Monday, July 31, 2006

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I just heard Greenday's Wake Me Up When September Ends on the radio. Unfortunately, since I've moved all I can listen to music on is a small tv/radio combo that currently doesn't pick up any television stations so the quality isn't very good.

Given that this area has what is typically oppressive humidity during the summer and we've been in something of a heat wave, it's been tempting to sleep through a couple of weeks until cooler temperatures arrive. I won't get into a debate on the various merits of Greenday's music. At least when it comes to music, I realized fairly young that I'll listen to whatever I want and if that includes The Beatles twenty years after they were popular so be it. (Not that I am old enough to have listened to The Beatles when they were still recording music. Heck, John Lennon's assassination occurred three years after I was born.)

Now although it would be tempting to sleep so long, humans are not naturally hibernating creatures. Besides, the bar across the street from my apartment would probably wake me up late night in Mid-August.

But in a more metaphorical sense I have been sleeping for most of my life. Sleeping to the truth of the church, ignoring the nightmares when it came to questions of my own identity and just generally not being involved in the world at large.

Certainly, finding out the church wasn't the truth it claimed to be was a rude awakening, even if I'd lapsed into a comfortable agnosticism for many years and had become inactive. Do you ever why the church simply can't remove members who no longer attend rather than trying to reactivate them? It'd be so much easier on everyone. I don't know if our names are still on roles in Salt Lake somewhere included in their boasting or not. It's simply not that important to me. Everyone who does the research knows the church's numbers are about 1/3rd of the twelve million people it claims.

I must admit the temptation to quote the horrible Dune movie here is overwhelming Fortunately, I'll spare you. If you've seen the version that came out in the early 1980's you know how lame it is. If you haven't, just read the book. It's a more rewarding experience. But usually sometime in early adulthood our internal sleeper does awaken and we find ourselves confronting questions about religion, sexuality, our place in the universe, and what if any, is our purpose in life.

It's a confusing process and I must say for me it occurred somewhat later than it should have for others. Whether this is common for Mormons in general or whether I'm just a late bloomer, I can't really say. Certainly there were some denial issues.

Apparently I had to deal and still deal with my own equivalent of internalized homophobia. I didn't want to admit I had issues simply because I didn't want to be part of what was considered the 'queer' community.

I'm not sure what to do about this sort of self-hatred unfortunately. It still exists within me. Perhaps bringing it up in counseling might bring about some sort of direction in fixing the problem if that is at all possible. At least I know I am not alone in this. Religion tends to foster this sort of guilt in people the fundamentalist denominations feel need “fixed” in someway. And such denominations usually have snake oil salesman willing to try to sell people their Jesus as the magical cure all.

I know therapy can bring some people with gender issues to the point of being able to deal with it, but with like many other mental conditions, it's not a cure it's simply learning to deal with an existing condition, like I've learned to deal or not deal with my Avoidant Personality Disorder.


At Tue Aug 01, 03:57:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Joseph's Left One said...

I really liked this post. I have a lot to come to grips with, as well, not just Mormonism. Life is like that: confusing, painful, and sometimes even good.

At Tue Aug 01, 06:55:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Unknown said...

The hardest thing I have come to grips with is sexuality--sex is bad mentality. I still deal with it. :-)

At Tue Aug 01, 07:43:00 PM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

I think all Mormons and Former Mormons deal with that. It amazes me that the birth rate among the church isn't declining. :)

At Tue Aug 01, 09:24:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Gunner said...

My wife still is rather "shy" about certain things sexualy. It has taken 15 years for her to "enjoy" herself.

At Wed Aug 02, 09:57:00 AM 2006 , Blogger Colleen said...

I sympathize with you. The guilt is palpable, though I imagine even moreso with Mormonism because of the strong sense of community that I think develops there.


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