jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Tense family stuff and inequality / sexism / racism.

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Carl Jung once said something about how loneliness has less to do with how many people there are around you, and more to do with whether or not you feel you can say what's important to you.

That's why I complain so much about inequality, sexism, racism, and so on. Every day I'm reminded that I live in a society founded on all of these things, even if it's slightly better (or at least more polite) here than in the States. I can't ignore it, the way the white people I talk to here can. And when they lapse into awkward silences, like when I made the comment about rich people paying for transit or another comment about Canada's treatment of indigenous people, it shows me what parts of their psyches and societies they are not willing to confront.

Conversely, when I meet someone I can talk about these things with I feel so much better about myself. It's like a weight's taken off of my shoulders, and I can approach the work of surviving within this society with a sense of humour rather than fatalism. It's not about nursing a grudge; it's about finding the strength to go on.

So thank you all for reading, listening, and commenting here. It means a lot to me.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Religious, physical, and arguably sexual abuse, as well as non-graphic discussion of sexuality which may be TMI for some.

This is what I was taught, growing up in the Mormon church:

Your body is the temple of God, and it belongs to him. Your "sacred parts" were given to you so that you can create new bodies for God's spirit children, and to form bonds in a marriage relationship between husband and wife. You are not allowed to use them for any other purpose. You may not have those feelings in any other situation.

Beyond that, I was taught covertly and overtly that the rest of my body belongs to God and/or to the people around me. The Word of Wisdom, the Mormon dietary code which forbids coffee and tea, was imposed on me whether I wanted it or not. My parents of origin got mad at me for trying to refuse physical affection, when it was forced on me by them or church members. And one leader I had in Boy Scouts forced himself on me, roughing up my shoulders for what seemed like a whole minute after I told him I'd just had a tetanus shot, and telling me I was a "wuss" and that I needed to "beef up!"

Beyond that, there was an expectation that I make myself bodily available for any meeting, calling, or requirement my family or church imposed on me. I was guilted for staying home sick from church, and even guilted myself for it because deep down I knew that I wanted to stay home. I was asked to help tear down a home that had been damaged in Hurricane Katrina, and was given no facial protection in rooms filled with dust and mold spores. I understood that I could get violently sick or physically harmed on a two-year proselyting mission, but that it was my responsibility to go anyway, because God owned my life and he demanded this tithe of my time.

People in "the world" think they own their bodies and lives, I was taught, but those are Satan's lies. A life lived for yourself is shallow and meaningless, filled with cheap pleasures and devoid of the love of marriage and family relationships. Only through marrying in God's temple can those relationships continue beyond the grave. Everyone needs to be taught this, and anything that could interfere with the eternal family needs to be destroyed.

Including my awful, unworthy "habit" of masturbation, and my "addiction" to "pornography." Which is what they called looking up PG-rated furry art, with scandalous things like bare shoulders in it.

This is how I feel about myself, deep down, even today. If I am ever in a situation where I'm having sexual feelings, especially when there's the possibility of having them with someone else, I panic and either freeze up or try to escape. On two separate occasions I've bailed when people I was attracted to tried to initiate sexual encounters. When I'm alone, the easiest way to get through it is just to give in, but I try to do so as quickly as possible so I can get back to pretending I'm not the kind of person who actually wants to.

It's not "just" sex, either, as though a need at the core of my being to be intimate with someone who loves and appreciates me is a hobby I could set aside. It's everything. Going around town today, I felt like I do not belong here and any second now someone's going to call me out on that fact. It wasn't as bad as it was before antidepressants, and I did just have a depressive episode yesterday which kind of weakened me. But I live in what feels like the most whitebread American suburb ever, and every day I set foot outside the park that surrounds where I live I'm reminded that people move here to get away from people like me.

(Of course, when I go to the city it's like being hit with a wall of NOISE. Hyperacusis FTW.)

I don't know how to change the way I feel about myself. Sometimes I don't feel this way, and I have more energy and can forget that I'm not supposed to exist. But everything crashes down whenever I'm triggered, or when I encounter a situation where I'm reminded that my "sacred parts" still exist. Suddenly I am a horrible, selfish person, who's trying to take from God and from other people what is rightfully theirs.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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