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Hi, My name is Julia.  I am a good friend to Mark and have a lot of parallels in the way I was brought up.  To give you a little background information on me I grew up in a Catholic family and a diehard Catholic family. My father was a plumber, Canton, MI is where I was raised for most of my childhood. For a while we went to church pretty much every Sunday but as my brother and I got older we went less and less. We both attended catechism for all eight years. We were baptized and confirmed. From the beginning I felt that I believed in my religion because that’s what my parents believed in and when you’re a child you usually tend to believe what your parents tell you and what they teach you, but as the years went on and I got older, religion made less and less sense to me. I would ask my teachers and my parents questions about how religion worked and I never got a straight answer out of anyone.  I was always told that if it was what the Bible said then I just had to have faith. I guess you can say I’m the type of person that needs hard facts to believe in something. To just be told that this is what the Bible says and it’s real, I can’t do that. I read lots of books and none of them are real. Even the biographies and autobiography’s are not 100% real they’re sugarcoated and they’re made to sell copies. No one writes a book intending to have no one read it, they write them so they sell and they make money and tell a story.


As soon as I got confirmed and had the choice of whether I wanted to go to church anymore or not I told my parents that I did not want to go. I think they believed I didn’t want to go because I was a kid and I had other things to do I didn’t tell them until I graduated from high school that I didn’t believe in God or have a religion anymore. For me religion just didn’t fit. I’m not the kind of person to believe that we were created by some kind of higher power. With so many different types of religions out there who’s to say who is right and who is wrong. I am not saying that I am right just because I’m an atheist and I am not saying the people who do believe in religion are wrong. All I am saying is you have to pick what works for your life.  If you choose to be active in a religion that’s fine, it’s your choice and if you choose not to that’s also fine because it’s your choice.


It’s not just the Catholic religion that made me lose my belief in God.  All religion in the end has the same purpose to have faith in whatever you choose to believe in, the roads you take are different, the stories are different but it all leads to the same place and that is that God created us and wants us to believe in him otherwise we will go to hell. That just doesn’t work for me at all. I believe that no one can know for 100% certainty whether there is a God or not. I don’t think that’s the point to know that there is a God or not. Religion is just the faith that you believe that God is up there. I also feel that there are so many different types of people in this world that one religion or all religions are not good for all people. If you can’t put your whole heart into believing something then I don’t feel that you should believe it and that’s where I stand. I know that I can’t put my whole heart in having a religion because I don’t feel it in my soul. Most people, when they meet me are shocked to find out that I’m not religious mostly because they perceive me as such a good person.  I treat people with decency which is the exact way that I want to be treated. When they ask me why I act the way I do. I say my parents raised me right. Not because they took me to church but because they showed me how to live in this life by being a good example. The way that I am has everything to do with my parents and nothing to do with God. I just wanted to give you a little background on me as a preface to my next blogs.  I’ll go into more depth about how I feel about religion.

Arch the angel…what a guy!

Hey again.  I hope that my posts have added a bit of value to your perspective.  Sorry I have not posted in a bit, sometimes life gets in the way.  This post is gonna be short and sweet.  I am jumping on today just to share a single story about my childhood.

When I was eleven or twelve I was very active in the church, it was the only thing I knew.  We were sheltered from much of the world and kind of just thought that is the way it was.  That being said I almost always took part in any plays or cantatas that our church would have.  In 1992 I had landed the lead roll in a Christmas play at my church.  This play was a big deal.  The church had a bunch of rental props and had completely decked out the stage in arches and heavenly paraphernalia. The name of the play was Arch the Angel.  I was Arch.  Arch was a cocky pilot, he wore a leather bomber jacket and had an air about him.  I can’t really remember much about the play mostly because of what happened the day of the first and only performance.  It was about an hour before showtime and all of the children were upstairs lined across the balcony next to the steps.  There was a half way on one side of the steps that every one was standing along.  These were all my friends and what not.  I was fully dressed in my Arch outfit and was heading upstairs, as I started walking up the stairs my friends started whistling and cheering a little bit.  When I heard that I puffed up my chest and started walking with purpose.  Ya know, like I was something special.  I was feeding my audience exactly what they wanted.  I remember feeling amazing in that moment.  When I finally got up the stairs I was greeted by the youth pastor that was in charge of the older kids, he was not my youth pastor but he was well known in the church especially with the teenagers, he was the cool pastor.  I was finishing my proud walk up to the back of the line when he walked up to me and smacked me across the face!  I am not exaggerating, he literally smacked me right across the face, the worst part of it was that he did this in front of every single one of my friends that were cheering for me just seconds before.  I instantly started bawling and the pastor grabbed me by my arm and dragged me into a small classroom down the hall a bit.  I can’t remember exactly what he said to me but I remember the general idea.  He essentially told me that I wasn’t shit and that I better think twice before acting cocky like that.  I remember thinking how f***ing crazy this was to treat a young person this way.  I was still forming my beliefs about the world and myself as best as I could and this guy piles on the already formed notion that I am worthless.  He cemented that shit.  I pretended to agree with him so I could get out of that room but subconsciously I know he probably did some damage.  At this point we were only ten minutes from show time.  I remember struggling to clear the tears from my red puffy eyes.  Needless to say, my performance was lackluster at best, it was riddled with self doubt and apprehension.  I did the best I could in the given circumstances but performing after being completely humiliated is not something that is easy to do.

That was almost 25 years ago now, and I still remember that smack like it was yesterday.  I guess the reason I share these stories are simply to bring some attention to the fact that it is pretty easy to damage the brain of a developing youngster.  Please be smart about the type of situations you put your kids in and allow them to form at least a decent portion of their beliefs on their own.  Otherwise you run the risk of causing a lot of issues later on in life.  I am on my way to reprogramming my undesirable beliefs but it has been a long hard road.  I will get there though, I am a human being just the same as anyone else and deserve the right to create the life I desire.  This is something I believe in very strongly and hope that the message reaches you well.  Have you ever experienced anything similar?  I would love to hear your experiences.


“God” is a dirty word in my mind

The title says it all.  I view the word God as a dirty word.  I will admit that my view on the subject is most definitely biased.  From my previous posts I am certain that you can understand why.  My upbringing placed certain beliefs into my mind and those beliefs can be tough to get away from even when you logically know that those beliefs are bologna.  I have made quite a few realizations about my mind and my life in general.  On of these realizations are that I have major issues with the way people see and perceive God.  The thing that bothers me the most is the way that almost every religion acts like they “know” God.  They also act like the concept that they have of God is the one and only correct one and if you do not like it then you will have to pay with eternal life in hell.


When people ask me if I believe in God I normally like to tell them no simply because our society has skewed the word and twisted it to what they think it should be. I prefer that people not associate me with any type of concept of God that is out there.  I am no scholar but I feel that for the most part that religion has a sick interpretation of God.  It actually kind of pisses me off that I even feel the need to worry about it.  I am working on letting go of that because I realize I am only causing myself pain.

Now that I have that out of the way…. I realize know that I probably do believe in God, but as you can see, that understanding of God has literally nothing to do with what our society has labeled God.  To be honest with you, I am not even sure God is the correct word either.  I will explain and maybe you can draw your own opinion.

What I don’t believe…..

  • An all powerful man in the sky
  • Heaven as an actual place with a bunch of angels
  • Hell as an actual place that a lot of good people go for there entire existence because they never said some little prayer.
  • That anyone on earth or anywhere knows for sure what God is or isnt.

What I do believe…..

  • That the universe has some type of power greater than any one of us
  • That we as human beings have the ability to manifest most anything that we like in this life because of that power.
  • I believe the power of the universe is something that has almost no boundaries.
  • I believe that all life is connected and pretty much the same.  We are all made of the same set of chemicals and elements, we are just in slightly different packages.
  • I also believe that traditional religion for the most part has done more harm than good in our lifetime.

In my opinion, religion is mostly set up to keep the sheep herded into a little fenced in area where they can be controlled and manipulated.  I wish that more people would see the stories from their holy books for more of what they are.  So many religions take what they are reading as literal truth and I do not think that the original authors ever intended on that.  There are so many underlying messages that I completely missed because people try to bend things to their view.  I guess that is just part of being human but it still bugs me.  If people would look a little deeper I think they would realize that they were capable of so much more than they realize but instead they lock themselves into a little ignorant box and lock it up.  That way they can pretend like they already have it figured out and do not have to worry about anything.

To sum things up, if you think that just believing in a power greater than ones self means that you believe in God, then I suppose I believe in God, but if that does not fit your criteria of what God is then I suppose I do not.  What I have come to realize is that, it doesn’t really matter.  This life is too short to let other people influence your life negatively.  The important thing is that you access your beliefs and make sure they are not affecting you in a negative way.  If your beliefs do not line up with what you want out of life then you will never manifest the things that you so desperately crave. This can be a difficult task to accomplish because we have been programmed so vehemently as children.  I have to believe it is possible, albeit a slow process.   My big thing is that people should be free to believe what they want even if it is ignorant.  So long as people are not imposing their will on others than I am okay with people believing what they believe.

Hopefully that post gives you a bit of something to chew on, if you happen to be in the Michigan area and you are looking for a great landscaper please stop by my buddies website at www.waterfordlandscaping.net

Bonus post- Spanking your children

There is a video making its rounds through the news outlets of a child being held down by his teachers or principal.  I am sure this subject will have some strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.  When it comes to hitting a child with a big wooden paddle most people will have an emotional reaction.  I admit that I  most definitely did.  Ya see, as you most likely already know, as a child I was brought up in an evangelical christian home.  What that meant for punishment was “spare the rod, spoil the child”.  When I watched the recent video of the child being held down to accept his paddling with that huge wooden paddle, it brought me back to the horrors of my early years in life.  My parents took the churches orthodoxy way over the top.  They were of the mindset that there was only one type of punishment and that punishment was spanking.  What this meant was that no matter how small the infraction, our punishment would start with my father saying “Get in the back room!”  If I talked back for even a second, if I got angry about something, if I scared my brother, it all ended the same way with my father swinging a large wooden paddle against my backside.  I eventually learned to follow the rules and decided it was not worth it to be myself because I was in so much fear of the paddle.  The paddle he used was a large piece of oak that was engraved with the words…. “for the bottoms of….Mark, P***, and A***.  People usually laugh when I tell them that and I do too, but to be honest as I have got older, I have realized that a lot of my self esteem issues and lack of self worth are probably tied back to that.  For there to be no other type of punishment for a child, is pretty sick if you ask me.  I believe that my parents believed that they were doing the right thing but it turned out to be oh so wrong.  Now do not twist my words or get me wrong.  I do believe that there may be a place for smacking a kid on the bottom but I can’t imagine putting any child through that dramatic work up to a spanking.  I also have to say that the child in the current video most definitely needed some type of punishment if what they said is true about him spitting on another child.  I just think that reinforcing that with violence is only going to do more harm than good.  I do not have any children but if I did I can not imagine ever hitting my child.  I remember one time when  was probably 7 years old that me and my brother were in the bathtub and we started arguing over a toy or something.  I remember my dad yelling into the bathroom saying “as soon as you get out of that bathtub you go directly into the back room.”  He forced me to go in the back room stark naked and proceeded to paddle my bare bottom with the large wooden paddle.  What makes me even more sick to think about is the words he would always say during the sessions.  “This hurts me more than it hurts you”  It turns my stomach to think that he truly believed that.  Little did he know that these so called punishment probably hurt his child for years and years to come, mostly in the form of anxiety, fear, lack of self worth, and learning how to try and please everyone all the while covering up my true self so as not to make anyone angry.

The day I was saved from hell

When a person is five years old they obviously do not have a grasp on the big picture in life.  Not all children are the same but for the most part a child looks to their parents for their reality.  I was definitely one of those children, I do not have many memories from when I was five or younger but one day that I will never forget is the day that I got “saved“.  Today is actually Easter and that is perfectly fitting because the story I am about to tell, happened at an Easter cantata.  Our family was invited to a church in another city to watch a play about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Do not forget that I was five years old and my little brain was not ready for what I was about to see.  I do not remember very much at all about the play, but what I do remember was the scene of the crucifixion.  I remember the man playing Jesus carrying the huge cross down the middle aisle of the church, he was bloody and wet from being tortured.  About half way down the aisle he dropped to his knees in a dramatic fashion, it was very upsetting seeing the people behind him whipping and screaming at him.  When he finally got to the stage I then remember them laying the cross down and Pilot’s henchman placing him on the cross.  The worst part was yet to come, out came the huge nails, I am pretty sure they were railroad spikes re-purposed as nails.  They proceeded to place the spikes on what looked like his wrists and began to hammer.  I remember the loud sub-woofers of the church’s sound system letting out a huge boom and crack with every swing of the hammer.  The sound came unexpectedly and truly made the scene that much more dramatic. It most literally scared the hell out of me.  I honestly do not remember much more about the performance other than some singing and maybe when they rolled away the large paper machete rock from the tomb and the part at the end where Jesus was sucked up to heaven by God who was supposedly one and the same as Jesus.  After the play though, was when the real damage was done.  The pastor of the church came out to address the audience, I do not remember the exact words that were said but I do know that the speech/sermon was very fire and brimstone.  The gist of it was that if you do not say this prayer before you die, you will burn in hell for the rest of time.  He had us imagine what it would be like to burn and burn and burn and not have a single drop of water to help quench the pain.  Needless to say, when the program was over I was scared to death.  I remember walking out the church and heading to the van that we came in.  My mom and another women were standing outside the open sliding door of the van as I was sitting inside.  I remember telling them that I did not want to burn in hell and asking what I needed to do keep that from happening.  They told me as long as I said this prayer that I would no longer have to go to hell after I died, but they also informed me that if I did sin, I would need to ask forgiveness immediately.  I can’t imagine this was their intention but the way that my little brain interpreted this was as follows…. every time that I did something “wrong”, I would think about the fact that I needed to ask forgiveness as soon as possible just in case I died.  I was a people pleaser which made things much worse.  I spent a lot of my time as a child desperately trying to

  1. Trying to find out what things were okay to say or do,
  2. Show my parents that I was doing everything right,
  3. Telling everyone else in my family what was right and what was wrong.

I remember telling my grandmother repeatedly that smoking was a sin and that if she didn’t want to go to hell that she should stop doing it.  I also remember running up to the television to turn down the volume every time an upbeat song came on, be it on a commercial, show or movie.  (Rock and Roll was the devil’s music).  I guess the point of this post is that as a young child, some kids will take their parents word as gospel and if they say it is true then how could it be a lie? This type of upbringing will usually result in any shred of self esteem going straight down the drain. I do not believe it is fair to ask a five year old to wrestle with something as anxiety inducing as this.  I truly believe that dealing with these things as a young child has had a cause and effect type conclusion in my adult life.  It lead to a lot of resentment and a lifetime of substance abuse.  It can cause a person to feel as if it is not okay to be who they are.  How could it ever to be okay to be myself if I wasn’t following the rules set in place by god and my parents.  At seven years old I started what would turn out to be a 30 year habit of biting my nails which I believe is a direct result of anxiety caused by the strict form of fundamentalist christianity.  Even as I write this post I worry about what people will think.  I have come a long way in my journey but still have a long way to go.  I plan on sharing some other stories in the near future.  Maybe I can share the type of discipline that was employed in our home courtesy of the church.  Thanks for stopping by, if you can relate to this post or have a comment, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message.


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My parents found religion

When I was three years old my parents “found god”.  They were probably a perfectly normal couple but in 1983 they decided they wanted to be Christians so they could raise their kids right.  Unfortunately, the choice that they made only ended up ruining their children.  I do not mean to imply that all religion is bad or that there are not good Christians but what I am saying is that certain types of legalistic sects of religion are absolutely awful and can cause some serious damage to a young mind that is ready and willing to believe everything that their parents feed them.  The first church that my parents found was a sad excuse for what I would think Jesus would have had in mind.  It was a Baptist church, not all Baptist churches are alike.  This church only cared about rules and judgment.  I remember one sermon around Christmas time that was entirely about how Santa is an anagram for Satan!  Needless to say, my siblings and I never believed in Santa.  I remember when they would put out newsletters about different companies that we needed to boycott because they were suspected of worshiping the devil. I am gonna make a list of some of the silly things I remember.

1.Hair no longer than the edge of your ear.

2.No visiting the movie theater, even if the movie was not secular, you would still be supporting the bad movies by seeing the good one.

3.No music other than hymns, rock and roll was the music of the devil. (I remember as a little kid I acted like the police and would run up to the t.v. and turn it down when a rock song came on.

4.No Halloween!  Obviously, Halloween is Satan’s holiday.

5.No He-man, Smurfs, ect  He-man claimed to be the master of the universe and only “God” is the master of the universe.  Gargamel was a warlock.

This really only scratches the surface.  I will share more as I post more.  Kids need boundaries and rules but when things are this extreme it does some serious damage to their developing brains.  I truly believe that raising a child this way causes all sorts of self esteem issues, it comes across to the child in a way that makes them feel that it is never okay to just be yourself because you are a sinner and worthless without god.  I am sure it is obvious at this point but I am a bit resentful of the way my childhood went.  Needless to say, I grew up and broke free from religion but the after effects are still prevalent in my life.  I still have a lot of self esteem issues and some days I would go so far as to say that I hate myself.  I want free from the strangle hold and I hope that sharing my experiences might help me to do that.  I also hope that I might find others that can relate to what I am feeling.  There is a book called “Leaving the Fold” that deals with people leaving their religion and while I did find it helpful, it does not include a long term plan to heal.  I have seen a couple different therapists but the last one I went to decided it would be better to try and convert me to Catholicism then it would be to help me work on myself.  Very unprofessional and it put a really bad taste in my mouth because now I am in fear of going to another therapist because I am afraid that they will not be able to help me because of their own religious bias. I wish it was not so politically incorrect to be an atheist or to be agnostic because it makes it almost impossible to find a non-religious therapist.  I have decided to give therapy another shot so I am sure I will update you guys as time progresses.   I plan to share some of the stories from my childhood.  My first story will be the day that I got “saved”.  I was 5 years old btw.    Check back soon and please share any thoughts you might have by using my contact page.

Sharing my story

Get ready for some sad but true stories of my childhood.  I hope to find some relate-able people on this journey but even if I do not, I am happy to share my experiences with the world, I feel that they are entertaining but also sad at the same time.  For my next post I will be talking about the day I got “saved”.  I was five years old so take that as you will.  If you would like a bit of background on me then check out my save me page.   If you want to know a bit more about the way I was raised then check out this article. http://www.forbes.com