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About BlueDreams

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    If only there was blue cocoa too
  • Birthday 05/17/1988

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    Under the mountains
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    People, art, politics, diet, social issues, living and breathing, etc

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  1. Results of BYUs climate survey

    It's more complicated than that. Largely tied up in the fact that most forms of sexual assualt happen in dating relationships and there is confusion about what even constitutes rape or assault. I call it my "not-really-rape" cases. Not because they're not really rape, but because the victims have a hard time calling it such even if it fits the legal definition of it. Because sexual assault also has a picture of something that's immediately violent from a stranger and with some form of obvious threats of bodily harm (you can blame TV for that). It's hard to picture what rape usually looks like. It can entail a slow coercive push toward more and more sexual acts they don't actually want but comply to for fear of losing the relationship, angering their partner, or hurting their feelings. When it's like that, there's often a lot of self-blame and shame already stirring in their hearts. Society can be just as caustic as feeding these voices as they interact with victims. And without careful questions, some coming in for repentance may unintentionally reify their guilt as equal to their perpetrators. And a hundred other problems that go with it. Some more uniquely mormon. Most unique to the overarching cultures. As is being pointed out in droves right now, sexual harassment and assualts are a common experience that our society has enabled or turned a blind eye to for generations. It crosses all lines of society: rich or poor, old or young, republican, or democrat, and country. With luv, BD
  2. How can one trust the Holy Ghost

    I've never really got the point of this point of view. It's one of the things I find most irritating because it feels like the epitome of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. All for the glory of having an empty tub. To me it's more ineffective to chronically be in a state of questioning everything I feel, see, touch, and experience for some "higher" state of not truly having absolute certifiable and perfect knowledge about everything. That just immobilizes spiritual and personal development for me. My experience with the Spirit has generally been able to expedite growth and enhance experiences for mine and others betterment. When I sit there floundering and overthinking about what is real that's when I'm more likely to be ineffective and stuck. I'll stick with my delusions, the hallucinations have made me a better person. It's the best form of schizophrenia I could hope for. With luv, BD
  3. The existence of evil

    I saw this earlier today and have been vacillating about giving a response. Oddly, just yesterday I gave a talk in my ward about pain and its relationship to peace. I have the second to last draft attached to this post. I think the reason I hesitate in responding, because as mentioned in my talk I often get a front row seat to women in circumstances much as you describe. It is both painful and a blessing to work with them and help them re-shape their lives. For some odd reason, those leaving abusive relationships and those who've been harmed in some way are some of my favorite clients to work with. I love helping them collect their lives, learn what they need to to heal, and reclaim themselves spiritually, emotionally, and sexually. I have felt the Spirit so often and so strongly in the room as I've worked with these broken souls. Beyond the talk, as others have mentioned I don't believe exactly in free will. I believe in moral agency and that to have it means that there has to be a capacity in people to enact evil and to enact good. I think a large part of the reason that's there is to give us the capacity to become as God and to know our Savior. I don't believe evil is educational. I think it's dangerous and has a detrimental effect on society. In the scriptures I see this pattern of evil and good. When evil infects a society, death, violence, inequity, and sexual inequalities dramatically increase. They are so antithetical to the pattern of God that Moses 7 describes the whole earth in mourning and pain from the evil wrought by the children of men. At some point it snaps back and everybody suffers....often they end up destroying themselves. I also think there's a natural consequence to the souls of the people enacting evil. Every once and a while I've met the perpetrators of abuse, had them sit in my office, and get little peaks into their souls/emotions. They're horrifically broken....sometimes in a way that is far more detrimental just on a temporal plane than some of their victims. I have been disgusted by them....but often I just pity them for who they've become and the evil they have to look at in the mirror. Until they repent and can face accountability for their actions they're in a state of hell that, for me at least, is tangible. My victims here are broken, sometimes very badly. My perpetrators are often damned, unable to escape an emotional/spiritual hell of their own making. On a personal therapist healing level, I would rather work with victims any day of the week. They're healing course is shorter and easier to find. Evil isn't education, it's a necessary capacity in order for us to choose Good. I don't know why some people are tested more than others. I don't think there's a neat answer that is universal for every person out there. Personally, I'm at a place that I value much of the pain I've went through, even ones that have seemed needless. I struggle to say that my course was supposed to be that way or not. I had a peace-creating prompting about how I was brought into my family situation...even though it entailed adults choosing to sin and me getting strapped into an experience that entailed taking on far more responsibility than most kids. My situation wasn't ideal, it taxed me, it left me with emotional scars that took years to heal through multiple avenues. I still get to pay the tax sometimes, as with this week (several weeks, really) where some family drama finally came to a head. But it's where I was needed. And in God's hands it has fostered key parts of my divine nature. Plus, some of this crap ground is when I've had strongest access to God. I would never say, though that evil taught me love. Love taught me love....the darkness just made it very very clear what was actually light when I saw it. Back to work... With luv, BD Peace.docx
  4. Modesty standards

    These are really good questions. I'm not 100% sure. For me, I have plenty of sexual thoughts. Some of them intrusive . I am single. I think once upon a time I found them as minor sins of sorts. I would work to push them down. Instead now I thank God I have them and gently remind myself that they're currently not the right time for full expression. Or the right person, depending. I don't consider general sexual attraction as really a sexual thought or a form of lust. It just is because I have eyeballs and hormones. Most the people I know who objectify people aren't necessarily doing so consciously. But they can consciously change the internal dialogue. I think sexual objectification has 2 components to it. The first is seeing people as objects. But the other component I've seen is placing one's sexual appetites as the primary or sole voice in the sexual story. We do that all....the....time. Female sexuality in general has been filtered by male expectations of sex, sexual attractiveness, etc. So I think innappropriate thoughts start happening when your sexual desires and thoughts begin to override or take precedence over another's. Where it becomes more and more a part of an overpower monologue of a narrative than an actual bonafide dialogue between 2. I think the problem is stating that she was following "mormon standards." She was following her standards. Kudos for her for doing so as she saw fit. But they are not my standards as a good mormon woman who considers herself modest. I could care less about what sports attire I generally wear as long as it suits the sport, is comfortable, and doesn't hinder my performance. Which is why I hike in tanks and shorts during the summer and several layers during the winter. And yes, many people would have the same question for a muslim girl. And often do. I have a general problem with this form of modesty definition. Because it tends to allow others outside oneself to regulate what is really modest. But I'm out of time, so that thought is just going to have to stay unexplained. With luv, BD
  5. I know this is about a week old, but my week entailed a tsunami of new clients and work. So this was the first time I could really come back and respond in full. On the other methods of learning....None of those are really available to me. I a single sister whose male friends are all married. The only other person I have is my brother....but that would mean years more till he was familiar enough to have it down. Plus, I prefer the words to be as exact as possible with minimal personal interpretation. I don't mind hearing interpretations, I just want to have the space to make my own conclusions....which is harder if the desired info is being filtered. I am glad that you have had the privilege to have someone you could have many in-depth discussions with. For many it's just not as readily available. So though your first thoughts are nice, I don't find them all too helpful in my situation. I'm not comfortable with this line of reasoning. It assumes that women have had no/little input into the blood and sins of this generation. We are by no means faultless. I think of some of the sins that have most deeply effected my life (that weren't mine to begin with). They most certainly were not from just one gender. Yes, some of the most disruptive power moves have been men....but those are often more about socialization and access to power than inherent quality of gender. Since we are not necessarily qualified to weigh out the position of a single person with righteous judgement in regards to God, I doubt either of us are really qualified to weigh out the position of an entire gender. I'm skeptical of any model of reasoning that entails elevating one gender or another above the other in any manner. I feel that what you're proposing here inevitably leads to such. I've read these three times and still have no clue how this applies to the topic at hand. No one implied this on this thread (that I can tell). So what is the relevance that you are seeing here? I don't think anyone here, nor I, am disputing that men and women may have a greater outward propensity to committing varying sins. But having a propensity doesn't not mean a sin is exclusively male or female. And it doesn't mean that ALL men need to repent of something a few men were likely to commit...such as genocide. Or that all women are victims and ergo faultless. The problem with this is that it comes against some of our most fundamental beliefs such as that men (and women) are not accountable for the sins of other but their own. Even with your use of the proclamation....what it should mean to me is that because there are equitable differences in stewardship as outlined in the Proc...there should be equitable degrees of sins that both may be subject to in failing in their roles. What ever there is, I'm not seeing how one or the other becomes more or less accountable to sins perpetuated in this life.I'll take you to your word that that is what you meant in this discussion, but that was honestly unclear in all of this. Which is why I brought up benevolent sexism. The argument that you were postulating fit heavily into this framework. The example that kept coming to my mind was the YW lessons or testimony meeting examples I've seen. Where the values and attitudes of the women are compared to the men in a way that's meant to extol women. Men are seen as significantly less than or in need of so much more to reach the glorified position of womanhood...which is the basic assertion to this line of reasoning. I never felt the spirit when these things were being told to me. I felt uncomfortable and unseen. I've seen that attitude in my office sometimes...after I've really gotten to know the wife and some of her many sins as well. It doesn't matter. It's still the "better half." The implications for what you're suggesting can also go in more angles than the one you're presenting. Such as the attitude I'd see again and again from elders on my mission that assumed that sisters were either the salt of the earth or horrible. There was no middle ground. Because we were so exalted, when we do falter or have problems they can be seen as PROBLEMS. As opposed to a normal variance in human concerns. I haven't fully figured out why that is...but I think part of it is that the pedestal effect means that what's really going on in women's lives often has a colossal blind spot for men who in someway believe in this idea. Either way, the idea hasn't born fruit in my life. I haven't found scripture to back it. I see nothing to assume it's correct beyond the adamant assertion of usually men. I've found it no more significant than a platitude thrown to women in a way that ignores female experience, sins, as well as potential problems in the governance of the church as a whole. So I'm loathe to believe it now. I will place the scripture on one of my temple scripture lists that I keep. With luv, BD
  6. BYU rape case defendant aquitted

    No, not exactly. I would strongly recommend reading the book Missoula to have a picture of what happens with rape cases. They're several problematic areas that lead to rape going uncharged.
  7. BYU rape case defendant aquitted

    I'm not surprised it was aquitted. Sorry that it was....but not surprised. Our judicial and police system is simply not well equipped for processing and convicting rape cases. with luv, BD
  8. Modesty standards

    I have a problem with the bolded statements. The body is meant to be sexual and is a divine part of it. "Not sexualizing it" to me is a form of repression that can lead to people feeling disconnected or uncomfortable in their sexuality. I've seen this happen before, particularly for women, pretty dang often. "Sexualizing it" to me makes about as much sense as it does to say "photosynthesizing plants." I don't see sexual expression, including attractive clothing choices, as objectification in and of itself. I like the guide to the scriptures definition to modesty: Behavior or appearance that is humble, moderate, and decent. A modest person avoids excesses and pretensions. With luv, BD
  9. Hearing from women who have been abused

    I think it's a bit of a reinforcing cycle. The cultural influences that allow assault or harassment are there with or without porn. It can just bolster the attitude when it is present. I think it's overarching messages about gender, women's sexuality, etc that fuel it. with luv, BD
  10. Hearing from women who have been abused

    They can express it, they just can't assume that it's women and girls who should fix it. I've had several people who were sexually triggered by me in office. The first time it happened the person mentioned my clothing choice. I had a minute where I really thought about changing my outfits on certain days to "make it easier." But when I thought about it, really thought about it....I realized making it easier didn't necessarily help the person struggling to learn to control their sexual desires. That was something they had to learn from themselves. The longer I've gone the more I've realized that when someone feels like the sexual desires and fantasies are running them uncontrollably, it has absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with their mental states. They need to grow, work through their hang ups, and change...not me. Smac, what I find frustrating about this, isn't even how wrong you are on this. I wish I could make you take my clients with PTSD, anxiety, panic disorders, and depression who've been raped, assualted, coerced, and/or abused. Have you listen to hours and hours and hours of the same dam story over and over again. The patterns are so clear with many of them that I can tell their story for them with little change beyond their face. To have to go and work through the hours and hours and hours and hours more of therapy that it takes to restore the lost parts of their souls. The LONG process it takes for them to learn to trust men again after the 3rd predator in their life has sucked them dry. The painful walk of helping them name what happened to them....to help them know what wasn't their fault (they very rarely jump to blaming the perp. They're more likely to blame themselves). The rage that flows in you as few of these get prosecuted, victim-blaming abounds, and shame is confused as guilt by leaders parents and loved ones...and then using that rage to fight against what seems like fated helplessness due to an ill-equipped, ill-informed, and perp-enabling society. And finally to help the ones stuck in perpetual poor relational decisions get out one hard step at a time. I wish you could because at that point I would really hope you'd finally hear us women. Hear and understand how absolutely off base your comments are. Their is nothing irrational about their fear. Irrational fears are fears for things that are super unlikely to happen. My friend's fear of all dogs harming her...including Pomeranians...that's irrational. The fear of assault, coercion, and harassment aren't. They happen at alarming rates. 1 in 5-6 women (depending the citing) will be raped in their lifetime. 43-44% of women will experience some form of sexual violence in the US (see here). That's an epidemic of serious emotional consequence. Your analogy falls so off base I don't even know where to start. So you may just want to start by listening and really getting to know the breadth and depth of this problem rather than reacting and making unfounded claims/strawmen. With luv, BD
  11. Hearing from women who have been abused

    I wish I'd thought that far. I kinda forgot that I've never told my mom some of this and she flew off the handle for a moment. Talking to her also reminded me other forms of sexual harassment as a young teen I kind forgot about. I realized I had quite a bit of it, but I just shoveled it away. With luv, BD
  12. Hearing from women who have been abused

    It's absolutely prevalent. With men in my office I'm more likely to talk about porn history. With women in my office I'm more likely to hear stories of assault. Harassment doesn't generally register unless it was extremely explicit. I remember from time to time a man with his spouse listening to his wife's tales of abuse. Some of these men, becoming aware of the situations facing women become irrate, horrified and flustered. It's like their world is spinning upside down and their desire to protect their wife driven helpless. The wife and I usually share a knowing glance and shrug. It says welcome to being a woman, you can't protect us from this. Their world turned upside down and dangerous is just the one we've been navigating for ages. Denial and that hope for exaggeration is one of the reasons I'm glad for this going trend right now. It's not just men who want to pretend this isn't happening. It's women. And it's women who've been victimized. I know because it's been my job, more than once, to help a woman understand that she was assaulted or raped. Most just don't want to believe it. I know because I still have a hard time admitting that I was sexually assaulted when I was 13. I call it "assault light" half the time. More than half the time. Because it doesn't count for "real assault." I didn't have bruises or was battered just chronically leery in hallways all the time. He had more scars from when I'd kick or scratch him (I've always been a fight not flight sort of person). He would call me catwoman and would make it somehow part of his nasty sexual game. But it was still assault. Discrediting just makes it easier to hide from the faults in our society that are pervasive, real, and sick. With luv, BD
  13. Hearing from women who have been abused

    I'll post what I posted on FB: On the mormon note, for our credit, I've had the least amount of direct sexual harassment in an LDS context. So I generally feel safe at church and completely safe in the temple. The biggest problem I see is blindness to the problem of those who've been abused, understanding what this form of abuse does to victims, and inadvertently enabling the perpetrators of said crimes. Enabling can include justifying their behaviors by blame shifting onto the victims (it wouldn't have happened if she did x,y,z...we women have a responsibility to help or control men's thoughts like their helpless babies to our bodies), it can be turning a blind eye to inappropriate comments, it can be by overextending mercy with little account to justice or accountability (ie. enabling) the perps. Though we have little overtly visible acts of assault and harassment, it means that what does happen remains quiet and behind closed doors. It remains silent. With luv, BD
  14. As am I still learning. I knew my temple shift was today, so I went and talked to the temple recorder about the differences between the women and men's initiatory for about 20 minutes. It was a great discussion and obviously most of it I can't share here. He had his conclusions (which were similar to some of the ones you mentioned), I had my own thoughts, and there were several of both our thoughts that intersected and had common ground. The actual ceremony still doesn't ring right to me when interpreted in the way that you've ascribed. It feels like folk doctrine to me. Such an interpretation lends to or maintains placing women on pedestals and benevolent sexism. I think that's continued because in part we live in a sexist world and in part because men, in callings such as recorders, have often been the ones with major access to both ceremonies in full and the ones told to turn to if there's questions about it (women are sometimes told to go to the matron....but I've heard it more to the presidency or the recorder). What that leads to is a male-dominated orientation to understanding the temple ceremony. Tying this to the first article, it's just as problematic as having a white dominated perspective on the gospel and race. Not only does this effect the faith oriented interpretations of the temple, I think some of the criticism of the temple is actually more so criticism of this male-dominate lens that we all in some ways have been led to peer through. My initial thoughts I can share is that to me the structure indicates that women are given a specific gift in cleansing that is necessary for our role on earth in direct tangent and partnership with the men's specific duties and roles....all under the power and order of our Heavenly Parents or the Priesthood. This gift for women is needed for their direct roles that are correlated in scripture to Christ's purpose and the plan of salvation overall. I also find it a particular mercy to women. The blessings of cleansing and power within our bodies particularly touched me as I've thought about the disproportionate amount of abuse, assaults, injury, perpetual beratement about our bodies, and general degradation women face in this fallen world. To be told what we are in washing to me felt like a mercy. Like having the inordinate amount of hidden tears, scars, and filth forced upon our bodies from this fallen world be removed here and now...to partially have Christ wipe away the pitfalls of inequality there as He will fully do in our resurrection to come. Anyways, what I've learned today was helpful and will be something that I'm pondering for a while to come. With luv, BD