I’m Still Not Here

At 14, I read the entire Bible, front to back. When I attended sleepovers, other kids brought plastic clamshells of eye shadow or bottles of nail polish, clattering in their backpacks like marbles. I brought my leather-bound Bible. I was always the last to fall asleep. As my friends dropped off into unconsciousness and heavyContinue reading “I’m Still Not Here”

Trauma Stuck Points

Between my twelfth and thirteenth birthdays, I became a different person. At 12, I was still skipping down the corridors at school, shouting jokes to friends. I was the kid who helped new students adjust. Who tutored classmates when they fell behind in spelling. I was generous, boisterous, and fun-loving. I was also boastful, cocksure.Continue reading “Trauma Stuck Points”

“The Good Place” Makes Peace with Death

SPOILERS! SO MANY SPOILERS! Over the last four years, The Good Place fans knew writers were going to have to deal with the “real” good place eventually. It was the inevitable end. Each character, including our favorite demon, was invited into a deeper knowledge of their shortcomings. Which meant growth. As each character got betterContinue reading ““The Good Place” Makes Peace with Death”

The Stations of the Cross

Nothing, other than chronic illness, has acquainted me more intimately with death than trauma. Through the violence that one body can do to another, trauma demonstrated my fragility, my transience, my mortality. It showed me, too vividly, that my bodily autonomy, and even my life, could end at any moment if a man decided toContinue reading “The Stations of the Cross”

The End of Faith

Faith, the people who have it will tell you, can get you through anything. And that is so. But the loss of it can take from you everything you have left. I’d had a complicated relationship with God since I was 12. Ever since I invoked Mormon norms of fatherly conduct and my father beatContinue reading “The End of Faith”

Navigating Religious Differences: An Agnostic Visits Christian Family

I grew up in a religious community that fanatically converted neighbors, friends, and relatives. A Sunday wouldn’t go by without a reminder to pick up extra copies of The Book of Mormon and hand them out when God so moved us. But the world grows thick with difference, and to cull the diversity through conversionContinue reading “Navigating Religious Differences: An Agnostic Visits Christian Family”