Blogger Land

Here in blogger land, people say the darndest things.

And that’s just the comments.

Recently I was lambasted for a post about a church meeting I had attended. The experience got under my skin, so I blogged about it. I was called, by several people, “shrill, unhealthy and bitter.”

Okay, let’s do a little experiment. Click on this link right here. Now as you can see, Jennifer Lopez does not look happy. Maybe she accidentally swallowed her gum. But does this photo indicate her entire persona, her monumental mood and countenance??? Hm, perhaps not .

So how can people assume that I am always bitter, angry or ‘unhealthy’ based on my posts, a tiny small slice of my life, my thoughts and who I am? Now, I am going to re-post something that I posted about 8 months ago. Keep in mind that lately, I have been exposed to many people leaving the Mormon Church. Although their bitterness does not have to be mine, when you hear the stories of so many people wronged, it can get to you. Here’s where I was 8 months ago. And yes, I wrote it in purple. I liked color back then. A lot of things have changed that I don’t like, so I’m gonna start with adding color. Sorry, I digress…

September 11, 2006

I want to talk a little about religion.

I attend a group called RTG, which stands for Religious Transition Group. It is a nice way of saying ‘we are a bunch of apostates seeking support from each other because we have left the Fold of the Mormon church’. In a nutshell.

I have been more active in this group as of late; not because I necessarily feel as though I need support. I don’t. But these are damn nice people, and we do have one thing in common: at one time or another, we were all Mormon. Not only is that a tie that binds strongly WITHIN the Mormon faith, it binds people inextricably outside of it as well. As we all conversed last night at a friendly BBQ, the subject of Mormonism invariably reared its head. I don’t mind; I learn a lot from these folks because, quite frankly, they bothered to investigate and find reasons to leave their faith. I did not seek out to discredit the Church when I left; I simply…upgraded my beliefs, and they no longer fit within the parameters of an organized religion. But many people feel a need to discredit what they no longer believe; I suppose they do this as a means to justify to some extent why they no longer believe as they once did. Either justify it to themselves, or the hovering masses of family and friends that frantically try to bring them back to the Fold. I have no problem with that either way. That’s their choice.

On the subject of choice, I want to bring up some things. Some people believe that ‘they had no choice’ but to do, act, say, and live their religion. They even go so far as to say the reasons some of their families, friends and spouses still believe, is that they have ‘no choice.’ I disagree. I think we all have a choice in what we decide to practice. I don’t care if your were born, raised and bred in the Church, you have a choice. Now, if you were raised in a community that truly had no other thought forms, ideologies or paradigms, then I might be able to buy that there is no choice. But here in Happy Valley, there are plenty of diverse schools of thought from which to choose.

I suppose it is difficult to own the fact that for ____years, you believed in something in which you no longer profess. It almost seems like a waste of time and energy, not to mention that 10%, eh? All of those years, instead of learning about fine wine, sleeping in on Sundays and saving the 10% for your kid’s college, you spent it, no, wasted it on a religion. It almost smacks of making…a mistake.

Is that why so many feel the need to discredit it? Because if the Church is WRONG, then they were duped; they didn’t make a mistake. They are a victim of the lie told in the world in which they lived; now, they are coming out of the fog in order to find their own light. Problem is, instead of finding their own light, there is a pervasive sense of anger and discontent at the fact that they had been duped in the first place, and others are being duped. What would it look like if we used our energy to find our own light, our own way instead of attempting to vilify everyone else’s beliefs?

I have been entrenched in the anger and bitterness for a couple of months now. I like where I was before, when I wrote this post. So now, I know where I want to be. And that, ladies and gents, is just a small slice of who I am. I do other stuff, like cook for my family, play baseball with my son, play Legos, watch movies, clean. I am more than what you read, so stop taking the ‘snapshots’ of me so god damned literally and lighten up, will ya? Or sod off; either one.


repost from Ravings of a Mad Woman Blog


My name is JulieAnn Henneman. I am an author living in Draper, Utah. My first novel, 2000 dollar loan online. Always Listen to the Ravings of a Mad Woman: a Story of Sex, Porn and Postum in the Land of Zion, is a fictional story about a suburban Mormon housewife who discovers that her husband of 17 years is a sex and pornography addict. I am also a poet and enjoy writing short stories with an erotic bent. You can find my poetry online, and probably some erotic shorts. I will be performing my poetry in the Utah Arts Festival this year, among other venues. I was born and raised in the LDS faith and left several times throughout my life; however, I left for good in 1995. Currently, I am a full-time writer and parent. Beginning next month, I will reprise my role as a creative writing workshop facilitator for Art Access of Utah. Through Art Access, I teach creative writing workshops to adults and teens with disabilities and addiction issues. Oh, and I really, really love coffee.

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4 Responses

  1. Phoebe says:

    “shrill, unhealthy and bitter”

    Yawn. I really am tired of those words.

    Oh, by the way, I am an “angry and bitter” person. This is because that’s how I feel when I encounter institutionalized bigotry, homophobia and misogyny. I don’t know what happens — everytime I encounter this I get angry. And because this anger makes me unpleasant to those who uphold institutionalized bigotry,homophobia and mysogyny, then I leave a “bitter” aftertaste in those people’s mouths when I’ve spoken out against it.
    Oh, and because I’m a woman, that makes me shrill. I supposed if I were a man who vocalized my protests against institutionalized hate speech, I would be considered “outspoken,” perhaps? Never shrill, unless, of course, I were a gay man.

    Oh, and in-between those times I am angry, bitter and shrill, I work for compassion, inclusion, harmony, and loud laughter with other people I come into contact with who are open to such things.

  2. JulieAnn says:

    I hear ya Phoebs. My ex-husband used to denigrate me for talking on the phone to my sister; see, our conversations were not important, we were “gabbbing”. Why don’t men “gab?” MEN converse. I get so sick of the obvious way in which our culture demeans women. Words like bitchy, shrill, gossipy, yapping, gabbing…all of these words are derogatory adjectives that are hardly ever used for men. Men converse; men assert; men gesticulate. I am not bashing men here; it certainly isn’t their fault per se. What I’m doing is I am trying to create an awareness about how our language reflects out paradigms and attitudes about women in our society. We still have a long way to go. Women’s interactions, opinions and attitudes are still viewed as less than important and superfluous. Hope I don’t sound “shrill” and “bitchy” when I calmly and intelligently state my observations and opinions. (LOL)

  3. Hellmut says:

    I am sorry we are frustrating you, Julie Ann. Keep working with us.

    In my opinion, you are fundamentally correct. On the other hand, even when we lack propriety our experience is still “real.” Domination often operates on a functional rather than strategic level, which means that the participants in those rituals are not aware of the consequences of their actions. They are simply executing the scripts that the institutions provide.

    I realize that I am spouting mumbo jumbo and apologize for communicating so poorly. I hope that readers who tolerate my incapacity will be able to benefit from this thought nonetheless.

  4. JulieAnn says:

    I see what you’re saying and I agree. Again, in creating awareness perhaps we can effect change.

    Mumbo-jumbo? Silly, rabbit…you communicate wonderfully.