Jun 30, 2008

New blog!

one of my secret wishes has come to pass: I have been invited to contribute to a group blog. Most of the people on this group blog were from a ward in Provo that I was in once upon a time. It is a fun blog, about a variety of philosophical topics. I just put up a post about global warming. Go check it out!

Jun 28, 2008

delicious nachos...

This is what we had for dinner last night. It's so simple, I forget exactly how good it is to have delicious fresh guac, delicious fresh salsa, with quality chips and whole beans. I like Don Julio restaraunt style chips... not so heavy on the salt, not so heavyhanded on the oils, but really yummy flavor.

Nosurgirl's Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados (ripe meaning, press on the skin and it will yeild slightly. If you buy them green at the store, you can let them ripen up and they'll still be good... but not if they're TOO green, ie rock hard.)

1/3 cup mayo

1/2 tsp lemon juice

3 shakes of lemon pepper or lemon pepper seasoning

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 shakes paprika

1/4 tsp salt

Mash it all up and eat it fast; it's best very fresh.

My sister's heavenly salsa recipe:

4-5 tomatoes

1 onion

1/2 bunch cilantro

2 tsp lime juice or fresh lemon juice

pinch of cumin or ground cumin seed

1/2 jalapeno (it tastes even more delicious if you sear the pepper and remove the skin)

1 tsp salt

generous pinch of sugar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

grind it all up in a food processor until the particles are what size you like for salsa. In the grinding, I find it's good to grind the seasonings (garlic, jalapeno, esp) with a little of the tomato until it's completely liquified, then add it to the rest.

We like our chips with whole kidney and garbanzo beans, and perhaps some alfalfa sprouts.

Delicious, filling, nutritious vegetarian meal! And good for summertime, too.

Jun 26, 2008

vegetarian humility

Remember when I wrote a while back about how much I love stumping the grocery clerks with my vegetables? And you know how they say that pride cometh before a fall.

The other day I was gathering up my produce from the shopping list I had made. On my list were 1 serrano pepper and 1 jalapeno. I went over to the peppers bins.

Now, understand. I have bought lots and lots and lots of jalapenos. Salsa would not be the same without them. I know what jalapenos look like! I put a serrano in my cart, and then found the bin labeled "jalapenos". I looked at its contents for a minute, a little stumped. I mean, they didn't look like jalapenos! They were big, and light green. I vacillitated for a minute and then took one and put it in another baggie. My reasoning was, maybe they're just big, lighter-green jalapenos.

I got to the counter, loaded all my groceries onto the conveyor belt, and moved over to watch all the prices scan through (I admit I'm a little obsessive about this. But I've had someone double charge me more than once.) Anyway, the checker got to my peppers in their seperate little baggies. She scanned the first one in, then got the second one. Watching her, I realized that the two peppers looked exactly the same. how odd, I thought, that a jalapeno pepper can look exactly like a serrano pepper? How do the farmers tell them apart?

The checker paused for a minute, looking at the second, identical pepper, then looking at me in confusion. "It's a jalapeno," I ventured, though by this time my conviction was faltering slightly.

"Um," the checker said, "It's not a jalapeno."

I turned bright red. "Right," I said, "well, it had a sign that said Jalapenos!"

The checker gave me a kindly look and sent her bagging assistant to go get the poor, vegetable-challenged lady her jalapeno.

in my own defense, they were out of jalapenos.

PS: now all you internets know something extremely embarrassing about me... despite the cyincal, skeptical facade I try to put on, I'm an extremely gullible person. My loving family and good friends already know this, and now you do. But this is the only time I'll ever admit to it.

Jun 22, 2008

cute, cute squirt...

golly, doncha just want to eat him up or something?

Another 'do!

flat twists in front with hanging twists in back.
ohhhh... if only I could do these perfectly. I'm nit-picking... I'm sure that those who haven't done lots of hair themselves would not see what I'm seeing (uneven endings on the rows, strange pattern of the boxes),

anyway here it is, perfect or no. And the snaps almost make up for it... I LOVE the color orange and looking at this plastic head (scary as it is... and wierd as people think I am to have one) has brightened my month! Lol.

BTW, if any of you want to know where to go for the hair decorations I use, it's www.snapaholics.com. They have all sorts of great stuff for skin, hair (incl products) and cute cute hair accessories for braids, locs, and just straight hair too. My girls love'em and I get a lot of compliments even just putting a snap or two in their hair for Sundays, etc.

a mother's heart

once you have those babies, your heart is never yours again. It's a good thing, but a heart-wrenching thing at times. Every time you see a picture of a kid from a third world country, it's your own six-year old's face staring out of it. Any time you hear about abuse, or violence, or starvation, you think, only by the grace of god.

And when tragedy strikes close to you, for a moment or a few hours or days, your heart sometimes does not know the difference.

A good family friend of ours had such an episode this week. His younger brother's wife was expecting a baby, was 8 and 1/2 months along and suddenly realized she hadn't felt the baby move. Usually those situations have a happy ending... go to the hospital, get an ultrasound, baby is fine but taking it easy, "now you go home and take it easy and don't worry so much." Not this time. Baby didn't make it. She delivered him yesterday, and the friends came over to our house last night for games and distraction... but really, how can there be distraction? My heart is aching as if it were my own sister. And my emotions don't know the difference. I feel for this mother. And yet, I can't say I know how she's feeling, because I've never been through it, and in a few days I'll be able to seperate myself from it but she won't.

So I'll be saying some prayers. Any other prayers sent in the general direction of this family would doubtlessly be appreciated.

I have reasoned with myself and told myself that what I need to do is take a deep breath, and look at my children and just feel how grateful I am that they are here with me. While I feel badly for this mother, really, really feel for her as much as ever I could, I'm still a mother to three living, breathing, kids who need me to be here with them emotionally.

I'm baaaack....

So, after a brief vacation I'm back to regularly blogging. My pornography series will continue a little bit. I have about 4 posts left. Two of them are yet to be written.... one will be by Skywalker, about internet filters and controls and how to effectively protect your family from explicit media. As his job involves this very business, and he works at a certain university that takes it very seriously, he knows his stuff so it should be a good post.

Also a post by a friend of mine who studies human sexuality, human relationships, and addiction. This is a topic he is passionate about, and he's about to get his PhD in social psych. So I'm hoping he'll be able to find time out of his busy schedule to bring together a post sometime. Whenever he does, I'll post it.

Plus the interview with Jodi Hildebrandt has about 3 more parts, all of them very good and relevant. My favorite part is a discussion about spouses and codependency in addictive relationships... and how to avoid that and really help your addicted spouse in the way you can. I'll apply my "pictures of pornography" label to any additional post in future. And who knows? Maybe there are other people out there who would like to submit something. If so, my public email address is ttagyoureit@yahoo.com... just include the word "pornography" in the title of the email and my filter will catch it and send it to the appropriate folder so I don't have to search through loads of spam and possibly miss it.

So, anyway. Thank you for those who are frequent readers and have put up with this diversion. While it was a good discussion and I'm soooo glad I had the opportunity to start it, it also feels good to get back to normal.

Jun 9, 2008

another social responsibility moment...

Go ahead and read the article....

my adoption agency is currently trying to set up a foster home/hire staff to take care of kids like these. My director in particular is looking into this group of kids. If you wanna help, you can mail a check to AFAA (the link will provide you an address, and also a phone number if you want to talk to someone real before donating), with the check addressed to AFAA: uganda.

Thanks everybody and good night. :)

Jun 8, 2008

Pictures of Pornography: Part I of an interview with Jodi Hildebrandt

Jodi Hildebrandt manages Utah County's chapter of Lifestar. This is a program and network designed to help sexual addicts through recovery. She is a member of the LDS church and comes highly recommended. If you or a loved one is struggling, I suggest you go check out the network as one of your resources. There is help for those with an addiction, and also for those who have a loved one who is struggling.

Interview with Jodi Hildebrandt

NSG: Speaking from an LDS perspective, as a therapist who has worked with lots of LDS people who have dealt with pornography, when would you say someone needs to go to the bishop with their problem? If they have a recurring problem? If they look at it once?

JH: Well, when we’re looking at pornography, we don’t feel bad. But after we look at pornography we go, uh oh,

NSG: Mm hmm.

JH: We shouldn’t have done that. So after I’ve done it once or twice, probably I’d say to myself, oh, I don’t think it’s such a big deal, I think I’ll stop. I start realizing that I can’t stop, or I don’t want to stop. So you say, when should they go? They should go the first time. But they don’t go the first time, because they feel shame. They end up going after they realize that, this feels out of control, I’m having life-changing consequences, and it’s increased, which means, addiction increases in tolerance. And so… the three components of addiction is that it alters my mood, it increases in rate, frequency and duration, and that I have life-damaging consequences. Or I have… my life becomes unmaneagable… my wife is…. More… feels like she’s more irritable toward me. Or, maybe I miss work because I looked at pornography at night and I couldn’t get up in the morning to go to my job. So I start having consequences as a result of what I’m doing. I don’t come home when I’m supposed to. I start lying to my spouse. I mean, those are all consequences of misbehavior. So when people get to that stage, they usually start looking for help. And when they usually get to me… I mean, they usually go to a bishop then, but they usually end up coming to me when their life is like in the gutter. Where they say, “My wife’s leaving me,” um, “people hate me, I lost my job,” you know, something significant has happened to them, usually.

NSG: Right…

JH: Where there’s been, exceeding, conflict in the marriage; where the wife says, something’s wrong, I don’t know what it is, but I’m making him in here and he’s coming in.

NSG: Yeah… I can see that. (laughs).

JH: Yeah. People change, when they are humble and they want… they realize what they’re doing is causing a problem. When the wife pulls a husband in or vice versa, when a husband pulls a wife in, usually don’t see much change because a person is resisting.

NSG: Right.

JH: They don’t want to change. And so they play this little game, you know “I’ll come, but just to appease you.”

NSG: Right.

JH: And you know, that doesn’t really work. It just wastes their time and money.

NSG: And I’m sure.. you said Shame. Shame was the motivation…

JH: Shame is the core.

NSG: What do you think can help somebody decide… like for instance, I’m sure shame would be an essential element of somebody who has looked at it once, who should go to their bishop, but decide, you know, I, don’t want to see the bishop. How do you overcome that? How do you, go ahead and go? How do you… a piece of me wants to make sure people realize that, it’s not something that makes them a bad person. If they’ve looked at it once.

JH: Mm hmm.

NSG: you know, we should talk to someone about it but it doesn’t make ‘em a bad person.

JH: We can talk spiritually. Shame is coming right from the Adversary. The Adversary is saying, “Don’t tell. You did do something wrong, you’re a scumbag. Don’t tell anybody.” You know, you’re worthless. “Who’d do something like that, cheat on their spouse like that?” When I look at pornography, and I know that I did something wrong I validated that belief system, that internal structure. So I already did something bad, and then I’ve got this voice, telling me, “don’t tell.” Because shame drives on two things. Secrets is one. If I’ve done something that I know is wrong and it violates me, then I feel badly. But then when I feel shame it tells me, “Don’t tell anybody.” It likes hiding out in the dark. It doesn’t like the light. Well if I go and talk to a bishop that means there’s a spotlight on it, and so I don’t want to tell, I just won’t do it again. Well, that’s the worst thing you could do, is not to tell. Because if you don’t tell, you still have all that shame inside. It’s a secret that you’re holding. So you have to keep lying about it. And shame begets more shame, and so there’s this cycle of addiction, where I say I’ll never do it again. Well the reason I have an addiction is to help me get away from how bad I feel already, so I engage in it again because I want to get away from how bad I feel, and then I feel worse, and then I have to go do it again. I mean it just goes round and round and round. And people don’t see that. They just think they’re out of control. They say, well I am a smart person, I don’t know why I can’t stop. They can’t stop because they have, an addiction.

NSG: Right, Um, it’s kind of ironic to me, just having talked to this bishop and talked to you, and… all these other people, um, it’s such a common, problem. It happens to just about everybody. And so there should be a way that people can know that, it’s not the end of the world if you go talk to someone about it. I mean, it’s not… doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, doesn’t mean I’m a disgusting person, it means I’m a normal person, who… who did that. Who’s normal and sexual. I mean, I messed up maybe but, that doesn’t make me a bad person.

JH: Right. They don’t know that, because their shame tells them they’re bad. And when they hold it as a secret, then they don’t tell anybody. And so they never have the opportunity for someone to tell them that, this doesn’t mean that. So.. they’re scared to. And that’s exactly where it wants you to be. It wants you to stay silent, and it wants you to feel horrible. And so the more that you keep violating yourself, whether you’re violating yourself by pornography, or masturbating, or lying, or being deceitful in some way, or accusing or blaming; whatever you’re doing, you’re just exacerbating the shame you feel.

NSG: Well that really… that says a lot I think. Especially with LDS people, I think that a lot us are really prone to shame.

JH: Right, we are.

NSG: Because a lot of us feel like we need to lead these perfect lives, and if we mess up at all… I mean, our kids always have to be perfect, and we always have to fulfill our callings perfectly, and we can’t miss a meeting, you know, and so I think that can lend itself to shame.

JH: Right, any sort of structure… it’s not just Mormonism, I think it can be any dogmatic religion, it’s going to have more a propensity to increase shame, because the expectations are higher. But the expectations aren’t inappropriate, I mean we all can live good lives, and if we live the way we’re being asked to live then we’ll be happy. But if we live what you just described, that perfect… nobody’s going to be perfect! That’s US. Literally our own shame. Because shame talks like that: be perfect. Because it knows you can’t be perfect, and if you expect to be perfect then you’re going to fall from it. And it’s a setup.

NSG: Because nobody really is perfect… that creates that discrepancy.

Jun 5, 2008

Pictures of Pornography: Part II of interview with BR

NSG: Another thing I wanted to talk to you about was, I think a lot of people don’t go to the bishop for help because they are afraid of the repercussions. And so I just want to ask you some questions about the process.


NSG: When a person comes to you to confess to having viewed pornography, what would you say to them?

BR: Well first there are the questions to gauge how serious the problem is… how often they look at it, the frequency, what other behaviors it leads to. Whether it’s excessive masturbation, or going to strip joints, or things like that.

NSG: Are there any church guidelines for disciplinary procedures or counseling about this, or is it pretty much up to the bishop?

BR: It’s mostly up to the bishop. The biggest thing is the willingness to go through the steps. We talk about repentance, and there is a 12-step program the church has out now, which is really useful and I used it during the last part of my time as bishop, sometimes, just to go through and see what they are willing to do. There are different disciplinary counsels, and it could be all of them… the informal probation, formal probation, disfellowship. Even excommunication can result depending on how serious the problem is and whether they want to go through the process of repentance or not. The biggest factor is willingness.

NSG: What is “serious”?

BR: Well, the actions that follow. Going to strip joints. Seeking out sex in real life. If it becomes, like a predator, predatory. Also the issue of homosexuality… we try to discourage the viewing of that the most because it can lead to those feelings more. I have found that in most cases where I am dealing with someone who struggles with same gender feelings, there has been pornography in there somewhere.

NSG: It’s hard, being a member of the church with same-gender attraction… we have president Hinckley who talked about how we love the person and try to sympathise and that the desire or urge isn’t a sin, it’s just the action, and because we believe in fidelity, or no sexuality outside of marriage, and because marriage doesn’t take place between the same gender…

BR: That’s right. Marriage, we have defined, is between a man and a woman.

NSG: There is no real way to make that work and still be a member in good standing.

BR: I think that is why it is so much harder dealing with same-gender cases… they are risking a whole lot more of what they believe in, in acting out in that way just because of that, than someone who struggles with the opposite sex pornography.

NSG: What if a person confesses to having a longstanding habit of viewing pornography on a regular basis? Are the procedures different there?

BR: It’s about the same. It’s all about how willing someone is to get out of it, to do the work to become free of it. For those who really struggle I refer them to groups or therapists, just like any another thing… whether it is eating, or drugs or alcohol. With people like that the goal is to get them free of the influence long enough that they can know what it is like to have the spirit with them… so they know how the spirit feels when you are free of it. That is a way they can gauge how they are doing.

NSG: Last question. Have you had a lot of members complete the process sucesffuly and be free of porn?

BR: You are never completely free of it. Heck, even I struggle with all the advertisements and billboards… sexuality is an important part of life and I think LDS people could do a lot more than they do to reach the full measure of their creation, sexually. We need to be more open and willing to help each other, and address our own needs more honestly. We repress too much, and it leads to this sort of thing, these kinds of struggles. But yes, I have been able to get most of those who come to me, like maybe 95% if not 100% feeling like they are able to keep away from it.

NSG: What about someone who has had a long-standing habit, or an addiction?

BR: I’d say about the same amount of people have been able to recover who have had long-standing problems or just the temporary or fleeting problems. Though those people do need to be more careful to stay clear and leave it. It takes only one time to bring you right back into it, just a momentary lapse can lead you there real fast.

NSG: This is a reason for compassion in those of us who are helping someone who struggles like that, and vigilance in those of us who are struggling with it.

BR: Yes. Absolutely.

NSG: Thank you so much for talking to me.

BR: I think that the key is talking about it… openness. People need to feel like sexuality is a good drive, an OK thing, and they need to be able to talk about it and feel good about it. And we need to have conversations like this to address issues like pornography. It’s the not talking about it that is the biggest problem, I think.

Jun 3, 2008

easing back into normalcy...

So, I'm going to start posting like a normal person again, in between my pornography series posts. I miss blogging just to write about silly stuff, and all this heaviness is getting me down. I don't like to visit my own blog anymore. So, those of you who are reading for the next installment of the series I'm working hard at making productive and helpful for y'all, the next installment will be on Thursday, and then I plan on doing 3 or so more posts... on Mondays and Thursdays. I'm back to being a normal person in between. I'll tag all my series posts with the tag, "pictures of pornography", and if you click on those tags you'll get the rest of them.

sigh. Breathing in, breathing out... OK. Nice to have my own space back again.


My little toddler is obsessed with make-up. I don't know where she gets it from... I don't use it very much. Frankly, there's no time, and as she ran off with my bag more than a week ago and I haven't tried to look hard for it, I haven't worn it at all for a while.

For some inexplicable reason, she loooooves make up. Everything becomes make-up in her hands: crayons, pens, markers... frankly with some funny results sometimes. I walked into the living room yesterday and found that squirt had been given magenta eyebrows and freckles by his loving older sister.

The other day I was flipping through a book with her that had pictures of animals, body parts, shapes... standard toddler board book.

Me: (showing her a picture of a sheep) What's that?

Jaws: Sheep!

Me: (Showing a picture of a tree) What's this?

Jaws: Tree!

Me: (Showing a picture of a nose) What's that?

Jaws: Nose!

Me: (Showing a picture of lips) What are these?

Jaws: Make up!

Admittedly the lips were shaded pink. But you can tell what's on her mind!

I'm not all that worried. I figure, let her get it out of her system while she can. Today she discovered a stash of old party favors. She took a heart-shaped container of purple lipgloss, found one of Loli's paintbrushes, and decorated her lips, eyes, eyebrows, MY lips, eyes, eyebrows and feet, and her sister's entire face, with the radioactively-grape smelling stuff.

I'm sorry now I didn't think to take pictures.

Pictures of Pornography: quotes from a talk by Van. C. Gessel

Van C. Gessel was president of a BYU stake. He was also a Dean at BYU for several years. His talks have been set aside by some bishops of singles wards to use and distribute among members. He uses quotes by many general authorities to bring his message across, and so some of these will be by someone else. This isn't the talk I originally wanted to post, but it has some of the same content, and so it will do until I can find a copy of the real one.

This talk was directed to single, LDS church members attending BYU. Some of the content will seem applicable only to single people, but I think a lot of it can apply to married people as well.

Get ready for some fire and brimstone. :)

"I would propose for your consideration today that there is a kind of love that is "most sweet" and pure and "white and "Most desireable above all" other kinds of love, and that its is a love that will fill you with "exceedingly great joy," greater than any other kind of love you can ever experience. It is a love that comes only from God, and that can be obtained only through living the kind of righteous life that can lead you toward it, and that it can only be shared with a partner to whom you have been sealed for time and all eternity." --Van C. Gessel

"Sex is not the same as romance, and neither one is the same as love. It's wonderful if you can have all three gifts-- sex, romance and love-- wrapped up in one package and wearing.... whtie [clothing] in the temple .... Don't feel guilt or shame for your sexual desires any more than you feel guilt or shame for feeling hungry and thirsty when you fast. God has given us our physical desires and needs.... [But] take all honorable means of concentrating your thoughts elsewhere. You wouldn't usually go sit in a restaurant when you're fasting. So don't torment yourself by indulging in imaginations that you have no lawful or moral means of satisfying. Instead, feast on what is permitted and encouraged: the scriptures, inspiring music, noble thoughts..." --Chieko Okazaki

"Remember that all good things that come to us in mortality are given to us to help us become more like Christ. This means that our sexual desires were given to us by God to help us become more like Christ. ... Learning to properly understand, bridle, and use our sexual desires is perhaps one of the most important ways that we learn how to become like our savior.

"What is this great mortal tutorial all about? Well, for starters, one of our greatest challenges while on the earth is to learn how to conquer self. In their purest manifestation within marriage, the lawful use of our sexual desires can and must be always unselfish; their illicit use, despite the persuasive rhetoric that is inspired by the adversary, is always selfish. We are to learn how to love others more than we love ourselves, to put the needs of others ahead of those of our own. We must learn how to sacrifice for others... All these lessons, and many more, are most directly and powerfully and viscerally and profoundly taught to us as we struggle to control and bridle and ultimately to properly channel our sexual desires."

"The lawful use of these powers of procreation is the greatest force in mortality facilitating union, harmony, oneness, and total wholeness; Satan's counterfiet version invariably produces separation, loneliness, isolation, bitterness, and division."

"If you can learn to bridle your passions now, restraining the surge of passions within you, you will gain a moral strength that will set the pattern for a happy marriage and a confidence that will help you prevail in all of life's challenges. This tutorial, if you learn your lessons properly, will equip you with all the knowledge and strength of character you will need for the rest of your mortal existence. You will learn how to place the calm whisperings of the spirit before the impatient shouts of the body."

"Similarly, self-abuse is an addictive practice that focuses your mind upon carnal things, and drives out teh spiritual; it leads to feelings of guilt that come from the Lord, because He wants us to be in control of our thoughts and actions. When we fail to achieve this measure of control over the body, we fail to teach ourselves an important lesson in the dominant power of the spirit, and the body begins to think that it's the boss and demands more and more solitary satisfaction."

"ANd now, what if you are human, and have made some mistakes regarding the Law of Chastity? Well, for starters, it is absolutely vital that you engrave upon your soul this comforting counsel from President Boyd K.Packer: "There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness." There is not a single sinful action we have discussed here today, including a complete violation of the Law of Chsitty, that will not yield to sincere repentance and be blotted out through total reliance upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't make the slightest difference to me what you have done up to this point in your life. My concern is the choices you make today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life."

"Chasitity is the human manifestation of the love that comes only from God, and only from obeying His plan for us can we know all the joys that mortality and imortality can bring us."

--Van C. Gessel, The Love that Comes From God,
Nov. 7, 1999

Jun 2, 2008

Pictures of Pornography: Addictions and Marriage

I wanted to post pieces of a talk today. It is a wonderful talk by Van C. Gessel, entitled "Real Women, Real Life." J, if you have it... could I borrow it? I actually have access to it, but cannot get it within the next few days.

So, apologies. This will be straight from me again. I have decided to relate a few experiences I had pertaining to addictions and marriage. These stories will not be about pornography addictions persay, but another addiction that has caused much grief among struggling, college wives especially: video game addiction. And I promise that as soon as I have access to this talk, I will post pieces of it as well. This will not be very well written. IT will sound like I am just talking to you. I hope you'll bear with me and read it anyway, and take from it what you can.

After everything happened to me, I found that people opened up to me in startling ways. I am not a particularly open person sometimes, and so I hadn't been used to having people confide in me (then). But as soon as people read my story or heard it second-hand from the people around who knew it, or saw my face on the news and realized that their classmate or co-worker or ward member had gone through something difficult and embarrassing, something akin to what they were going through, they came and talked to me.

One day, a co-worker of mine that had suddenly separated from her husband started to talk to me. I had been surprised and saddened by the news (which was, of course, being whispered all over the workplace.) She sat across the table from me with her stack of papers and her little paper folder, and told me that her husband had decided he didn't want to be married to her anymore.

Then she filled in the details. Her husband was a computer game addict. He did nothing all day but play computer games. In the beginning of their marriage it wasn't so bad, though it was annoying... he would play computer games for a large portion of the time he was home from school and work.

But then he quit school... he stopped going to classes, because he liked his computer games. She talked to him, bit her lip and didn't talk to him, tried to suffer through what she thought might be a phase.

And then he quit work. She was a school teacher with a freshly-minted certificate. She worked hard all day. Her husband stayed home playing computer games. It was all he wanted to do. SHe was bewildered, frustrated, and he would not talk to her about it. He was probably unsure exactly what the underlying issues were anyway. He didn't really care that much, he just wanted to play computer games.

Finally she had had it. She confronted him, and told him that she loved him and wanted to make the marriage work, but she could not keep this up. He had to go to school, or go to work, or do something! Other than just playing computer games all day. She gave him an ultimatum; you can choose me, or you can choose computer games.

He did not even hesitate, he did not even look at her. He said he chose the computer games.

She moved in with her parents.

A sad, bewildering story, that I admittedly do not have all the details about.

Another story about media addiction:

One of my best friends was married when she was very young, 18. She and her husband met only a few months before they were engaged, and were engaged only a few months. You hear of this happening, and you hear of possible sad outcomes in that situation, but hers worked out. Right now he's off getting his PhD at perdue and they have five children, and are a happy, well-adjusted family.

At any rate, after all that happened to me, I was venting to my friend about the experience above, and she told me that every time the women in her ward (they were in a Ymount apartment) got together, quite often they vented about their husbands' computer and video game use. It was so frustrating to them. These are hard-pressed, hard-working families with little time for extras. Mom stays home all day and then often attends night classes when dad gets home. Dad works a full or part-time job and attends classes himself. Ends are barely met. And often there are one or two kids to add into the mix.

These husbands came home, and instead of spending time with kids and family, they spend time relaxing with their consoles and computers. Moms felt lonely, kids tugged at shirt-sleeves and were rebuffed.

I have a friend who once told me about a frustrated wife of his acquaintance who went so far as to cut the cord to the console. The husband laughed, and then taped it back together.

So... media addictions. Pornography addictions. Video game addictions. These things are not just about spouses feeling objectified, or betrayed because of "unfaithfulness." It's also about time and emotional commitment to the family. Any addiction drains the family of emotional resources... the whole family. Spouses feel worthless and helpless and unspelled, and children feel insignificant and unimportant when a screen seems more important to dad or mom than they are.

Any comments/experiences/contradictions and rebuffs are welcomed.

Jun 1, 2008

When you know you're raising them right...

Setting: family scripture study.

Skywalker: And,
Jaws: And?

Skywalker: it,
Jaws: It.

Skywalker: Came,
Jaws: Came!

Skywalker: to,
Jaws: Pass?

Embarrased about my wrinkles...

Sorry, for those of you who are viewing wrinkled paper right now. I tried to change it. I DID change it, but for some reason only firefox likes my changes, and not internet explorer!?!

The weird tempreramental vaugeries of the internet continue to astound and dismay.