Thursday, June 11, 2015

Random drivebys...

Today's post is not light-hearted or funny, nor is it very politically correct.  Any shitty comments will be deleted.

Was just reading RfM and someone posted about running into a Mormon at the supermarket.  If you click the link, you can read exactly what transpired.  Basically, the Mormon told the poster that she'd driven by her house.  She didn't stop to chat.  She wasn't invited to come in for lemonade.  She just simply drove by.  Why?  Because she wanted to see how the poster lives.  Not where she lives, but HOW she lives.  And she wasn't interested in asking the poster how she was doing, either.  She simply did her undercover surveillance and returned and reported to the stake president.  

What do you make of that?  Isn't it a little creepy?  And isn't it strange to admit to such surveillance behavior?  Seems kind of stalkerish to me.

Reading this account reminds me of the last time we were visited by a Mormon guy.  Actually, I was visited by him, since Bill was out of town.  It was during the holidays in 2006 and I was putting up the tree.  Six months earlier, Bill had sent in his resignation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He'd not heard a peep, other than getting the standard letter from Salt Lake City advising him that it was a local ecclesiastical matter that would be handled by the local bishop.  Bill had never met the local church authorities and really had no desire to meet them.  He simply wanted to quit the Mormon church because he didn't believe in it and the lifestyle was not for him.

So anyway, it was a Sunday in late November and I was putting up the Christmas tree.  That was the year Bill's ex stepson Alex was coming over for Thanksgiving and I wanted the house to look festive.  How naive I was, thinking that the young man had good intentions when he and his then girlfriend now wife decided to visit us.  We later found out that Bill was just a chump to him and he was simply using him for money.  But that year, Bill was excited because Alex and his woman had decided to visit us.  It was the first time he'd seen him since 2004, which was the last time Bill saw his daughters.

As I was working on decorating the house for Alex's visit, I discovered that the lights on the tree weren't working, so I ran out to AAFES to pick up some new ones.  We lived on Fort Belvoir, so the PX was just around the corner.  While I was out, we had a visitor.  A local Mormon guy who also lived on post had come by after church to talk to Bill.  He wasn't invited and neither of us knew he planned to visit.  When I got back from AAFES, I found my driveway blocked by this guy's car.  If you check out the map below, you can see what happened.

Crude map of how our neighborhood was set up...

As you can see, we lived between two roads.  The road in front of our house was the main drag through the neighborhood.  I could not access my driveway from that road, but instead had to use a service road that ran behind the houses.  The Mormon stranger had parked his land yacht of a car in front of my driveway, preventing me from pulling in.  Weirder still, he was not in his car when I got home.  Apparently, he was sneaking around the neighborhood, checking things out.

I didn't know who the guy was or what he was doing blocking my driveway.  In fact, I didn't see anyone at all.  It looked like the car had just been left there.  I ended up driving over the grass to park.  Then I went into the house.  A few minutes later, I saw the guy loitering in our yard, so I went out to see what he wanted.  He looked nervous, not like a soldier or even an authority, but like someone who knew he had no business doing what he was doing.  And maybe he also realized that he'd blocked my driveway with his land yacht.

He said, "Are you Mrs. C?" 

"Yes, I am." I answered.

"Your husband wants to resign from the church?" he asked.

"Yes." I said.

"Well, could you tell him we're working on that?" he responded.

"Sure." I said. 

And with that, he quickly got in his sedan and got the hell out of there.  He never even asked to speak to Bill personally.  Instead, he spoke to me, the non-Mormon.  I am certain he checked us out to find out if I was also a member of the "one true church".

I had the thought that maybe he felt uncomfortable coming over to an apostate's house.  Or maybe he was uncomfortable because he was tasked with doing something against Army regulations.  Religious proselytizing and soliciting is not allowed on military installations.  Our neighbor at the time was a JAG officer (lawyer) and he knew the family, since they had once lived near each other in a different neighborhood on post.  Maybe our visitor didn't want to get in trouble with the Army but felt he was on a higher mission to speak to Bill about resignation.  Or perhaps he was afraid that Bill would be angry and confrontational, which is funny because Bill is one of the most even-tempered and mild-mannered people I know.  In his letter resigning his membership, Bill HAD requested no contact and speedy processing of his resignation... not that that mattered, since once he sent the letter to Salt Lake, he was no longer a Mormon anyway.  "Speedy" to the local church folks meant over six months.

What I don't understand is why the guy chose to park in front of the driveway.  Why did he block it with his car?  And why was he snooping around?  Okay I think we know why he was snooping... but I don't know why he parked where he did instead of in one of the ample parking spaces across the main drag.  I didn't draw them in my crude map, but catty cornered to our house were several legitimate parking places that were wide open for use, since it was Sunday.  He could have parked there, crossed the street, and knocked on the door like a normal person.  I wouldn't have answered right away because I wasn't home, but at least he wouldn't look like a very inept stalker.  

To the Mormon church's credit, that was the last time anyone from the church ever bothered us, unless you count Bill's miserable ex wife and former kids.  2006 was a very traumatic year.  It was the year Bill's ex stepson decided to leave home and the year Bill's daughters disowned him.  It was the year his ex wife sent him adoption papers to sign, even though Bill was a loving and concerned father who paid generous child support on time and in full every month.  It was the year my pity and concern for those kids totally died.  I will never forget the crushed look on my sweet husband's face when he got those sick, hateful letters from his kids, just in time for his birthday.  It made me want to find his ex wife and beat the ever loving shit out of her because she was behind every cursed word those girls wrote.  But, of course, I am much more reasonable than that and she is certainly not worth going to jail over.

I absolutely loathe Bill's ex wife.  And, if I'm honest, I pretty much despise his now adult kids, too, even though I know they have been lied to and misled.  And I hate the Mormon church for serving as such an effective parental alienation tool that made those kids think that what they did was justified and appropriate.  I wish I were a more sensible and forgiving person who could just rise above all of this stuff.  I wish I could be kind and gracious and loving toward Bill's daughters, even though they have shown us hatred and intolerance.  But, if I'm honest, I'm just not capable... not right now.  Maybe in a few more years.

In the long run, it's the kids and their kids who will suffer...

Overall, I don't think it matters that they are Mormons.  What matters is that my husband was once married to a crazy person.  He made a mistake in giving her the time of day, let alone giving her two daughters.

I have definitely ranted enough about this.  It's funny how a post on RfM that initially made me chuckle has led me to these thoughts... and memories of the pain caused by parental alienation and how the church was such a good tool for turning Bill's daughters into weapons.  Live the way we tell you to live.  Believe what we tell you to believe.  Or you will lose your daughters, because they will see you as an evil apostate who is going to Outer Darkness.  They probably would have ended up hating him anyway, but religion made it so much easier for them to justify their hatred toward him.

I need to let this go... and I am mostly doing better, but every once in awhile, something triggers and brings it all back.

While I'm glad the LDS church eventually abided by Bill's wishes, even though they took their sweet time and didn't honor his request not to be visited by a church representative, I have no respect for it as an institution.  Any church that teaches its members that it's okay to stalk people is an unhealthy institution.  Any church that teaches kids that they can and should disown family members because they don't believe in God the same way they do is corrupt and wrong.  While I know my husband's ex wife would have done what she did with or without religion, the church made her dirty work a lot easier.  And for that, the LDS church is evil in my eyes.

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