Religion’s First Impact on Me

When I was a little girl, the idea of hell was a very scary place, and I was directed to pray each night before I went to bed.  I tried very hard to be a good Christian when I was entered into the Catholic school system at the age of 8.  As I grew up I was given every opportunity to ask questions, read any book I wanted, and ultimately given freedom with my personal spirituality.

When I was 14, I openly became agnostic, which evolved to atheism as a late teenager.  As an atheist religion has always been a secret fascination of mine.  I first read ” A Skeleton in God’s Closet” when I was in high school which just blew my mind.  Although it was fiction, it had an unsettling way of ending right where it should have began, it ended with religion being the only answer and all the evidence that riveted me to the contrary in the elaborate hoax.  I realize it is a very cut and dry summation but its meaningful also because it is the last fictional book that I have purchased. This book had such a major impact on the reading material I have chosen from there on in.

As well there are some amazing writers out there who have opened my eyes to the possibility that what the faithful wanted to be a hoax, in the novel above, could actually be a reality.  For example, “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail”, which predates any of the fiction that Dan Brown has written.  I truly am of the opinion that each book you read leaves a little bit inside that shapes your reality going forward. I want to be shaped by factual research and well written material and not some dribble about vampires or wizards.

Once I switched to non-fiction the pieces of the puzzle which religion tried to answer for me, were finally answered, by the ironic lack of it.  As a girl trying to be the best Christian I could, I was always trying to please this invisible being. I was constantly seeking signs and reassurances that I was on the correct path in life.  I would find signs in nature, my food, the weather, really anything.  The weird thing was when religion was finally absent from my life, I realized that the only person I needed to please was me.  The idea that I am the only judge and jury of how I live my life, and how I appear to the people I surround myself with has been my own personal salvation.

Religion has caused incredible harm, and bloodshed throughout our history, but unless we research and learn from our past mistakes we are doomed to repeat this cycle and raise children who do not look to themselves or their parents for answers, but rather turn to some invisible being.  I know who I want to raise my children, and it is not the voices in their heads or some pious male preaching at church.  Making mistakes is not sin, it is part of being human, what you learn from those mistakes is the real value to your humanity.

The Womanizing Male on our TV

For the last few years we have seen a gradual shift in the media and the goings on of the average male.  Now I am not the most up to date on celebrity gossip, however I know that we are living in a world where cheating men make headlines.  And the frequency is ever increasing, we as a society are fascinated by these womanizers.  There is rarely a day when we do not hear of the mistresses of Tiger Woods, or the child of Arnold and his housekeeper.  These men are socially tried and convicted in the eyes of the populous.  It is portrayed as scandalous, shameful, and we tisk about how they could do that to their families, etc.

On the other hand, isn’t it interesting how a womanizer on TV in this fictional world is glorified?  For example, Mad Men, Californication and Nip/Tuck are a few series where the men are complete users of woman, yet loved by almost all?  This dichotomy of the real and fictional male and our reactions to them.  The real life politician cheating on his wife, deplorable! The fictional writer who has to break up with three woman at once, hilarious.  Why is there an underlying love of the character, but the real life situation is scary?  Does the real life just hit a little too close to home?

How many relationships have not been plagued by some sort of indiscretion? Some mis-understanding or plain outright nookie on the side?  I would argue that there are almost none where this underlying human urge does not take over at one time or another.  How as a society do we bridge that gap between what happens in real life, and the sheer entertainment value of the exact same scenarios on TV.  People are not evil for being that which makes us human.  Our sexuality and desire to be attractive plays a huge role in that.

Woman love to hate the womanizer on our prime time, and hate to love the man sleeping on the couch.  The parallels are there, and they are real whether society wants to admit it or not.  But individuals need to start recognizing the similarities and learn to find peace and happiness from just living and loving the best we possibly can.

Happily Ever After…?

When I was a little girl I always dreamed of falling in love and getting married.  I don’t think I understood what marriage really was, but I knew I wanted to wear a wedding dress and have the ring.  The odd part was that all through my teens I was convinced that I did not want children, and being an only child I really put my mom through the ringer with that.  Now in my mid 20’s my views have almost flipped completely.  I want children, and a family but perhaps not the whole marriage part? Getting married is a confusing topic in my little coconut, especially when divorce is almost guaranteed and costs a flipping fortune.

I worked with a woman who would joke that her husband and her signed a 25 year contract when they got married. At the end of the 25 years they could renew for an additional 25 years or they could both go their separate ways.  Thinking outside the box like that really makes a lot of sense in this day and age.  25 years together would ensure that their children grow up with stability and security, but that the adults could still be adults when all was said and done.

I was engaged for 4 months, and my personal experience was that the fairy tale of getting married was much more pleasant than the reality. And of course the amount of work and money involved in the whole process seemed unnecessary.  The cards are stacked against marriage, a small fortune to get in, and a large fortune to get out.  The moral, in plain black and white, don’t get married.

But there is that fairy tale aspect, that little girls dream to be a princess for one day, and get carried off by prince charming and live happily ever after.  From an emotional standpoint I know first hand how frustrating it was living my teen years with unmarried parents.  It felt like our house was less secure and stable somehow.  Also I had the last name of my biological father and not that of my step dad which I think played towards the lost sense of belonging at times.  That sense of what family meant for my friends versus what I had seemed different especially on paper.

The idea of marriage is one that I am very curious what I will end up deciding in a few years.  I know the emotional ties to it, and I am well aware of the black and white reality for the institution.  Also I vividly know that trapped feeling when I was planning my own and I am not sure I can entirely rule out that it was not for more reasons than just the wrong man.  Perhaps the only answer is small little contracts of time, with agreed upon renewal dates where ever children come into play.  If no children, just live and enjoy who you are with for as long as it works for both parties then end things regret free with a mind full of knowledge and memories.

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My Experience In Monogamy

I gave my best shot at an 8 year long monogamous happily ever after type relationship.  The house, the ring, the dog and cat, and the future of children all with one man.  I should point out that the man loved me in his own way, and that was made even more apparent after I ended things, but back to the point.  He was strong, intimidating, opinionated, and a very sociable male.  I slowly turned into a woman who no longer felt attractive and free, but rather just a woman on a pedestal whose life was turning into that of woman in the 50’s.

Let me explain, we had many mutual friends and friends of friends which happens when you are together that long.  Each and everyone of them was afraid of flirting or taking anything too far with me for fear that the ex would “kill” them (melodramatic I know).  I was only around these same men, over and over with absolutely bare minimum attention from anyone, and in public even less from the man I was with.  So I had to make the first move to get that ego boost with these men.  I was not looking to cheat, just to get a high that flirting gives.  That adrenaline burst,  or better put, that rush and excitement.

I found myself in compromising positions that I initiated and the guilt and remorse that followed was unbelievable, but the longer I went without that rush the worse I felt.  Well lets just say I ended things around year 7 to chase what I needed and keep myself from “cheating”.  I was getting that much needed attentiveness and kindness from a male friend who was not a fan of the ex.  It was exhilarating to have something new, something fresh, someone seeing you with whole new eyes.  However shortly afterwards the ex and I got back together, but inevitably ended things a year later, permanently.

It took me a long time to add everything up about why that relationship failed so miserably.  He was jealous every time I was alone or slightly flirty with any other male resulting in my complete isolation.  The only male giving me affection was him, and he was bad at it.  The self esteem and confidence was being replaced by an emotionally starved stranger whom I hardly recognized in the mirror. And I now know why.  Men and woman need that extra in life, that something new, fresh and exciting.  It also strengthens and keeps fresh that love you have at home.  That love that I am missing terribly right now.

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Love’s Place Outside Monogamy



The only person’s frame of reference I have for not living in the cookie cutter form of monogamy is my own.  Oddly there is little female perspective on the subject and even less free of biases with regard to religion or social influences.  So here I am trying to stumble through in my own way finding love outside of monogamy.

I can tell you the exact moment when things went downhill in the relationship I currently am aching over and what I have learned moving forward.  At about month 9 or 10 I said late into the evening “I Love You”.  It was the first time, so of course there was absolutely no expectation.   However I did say it again a few weeks later, which lead to a discussion between the two of us, whereupon I was told that he wants to keep things simple and that his focus needs to be towards his education.  After a few more weeks of various other tangents playing upon this base my brain started overworking.

I started feeling jealousy and it turns out there was a chick that was flirting with him via text.  I became even more jealous and started fixating on the relationship and how to fix it, rather than enjoying it, while said  jealousy was taking over.  The bottom line that comes from all of this?  For a female to truly be able to enjoy this lifestyle with one main partner, there must be a mutual basis of love and respect, at least in my humble opinion.

This alleviates many problems in the emotional realm for both the female and in part the male.  If two people can open up, be loving, supportive and a partner for the other sex, it is so easy to want the most and best for each other.  The jealousy is easier to overcome as there is a solid base for the two main parties.  In the respect level, there is a trust that the other person will always want to protect both themselves and their main partner.

We are a complicated species and each individual wants different things within the framework of our society.  I have learned from failure that there is a formula that will work for me within an open relationship.  I want my rock to come home to, but I want to be free to flirt and meet new people in all possible ways.  It is really important to find a way to keep jealousy out of the equation as I have just experienced, it is a killer of relationships.

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