I'm not sure why I never pushed publish on this post. Maybe I just wasn't in the right place or felt too vulnerable. At any rate, I'm publishing it now. It's a little incomplete, but I'm honestly not sure how to finish it, or how exactly I feel about it even today.
Today I am as anxious as I was when I wrote this. Today, I'm grasping at thin air for answers that don't exist. Today, I wish there were an easy way out.
2015 - Gay Marriage Legalized, Starbucks Launched War on Christmas
Last night I paced around my room. I sat uncomfortably on the edge of my bed. I went out into the cold and stared at the sky. I smoked a cigarette. I paced some more. I petted my dog. I repeatedly hit refresh on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
My mind was racing. I was uncomfortable in my skin. I felt out of place. I felt like I didn't belong. I wondered why we don't have suicide booths on the streets like they do in Futurama. It seems like such a civilized way to handle the problem.
They come out of nowhere, and they come out of everywhere. Triggers. I don't like the word. It's tough to define. They're tough to identify.
Last night I was feeling anxious. I've started taking a half dose of Klonopin at bed time and a half dose in the morning. The thinking is this will even out some of the anxiety more consistently around the clock. I don't think it really helps. I'm still just anxious. When I'm anxious and I can't bring myself to count backward in threes from 100, or sit and meditate (I know that's what I'm supposed to do, but I can't always do it), I will obsessively refresh Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds, hoping to find distraction. Often I find it in a news article or an absurd pet video or something. Sometimes though, it has a negative effect.
Several stories came up from different people about how Starbucks is staging war on Christianity. Heaven forbid they serve coffee in a red cup with no baubles on it. Another set of stories that seemed to pop up repeatedly was about the Mormon Church and it's new stance on LGBT policy.
I read a couple of articles about the new red cups at Starbucks. The whole thing seems so ridiculous to me. I honestly don't think anyone is waging war on Christmas, or more specifically Christians, but whatever. People will believe what they want to.
More disturbing to me was when I moved on to a couple of articles about the policy changes regarding LGBT marriage policy from the Mormon Church. I was surprised to find that the whole topic made me sad, and brought up so many feelings about my lack of worth as a person as well as the years of shame that I have felt over my relationship (or lack thereof) with the Church.
One of the topics specifically discussed is that children of LGBT couples cannot be baptized until they are legal adults, and at that time, they must express that they understand that homosexual relationships are sinful. It is explicitly stated however that children are always welcome at any Church activity or service, including Primary.
I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly how to express the feelings that come up around this subject. I'm trying to put myself into the place of a child, active in the Church, and yet being singled out as not allowed to "join" the Church. The expectation and established process is that when you turn 8 years old, you are baptized, confirmed, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and thus become a full fledged "member of the Church."
I guess this topic hits a specific, personal chord with me, as I remember very clearly what it was like in the last few months of being seven years old. According to everything I'd ever been told, I would be baptized at eight years old. All of my sins up to that point would be washed clean and I would then be held personally responsible for my sins from that time forward. As my eighth birthday came closer, I became more anxious. Then my eighth birthday came and passed. I'm not certain of the exact circumstances, but for some reason, my baptism was not scheduled for my eighth birthday. I think it had to do with the fact that my parents were nearing divorce, but I can't be sure.
I was eight years old. I was not baptized. I didn't get confirmed. I didn't get the gift of the Holy Ghost. I felt lost. I was scared. Something had gone wrong and I wasn't good enough to become a member of the Church. These feelings started as soon as I turned eight years old. Now, to be fair, I was baptized a short time later. I can't remember if it was days or weeks, but I do know that I spent the entirety of the time between my eighth birthday and my baptism in utter terror and anxiety.
So, here I was, a child that had been born into and raised in the Church. In my child's brain, I had done something wrong. It didn't go the way that it was supposed to go, and I was devastated. Now, let's consider a child that is also going to Church, but happens to have an LGBT parent. Who is going to take that child aside before they turn eight and explain to them that even though every other kid around them that is turning eight and being baptized, but they can't. How does that sit in a young kid's mind?
I understand that the church is protecting its legal interests, and that there probably won't be that many people that this actually affects, but for the few that it does, I'm sorry. It's a shitty position to be put in.
For support surrounding LGBT issues and the LDS Church, visit www.mormonsbuildingbridges.or