Monday, April 30, 2012

I've moved my writing (yeah.. well.. there will be soon :D) and writing relating rantings over to Here's My Story. This blog, which was originally meant for writing related stuff just seemed to derail into my own personal thoughts and rantings. It was easier to just start anew with the writing discussion :)
Admittedly there's not much there right now - but I hope you'll consider checking it out. I have high hopes :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

As I was finishing up my chapter work for my Interpersonal Communications class today and I came across the chapter on family relationships. There was a section defining different types of families - "nuclear", "blended", etc.  Whether you’re married, homosexual, combined with other relatives, or remarried - children always seemed to be required for the “family” definition. I like to think that with our two selves, two dogs, two ferrets, two gerbils, two parakeets and a fish tank that we have a fine little family going. And that even without the pets we would still qualify for family status for reasons beyond procreation. I would also say that a young woman living in an apartment with her cat are also their own little family. Maybe that’s too broad a definition for some – but I definitely find the current definitions to be too narrow.

The family I was adopted into was large. Lots of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and of course children. But not a family by any definition. Abusive, cruel, petty, manipulative and all of them only out for themselves. Every positive interaction mentioned in the chapter – I never saw it among them. The book says that “family comes from the Latin “famulus”, meaning “servant” or “slave”. I think they were all fully aware of that. They used each other to their own purposes, never giving back. There was no positivity. No openness. No assurances. Everyone yelled at each other even though they were in the same room. When my mother died I left that family. I’m perfectly happy with the little one I’ve got going on here – even if it doesn’t warrant definition. 

In reality “defining family” is probably too difficult. People who are supposed to be our family sometimes simply aren’t. And those that we aren’t related to biologically/by adoption are “like family”. I feel more affection for my brother-in-law than I ever will for my sister. I have an aunt and uncle through my husband who I hold closer than any in my adoptive family. And as I've said before my husband’s father was the only man I ever called “Dad” by choice. Sometimes redefining is required.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Before I start this please know that it is not meant to offend. I have no issues with others belief systems - only how they choose to use them against other people. I believe in the right to religious freedom - in what I see to be the true meaning of the phrase. Everyone is free to worship (or not) how they see fit without forcing their beliefs upon others because those others are free to worship (or not) how they see fit. I think debate is healthy up to a point because we can learn something from one another. See each others point of view. Education is always a good thing. Unfortunately things turn nasty so quickly with topics such as these. Maybe because some of us are trying to convert each other - and we shouldn't be. It's too big a thing - you will almost certainly not make someone an Atheist or Christian or Pagan or any other religion over the internet or in any single conversation in person. It took me over ten years to transform from Christian to Agnostic to Atheist. And no one else did it for me. No one single argument from anyone pushed me in any single direction. People contributed - but by their natural actions. By simply being themselves. By the world being the way it is. But it was mostly my own thoughts and actions. My own questions and the answers I sought out for myself.
I was raised Christian - specifically Baptist. I went to Sunday school as a child and was the youngest person to be baptized at my church (at the time anyway, I haven't kept up with their records.). I went to a Christian camp when I was young and when I grew up I worked there for my first job.
I was thinking about that job today - more specifically leaving it. I was sixteen years old and it was midsummer. I was stressed, anxious and depressed. My job was working in the kitchen and my mental health was not conducive to hanging around sharp objects all day. I was worried about myself and I felt it best to remove myself from the situation. So I let the director know I was quitting. I couldn't give notice, I was sorry. I don't remember what I told him was the reason for my leaving - I know it wasn't the truth. I was told that the two directors wanted to say good-bye to me and as I'd worked there for about two years that seemed normal so I went into one of the offices. They sat me down and one sitting, one standing they proceeded to tell me that I was a slut and a whore for the amount of time I spent with my boyfriend, including spending the night (supervised) at his house. They told me that my character was flawed, I wasn't a good person and I wouldn't amount to anything in life because I was raised without a father. They also said some stuff about my mother. Two grown men lied to get a sixteen year old girl into their office so that they could berate her. And why? Because she quit without notice.
This is what started the change for me. Two Christian men running a Christian camp and acting very un-Christlike. No one with a witty comment or a bible verse or a well thought out point would have done it. No internet argument or in person debate would have changed my life enough to make me rethink where I wanted to place my faith. And even with this turning point, as I said it took over ten years for me to change completely from Theist to Atheist. I think if you want to have a theological discussion, that's fine. Even encouraged. But be smart about it. Be kind and respectful and be educational. Don't beat people over the head with your beliefs because they need their own change, their own turning point for a new belief system - if it ever comes. I always had questions, but I wasn't looking to change. Change found me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I've been planning this tattoo for a couple of years and finally got it a couple of weeks ago. It is in memory of my father-in-law who passed away about five years ago in a motorcycle accident. The chess piece is because the first time I spent quality time with him was when he taught me how to play chess - I was sixteen and my husband (then boyfriend) was away at either basic training or tech school. The Knight is because that's what he was to me. He was the only person I called "Dad" by choice and the only person I ever felt filled that role for me. He was also the only person I've ever had a close relationship with who I can say with no hesitation never hurt me. Maybe if he had lived, he would have one day. But I don't think so. He surely wasn't perfect - nobody is perfect. But in my life, in my experiences - he was as close as they got. He knew who I was and what I was like. He knew the things that were wrong with me and he never thought that that's what it was - something wrong. That I needed fixing in that sort of sense.
   I came from a family that is filled with hateful, selfish, cruel, abusive, petty and just generally unlikable people. And they live. I've never heard of anyone disliking my father-in-law. Not in the sense that he passed away and everyone said nice things about him - that sort of thing always happens. Even when he was alive everyone liked the person he was. These parts of life I cannot come to terms with. These kinds of accidents I do not understand.