Posted in Apartment Living, Hairstyles, Marriage, Random

Over the weekend I…

Over the weekend I:

~Finally got the chance to see “Jurassic World” with Curtis. I really wish that we could have seen it in theaters. Maybe we’ll eventually be able to own a copy and will watch it in the theater room in the apartment complex that we are moving to in a month and a half.

~Totally had dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets for dinner the next night because I still had (/always have) dinosaurs on the brain (and because Costco had them on sale during our last shopping trip).

~Discovered that Curtis and I are already almost out of boxes for our move. All that we have left right now are some smaller boxes. We almost didn’t have enough boxes large enough to pack away the contents of our bookcases. Our one humongous box that we saved from our last move had to be used to store a combination of our board games and most of our blankets and comforters (thank goodness for space bags). We are really hoping that the U-Haul close to us still has that “leave a box, take a box” box set up so that we can hopefully pick up some more free boxes next weekend and continue to put off spending any money on boxes.

Great Idea until packing

~ Raided some of the boxes that had already been packed away to find what was left of my hair bleaching kit and “Ultra Violet” Manic Panic hair dye, plus my hair dryer. I then spent several hours Saturday night dyeing my hair purple. I am still sore today from all the time spent “heat treating” my hair with my hair dryer both while using the bleach and the purple hair color, and all the time spent kneeling with my head hanging over the tub to rinse out (with cold water) all the various substances involved in bleaching and dyeing ones hair. Here is the result of all my effort.

11-2-2015 1 11-2-2015 2

~ Walked to a couple of stores with Curtis with the intention of spending most of the money that we had on stocking up on food and buying Curtis a new pair sneakers. After Curtis found his new shoes we got sidetracked in the electronics section and ended up buying me a new (purple!) phone charger cord to replace the original one that was more electrical tape than cord. We luckily remembered to also buy some food before leaving the store.

~ Mused with Curtis about how different our lives might be now if we had never moved out of Connecticut. What sort of work might he have found? How much tighter might our finances be due to the higher cost of living and the fact that we probably wouldn’t have been able to get rid of our car. What if we had moved to Vermont like we always thought we would? Or if we had decided to not continue on to Utah while driving through Pennsylvania and had settled down there instead like we were tempted to? What if we had moved into the apartment complex that was our first choice when moving to Utah instead of into our third choice because it had Sunday hours? What differences might living in a completely different part of the Salt Lake Valley have made in the course of our lives?

~ Was stopped dead in my tracks by the beauty of Autumn starting finally starting to really show up out here. Bright yellow leaves popping against dark blueish gray clouds. Trees with red edged green leaves next to trees with leaves a burgundy red. There is a reason that Autumn is my favorite season.

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Posted in Blogging, Random, Writing Challenges

Prompt: What reminds you of who you truly are…

I haven’t done any writing prompts in a long time but I was reading Rara’s blog a little while ago and came across this post and was inspired to go ahead and write a list of my own.

The prompt was: What Reminds You of Who You Truly Are? 

And this is my list:

1.Cats

046

2.The colors purple, blue and green

3.Dragonflies

Explore Dragonfly

4.Butterflies

Cherish Dream

5.Elephants

Candles and Elephant Sepia

6.Frogs

Metal Frogs Cropped

7.Colored pencils

8.Markers

Markers

9.Fairies

Fairies

10.Painted nails

11.Purple hair

7-13-2015 back

12.Hoodies

13.Movies and TV shows based on Comic Books

14.Music

__Music_is_Life___by_Marilyn_Love

15.Rain

16.Thunderstorms

17.This Blog

18.Other People’s Blogs

19.Road Trips

20.Books

EmotionalBookTrauma

21.Cupcake artwork

Cupcakes

22.Solar powered dancing flowers

23.Coffee

cropped-coffee-clock-closeup.jpg

24.Big mugs

Giant Hershey's Mug and Bear

25.The changing seasons, but especially Autumn

26. Colorful rocks

27. The afghan that took me several years to crochet

My Afghan

28. Cobalt blue glass

Cobalt Blue Glass Squares and Circles

29. Magnets

Magnetic Poo

Posted in Blogging, Random

Team Marvel is Victorious…

Over at The Matticus Kingdom there was another Official Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War last week. The question to be answered this time around was “Which universe of superheroes (and villains) is superior: Marvel or DC?” I tugged on Team Marvel’s side of the rope, mostly because of The Avengers.

This years Official Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War ended today, and Team Marvel was declared the winners! Go Team Marvel! In celebration of this glorious victory I am wearing my Marvel Villians tee shirt today.

wpid-IMG_20140128_134053.jpg

Thanks djmatticus for holding this event on your blog. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for next years Official Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War! And I hope your official kingdom tally keeper will have recovered from this years contest by then.

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Apartment Living, Bullying, Childless by Choice, Family, Marriage, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

My (super long) post about religion…

The household I grew up in was Protestant, but not extremely religious. Some Sundays my mom would take my sister and I to church, others we would just stay home and have leisurely Sunday morning breakfasts. My dad didn’t attend church with us very often because he didn’t like crowds of people, but he would come with us some Sundays. I attended Sunday school, and apparently even some sort of vacation bible school at some point based on the certificate of completion that I recently found in some of my stuff. The vacation bible school must have been when I was fairly young, because I don’t remember it at all. I do remember getting involved with the church choir when I was in middle school because I loved to sing and because a lot of my group of friends were in it. To be honest though, it was probably more because of my friends.

Choir practice happened after school once a week at the church, so we’d all take the school bus that went to the Green after school because the church was located right on the Green. We had time to kill before practice started, so we’d usually go the shops that lined the Green. Especially the candy shop. Then we’d hang out either on the Green, the front steps of the church, or if the weather wasn’t nice we’d retreat inside the church itself. We had fun during choir practice itself too, but a lot of the appeal was being able to wander around the Green before.

The youth choir and Sunday school classes also would put on plays for the entire congregation, and my group of friends and I also became involved in that. These were big productions that involved set pieces and costumes and we had a lot of fun performing them.

Like I said before, religion wasn’t ever really a big deal in my household, it was always just kind of there. I grew up just assuming that what I was taught was “Truth”, and that everybody was taught and believed the same things that I was taught to believe. It wasn’t until I was in middle school and one of my classmate’s father came in to show the class something that I found out that not everyone was Christian. My classmate was Jewish, and it blew my mind. I can’t remember what it was that my classmate’s father came in for now, possibly something to do with food, but the knowledge that not everyone believed in Jesus came as a complete shock. I had assumed that everything that I was being taught at church and at home was just more “knowledge” like what I would learn in school, and never thought that other’s might not all believe the same thing. 

When I started high school I was still a “Christian”, but that didn’t really mean much. I had never really had to look at or defend my beliefs. I was brought up Protestant, so that’s what I was. When I started dating Justin I would go with him and his family to another Protestant church a few towns over most Sundays. It was a church that I had gone to as well as the one on the Green while I was growing up because my grandmother lived in that town and attended that church. I liked that church better than the one on the Green because the Minister was more of a storyteller than a preacher. He was funny and he always made his sermons interesting. The church was a old stone church right on the shore, and it had beautiful stained glass windows. But of course the biggest draw was being able to spend more time with Justin. He went to church because he had to to keep his mother happy, and didn’t take it seriously most of the time. We would sit in the back of the room by the doors in a couple of great big wooden chairs instead of in the pews with everyone else. I think it was around this time, that I started to realize that it was possible that not everyone believed in God. If I thought a lot about religion, or why believed what I did I might have come to this conclusion sooner.

I think that I might have realized that there were a lot more religions in the world than just the one that I had grown up in sooner than this, but I still assumed that everyone believed in God, just in different forms. I had become somewhat interested in Wicca near the end of middle school, but like my being “Christian” never really looked much into it. After Justin and I became friends with John and Lauren, I started referring to myself as being “Wiccan” though. John and Lauren were Wiccan, and it seemed a lot more interesting than being Christian. Not to mention rebellious. I was starting to look into my beliefs some, but not too thoroughly at this point, and Wicca called to me in some way. I didn’t really take any of it all that seriously though.

I went through the rest of high school as some kind of weird Christian and Wiccan hybrid, and didn’t really think all that much about religion again until I started dating the man who would later become my husband. He grew up in an LDS household and I asked him a lot about his church. I didn’t like what I heard, and would have animated discussions with him about how messed up his church was. He didn’t really care all that much, he would defend his church and try to explain things better, but his religion was never really a big deal to him. He went because he was supposed to, and believed what he was told to. His religion only became an issue once in our relationship when he all of the sudden decided he had to go on a mission and dumped me. We talked it over the next day and when I told him that he didn’t have to dump me to go on his mission and that I’d wait for him for the 2 years that he would be gone, we got back together. Only instead of going on his mission he ended up deciding that he didn’t want to go to church anymore and stopped going.

When we got married, we were married by the Minister of the the stone church on the water. We attended that church for the first year or so after we were married. But during this time we were living in his parents house, who were still members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and my mother in law is a very religious person. I ended up asking my husband about the church he grew up in again and this time I was interested in checking it out.  A short time later I was baptized into that church. Part of the reason for this was because I was still ashamed of being arrested a few years earlier and I figured if I became devoutly religious people would have to stop judging me for my past.

Making the decision to join the LDS church was probably the first time that I ever really looked at or really thought about my beliefs. But even then I didn’t really have to think very much about it because the church very clearly told me what I was supposed to believe if I was to be a member of this church. It told me how I was supposed to live my life, and promised me that if I did as I was told, I would be happy. I decided if I was going to join this church, I was going to be a model member. I almost wasn’t allowed to join though, because during the interview process before the baptism ceremony could be performed the fact that I had had same sex relationships in the past came up. I had to denounce my prior behaviors as sinful and express remorse for my actions, as well as claim that I no longer had any attraction to members of the same sex and that these sorts of actions would never be repeated by me. I wanted a chance to see if this church could in fact make me as happy as it claimed that it could, so I denied who I really was and denounced my attraction to the same sex as sinful. In order to become a part of this church my thinking on homosexuality had to change from believing that people were born either being straight, or gay, or bisexual, or anywhere else along the spectrum and that there was no choice involved, to believing that being homosexual was a choice and a sin.

This was just one thing among many that I had to change about myself and my world view in order to be a part of the church. I changed how I dressed, and removed all but one piercing from each ear. I changed the movies I watched, the books I read, the music I listened to. I threw myself into scripture study and learned all I could about church history. Like I said before, I was going to be a model member of the church. I was determined to do everything that I needed to in order to be found worthy of going to the temple, because I was told that if I made it there I would know all there was to know about the religion. That great truths would be revealed to me. And also that I had to attend the temple if I wanted to make it to the highest kingdom of heaven.

Our first apartment was owned by the parents of one of my husband’s friends. It seemed perfect at first, especially when my husband had a health crisis that kept him out of work for a little while and then he was temporarily laid off for the winter season until work picked up again at his job. Our landlords told us not to worry about the rent, that we could pay them back once we got back on our feet. But when my husband lost his job permanently a few months later, they were much less understanding about it. Our landlord, a former Bishop in the church, told us that he wanted us out of the apartment by that weekend, just a few days away. He also informed us that we were worthless and would never amount to anything. He changed his mind a few days later and decided that would be allowed to stay if we could find a way to pay our own rent by the end of the month. You see, we had paid our rent for that month already, but he decided that it didn’t really count because we had had help from the church in order to do so. But it didn’t matter that he had decided that we would be allowed to stay, because we had already made up our minds that we no longer wanted to live there with him for a landlord. My father in law offered to help us get caught up on our rent and start off with a clean slate, and we asked him if he would be willing to help us move instead. We had decided that it was time to get out of New England and start over in the West. We were moving to Utah.

When we made it out to Utah, we threw ourselves into being the best members of the church that we could be. That should have been one of the happiest times of our life according to the church, but instead the stress of all the constant demands on our time by the church caused us to constantly be fighting with each other. But we still couldn’t be honest with ourselves, the church said that we should be happy, so we must be happy. This was also the time when I was constantly being told that all of my mental health issues could be taken away, if only I was good enough and prayed hard enough. And when my mental health issues just kept getting worse instead of better, I blamed myself, because I must have been doing something wrong. Because of my mental health issues, we had some problems with making it to church every week , and because we weren’t making it to church every week I wasn’t being the model church member that I should have been and that’s why my prayers weren’t being answered.

We were also being made to feel like we weren’t a real family because we didn’t have any children. We were pressured to have children, and when I was not able to conceive for whatever reason, I was made to feel like I was less of a woman because of it. We tried for years to have children, but it never happened.  We were made to feel guilty about it, and were told that because we didn’t have children our time was worth less and that we should happily volunteer as much of our time as the church wanted us to.

I started to have some doubts about whether or not the church was the best place for me, but because I was taught that if I left the church I would no longer make it to heaven, I stayed and tried harder to be perfect. I started to regret ever having joined the church, and felt extremely guilty for those thoughts. I decided that we needed to buckle down and do anything and everything that we could to be found worthy to enter the temple. Because if I could just make it there, then I would learn things and life would finally make sense to me and I could finally be happy.

But when we did finally make it to the temple, I didn’t actually learn any new truths. There was just more things that I needed to memorize if I ever wanted to be allowed into the highest kingdom of heaven. Life did not get any better. My mental health did not improve. I had done everything that was asked of me and although I was promised that I would be happy, I was finally having to admit to myself that I was not happy. When I stopped and really looked at my life, I realized that all of my actions for the last few years in the church were motivated by fear and guilt. I was told that if I didn’t do exactly as the church told me, I would go to hell. I was told that if I wasn’t happy, it was because I was doing something wrong and that I needed to try even harder, give even more of myself to the church. We slowly stopped going to church, and then eventually admitted to ourselves that we didn’t have any plans of ever going back. We had not been to church in a year or more, but the thought of actually admitting that we were leaving the church was terrifying. I knew that my life had improved in the time that we had not been going to church, but I was still afraid that we were making a big mistake because I had been told that anyone who decided to leave the church was in the grasp of the devil.  I had been taught that I couldn’t really be happy outside the church, and was very confused with the fact that I was happier outside the church. My husband and I got along better. My mental health had improved significantly. All the stress from all the demands of the church had gone away. Looking back,  I had to admit that the years that I was in the church were actually the unhappiest, most stressful years I have ever experienced. When I decided that I wasn’t going back to church, in order to deal with the fear that I was making a big mistake I had justify my decision to myself. I told myself that I didn’t want to go to their highest heaven because if I wasn’t happy with having to live by all the rules of the church while alive, and didn’t want to be around other members of the church now, there was no way that that was how I wanted to spend the rest of eternity. I reminded myself that their idea of heaven would actually be a kind of hell for me.

After I got over my guilt and fear for leaving the church, I started to do a bit more in depth research into the church. I soon realized that a lot of the things that I was taught were in fact contradictory, and that the church wasn’t in fact true at all. I now no longer look at the the LDS church as a “church” but instead see it as a cult.

I thought that when I left the LDS church I could just go back to the religion I had grown up with, but I realized that I no longer believed in any Christian religion. Once I had opened my eyes and really examined my beliefs, I realized that I could no longer call myself Christian, or even religious in anyway. But because my family and my husband’s family are both still religious it was hard to admit that I no longer believed what they wanted me to. So I would tell my family that after leaving the LDS church I was taking a break from religion for a while.

But now, years after leaving the church I have come to realize that I am not just “taking a break from religion”. I have in fact had more than enough religion in my life already. In the years that I have been living in Utah, I have been forced to live with religion shaping the laws of the state. I have had to deal with being discriminated against because I am not the “right” religion. I have gone from being devoutly Christian to not being able to stomach religion at all. I still have not been honest with my family, but I am now being honest with myself. When I really look at my beliefs, I realize that I am in fact an atheist. I do not need religion in my life to be a good person.

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Family, Food, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife

I’ve plugged back in again…

The thing that you never think about when you decide to unplug from technology is how long it will take you to catch up once you plug back in again. Especially if that technology that you have unplugged from is your laptop. I just stubbornly decided a few days back that I wasn’t going to turn on my laptop at all that day… and then that day turned into days where I did not turn on my laptop. I still had my smartphone (not sure if I could ever get my self to go without that…) so I was still getting emails and Facebook messages, so I wasn’t completely unplugged. But I was only looking at the emails that seemed the most important and all of the emails that I got during those days where I was unplugged were still waiting for me in my inbox once I turned on my laptop again. I had over a hundred emails waiting for me…  I haven’t had that many emails waiting in my inbox since the time that we went without home internet for a while and we had to use the library’s free Wi-Fi to do anything online. I usually check my email and clean out my inbox several times a day. It took me forever to sort through the email that piled up during those few days.

And then there was Facebook. I had been on Facebook Messenger on my phone, but had not looked at my News Feed in days… my friends post  a lot of crap interesting stuff every single day. I knew that there was no way that I was going to completely catch up on everything, but I still ended up spending hours trying to catch up as much as I could. 

And of course while I was unplugged I wasn’t keeping up with reading the blogs that I follow either… or writing any new posts on my blog. I have spent a lot of time going through and trying to catch up as much as I can on some blogs, but I think that I will just have to stay a bit behind for a while. If I continue to try to make sure that I am 100% caught up I am likely to need to unplug again and that will just start this whole process over again…

I was also without my music for those days… I am currently getting my Breaking Benjamin fix. I think that I might need to reconsider how I go about unplugging next time and find a way to keep my music… I have an mp3 player, but I haven’t updated it in a while. I should think again about putting some mp3s on my phone since I’m never without that…

                                                             (one of my current song obsessions)

 

But while I was unplugged…

I finished reading book 13 of the Wheel Of Time series and got the final book in the series out from the library. I am currently 380 pages into it. I have been working on reading this series for years. I have read the first few books a bunch of times, because I start to try to read the series and then I get distracted by something else and put it down again and then feel that I need to start over again at the first book… and then repeat that process again a few times. I can not believe that I have finally made it to almost the middle of the last book in the series… I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once I finish it… it’s been a part of my life for such a long time and I think a part of me never really believed that I’d ever actually finish it.

EmotionalBookTrauma

 

I also watched a bunch of movies with my husband. We had a comic book movie marathon that lasted a few days where we watched all of the DVDs that we recently added to our collection. We bought a bunch of movies recently that we had never seen before but knew that we needed in our collection. A bunch of them happened to be based on comic books. I think that we have managed to watch all the ones based on comics, but we still haven’t seen all the movies in our collection yet… we got distracted by Hulu offering a bunch of Akira Kurosawa movies for free over the weekend. I found out from one of my best friends messaging me about it on Facebook. He said that this director is one of his favorites as well as a role model for him. I had never seen any of his movies and my husband had always wanted to see Seven Samurai, so we began another movie marathon. I never was one to like subtitled foreign language movies in the past, but I found that I really enjoyed the few movies that we had time to watch. Just goes to prove that I should always keep an open mind and be willing to give things a chance, as I am finding that I quite like a lot of things that I had previously turned my nose up at.

In addition to our movie marathons, we’ve been watching a bunch of Doctor Who. We are currently in the middle of the second season. I somehow managed to never see this series before a few weeks ago, but once again it came highly recommended by my best friend, so I decided to give it a chance since we are currently out of available episodes for Supernatural on Netflix… And now I am thoroughly obsessed.

There were also some not so fun things during my time unplugged. I had been experiencing some pain in my mouth for the last few days and it got pretty bad on Friday night. It probably has something to do with the broken tooth that I have. It broke a while ago, but we don’t have any dental insurance so I haven’t done anything about it. Well, my husband decided that it was time for me to see a dentist. Luckily there is one that isn’t even a 5 minute walk from where I live, but we had to wait until Monday to get an appointment. So I was constantly on painkillers the entire weekend, but luckily the pain was never as bad as it briefly was on Friday night again. Unfortunately the dentist appointment was a complete waste of time and money. They did absolutely nothing to help me; they took x-rays, poked at my gums, and tried to get me to agree to spend $1500 on a root canal on a tooth that hasn’t even been bothering me at all. Oh, and they tried to get me to agree to an Orthodontist consult, “Payment plans are usually only about $100 dollars a month”… How many times do I need to tell you people that I have no money? $100 a month is a lot of money. But even with all this, they completely ignored the entire reason I was there, my broken tooth. Turns out it’s a wisdom tooth and their wisdom tooth guy is only there on Tuesdays, and he wouldn’t have time to see me till next week anyway… But even if I made an appointment I still wouldn’t be able to afford to pay to have any work done. Their payment plan options are all subject to approval based on credit, and I couldn’t afford the monthly payments right now even if I was somehow approved. So for now I am compulsively brushing my teeth after every time that I eat and have started using two different kinds of mouthwashes at different times of the day. I even started flossing again. I am hoping that I will at least be able to slow the damage that has been done to my mouth until I can get dental insurance next January. I haven’t needed painkillers for the last couple days, so that’s something at least.

Also on Monday, my cat had an appointment at the vet. He was able to get some dental work that he needed done. He lost the last 2 teeth that he had left in the top of his mouth. He now has only 5 teeth left on the bottom of his mouth. Poor cat. The Vet thinks that he has some disease that causes his immune system to attack his teeth, so he may not be able to keep his remaining teeth for very much longer.

So, yeah, my cat can get the dental and medical help that he needs, but me being able to do so depends on how much money I have and how good my credit is… I love my cat and I’m glad that he can get the help he needs, but I do find it a bit messed up that my cat gets better medical and dental care than his owners do… Hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to afford to actually use the medical insurance that we have and will be able to get dental insurance as well…

And to end this post on a positive note… I have now written a blog post. I am fully plugged back in again. 🙂