Monday, March 28, 2011

Blinded by my inner twilight

So tonight, I was trying to figure out where I want to go, and who I want to be and I came to the all too familiar conclusion of having absolutely no idea.

The issue is that I am perceived as a faithful, worthy, exemplary member of the church who valiantly magnifies his callings to the best of his ability because he is asked to and because he simply wants to.
Some of this statement is true. I like being a hometeacher. I like being a GOOD hometeacher to the people I am assigned to. To me, that basically means I'm just being a good, dependable friend.
But the other things in that statement. Being faithful, worthy, exemplary. That depends on whoever is perceiving those things.
I don't think those things about myself, nor are they true. Right now I am not entirely faithful. I'm definitely not worthy, and as far as exemplary goes, thats quite debatable.

So, I guess in order to be a good hometeacher, you should be worthy to give blessings. Which I'm not, nor do i feel comfortable doing so anyway.

But that also depends what you're comparing it to. I still think I'm a wonderful person, and exemplary at that, in many areas.  The problem is, I don't even know if I want to be considered faithful, exemplary, or worthy within the church anymore because I don't know what I want.
And I'm really unsure of how to figure that out.

Its quite a juxtaposition.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Keys of harmony and strength

I miss writing music. And playing the piano. And having a piano in general.

I've been reviewing the songs I've written. They're not very nice.
I hear my friend's and my sister's music and it makes me slightly jealous. When you write music, you write about what your life has been, what its like now, and what you hope it will be.

When my sister or my friends write music, its about love, life, things that make them happy. Relationships.
When I write music, if its going to be a sadder song (which it generally is), its always about the abuse. Not lost love, not dead dreams, or any of that other song writing material. Its about abuse. No one wants to hear about that!

I just wish I could find something about myself more interesting than that

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

People steal my yogurt

Well, the boyfriend and I are no longer the boyfriend and I. It appears my inability to keep myself emotionally involved, allow anyone in, etc. etc. etc. has, once again, kept me from making, and keeping, a good relationship up. Ah well.

There isn't really a whole lot I can do about it, and I don't entirely feel bad. At all. Theres got to be something benign about that.


One more grain of dust in the air

Its articles like these that reaffirm my most recent thoughts of the church (as an organization) and frankly, it makes me feel sad and ashamed sometimes to be called an LDS member in the first place.

I wish I could still publicly challenge people to a duel.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Piano, piano, cymbals, piano

I recently called my mother and pretty much told her about all these things that I've been talking about and writing about and whatnot. She was very supportive stating that she didn't really care what I did as long as I still talked to her, which I found to be most acceptable =]

Since talking with her, things have been less stressful to ponder on and my worry for my future has dissipated . We were both able to express how we felt about the abuse and the events after, or lack thereof.

I knew that my mother wasn't ok after the abuse, but I didn't really think about how it had affected her in her life, her testimony, or really any other aspect. I just knew that she was very frustrated and that she blamed herself for alot of the things pertaining to the abuse and whatnot.

While I was talking to her she expressed to me that she still was not ready to forgive, and that she was still puzzled by how God worked in that situation. After all, the church says that if you do what the Lord asks, He will protect your family from wiles of the world. My mom told me how she and my dad went to the temple regularly. They paid their tithing and fast offerings. they did everything they were supposed to, so why didn't the Lord protect her son?

I had never thought that she would question her faith, or God, for that matter. And I hadn't really understood how it had affected her till now. Then my mother started to cry while she was telling me these things. And that is one thing I cannot endure. My mother crying is something that hits me in the heart, to the very core of my being, and it is one of the only things on this earth that can emotionally move me forcefully. I love my mother very deeply.

She informed me that she was still looking for answers about it and she observed that one reason this situation is so faith-testing is because none of it can be answered with any of the easy church answers. That hit me, when she said that, and I felt such an absolute love and gratitude for my mother.

At one pivotal moment, I was talking about how tired and exhausted I was of doing it alone and being independent all the time, and this huge rush of emotion came forward and I started uncontrollably sobbing on the phone. Which hasn't happened in many years.
I hadn't realized how much it was affecting me till it all came out,and I just kept crying and talking about how I've been going it alone for so long, I'm not sure I can even allow someone in, even if I wanted to. Which SUCKS! Its crap!

It is so emotionally exhausting to deal with all my thoughts and emotions and have no one who gets it. And no one to talk to about it. And how much trust i don't have. And how I can't function in any kind of relationship genuinely, blah blah blah

Anyway, we talked about everything in this blog, and then some, and it was very liberating. Emotionally, mentally. I mean, I still feel the same towards the church as I've described it here, but I feel much more stable in my thoughts and opinions than I did.

My mother is such a wonderfully accepting and understanding individual and she is always an unintentional example to everyone she meets. I've learned much from her, and I continue to learn all that I can while I still have the opportunity to do so.

My hero is not some Book of Mormon character, nor an important figure in history. Its not a musician, or a writer, or a poet. Its someone who knows what work, faith, and love are. Its someone who listens to her heart and mind, all that the same time. And it someone who always has open arms, to all that need them.

Yes, my hero is my mother, plain and simple.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I want to get lost in sound. Or a video game.

I did not realize I had such feelings of anger and disappointment for the church till I started writing here.

Everything I know and have experienced keeps telling me that I'm being petty and that I need to let go and forgive. I believe that is correct.
But that does not mean I have to do it anytime soon.

Here comes that absorbent blue liquid.

This life gets bitterly cold.

I recently had a conversation with my bishop about not being a home teacher anymore because I was struggling in my beliefs regarding the sincerity and integrity of the church as an organization.

I told him how I believed many of the members to be hypocritical. Which he did not deny. In fact, he supported the claim.
Then, he proceeded to relate to me that the church as an organization was not perfect, and would not be used after the second coming and all that, all of which I knew.
He then stated that it was there to be a guide for man to be able to rejoin Heavenly Father. A kind of spiritual hospital to be taken care of in. A help to those who are traveling in the long journey.

So if that is what it is for, why on earth has the organization never been a help to me, personally? I believe that it has helped many people, and it continues to do so. But in my observations and experiences, it does a good job of bringing down those that do not adhere to its gospel principles. Principles which are not followed by a wide number of members themselves.

The only ones who are implicated are those who become honest. So what does that mean for individuals? Are you better off being honest, a christ-like attribute, and, in the worst case, being removed from the church records?

Or are you better off committing sin and keeping your leaders blind with deceit, and pretenses, which is what many members do also.

I believe that the former is a much better idea than the latter. So, if thats the case, why are the ones who were honest, always the ones to be punished or disciplined or whathaveyou.
Or completely misunderstood.

One of my biggest issues with church leaders, is that when someone comes to them with a sin that they have committed, they do not commend that individual for having the FAITH,  COURAGE, INTEGRITY, and HONESTY to come forth about it. Not in my experience anyway. Instead, they focus on the gravity of the situation and decide on disciplinary action without giving thought to the individuals thoughts, mindset, or feelings.

If the church wants to put people in positions where they are going to influence life plans and decisions of other individuals, they better damn well know how to be conscientious, compassionate, understanding, patient, and open-minded, without a lacking in any of those areas. I don't care if someone brings me the argument of being able to learn that while in the position. What happens to those who are victim to guinea pigging? The church does not apologize for mistakes or misjudgments its made. Its only focus is to get you on "the right path back to righteousness".

One such experience is this. I was 15. My abuse had been laid out in the open for my bishop, family, and who cares who else to see.

My bishop asked me if I had been masturbating. First off, the bishop SHOULD'VE known that I was. If he'd had any INKLING of how the mind works, he should've known that a) I was and b) I was certainly NOT going to confess to how often I did it, if I confessed to it at all. It was a learned behavior form a 63 year old man that had taught me many other things, the least of which was masturbation.

So he asked me that question. I confessed to doing it. I lied and said I did it like every 2 and a half weeks when it was like 2-3 times daily.

First off, that did absolutely, totally nothing! It did no change my habits, or how I felt about them. Secondly, that should've been the LEAST of his worries or priorities.

You know what that does to a child who has been a sex toy to a depraved "man of God"? You know what that means? It means that I was wrong. I was not right. I was being a bad person. And the total embarrassment that followed during church was excruciating for a boy of my age and in my position.

And you know what he did after that? Absolutely zilch. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Nothing at all.
He never got me help, never talked to me about anything that I may have been thinking, feeling, or otherwise dealing with.

That is irresponsible, uncaring, and lacking effort to make anything right. That is completely unacceptable of a priesthood leader of the church. I never even got a blessing, nor was I offered one. Never was offered a chance to talk.
Some may say, "well why didn't you take the initiative and ask?" And to that I say you are a complete, and utter, uneducated moron. Go do research on the subject of abuse victimization and then tell me that there is ever an inclination to start things off when it comes to recovery.

The next move the church made was pretty simple. Send a General Authority to check on us boys. I'm sorry, but a jovial, glasses wearing, joking, unrealistic, make-light-of-the-situation type guy was definitely NOT what we needed. Not in the slightest or even in the right direction. I didn't even pay attention during the meeting with me and my family. It wasn't ever with me alone. Just me and my family. Yeah, THAT was gonna get them good results. It was completely pointless.

After that, there was no follow-up by my bishop, or any other church leader. I was left to fight by myself, and there was no assistance to be had. I got into pretty bad habits, and then moved. Still no follow-up to this day from any church source, or otherwise. Even though it is entirely their fault that anyone was abused after his first incident.

Lucky for the church, I no longer care what people do or don't do. I've learned to live life with no expectations, because that way, I won't be failed, and then I am pleasantly surprised when things do turn out well. Pretty good set-up in my book.

All of this brings me back to two points. Firstly, priesthood leaders should know how to handle LIFE when it is thrown at them by the people they are responsible for. They are pivotal figures in their branch or ward. And if they don't help out their charges, they are a spiritual contradiction not worth keeping around.

And then secondly, if this church is here to help and guide everyone back to God, they have done a pretty bang up job with me. How nice it was of them to care if I was given all the help I needed, and making sure my life wasn't crazy affected in all sorts of negative ways by THEIR mistake. Oh wait.

So far they've failed at that job. In fact, they really haven't done much good for me, personally, ever.

I suppose we'll see where these thoughts end up then, won't we.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Psychosomatic Symptoms

Out of all the beliefs, doctrines, and lessons that I have learned as an active LDS member of the church, there is one thing that I do not understand.

All my life, I've been told "If you do A,B and C, you'll get D, E, and F."
Is God a conditional God? Is that the way the world works?

I don't understand how that is fair, or even spiritually ethical.

For an organization that preaches love and acceptance towards all men, they certainly suck at it.

I'm a member because of the doctrine. It has absolutely nothing to do with the people in the church. If that were the case, I certainly would not be a part of it.

And for an organization that claims to have all the answers, and opposes so many other things, they certainly don't have information (or at least don't give it out) to offer to their loyal, and devout members. Nearly every priesthood holder that I have encountered and confronted with the issue of  my homosexuality has known complete zero on the subject. Many have told me that they cannot help me because they don't know how to deal with it. And those that have tried, fail. Miserably. Mostly because they try to handle it like some sort of addiction or behavioral problem, and then when they are given an opportunity to be educated, they do not take advantage of it because it does not come from a viable source i.e. their leaders.

Throughout my entire experience as a member, meaning my whole life, my past, and my current issues, have not been dealt with in a healthy, or efficient way at all. Except for one therapist out of the five I've seen.

Bottom line: I'm finding heartache and detachment where I should be finding joy and peace.
Its the church's fault I was abused. Its the church's fault that the other children were abused.
And its the church's fault that no one else had any knowledge of it.

So for an organization that proclaims hope to the world, they should work better at actually giving it to people, instead of making it seem like there is none at all to be had.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Damn Investments

Out of all the things that I have to do, deal with, or think, there is one trait that I would love to understand more.

Why on earth is it so doggone difficult for me to emotionally invest myself in other people. I know that I have a multitude of trust issues. I know that having those kinds of issues can impede my relaitonships with others on a more personal level, instead of outwardly.

But why don't I miss people in my life? Why don't I miss any of my family? Or my friends from Pocatello, Seattle, Salt Lake etc....?

Why doesn't anything mean soemthing to me!
Why can't I let myself feel close to anyone?

Why does this person that I supposedly need/want in my life a) have to be a man and b) be attractive to me. Why can't I just be hugged by a fat guy who genuinely cares about me and let it mean something to me?

Why is it so SO easy to pretend to care about people in my life if they're hurting, or needing something, or just out of luck, and so difficult to actually do it.
And why do a put so much effort into making someone feel better, when I actually don't care??
Does that mean I actually do care, but I just don't feel it? Or am I once again, just doing it because I know that its the right thing to do?

Why do I keep asking why when I know that I won't find the answers by doing so.

I have a boyfriend who adores me, so why can't I do the same for him?
And when I think of him, and the possibility of him cheating on me or something like that, why the heck doesn't it bother me? Does that mean I don't care about him, and therefore, shouldn't be trying to make things work?

Having absolutely zero expectations of anyone in my life probly doesn't help any of this either. Dang.

I wish I had a therapist to talk to. Blah.
I also wish that I knew my brain as well as I know everyone else's.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An article from when my abuse was found out and revealed

How a predator fooled everyone
The Herald - Everett, Wash.
July 31, 2005
By Scott North
To his last breath, David Herget manipulated others.
He had distorted his family's love, pleading guilty a dozen years earlier to molesting a teenage female relative. On July 1, the convicted sex offender was back behind bars, this time accused of sexually abusing boys he met at church.
Herget, 62, of Mountlake Terrace carefully groomed the boys, plying them with pornography and cash, police discovered. He made sure they wouldn't tell by threatening to kill himself should the secret ever be revealed.
It appears Herget made good on his threat.
On suicide watch at the Snohomish County Jail in Everett, Herget on July 2 wound a strip of bedsheet around his neck. Investigators believe he used a jail sandal to tighten the loop, strangling himself as he sat alone in his cell.
The next morning, Mountlake Terrace police delivered the news to the families of the boys he had molested.
The teen who had broken the silence wept tears of confusion and grief, his parents said.
"I'm looking at this boy and I'm thinking, 'You should not have to deal with this garbage at such a young age,'†" his mother said last week.
The boy's parents spoke on the condition their names not be used. They hope that by sharing how a pedophile gained access to their son, other parents might be able to protect their children.
The couple readily acknowledged that they didn't appreciate the danger Herget presented. They knew he had been convicted of a sex crime, but also saw him as a longtime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mountlake Terrace, where they have been active members for nearly two decades.
They were gulled by Herget's willingness to help others, and the close ties that exist within that community of faith, the boy's father said.
Dozens of others - including a state lawmaker - also stood by Herget, records show.
It's sometimes difficult to recognize that a sex offender can outwardly be a nice person but also a pose a grave risk, said Lucy Berliner, director of the sexual assault program at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The only safe approach is to "accurately and unflinchingly accept" that a sex offender can never be trusted to be alone with children, she said.
"If you let down your guard and allow a known sex offender to be alone with your children, you are experimenting with your child and essentially crossing your fingers and hoping your child won't be the one," Berliner said.
Herget was a self-employed computer expert and the father of four grown children. He was raised in Portland, Ore., one of six children in a devout Mormon family.
Herget's family declined to speak with a reporter. Court papers and interviews confirm that it was through the Mormon church in Mountlake Terrace that he met the boys he molested.
The boy's mother said she was never fond of Herget, who could at times be condescending and domineering. His wife, on the other hand, is as close as an older sister, she said.
It was out of love for Herget's wife and children that he was welcome in their home. Out of love, they stood by Herget when he was convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing a girl, the boy's parents said.
The boy's mother said her heart went out to the girl Herget molested. The child first disclosed the molestation to her. The woman said she'd also been abused when she was young. Together, they went to a church leader.
Herget admitted the abuse, and police were summoned. His written confession describes the victim as "young, beguiling and lovely," and his offense as a "dastardly deed."
Even so, Herget dawdled in negotiating a guilty plea in the 1993 case, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern said. Herget was angry that authorities had barred him from contact with his own children, who then still lived at home.
"I could not comprehend that anyone would tear us apart as a family," he wrote. "I am appalled that we would be cut off from each other. That type of thing only happened in Nazi Germany or in a godless communist Russia."
Herget sought a special sentence for first-time sex offenders deemed likely to benefit from treatment. Without it, he faced up to nine years in prison.
The court received dozens of letters from church members urging leniency. One was written by a Seattle police detective who belonged to the congregation. Another came from the parents of the boy who would later unmask Herget as a serial molester.
"Mistakes need to be paid for, but once they are paid for, a normal life needs to be allowed," the couple wrote.
State Sen. Paull Shin, D-Mukilteo, was then in his first term in the state House of Representatives. He knew Herget. On a state letterhead, he wrote prosecutors and a Snohomish County judge, requesting leniency.
"I feel that Mr. Herget is basically a kind and honest man," Shin wrote.
Shin said he was new to the Legislature at the time and would not write such a letter today.
"David Herget's wife and his children came to me in tears," he said. "I was very moved by that."
A prosecutor for nearly 24 years, Stern said it is common for people to seek mercy in sex cases.
"Lots of folks are very outspoken about what we should do with sex offenders, until the offender is someone they know," he said.
Stern supported sentencing Herget to treatment. He matched the profile of someone research suggests would be the least likely to re-offend. The girl he molested also wanted Herget to get treatment. That, Stern said, carried more weight than all the letters from church members.
In treatment, Herget told how as a child he had been abused for years by a male relative, records show. The judge received glowing letters about his progress, including Herget's reported recognition that his deviant urges could only be controlled but never extinguished.
Herget was removed from state supervision in summer 2001. He had to register as a sex offender, but had long since reunited with his family.
Excommunicated by a Mormon church tribunal after his conviction, Herget completed the process of penitence, counseling and introspection that allowed him to rejoin the church.
Officials with Herget's church declined to discuss his case. Instead, they provided papers describing in general how the church tracks members who have been convicted of sexual abuse and bars them from work with children.
Herget got around that barrier after 2001 by privately offering assistance as an unofficial volunteer, or by simply being close to the families of his victims. He offered help on scouting projects and provided rides to sporting events, police discovered. Sons were sent to Herget, offering help with yardwork he could not complete because of health problems.
Mountlake Terrace Police Chief Scott Smith said detectives identified at least seven boys Herget abused over the years. One boy estimated that at least 1,400 acts of abuse occurred, starting in summer 2001.
Herget's arrest came after three of the boys spoke with police. All related similar stories of how Herget began trying to molest them when they were young and overcame their reluctance over time, usually with pornography and money.
The abuse was uncovered when the parents of one boy checked the family computer and confirmed suspicions that their son had been visiting sex sites on the Internet.
A check of his e-mail showed frequent correspondence with Herget. The man encouraged the teen to lie to his parents, and talked of letting him do things he knew they would not allow, his father said.
That fit a troubling pattern, the boy's mother said. Herget ignored limits, buying her children gifts and attempting to arrange trips without permission.
"It just seemed he was trying to overrule our parental authority," she said.
Herget cried when the boy's father told him to stay away.
Additional digging led to other e-mail accounts for the boy, all set up by Herget. Messages in those accounts showed Herget was providing pornography, and hinted at worse.
One of the messages read: "You are a good young man. Please forgive me if you can."
The teen finally disclosed the abuse. Other children were being molested as well, he said, because Herget would sometimes involve multiple children in his acts of abuse.
Smith, the police chief, said Herget was able to manipulate people by using his church involvement.
"I'm sure their intentions were good, but I think the church - I don't care if it is Mormon, Methodist, Catholic, I don't care the denomination - they have a responsibility to protect their children," Smith said.
The boy's mother said she has learned how important it is to act on parental instinct. If it feels as if something is wrong, it likely is, she said.
"You've got to be the parent," the boy's father said.
I say I'm one of the most emotionally self-mastered individuals out there. But really, I'm not. I'm just a master at shoving emotions into different areas of my mind.
I pretend like I know what I'm doing, but I really don't
I pretend like I know what I want and where I'm going. I don't.

I pretend like I don't need anyone, or need help, or want it for that matter. But I do. Very badly.

I pretend to be strong, but I am far from it.

I am a master of fallacies and illusions

But sometimes, actually, pretty much all the time, I crave to know that someone is there. That I have arms to fall into, and hands to hold onto.
That when I cry in the middle of the night, there is someone to wipe the tears away. And the pain. And the confusion.
And the memories.
And the touches.
And the pictures and videos.
And the feelings.
And the secrets.
And the lies.
And the trust.
And just all of it.

Just take it all away.