Caution: Really not as interesting as it sounds.
This is pretty messy, long and raw. But I know you were all dying to know every bit of this.
So, as everyone who has ever spent five minutes with me is aware, I was raised Mormon. Mormonism isn't the cult some make it out to be, aside from the fundamentalists, but it's still pretty damn crazy.
After my childhood friend told me my facebook photo was wrong and porn, I was trying to figure out how a person can live like that. But I also have to remember that... I did. I was raised that way. Growing up, though I wasn't very happy, and ironically didn't have as many friends as I do now, I thought I had some things right. I thought that abortion was murder, I thought that masturbation was disgustingly wrong, porn was sick, and even in my dark fantasies I often escaped to... and, this will be hard to admit... I slept in a different bed from my imaginary husband. (Although to my credit, I rode a motorcycle.)
I feared rape on what seemed a daily basis, wore modest (and totally un-chic) clothing, and to this day I have some fears regarding men that are less than fair. My social anxieties in general were pretty bad, I would stress, hide from my own family, sometimes fidget or bite myself. I used eating as a coping mechanism. I shirked responsibility. I was depressed. I felt ugly, worthless, and afraid all of the time. I don't want to live like that again. Ever.
When I became an atheist, I hit exponential growth in my development. Or maybe growth in my development lead to atheism. I remember some of my first actions that showed me how religion was slipping away from me quickly. I went to an LDS private school, and I was in 7th grade. We were expected to take turns making "devotionals" in the morning, which included picking a hymn to sing, a short lesson, etc. I remember specifically not having enough of a testimony to be able to give a lesson specific to the church. I BSed it, and it worked out fine.
Around this time, when I was about 13, I got my first boyfriend. Online. (I never claimed to be smart, but actually it was a good experience.) He was an atheist. I was a little intrigued by this, but mostly indifferent. I was also indifferent in saying "I'm Mormon". It was like a skin color. It didn't mean anything, it just "was". He wasn't so indifferent. "I can't believe I fell for a Mormon." Lol. Good memories.
Second boyfriend was immediately after. He was Mormon, my brother's best friend actually. He told me I was going to hell because I didn't go to church, but he wasn't happy with it. Haha, actually. Those are pretty good memories too. We never touched, and it didn't last.
In 8th grade, I started public school, something I was afraid to do-- but it turned out very well. It was much easier and more effective than private school had been. Without forced proximity to the same people all day, though, and my natural shyness, I could easily go all day without saying even 10 words to fellow students. I spent a lot of time in my own head.
I don't remember when I first became aware that my older brothers were atheists. What I do remember is that they didn't go to church much, and made constant references to how they would have to "corrupt" me. Trying to be cool, I claimed to have already been corrupted.
Things kept... not adding up. And, things kept... pissing me the hell off. At some point, Maybe 14, 15? I was officially considering myself Atheist Agnostic.
I was never very active in the church, but now I had identity. Now I felt like I knew what was going on. I gained interest in things such as gay rights (getting over my sisters' pinning me down and calling me a lesbian-- naw it's okay, we're feminathiest bffs now), and naturally the church was not fitting my beliefs. I became a feminist, because I'm interested in my future right now, not so much babies. I remembered that I enjoy learning almost as much as I enjoy creating. The depression started to ease. I still spent all nearly all of my time alone, going to school and still hardly speaking to other human beings the entire day-- but I felt a remarkable sense of contentment that shocked me-- it was, well, new. I was okay to be alone. Things progressed well, and I finally started making progress socially as my depression and anxiety lifted a little. I started to take care of myself more.
Two events knocked me on my ass-- first, driving courses giving me a new phobia, and my brother's suicide at the beginning of my senior year. I started therapy. Therapy, both through traditional methods and finally medication, eased a lot of the issues I'd struggled with as long as I can remember-- the anxiety, the depression. At this point I didn't even always recognize those in myself until they got to dangerous points. My therapist read my blog (a different one than this) and remarked that I sounded much more depressed than I seemed to be in person, almost suicidal. At first I thought maybe she got the wrong vibe-- because at the time I wrote the entry, yes, I felt awful. But it passed, didn't it?
When I did start medication, those sharp down spirals began to stop. At first I had some issues as I finally released feelings that were so difficult to release (I at times have that so-called ""male"" response of refusing to cry or deal with emotions). When I spoke of my sister's marriage I would always choke up and/or cry. When I spoke of my brother's suicide, it took several minutes for the therapist to coax the feelings out. That trauma wasn't surfacing the same way.
Granted, PMS still shits me up. A couple months ago I cried over pasta. Literally. Not one of my proudest moments. I had no idea what the hell was wrong with me, but low and behold... and it always happens in such a fashion, yet I still haven't caught on. I'm dumb like that. I do not like the idea that I'm not in control of my emotions, and my periods are irregular so I don't see them coming. Like bloody, gooey ninja.
I'm now first-year in college and happier than I've ever been. Learning to be more comfortable with my body (masturbated for the first time at 18, just because I was sick of not knowing about myself). Trying to break past the remaining social anxieties, accepting myself, and enjoying others.
Here are the family issues contributing to my insanity:
My mother still tells me pre-marital sex is wrong. She doesn't want boys at my place. She told me that "short-shorts" are a good way to get raped, and that at a certain point a man simply cannot help it. She would tell me stories of friends and stories on the news, about pregnancies and women getting raped in public bathrooms (so naturally I should be careful).
My father is secretly atheist. But he wasn't home a lot growing up, and I was always a little afraid of him. He's actually very intelligent, but apparently only about everything but gender and sex. He's made some rude jokes, and he thinks rape is about sex, which I generally disagree with.
My brothers are lewd pervs. Which is funny now, but to a young girl? It was a little threatening at times. Family dinner is... haha, an adventure. When I was younger, my brother would snap my bra and slap my ass (and my sister's), which... was weird. He would also wander around the house moaning "ssseeeeeexxxx" with his hand in his pants, because apparently that is his mating call and dance?
My sister scarred me when she married. She was young, and I needed her. Because I was... not in a good place. And, I thought we would be roommates, I thought we would live life together. We were both so smart, and young, atheists and feminists and anything we wanted... Now I'm on my own, 200 miles away. And she's having sex with a terrorist. (...Inside joke.)
Men in general, ignore me. But alternately, online they come on too strongly, and they're anything but apologetic. Apparently my not wanting what they do means there is something horribly wrong with me. I don't want to feel like I have to feel guilty because I'm confused, and because I'm not wanting to do something stupid, and particularly something I'm not ready for.
So thus far I have Choice A- Chauvinist Religious Boys, B- Hyper-sexual Atheist Boys, an C- Gay Prom Dates.
Personally, I like D- Leave me the hell alone.
That one never seems to work...
I wasn't really the type who planned my fairy-tale wedding. But I did plan my fairy-tale love (and make up soap-opera romances between my crayons). He was patient, and gentle, and intelligent, and naturally he was completely enamored with me. He had silky hair, he never screamed, he was supportive and smiled for me. ...And then I was the funny one. See how this fits?
I was an emotional child, and my mom didn't typically go upstairs to find me when I threw a fit. So I would cry, and cry... and pretend that I had someone that would always be there when I was that lonely. The truth was, I had to go through all that pain alone, and I wasn't strong enough to rely on myself. I didn't love myself. I fantasized most of the day. At school, at home, before I fell asleep...
And this idea was as fictional to me as porn might have been to a boy of my age. At some point, I had to be disillusioned. Again and again and again. And as I did, experiencing the... em... more "real" world of men, if there is such a thing, the more I became bitter and wished for that kind of experience. The kind of experience where love is not an excuse to have sex-- where love is so powerful that sex is the only way to express it.
My first sex dream was a nightmare. This is what happened- A kid in my class told everyone that we had sex, which I naturally denied. Then he said he taped it. He did. ...Lets never talk about this again.
Now, sex dreams are rare and not very vivid. Since then, I'm not sure I have ever had sex in a dream. I had a dream I hid from rapists in a bathroom stall, nothing happened. I had a dream I considered getting oral sex from old men (this was last night actually), but again nothing happened. I had a dream a shemale tried to have her way with me, but I don't think hugging on a swingset counts.
Sometimes, I have "sweet" dreams. I had a dream that I met someone I cared about from online from a few years back, and he just hugged me, after all that fear of what he would think of me. I had a dream that I went to an assembly at school, and there were no seats left... So I had to sit on the lap of a boy covered with a blanket, and he was kind to me. I know, bizarre!
Occasionally I will wake up with a lackluster orgasm. I'm not dreaming of anything sexual when this typically happens. Honestly, I'll be having a dream about frogs or getting ready for school or something. Weird.
Remember when I said the first time I masturbated was at 18? Well, I wasn't horny. I don't know what changed, but I was sick of being afraid. I became determined to learn (and was embarrassed that I wasn't entirely sure where or what my clitoris was...). Attempt 1- utter failure. Attempt 2- well, after an hour or longer, I got what I believe to be a small orgasm. It was disappointing. At some point in my experience I decided, well... try to get a little more excited, I guess. I think it started with pictures. No men-- women only. It worked okay. I didn't "feel" aroused, really, but I suppose my body knew what to do. So then, videos. Still, women only. With the added bonus of being a little educational. Then I tried to find the tamer videos, and went on in that fashion. It's still not impressive, but I'm practicing.
I don't know what love feels like. I'm pretty sure it's a trap. I am taking every precaution to avoid it. My looks do most of the work for me, and the stench of atheism doesn't hurt either. All else fails, I will tell everyone that I am gay.
Except maybe the lesbians. Maybe.