not in Primary anymore


my body has betrayed me.

i guess it was just a matter of time. all the years of disordered eating. all the caffeine and so little sleep. playing medication roulette.

i didn’t learn to love my body until someone else did.

i didn’t learn to love my body until i gained 80 pounds in a matter of months. the stretch marks reminded me of the razor blade scars that had faded over the years. they were beautiful in a doomed sort of way.

i finally learned to love my body: a conglomeration of stories and side effects and sin. i loved my body because and in spite of its usefulness. i loved my body when no one else was looking.

i made peace.


here i am now, entrusted with the work of destroying this body i have learned to love. shrinking it into something i won’t recognize. refusal to comply resulting in life cut shorter.

how do i justify the metamorphosis of my body with my feminism?

what do you do when your body betrays you?

12 Responses to “betrayal.”

  1. Chihgirl

    I’ve really tried to give this website a chance–you want to call yourself Young Mormon Feminists. You are not. You are young. You may be Mormon on the books. You may be feminists. But the views, poetry, essays, etc. on this website are critical of the LDS church, the leaders of this church, and are undermining the spreading of the gospel. You are working against the church, and against the gospel of Jesus Christ. You want to make the church, and the gospel, over in your own image. You are making yourselves gods unto yourselves. Hannah, you bear a great deal of responsibility for this, for providing and promoting a forum which has devolved into unrelenting negativity towards the church. Almost every single posting I have read on this site, (with an open heart and a desire to understand) is filled with veiled or overt efforts to fight against the church and make it over into something not of Christ. And lest you think I am a critical male, or a doctrinaire female, I am actually a feminist at heart, and see much room for improvement in the way our LDS culture treats women. But…this website has moved into territory, and has stayed there, where you are just a few posts away from open rebellion against the church. This site reeks of the narcissistic self-importance of a middle-school spoiled brat. Sad. You have some outstanding minds and writers here. What a waste…
    Ok…wait for it…here come the charges of “judgmental,” “harsh,” etc. Before you kick into a knee-jerk defensive mode, ask yourselves if there might be issues bigger, and more important than the whining and dime-store deconstruction of the church that makes up most of these posts. Anyone with a year of high school English under their belt can deconstruct an idea…but what are you all building? Really. What are you building with this site?
    Yes, this may sound harsh to you, but I’m really done with the disturbing turn that some in the LDS feminist community have taken. So, so sad that a relatively few, loud voices are drowning out and high-jacking the important work that the real LDS feminist community is trying to accomplish. You know…the grown-ups? We’ll look forward to when you (hopefully) get out of your own self-absorption and decide to join us. In the meantime…no one is listening to the silliness that you are purveying as “Young Mormon Feminism.” You’re embarrassing to the real feminists.

    • Dani

      I don’t understand what this has to do with a post about self-image and diabetes?

      • Chihgirl

        Dani, I sincerely apologize for posting my comment on the wrong essay. I did not intend for my above comment to be attached to your post. I would delete and re-post elsewhere if possible. I am also truly sorry for your experience with diabetes, which is something that runs rampant in my family as well. Your poem is heart-felt, beautifully written and very touching.

        With that said, I also feel regret for posting what I did in a moment of, frankly, anger. I see the church I love, and the people I love, being torn apart unnecessarily, and I am mourning right now. That mourning came out as anger in a comment I probably shouldn’t have made public. I feel such great sorrow at the turn that some of the young feminists in our church are taking. I, too, desire to see (and work towards) great change in many of the ways things are done in the church. But I draw a line at trying to change the gospel or overtly and repeatedly criticizing our leaders. I see the Lord’s servants being demonized and I truly do take it seriously when the scriptures say “By the mouth of myself or my servants it is the same…” I believe our leaders get far more right than they get wrong, and I see this website, among others, as focusing on what’s not working, and magnifying that to the detriment of many.

        If there is a way that I might delete my prior comment, I welcome instruction in that, and will do so. To you, Dani, I sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding I created by my misplaced comment, and I wish health and healing for you.

    • Dani

      Also, speaking as an author who often writes critically of the church, my feminism is nothing if not in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. If that means I’m writing to undermine the church and its leaders, so be it.

      Furthermore, there is no one way to feminism. Feminist the way you want to, but don’t tell me I’m not a feminist just because my feminism doesn’t look like yours.

      And how dare you attack Hannah, who has provided a space for hundreds of us to work through feminist awakenings, faith crises, and desire for change in the church and in the world. How dare you call yourself Christlike.

  2. Maddie

    Hey, Dani. I just wanted to say that I really liked your poem. It is heartfelt and doesn’t fall too far into the romanticism of the whole trial like so many others I’ve read. I’m curious though, in your comments, everything is capitalized and punctuated perfectly, but it’s not so in the poem. Was this your intent? Would you mind me asking what it means for the poem?

    • Dani

      It stands in contrast to the “properness” of theological text, and the “correctness” and “perfection” of the words and actions in ordinances. The spacing was different when I wrote it but wordpress doesn’t really let you do interesting things with spacing.


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