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”

Stalked by the Mormon Church

I had not been to church in over three years. I had moved to another city. I had not informed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of my new address. I had, in fact, not had any contact with the church or its representatives for over three years. And yet, one cloudy dayContinue reading “Stalked by the Mormon Church”

When Death Seems Best

After losing god, my community, and my reputation, I now also faced the prospect of losing my family. To leave the Mormon church is not a small thing. Many of us who leave, leave with nothing. Not our friends. Not our family. I simply was not ready for this final loss. You might think thatContinue reading “When Death Seems Best”

On Seeing My Father’s Face for the First Time in Nine Years

I can’t say for sure exactly why, but two days ago, I sat down at my computer, opened Google, and typed in my parents’ names. I was overcome with longing to find out what had ever happened to them. We haven’t spoken in nine years. I hadn’t felt the least bit curious before in allContinue reading “On Seeing My Father’s Face for the First Time in Nine Years”

Mormon Feminista

One week in Laurels, the Sunday School class for 16 to 17-year-old Mormon girls, my teacher passed out pairs of knitted white baby booties and Xeroxed excerpts from a 1950s women’s magazine. While the boys down the hall talked football, college, and career goals, we read about what sort of wives we would become. After you marry, you willContinue reading “Mormon Feminista”

An Ex-Mormon Meets the World

If you know any ex-Mormons, please be patient with us. A favorite Mormon creed is to be “in the world but not of it.” And to be “set apart” is to be formally blessed for a calling within the church. To be marked as different–as a Mormon–is synonymous with being chosen by god. At 20 I left all this behind.Continue reading “An Ex-Mormon Meets the World”

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Growing up Mormon, I was taught early on to choose my friends and acquaintances carefully. Notice the effect they have on you, I was told. Notice how they treat other people. Consider how you feel around them. Scripture verses were passed out along with crayons and animal crackers, and one of the first things I learnedContinue reading “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”