Shunned by the Mormon Community
Subject: Shunned by the Mormon Community (New to Board)
Date: Dec 31 12:41 2003
Author: just-left
Mail Address:

My spouse and I just left the church a couple of years ago. Since then I have lurked on the board, but never posted.

Recently we've been the target of shunning from those faithful members of the church. My spouses grandmother seems to always call us failures as parents now, and in our own house. Our child has never gone without, has lots of love, and is very happy. What is funny is the grandmother will always tell me these comments but never my spouse, you've served a mission, blah, blah, blah. When I don't agree with what she says out come the rude slamming comments.

Just recently the missionaries found where we live. We've moved to a different part of the country in the last year. I think the grandmother ratted us out. So anyways, the house two doors down is occupied by a Mormon family. We've been very aloof, about ourselves to them. Well back to the point the missionaries came to our door, and began to give us the works God wants you back now, Read your BOM, I know its true) right on our doorstep. My spouse closed the door on them. I looked out the window to see where they were parked, and they were parked at the Mormons two doors down.

Just recently we were at the grocery store and guess who was there, this Mormon family. Not only did they completely ignore us walking by, but before they got to us, I saw the wife whispering to her sister. The wife walked by, and the sister looked at me quite funny. I have never seen such rude behavior.

The Mormons in our neighborhood, never associate with others on the block. They always have cars from the ward taking up space on the street(where parking is not allowed). Since not attending my eyes have been opened to the type of people the Mormons are.

It often hurts, and it has been a growing process, but I will make it through. Have any of you had similar circumstances, I really want to know how you dealt with it.

Subject: Something like the best revenge is living well
Date: Dec 31 13:07
Author: sg
Mail Address:

It's not exactly revenge, but it's making a life for yourself and not letting the TBMs get to you.

You say there's one TBM family on the block and they don't associate with the other neighbors. (Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding.)

Create a network of friends and neighbors and let the TBMs be. Discover your interests outside the morg and develop them as a family.

You don't need them, and their rude behavior is just that: Their rude behavior. It has nothing at all to do with you. Ignore it and them, if you want to. Or greet them and let them wallow in their own rudeness.

Welcome and I hope you also enjoy the community of this board.

Subject: I'll second that (or third it) and welcome. ;-) n/t
Date: Dec 31 14:07
Author: tanstaafl
Mail Address:

 

Subject: I would agree with that
Date: Jan 01 02:36
Author: Fedelm

I was briefly in the cult for about a year, then after filing for divorce from my Mormon ex-husband against his wishes, I might add, I quit going to church. Finally, I sent in my resignation before the divorce became final and moved on with my life. I did get some missionary harassment, but after threatening legal action, my request was honored and I've been free since March of last year.

Anyway, in 12 days, I'm celebrating the anniversary of my divorce being finalized:) I've been getting my revenge on Mormonism and especially my ex-husband by simply living well, almost completing my BA and becoming active in the SCA(Society for Creative Anachronism), which is a medieval re-enactment group that my ex ironically introduced me to.

Anyway, with that organization, I have made lots of close friends who actually treat me with respect as a person, and not by whether or not I was "worthy" enough according to the cult. I'm even doing things that the sexist cult and my ex-husband would hate such as archery and fencing. For me, I'd much rather spend a Sunday at the archery range, tournament, or a fighter practice than sitting in church.

Subject: It's not clear to me where you live at the moment...
Date: Dec 31 13:21
Author: Shakjula

But it's really not difficult to find friends "on the outside", although I've heard it could be trickier within "The Corridor". It's not a perfect situation (and it never is or will be), but most people appreciate others for who they are, so don't think you have to eliminate all of your views just to fit in -- it's not expected of you. For example, if you don't like to drink and the people you are with are drinkers, they're not going to shove alcohol down your throat, nor are they going to abandon you as a weirdo. I don't drink anymore either, and all of my friends and associates really don't care one way or the other and are respectful of my decision.

I think you'll find yourself liking people who pretty much have very little in common with you, just because they're good and fun people -- and vice versa. Remember that relationships aren't built upon conditional love, and that not everyone you associate with will be classified as a true friend. There are different levels and so forth, and you'll figure that out.

I do wish you the very best for the coming year, and please, please, please don't be afraid to be yourself. Go out, have fun, and learn to trust people who are worthy of your trust.

Subject: Re: It's not clear to me where you live at the moment...
Date: Dec 31 13:28
Author: just-left
Mail Address:

We live far from the corridor. But I guess Mormons are everywhere. We are moving on in our lives. Its just really hard to stomach the absolute rudeness, and cruelty from the Mormons.

Subject: You'll do fine...
Date: Dec 31 13:40
Author: Shakjula

I have no doubts that you'll move on and all of this will move farther back in your minds. It's really fresh now, and it's natural for you to feel anger and sorrow, but once you start living your lives as "normal" (whatever that is) people, you'll have fun.

Subject: Siog's advice is very sound.
Date: Dec 31 13:24
Author: activejackmormon
Mail Address:

Living well and making lots of friends in the neighborhood will bug your TBM neighbors because I'm sure they really believe that true happiness comes from "the gospel."

And as for their rude behavior, I've always found it best to take the high road and respond with kindness and respect. I try to never allow the lack of civility around me to cause me to be uncivil. Unless they are bullying you and need to be stood up to, kindness is what works best for me.

Subject: This is very, very typical.
Date: Dec 31 14:13
Author: free
Mail Address:

It can be difficult with close family because it is like you lose your sister, best-friend, and father. And this is why I call the church a "cult." If they were normal people they would not behave ugly like this.

Like my wise counselor use to say, "It is all about playing the game." Here I am, a daughter who has excelled in the ways of the world all on my own, and in my family's eyes I am "low on the totem pole."

Forgive them, for they know not what they do. Or better stated, they do know what they are doing -- which is really wrong -- but they are not their "true" selves. It takes a while to get to your authentic self when you come out of a cult. This is why I have such high regard for people like Steve Benson and Mary Ann Benson because they were strong enough to do it all on their own. I needed major counseling and even then I had an episode where against my better judgment I tried to go back to church.

Now that my "cult" self is gone and I am totally healed, (and I do see it as a healing), I realize that these people are "crazy." I know that sounds judgmental, but they are in a "cult" self-image and can't deal with reality or with others outside the LDS faith.

So like a wise old friend of mine said (she is in her 80's and left the church at the age of 10), "It is up to us to be the stronger person." Sometimes that calls for us to put our foot down and make limits (because the LDS can't understand boundaries and rudeness), and sometimes it calls for being polite (like when I go to the yearly family party). But the true strength lies with the ones that know. You know. Don't give them the power to hurt you. In fact, I have some compassion for them, but I have also had to lay down the law. It needs to be done.

Grieve for your losses, get friends that are supportive and loving, and realize that they have the problem, not you.

I hope this helps. And I hope that you have a supportive husband too. Just remember that you are not alone and this behavior is very typical.

Subject: Re: Shunned by the Mormon Community(New to Board)
Date: Dec 31 14:16
Author: Michael

One reminder: if you've resigned from the cult, all you need do is contact the local bishop in writing and inform him that under no circumstances are you to be contacted and that if you are you will report it to the police and the media.

If you are then contacted again, call the police and the local media.

Be strong. There are people here who'll help you (even a crazy Jew like me).

Subject: You can ignore it or...
Date: Dec 31 14:20
Author: hector
Mail Address:

you can try to "get their goat". For example, in the encounter at the grocery store, after they passed you by and acted rude you could say loudly to your husband "Well, it looks like the Mormons must have missed Church on the day when the parable of the Good Samaritan was taught".

Or "Boy, those Mormons sure don't know how to act Christ-like, do they?"

Or "I wonder of the Book of Mormon teaches people to be rude whenever possible?"

Of course this mouthy approach will probably make them all the more difficult to get along with, so it is not something for the faint of heart to try.

Subject: Here's what I do:
Date: Dec 31 14:44
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

I live in Utah County, so I run into the members from my neighborhood all the time. In the grocery store, I purposely seek them out and engage in conversation. They always act embarrassed that I was the one to say "hi" first. Some of them say "I've missed you". Oh, that's a good one. I always say, "I haven't moved. I live in the same house." These people are in my freaking neighborhood, for Pete's sake! Unspoken in that is they really mean they have missed seeing me at church...right....I am out of sight out of mind, you know. But I just love to make them realize how rude their behavior is!

Subject: Welcome! I can think of several (language)
Date: Dec 31 16:21
Author: Meow
Mail Address:

smart-ass things to say to people like that, but taking the high road and feeling sorry for them because they're trapped in a cult would probably be the best in the long run.

Subject: A funny thing I've noticed is the men
Date: Dec 31 16:35
Author: Gracie
Mail Address:

I have twice run into women who used to be my church friends, while they were out shopping with their husbands. The women were very open and friendly, but the men acted completely flustered. One guy totally ignored both me and my hubby, and walked off in another direction, while his wife very kindly mentioned how big and healthy our kids were.

I think they really just don't know how to act. We have Mo's on our street too, but I hardly ever take any notice of them. They are just too weird and difficult to talk to. I didn't like them when I was Mo, and I don't like them now I'm an atheist heathen LOL!

Subject: I threw a party!
Date: Dec 31 17:14
Author: Mrs. Estzerhaus
Mail Address:

This goes along with living well is the best revenge. We lived in the same neighborhood for 7 years after leaving LDSism. I had birthday parties, crystal parties, Avon parties, & neighborhood parties on holidays. I even invited some old friends from the Ward whom I still considered to be friends. I don't know this as a fact, but I'd just bet the old Ward gossip got around that our lives were going on without the snobby people. I really was happier without them, and showed I wasn't dead, or turned into Satin. The least I could do when they tried to snub me was: smile, and give 'em "the finger"! It really felt good.

If you haven't seen the movie "Anger Management" it applies to people giving you problems. Good luck!

Subject: Not all members are like this .....
Date: Dec 31 22:02
Author: Tom D.
Mail Address:

We don't live in Utah, and we left the Church several years ago. Then we discovered we bought a home NEXT DOOR TO MORMONS!

But they are WAY COOL people. They don't preach to us or look down upon us in any way. We help each other with various home projects, and we rarely discuss the Church. There are no hidden agendas on their part or ours. We both respect each others' beliefs and leave it at that.

Not all members are like what you describe. There are the butt***** for sure, but our experience has left us still liking Mormons even though we don't attend the Church.

Remember, people are MIRRORS. They reflect what is shown to them.

Good Luck!

Subject: Re: Shunned by the Mormon Community(New to Board)
Date: Dec 31 23:01
Author: Found

I live in Utah and I will say that this is the NORM for Mormons here. They have treated me and my family this way for 20 years and I am still the topic of gossip after all these years. It just reminds me that their hearts are cold and they are lost. I've tried to be loving and compassionate, but now have grown bitter and want nothing from them. Sorry that my first post is so negative, but I know how this feels and it is so unchristian. How can they live with themselves?

Subject: Not my experience. Perhaps...
Date: Dec 31 23:56
Author: Choices
Mail Address:

you encourage it. Do you shun your previous friends? Do you invite them to your home? Do you say nice things to them?

Our neighborhood is very integrated in regards to religion and race. All appear to be friends and we have many parties. I have noticed that SOME EX MO'S do not associate with the their previous friends, and the vis a vie. It is always a matter of choice.

If you still want to be friends perhaps you should take the initiative. If not just move on.

Subject: Re: Not my experience. Perhaps...
Date: Jan 01 00:08
Author: Found

I live in Utah in a nearly totally Mormon community. I knew and associated with my neighbors and had a good friendship. I was told by some that they were told by the bishop to stay away from me. It's not just me taking the initiative. In fact, I did at first. It is a practice of the religion to stay away from anyone who has left the church (apostate or knows the truth). It is not as simple as just being nice. I'm glad you don't know what I'm talking about because it is very painful. I wish you the best.

Subject: Re: Not my experience. Perhaps...
Date: Jan 01 00:25
Author: Found

Something else I should have mentioned..........My three children have grown up in the hatred of the Mormons in the area. And they had nothing to do with their mother leaving the religion. My youngest daughter told me that her friends mother told her friend that she could not play with her because "Don't You know who those people are??!!" That is just an example, one of many. Some say "why don't you just move?" I wish I had a long time ago. I thought if I showed enough love that they would let it go. But that is not part of the "forgiving loving family oriented Mormon church"
Found wrote:
> I live in Utah in a nearly totally Mormon community. I knew and associated with my neighbors and had a good friendship. I was told by some that they were told by the bishop to stay away from me. It's not just me taking the initiative. In fact, I did at first. It is a practice of the religion to stay away from anyone who has left the church (apostate or knows the truth). It is not as simple as just being nice. I'm glad you don't know what I'm talking about because it is very painful. I wish you the best.

Subject: Sorry for your experience.
Date: Jan 01 00:37
Author: Choices
Mail Address:

And that of your children. You still have a choice to be nice which I would do. Your being nice will shame both them and their Bishop. I always feel better when I do not let others determine what type of a person I will be or how I will act. Hopefully, your good life and actions will impact your not so nice neighbors.

May the New Year bring you and your family a better year.

Just kill them with kindness. It will drive them crazy.

Subject: Re: Sorry for your experience.
Date: Jan 01 00:42
Author: Found
Mail Address:

Choices, thank you for your understanding. It isn't really so hard to be nice, but when you see the affect it's had on our children it kind of makes me sick that I haven't just given them a piece of my mind. Know what I mean? I've been nice for so long, and only recently have seen what my children have faced. I find myself getting so bitter and it's so not like me. Thanks for listening to me. "I'm not really like this"......Have a great new year, I'm off to bed.

Subject: It is hard to be nice when these Mormon neighbors
Date: Jan 01 02:46
Author: free
Mail Address:

spit on your children and then hit on your husband. Then they turn around and tell you that your children can't play. Is that a mirror or are you into the new-age cult that also denies? I know how that goes because I use to look at the "mirror" business and it was insanity.

My counselor was right, how much more nice could I be? These people only care if you play the Mormon game in my neighborhood, and if you don't they will harass you. So the only way to deal with them is through being strong and making limits.

Subject: They are afraid of you....
Date: Jan 01 04:18
Author: glad to be out
Mail Address:

I have come to wonder, after reading through these posts, how many Mormons walk around pretending they have that vaunted testimony. I mean, only the "worthy" have it, and if you don't then, ergo, you must not be worthy. I also remember the days of "say it until it is true" that I went through as a small child.

I remember how desperately I wanted that testimony. I prayed and prayed and read and read and while I did believe in God (still do), I never (as an adult) got a burning in my bosom that the BOM was true.

I suspect that these people may be afraid of you. If they associate with you, maybe you'll see how frightened and lost they are. They are so busy showing the rest of the world how superior and righteous they are. But maybe you might see through their facade, and they are terrified of that.

When you come to see these people has lost souls hoping that magic underwear and secret handshakes are what it takes to get into heaven, then you may be less offended and more sympathetic to their plight. If they are intentionally hurting you, it is probably only out of a sense of self-preservation. Try not to take it personally. It isn't you, it is what you stand for: freedom of thought.

Subject: Thanks, glad
Date: Jan 01 05:53
Author: conformist

That was an insightful post. It is always useful to be able to view a situation through compassionate eyes.

TBMs are victims of the church just as much as exmos are.

Subject: How they act isn't your fault.
Date: Jan 01 05:40
Author: Cheryl
Mail Address:

It's easy to fall into the old trap of thinking you should be nicer, or kinder, or friendlier to make people like that return the friendliness.

The truth is they have problems. You don't. You have freedom and a chance to recover from what is enslaving them. No matter what you do, you are not responsible for their mean-spirited attitudes.

You'll have to hold your head high and decide how is best for you to deal with them. But never blame yourself for how they act. That's their problem, and the cult that drives them.

Subject: I know it hurts, I get this all the time.
Date: Jan 01 08:57
Author: Island
Mail Address:

When my neighbors see me pull up they gather their brood and rush them into the house. If my children go out to play, they call the kids in. If I wear a dress that shows my knees they gasp in horror. If I lay out in a bikini on the deck they floor the gas peddle past the house. If I meet them at the store some will turn their backs to me. I have had them set me up to be shunned in a couple of instances. It's all about conformity and appearances.

As a family, we try to stay close together and fill the needs that actual friends would otherwise provide. It's made us closer and we go out of our way to have fun. Also, I like Lord Shakjula's advice. He's always so good with that.

 

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