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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Suffocation

Does anyone else have troubles with letting their kids fly free? With Milo I was never so intense, but with Abbott, I see him climb a chair and I catch my breath a little before realizing that he needs to learn how to climb up on a chair. 

It's silly, really, but I see him as my little baby and I almost can't help but worry about him. Just now he took a potty chair, dragged it up against the back of the couch and climbed up on it and toppled over onto the cushions. Besides the fact that I'm a horrible mother that allows her kids to jump on the couches I can't help but feel a little afraid of him climbing on the couch at all. 

I never felt this with Milo. I've seen Milo perched on the top of his bed post with one foot and didn't bat an eye. At what point is it okay to let your kids fall?

Abbott is just so clumsy! Does anyone else have clumsy kids? He's just always flopping around without thinking, it's very cute to watch, until he flops his head into a wall, then he's just sad. Has anyone noticed one of their kids is way more "head in the clouds" super clumsy? He just seems to fall down and hurt himself sooo much more than Milo ever did.

Am I crazy?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Taylor Swift Experiment

So I have emotional problems. I don't need to get into them, they're there. I can go from happy to fuming mad in half a second. Lately I've been attempting to remind myself to not do that, to be nice. It should be easy to choose to be nice. Mostly I can keep it up, but sometimes it creeps up on me out of nowhere. Usually it's when there's some extra annoyance, like lack of sleep, or a headache, etc, that I let it out, and it's usually the ones I love the most that get the brunt of it. 

So I've noticed this about myself, I've known for a while, and I want to change it. I've written reminders on my mirror and on my fridge that say "don't be mean" and "be nice" and they're actually working pretty well. I'm going to add another experiment to the list. I'm calling it my "Taylor Swift Experiment"

I have posted in the past a few times about the effects music has on me. It has the ability to change my mood completely. I don't listen to Taylor Swift regularly, but I was cleaning my house while blasting music and Taylor Swift's "shake it off" came on and I busted a mood while crushing cans and by the end of the song I was sweating and smiling. I ran back to my computer and played it again and again dancing and doing the dishes, mopping my floor, scrubbing my toilet and definitely "shaking it off". I also noticed that it didn't have to be that one song, that all her music had the same impact.

To the experiment: when I am upset I'm going to put Taylor Swift on. Based on my temper track record I'm guessing Taylor Swift will be a regular in this house. 

I will return and report the findings at the end of next week. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lost Sheep ***DISCLAIMER***

***DISCLAIMER***
talking about ex-mormons, talking about apostates, talking about sexism...a very little. 







Today I am going to talk about the worst part of being an ex-mormon. This may not be the opinion of all, but for me, it's been the hardest thing to overcome. (side note: I haven't remotely overcome it).

I am not accepted.

My family and friends look at me and I know what they see. I know because I've been there. They see someone who is lost, broken, bitter, lazy, wrong. They may love me, but they aren't happy for me, and they don't believe I could ever be "happy". They pity me. They feel sorry for me. They think there is a part of my brain that just doesn't get it. 

...and it's not only that. They think my salvation is at stake. I'm hurting them. They think I won't be with them when we all die. I'm killing them by leaving. It's not just me that's grieving, it's everyone I'm linked with. Do you know how terrible it is to hurt the ones you love to stand up for what you believe is right? It's terrible. It's part of the reason I can't leave it alone. 

Not only that, but I'm an apostate. I'm the lowest of the low. Nothing is worst than an apostate. When I die my family believes I'll be in the lowest kingdom, with all the murderers and whore mongers. (sexist side note: did you know that women can't go to outer darkness? That's RIDICULOUS! Women can't be as evil as men???? That's one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. I realize I shouldn't be complaining about not going to hell, but come on! That doesn't bother you women that only MEN can go to outer darkness and you have to be married to a MAN to make it to the highest level of the celestial kingdom? okay I'm done. Sorry... back to my apostasy.)

I'm not a bad person. I'm not even CLOSE to a bad person. So why am I being lumped into the same category? Does that seem right to you? I'm a good wife and mother and this is the title I get? Because I AM an apostate. I want my family out of the church. I want YOU out of the church. That's how "far gone" I am.

I can't stand being thought of as broken. I can't stand being thought of as a fool and weak. People think this was easy for me? It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but I can't un-know what I know. For that I'm shunned. I hear things like "I love you anyways". To me that's saying "I love you even though you have some disgusting disease" "I love you even in your feeble state" "I love you even though I want nothing to do with your new life".

As a religion that professes to be one of the only ones to bring families together forever, they're also one of the only ones who threatens to take them away. 

Sounds so loving, right?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Puddle Play

It's been really nice out, and a lot of the snow is melting, which caused a massive dirt puddle. Once Abbott discovered it, it was game over. I brought Milo out for a bit, but as soon as his boots came off he was done.








Buh-Bye

Milo has been speaking a lot more lately, especially at school where everything little thing is so routine. Every time I drop him off at school I give him a kiss and say "buh-bye", he usually hugs me and then goes to hang up his jacket. Today I dropped him off knelt down and gave him a kiss, as I stood he said "buh-bye" very softly. 

He's been doing so well. He's happy, he loves his aide, he loves school. This is exactly what I've always wanted for him. At the end of the month I'm going to a parent/teacher conference about what to do next year. Whether to put him in regular kindergarten with an aide or in the special needs school. If you'd asked me 5 months ago I would've rooted for the special needs school, but he's been doing so well with his peers in the public preschool that in this meeting I might have to advocate for him to go to regular kindergarten. 

I keep thinking about how he deserves a chance to learn the regular curriculum. He may not be able to tell me what he wants, but I'd hate to take his chance to learn away from him. What if I find out years down the road that he loves math? It would kill me if I didn't give him that chance just because he doesn't speak as well as the other kids, and needs sensory time. I'm not sure what it's going to look like, but I'm willing to try. It might be the thing that gets him more out of his shell.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"I Know..." ***DISCLAIMER***

***DISCLAIMER***
talking about the church. talking about spiritual experiences. talking about the brain






"I know the church is true"
I've heard this statement countless times. I've said it so many times I can't even remember. 

"I know..."


I know why people say this, well I know why I said it. I felt the spirit. I read the entire BoM and prayed in a field in front of my house to know if it was true or not. I felt this feeling of peace wash over me. A burning in my heart, it was so powerful, and I felt that it was a confirmation of the truthfulness of the gospel.

The church makes it so simple too. Read the BoM, pray and ask if it's true and you'll receive an answer through the spirit. That's worked for so many, and I've heard testimony after testimony of answered prayers with this exact method. 

The problem is this is the exact method that a LOT of other religions use as their guide. They're praying for an answer to know whether their religion is the true one, and they receive confirmation through the holy ghost telling them that it's true and they're in the right church. How can a catholic, a muslim, a JW, and a mormon be right about completely different religions? If mormonism is the one true church, why give the answer to us through the same methods that are leading so many astray? 

When I was still in the church and had doubts about certain things, I would have this feeling come over me. It was always a very quick and horrible feeling, and when I felt that I assumed it was the spirit telling me that I was wrong and I would dismiss my doubts without further investigation. I figured out that there's actually a name for this. It's called cognitive dissonance. It's when you're presented with 2 contradicting beliefs that you believe to be true, and it's the feeling you get from that. Let me give an example:

Image a mother tells her son that kids with blue eyes are bad and not to play with them. The child believes the mother and goes to school. At school he observes blue eyed children and discovers that they aren't bad. This is when cognitive dissonance comes into play. The boy believes his mother is telling the truth, but his observations are telling him a different truth. He then has a horrible feeling wash over him, so he must make a choice to either believe his mother and not listen to anymore evidence to the contrary of his mother beliefs, or he could choose to realize that his mother was wrong and start playing with the children with blue eyes.

 

People mistake this feeling all the time for the spirit telling them something is wrong, when it's actually your brain fighting with itself because another contradicting truth is placed before you. 

This is the perfect time to talk about confirmation bias. When people decide that something is true or isn't true they end up doing confirmation bias. That is when you only allow things in your mind that confirm your theories (testimony) to be true and reject anything that contradicts it. 

For example: say a nurse believes that more ambulances come to the hospital during a full moon than any other time. When the full moon comes she starts to pay attention to the amount of ambulances coming in, but won't notice other days when the same amount of ambulances come into the hospital. She's confirming only her theories that make that statement true and it just makes her believe more than ever.

 

This is something that I did in the church all the time. I would only allow situations that uplifted and strengthened my testimony to enter my mind, and I rejected everything else. Has this happened to you? Have you maybe ever had a blessing that didn't come true? Or didn't turn out the way you planned? I have. Many times. I only paid attention to the times when it did come true. This is also true with prayers being answered. I might pray for something, but only latch on to the experiences where everything worked out. I tell those stories over and over and never the ones that would tear down my truth.

This is also what people do when they reject contradicting evidence against the church. They won't listen or pay attention to it because they've already decided that the church is true, so they're not going to listen to anything that contradicts it. I did this when Brett first told me he was having doubts. I didn't even let him tell me anything... I instantly plugged my ears and said "I don't want to know!". Isn't that a bit of a red flag to you? That I won't even objectively listen to my husbands concerns? I had made a choice to not let anything tear my faith down with confirmation bias, and I didn't want to experience any cognitive dissonance. Once I realized that this was my husband and someone that I loved and trusted I decided to hear him out regardless of how uncomfortable it made me feel. I owed it to him and myself to figure it out and work through these feelings.

After studying all these things I realized that saying "I know" was just another version of confirmation bias. It was me protecting myself from any new information that would cause disharmony in my heart, even if it was the truth. It's the number one thing people say to me. They'll ask me to defend some point, and when they don't have an answer their answer is "but I KNOW the church is true". 

Well I thought I knew too.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Writing A Book Is Hard

Boo to not realizing that I loved writing until school wasn't an option. Not that I couldn't go back, but my kids are a little too little right now. I have every intention of going back to soak up all I can and become a writer. I semi already consider myself one, but I feel like I need that extra credit and experience to gain that special title. To say "I am a writer". It'll be nice someday, but I know what I am and I know what I'm not. 

I am:

-Creative
-A good story teller
-Capable of living this life for myself
-Determined
-Never going to give up on my dreams
-Great when I put my mind to something
-Worth it

I am not:

-Educated in writing (except for high school... that's it)
-Experienced
-Giving a crap about either of those two things.


I have been wanting to write a book for years. YEARS. I've even attempted a few times and got pretty far with one of them, but felt myself not loving the book, and feeling overwhelmed with it all. Honestly, I felt like Stephanie Meyers just whipping a book out of my butt with ZERO experience. I felt it sucking. I felt like an imposter, so I stopped. I didn't want to write an official book until I felt I had some credit behind me. Until I felt confident enough to feel worthy of even writing one.

But my creative self came up with an idea...

I have found a way to write a book without really writing a book. I've decided to write a book periodically on here. For all of you. I'll post chapters every so often and put up links to previous chapters in case you miss a post and you can be my listeners. This way I can write my book, but without the pressure of making it absolutely perfect for printing. You'll be my practice. 

Because my brain is constantly full of ideas that I need to get out. I don't know which one I'll choose for you, but I'll make sure it isn't scary or gross, so I'll save my zombie book for some other time. :) 

Hooray!