Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Household Guns as a Risk Factor for Domestic Violence and Suicide

If it isn't obvious from other posts, Quiet Song now discloses that she works a lot with individuals on their personal and familial safety issues and the aftermath of safety failures and other unfortunate occurences. And, probably equally as evident, Quiet Song has high requirements of persons she helps in that she requires them to move towards personal accountability in their decision making process. This is especially true of the women she helps, but she sometimes has to sort through these matters with men as well.

If persons wish to dramatically reduce their own or loved ones risk for death or injury due to domestic violence or suicide, they will remove the firearms from their home. It's that simple. Choose accountability. And do it now. No legislation or gun control needed.

For a fact sheet on guns in the home produced by the Brady Center click here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Gun for Hire-Female Bodyguards

One of the true oddities of statements I read online and hear out in the real world is the rather archaic (to my seventies era feminist leaning bent) notion that vocational interests somehow have much to do with one's sexual orientation or gender identification.

It still sticks in my craw.

"We" fought so hard and endured so much to open those doors to women in occupations they hadn't been in before. I'm in my fourth male dominated profession and happily this one has not involved the kind of trail blazing the first three required. No litigation, no consent decrees, no sabotage in the backroom, on the job site, or the boardroom. Nice.

Sorry, but I refuse to buy in that somehow the fact that a guy who likes to sing, make music and not play sports should automatically tip someone off that the guy is gay. Or that women who work closely with other women in a traditionally non-female occupation are automatically thought to be lesbian.

I rather enjoyed discovering that the demand for female bodyguards is increasing world wide and that the field is now dramatically opening up for women to pursue as a career and this post about two in the UK was quite charming and reflective of many challenging jobs women now hold that they couldn't in the past.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Marrwiage, Marrwiage, Marrwiage . . .

Quiet Song discovered the interesting but rather two dimensional debate about the recent civil marriage policy petition over at Mormon Matters belatedly. In a moment of personal retrospection, she wishes she had eloped, and, then, later, when actually making the decision to be sealed, had opted for an even smaller sealing session. It would have been just as meaniningful on both occassions. This would have, of course, cut out Drama Mama (I think she was there), but in the end she really cared less anyway. Other Non-LDS family members have chosen to elope or to have very small ceremonies and no one complained . . . .

On the other hand, one of Quiet Song's children married civilly this year and Quiet Song was amazed at how happy the kids were with their party. But, she also knew what they missed out in terms of the character and promise of a temple sealing. Quiet Song thinks that there is a vast gulf between the civil marriage party and the sacred ordinance of a temple sealing and wonders if the attempt to meld the two vastly different celebrations is inherently bound to be jarring just by their very natures.

Officiating at a marriage is the one priesthood function that Quiet Song wishes she could perform. However, since she will never serve as a temple sealer or a bishop, and would not want the calling of the latter anyway, that would leave other paths to becoming an officiant the only options. Quiet Song has friends who are ordained ministers through various internet entities but would not choose that route either. This leaves the options of becoming a sitting superior or appellate court judge or moving to a state where notaries perform civil ceremonies.

As a result, for the time being, Quiet Song will simply have to be content with assisting the heartbroken, angry, bitter and hateful with ending their legally binding intimate relationships with as much grace and dignity as possible.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

LGBT Intimate Partner Violence

As, I mentioned yesterday, I'm watching the journey of another family dealing with their LGBT daughter. Their child's partner is extremely controlling which is also complicating and burdening the entire family system in coping with their child's coming out. Their daughter also lives with a mild cognitive disability and they fear seduction and or exploitation into the "gay lifestyle" away from the church and by extension (to their way of thinking) away from them by the partner.

No right thinking parent wants their child involved in an abusive partnership be it straight or LGBT, but LGBT intimate partner abuse and violence is further complicated by political gamesmanship over the issue,stereotyping by the media, and a lack of awareness of the scope of the problem among the LGBT community and the overculture at large.

Every year The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs produces a report on Domestic Violence in the LGBT community. The recently released 2008 report includes survivor narratives plus agency narratives regarding eight fatalities among other important facts and analysis.

One of the hardest aspects of coming to grips with Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBT community is the fact of the existence of woman on woman violence. This even extends as far as to rape and these issues have been known for sometime. While most parents and schools try to give their daughters some preparation for dealing with a male perpetrator, little attention is paid to the situation of female same sex rape because it is so geared to existing intimate partner relationships. Jane Lowers article on rape within the lesbian community documents the problem.

Culturally, we have a very difficult time embracing the political incorrectness of the facts regarding woman generated domestic violence. We would much rather focus on the high profile missing wife case, because it feeds our view of the dominant, menacing male. For women who formed a lesbian identity based on egalitarian notions of finding greater equality among a female dominated community and fleeing the patriarchy and its perceived ingrained patterns of abuse to becoming a victim of intimate partner violence is a violation on many fronts. Alan Dershowitz has written very critically of the current societal blind eye towards women perpetrators who murder their husbands and the fact that women are equal opportunity murderers of their partners in opposite sex relationships.

Bringing this back to my struggling friends who are trying to process the issues surrounding their daughter's coming out and her relationship, I would encourage them to become informed of the issues of LGBT Intimate Partner Violence in a healthy and appropriate way. Healthy and appropriate would preclude the use of the existence of LGBT Intimate Partner Violence as a weapon or a reason not to make the choice of being partnered. Instead, I would suggest a careful, loving discussion about the concerns they have about the controlling behavior they have seen in their daughter's partner. And, instead of distancing themselves or cutting their daughter off, they actually need to seek ways to keep the channels of communication open and the door to their home and hearts open should their daughter need to return. And, while still welcoming the new partner as a part of their family.

All of which is easier said than done in any in law relationship regardless of whether a child's relationship is LGBT or straight. Add in the internal conflicts created in all parties due to membership in the church and the scene is fully set for great familial and personal chaos in trying to work through the process. And, in this case where there are cognitive problems and the daughter is living with a disbility the concerns of the parents should not be diminished.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Will You Be Ready or Would You Be Filled With Regret?


It wasn't easy to deal with a child's questioning and or coming out and many LDS families struggle mightily to find their own path when dealing with an LGBT child. I'm watching this unfold in another family at the moment, and, while I wish I could help, I'm not sure I can. If called upon for my thoughts, in addition to doing the best I can to let them know I understand what they are going through, and, that to a lesser degree I understand a little something about the experience of their LGBT child, perhaps I would pose a few questions to the parents and siblings in this family as follows:

If the Church suddenly did change its position on matters of sexual orientation, gender and gay marriage, would you be ready or would you be filled with regret? Bear with me and let's not sidetrack into the obvious arguments and comparisons that could be made with other policy and doctrinal elements of the LDS Church and stay with the exercise at hand.

Would your child know that you unconditionally loved him or her?

Would your child's LGBT loved ones know they are welcome in your family?

Would your child's testimony be intact?

If your sibling or child's testimony was no longer intact, could you be partially or fully to blame?

Would you regret things that you said or did in the past regarding your loved one's sexual orientation or gender identification?

Would you still be able to follow the prophet and the quorum of the twelve or would you feel so entrenched in your previous beliefs that you would desire to leave the church?

Would you be able to rejoice with your sibling or child and his or her partner at the new opportunities for spiritual progression now open to them?

May we all fill our lamps with the light of Christ this holiday season and seek to conduct ourselves in such a way that regardless of where this journey takes us all that we may do so with love, faith, and testimony of a living Christ and his love for all of us.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Please bring Snow . . . Merry Christmas



Quiet Song has a little obsession with antique tractors and old trucks. Actually any old "iron" works for me. So from me to you a Merry Christmas. To the year 2010, more pouring of hot metal and, hopefully, my first participation in a tractor parade!

We are having a wonderful Christmas this year and that is a joy after many, many not so easy Christmas Seasons. The cookies are made, the turkey is dethawed in the fridge, shopping is 95% complete and we are doing a Chocolate tasting tonight Mormon Style (i.e. apple cider, cherry cider and my own 2009 stock of home canned concord grape juice from the backyard). A little more snow would make things picture perfect!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

To Circumcise or Not to Circumcise, that is the Question

So, I'm going to be a grandparent soon. And, the issue of circumcision has crossed my mind. I'm personally firmly in the anti-cirumcision camp. It's one of my more obvious "granola" opinion markers. Being female, I could never support female circumcision, and, given that male circumcision is also thought to decrease male sexual pleasure, it also strikes me as a sexually unethical thing to do to another person in spite of the small protection it may give against the transmission of AIDS. Even so, wouldn't it be better if that decision was left up to an adult male to make? I think the AIDS argument for infant circumsion is rather specious.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Lesbians Next Door

Some years ago, two women and various children moved in next door to our family, and, after hearing them have a loud and rather "coupled" sounding argument, I concluded they were lesbians. A couple of days later I had a conversation with them and one asked me if I was Mormon. I was surprised but she had seen enough in a short period of time lving next door (family heading off to church, kids to seminary, etc.), where she was certain that we were. She then mentioned that she, too, was LDS. I told her when Church was and invited her to attend. She declined the invitation and indicated that she hadn't been in sometime following an awful divorce and didn't plan on going any time soon.

I remember telling my Bishop about my new neighbors and letting him know that I thought they were lesbians. To which he rather testily told me that I didn't know that, that they could just be sharing expenses. As it turned out, both women became friends and after the LDS sister reactivated and married one of the local single guys from the ward, I finally told her and she laughed and laughed, although she admitted that other people had concluded the same thing. Bishop was right and I was wrong.

As I've thought about this over the years, I've decided that this is a profound case of my laying my own bias, experience and preference issues over a situaiton to come to a conclusion that I really had no facts to support. As a practical matter, nothing was different in terms of our family's dealing with our supposed "part member lesbian couple" next door, but I made some assumptions that I think were more based on my own same sex attraction experiences than on any other credible evidence.

Therefore, I have had to acknowledge over the years that people as unique individuals often do perceive the same things differently. Until recently when I had to confront the issue more directly, I had always thought that most if not all people had some same sex attraction. I suppose this is why I never found my own experience troubling. If everyone really is bisexual, what is the big deal? But, as I am now finding out, the overwhelming majority of people claim not to experience sexuality the way I do.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Blame Game

My hiatus lasted all of a week and the end began with my deciding to try to attend a moho "gathering."

Yesterday, I was trying to shoehorn a church activity into my life at the last minute. Thoughts of the parable of the ten virgins and the story of Noah's ark crossed my mind. I missed the boat and it sailed without me.

As I faced the reality that this activity would go forward without me, I briefly mentally played the blame game:

1) "They" should have made extra efforts to help poor "me."

2) Don't "they" know "I" am different and need extra accomodations.

3) This activity is really not geared to people like "me."

4) If only ________ were different, then "I" would have been be able to participate.

5) God's going to hold "them" accountable for failing to take proper care of "me."

I learned this blame game from my dysfunctional family of origin. It's a hurtful, childish and irresponsible way to relate to other human beings. The solid adult that I've become with an understanding of the atonement did take over, and the second part of the analysis went something like this:

1) Quiet Song, you waited until the last minute to get started preparing for this activity. "They" have been working on it for some time.

2) Even though you waited until the final hour, you still could have participated, had you but followed through not just once but at least three different times during the week preceding the event.

3) And, you could have and should have made this a priority but you chose to sit on the fence about actually making the commitment to participate, because you were testing the winds. While its true that some times you have to put out fires, you weren't prepared for a day without the fires! I think there's a special learning experience here Quiet Song-do you prepare as much for the positive as the negative?

4) Quiet Song you had exactly the same opportunities and the length of time to prepare as everyone else.

5) While it's true you asked for help, you did it at the last minute. Your home teacher was nothing but available and helpful but wasn't participating in that activity, what more was required of anyone else, and you certainly could have asked other people.

6) Driving around hoping for a miracle at the last minute, well, Quiet Song, that was a little bit laughable under the circumstances.

7) And, truth be told if you had really, really wanted to, well no one would have objected to your efforts to keep figuring how to participate. After all you had the actual means to accomplish attending the activity, you just wanted it to be easy and without much effort.

8) Heavenly Father is loving and merciful, and not only will there be another opportunity for "me," he loves "them" as well, and there is room for all of us at the many feasts in our father's house.

Fortunately for Quiet Song and everyone else, while we never know exactly when our time is up, we have many, many opportunities to attend the wedding feast. May we choose to do so by being better prepared to experience the fulness of the gospel. Have a great Sunday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Last night I dreamed a crazy dream . . .

Last night I dreamed a crazy dream about two persons I "know" only from online connections. I actually have limited connections even online with with only one. Both were setting up businesses near where I had a business location. "Good" online persona dropped by my home to crash our summer backyard Family Home Evening (at a home I've never seen or lived at before) and Drama Mama was actually there without being dramatic. My family enjoyed meeting "Good" as did I. "Bad" online persona knew he was bad and knew that I knew him even though we never had exchanged any direct communication. "Bad" was setting up a Pizza and Deli place around the corner from myself and "Good." "Bad" was very bad, and I had to have a very assertive face to face conversation with him where I set the record straight, so to speak, and laid out my expectations of his behavior, and what the consequences would be if he did not toe the line. "Bad" agreed to comply and gave me a copy of his menu which had a number of tasty looking items on it.

I rather think I am spending too much time online.

In the year and a half I've been reading Moho blogs several have went private or closed. And, I've felt sadness about that. Why, I'll never intellectually understand. Bad and Good personas are not within that group. I don't even think "Bad" blogs, just makes troll posts on various blogs I read throughout the blogosphere. Through reading blogs and posting, I have received comfort on my political/religious/social/familial/emotional interface boundary issues and internal conflicts regarding gay marriage and parenting a LGBT teenager.

I've tried to ascertain what it means to me to be a person who has been attracted to both sexes. I still don't have any clearer answer and cannot determine whether I have a true identity as a straight person or an identity as an LGBT person or if I just stay with the "sexual" person categorization I gave myself years ago. I think the kid has more of an LGBT identity, but he shows signs of possbily jettisoning that as well in favor of the "sexual person" identity his parent has adopted as he grows up.

Thanks to Drama Mama, I'm now also really questioning what I want to keep from my family of origin identity. There isn't much lovely or of good report. I have a small ethnic identity which I'm going to expand upon. Thanks to Drama Mama, that was stripped from me as a child, but I'm now going to reclaim it and make it a bigger part of my life. I have a beloved elder who was in my life and that person is a part of my identity. Drama Mama did provide me the gospel in her inimitable theatrical way, though, and that seems to be the real key to my identity.

This was confirmed through yet another online type of experience, a list serve, it is the gospel part that seems to make the greatest difference to me in defining who I am. It's not my membership in the LDS church, it is my own personal relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And, it occurs to me that this identity is really the only one that matters. That is what blogging has done for me.

I had also hoped to provide another voice, one that doesn't get heard often within the cacophony of debate. I think I've done that. So, like others I'm going quiet for a while although I'll probably leave this blog up for a long time even if I don't post again.

But now back to real life.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Goodbye Drama Mama

My mother couldn't leave the planet calmly and fired me and my sister over the weekend. We are both done on our end. No more energy or desire to keep trying with these people. So ends, 39 years of nearly constant familial torment from members of my so-called family of origin. Those that remain, deserve each other.

I am so thankful for my spouse and my children.

The Lord judge between thee and me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tired, oh so tired

It's been a week with too much sickness. My life has been touched by several diseases and illnesses this week. I'm not sick myself, just surrounded by suffering loved ones and others. Thankfully, the weekend is almost here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bravo, Mr. Wrathall!

Why this man's blog nourishes my soul several times a month-read his guest post at Mormon Matters .

I sat this political season's gay rights hullabaloo out. I'm just dying to make a comment on what happened, but it will blow my cover. We all sat it out at our house, pro, con and in between. Truth be told we are just exhausted with the subject.

Oh, and I took a confidential online survey for a trade survey which asked the responder to indicate whether he or she "openly" identifies as LGBT. This makes me wonder about the wording. Wouldn't you want to know the actual number of LGBT people and what they thought? Without the "openly indentify" language, I might have self identified, but then again probably not.

Or, is there a suggestion that the only LGBT attitude worthy to hear is that of outies? Forget the innies altogether, and God love those of us stuck somewhere in between. And, no I'm not talking belly buttons here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Questions answered

I've decided to answer Abelard's questions.

How did you get to where you are today?

It's really hard to answer this question because it's so multi-faceted. Life happened. One day I realized that I was attracted to a member of the same sex. I felt no guilt. Period. No guilt. I remained attracted to the opposite sex too, including my marital partner. And others. And then others of the same sex. No guilt, no shame. Why should I?

I understood that I am a sexual person. I never felt the need to self-identify as bisexual, although I have on occasion expressed the thought that others might say I am bisexual. I often said I had no doubts but for my belief in the church that I could easily live and love with a member of the same sex. I am not a young person.

I found it much more difficult to deal with a child coming out who actually wanted to have overtly gay and bisexual relationships. The church's involvement in proposition 8 exacerbated these problems for me and my family. Please note, however, that I don't disagree with the Church and or other member's rights to engage lawfully in the political process.

Are you happy with where you are? why or why not?

I wish that my loved ones were more firm in their testimonies. I am happy where I am with my testimony. I am happy with my sexuality and my sex life. I worry about my spouse's health and what living in old age will bring for us. I do still suffer post traumatic stress symptoms from a number of traumatic events in my life and regular stress from my challenging career. I take an anti-depressant, it helps me sleep and keeps the nightmares manageable.

I am both looking forward to and dreading the empty nest at the same time.

I feel blessed by the atonement and the promises of the endowment. I feel my savior's love. I fasted and prayed a lot for understanding, comfort, for my loved ones this past year. I had a great calling which caused me to really delve into the scriptures. I grew so much in my ability to love in faith. That has made all the difference in the world.

I discovered with gratitude that I don't have to bear all the burdens of this time (specifically the political chaos over gay marriage) and that I could in faith lay this burden at my Savior's feet. And I did.

So yes, I am overall very happy with where I am at now although fifteen months ago I was definitely very much in a crisis.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I hope to have the opportunity to be of significant service to people in developing nations before I die.

I hope I am prepared to pass on to the other side of the veil fully qualified for all the blessings of the celestial kingdom.

I would like to accelerate my spiritual growth in the second half of my life.

What roadblocks do you have and/or have overcome?

I failed, earlier in life, to understand that I was a child of God and just as good as anyone else in church. I learned, only recently, that there was so much more fulness of the gospel than I had been partaking of. I am now feasting.

What advice do you have for others following a similar path that you have?


Seek medical treatment where it is warranted and don't dismiss modern medications, there are many choices. Too many people are reluctant, embarassed or too prideful to admit that they might have a problem that is biological in origin.

Seek to deal with any post traumatic stress symptoms you may have.

Don't waste time looking for easy answers to difficult questions-there aren't any.

Don't engage in guilt where you have done nothing wrong.

Do fully partake of the opportunity to repent when you have sinned or wronged another.

Read the scriptures deeply to answer your own objections, learn to read in context of the times they were written in, pray and fast.

Cherish and develop friendships with both sexes within appropriate bounds. Become a person of warmth.

What advice do you have for family and friends?

Please be respectful of others sexuality. It is not fodder for humor or put downs. I especially do not like jokes about transpeople.

Testimonies are key, do everything you can to keep and grow yours.

Please choose to stay within the church even when you feel as though you are so different, the church is true and it is for everyone. The "details" such as they are can be sorted out in the millenium.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Suicides

So, I have a problem. My problem is that I don't really follow the speculative line of reasoning that blames the LDS church for the suicides on the "list." While it is certainly true that some individuals on the list left notes or otherwise indicated their "relationship" with the church was part of the reason they committed suicide, doesn't this whole issue really require a little more introspection and honesty?

For example, let's get real and acknowledge the extraordinarily high incidence of the use of guns in suicides. The list doesn't provide enough information to determine how each individual took their lives, but I suspect it would not shake out too differently from the national statistics showing that guns are the primary way men commit suicide. Secondly, let's consider the very sad problem of men, society and clinicians not properly diagnosing and treating depression appropriately. When we have 40 names on the list spanning a 50 year time frame and they are nearly all male, shouldn't that be a part of the discussion as well? Is grief and loss a factor? Sure it is just like in the rest of the population. What about co-morbidities, the list offers little information about drug, alcohol and non-depression psychiatric disorders?

The one co-morbidity that does make a little sense in the course of the conversation is post-traumatic stress disorder. People with PTSD from any source are at a much higher risk of depression and suicide. So if one could actually link diagnosable PTSD with clear incidents or patterns of discrimination you might be able to make this claim, but if we are going to list folks whose PTSD may have to do with other stressful events (I don't consider getting picked up for cruising in public places to be discrimination), let's not find causation where it doesn't exist.

For more information on suicide please see this fact sheet.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Look The Other Way

Unlike the "marriage" issue, I'm not at all conflicted about this policy-it is plain and simply, stupid. Some workplaces have lots of highly sexed and horny young people (others just have one oversexed old guy like the workplace at the David Letterman show) and it's up to the "adults" to keep them in line, but one type of sexual "activity" should not be condemned while others are winked at. Far better to require a higher standard of everyone and strive towards an environment of sexual safety and appropriateness for all.

Memo to all politicians and employers: Dump all the stupid look the other way policies while you are at it. Thank you for consideration in advance.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Porn -Wherein I Reveal Too Much

This post reflects a certain attitude within the church that the general authorities and other leaders positions on porn are too overstated. I wish I could agree with the author, but I can't. As a person who works in a helping occupation, I've seen the families and marriages destroyed by porn.

I've seen the poorly thought out myspace photo turned into child porn by unscrupulous lawyers. I've seen Judges, child protective services and others take a picture of a beautiful young sexy mother and turn her into a threat to her child, just because they are looking for an excuse and any excuse will do. I've seen a priesthood holder split hairs a la Bill Clinton and violate children spiritually in his own household via the use of pornography coupled with personal belongings of the child (perverted but not entirely criminal). I've seen the husband move on from the porn to another woman at the pain and financial expense of his partner. I've seen the wife who disposes of the husband because he no longers meets the cultural icons of porn as portrayed in multiple forms of media.

Elder Scott wisely reminded us of all the types of passion that interfere with the spirit. Political porn, (here and here) is almost as bad as sexual porn. I highly recommend Alec Baldwin's great essay on political porn. Gun porn has a lot to do with the availability and unfortunate use of weapons. Anger and the addictive lure of expressing righteous indignation also interferes with the spirit. I think he just might have a little more experience helping members with these issues than we want to admit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not Conflicted . . . and Not in Hiding (or marriage Part 2)

Now for the rest of the story-marriage within the church. I consider my marriage to be a non-conforming marriage within the church. What do I mean by that? I would define a conforming marriage as the Mormon ideal, married in the temple for time and eternity with both parties striving diligently, retaining their testimonies, and by all outward appearances headed straight to the celestial kingdom.

Here is my partial list of non-conforming Mormon Marriages as I've noted from my experience at church or online:


  • Married, both parties LDS and in good standing, but not in the temple for time and eternity.
  • Married, both parties LDS, one in good standing, one not or disaffected, could be either a temple marriage or a civil marriage.
  • Married, both parties LDS, both not in good standing or disaffected, could be either a temple marriage or a civil marriage.
  • Married, both parties LDS, both in good standing, wife previously sealed to another person in the temple and ineligible or doesn't desire sealing to present husband.
  • Married, one party LDS, one a non-member.
  • Married, one party LDS, one an excommunicated member not disaffected from the church.
  • Married, one party LDS, one an excommunicated or resigned member who is disaffected from the church
  • Divorced, not currently married, but still sealed to previous spouse
  • Married, previously divorced, both parties still sealed to previous spouse and not to each other
  • Married to a same sex partner, not in good standing but attends regularly and not disaffected.
  • Widowed, in any applicable configuration above.

Any sealing or temple marriage without the holy spirit of promise could also be nonconforming but would not be easily ascertainable by earthly means and may not even be something the parties are cognizant of in this lifetime.

Now add to that the fact that I am the product of that wider set of human interactions that produce children than what is contemplated above and can never in this life be sealed to the parent I want to be without being sealed to someone I don't want to be sealed to. I am endowed though, and, technically, I still have children who are sealed to me. But if one is keeping score based on the current inning and how the kids play the game, if I'm going to the celestial kingdom at all, I'm probably going alone or with part of my kids and part of my sibs and not to the highest glory.

While this is not optimal, it's beyond my control. And, because of the beauty of the atonement and the peace that comes with prayer, scripture study and concerted efforts to live the commandments both outwardly and inwardly, I feel joy and I'm not conflicted, ashamed, embarrased or feeling diminished in anyway about the character of my non-conforming "mormon" family situation as it is currently constituted. The gospel is for everyone, including me and my cup runneth over when I ponder both the current blessings I have received and the future blessings I will receive even as a lone person in the Celestial Kingdom.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Conflicted and . . . in hiding?

Today, I passed on a work opportunity I would have liked to pursue. Why? Because I'm not liberal enough in terms of my support (or lack thereof) of gay marriage. As I mentioned in a previous post, I blog elsewhere and I've mentioned that I don't support expanding marriage beyond the way it is currently configured in 45 states in America in one of those blogs.


I'm slightly ashamed to say that my take on this matter is not as predictable as one would think. I think the real threat to my church is all the other forms of alternative marriage beyond gay marriage. Yes, it's the "p" word. Polygamy is the major threat to the church from alternative marriage. I believe most folks in today's society, given a non-stigmatized response to it, would choose this configuration for marriage and not necessarily in the format previously practiced by the Mormons in the 1800's.

And that's not the half of it. Here is where I'm really jaundiced or cynical. Take your average brother and sister in the church and they are fascinated by Mormon celebrities be they people who are subjects of public acclaim or persons associated with men holding high ranking priesthood callings. Some people do want to be affiliated with certain families and it's my belief that you would see massive disruption among "lower tier" families when some of our dear sisters go shopping for a better model.

And if I want three wives and three husbands, is there anything that would really prohibit that from happening in the brave new world? This would be my ideal if we were simply talking about preferences without any boundaries. I could very, very easily be polyamorous. And yet, upon further reflection and weighing it against my decades of marriage, I'd have to say I'd be nuts to actually try it.

On the other hand, as long as my church and other churches have the right to solemnize only the types of marriages they believe they should, what do I really care how the next person chooses to be married? Perhaps the solution is to make marriage solely a civil function of the state. In the end, I just don't want to deal with the issue. And, I've decided that I'm not going to engage in the debate if it comes up locally.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Surprised

So, it's been about one month since I made the decision to blog here. I have had several other blogs in the past, one that's currently semi-active (no pun intended), and I'm daily on facebook. I'm surprised how different this blog is. First, that I've posted as often as I have. And, secondly, that it has had so much spiritual content. As a pragmatist first and foremost, most days, it's been surprising to see mostly the sweetness of the spiritual part of my life spill out.

Sunday was great in everyway, especially partaking of the sacrament. Because of the sacrament, the atonement, and the opportunity to experience the blessings of the atonement after a week when I really felt the need to repent. My error was a small thing, a sin of the tongue and it's an ongoing problem. This was the first time I really took it to the Lord. As a practical matter, I don't expect it to be the last, but I hope it is a very long time or never before I falter again on this issue. But it's so sweet to experience repentance and the peace it brings.

So the odd thing about this blogging experience and being part of the moho blogosphere is that it is adding to the peace I already felt relative to my own attractions AND it is really helping me in dealing with the pain I have felt over my child's choices AND giving both me and the kid some much needed perspective from others.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Very Nice Things Indeed

After a rough week, my spouse person did something very nice for me this morning. A very simple act of kindness. I felt so loved.

Friends who I never thought would ever come to church, are now coming because their children want to go. They felt so loved in their adversities.

The wayward kid is getting happier and happier with the structure and diversion from the mists of . . . darkness is an appropriate metaphor. The kid is acting with love.

Tender Mercies each and every one.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not in an Identity Crisis

So, I'm feeling a little frustrated due to the fact that since decided to ever so slightly "identify" as being a "person" attracted to both sexes, that I seem to be "sexualizing" everybody. I liked it better when I was simply "sexual." I also don't like the possibility of weirding people out, I find I can't be as physically warm as before. That is a real loss, but perhaps more reserve is called for anyway.

Which is not to say much one way or the other, because I'm pretty much physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained at the moment. My erstwhile stable routine that allowed for a beautiful daily prayer experience has been capsized and I'm now on the prayer equivalent of a fast food diet. And, really not feeling "sexual" at all and wanting that special time I used to have with my Heavenly Father and my elder brother.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

That Rather Odd Happiness Thing

Funny how after the parent imposes both consequences and chastisement, the child is happier. What a coincidence. Some principles are eternal, are they not? Now if the sick would only pick up their bed and come to Christ, we'd have it made, at least for a little while anyway.

This little real life vignette is brought to you from the trials and perils of my family life, the characters are not fictional and my dear readers should not fret that I am passing judgment on any one or gloating, or engaging in any other untoward behavior. Just making an observation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Desperately seeking safety

Lately, I've found myself wondering about the quality of decisions I made earlier in life and I cannot decide whether or not I would have been able to make other choices. I was not safe as a child or a teenager, but usually not because of my own choices. In retrospect, I tried hard to make safer choices, but they didn't always work out entirely as planned. Imagine that, a person's best laid plans don't work out!

Safety is a rather elusive commodity that is subject to the demand curve and our human foibles. And the human foibles of others. It's perplexing to me, a safety seeker, the existence of the human inclination towards risk taking. And, it is the most frustrating thing about raising teenagers and watching my young adult children move on with their lives. No risk equals little or no growth. Too much risky behavior equals little or no growth, damage or even destruction.

Finally, I've managed to carve out what feels like a much higher level of safety physically, financially, and emotionally. But I don't feel safe spiritually. I feel surrounded and alone too often. Reading this I know what the answers are to remedy this void of spiritual safety, yet I've let the expediencies of the moment control.

Scriptural role models abound. Moroni moves me the most because he was so physically alone and clearly at times felt spiritually alone. And, he was not safe physically. I love the change in his perspective as he writes and fulfills his calling. It becomes ever clearer that even though he is alone in an unsafe environment, he has found spiritual safety and was not spiritually alone.

I want the same.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit

Recently, I've dealt more with anxiety than I care to. There are many reasons for this, but I worry for my children, especially the one dealing with a same sex attraction. I wish my child would read posts like this one by Charles Mitchell, but if a parent's experience in living with an opposite sex spouse for a very long time and somehow managing to carry on in the relationship despite many more overwhelming problems than same sex attraction, isn't enough, what is?

Every so often I have to admit, that I cannot solve every problem or find the just the right persuasive words to soften hearts and change actions. When I finally admit that I can't do it without help and that the sadness at watching a dear child make bad choices is overwhelming, that's when I remember the promises of the Savior to those who come to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I cherish the great blessing of peace when I acknowledge his sacrifice and knowledge of my pain and the comforter sends peace which courses through my soul and lifts my burdens.

I was very touched by Charles Mitchell's open letter to struggles in the blog post link above for a number of reasons ranging from his experience receiving his patriarchial blessing (I also had a line in my patriarchial blessing which I felt and still feel directly addressed my same sex attractions) to the wonderful testimony of successfully living within the bounds the Lord has set for our marital and familial relations.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Entering the World of Moho Bloggers, Ever So Timidly

A certain amount of angst seems to power "moho" blogs, which I don't feel. Maybe more because I'm "mobi," or less because I have lived traditionally (not always entirely happily due to non-sexuality based problems) with a member of the opposite sex in a marital relationship for decades within the LDS Church (mormons). This blog is a response to original mohomie's remark that he just doesn't "see" people like me in the blogosphere. Well we exist and I'll try to find a thing or two to blog about occassionally.

What has created more than a little angst for me is the issue of gay marriage, I was well adapted to marriage as we then knew it and I still have some concerns about whether or not polygamy isn't next on the list of alternative marriage practices under the law and whether or not freedom of religion under the United States Constitution will somehow be compromised. More on these worries some other time. The other motivating angst has arisen from a child coming out. Wow, it's one thing to deal with your own issues and find peace, but quite another to find the same peace with a child threatening to careen recklessly around the the most salacious aspects of the "gay scene."

So there is some grist for the blog mill . . . all in due time.