Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mimics Are So Annoying

The word the Church often uses is "counterfeit." I like the term "mimic" too. I think both work well. From what I have understood of Pope John Paul the Great's earlier work Love and Responsibility, I think mimic is a good translation of what he is describing for the sexual activity that happens in a counterfeit of marriage. I still struggle with that book. It is a very difficult read. A theologian friend once said, "When I got stuck I started counting the words in a paragraph. There were 100 words. And it was one sentence! And it wasn't a run-on!!" I have little kids so I can be easily distracted. I don't stand a chance until they are older.

When I was really introduced to the idea of sexual counterfeit and sexual mimic, the remaining questions I had about the morality of sexual acts finally became clear. Until then, I couldn't distinguish a definite line between things that our culture crudely calls, "oral sex," from the beautiful overture to the marital act known as foreplay. On Catholic bulletin boards I would see people dancing around the topic, and then using all sorts of strange authorities, or even popular, well known speakers, to try to justify their point of view. None seemed like sound answers.

It became the last piece of the puzzle I needed to answer for me. What really is the difference between immoral "oral sex," compared to moral, oral stimulation during foreplay? I found my answer as I read more deeply about the word counterfeit. A small blip in my mind gave me the clue, "mimic." That word, mimic, became very important. I asked my husband about it. We talked frankly about our pasts again, like when we were first dating. I asked friends and really started to examine the idea. And most importantly, I contemplated my own marriage act itself compared to my past sexual encounters. That word summed it up. Mimic. It was in using sexual acts that mimicked foreplay, that I first began a counterfeit sexuality in my past.

In reading and hearing Catholics try to defend oral sex as moral on one end of the spectrum, fighting with other Catholics at the other end of the spectrum, who couldn't even comprehend the idea of foreplay; I knew there had to be a way to objectively determine what is and what is not a moral sexual act. I was going out on a limb in saying that oral sex was not moral even when "used as foreplay," as some popular theologians have claimed. But at the same time, I didn't want that limb sawed off by a person saying that foreplay was oral sex since it sort of "looked like oral sex." There had to be an objective line. I found it in that one word. MIMIC.

I looked at the design of the body again. The mouth, the hands, the sexual organs, the reproductive organs; they all have a design. They all have a purpose. The mouth is designed to taste and suckle. The kiss is built right into the design. There is not a single spot on our spouse's body that we are forbidden to kiss, and to suckle. Where the line crosses into the counterfeit acts is in an act that mimics. The moment the mouth ceases to behave as a mouth is designed to, and instead mimics a genital, it has become a counterfeit act. When the hands and fingers cease to caress and guide, they are counterfeits of their design. When the hands mimic a penis or mimic a vagina, the act has degraded into a mutual masturbation. There is a difference, and that difference makes an enormous change.

I found that when I stumbled on to that truth, my own marriage got even better. I found that intuitively, the acts that never quite "felt right" were mimics. They were a poor substitute for the real thing. Clearing out those acts intensifies the anticipation. Foreplay is really something for before, when the mimic is removed. When the mind-blowing climax follows it is just as many people have described, "The closest we can get to feeling in heaven, while still alive."

Marriage is the first step to overcoming any mimic. Fornication is defined by its "counterfeit-ness." In fornication, two become one, but only for today. Tomorrow, they go their separate ways. The next steps are in truly bringing your marriage to God through prayer and sacrifice. He designed sex. He is the author, therefore, the ultimate author-ity. The final steps are in the communication between spouses. Communion has many meanings. All are important to marriage.

I have asked many times, "what could have been said to me waaaay back when, that would have helped me wait for marriage?" I have found that the idea of mimic and counterfeit would have been the most compelling arguments for me. If someone had told me, that fornication, contraception, and oral sex were the sexual equivalent to inheriting a fortune, only to find out it was counterfeit money in the end; I would have made different choices. I mean, really. Who wants to roll around in a big pile of counterfeit?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm Fertile.

YAY!! But we have been called to a small family. Boo. But we are both on board with that, so abstaining hasn't been a problem. Yay! Yeah. Abstaining hasn't been a problem. Boo.

NFP, health problems, and us. I ache so badly sometimes that I can't feel my lower extremities. Hard to feel aroused, when numbness is more common. So. How do I overcome that? I take pain pills I don't like, but help me function. I go to a doctor every two months and poas. That's "pee on a stick" for those not in the know. But the stick I pee on is not to check for hormones. It is to check that I don't have too much of the pain drugs in my system to show I am not overdosing, and enough in my system that I am not selling them. Careful balance there. (Don't worry criminals, getting to the drugs is tough. I am always home. And armed.) It is a gift to have this type of pain management available. I can't fathom the level of pain people dealt with when they still thought chronic fatigue was a "fake illness."

Being called to a small family probably hurts more. I wanted a bunch of children so I would never know who was the "baby," so I would never raise her as one. (I am the family baby, and I have issues.) I wanted a bunch of kids who entertained each other and helped each other laugh. Instead I have 2. They are enough to be a conspiracy all on their own, though. They make each other laugh, and also scream and fight. I missed the parent memo that an older brother would lick his sister's upper arm just to annoy her, and then claim, "I just breathed on her." Um. Ew? What are we? Cats? Yuck. "Spit that thing out. You don't know where its been!" (Points if you get the Ice Age reference.)

I wanted a lot of kids. I wanted to be Fertile Myrtle. I also wanted to be healthy and conquer the world. Didn't work out that way. God always has other plans. I have a younger friend with 4 children who sometimes feels intimidated going in public and dealing with the comments. (Don't you have a TV?) She is shy and reserved, while I would have loved to answer with my favorite all-time quip that I picked up somewhere online, "Sir. If you think TV is better than sex, you're doing it wrong." But, God had other plans for most of us.

I wonder if there is anything good on TV tonight?

Friday, June 8, 2012

16 and 25 to 41

I often joke that the 16-year-old version of me would laugh if you told her where she would be in 25 years. But recently, I have decided that she wouldn't laugh so much as be entertained by her own rudder. I think that no one who knew me then is terribly surprised when they find out the directions I have gone in. I am sure that every guy I dated, and lectured on his and my own lack of morality, is not surprised at all that this is where I went. I have always had this in me. There is not a teacher who wouldn't be surprised that I express myself, most often, in the written word. I talked constantly in school. But I also wrote. An essay test answer from me was sure to go on... and on.

My religion teachers knew me as the one who always had a question. If I didn't have a headache preventing me from participating, I was right in the fray. I wanted to know everything about every religion. None of that has truly changed. I still do. I still struggle to "get" homilies. I keep wanting to make them relate to me. I often discover that it is me who needs to do the relating. That hasn't changed either.

The biggest part of me that hasn't changed is my fear of letting myself be exposed. I still fear letting the world see me in all of my yucky sinfulness. I still don't want to write when I don't feel up to it. I still keep ideas in my head, and in my ipod recorder; ideas that I am afraid to put out there because I might offend. I still haven't changed in many ways from that 16-year-old. I still want everyone to like me. Silly, I know. And pleasing people will not get Truth revealed. That is likely one of the only things that would shock 16-year-old me. "You aren't going to like the Truth sometimes, and neither will others. Deal with it."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I am Open to Title Ideas Here. AKA: Why Did I Write This?

One of my biggest struggles with being a "former contracepter," is the toll those years took on me. It is hard, actually impossible, to deny that the struggles I have now are in some way linked to the choices I made then. Yes, when I am not being tough on myself I can remember that many of those choices were good and moral. But on days like today, I am very aware of where my immorality led me. Most people who give up contraception, especially hormonal contraception, become very aware of the children they chemically aborted. I think I am also profoundly aware of the people in my life who weren't part of the "plan" in the first place.

Many, if not all, of the choices I make now, have a strong link to my past. I am spending time atoning for my sins, while simultaneously working toward making those sins look less appealing to young people. But on nights like tonight, I wonder how many of the repercussions of those sinful actions will never go away. Please don't get me wrong. I am not trying to present God as some mean, unforgiving tyrant. I do honestly believe that things are sinful simply because, in the long run, they are bad for us.

While I try not to mention too much about other people here, I will say that my husband struggles with his own set of "demons" from his past as well. He has an unusual seizure disorder that makes him, at times, sleepwalk at night, and go into an automatic loop behavior during the day. Basically, when he is in the seizure, if he gets an idea in his head, he will generally act on it. If he decides he is hungry, he will go in the kitchen and make a meal. It doesn't matter that it is the middle of the night. He has no memory the next day of doing the behavior. And he appears completely awake while performing the actions.

In his past, his ways of dealing with stress were not immoral, but they were not good for him. If he was under stress, he would stuff it down and not mention it. Talking about problems always led to fighting for him. He came from a family where men only displayed anger or happiness. They were all heavy drinkers and heavy smokers. Most died young or live in behavior-related ill-health. My husband tries to break those bonds in his own life. But if he is stressed, he craves alcohol, tobacco, and yelling. That is what he knew, and it is hard to let go. And to really make it even tougher on him, the sleepwalking ties him to his past. As a wonderful Catholic counselor told us, "Your emotions have no time-frame. Stress opens the file drawer and pulls out an emotion, no matter how old it is."

He started on the path to change, shortly before I met him 11 years ago. On some level, he is actually ahead of me. When we met, he had quit smoking. I was still fornicating and contracepting. While marriage and chastity "cured me" of my struggles, I still can see the long term effects. I can see the stain on my soul, much like a smoker's lung. (Actually is was continence that fixed it, but that term often sounds like a urinary problem, so, yeah, I use the other term.) Yes, I am forgiven, but I still make choices that are steered in part by overcoming my past. I am more short-tempered about certain topics with my kids. They ask an innocent question and because I know where that answer might lead them, I answer quickly and change the subject. I don't want to do that. I want to truly be free of that past sinful choice. Mostly, I want to be able to answer with a pure heart, not one of suspicion and doubt.

I want my husband to think about having a nice, warm bath when he is stressed out and sleepwalking, not a shot (or 4) of whiskey. I want for those men who come from backgrounds of anger to break those chains completely; just because their dads knew nothing but anger, doesn't mean they have to be just like them. I often beg God for some sort of "spiritual amnesia," where our present choices don't have our past sins lurking over them. One of the questions I still have is, "why if the sin is forgiven completely, do we still remember it?" How do we move forward in holiness while still living with the repercussions of our past sins? And most importantly, how do we strive for holiness when our sinful demons are such a large part of who we have become?

Like a former addict, will I always be a "former contracepter," or at some point in my life will that be so far removed from me that it will have no bearing on my life? Will my husband and other men like him, finally know what it is like to rest secure and confident? Will the families with generations of despair, finally find peace? I think, as I write this, that heaven will be the only place to find those answers. As a very wise religious sister often tells me, "God's delay is not God's denial."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why a Sweet Sweat was Good!

Pill Users Choose 'Wrong' Sex Partners

A few years ago I heard this report on the news. I was just today redirected to an old article about it. Here it is because it was exactly where I used to be!

When the report I watched was aired, I just happened to be in the same room as both my husband and my dad. Both are very masculine men and the thought of women responding favorably to the smell of their sweaty t-shirts had both of them surprised and chuckling at the report. Both made comments about what an odd thing to test, and how it couldn't possibly be true. I couldn't let that slide. I told them that yes, in fact, it was true and that I had always associated the smell of each of them while working hard as a good thing.

My dad knew that I had been on the Pill of many years because of my "female troubles." I explained very hastily and with a blush, "Yeah dad, those guys I dated during those years that you never liked...that was why." I discovered, for myself, that being on the Pill made me attracted to some really crappy guys. Some were not very assertive, others were just downright misogynists. They hated women. Well, to be fair, they hated what I have come to call, "authentic women." They hated those women who wanted to stay home and -gasp- raise babies! Those women were considered lazy, stupid, and many a name I am choosing not to list. I actually thought, at the time, that they were right. I tried to bury my desire for domestic life, deeper and deeper. I didn't want to be thought lazy and stupid. I had spent years trying to prove I wasn't dumb, because I was, (and still am) a little dingy at times.

I consider the time of May of 2000 to be when my sense of smell returned. I was doing a health cleanse and seeking better ways to finally heal my many health troubles. Going off hormonal contraception was the last step I needed. It was when my sense of balance returned. I finally started becoming me again. I actually ran into two ex-boyfriends during that time at was surprised at how "girly" they suddenly smelled to me. Surprised and shocked actually. They had been nice guys whom my family liked, and they were never hateful or mean. Both of them have since become good friends of mine. They were good guys. But they did not have what I needed in a man. They didn't smell like hard-working men. They work hard. Don't get me wrong. They hold full time jobs. But they don't smell like a hard-working man. I needed a hard working man. I needed a perfect complement to my "love home-cooking, light pretty smelling candles, baby-sniffing" self. I found him.

Just six months after I went off the Pill for good, I met my husband. He's a manly, sole provider who is proud that he supports a stay-at-home wife. I remember sniffing him on our first date. -sniiiiffffff- The smell of clean, sweet sweat. What a wonderful scent!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How's That Working Out for You?

I keep encountering people who defend the promiscuous lifestyle. These are yet again, smart people otherwise. Their defenses are sometimes even reasonably thought out and make some sense. I know those reasonable arguments. I used to make them. I could reason out how pre-marital sex was more important than test driving a car. I could say that a couple needed to know their compatibility before they married. I could even say that some people might not get married, so even calling it "pre-marital" was a presumption. But there is one thing I have noticed in those "reasonable arguments." There is the one question I wasn't asking myself. "In the long run, how is that working out for you?"

Our modern understanding of those questions is a result of our culture's persistent short-sightedness. We simply don't plan ahead very well. The car I needed while I was in my dating years, is certainly not the car I need now with a family and children. Few people test drive the practical cars while they are just dating. Those who do, have planned ahead. And my level of so-called "compatibility" back in those days? That question requires a loud, "HA!" in order to answer honestly. I wasn't even the same person back then, in many vital ways.

Those people, whom I found "compatible" back then, aren't even part of my closest friends anymore. I was still discovering who I was back then. Sexual compatibility should have been at the absolute bottom of the list, instead of second or third. With maturity, a married couple who finds that they are "not sexually compatible" can still go on to become so. Sexual technique is better learned with one partner anyway. You become each other's perfect complement, with no comparisons. If a couple really is struggling after marriage, there are tons of resources to help.

And finally, calling it anything other than "pre-marital sex" is just opening a can of worms that can never be contained again. When I tried to redefine sex is when I made my biggest error. That, primarily led to deep unhappiness with myself. I started to note that many people who balked at calling it "pre-marital sex" because it, "is just sex. It doesn't need a qualifier," still eventually attempted to marry. They had their reasons, but there was one consistency I note. (But this was purely in my own experience; I have no studies to cite.) The consistent theme was: those who redefine marriage tend to attempt it anyway and a lot of the time, end up divorced. In the "how's that working out for you" department, attempting marriage without even having a working definition, would seem fairly doomed at the outset.

Long-term thinking is a good remedy for promiscuity.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Progestin is NOT Progesterone

The following is the content of two posts I made in a discussion on facebook. I find that I don't have time to blog when I am off doing this, so I decided to post my contribution as a blog post. I don't have any sources linked, because well, for one, facebook is so annoying in letting you link in the comments. And two, because it would take me four times as long to source as it does to write. And, "dammit Jim! I am a blogger, not a scientist!" (Free internet points to all those who understand the reference.) If you need a specific source, please let me know and I will dig it out. The woman I am addressing in the posts has health problems which she believes "need to be treated with The Pill." I have removed her name, (I hope I got all the instances), but she remains in my heart and prayers. She, and all other women deserve better than what our current culture thinks is "health care for women."

[Name redacted], I really sympathize with your position. I don't know if you will believe me or not, but I honestly do hope you get better treatment than the Pill. The regiment you are on now is damaging your body for the long term. I can go into the details if you would like, but I am not sure if you will believe my motives are genuine or not. But I will take a dive in anyway...

What you are taking now is something called progestin, or progestogen. Those two words look a lot like the word progesterone, so many people think they must be the same as progesterone. They aren't. And both are very dangerous to you, in the short term and the long term. The family of progestins is designed to mimic progesterone in your pituitary gland. But it doesn't mimic it in the rest of the body. That causes the health problems you are having to get worse.

Pregnant women, and women in the days after ovulation can't get pregnant because the high doses of progesterone in the pituitary, shuts off ovulation. But progesterone doesn't just turn off ovulation and grow the placenta. Those are just the qualities that led to it getting its name. Those are the "pro-gestational" qualities. But what many people don't realize is that all males and females have progesterone (even children) and both sexes absolutely NEED it in its natural form. Progesterone is the building block for the production of estrogen and testosterone.

When your body gets the steroid, progestin, it stops making natural progesterone. (Just like a male athlete on steroidal testosterone stops making natural testosterone and his testes shrink or swell, permanently.) Your ovaries do the same thing on the steroids. They shut down and cease making estrogen. Your body cannot use the artificial progestin to make estrogen. Some versions of the Pill add estrogen in an "average dose" to try to compensate for the loss. But the dose nearly always leads to estrogen dominance or estrogen deficiency, so some try to do without it and advise the patients to use it "short term". When estrogen (or testosterone) levels are off it affects everything about us. In women it leads to loss of libido, vaginal dryness (painful intercourse, and higher risk of STDs because of vaginal tearing,) personality changes, osteoporosis, and a whole host of other problems. (I have a list, but this is plenty long already.)...

Basically, your health problems are being made worse by the Pill, [redacted]. I promise you. I have been there. I have been off of it for 10 years now and my health problems are finally really healing. (It takes 10 years to reverse the effects of it.) Charting your fertility and seeing a doctor who honestly knows about the dangers of progestin is really the only way for living healthy now and in your future...

I am honestly posting to help your health. If you are interested in further information on real treatments, please feel free to contact me privately. I promise not to debate the morality of the Pill. My goal has always been to help other women find authentic forms of medicine. Progestin and progestogen really are neutering the environment and absolutely killing women.

And to answer the question, "If progestins are so bad for the body why don't they use natural progesterone in the Pill instead?" Answer: They tried that when they were testing it 50 years ago and in the first 20 years of "the Pill" being on the market. Massive doses of progesterone in the uterus tries to do what it is supposed to do: make a placenta. But if the building blocks of a placenta aren't there (an embryo) it just makes tumors instead. Way, way too many women's bodies also react to progestin in the same way. Note in any article that attempts to debunk the link between the Pill and cancer will almost always include the little disclaimer, "women who have been off of the Pill for 10 or more years have the same chances of cancer as women who never took it in the first place."

You have to be off of it for 10 years to get your health back! And Pill supporters have done little, to no, research on the women who have taken the Pill for all 20 of their reproductive years. The studies being performed by those against hormonal contraception show that the numbers are likely much higher, the longer a woman has been on the Pill. They are still in the danger zone for 20-30 years. The makers of The Pill are the ones with all the money. They are the ones who can afford research. I don't make a thin dime if I can convince you to switch to fertility awareness. My entire purpose in writing is because your life has value to me. I don't know you, but you are (and any woman reading this) worth more than The Pill is giving you. You deserve real healing. AND real healing IS possible! If anyone, not just [name redacted], is interested in more information, please feel free to contact me privately. We can save the moral debates for another day. For me, learning the health side came first. It taught me that things are immoral, not because people like to judge and wave fingers, but because they really are bad for us, as human persons.