Friday, August 22, 2014

How I Grew Up In A Cult

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I posted this nearly 2 years ago, when I had a much smaller audience, and it's something I'd like to share with you again.  A lot of my readers don't know my background, and I feel it's important.  So I'm going to tell y'all about how I grew up in a cult.

Yeah, almost, actually.    Photo courtesy of

Yeah.  I was raised in a cultish, fundamental Baptist church.  You guys didn't know that about ol' raunchy Jill, didya?

A childhood picture.  Just kidding.  But only kinda.

That's real.  They told us to make a silly face for the picture, but that dress was completely my decision.

The story would probably have to start with my Grandpa.  He was raised very old-fashioned and religious and taught my mother that way as well, so after my mom went through her rebellious phase and then got knocked up (me!) and decided to turn it around and be all grown up and responsible, she thought logically being a "good Christian" was part of that.  So she started trying to find a church.

When I was very young we went to one of those cookie-cutter Calvary churches--not awesome, but harmless enough.  Kids who grew up going to those still managed to be normal.  But they were "too wishy-washy," so we started going to a big Baptist church in Beaverton where I joined Awana and sang in the choir and I was the star in the Christmas play.

By which I mean I was the star.  Not Mary, not Joseph.  Just a stupid star.

My mom met some people there who introduced her to what ended up being the single greatest influence of my childhood.  By which I mean they took my poor little personality, crushed it like a fragile little blueberry, and replaced it with creepy hymns and mind-purification rituals.

I could go into excruciating and horrifying detail, folks, but I don't need to pass on the trauma.  Let me just give you a few of the basics:

-You were born a piece of shit because all humans are pieces of shit.  Pretty much anything that comes from your own mind, heart or soul is sinful and you need to constantly ignore who you are to become more like Jesus.  And not like the cool-dude Jesus who went around helping people, like the up-in-the-sky-now Jesus who is pure and dull.    

Cool Jesus?

Nope. But still White Jesus.

-You can be in a "carnal" mindset, which means that your thoughts are sinful or something, and you have to go through a series of steps in your mind to reframe it so God will want to be close with you again.  This can happen if you think about sex (sexual immorality).  Or if you consider taking the big half of the cookie you're splitting (selfishness).  Or if you think something is unfair and consider speaking up (strife).  Or any of another million bajillion miniature little "temptations" that can happen to you throughout the day.  Now tell a child with crippling obsessive compulsive disorder all of that.  Yeah, I just never stopped obsessing.

-All sexuality outside of marriage, including masturbating, thinking about sex, and being attracted to people--totally sinful.  Dressing in any way that makes you look attractive is sinful, and is "stumbling" your Christian brothers (and yes, you're right, that thinking IS one step away from "she was asking for it, wearing that outfit."  Good job!!)  Within a marriage, vanilla missionary sex is okay.  Kinda.

Boring sex is holy sex!

-Divorce is only okay if someone is cheating on you.  Abuse is not a good enough excuse.  If you divorce your husband and he hasn't cheated on you with a human woman, you are a witch and should be cast out of the church.

He beat you and fucked a dude?  And a goat?  How dare you divorce him!

-Women are not allowed to speak before the congregation--know why?  Because Eve was easily deceived by the devil, as all women are, and therefore are too weak to lead.  (Seriously, that's in the bible.)

-Abortion, homosexuality, certain forms of contraception (or all of them, depending who you ask), adultery, not abstaining from all appearance of evil, denying your spouse sex, astrology, tattoos, witchcraft, taking god's name in vain (even saying "Oh my God!"), boasting, lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, not spanking a disobedient child, disobeying your parents, dishonoring your parents, doubting God--all of these things and more are horrible sins that will make God not want to be close with you until you confess and ask forgiveness.

I didn't get out until I was 19.  Then I had to start pretty much 100% fresh with my entire personality and belief system.  The Jill you know today is a person who was developed almost entirely in the last  5 years--and so, SO much more to go.  I still struggle sometimes with the obscure idea of right and wrong, panicking at every turn that I'm doing the "wrong" thing.  And I still struggle to speak up for myself, and I'm still afraid sometimes to say anything against an authority.  But you know what?  I'm getting better and happier all the time.

Crudely drawn genitalia helps with the pain.

I'm telling you all this because I know there are others out there.  I'm telling you all this because I know there are people with similar stories who are struggling.  I'm telling you all this because when I believed it all, I shook my head sadly at the people who had left, but the second I started to doubt anything those people became shining examples in my mind of people who could do it.  People who could leave.  It was so validating.

Let me, and my fucking insane story, validate you--whether you're someone like me who has left an oppressive religion, or someone who's still trying to decide (or amuse you, if you are fortunate enough to not come from such a fucked up place).  You are not crazy, and you are not sinful for doubting.

I don't believe in God anymore, myself.  But if there is a God out there, I don't believe that he or she would want mindless followers.  I believe if someone created you, they would want you to be YOU.  Think about it--if you created a work of art, like a painting, would you then tell that painting to change itself now to be more like you?  No!  You'd want it to be beautiful as it was, just the way you made it to be.  That's my theory.

Hey Jill, I made you a superhero, so now it's time to be different.  Just kidding.  You keep on keepin' on, girlfriend.

And for the record, since you mostly only get shitty pictures of me, I'm hot now.

And so are my friends.  BAM!  For the record, these girls have loved me through every stage of insanity.  Love you guys!

And since that picture was taken 2 years ago, here is a more recent photo of me being yet more free-spirited and awesome:

See the blue hair and the healthy skin?  I think I can officially say I'm past the cultish bullshit.

7 Things That Gross Me Out

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This post is about things that gross me out, for varying reasons.

Enjoy being grossed out with me.

1. "Human Barbies"

Valeria Lukyanova
Valeria Lukyanova

Lolita Richi
Lolita Richi

Like, WTF.  People aren't dolls.  Aspiring to be shouldn't be a thing.  If you happen to have freakish Barbie proportions, good for you, but the fact that these women are going "ooh, so it would be totes sexy if I also put in contacts and painted my face to look like it's made of plastic" is creepier than Robin Thicke...just being Robin Thicke.


2. The Food Industry

And not just because I'm vegan (although that is certainly part of it).  The entire way we eat in this country is completely disgusting.

meat industry gross

fat mcdonald's kid

gross school lunch
pink goo mechanically separated chicken
This is what "Mechanically Separated Chicken" means.

Fun fact: did you know that we use SO much land to farm cattle (about 41% of the land in the continental states is used for livestock, about 30% of land mass worldwide), soy, wheat, other livestock, and dairy and eggs that if every American were to actually eat the daily recommended portion of fruits and vegetables we wouldn't even have enough?  (Not to mention the staggering environmental impact.  God damn, don't get me started.)


3. Twitter Trends

It is a special day when #yesallwomen or #Ferguson or #PrayforBoston is trending.  Most of the time it's something about the Biebs, One Direction or Prince Harry.

Twitter trends are stupid
This is from today, 08-22-14.

4. Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity has Lego hair
Photo Courtesy of

A lot of Republican assholes piss me off, I mean I've been known to accept the "Rush Limbaugh's soft, shitty body" card as the winner in Cards Against Humanity even when it doesn't make sense, just because it fills me with a sense of wicked glee, but Sean Hannity is beyond an asshole.  He is disgusting.  His hair looks like Lego hair, that just pops onto his head in one solid, plastic piece.  His face is creepy.  His mannerisms are rude to the point of being appalling, and even his voice makes me want to rip my laptop in half.  Some of it isn't his fault, but most of it is, so I don't feel badly making fun of him.

5. Tampons

tampons are gross.

Not because of periods.  Periods are gross in a way, I mean it's blood pouring out of you and it smells kinda funny, but periods are natural and they don't gross me out.  Tampons, though...think about it.  Production of tampons is not regulated, meaning who fucking knows if they're sterile, and in fact there have been reports of them falling off the conveyor belt and being picked up and put right back on.  They are questionably clean wads of cotton that we shove up our vaginas, letting them collect all the blood, fluids and bacteria and holding it all there to let it grow until we yank them out and shove another one in.  They have a little string that hangs out and gets poop on it from your asshole and then works its way up to your urethra, giving you UTI's.  They use SO MUCH FUCKING PLASTIC.

tampons are really gross.
They are also expensive.  They are gross in just so many ways.  Go buy a menstrual cup instead, you'll be glad you did.

6. Calling Creepy Things "BDSM"

Best example being Fifty Shades of Grey, of course.

50 Shades of Grey is about abuse
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The short version: a rich, powerful older man follows and tracks the phone of a helpless, naive, virginal college student.  He takes her from her friends at a bar while she is drunk, removes her clothes and puts her to bed in his own bed at a hotel, and then convinces her to sign a contract saying he can abuse her and she can't tell anyone about it.  He even ignores her safe word (pretty much the biggest no-no in the entire BDSM world).  This is abuse, not BDSM.  It gives BDSM a bad name and gives abusers an excuse for their hurtful behavior.

On that note, I once had a date tell me that I wasn't a "real submissive" if I had lines.  I'm pretty sure his exact words were "how can you be a real submissive if you won't do whatever I want?"  He wanted anal, and I told him I don't like anal and don't do it.  That was his response.  That is a giant red flag.  Look out for people like that.  They are not doms, they are abusers.

And they are gross.

7. "Bride of Christ," "Heavenly Husband," etc.

Bride of Christ creepy
Photo courtesy of

Who the fuck follows a religion that says all its collective followers are the "bride" of its deity?

I mean there have been lots of groups of Christians who actually believe in some form of sexual interaction with Jesus.  Like the Children of God, who taught their followers to masturbate to the thought of boning Jesus (in order to avoid homosexuality, men are to picture themselves as women boning Jesus).  They were even encouraged to talk dirty, like saying "oh yes, fuck me Jesus" and such.  I'm not even kidding.

The Puritans were also not-so-pure, believing that sex with Jesus should be encouraged by funneling the passion into your marriage.  In fact, having sex even with your spouse without the focus being passion for Jesus was considered unclean.

Sex with Jesus
♪Jesus is just all right with me!!!!♪

While hilarious, this is also completely disgusting.  And what's even more disgusting is that it's not that far-fetched, as the Bible makes the implication more than obvious.  The Bible is gross.  And creepy.  I don't know why I didn't just give it its own entry.

What grosses you out?

15 Great Writers Who Were Alcoholics

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I'm beginning to wonder if the secret to my success isn't sitting on my liquor shelf.

*Sigh* I should probably be responsible.