|Subject:||I'm finding that I can't respect my Mormon parents|
|Date:||Jan 03 18:15 2003|
|I've probably bored you guys for a long time with my mournful posts
about my TBM [Mormon] parents, but here I go again. My parents have been really arrogant
and overbearing about my wife and I leaving the Church since the day we told them. It just
never ends. Every time I think we're starting to have a good relationship again, somebody
makes a snyde remark and we descend into another session of bashing. We just can't not
talk about the Church. It's the only thing they do in their lives. Pretty pathetic.
Anyway, I'm starting to realize that what is frustrating me isn't that I'm not measuring up to their expectations. It's that they aren't measuring up to mine. I know it's a big step to accept that the Church isn't true - but after showing them the undeniable problems with this religion, I do expect them to accept the truth. After all, I did the mission, BYU, obeyed the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, tithing, etc. I fully did these things. They did not! Both of them fully enjoyed their youth outside of the Church, so it's not as if they are as heavily invested in it as I was when I realized it was false.
I have shown them abundant evidence that the Church is not what it claims to be. Frankly, I expect them to accept it and stop this silly charade. They have used the most outrageous, hilarious defenses, and I've told them as much. It's clear that they use the Church as some kind of bizarre emotional crutch, because they are too weak to stand on their own two feet and accept the world as it really is - and live in it.
Much as I would like to respect their dedication to their beliefs, I'm finding that I can't. This sort of childish denial of the truth and then turning it around to make it like I'm the one doing something wrong offends me very deeply. I just don't respect them, and I can't help but show it in the way I speak to them, how I roll my eyes at the things they say and do, and the body language that I use around them. My disrespect for them goes deep into my subconscious.
It was a difficult thing for me to leave the Church. I wasted the entire first 33 years of my life chasing my tail in that religion. They never made the sacrifices that I did for it. And now they have the gall to say that I'm less worthy. Sorry, but I don't respect them.
|Subject:||i'm sorry about this|
|Date:||Jan 03 18:26|
|i have lost all respect for my mother in the past and, indeed, have
not spoken with her since 1983.
it's hard, but it was the only choice for me as she was so ridiculous in how she behaved.
think about it some more: do you really want to lose contact with them now?
it's a particularly difficult time with the new baby coming your first son! is it going to be all right with you and Dana not to be in contact with your parents at such a joyous time?
you said: Frankly, I expect them to accept it and stop this silly charade.
how can they, Mak? you said you spent 33 years within the organisation, just how long have they spent?
everything would come crashing down and their only defence is to mock you and your choices.
i wish for all of you that it could be different, but in my experience this isn't how it can always be.
it's possible that the thing you can take away with you from this is to teach your child and share with him in an entirely different way. teach him to love unconditionally. you're the grown-up now. it's got to be done if you really can't bear their company anymore. brick walls don't make the best of companions.
|Subject:||J, I had no idea|
|Date:||Jan 03 18:45|
|20 years of silence with your mother is tragic. But I completely
understand when you're dealing with a parent who is incapable of having an honest
relationship. It's like they are emotional terrorists sometimes.
My wife wants nothing to do with my mother, and I don't think my mother understands how deeply she has offended Dana. And Mom is incapable of admitting wrong-doing, so it's going to be a difficult situation when she wants to spend time with her grandchild.
|Subject:||I'm sorry, Mak. They just don't deserve respect in these areas.|
|Date:||Jan 03 18:31|
|It's sad, but true.
The exmormon ALWAYS has to be the most adult in every relationship with TBMs. We have to accept them as we would a child with limited comprehension and underdeveloped or stunted abilities.
That is very difficult when you are the child and expect your parents to show a level of insight and wisdom. I'm sorry this is difficult. I've had to deal with it. I guess we all do.
Apostate kids have to be more mature and understanding than their parents ever could be. It's the price we pay for escaping mormon mind control and manipulation.
It's like we were born in cages at the zoo. We finally escape. The other animals, including, our parents, have no concept of freedom. We can't explain it to them as long as they stay holed up in their cramped, grimy cages.
|Subject:||Well, I don't want to be the adult|
|Date:||Jan 03 18:48|
|Being the adult means that they take on the role of the child. I
think it's time for them to grow up and accept responsibility for their choices.
Thanks for your comments, Cheryl. As always, you're right on the money.
|Subject:||I hear you Mak!|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:00|
|I spent a few days in hell this past week thinking I had lost an
entire family simply because I had expressed concern over my mother's health and mental
capabilities. She left me a message saying that the whole family was disgusted with me,
wanted nothing to do with me and that included her, etc. Then the next night she left an
entirely different message saying the previous one was based on a misunderstanding. I
found out she retracted the previous one because one of my brothers whom I had called,
spoke to her and told her she was way off base and had no right to leave me a message like
Point is, I realized that if my mother isn't losing it mentally, then this temple card-bearing woman is an out and out liar. (She lied about hearing things from my brothers - not one had said a word. And other stuff I won't go into.) She knows how I feel about the church and deeply resents the fact that I have fallen away. She knows that I'm concerned about her actions the last few months and that I have reservations about the TBM man who's been seeing her.
All of this is obviously working on her.
For a few days I considered stopping all communication with her but as angry as I was, my heart was still breaking and I was still worrying about her.
I decided to take the high road and call her New Year's Day to wish her a happy new year. Got her answering machine and found out later she had gone down to the ocean with her TBM boy friend. (I sure hope they're not jeopardizing their temple recommends!)
Anyway, J is right. Rise above it and be the better person.
I've decided to keep communication at a minimum - maybe that approach will work for you. Perhaps the future grandchild will provide some type of common ground for you all.
Good luck - I understand what you're going through with the exception that I haven't tried to tell my mother about the church. I know that would be futile.
|Subject:||Thanks for sharing, Makurosu. This is an important issue in recovery...|
|Date:||Jan 03 18:45|
|because it goes to the heart of who we are and how a cult transform
us by denying us self-realization.
When we look at those we love and clearly see their blinders we wish they could change like we did. It's now obvious to us how ridiculous they sound, and it's very normal to experience that loss of respect you mention.
Please be careful and give this process some conscious thought. Your visceral reaction to their ignorance is understandable, but you can do something about it. Regardless of what they choose to do, I hope you realize that you can only do something about YOUR problem, not theirs.
Try refocusing your thinking to their efforts to do "the best" for you and each other. Think about their good qualities. To them, loyalty is very important. To them, the church is true and it will remain so, no matter how much evidence you put in front of them. Better to give them a good measure of unconditional love and focus on some of their qualities that deserve your respect.
This forum is the ideal place to see the utter tomfoolery of mormonism, but in our healing from mormonism we should try not reject our loved ones for their beliefs. They are the honest ones who believed the warm fuzzies story, not the decievers and con artists who started it all. Let's not transfer our indignation to innocent people who try their best to do the right thing, just like we did while under the mormon spell.
Have patience and don't give up on anybody. I wish you the best.
Love and Chance bless,
|Subject:||One more thing: Forgiveness is key...|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:01|
|Here is a helpful exercise: When you are alone or with your wife,
make conscious, specific estatements of forgiveness. Let the anger drain through these.
"I forgive mom for suggesting that my wife has co-conspired with satan to drag me out of the church!"
"I forgive dad for calling me a liar and doubting my integrity in researching church history!"
You will have to do it often, and it will be hard at first, but when you forgive, you let go of a lot of baggage that hurts you more than anyone else. You free yourself from the enormous responsibility of being judge, jury and executioner.
I learned this trick while driving on the freeway. I used to flip on the imaginary "death ray" switch to bad drivers, but I was still angry and stressed out. One day I decided to forgive instead. I even made up an scenario where this man had a sick child and was distressed and rushing to get a life-saving prescription. I also remembered that I wasn't a perfect driver myself.
After forgiving I felt free of the burden or "obligation" to be angry at that person, or to judge him. I could forget about the whole thing and go on enjoying my day.
Try it! it's a powerful thing.
|Subject:||PRAVDA makes a lot of sense|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:04|
|i don't advocate all follow my lead in closing the relationship with
only sometimes is it the only way forward.
|Subject:||Exactly, forgiveness is for your own sake. It doesn't mean...|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:10|
|that you must allow the abuse to continue. Sometimes you just have to get away from certain influences. Forgive, but also be realistic and stay away if you must.|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:13|
|For years I worked with the public and although rare, in my personal
experience, there would be a rude or just plain old mean person every now and again.
I would send them love. It started as a joke and I was being extremely sarcastic when I said it (not directly to them) but then it dawned on me to try being sincere and I swear, those very same people would come back apologizing to me.
|Subject:||PRAVDA, you seem like a compassionate person|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:17|
|and you gave very compassionate advice. On the other hand, how long
should a person be expected to put up with a toxic relationship? Remember, when Mak phoned
his parents to tell them the results of Dana's sonogram his mother immediately launched
into a discussion of abortion. As J. pointed out, this is a joyous time in Mak and Dana's
lives, however, it's apparent that Mak's parents only make them miserable and choose not
to share in their joy. I think Mak and Dana have a case for pulling back if his parents
can't be anything but snide and negative; they have a right to free themselves of as much
stress as possible if his parents won't become civil, especially with the baby coming. How
much should Mak and Dana have to put up with?
Mak, I apologize that I'm speaking as if you weren't here. I know, indeed, that you're here.
|Subject:||BBQ, notice my answer to J. above.|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:42|
|"I forgive the cat for giving me the hives". Don't blame the cat, but if you're allergic and it makes you sick stay the heck away from it!!|
|Subject:||I feel your pain|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:22|
|Author:||Søvnløsener - Insomniac|
We just can't not talk about the Church. It's the only thing they do in their lives. Pretty pathetic.
It is the same here.
I don't want to steal your thread, but can I give a mini rant/sermon?
But since Dad can only relate with people via the church, he chooses to not talk. I can tell that he is 'as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore'. I think the fact that I haven't gotten the fire and brimstone repentance speech is because Dad loves Mom and Mom loves me.
I realized over the holidays that I have been trying to gain my father's acceptance for 33 years. I also came to the realization that I am never going to. I released myself from that responsibility on christmas day. So for christmas this year I got to take a nap, see the Two Towers with my boda bag in tog and give myself the gift of adulthood.
After all, I did the mission, BYU, obeyed the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, tithing, etc. I fully did these things.
Same situation but a little different. It goes like this: After all, I did the mission, U of U on my own dime, obeyed the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, tithing, etc. I fully did these things. They did too, well YBU for Dad.
But here is the twist, who do my parents love and adore, accept and brag to me about? My good friend that is working towards becoming worthy again to baptize this oldest child from his first marriage and become worthy to get sealed in the holy temple to his second wife, the women he ran home from the ER to have sex with while his oldest child was having seizures.
The same guy who beat his first wive and told her not to call the cops because they would not believe her since he was a city fireman, then blessed his baby the next month.
The same guy who would drink all of his girl friends' parent's alcohol then boink their brains out, then bless the sacrament the next day.
Who gets the love and admiration? Not their own flesh and blood.
Who else do we know that would cheat on his wife (sorry Emma), threaten her (D&C 132), drink and fight and lie? Maybe I'm not doing the right things to earn my parent's love. I know they love Brother Joseph.
Enough of my whinning.......
Mak, like I began with, I feel your pain.
|Subject:||Dear Mak's parents (cussing)|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:38|
|What the hell is the matter with you??? Your son and his wife are
lovely people. Look at their lives look at what they ARE doing that you approve of.
If there are things these adults are doing with which you disagree, ignore those things, they are none of your damn business you freakin morons!
When Mak was an infant in your arms did you bemoan the fact that he couldn't walk? Did you ever really love ANY of your children or do you just superimpose your egos over their entire being?
People like you are not worthy to have kids. You are freakin lucky mak will talk to you at all. You are not worthy to lick the dust off dana's boots!
|Subject:||Huggies for Mak!|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:56|
|Ok, love, I'm tired and my brain isn't functioning fully so I'll get
right to the point using my mother as an example.
My mum got involved with a much younger man and of a different religion than Mormon. She began acting very strangely and did some really kooky things. My whole life I felt like I was responsible for my mother, like I needed to take care of her. When she began to act like this and doing some very irresponsible things I realized that I had no idea who my mother was. I didn't know her. She was foreign to me and I was hurt by that.
My mom has always defined herself by the relationships she was in at the time. The men were/are a huge motivating influence on her. She'll change her whole...everything when she is in love. Anyway, I was faced with the choice that I should have made long ago. I had to let my mother be whoever she was and accept that she was responsible for her own life and I was responsible for my own. Just a few years ago, I cut the cord. I don't like how my mother acts. I think she is behaving very irresponsibly but I say nothing. It's her life. She is an adult and she will have to face the consequences. I see some of them starting to catch up to her and I'm afraid for her. I refuse to pick up the pieces anymore.
So the point of this is to perhaps let your parents be who they are and you Mak, be your loving self. As much as it may pain you to watch the deterioration of your respect for them they are who they are and you can't wish them to be different, beg them to be anything but or hope it all away. They are. No one said we had to like our families even though we may love them. Sometimes we deny that personality conflicts occur in our own families. Be true to yourself and don't let anyone undermine your accomplishments. Leaving the church isn't easy and you have a right to be proud. Cut the cord Mak. I say this with deepest respect.
|Subject:||You have my utmost sympathy.|
|Date:||Jan 03 19:57|
|I can not even imagine what you and your wife are going through. I
was a convert, so when I left the Morg a couple of months ago my family was very happy.
I just can't imagine parents who can't love their children regardless of their beliefs.
|Subject:||Re: I'm finding that I can't respect my parents|
|Date:||Jan 03 21:46|
|Yeah...it is like you have moved on to the college of rational
thought and your parents are still practicing voodoo and superstitious nonsense like
ignorant 8 yr olds.
Just a suggestion...drop all mention of the church going forward and get back to being son and parents. Dont let the church make a casualty of your relationship too!!
I found that a gap opened with my mom when I get confrontational about the church with her. I could care so less about the church now that I just keep my opinions to myself even if my mom unleashes a loaded barb my way now and then.
Imagine the insanity of people being divided by beliefs?? Beliefs are things that have no substance, form or existance. merely electrical impulses shooting aimlessly about in ones brain. These nonexistant things determine our love towards others, and lead mankind to oppress and kill one another for naught.
Since you are now graduated you will have to be the bigger man and let go and accept your parents just as they are.
Leave the church where it belongs; with the fairytales of youth, and strengthen your relationship with your parents. Good luck,
|Subject:||Re: I'm finding that I can't respect my parents|
|Date:||Jan 03 22:11|
|Your sufferings are just terrible! Is there any way that we all can pick out the positive things about the (questioned, discarded) church and use them as a basis to bring new perspective into another church family? I agree the Mormon religion is false, but it had its basis in many good beliefs founded on truth. Please be brave in your continued quest for truth, and God bless.|
|Subject:||Mak, your parents will never change, they are too old and set in their ways....|
|Date:||Jan 03 22:09|
|Author:||Long time reader|
|Have you tried sending them a letter/email DEMANDING they drop the
subject of mormonism or you want nothing to do with them? Tell them you have chosen family
over church, and if they can't do the same, then to butt out of your life because you are
tired of rehashing your reasons for leaving.
They obviously think that if they keep badgering you, they can change your mind. Let them know they have reached the limit of your patience. Draw the line in the sand, and if you lose them, maybe you will have peace of mind to fall back on. If they choose the church over you, let them go. Easy to say, I know. But I had to do it, and believe me, it is easier to know you tried your best, and that THEY made the choice, than to anticipate constant battles. Stop them from treating you like children.
And yes, take Pravda's advice, too.
|Subject:||Sad about TBM parents too|
|Date:||Jan 03 22:11|
|I realized a while ago that sadly my parents use the morg as
membrane or window through which they relate to everyone in the world, including their own
children. The morg simply permeates their beings. I rarely see my parents because they are
literally unable to "see" me for who I am.
So much for "families are forever." And this is not a cult?
They are now in their late 70's and they would literally stroke out by changing belief systems now. They will have their morg funerals, in their morg temple clothes and be buried awaiting a morg resurrection that will never come.
|Subject:||Mak, do you really want to raise your child around these people?|
|Date:||Jan 03 22:19|
|I got to thinking about people hoping maybe your child will help
bring you and your parents together. But what kind of things will your parents want to
talk to your child about? What will your parents say to the child about you? Will you be
able to trust them to be alone with the child for long periods of time? Overnight, say? Or
for the weekend? Won't they feel obligated to teach the child about the church? Will they
tell the child that the church is true and that you were wrong to leave the church?
It's something to think about.
I wouldn't want my parents to be undermining my way of raising my child. I stayed away from my parents most of my adult life, something that was healthy for me AND for my two daughters.
|Subject:||We all have to face one thing|
|Date:||Jan 03 22:34|
|The only reason our TBM parents had us in the first place was to
fulfill a Mormon Cult obligation.
They didn't want our little spirits going to some Godless Chinese Couple.
|Subject:||I came an inch away from never speaking to my mother. . .|
|Date:||Jan 03 23:56|
|Things got as nasty as you can image between me and my mother.
Finally, we made a truce: We don't talk about religion, politics, or sex. Period.
You can't believe the dramatic difference in our relationship. We went on a 18 day cruise to the Baltic and Scandinavia 2 years ago, just the two of us. We had a wonderful time
You CAN lay down your own rules with your parents. The church is full of telling people how to be and live, you can do the same, so that your needs and wants are respected.
Be your own church!
|Subject:||I severed contact with my TBM mother a few years ago|
|Date:||Jan 04 01:13|
|She did some unspeakable and unforgivable things to me in the name
of her religion. It was the final straw- much had happened before this also- and I
realised at that point that she didn't love me or respect me because I was an apostate
mormon and not going to the ck.
I found it very, very hard to sever contact with my mother. It felt like a huge betrayal of her- I have always felt responsible for her wellbeing and to walk away was very traumatic.
I think you know when it is time to walk- I felt emotionally I had no choice and it was taking such an emotional toll on me I was incapable of being any sort of mother to my own children.
If you need to walk- do it. Your parents had their chance with you and now it is time for you to have your own turn as a parent. Your responsibilities are to your wife and son- you owe your parents very little.
Parents raise us- we raise our children, our children raise their children etc and the responsibility is always to the next generation- not the past one.
Your parents have made certain decisions and they may have to deal with the consequences.
I have always seen my mothers total TBM status as a choice she has made and could unmake if she wanted to. She doesn't want to look at the fallout of her belief system- with the typical mormon arrogance she believes all the problems are mine. I'm not buying into that any more.
I recently let her see us on birthdays and xmas but otherwise we live separate lives. It took her a while to see that I really meant business- she has always been able to get around me- but finally it sunk in. I think she might have a few regrets about the things she has done now but it took her a long time to get to that point.
She is perfectly well behaved when I do see her now- no mention of the church or religion. At Xmas she was going to make the comment about "idle hands doing the devils' work" but as she was saying it she thought better of it and changed to idle hands getting into mischief!!!
Progress is being made- but it took a very hard line from me to get to this point. But to be honest I will never forgive her for some of what she has done. She will never be in my life in the way she used to.
Good luck- I sooo feel your pain. I think you might have to take a very firm stand with your parents- as hard as it is going to be.
|Subject:||Just got back (swearing)|
|Date:||Jan 04 01:22|
|I'm shocked that there were 29 responses to this. I sort of feel bad
about burdening you guys again with another one of my selfish rants about my parents. I'm
36 years old, and maybe I should be the one to grow up. I'm always amazed at the things my
friends have quietly endured in their lives that are many times worse than my little
trials. Thanks to Insomniac, Cricket, Ether, and others for telling your experiences and
helping to make this thread about TBM parents in general and not just mine.
I'm sure you guys have all heard the same sick-o, Church-serving, Bizarro-Universe versions of morality, gratitude, and responsibility from your TBM parents and family. I don't know why it irritates me so much to hear it. I get almost physically ill when I hear my mother preach about "gratitude." Ugh! Especially when I know full well that she and her whole church is full of shit. How about gratitude for her grandson? Gratitude, my ass.
No, neither Dana nor I trust them to be alone with our son after he's born. I think the anti-values my parents will try to teach him behind our backs are poisonous to his self-worth and emotional well-being, not to mention his future sexual relationships. What if he is gay?
I'm disappointed in them. It's ironic that it was my parents that taught me to do the right thing for the right reason. I honestly expected more from them. The truth is the truth, even if you're the only person in the world to know it. Even if all your friends, family, and a billion dollars worth of slick PR ads say otherwise. Wrong is wrong, no matter how comfortable, heartwarming, or socially acceptable it seems. No matter how difficult it is to discover that it's wrong. It's still your responsibility to make that discovery and conform to what you learn.
I'm sorry that they have to do a little bit of work and put the crowbar to the ol' cranium, but that's life. In the words of Gene Roddenberry, "A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away." The Church is a rut. I think it's even an opportunity to grow and become a better person by having overcome it.
As my mission president would say, the table is laid out for them. All that remains is for them to partake. In fact, almost all their children are seated.
|Subject:||Okay, I was overly hard on them there|
|Date:||Jan 04 02:03|
|But I was really on a roll, and I hate to blow a really good condescending sermon when I feel one coming. I'm too tired to edit it tonight, so please just ignore the last couple of paragraphs.|
|Date:||Jan 04 01:39|
> I've probably bored you guys for a long time with my mournful posts about my TBM parents, but here I go again.
Mournful is definitely the right word. Grief over the loss of respect for any loved one is natural. I'm sorry you are going through this, especially at a time when joy and hope should be free and soaring in the anticipation of your child's birth.
> Both of them fully enjoyed their youth outside of the Church, so it's not as if they are as heavily invested in it as I was when I realized it was false.
As converts, they have a different kind of investment in Mormonism. They have to admit making a mistake as an adult rather than being indoctrinated before they had any chance to develop critical thinking skills. This may be exceedingly difficult for them.
My own experience: I have struggled to respect my sister's decision to embrace her Mormon faith. She is bright and aware of many of the inconsistencies in Mormon practice. Yet something in her is strongly attached to Mormonism. Right now, for whatever reasons, she believes she needs Mormonism. It isn't about logic or reason. It's something more primal than that. I can respect that she is doing the best she can to meet her own needs even as I cannot respect Mormon doctrines.
The whole idea of "measuring up" is one I want to eradicate from my thinking. I haven't succeed doing so yet. ;) But slowly, I've reduced its presence. I don't like myself when I'm thinking about measuring up or how others measure up.
However, having read many of your posts about your parents' behavior, I think you are right to firmly establish boundaries. You may be forced to reduce contact with your parents (another loss to grieve), especially if their treatment of you and your wife continues and their influence in your child's life is negative.
Good luck in sorting through it all.
|Subject:||Feel bad for them...|
|Date:||Jan 04 01:50|
|I feel bad for my parents because if they understood what I do, they would realize they had completely wasted their lives....my mom spends nearly every minute of her life in some way devoted to the mormon church...home teaching, geneology, etc. I get some of the same reactions from them, as you have experienced. Nonetheless I think they are good people, that are just confused. I feel extremely bad for them, watching their lives filled with constant guilt of being imperfect. My mom has tried so hard to be perfect and yet is still racked with guilt...I doubt I'll ever change their minds...but am glad to say I maintain a good relationship with my parents...I hate what the morg has done to them, but I won't blame them for it...|