I Live In A World

I was going to write a post about encouragement but then I saw the Mandela movie and I am now too riled with anger to deal with my emotions. So I will write about encouragement tomorrow and try and articulate my rage today. I will be writing a calm and hopefully eloquent piece on the need for unity when seeking civil rights soon, but this is not that piece. 

I live in a world of calm down. I live in a world where anger is not acceptable. I live in a world of not rocking the boat. Of moving on. Of getting over it. Of shutting up. I live in a world where legitimate anger is equated with hate and the concept of equality means that oppressive damaging bullshit stances must be given equal time and respect as the need for basic human rights for all people.

I live in a world that has forgotten its history. I live in a world that is so “post-oppression” that it cannot bear to admit the inequalities its people still face. I live in a world that shrugs off the past. I live in a world in which the fear of losing power incites violence and misinformation and pain. I live in a world where the pain of being oppressed is equated to the pain of having your privilege pointed out.

I live in a world that equates the feminist movement to Nazism. I live in a world that tells me that my “heterophobia”  is wrong.  I live in a world in which it is unacceptable to be overweight. I live in a world where teachers are legally fired for being gay. I live in a world where hospitalised trans* people are not shown basic compassion. I live in a world where any discussion of women’s rights is derailed with “What about the men?” I live in a world where I cannot report the crimes of my rapist. I live in a world where I have multiple friends who have been sexually assaulted and didn’t even know that saying no was an option.

I live in a world where unarmed people of colour are shot in the head and their killers go free. I live in a world where holding the hand of a member of the same sex can get you put in jail. I live in a world that offers scholarships to oppressed groups and then gives them to “allies” i.e. cishet white people. I live in a world where people make Powerpoints on Tumblr to defend their racism. I live in a world where MRAs exist. I live in a world where Coca Cola will make an ad with a same sex couple in it and then cut the scene before it goes on air.

I live in a world where I fight only with words and yet am seen as the enemy.

And you have the audacity to tell me that my anger is not legitimate? You have the nerve to tell me to calm down?

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22, ESV)

I live in a world that I have forgiven. I live in a world that I will again forgive. But its mistakes, its injustices, its past – I will not forget.

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Some Scripture

Everything hurts. My hips. My stomach. My head. And I have an overwhelming urge to cry but am physically unable to and also have no legitimate reason to cry except for bus sadness, which is to say, random sadness for no reason. And even though it is not working in terms of improving my emotions, I want scripture to make me appreciate the joy and opportunity that the Lord provides me. And I don’t want to deal with it. But I want to want to deal with it. 

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD,
who has compassion on you.
Isaisah 54:10 

More Than Just Core (And Life Updates)

Life updates first. 

  1. I am employed! I start summer camp on Tuesday. Huzzah!
  2. I am still almost constantly tired. Honestly, I should be able to get through one shower without having to sit down. Boo.
  3. My jaw hurts which means I really should go to the dentist. Boo.
  4. My lovely sister no longer lives in our house, but a different house two miles away. I remain a home bird for life. 
  5. I am officially going to see Amanda Palmer in July, courtesy of my beautiful friends. 
  6. My tights were ripped yesterday via thigh friction. I am nil impressed and also more motivated to not eat cake for breakfast anymore. 
  7. My beautiful boyfriend got me an iPod which I had to promise not to put in the washing machine/water damage through storing it in my sports bra/lose.
  8. I am running around 10 miles a week. And by run, I mean walk/run. But I’ll take it.
  9. I can’t think of something for this one, but I want a nice even number 010 for this segment.
  10. I joined my friend Melody’s six week ab challenge which she started to raise money for the ALS Association. Check out the details here

I met Melody through my church when we both volunteered at the Rape Crisis centre. I’m a nursing student, she’s a med student, we had a lot to talk about. So help me support her cause and work on our collective abdominal muscles 🙂

On Having Existential Crises

Currently, I am doing research for an article that I am writing for Gaelick. In it, I am trying to decipher the effect that being a member of an organised religion has on your association with the LGBTQ community, be you LGBTQ or an ally.

Growing up, I had started questioning Catholicism around the age of 10 or 11. I stuck with it until I was about 14 and then distinctly remember uttering the sentence: “Well the Church hates gay people and I can’t agree with that so I won’t be a Catholic anymore.” From this declaration onwards, I have not been a member of an organised religion.

Many seem to share a similar experience. Others still have been able to reconcile their differences with their spiritual organisations and that is what I will be delving into in my article so will subtly segue away from the that topic now.

These days, I discuss religion with the calm and dissociated interest of a scientist watching bacteria reproduce: something I like to observe and discuss but that is not necessarily of personal concern. Between my 14 year old assertion that religion was bullshit and my calm research of today, there was the 6 years in between, in which I alternated between yelling “You can’t go to Hell…because there’s no God!”, becoming a paranoid mess who was convinced God was going to smite me at every turn (this lasted for a solid 6 months and was absolutely horrifying. I didn’t relax or sleep right for half a year) and doing the whole 12 Step thing until I was so wracked with guilt that I decided it wasn’t worth it. I have explored Buddhism, which makes the most sense of any religion I have researched. I have read extensively on Wicca. I have researched Anglicanism and Paganism. I have read large chunks of the Bible. Its been quite the journey. And what makes me so agnostic at the end of the day is the fact that I am queer. A big ol’ feminist, sex positive, queer. Who swears a lot.

So I have not reconciled my sexuality and spirituality. Andrew theorises that I might never find something that I will not question parts of. Apparently, it makes me interesting. I’ll take that.

Shit Just Got Real

Monday will mark my third week of Overeaters Anonymous. That’s right, kids, I’m in a 12 step programme. Whilst therapy and my doctors have helped me make huge strides in my recovery over the last year, I felt there was still something missing. So I am currently going to online meetings, talking with my sponsor and working the steps to break free from this “spiritual malady.”

Spirituality is a hard concept for me to swallow. A self confessed atheist for about 8 years, it was this part of the program that I knew would cause me the most trouble.
I don’t know when this changed exactly, there was no “eureka” moment per se. But I feel there is something there. And I am finally start to trust in whatever that is.

I used to be afraid of God because of my fear and disdain for religion. When my morals clashed with that of the Catholic church, I believed that there was no place for me. And since I could only do what I felt is right, I cut myself away completely and depended solely on philosophy and science. My family is not strict Christian at all (my mom is a liberal Christian and my dad is agnostic) so I was always taught to be open minded and accepting of everyone. But like every other child in Ireland, religion and catechism is part of your school curriculum until you enter third level education. And the older I got, the more I found myself disagreeing with some of the principals of the Church (I particularly hate the homophobic nature of some Christians, as well as not seeing eye to eye about things like contraception, abortion, feminism, insert more liberal beliefs here….) It was all very black and white to me: I either was a catholic or I wasn’t. So I chose to not be.

I may not have been content in some areas of my life – my issues with relationships, my friendship problems, my self hatred and harm, my ED – but this was one thing I was certain about. Surely science would not fail me, even when it felt like everything else had.

Recently, my friend (full of alcohol and honesty) worried the hell out of me with some of her personal revelations, but instead of dwelling on it and trying to change her (which I know from past experience does not work) I put my trust that there was a reason for all this, that there was a bigger picture – yes, even that God will take care of what I am unable to. It is difficult to see your friend in distress and say no more than I love and support you. But I trust that that was all I, just one little girl in a big bad universe, could do.

I have no desire to return to my old church, and maybe I will never return to organised religion. But that does not mean I have to be without God. If I am meant to find a religion, God will guide me there. As regards my current confusion towards morality and sexuality, God will guide me. I know if I want to recover, I have to have this willingness.

I don’t know what I believe – or the where, how, why, who, when, of anything. All I know is that I am changing as a person. And that that is not necessarily a bad thing.