My righteous progeny would go on to create more righteous progeny and the line of unbroken righteous blessed superior awesomeness would go onward ever onward from my pioneer ancestors to me and forever. No-one breaks the line in the family tree.
From my earliest memories I did not appreciate the great power God had bestowed upon me. Though I had been taught I had chosen my life I seriously doubted this. I was taught that I was "special." I was different from most of the world and this "blessing" was one I received from being a valiant warrior in heaven in the life before earth. I spent many hours wishing I had been lazier in the pre-earth life. Thinking I must have talked back to God at least a little and surely I would have told him he was wrong about a lot of things. How did this happen? Why was I born Mormon? There was only one answer. It had to be a mistake. I didn't belong.
I spent an unusual amount of time wondering why God made me a girl. Not that I didn't like being a girl. I did. But I wanted to go to college, I wanted to live in Africa and be a sociologist who studied Mountain Gorillas like Diane Fossey (I was rather young when I made this my life's ambition and didn't realize how she died.) National Geographic was my staple. I'd read every book in the zoology section of Happy Valley public library and much to my hunting father's dismay was receiving a steady flow of PETA information from one of the librarians. I even spent a few days as a staunch vegetarian. My best friend and I "stole" puppies and kittens from Happy Valley pound's night drop and gave them away at the local grocery store. Self proclaimed animal warrior was more my destiny-not baby breeding machine. I thought that God would understand. Maybe?
My young mind turned quickly from a "blessing" to seeing my Mormonism as a curse. A mistake was made when I was sent down to my mother's Mormon womb. They mixed me up with another baby-I was headed to Soho (though not entirely sure where Soho was located, I was sure that I wanted to live there on my way to Africa.) And then I'd worry about this poor pre-existence warrior girl stuck in MY less then valiantly pre-destined, inferior earned, earth life. I was convinced that in some far away place this girl was pining away for canning, cross-stitching, mia-maid activities, sissy girls camp, and future BYU dating life. It could only end in catastrophe.
I don't remember wanting the Celestial kingdom. BUT I also don't remember NOT at least partially believing most of my Mormon theology. My cognitive dissonance began young. The gospel was force fed to me by my parents who'd had it force fed to them from their parents who'd had it forced fed to them from their parents back all the way to some famous Mormon missionary who convinced my ancestors to leave their life in the England factories and be the chosen people of Zion. There was only black and white. Not even the slightest, "oh my hell," escaping my lips would escape a full out hell fire and damnation speech. I had a long line of pioneers to thank. Catholic guilt? Ha! Try Mormon guilt for awhile.
Then one day I decided. I was not going to do it. I didn't give a shit what God or my parents or anyone else thought. I was sick and home from school propped up on pillows on our living room sofa. From my view I could see my mother on her hands and knees scrubbing the linoleum floor. She didn't feel a mop got the dirt out properly. My future was on her hands and knees in front of me and I rejected it.
How does a girl full of spunk and her own ideas of what she was going to be and what she was not going to be end up getting married at 19? Give birth to her first child by the age of 20? College plans in the toilet? Determined to live the life she had rejected? How does this happen?
|Likely to happen to even the strongest Mormon brain.|
The breaking of me took time and a heavy load. I like to think that had we remained in our happy spot in Happy Valley I would have lived out my life doing all the things I had dreamed up and refusing to fulfill my pre-destined place in the long line of Mormon ancestors. But that wasn't likely. We're hard wired to survive. To survive it you conform-even if you really don't want to. And leaving Mormonism at the age of 19? That wasn't a possibility. The process of breaking me down began at birth. The process that took me from a "functioning" Mormon girl to a "dysfunctional," Mormon girl would come tragically. The only difference being heavier bags-but the bags still had the same labels affixed to them.