look up the definition even though I know helps me conceptualize what my mind is attempting to grasp.

I have been grappling with boundaries as of late.  This is what Webster has to say about them:


something that indicates bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line.

Growing up, weak boundaries were strongly enforced by my environment. I was told what to wear, how to spend my time, what to think. At church, the male leaders were allowed to ask very private questions about my sexual practices. Every year, the leaders continue to ask if I drink coffee, tea, alcohol or use tobacco, if I pay 10% of my income to the church and obey my church leaders and whom I have sex with.  To most people, these things are a private matter, but when you are taught loose boundaries, you think nothing of offering this information over to ecclesiastical leaders. 

Now that I am free of religious ties, I am able to decide on my own what my boundaries are. The problem I have discovered is that after years of not being allowed to set my own boundaries, it is very difficult to begin to set them.

When a man makes a comment about my ass or breasts, I find this rude and offensive and it makes me want to recoil from him...the problem is, I have been told by society to be nice, that nice girls are soft and submissive, it's more important to be nice and allow men to step all over us, turn the other cheek, etc. I want to tell him to fuck off, but that wouldn't be nice, so what I do instead, is try and be funny. I'll usually make a joke.  Unfortunately, this type of man takes my humor as playing along, and that I'm only unintentionally encouraging him.

I am learning to be more bold, to set stronger boundaries, but it has come at a struggle. I was recently looking for a roommate, but when the person I thought would make a good fit, tried to tell me I needed to send my sick daughter out of my home early to make room for them, I actually stood up to them and told them my family comes first.  Needless to say, they didn't move in. I'm glad I set my boundary, but now I don't have that extra income. It felt really good to stand up for myself, though.

People who are comfortable with themselves and have a sense of self confidence, are not offended with an assertive person saying no. What I have found, however, is that there are many people who do not possess a sense of self confidence or were raised in passive-aggressive or aggressive environments and have not learned to act or accept assertiveness.

  Some examples of passive-aggressive behaviors include: chronic lateness (I'll show up, but I refuse to be on time); sullenness(I'll go to dinner, but I won't like any of the food); chronic forgetfulness(did I say I would be home so we could meet the Smith's? I don't remember that) ineffective task performance (I'll do the dishes, but I won't wash off the counters and you can't make me!); refusing to talk with you about a problem leaving it unresolved; being ambiguous about their meaning--even when directly asking them what they meant; or with holding sex, love or affection.

The passive-aggressive person views assertive people as being aggressive, or attacking them.  They see any boundary setting as a threat.  It is very important to set clear boundaries and let them know that it isn't okay to be treated in this way. Be firm, clear and calm.

A passive person allows others to infringe on them, not speaking for their own rights, or speaking up for their own needs or wants. Many women fall into this category because of societal dictates.  When a group of men are present, it is even harder for women to feel they can be assertive. I was recently confronted by a group of men who were making comments toward me, and I chose to ignore them rather than confront them; it is just too difficult to be assertive when several men are in a group. Passive behavior is chosen to avoid conflict, but it often leads the person feeling like a doormat and their needs unmet.

An assertive person is able to act in their own self interest, without trampling on the rights of another. Assertive behavior is honest, direct, as well as expressive. Being assertive does not guarantee that you will always be listened to, understood, or have your needs met, but a person can come away feeling good about themselves that they communicated in a clear way that did not infringe on others.

An aggressive person attempts to get their needs and wants met at the expense of others.  They often use tools such as domination, anger, humiliation, hostility as well as violence to get what they want.

Communication in a relationship is very important.  I have learned in my career and in my relationships that when a misunderstanding occurs, or when a conflict occurs, several things often happen:
1. One or both people get defensive
2. One or both people pull away emotionally
3. One or both people begin using defensive strategies they have learned in the past to cope defense mechanisms
4. One or both people will rely on their personality type to communicate, either passive, passive-aggressive, assertive or aggressive.

There are five potential outcomes each time a conflict in a relationship occurs:
A. Win-Win
B. Win-Lose
C. Lose-Win
D. Lose-Lose
E. Compromise

The  best possible outcome is of course, the win-win. This is where all parties are able to work through their conflict and each person feels as though they did not have to give up anything in order to be heard and no boundaries were crossed.

The second best outcome is the compromise.  This is where both parties gave up a little in order to be heard,  but they still feel as though they gained and no boundaries were crossed and they feel as though they didn't lose, only gave up some ground.

The next two scenarios are the Win-Lose and the Lose-Win.  This is where one person gives up everything at the cost of the other person winning everything. Boundaries are crossed and one person goes away feeling like a doormat or even worse, violated. May people confuse this with a compromise.  I hear women say all the time, 'I'm the only one compromising'...if only one person is giving in, they are in a Lose-Win situation, not a compromise; and they are a doormat.

 If a person has to win at all costs, and the other person has to lose, you are dealing with an aggressive person or a passive-aggressive person. Setting firm boundaries early on may help put a person in a compromise with this type, but if the problem persists, even with firm boundaries, this is a red flag that the relationship needs professional help. Some passive-aggressive or aggressive types will prefer the Lose-Lose rather than give up any ground...if you find yourself with this type; this a big red flag to get out of the relationship.

I am learning...slowly, slowly, I am learning.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I attended the Unitarian Univeralist Church today. I have only attended a few times, as it has taken me many years to overcome my apprehension of attending any worship service since leaving the Mormon religion.  I must admit I really feel a sense of belonging here, I enjoy the fact that they include heathens such as myself who do not pray to a god; they accept gays, lesbians, transgenders. They do not pray, but instead have a moment of meditation. This all appeals to me. I did attend several churches when I left Mormonism, but I could not feel at ease.

Today, the topic of discussion was about their sister church in Romania. They spoke about how they made the beginning introductions, how at first it was difficult to communicate with the language barrier.  But with time, they have been able to get translators.  They spoke about how they made mistakes along the way. At first, the UU church here donated money for a tractor, and even with oversight of the money, the money disappeared and when an accounting for the money was demanded, the minister committed suicide. It was discovered that he was was an alcoholic and the entire story was so very sad.

A lesson was learned, and a part of the lesson learned was that love, friendship and strong ties need to be shared, along with donating money.  With stronger ties shared and more oversight and stronger accounting of the funds, the money donated has been used for its intended purposes.  Many trips have been made, some of the members from Romania have visited here, and some members here have gone and visited Romania on a yearly basis.

A scholarship fund has been set up to help send the youth to university.  What a wonderful way to make church donations work; to send youth to college, to pay for tractors to aid a community in farming and to help build a local community house.

This is how donation funds should be spent.  I loved to hear about the strong accountability of the funds, not only in Romania, but also here. All money donated is 100% accountable to the congregations.  There is no secrecy about how much is given or how it is spent.  There is no need to have trust or blind faith in any leaders. All is known and accountable to those who donate.

When I hear Mormons justify the secrecy of how tithing funds are spent, I wonder how they can feel comfortable about that. There is such a contradiction in what they say. On one hand they say that to question their leaders is to not have faith, and on the other hand they say the church is true, the leaders aren't.  How can they put such trust in people who they acknowledge make mistakes?

There was accountability within the UU church, and still the minister was able to squander away $2,000 for his personal gain.  As I watch the Mormon church build a multi-billion dollar mall with its business branch, why aren't the members asking how the church built a business branch to begin with, anyway?

  Why does an organization that is supposed to be charitable have a business that they started out of tithing funds, since all moneys gained began with tithing?  Why does it not use its billions of dollars to build water wells in Africa or safe housing in Haiti instead of Malls? How does the Mormon church justify this, and how do the members justify this? The Mormon church just laid off 8% of its Publishing Department, yet it spent billions investing in the City Creek Mall. Layoffs

Why aren't its members allowed to ask these questions? In the UU church, when the $2,000 disappeared, the members were allowed to ask these questions and get answers, as well as put in place better safeguards to prevent this from happening again.

To me, the building of a multi-billion dollar mall by a charitable organization is the epitome of mismanagement of funds.

If I were donating several hundred or thousand dollars a year to an organization, I would want open accountability. The Romanian words for accounting and accountability are the same.  It makes me wonder how much better off the members would be if they meant the same within the LDS church.

No Change Will Happen...

After I walked away from my marriage, I went to therapy, I needed to know what I did wrong in my marriage and I needed to know how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. In the last session, I told the counselor I was afraid to date, I didn't want to date the same type of man. He told me to ask the men what was their ownership in the failure of their relationship. If they could own part of the problem, then I could date them. If all they did was blame their ex's, they viewed themselves as victims, and when problems would arise in our relationship, they would blame me instead of being a companion in looking to coming up with a solution, compromising and looking for a win-win.

I have discovered that it has been very difficult in finding men who do not view themselves as victims. It is easy to blame the other person instead of taking ownership over problems.  As I have looked at the women who view themselves as feminists within the Mormon religion, I see much of the same victimization.

They want change, they blame the church for not embracing it, yet, all they do is complain and accept the situation they are in.  They take no ownership of their part of the problem.  They pay tithing to an organization that subjugates them, does not allow them equality or equal access to callings or money.

Why would an organization change when they are given tithing dollars each month as well as bodies in the pews that silently tell them by their presence they are going to continue to tolerate the abuse?

The women continue to serve the church through accepting the callings that allow the church to function.  What if all the women sent the men to church with children to keep quiet on their own? What if all the women stopped teaching Primary, nursery, Sunday School?  What if all the women stopped paying tithing?

Why does the church not change? Because it doesn't have a reason to.
As long as the women gripe and continue to support the church through serving and attending and paying, the church will continue as it always has.

Victims get out of it what they want; attention without any real effort to change.
If you want real change women, leave.
If you want to just complain, you are just a victim.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cycle of Abuse

Attention, then romance...
Commitment, then love....

Tension....then accusations....

Concern...then hitting...
Police....then nothing

first sight...

First sight...
You joke, I laugh
I talk, you listen

Second sight...
You ask to know more
I am impressed

Walking, talking, laughing
Kissing, hugging, holding

Dinner, fun, friends

Women on Pedastals

Recently a few feminist Mormons have tried to make changes within by trying to get women to wear pants to church.  This is confusing to women in mainstream Christianity because they are not defined by what they wear to church.  But within the Mormon Church, it is not culturally accepted for women to wear pants to church, as 'Sunday best' has been traditionally defined as dresses for women.

As a facebook page was formed and dialogue was engaged in, the diatribe was fascinating to watch and even participate in.  So many Mormon women and men were very upset about something that to me, seemed so innocuous.  Why would it matter so much to so many people? Does god really care what people wear to church? Was this really what people were fighting over? There were even death threats made to the original participants:  threats

Didn't Jesus criticize the Pharisees for not looking on the heart?  What if someone came to church in jeans because that is all they owned? Would we snub them?  Look down on them? The honest people would say yes, because I've seen it happen time and again.  So many women threatened by the idea of equality?

As I have contemplated this, I remember what many of the women say, that they like feeling put up on a pedestal in the church, that the talks in General Conference talk about how special they are, that they have their Relief Society organization.

Any time I see people put on a pedestal, the result is a false sense of self.  They have a false sense that they are looked up to, even worshiped, just like a roman goddess or idol.  but just like that idol, it has no real sense of worth or value.

Its sole worth is only in the hands that made it, in the male who sculpted it.  The real value belongs to the sculptor.  He is the one who fashioned the idol, who made the creation, who gets all the glory and praise.

When he gets bored with his creation, he has the option of tearing down his idol at any time.  He can do this with his words or physically, because it is with him that the  real power lies.

There will be no real change for the women in the church until they become real people with their own power, with real equality, not a creation of the men.