Princess Lucy

           “It’s a girl.” The doctor informed my father in the hospital waiting room on a wintery morning in 1963. (In those days, family members weren’t allowed in labor and delivery.) After three boys—Scott, Joseph and Peter—my father was thrilled to finally have his little girl.

           Later, when the nurse handed my father his bundle of joy, she said, “Congratulations. It’s a boy.”

           “We’ll see about that.” said Father, and then he pulled off my diaper.

           Yep. I have a vagina—making me the family “princess,” and, at the same time, a second class citizen in the LDS (Mormon) church.

           Two more brothers—Jeffery and Corey—were born after me and my role as “princess” became a necessary tool for survival. As with many Mormon families, my fight for attention began early in life. When no one in the neighborhood came to see Mother’s new addition to the family, she rectified the situation by taking me for a walk on the first sunny day in February. One step out the front door onto a thin layer of ice and down we toppled to the bottom of three concrete steps, granting me my first performance as “cry baby.” The neighbors came running. Mother was overjoyed.

            As with Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, I was born of goodly parents. Father was the absent-minded scientist and mother was the playful playwright—think Mary Poppins with a typewriter. Both were loving but nerdy. Neither had much time or inclination to parent us beyond the basic necessities. The Mormon way of raising obedient, drug-free, temple-worthy—virgin and non-critically thinking—children is to feed ‘em and send ‘em out the door to school, church, or sports.

By age nine, an emotional disconnect was fully in place, not just with my parents, but with my siblings as well. After school one day, I was watching Gilligan’s Island when Peter turned to me and said, “Pull my finger.”

           “No.” I said. “I don’t want to pull your finger. You’ll fart.”

           Peter farted anyway, even though I never pulled his finger, and then roared with laughter. My brothers and all of their buddies laughed too and then lifted their legs to poison one another with more toxic gas. I covered my nose and prayed for a sister‒a confidant who could share my disgust for ill-mannered boys. Maleness surrounded me, evidenced by toilet seats in upright positions and dried tacky urine on tiled bathroom floors. Even the dog, Dudley, was male and prone to dog farts. I complained to my parents but Father explained that flatus was a natural human function; which, he elaborated, “typically takes place eight to twenty times a day and is merely the expulsion of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane, the byproduct of bacterial fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract. The Nitrogen,” he qualified his statement, “however, is not produced in the body, but is a component of environmental air, which enters the body via swallowing.”

           It was important to him that I understand gas is not totally generated in the stomach or bowels as some persons erroneously believe. Father continued to pontificate, “It’s unnecessary to maintain excessive gas in the alimentary canal because it causes undue pain and therefore should be released whenever the need arises.” He punctuated his statement with a loud flatus emission and Mother smiled lovingly at him.

           Someday, I said to myself, “I’ll marry a handsome prince who’ll take me far, far, away.”

Everything that is good is of God?

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, a friend wrote this post and I found it to be so insightful and beautifully written that I requested permission to publish it on my blog. She expresses perfectly what is also in my heart. Thank you, Karrin Falk, for writing this and for granting me permission to share it here. Note: The question mark was added to the title by me.

Everything that is good is of God?

by Karrin Falk

“Everything that is good is of God.” —

Believers tote this phrase with such reverence. They sing His praises and obfuscate with gratitude.

“God is great.”
“God is good.”
“Our God is an awesome God.”

They look at all the good wonderful things around them and say, “that’s a sign of God’s love.” They shake their heads at non-believers and cannot fathom how we don’t see all the good God does in our lives.

“Everything that is good is of God.” —

When I hear this phrase, you know what I see? Control.

God: That air you’re breathing? That’s me. Thank me.
That delicious pie you just ate? That’s me. Thank me.
Those green lights that meant you got to work on time? That’s me. Thank me.
That raise you were given last week? That’s me. Thank me.
That “A” you made on your last test? That’s me. Thank me.
The winter coat someone aononymously gifted you? That’s me. Thank me.

Even the things WE do out of the kindness of our own hearts, that’s God. Thank God.

But all the bad things in the world? That’s Satan…. and YOU. You are sinners. You are unholy. You are dirt and trash and scum unworthy of my presence. You are less than the animals who cannot reason, because they obey without question whereas you think for yourself and you choose to do things that aren’t good.

If you want to be happy and good and holy and pure, the ONLY way you can become worthy enough to see me again is to accept my son’s sacrifice for you. Accept the payment He’s made to empty your ledger of guilt – guilt for all the bad you’ve done just by nature of being human and imperfect, just by exercising your free will without full comprehension of the consequences.

“Everything that is good is of God.” —

I see this phrase and I see a lack of self-esteem. I see depression. I see anguish. I see incessant perfectionism. I see individuals so determined to rid themselves of their filth they’ll do anything, but no matter how hard they try they always fall short.

You call that God? I call that sickening.

It is not “good” for a single, incomprehensible, all-knowing, invisible deity to be the source of all that is kindness, love, generosity, etc. To give Him credit for all that is good and ourselves credit for all that is bad is demoralizing, demeaning, and cruel.

If anyone were in a relationship like this with another human being, we would consider that “good” individual despicable and abusive. It is a LIE to say that goodness does not come from within ourselves. It is a LIE to say that we are, by our very nature, filthy. It is a LIE to say that we can never measure up or earn any good rewards on our own merit.

Those lies are used to manipulate and control, and people don’t even realize the damage their doing to their own psyche by simply uttering the phrase:

“Everything that is good is of God.”

Fuck You, Dickhead

Disclaimer: This is based on a true story. Certain names and details have been changed.

Are we back in kindergarten? Seriously, Richard—Dick…head—Franco, you don’t like poetry? Fuck you!

Those are the words I should’ve voiced last night when you said, “Stop with all the poetry on your blog.” But I can’t always get to the root of my real feelings until hours, sometimes days, later.

Not everyone likes poetry. I get that. You probably got turned off to poetry after reading Walt Whitman back in junior high. There’s no telling how many budding poets fucking Whitman will underrun. If I was his English teacher, I’d have taken a great big red marker to his papers…or just fucked flunked him.

Not all poetry is created equal. Some poetry gives me poemgasms and others make me want shoot the poet for raping his lexicon. Poetry is personal. What speaks to me, may not speak to you. But to take the whole genre of poetry and toss it in the trash is asinine, you smartass swine. (Ha! Proof that rhyme makes lines sublime!) It’s like eating liver as a child and then refusing to eat steak because you hate beef.

What you don’t understand, Dickhead, is that poetry saved my life. Yeah, I know that sounds melodramatic so I’ll explain. When I was married to a Fuckiopath, I adhered to a shitload of unwritten fuckcrazy rules. Here are just a few:

  • Keep Fuckiopath Happy.
  • Don’t say or do anything to upset Fuckiopath.
  • When Fuckiopath hurts me, don’t cry. Tears make him, “uncomfortable” e.g. unhappy.

So I screamed inside my head—a lot. But, after thirty years of holding in the tears, eventually, I sprung a leak and poems seeped out. Poetry gave pain a voice. And, just as a small trickle of water soon becomes a stream and the stream a torrent and the torrent a flood sweeping all before it, my words tore our so-called perfect pretty Mormon family-life asunder—setting me free from that suicidal monster.

In this year’s super bowl ads, this public service announcement demonstrates how dangerous it is for a victim to speak. Please take a moment to watch this 30 second ad. (http://youtu.be/tJaSj_qipic)

The take away is: “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.”

That’s right, Dickhead, even if my words come out in rhyme…or gibberish, listen up. They have deeper meaning than kindergarten small-minds comprehend. I’m grateful that you’re reading my blog. Truly, I’m honored. I’m merely asking you to take a moment, use your big boy brain—the brain you use to engineer architectural masterpieces, speak three languages fluently, and waltz with world-class grace—to hear me…savor my beauty—my work of art.

Yes, I write poems. I’d say I wrote this one just for you but I didn’t. It trickled out four years ago as I began to understand the complexities and value of poetry. But, don’t worry, I’m writing a poem just for you. It’s called, Fuck You, Dickhead.

Poems Right Me

by Lucy Furr

I write poems

sudoku poems

swapping words

back to front, front to back,

up, down

crisscross

NO

more like Rubik’s poems

multi-dimensional in purpose and meaning

a playground for my prisoned thoughts

respite for my battered soul

a sunny afternoon spent tête-à-tête with great minds

poets, dead and living

a melancholy waltz in God’s embrace

words lines rhymes

alliteration

buried secrets

twisted reality

knots unwinding

mysteries revealed

truth spins round and round

I am right

poems I write

poems right me

Oh, and by the way, Richard. Thanks for holding me last night in that awkward moment when I cried on the dancefloor—out in front of everyone. You knew it was cathartic and patiently let the tears flow uninhibited. That took nerves of steel, especially for an engineer, to not step in and fix the leak. Your gentle act was…well…poetic. And, thanks for encouraging me to write this scathing post for you. That took courage, too. You are, indeed, a dear friend. Thank you. (((Hugs)))

Religion is Bullsh!t

Ya just can’t explain religion any better than George Carlin.

George worships the sun and I worship my vibe. It makes sense to worship something that’s real.

Sending you all good “vibes.” 😉

Party of One

Sometimes, I can’t shake the feeling I’m being watched and look for a red laser beam on my chest. I always close my blinds when the sun goes down.

Sometimes, I wonder what day he’ll choose for his suicide/homicide. My birthday perhaps?

Sometimes, I wonder whether or not to attend a dance or special event because “he” might be there with a loaded gun.

Sometimes, I wonder about seemingly selfless acts of kindness. Why is this guy being nice? Who is he really? Who will he become when my wall comes down?

Sometimes, I jokingly say, “All men (and women) are sociopaths until proven otherwise.” I’m not really joking.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll go to my grave having never been loved.

Sometimes, I wonder if Humpty Dumpty is laughing at all the king’s horses and all the king’s men trying to put my shattered soul back together again.

Sometimes, I remind myself that I can’t possibly go to the grave having never been loved because I love me…and, it’s okay if I’m just a party of one…because I’m a f**king awesome…worthy of love.

Note from Lucy Furr: If you suspect that you’re in an abusive relationship or have been in one, I have several tips and resources that helped me escape my perpetrator. They are as follows:

  1. You don’t have to be physically assaulted to seek help from the women’s shelter. When I landed in the women’s shelter, my then-husband had never beaten me, though I lived in fear that he might.
  2. If you’re not sure you’re in an abusive relationship, seek help from the women’s shelter. They can help you sort out your emotions and answer questions.
  3. If you don’t want live in the women’s shelter, contact them anyway. They have an out-reach program that offers many resources and classes that are helpful.
  4. If someone is holding you hostage via suicidal threats, you’re likely in an abusive relationship. The women’s shelter can help you learn how to deal with suicidal partners in a healthier way.
  5. I strongly recommend reading the book, “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. Even if you’re not in an abusive relationship, this is the best book on the market to learn about the red flags of manipulation and control. It’s the most important book you’ll ever read. All young girls should read this book before they start dating. (Note: The book isn’t just for women. It’s written for men too. The author didn’t want to say he/she throughout his book so he chose one gender for ease of writing.)
  6. Leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim. If your perpetrator hasn’t physically assaulted you yet, he/she might easily escalate to physical violence when he/she believes you might leave. Most domestic related homicides take place when a victim is leaving his/her partner. Don’t let your perpetrator know that you’re leaving.
  7. Just because a controlling person has no record of having been physically violent in the past, this doesn’t mean he/she won’t become physically violent in the future.
  8. Don’t jump into other relationships after leaving an abusive partner. Trust me. You’re f**ked up. It will take time, therapy and a lot of self-reflection to break the pattern of abuse.
  9. Movies and television don’t depict sociopaths accurately. They don’t look or act anything like Dexter or Hannibal Lecter. I highly recommend reading the book, “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout.
  10. Before you attempt to date again, I recommend reading the book, “Dating Game Secrets to Marrying a Good Man” by Alisa Snell.
  11. Educate yourself about sociopaths. Visit: LoveFraud.com or PsychopathFree.com

OMG! I’m part of a cult

Found this link. http://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comments/2szhwg/omg_im_part_of_a_cult_wtf_how_did_that_happen_i/

(Yep, this would describe my life as a Mormon.) See below.

Love Bombing — Friendliness, flattery, praise, and affection are used to entice participation and attendance for potential recruits, and to retain members who may be showing less enthusiasm or are thinking of leaving. New members are sought out, friendshipped, and invited to group events. Potential recruits are overwhelmed with attention, which makes them feel special.

Destabilizing the Self – Barriers are torn down that would otherwise prevent acceptance of new beliefs. Includes those who have already been destabilized by life situations and the indoctrination of children, who have not yet formed a sense of self.

Deception – Lies, omissions, and “front” activities cover up flaws or unusual aspects of the group, doctrine, leadership, and history. Some deceptions will be revealed later when a member is “ready.”

Sacred Science (Closed System of Logic) – The ideology and leader have the one and only truth. Members should only seek answers in group teachings. Doctrinal logic is airtight. The leaders are above criticism and those who question or criticize are immoral.

Mystical Manipulation – Forces exist which are more powerful thanM the self. The group strives to fulfill a higher purpose. Ends justify the means. Events and experiences are orchestrated, manipulated, or reframed to appear supernatural and prove the leader is chosen and the doctrines are true.

Milieu Control – Information and environment are tightly controlled. Gossip, questioning, and criticism is tightly regulated, as is access to outside information, especially that which might raise doubts or be critical of the group.

Demand for Purity (Perpetual Inadequacy) – Lofty moral goals are set. At first the goals seem achievable, but the standards for achievement grow ever more impossible to meet, keeping the follower perpetually inadequate.

Dispensing of Existence – The individual’s literal or figurative existence is threatened as a consequence for impurity, doubt, or leaving the group. Life, the eternal soul, self-esteem, a sense of “being good”, and one’s identity hangs in the balance.

Doctrine Over Self – The individual is subordinate to the group, leader, and teachings. When personal desires, goals, and values conflict with group values, they become selfish or immoral.

Loading the Language – Existing words are loaded with new meaning. New words are added. Other words are banned or dropped from usage. This affects ability to think, as well as ability to communicate comfortably with those outside the group.

Totalist Reframing – Situations, thoughts, or feelings are reinterpreted in a way that suits the goals of the organization. This is used to continually prove the ideology correct, to squelch doubts, and to silence outsiders.

Thought-Terminating Clichés – Short phrases, pat answers, metaphors, and emotional reactions are pre-established to frame doubts. Doubt and questions are automatically shut down.

Social Pressure – Social acceptance and rejection are used to reward and punish. A member becomes driven with a desire to conform. Belief Follows Behavior—Action generates the associated beliefs.

Public Commitment – Commitments are expressed aloud. Public statements reinforce belief and dedication to the group.

Creating Dependency – A member comes to depend on the group for physical, emotional, social, spiritual, or other needs. The member has a high stake in continuing to stay loyal to the group.

Black and White Thinking – Broad spectrums of thought and morality become reduced to two options: Good vs. Evil, Love vs. Hate, Weak vs. Strong. Humble vs. Proud.

Elitism – The members of the group are chosen people, exalted, righteous. Members are made to feel special when compared to outsiders.

Us-Versus-Them Thinking – This is a form of black-and-white thinking wherein outsiders, ex-members, and those critical of the group are dehumanized and labeled as evil, apostate, vicious, hateful, prideful, blinded, deceived, etc. A persecution complex may exist whereby reasonable criticism is reframed as an attack.

Indirect Directives – Certain restrictions or demands on behavior are implied rather than express. The logical elements for a given conclusion are supplied, leaving the member to draw the conclusion herself. Leadership remains innocent of issuing any unseemly teachings.

Identification and Example – Those who behave correctly or incorrectly are used as examples. Suggested behavior can be inferred from these stories without direct commandment. Stories are told, which may be reframed or blatantly untrue, to demonstrate consequences. The human mind relates strongly to stories, and it also inspires social pressure.

Emotion Over Intellect – Emotion is emphasized as the preferred decision-making tool. The value of using reason is downplayed. Doctrines are frequently taught in emotional contexts, such as through stories told in tearful or gentle tones.

Induced Phobias – Fears are instilled which are either imaginary, based on real or exaggerated consequences, or on artificial effects created from group pressures. Trance

Induction & Dissociative States – Critical thinking skills are reduced through regular encouragement of receptive mental states. Altered states can be mild and seem normal, and include concentration, fatigue, boredom, and hunger.

Time Control – The member has little time or energy to question beliefs, associate with outsiders, or examine life too closely. Time spent on group-related activities is strongly encouraged or enforced, and usually fills every spare moment.

Double-Bind – The member is “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” She must betray the group or betray her own integrity.

Blame Reversal – The leadership, group, and doctrine are above reproach, so any failed promises and bad situations are always the fault of the member.

Guilt & Shame – A cycle of guilt and shame comes from repressed doubts, social pressure, and failure to meet impossible standards.

Confession – The individual surrenders to leaders through confession, which reduces privacy and boundaries. Successful purification can grant temporary relief from guilt, which increases trust and dedication. Members are motivated to obey to avoid confession.

Euphoria Induction – The euphoria of group participation and fulfilling the member’s ideals motivates good behavior and reduces doubts while proving the validity of the group.

Proselytizing – Members are encouraged to propagate teachings to outsiders. This not only maintains or increases the size of the group, but also soothes cognitive dissonance, consumes time, and provides opportunities for public commitment.

F**king Fearless

On Saturday, I walked into an upscale cafe and the host was a GQ model look-alike with his dark swept-back hair, graying beard, pearly white smile and toned pecs. Having recently thrown off my inhibited Mormon-style of speaking (and thinking), I boldly asked, “Are you married?’
“Yes.”
“F**k” I shot back, “because you’re Hot as Hell and I’m Single and Horny. God dammit, why are all the good ones taken?”
“Why thank you,’ he chuckled, “you just made my day.”
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. *wink wink* God I f**king love men…and being exmo!