Posted in Blogging, Mental Health

Things that make sense now that I realize I’m Autistic: Echolalia

I’ve always loved singing and will almost always sing along with whatever music happens to be playing. And when I sing along, I always adopt whatever accent the artist singing the song has.

I went through a Les Misérables phase in middle/highschool and the fact that I adopted an accent was extremely apparent during that phase because I always listened to the original London cast recordings.

My friends would point it out and make fun of me for it, but I couldn’t understand why they didn’t do it too. In my mind, the accent of the artist is part of how the song is supposed to sound. Not adopting the accent would be wrong.

This doesn’t just happen with music though. I have to be very careful when talking with other people not to slip into other accents. Either the accent of the person I’m speaking with or potentially an accent that I’ve picked up from a TV show or movie that I’ve recently seen. I pick up accents extremely quickly and will slip into them without even being consciously aware of it.

Words and phrases will get stuck in my head as well and will become a part of my vocabulary. I quote lines from books, or TV shows or movies quite frequently as part of conversation with others.

I literally just realized last night that all of this behavior is probably part of my Autism. It is probably part of something called Echolalia. The Bing search results for the definition of Echolalia were a bit insulting though.

echolalia
[ˌekōˈlālēə]
NOUN
psychiatry
meaningless repetition of another person’s spoken words as a symptom of psychiatric disorder.
•repetition of speech by a child learning to talk.

The repetition is not meaningless. It is an attempt to communicate. An attempt to connect. My (7 years younger than me) brother is also Autistic. He has an official diagnosis and everything, because he “looks like” what doctors expect to see when diagnosing Autism. Even with him “checking all the boxes” so to say, it took until his mid 20s to finally get his official diagnosis. He just turned 30 last October.

Anyway, my point in bringing up my brother is that he almost exclusively communicates through quotes from cartoons, or TV shows or movies, or through “scripts” that he has created referencing these things.

His communication style, my communication style is not “meaningless”. We are attempting to communicate and connect with the world around us in ways that make sense and are comfortable to us.

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

Songs you’ll hear on my Pandora station…

I used to fairly regularly do posts on my blog that I’d call “Music and Nail Polish” where I would put my phone’s music player on shuffle and share whatever songs it happened to play accompanied by pictures of my most recent DIY manicure. I decided to go ahead and do another post similar to that, only I don’t have any recent manicure pictures to share and I’m going to share what sort of things you’ll hear on my Pandora station instead of from my music library. I currently do not have all of my different stations selected, but I do have it set to shuffle a few different stations. As a bonus, for this list I will include links to YouTube videos of some of my favorite songs on this list.

So here goes nothing. These are listed song first, followed by the artist.

  1. Phantom of the Opera Medley – Lindsay Stirling
  2. Poet – Bastille
  3. Love Don’t Die – The Fray
  4. Uprising – Muse
  5. Mad World – Jasmine Thompson
  6. Meant To Live- Switchfoot
  7. The Nights – Avicii
  8. Steady, As She Goes – The Raconteurs
  9. Clubbed To Death – Escala
  10. Until It Sleeps – Apocalyptica
  11. Try – Colbie Caillat
  12. Take Flight – Lindsay Stirling
  13. Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
  14. Path – Apocalyptica
  15. Flashlight – Jessie J
  16. Royals – Lorde
  17. Blow Me Away (Remix Feat. Valora) – Breaking Benjamin
  18. The Imperial March (Live in Miskolc) – Epica
  19. Requiem (The Fifth)  – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  20. Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys
  21. Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey
  22. Hey There Delilah – Jasmine Thompson
  23. Re-Education (Through Labor) – Rise Against
  24. Say Something (The X Factor USA Performance) – Alex & Sierra
  25. Worlds Collide – Apocalyptica
  26. Pompeii – Bastille
  27. Let Her Go – Jasmine Thompson
  28. Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Extended Remix) – Deadmau5
  29. Sing For Absolution – Muse
  30. Get Home – Bastille
  31. Miami Showdown – Digitalism
  32. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
  33. All The Little Lights – Passenger
  34. Skulls – Bastille
  35. The Drift – Blackmill
  36. Too Close – Alex Clare
  37. Fatal Error – Apocalyptica
  38. Hollow – Breaking Benjamin
  39. Uncover – Zara Larsson
  40. The Cave – Mumford & Sons
  41. Glory And Gore – Lorde
  42. Elba – E.S. Posthumus
  43. Ever I Love You – Tim Janis
  44. Overburdened – Disturbed
  45. Rather Be – Jasmine Thompson
  46. Haunt (Demo) – Bastille
  47. A Thousand Years – The Piano Guys
  48. Breath – Breaking Benjamin
  49. Mr G – Deadmau5
  50. From Where You Are – Lifehouse
  51. Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood
  52. Near To You – A Fine Frenzy
  53. Beyond The Veil – Lindsey Stirling
  54. Hear Me – Imagine Dragons
  55. Once Upon A Dream – Lana Del Rey
  56. Beyond Time – Apocalyptica
  57. Timestretch – Bassnectar
  58. Give Me A Sign – Breaking Benjamin
  59. Young And Beautiful (DH Orchestral Version) – Lana Del Rey
  60. Jesu – Jim Brickman
  61. Not Exactly – Deadmau5
  62. Unnatural Selection – Muse
  63. Young Blood – The Naked And Famous
  64. Believe (Alt Version) – The Bravery
  65. American – Lana Del Rey
Posted in Blogging, Random

Nail polish and music 2/6/2014…

Since this seems to have become a thing on my blog now, I have decided to go ahead do another random shuffle song list thing to go along with my most recent nail polish pictures.

Music___Life___Color___Love_by_NemosS

I painted my nails again last night and am finishing up creating a song list as I write the beginning of this post. So we’ll go ahead and start with the nail polish portion of this post first.

Here is a not so great picture of the colors that I used this time.

IMG_20140205_203643

The colors are (from left to right): Avon- Rainbow Blue, Some purplish pink polish from Hot Topic, Avon- Rainbow Silver, Avon Speed Dry- Delicata, and Avon Speed Dry- Sizzling Sky.

Here are the results:

IMG_20140205_212007 IMG_20140205_212236 IMG_20140205_212302 IMG_20140205_212322 IMG_20140205_212404

I’m quite happy with how everything turned out this time. I’m especially happy that, unlike last time, I didn’t end up with 2 colors that ended up looking identical to each other, even though they were very different colors.

Now for the random shuffle song list portion. This is not from my entire music library this time, because making note of all of the classical music that popped up last time I did that was a pain in my ass… This list is from almost my entire library, a playlist that I have entitled “Favorite Music”.

1. Cumbersome – Seven Mary Three
2. …And Justice For All – Metallica
3. A Long December – Counting Crows
4. Right Now – KoRn
5. Tourniquet – Evanescence
6. Prince Charming – Metallica
7. Round Here – Counting Crows
8. Re: Your Brains – Jonathan Coulton
9. Whataya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
10. Mechanical Animals – Marilyn Manson
11. Superman – Bush
12. Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You? – Stevie Nicks
13. Land Of Confusion – Disturbed
14. Stay – Lisa Loeb
15. Far Away – 12 Stones
16. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
17. Into The Fire – Marilyn Manson
18. Who Will Save Your Soul – Jewel
19. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
20. Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones
21. I Gotta Feeling (Album Version) – Black Eyed Peas
22. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

Not a bad mix of music for only 22 songs…

Posted in Blogging, Random

Music and random pictures…

I know I just recently posted a random shuffle song list, but I finally took the time to do one using my entire music library, so you will be getting yet another one from me today. I know you must all be super excited for that…

I’ve also decided after over a year of this blog being in existence to be a little less anonymous. I’m going to share some pictures of myself that actually show my face. I figure that if any of my friends and family stumble across this blog, they could easily figure out that it’s mine anyway, so why continue to hide? So here goes. This is what I actually look like:

IMG_20130207_162309

Also, I want to share more of what my style is than just my nail polish choices. I have no idea how I should be dressing in order to “dress my age”, and I’m not really sure that I care. If I like it and I can afford it and I can find it in my size, I will wear it. Here are some examples of that. My favorite tee shirts:

IMG_20140124_181325 IMG_20140124_183048

Here are some more examples of my style:

IMG_20130209_164603 IMG_20130214_162604 IMG_20130315_231815 IMG_20130316_112143

These were all taken last year some time. Here are some more recent bathroom mirror selfies pictures:

IMG_20140124_153641 IMG_20140124_153813

And since it’s winter and we can’t afford to turn up the heat, here’s what all those cute tee shirts usually get hidden under:

IMG_20140124_154318

I’ll have to do a post just based on all of the hoodies I own at some point… but this is the one that get’s worn most often.

Okay, so now on to the random shuffle music list: entire music library edition. Here are 75 songs that you will find in my music library. I did not actually listen to all of these songs as I was making the list, I did skip a lot of them, but I do own all of them…

1.) Bad Seed – Metallica
2.) The Corner – Staind
3.) What About Now – Daughtry
4.) Vodevil – Marilyn Manson
5.) Breakdown – Breaking Benjamin
6.) …And Justice For All – Metallica
7.) Come Sail Away – Styx
8.) Devour – Marilyn Manson
9.) Let It Go – Cavo
10.) Lonely Day – System Of A Down
11.) Fire in the Hole – Skid Row
12.) Paralyzer – Finger Eleven
13.) Angels Would Fall – Melissa Etheridge
14.) You’re So Vain – Marilyn Manson
15.) Wicked Garden – Stone Temple Pilots
16.) Voodoo – Godsmack
17.) Sunny Came Home – Shawn Colvin
18.) May It Be – Enya
19.) Evolution – KoRn
20.) Sugarcoat – Breaking Benjamin
21.) Always (Off the “This Left Feels Right” album) – Bon Jovi
22.) What I Want – Daughtry
23.) Something To Believe In – Poison
24.) Pocket Full Of Gold – Vince Gill
25.) Without You – Dixie Chicks
26.) Need To Be Next To You – Sara Evans
27.) I Want To Be Loved – Bon Jovi
28.) Two Story Town – Bon Jovi
29.) Gnossienne No. 1 – Erik Satie
30.) Para-noir – Marilyn Manson
31.) Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Opus 74 – Fourth Movement – Pyotr Tchaikovsky
32.) Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major k299- Second Movement – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
33.) Have A Drink On Me – AC/DC
34.) Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World – Marilyn Manson
35.) Yesterday – The Beatles
36.) Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
37.) So Far Away – Staind
38.) Far Away – Nickelback
39.) Your Star – Evanescence
40.) When It’s Over – 3 Doors Down
41.) How Far – Martina McBride
42.) I Want You To Want Me – Dwight Yoakam
43.) Sin Wagon – Dixie Chicks
44.) No Leaf Clover – Metallica
45.) Pushing Up Daisies – Garth Brooks
46.) Disobedience – KMFDM
47.) Galileo – Indigo Girls
48.) Burn It to the Ground – Nickelback
49.) No Surprise – Daughtry
50.) Where The Wild Things Are – Metallica
51.) Damage, Inc. – Metallica
52.) Promises – The Cranberries
53.) The Creation Of Man – Scarlet Pimpernel (Original Broadway Cast)
54.) (You Can Still) Rock In America – Night Ranger
55.) Calling All Angels – Train
56.) Over The Rainbow (Live) – Martina McBride
57.) Fixxxer – Metallica
58.) Hero Of The Day – Metallica
59.) Stupify – Disturbed
60.) The Fight Song – Marilyn Manson
61.) Runaway – Avril Lavigne
62.) The Logical Song – Supertramp
63.) Leaving Las Vegas – Sheryl Crow
64.) Pistol Whipped – Marilyn Manson
65.) Live and Let Die – Guns N’ Roses
66.) Beautiful – Eminem
67.) Mad World – Adam Lambert
68.) Natural Life – Breaking Benjamin
69.) Loverman – Metallica
70.) Let Me Fall, song (from Cirque du Soleil) – Josh Groban
71.) I Don’t Think I Love You – Hoobastank
72.) Goodnight Demon Slayer – Voltaire
73.) It’s Not Over – Daughtry
74.) Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon – Marilyn Manson
75.) A Journey in the Dark – The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

 

Posted in Blogging, Random

Nail polish and music 1/23/2014

I repainted my nails again today. So now you all get to see way too many pictures of how they turned out. I also decided to give the music on shuffle list thing another try. So that list will also be included in this post.

First, the nail polish.
These are the polishes I went with today.
image

And here are the photos of how it turned out. I took a lot because I was trying capture the true color for all of them. I didn’t do very well though.
image

image

image

image

image

image

Despite what it looks like in these pictures, I am not wearing the same nail polish on both my pointer finger and my pinky. I didn’t realize how similiar the colors were going to look. The one on my pinky is a metalic dark gray with silver glitter. And if you look real close at the picture below you might be able to see that the one on my pointer finger is a blue/ dark green/ pink mix, depending on the light.
image

The color on my thumb is in fact the same black with glitter that failed so horribly last time I posted pics of my nails. I ended up putting on a coat, taking off a bit with polish remover, realizing I hadn’t let it dry long enough when too much came off, put another coat on, waited, took off a bit (more successfully this time) and then put on 2 coats of top coat. And now I keep getting mesmorized by the sparkles on my nails…

Anyway, on to the songlist portion of this post. The first 30 songs are straight shuffle, no skipping any songs. But then I messed it up because I missed a few songs because I forgot I was supposed to be keeping track (oops). So the last 10 on the list are from a shuffle reset, with some songs skipped in an attempt to get a more diverse song list. (My phone is obsessed with Marilyn Manson, Evanescence and Stabbing Westward today…)
Again, this is just a shuffle of the music on my phone, not my entire music library.

1.) A Place In The Dirt – Marilyn Manson
2.) Waking Up Beside You – Stabbing Westward
3.) You Complete Me – Stabbing Westward
4.) Lacrymosa – Evanescence
5.) The Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
6.) Bleed It Out – Linkin Park
7.) The Last Night – Skillet
8.) Spade – Marilyn Manson
9.) Disassociative – Marilyn Manson
10.) Army Of Me – Björk
11.) Somewhere Out There – Our Lady Peace
12.) So Far Away – Stabbing Westward
13.) Come Sail Away – Styx
14.) Numb – Linkin Park
15.) What I’ve Done – Linkin Park
16.) The Last Day On Earth – Marilyn Manson
17.) Sick – Evanescence
18.) Falling Slowly – Mark Hansard & Marketa Irglova
19.) Lithium – Evanescence
20.) Weight Of The World – Evanescence
21.) The Unforgiven III – Metallica
22.) Darkest Days – Stabbing Westward
23.) Devour – Marilyn Manson
24.) Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery – Marilyn Manson
25.) You – Breaking Benjamin
26.) Bringin’ On The Heartbreak – Def Leppard
27.) The Only Thing – Stabbing Westward
28.) Call Me When You’re Sober – Evanescence
29.) Highway To Hell – AC/DC
30.) Together Again – Evanescence
31.) Lights Out – Breaking Benjamin
32.) White Rabbit – Emiliana Torrini
33.) Walk Away – Mad At Gravity
34.) Uprising – Muse
35.) Waking Up The Ghost – 10 Years
36.) Last Song – Gackt
37.) She Talks To Angels – Black Crows
38.) Evil Walks – AC/DC
39.) Believe – Disturbed
40.) Pardon Me – Staind

Posted in Blogging

A very important update! …about music and nail polish…

It’s been a few months since my last post on here. A lot has happened in that time that I need to write about. So naturally I’m not going to write about any of that stuff and I’m going to share some pictures of my nails and a list of some of the music you’ll find on my phone.

First the list of music. This is a list of the songs that played while I had my music player on my phone set to shuffle last night. Keep in mind that this is not a shuffle of my entire music library, just the songs on my phone. Also, the songs are arranged by alphabetical order on my phone, not by artist hence the many songs by the same artist playing one after another. The song information will be listed song title followed by the artist.
1.) You And Me And The Devil Makes 3- Marilyn Manson
2.) Good Enough – Evanescence
3.) Twisted Transistor – KoRn
4.) Pardon Me – Staind
5.) Land Of Confusion – Disturbed
6.) Striken – Disturbed
7.) Believe – Disturbed
8.) Without You – Breaking Benjamin
9.) Like You – Evanescence
10.) Astronomy – Metallica
11.) The Razors Edge – AC/DC
12.) Forget It – Breaking Benjamin
13.) Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You? – Stevie Nicks
14.) Love Reign O’er Me – Pearl Jam
15.) Where The Wild Things Are – Metallica
16.) Whispers in the Dark – Skillet
17.) Sometimes It Hurts – Stabbing Westward
18.) Tourniquet – Evanescence
19.) I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell – Marilyn Manson
20.) Goodnight Demon Slayer – Voltaire
21.) Whiskey In The Jar – Metallica
22.) Evil Angel – Breaking Benjamin
23.) Rain – Breaking Benjamin
24.) Waking Up Beside You – Stabbing Westward
25.) The Unforgiven – Metallica
26.) Numb – Linkin Park
27.) Too Close – Alex Clare
28.) T.N.T. – AC/DC
29.) Numb – Disturbed
30.) Into The Fire – Marilyn Manson
31.) Waking Up The Ghost – 10 Years
32.) Haunted – Evanescence
33.) In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Dead – Marilyn Manson
34.) Overneath The Path Of Misery – Marilyn Manson
35.) You’re So Vain – Marilyn Manson
36.) Cold Hearted Man – AC/DC
37.) The Speed of Pain – Marilyn Manson

I’ll have to try this again some time and see if I can get a bit more variety on that list. Perhaps using my entire music library might help with that, but these are an example of the sort of songs I hear on a daily basis.

Now for the nail polish portion of this post. I painted my nails for the first time in months earlier today. I planned on using this polish on my thumbs. Here’s how it looks in the bottle.

image

And here’s how it looks in reality…

image

After removing that mess from my thumb nails and selecting another color for them, here are the results.

image

image

A more serious post to follow… eventually.

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, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

Vacation Bible School nearly drove me insane…

I live right across the street from a church. When I look out my windows, I see the parking lot and then the building.

September102012
This is the church across the street.

Most of the time that church and I get along just fine. I am in no way religious so I will never be stepping foot inside the church, but the church doesn’t bug me to come and join, so we’ve been good. I know that on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings there is going to be a lot of traffic on the little road in front of my apartment, and that sometimes people will get a little loud standing out in the parking lot after church on Wednesday nights. I can deal with that. I check out the window to make sure that there isn’t a fight breaking out and then I get on with my life. But this week the church across the street crossed the line. This week it messed with my sleep.

I stayed up late Sunday night/early Monday morning. I had a Spider- Man comic collection book that I was borrowing from the library that needed to be returned the next day, so I stayed up till 4 am finishing it. I figured that there was no reason why I wouldn’t be able to sleep in the next day, and I really wanted to finish that book. I went to sleep around 5:30 am Monday morning. I was first awoken by the sound of construction outside at about 8:30 am. I realized that it was road construction sounds that I was hearing, got up and checked to make sure that my husband had remembered to lock the door when he left for work, and then went back to bed. Only to be woken again around 10:30 am to the sound of some guy talking really loudly. I lay in bed for a while trying to figure out where this guy might be. I determine that he doesn’t sound like a construction worker and that he more than likely is not inside my apartment because I just checked the locks the first time I was woken up. So I get up out of bed and go to the window to investigate. Then as I spot some guy in front of the church holding a microphone standing next to some speakers I realize that there is music playing too. I have no idea what this guy is going on about while yelling into his microphone, other than it was “FREE!!!” and that random people were “IN THE HOUSE!!!!” And then I hear the most disturbing words yet… they will be there tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday as well. I notice parents rushing into the building with their kids. But I still have no idea what is going on over at the church. Nor do I really care. All I know is that I was planning on still being sleeping at this time, and this idiot with the microphone is ruining that plan. I went back to bed to try and wait it out, and although he stopped yelling into the microphone fairly soon after, I was unable to go back to sleep again.

Later that day I went online and checked the website for that church. The event that the guy was outside yelling into a microphone about was Vacation Bible School and it was going to be happening up till Thursday. I hoped that perhaps the guy yelling into the microphone thing might just be a first day thing.

Tuesday morning I get woken up by the sound of the idiot with the microphone again. This time at 10:20 am and the music is even louder. I know from the church’s website that it’s supposed to start at 10:30 am, so I try to ignore him as much as I can and try to go back to sleep. Only the guy is outside yelling into his microphone telling everyone “who can hear the sound of his voice” to “not miss this” until 10:50 am. I was not able to get back to sleep. Day number 2 of sleep deprivation.

I realize that the idiot with the microphone will probably be out there for 2 more days, so I decide to try and prepare myself to deal with it ahead of time. Before going to bed Tuesday night I moved the 2 extremely loud stand fans that we own into the bedroom. When I was awoken by the sound of his voice again at 10:10 am Wednesday I crawled out of bed and moved the fans over to right next to my side of the bed, plugged them in, and turned them on high. Then I turned up the “waterfall” sound that I listen to on my clock while I sleep. I was able to pretty effectively drown out the sound of the guys voice and his music, but was still unable to fall back to sleep because now the sound of the fans is too loud and it took too long to get them set up and on. Day number 3 of sleep deprivation.

I leave the fans plugged in next to the side of my bed so that I can just quickly turn them on Thursday morning when I am awoken again by the idiot with the microphone. I sleep poorly Thursday though because the road construction is continuing and whatever they are doing outside is shaking the bed and waking me up a lot. I end up waking up a little before the time when I expect the idiot to start yelling into the microphone and I preemptively turn on the fans and turn up the “waterfall” sound. I managed to only have to listen to a very faint murmur of the guy’s voice. I also manage to fall back asleep again. My dreams however are filled with dreams of continuously trying to turn off loud fans that keep getting turned back on by other people. I turn off the fans so that I can hear what someone else is saying to me, turn my back on the fans for a few seconds and all of a sudden hear the sound of the fans running again. But annoying dreams aside, I managed to get a bit more sleep and that should be the last day that I should have to deal with the idiot with the microphone.

He had better not wake me up again Friday morning.

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. 🙂