Unwrapping the Onion: Part 7: Charting a New Course

by Permission to LiveThis post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.It had been a year since my spouse had come out to me. It felt like it had been much longer. So much had changed and yet nothing had changed. We still hadn’t decided how Christianity tied in with our changing reality: I was leaning further and further away from the idea of God but my spouse still believed. We felt like there were no real answers anymore. Life was not as black and white as people wanted it to be. My spouse was talking more and more about transitioning and I felt like there was no one-size-fits-all in gender identity. Maybe my spouse would become c … [Read more...]

The World: (Not So) Evil and Dangerous!

by LatebloomerFrom hanging around with people such as Scott Lively in my fundamentalist Christian homeschooling community, I understood the danger that America was facing from the gay agenda. I believed that the gay lifestyle was depraved and corrupt and a sign of rebellion against God. I believed that God expected me to use political activism to stand up for righteousness and his design for the family. I believed that my "pro-family-values" activism was actually me being loving to the deceived people around me, people who were just taking the easy way out by accepting every type of lifestyle.Then one day I accidentally met a gay person.It was at my first real job, when I was 23 … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 5: The Beauty of Acceptance

by Permission to LiveThis post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.It was the end of 2010. I was starting to question the existence of God while my spouse was as Christian as ever. Sometimes I did not understand how he could keep believing in a God who had made him this way and then said that he couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t understand how it was god-honoring for a person to live their life “the way god wanted them too” while being miserable and secretly hoping that they would get into an accident somehow that would force the removal of the hormone producing organs that caused them so much mental anguish. The thought r … [Read more...]

Cult of Personality – Adventures in Recovery

by CaluluA few weeks ago I took my daughter out for an celebratory lunch at her favorite Greek restaurant. She's gotten acceptance letters from all of the colleges she's applied to plus we really needed to touch base, take a time out together from the busy of our lives. Over sovlaki and hummus she started talking about what she would say to our former pastor Patrick if she ran into him again. She had run into him an few months ago and had been so surprised she'd just hurriedly muttered out pleasantries before leaving him as rapidly as a man with his pants on fire would run for the lawn sprinklers.I had to ask her what she would say to Patrick if they were face to face. She blurted … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 3: A Growing Up Story

by Permission to LiveBefore I go any further I just want to make it clear that my spouse has participated in the writing and editing of this series, and has given their full support and approval of it's publication.This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.Over the next number of months it seemed that we talked about transgender questions and issues constantly. My spouse had been unable to talk about this for so long and now it was like a floodgate had opened. He told me about how he had always felt different, that even as a small child he wished he could play with some of the girls’ toys and wondered why he couldn’t have … [Read more...]

Forming Boundaries Late in Life

by LatebloomerDo any of these sound like you?I have to always say yes to others, or else I am selfish. I have to always hide my hurt, or else I am unloving. I have to treat other people as faultless, or else I am holding a grudge. I have to keep my wants and needs to myself, or else I am a burden to others.People who experienced authoritarian parents tend to turn into adults with poor boundaries. They were trained for it their whole lives and can't imagine another way of doing things. However, it's an extremely unsatisfying and unsustainable way to live, don't you think? But most importantly, it's actually not what a loving person is like! For me, when I was in that mindset, … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 2: Research 101

by Permission to LiveThis post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.The next day started out the same as pretty much any other day. We had breakfast, and my Hunnie went out to the office. But unlike an average weekday, as soon as he left, I put in a movie for the kids, plunked the baby into the bouncer and rushed to the computer. I hardly knew where to start; it was all so unknown to me. I typed in “what is transsexual?” and sat there staring at the screen. My gut reaction to new things was to learn as much as I could, and I had a lot to figure out. In fact, I spent the next few weeks doing constant research; it was pretty much all … [Read more...]

Quiverfull and the Introvert: Where Do You Get Your Energy?

by Barbie Getzreal"Where do you get your energy?!"This is a question which is frequently asked of Quiverfull moms by amazed and admiring onlookers who cannot imagine being able to keep up with the exponential demands of "biblical womanhood" including: perpetual pregnancy, child-bearing, adopting sibling groups, breastfeeding, baby wearing, chronic sleep deprivation, raising half a dozen or more closely-spaced, "stair-step" children, homeschooling - year round through chronic illness, child-training, character training, tomato-staking, discipling children, homemaking, penny-pinching, organic gardening, baking from scratch, once-a-month cooking, homesteading, sewing modest clothing, s … [Read more...]

A Tomboy in Christian Patriarchy

by LatebloomerI was not the type of daughter that my mother wanted. I was a tomboy.My hair was very short and I preferred blue clothes. I wanted to run faster and climb higher than anyone. I wasn't afraid of slimy frogs and worms, and I could kill a spider without batting an eye. I looked with confusion and disdain at the passive little girls with their hair-bows, sitting and talking about clothes and boys. If I had known the term "badass" back then, I would have applied it to myself with pride.When I was young, my mom was more tolerant of this. After all, in the early days, there were mostly boys in my age group in our small homeschooling community. So I was free to run wild … [Read more...]

Sex Confessions and the Single Fundy: Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu(or be careful who you tell your secrets to..)Bless me Father for I have sinned... told you I'd been raised Catholic. One of the big rituals from my days in Catholic school was the time of confession. At first I found it frightening, going into that big wooden closet-like structure, sitting down with only a metal grill separating you from a priest. You usually couldn't make out exactly which Father was hearing your confession.It was always awkward, trying to scare up a list of all the bad stuff you'd done that week. I was a shy bookish young girl and nervously squirmed in the confessional trying to come up with my wrong doings, only to sometimes whisper out stuff I … [Read more...]