Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Joke Was On Me (Part Two)

For those who may find my strong or direct language offensive or "unChristian"...please, grow up, and stop placing your expectation of what Christianity should look like on everyone else. Expectations usually lead to disappointment. Some of us don't care about plastic and useless fruit. One thing I never, ever, want to be accused of is being a phony, and I'm not gonna slap a bunch of plastic Christianese on what I'm writing just to make it appear more Christian-esque. It's an ugly experience, and I'm not gonna expend my energy polishing poop that, no matter how vigorously I work at polishing and shining it up, at the end of the day, it's still poop.

Just to clear up a small (or maybe large) detail of the story...I never agreed to any kind of "courtship". I thought it was an overwhelmingly stupid way to go about a relationship between responsible (hopefully) adults. There were certain things I tolerated for HER sake, as I had ceased to care what did and didn't make her father's tail hurt (southern expression there). To me, our relationship was about me, her, and God. I wasn't keen on, or willing to allow, an unwanted and uninvited party to join in the festivities or try to muscle his or her way in. Any person beyond me, her, and God, was one person too many as far as I was concerned. I don't think I'm in the wrong in feeling that way - biblically, morally, socially, or by any other measure. I didn't then, and I certainly don't now.

To pick back up with the story following the infamous email from her father...

It took me a little while to cool off. I'd never even HEARD of something so bizarre and stunted. I literally wanted to grab the man by his ankles and bounce his knobby head off of every wall in the room. Here are a few excerpts (this email was about a month after his "no calling every day" talk)...

How are things going in your world?   We are moving forward but not without our trials along the way.
I wanted to present to you some observations over the past 30 days for you to consider.  I have watched, observed, and listened as you and **** have been "getting acquainted" these past few weeks.  I keep hearing reports of you saying things like:
"When we get married..."
"It's just a matter of time until we marry"
I must confess to being surprised at hearing such things as I haven't heard a word from you about any of this yet.  It is customary for a young man to seek the permission of the father to marry his daugher.........after a lenghty getting acquainted period.
If you look at the time line thus far - things are moving quicker than I'm comfortable with and I was more than a bit alarmed when **** **** walked up to **** and I in the D.R. and delivered the message to **** from Lewis to "say hello to his future wife".  I'm the father and I've heard nothing of this yet.  Where I come from, that's not the accepted order of events.

Uggh. The episode he's referring to is this - The person he's referencing is the liason of Compassion International to the genre of Christian music I was involved in. The man I used to work for had introduced him to my ex's family, thinking it (CI) would be something good for them to become involved in. She, along with her father and one of her sisters, went along on a 3 day trip to the Dominican Republic with Compassion. About a week prior to this trip, the artist I performed with had done a concert event for Compassion, and knowing the liason well, I told him to be sure to tell my then girlfriend and now ex "hello" for me. As we talked a bit about the relationship, I told him that we both believed it could eventually lead to marriage and so on. I was pretty sure that I wanted to marry her at some point, and there was no need to hide that. On the actual trip, he wanted to tease her just a bit, so he added the "future wife" part to the requested "hello". Completely innocent and completely harmless. 

Not to mention, as I said in the last post, it was HER doing the vast majority of talking about marriage and introducing it into conversation. Not me. And, I didn't see a problem with that. If she wanted to talk about it, she was a grown woman in her mid 20s, and I'd freely engage in the conversation with her.

For the record, I saw the Compassion guy again the week after I received this email, I asked him about the trip, and told him about this email. He told me, "Lewis, I wasn't gonna say anything, but now I feel like I should tell you, he's an *hushed toned* asshole. Weeeiiiirrrrd man." His wife was standing next to him and said to me, "You should know, when we said that to her, her face completely lit up. She adores you. Don't sweat her father. He's weird." Several times over the course of this night, this gentleman's wife would walk past me, lean in, and whisper in my ear "She adores you. Don't forget that." 

More from the email...

Having been in sales for years and familiar with the tactics of persuasion I believe that your repeated remarks to **** assuming that you and she will marry are premature and serve only to confuse her at this time.  According to ****, she can't say that she even loves you yet.  She likes you and thinks you are a great's not time for the the "M" word yet.  I believe it is presumptuous of you to keep dropping those suggestive hints in your conversations.

Still want to judge me for my desire to put a few pop-knots on the man's noggin?

I believe you've moved a bit quickly over the past 30 days. You are old enought to be her father... ...You must acknowledge that the age difference between you is on the edge of social acceptibility.  More often than not, the first reaction of any of our friends to **** friendship with you is negative.  He's too old, and other unquotables.  We know better because we know you but it doesn't change people's perceptions which is a measure of our culture and it's norms.
While I believe that your age difference is an obstacle that can be overcome, you need to consider the possibility that your enthusiasm of the past 30 days is a bit hasty and possibly overzealous.
I hope I have communicated clearly with you and would welcome a phone call if you want to discuss this further.  I wanted to give you some perspective to consider as you proceed.

I was fuming. I feel no guilt for that, nor should I. What a fool the man is. An emotionally, spiritually, and socially stunted fool. The problem with this guy was/is that he genuinely believed that EVERYONE in the Christian faith shared these stunted, apostate patriarchal views ("which is a measure of our culture and it's norms"), when only a small, miniscule, legalistic, fringe, and borderline crazy fraction of a faction actually does.

I knew my ex, probably better than any other human will ever know her, and I knew that this email would make her nervous. It did. Very nervous. My email in response was written for her. Not for him. It was truthful, but for her sake, I left out the parts of the truth that would've made life rougher for her. Instead of the "I'd like to get your weasel head in a vice-grip" truth, I responded with the "I'm not trying to go about our relationship in ways that bring discomfort" truth.

It all chewed on me constantly for a few days before I completely opened up to her about it all. I was honest with her about what I thought of it. I was honest with her that if her father desired any kind of relationship with me, that kind of thing could never happen again. She was worried that it would push me away from her. I assured her that there was no chance of that as long as she wasn't supportive of these kind of behaviors from her father. 

Over the next couple of weeks she began to open up to me about the home environment she had grown up in. Inaffectionate. Dark. Lots of depression. Extremely strict. Her father having threatened suicide on occasion. These were all her exact terms (and there were many more). While all of this was going on, another sister had become involved with a guy that daddy dearest didn't approve of, and daddy dearest had determined to make her life hell - not to mention one of the other sisters hacking in to this sister's private MySpace page to snoop on her correspondences with the guy. Just sickening. Like a dysfunctional alcoholic home. Religioholics. Total Imbiblers. Soon after, this other sister would be encouraged to go and hole up for several weeks with another group of like-minded Religioholics and patriarchal Imbiblers for a "prayer vigil" and to "hear from God". Miracle of miracles, she ALSO returned from her prayer vigil completely brainwashed and toeing the company line. Who'd have guessed? SA

Before long, an issue arose where the patriarchal authority of her father over her was being tested and strained. She, still very naive, and at this early point not ready to cling to me at the expense of all else, expected me to cede to his authority, to which I said, "No. It's weird, it's wrong, and I'm not doing it." I kept asking her why she was willing to give her parents control over the life of a grown woman, and she would respond, "But Lew, they've fed me and sheltered me and cared for me and clothed me!...I owe it to them to do things their way! I HAVE to do this their way!" Oh dear God how unhealthy and what a human tragedy that ANYONE would be in such emotional bondage. That almost makes me cry right now if I think about it too much. It probably would if I hadn't long ago expended all of my tears.

She begged me to talk these issues over with her father. For HER sake, and HER sake alone, I agreed to talk with her father. That phone call wasn't pretty. Lots of animated voices. Lots of yelling. You guys have heard me say that of the 10 dumbest things ever said to me, he has at least 8 of them? Well, probably a half-dozen came during the course of this phone call. It was topped off with this gem from his infinite, good-hearted wisdom...

"Lewis...Back in North Carolina, you may be Mr. Bigshot studio musician, everybody knows you and likes you! But out here? You're NOBODY! You're NOBODY! You're NOTHING!"

And it all came in a voice that most closely resembles Canteen Boy from Saturday Night Live in an excited state. And all because I dared to believe that two adults, both of the Christian faith, should be left alone to determine their future as lead by the Holy Spirit. 

The man is an ass. A restaurant-quality ass. With space-age polymers and hepa-filter technology and all that good stuff. Such an ass that he'd need Vince, the Sham-Wow guy, to adequately describe the depths of his assiness.

I got off of the phone with this dude just shaking. So angry. So hurt. And it was all so freakin stupid and senseless. This was like an episode of the Twilight Zone, and all of the characters were batcrap CRAZY. I won't lie to you. At that moment, I would've hurt him.

Later, as I spoke to her, I was still trying to process the bizarro world (on steroids) I'd just been introduced to, and she was crying. That hurt me so much for her. So much. I was already in love with her, and I wasn't gonna just leave her in this kind of mess without a fight. All I could tell her was, "Please just hold on, and please trust me. I'm gonna figure this out. I'm gonna work this out. Somehow. Just please hold on."

I'm often asked, "If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently?" The only answer I know to give is - how could I? If I could go back to the start with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, there are times I would've been gentler with her, no doubt. Not having the benefit of the knowledge that I have now, I was flying totally blind. I wasn't versed in the debris of spiritual or emotional abuse. I didn't know how it could so deeply wound the psyche and morally paralyze. All I could see was a group of people who would struggle with the most simple of concepts of right and wrong, people who were using cruel emotional leveraging on each other to manipulate and get their own way in things. It infuriated me, and I'm a fighter not given to compromise. Not that it would've changed the moral right and wrong of the situation, but I didn't understand or know the depth of the messed-up "why" behind everything. All I knew is that these people made me constantly feel like I needed a drink - and I'm not a drinker. Not yet, anyway.

Well, this is obviously gonna take more than two parts. Part Three coming soon.


  1. Thanks Lewis. All too familiar. Its weird. Suicide is a sin in that culture. Why would anyone who wanted to be taken seriously as a "spiritual authority" threaten that? It makes no sense, unless you look at it from the mind control, cultic, brainwashing that I lived through. I finally left my single mom's house at the age of 19 when she sat all seven of us down and made us agree that "If I killed you, god (small 'g') would wrap his wrath around me and things would be peachy keen."

    To this day, I have no freaking clue where that came from or what scripture she twisted to arrive at that conclusion.

    I can imagine you writing this. Sitting in your chair, your fingers flying faster and faster over the keys, getting an angry, but sad, choking lump in your throat. Your ears are throbbing, heart quickening its pace, hands begin to sweat, arm pits begin to itch. I know...I've been there.

    Another thing I have noticed is that the frequency of your posts have picked up pace? What does this mean? Has somebody from this sick whacked out past dared to try and confront the history of it all and twist it in their favor, at your expense? Or, is some sort of anniversary on the horizon that dredges up deep hurtful memories?

    Anyway. Press on. And one day, reveal this loser's name. I guarantee I know him.

  2. Another thing I have noticed is that the frequency of your posts have picked up pace? What does this mean? Has somebody from this sick whacked out past dared to try and confront the history of it all and twist it in their favor, at your expense? Or, is some sort of anniversary on the horizon that dredges up deep hurtful memories?

    I think my ex's crowd has crawled in their hole for good.

    The faster pace is probably the result of my turning to writing for refuge and release. Lots of life happening in my world in the last few months, and much of it unpleasant, combined with generous amounts of insomnia and more time to write. Writing has turned into my therapy. You're right about it being emotional. Everything I publish here is written in real-time. I sit down, don't get up until I'm finished, and hit "post". It can be a rollercoaster.

    Funny thing is, for every piece I publish here, there are probably 3 or 4 equally as long or longer, that I write that'll never see the light of day. Written only for an audience of me, I suppose, and probably for the best.

    As far as my former future father in-law's name, I could give a hint that anyone could get, but to save from being mean, I won't. It's pretty comical.

  3. Lewis if you are 42 and she is in her mid 20's how in the heck are you "old enough to be her father" unless you started procreating in your teens? What kind of sad sad man is he?

    Are you back to work in the studio? I've found that music salvages much that I believe to be lost.

    Luther says:

    My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.

    Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.
    Martin Luther

    Don't give up. There is a woman out there who will love you for all the right reasons, not for the one of running away from a horrible family situation.

  4. I still do studio work occasionally, but I'd like to get out of it. I'm just about all music(ed) out. I've been fortunate to do just about everything I've ever wanted to do in music, and a change in season is welcome.

    There's a 15 year age gap between us. I grappled with that a bit at first, but not from any kind of moral perspective or "what will people think" perspective. I'd always said "if I have to raise kids, I don't want one of them to be my wife", so being so drawn to her was a little startling.

  5. Oh, and the suicide thing...

    Even though he's the walking personification of an emotionally and mentally disturbed man, I think his threats of suicide were more for manipulative purposes. Pretty sick either way.

  6. Exactly how I saw the suicide threats. I don't even consider that he wanted to commit suicide. It IS a manipulative thing.

    In fact, I know a chick who just was allowed to get married at flippin' 40 after a 23 year courtship. She threatened to her brother that she was going to commit suicide during it, many times. He told his parents. They told him that it was due to his rebellious spirit.

    ROTFLOL! A part of me wants her to have offed herself just so it could be revealed what stupid-ass morons they were - more interested in stroking their worthless egos than protecting and nurturing a dynamic life.

  7. It must be an abuser thing to threaten their impending death....the cultic pastor had a new and improved life-threatening disease every would have "thunked" I would have figured it out when she didn't die after having three? four? cases of cancer...oh and learn and SPREAD THE WORD ABOUt ABUSERS' BEHAVIOR!!!!!!
    Thanks for being willing to share your pain Lewis.

  8. I feel like I walked into a conversation that's been talked about before and I'm missing a few pieces to the puzzle.. Get me up to date quickly? You married her and then they swiped her away? Is that correct? Just trying to get caught up here.

    Very creepy that a dad would have that much control over a grown daughter. :(

  9. Right on the brink of our ceremony was when they turned her...but, we were married in every way short of sexually or legalities as far as we both were concerned.

  10. Some of the backstory can be found in this post...

  11. ((((hugs)))) I'm so sorry!

  12. What torques me is when people like you, Sisterlisa, have never heard about this stuff. I'm not angry at you but direct the anger at myself. I grew up with it, lived it, believed it, and professed it, until reality of life slapped me in the face. I am so jealous of your ignorance of this "creepy" side of life.

    Yet, it is alive and well, being that the promoters have been doing it since the 1950's. The whole movement stemmed from a reaction to the free-love society that was prevalent after World War 2. The leaders, Billy Boy Gothard, et al, decided that all our problems in society stemmed from not recognizing true authority structures set up "clearly" in the bible. They rejected secular psychology and yet used exactly that to prove their case. They sandwiched unrelated verses of their bible to prove a philosophy that was CLEARLY fatal and stifling.

    Millions swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. Many, after trying, realized it was ass-onine and left it in a hurry. But, there are still a remnant (and that remnant is large and growing due to the "squirt out 10 pounds of controllable flesh every nine months" belief) of insecure blocks of people that believe every word of their leaders.

    Yes. I meant to say, "their leaders." This has nothing to do with religion or Jesus Christ. Sure, they pepper everything with religious crap, but it is a shell game that, once cracked, reveals a sick, twisted, mentality, that is built as a house of cards. Pull a card out and they will become unscrewed.

    I know. I've lived it. I still have friends in it. I watch life destroyed on a daily basis. I see unthinking sheepish 20 year old sons and 40 year old daughters still toeing the parental line.

    Enjoy your freedom.

  13. Déjà vu. A very familiar story. Daddy dearest . . . I have used this term myself. Nothing but a bunch of freak religious people who have no concept of the grace, love and mercy of God and his son - a perversion. Tell it, Lewis. The damage out there is vast and too many do not want to tell it - the truth is, they eat their own.

  14. Sick, sick, sick. What an arrogant idiot. I can't even... no words can cover what he is.
    I was on the fringes of this movement for little more than a year, but I got enough of a taste of it for this story to be all too familiar and real. Makes me want to throw up. It's all so bizarre.

  15. IC - Sisterlisa, has heared of this. She is just catching up on Lewis's story.

  16. Yeah. That wasn't my point. "Heard" is different than "lived". I wish I was her and just heard, rather than lived. As Charlie Sheen says "Winning!" (puke), my mantra is "Jealous!"

  17. Another thought: Isn't it funny how arrogance is the thing that just oozes from these men? Like, in our community, people who have had casual or business dealings with leadership/sometimes just other men from the cult next door are struck by how arrogant they are. And yet they preach humility. Over and over, they preach humility. That just means two things: a) "We should make sure to appear humble enough so as to manipulate people," (even though he fakery is enough to urn your stomach) and b) "When you're not submitting to me, you are a prideful sinner who needs to repent and come to humility."
    What a joke.

  18. Fascinating observation, Amy. That is exactly it. The unattainable righteousness these men wield over their subjects is to keep control over them, knowing that only they stand in the gap between God and spiritual sanity for all. They preach the utopia of humility and yet, in their harems, they are prideful, arrogant, pricks.

    Believe me, they train their sons to be the same, as well. While the women (daughters) have to be quiet in spirit, the sons can hop around wildly, pretending they are gay or whatever else comes to mind. Everything is off the table with boys and accepted as such.

    Don't even GET me started on what the wives are like.

  19. Amy...I think with my former future father in-law it was a mixture of both arrogance and ignorance. Arrogance in the sense of delighting in his real or perceived authority, and ignorance in that I think he genuinely believed that all Christians held the same goofy beliefs. When I challenged him, his response was overall defensive, but was a mixture of annoyance that I'd dare to venture into his turf, and confusion that someone would actually think they had a reason to venture into his turf. Crazy, karaizee stuff.

    As far as arrogance, wait until I bring HIS dad into the story. He's a piece of work. I think he may sit around and write hymns about himself, and I'm only half-joking.

  20. Lewis, I am so sorry you are still hurting. Wish I could take away the pain, brother.

    I can't believe how badly things have spun out of the range of healthy. When I started officially home schooling in the early '90s all this courtship/ patriarchy crap was just getting going. I just would never have believed that all these otherwise seemingly intelligent people would get sucked so far into the belly of the beast. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief!

  21. Thanks, ss...It'll probably be a lifelong hurt, but thankfully it's progressed from a crippling hurt to an inspiring one over the last year or so. I know that may sound strange to some people, particularly the types who think you need to just "move on" past everything, but the fact is, some things need to "move with" us as we move on for moving on to be truly healthy. This blog has been a lifesaver for me, allowing me to channel the hurt outward in such a way as it isn't wasted.

  22. When I read this, I have a lot of compassion for the struggle your girl friend must have gone through. I grew up in a family with similar expectations regarding courtship, and the truth is I would have been emotionally and psychologically incapable of marrying someone against my parents' wishes. I am married now, very happily, to a man I loved and that they did approve of-- so all's well that ends well, in a sense, for me at least. But I can just imagine how torn your girl friend must have been over this and wanted to say it made me feel very sympathetic towards her. The good news is, God will continue to work in her life and on all of us. There are so many past hurts we all need healing from-- and that we need His grace to even understand.

  23. Lewis...I can't believe he was complaining about how fast things were going. I have observed people courting in June...and married by the end of August. Some court for a only a few months, then get engaged. I just thought...that's how "they" did things. And could someone PLEASE explain to me WHY people congratulate a couple who is courting? It's not like they are engaged yet. Suppose things don't work out?

  24. I never did figure out all of the intricate inner-workings of the "why" behind so much of this stuff, Angie. I just proudly wore my "What the...?!" bubble above my head ;)

  25. Oh, I remember the "for MY sake, please!" Begging my boyfriend to just make it through and please my dad. I'm so glad I never truly gave in to their beliefs, though plenty of grief was caused along the way. We got married anyway. In a church surrounded by our families - well, not my immediate family, but my aunts and cousins.

    My dad is comfortable around my husband now. We've not addressed any of the things that happened in the years leading up to all of this, but I sometimes wonder if there can even be closure other than just rising above and moving on. Closure for them would be me apologizing for anything they viewed I did wrong. And I'm not sorry for anything I did. I came to a point where I saw peace in following where God seemed to be leading my heart. The opposite was a life of bitterness and regret. I'd already given so much to my boyfriend and dealt with so much, I knew it was either then or never, because I would NEVER go through that crap again. Sometimes I still think I should see a therapist to try and undo any emotional damage I've just shoved away. (I left a snippet of my story in the previous post "part one")

  26. Ugh. And, oh man. Those emails could EASILY have been something my dad had written.

  27. "This blog has been a lifesaver for me, allowing me to channel the hurt outward in such a way as it isn't wasted."

    And you have blessed many people with your blog, including me. Thank you for speaking truth into our lives, Lewis.

  28. I'm surprised he thought things were moving too fast. Usually, in this subculture, short courtships and engagements are the norm.

    Ah, the suicide tactic. I remember my father pulling this one. My brother woke up one night and saw my dad standing in his room with his Reuger to his head not long after my sister and I finally had enough and left home to marry our loves. I honestly don't think my father would have ever pulled the trigger, but more likely used it as a manipulation tactic to get attention and make everyone scared and have them call us to beg us to come home.

    I just read on Jack Watts' site that "Christianity is the one army that will shoot its wounded." Oh, isn't that so true! And sad!

    I often joke with my husband that these men in the patriarchal cult should have a button to wear on their lapels that says, "National Humble Society. Distinguised Member." All of their talk about humility is a joke.

    Do any of her family members read this blog? I've often wondered if you've ever gotten any cease and desist letters from them. Not that it would make any difference because you haven't named any names.

    I have to say that I totally agree with you about things moving with you as you move on. Again, you've put into words what I have been feeling for years. There are people, my parents included, that think I need to move on after all these years, but that is easier said than done. It's not like someone stole my bike. Almost 7 years of my life and soul were stolen from me. That's not something that's easily "moved on" from.

    @ Anonymous from 8:15 pm. - Yes! See a therpist. I left home at 20 and I'm now 34 years old and have just started seeing a therpist. Something I should have done a long time ago. You'd be surprised how much we stuff down over the years.

  29. They don't know about this blog. I've discussed them elsewhere in specific topic/private forums, and on an old, now extinct blog that I once had, and named names in the past, but time has proven that you can't shame these people into doing what's right. Outing them very publically here probably wouldn't accomplish anything beneficial. If the circumstances ever called for it, I'd out them publically here, and with no fear of civil action. Me and my circle have caught them in soooo many lies and other weirdness (documented stuff), and publically called them out on it in our personal circles - all to no avail. It's as if they have no conscience. I can safely say that they'd have no hope, whatsoever, of a meaningful future in the music business, even if they wanted it, because of these things - and despite my efforts to circumvent that damage for her and her sisters.

    At some point, I may see to it that a link of this blog gets to them just so they can see my attempt to do something beneficial with all the crap they introduced into my life.

    As far as a cease and desist, I'd send it right back unopened, with a "No thanks" note attached. I'm the one who had legal/civil court leverage in this. Big time. I'll get more into that in a future installment.

  30. i hate the pain you've had to go through, Lewis. AND, it's done me a world of good to hear a man blast that terrible culture. thank you.

  31. You'd be wasting your breath. I guarantee it.

  32. I find it really odd that one day he would spread the news that you are courting his daughter with the intention of marrying her, then not long after being angered that the topic of future marriage would be brought up between his daughter and you. I suspect that there was some other factor at work- maybe he didn't like how willing and eager perhaps his daughter was to escape the family by marriage, or maybe he thought he couldn't control her as well with you in the picture, or maybe he just talked to someone of his ilk who thought that you were too "worldly" for his daughter.

    And I concur with other the commenters, his suicide threats were purely manipulative. I was in an abusive relationship and one of the manipulative tactics my abuser used was threatening suicide whenever I disagreed or refused to do something.

  33. You're right. Trying to reason with these people is like talking to a brick wall. As for the no conscience, I truly believe that many of the people in the patriarchal subculture are narcissistic in one form or another. They are never wrong, they don't have remorse, they justify all of their actions, it's all about them and getting their way. It's like dealing with a 2 year old.

    I'm surprised they haven't googled you and found this blog yet. Maybe they have, though, and like you said, they have no conscience. In their mind, they're still right.

  34. those emails sound very familiar, as in I've read things similarly written.

  35. "It's as if they have no conscience."

    I certainly does seem that way.

  36. "You must acknowledge that the age difference between you is on the edge of social acceptibility. More often than not, the first reaction of any of our friends to **** friendship with you is negative. He's too old, and other unquotables. We know better because we know you but it doesn't change people's perceptions which is a measure of our culture and it's norms." ~ from weirdo's letter

    "...or maybe he just talked to someone of his ilk who thought that you were too "worldly" for his daughter." ~ commentor Anna

    ...ever noticed how much peer pressure there is among the seniority in this subculture? It's to the point where the opinions of their peers is viewed as the measure of what is culturally appropriate and acceptable, or even necessary. It's a level of immaturity and insecurity that rivals schoolage kids.

    (and what does SA stand for?)

  37. Mary...Any time something major happened, especially after the breakup, her dad and his buddies got on the phone and decided their course of action - which generally meant which of their lies they would treat as truth. Like a bunch of junior high schoolgirls, and that may actually be an insult to junior high schoolgirls. And her grandfather, dear Lord help us, was that man EVER eaten up with submission to peer pressure. Total pushover to the majority. No ability to do what's right simply because it's right. Peer pressure is what ultimately turned him against me/us. I'll be getting into that in future installments. As you can tell, my respect for these men is less than zero.

    SA stands for "sarcasm alert".

  38. So, this 'ex' of yours is just a telephone girlfriend, not an ex-wife?

    This man may have had his problems, but just reading your language and your attitude, I'm thinking, if I were him, I probably wouldn't want you as a son-in-law. As a father of much younger girls myself, I don't appreciate the lack of respect for a girl's father. My thinking on this is framed from reading scripture. You seem to be basing your ideas on the predominant mindset of our culture which talks about 'consenting adults' and things like that.

    If you let this girl go after this,

    1. Girl? At 23 she was a woman, not a girl.

  39. Ex-fiancee. Saying "telephone girlfriend" makes it sound as if the relationship wasn't half of what it was, as if there wasn't any substance and only self-satisfaction in the relationship. This was certainly not the case, as you would know if you read Lewis' story, and know even more if you knew Lewis' heart.

    And whatever your reading of the scripture makes you think otherwise, people ought to marry for reason of marrying that person, not for reason of marrying a father-in-law.

  40. Dang, you move fast, Lewis! It had only been 30 days. All Christianity and patriarchalism aside... I'd be worried if a guy went that fast with my daughter. Perhaps you were a bit too desperate for marriage?

    1. The majority of the marriage talk was coming from her and her family. I made it more than clear to her, and everyone else involved, that I was in no hurry, whatsoever, to get married.

      If I were "desperate for marriage", I could've married years and years and years ago.

  41. "For those who may find my strong or direct language offensive or "unChristian"...please, grow up"

    My gosh, you know what happened to me recently? I was on Kelly Crawford's blog reading how she, too, wouldn't vote for either candidate this election, and the topic of Mormonism came up. This other lady started comparing Mormonism to just about any other type of religion with "faults" and good parts, and I responded bluntly that this was silly; I said that the belief system was created by fools and followed by polygamous dupes when it first came out. And you know what happened? Some OTHER woman came up and started bitching that I used "unkind" words: silly, dupes, and fools she found unkind, not very Christian, etc. I responded, and she made two more little snippy comments to me regarding that and another post I made; she didn't say anything NOT related to me on that board, then the thread was closed before I could reply, which frusterated me. ExCUSE me; I've been dealing with real spiritual shite lately, and have used REALLY sharp words in the past, not to mention been reading the actual account of early Mormonism from one of Brigham Young's own wives, so I have no time or sympathy for wimpy bellyaching and asinine shaming language over NON-swearing, blunt and accurate language concerning Satanic, life-ruining BS! If you don't like that, lady, or any pansy-pants out there, bite me.

    Damn, that felt good.


  42. WHERE WAS ALL OF THIS WHEN I WAS 17?? thankful it's here now. I never knew it wasn't just me. The dad wanted to kill himself out of frustration, self hate, and control. Trust me. Thank you for this blog.