My mission in hell - Suffer from Tourettes

anon for this Jan. 2013

I came home early from a foreign mission. The mission was the absolute worst experience of my life. It aggravated my depression and OCD to the point that I couldn't function and think clearly. My anxiety and snoring MTC companion kept me from being able to get enough sleep each night. I developed severe social anxiety while out that I have never recovered from.

Being forced to go around and bare my testimony in front of my entire district frightened me to death. We were also expected to present in front of district meetings in our new foreign language and I would shake, studder and turn white as a ghost.

The area that we taught in was so poor that people were literally dying of starvation. They slept in wooden shacks on dirt grounds and ate from trash cans. Nobody had the money to feed the missionaries and so we would go hungry. My companion said that she just considered this a long fast and test of our faith to see how long we could go without eating. She had some serious issues herself. I was literally starving and didn't have the energy that a mission required each day. I had to literally BEG the mission president to send me home early.

I also have Tourettes and my tics were very severe during this time because of the stress I was under. I was quite literally losing my mind and falling apart! Despite my severe emotional state my parents were very angry with me for coming home. They said that the Lord wouldn't have sent me somewhere I couldn't handle and that my decision to come home was a sin in his eyes. I wasn't even sure that they would be there at the airport to pick me up.

I heard for months how I "just couldn't hack it" and I wasn't sure if they would be financially cutting me off from attending college. I endured horrible treatment from the ward members. My mother said the ward spoke of me as though I had actually died. I got the feeling that my parents would have rather me returned home in a coffin. My parents were very resentful because I had embarrassed them in front of their elite Mormon friends. I actually contemplated suicide during this time in my life.

I had ptsd for years after coming home. Terrible dreams that I was being forced to go back out on a stateside mission. I can honestly say that the person who left on that mission was not the same person who returned. I lost a bit of my sanity from not only the mission experience but the trauma of coming home early. Even though coming home early was a terrible experience I never regretted not finishing. Finishing the mission would have led to a complete and utter emotional breakdown. A mission experience is so incredibly tough but for those of us with a pre-existing psychiatric disorder like myself (tourettes, OCD, depression, anxiety) it is literally hell. The only positive was that the mission was the first step in realizing that it was all a fraud although I still would have come to that realization without it.

another anon with Tourettes

Re: My mission in hell!
I think you just described my greatest nightmare. I have a mild form of Tourettes. I am able to control the motor and vocal tics most of the time, but I still get OCD symptoms of needing to carry out tasks and intrusive thoughts, depression, and anxiety.

The purpose of a mission is to isolate and exhaust you to such an extent that you can be strongly indoctrinated away from your support system. When you have OCD and/or Tourettes, just living a regular life can be exhausting. You just didn't even have a chance in that environment.

I hope that you don't blame yourself in any way, because nothing that went on is your fault -- especially if they refused to make any attempt to understand or even acknowledge your disorder, which I'm sure they didn't. That may be hard to internalize with your OCD and the way Mormonism sets you up to fail and then blames you for it. Meanwhile all your Mormon friends and family cannot accept that the Church is capable of any wrongdoing at all. It's a completely toxic situation.

My mission caused me so much emotional damage that for years I could barely even open my mouth to talk about it without getting choked up. I saw a therapist years later, and we worked through much of that pain. That's the best advice I have. I hope you can see a therapist to work through the trauma of that experience and get away from Mormon abuse enablers in your life as much as you can. It has helped me a great deal.

Mormon Observer
Re: My mission in hell!
I see in the by lines that it is next year already! So Happy New Year! We have another hour to go before the big countdown.

I'm glad you posted. I have children with OCD and ADD and a bit of Aspergers. I'm so glad we were able to dodge the bullet on missions. We left before anyone could go.

True testimonies of what the TSCC [this so called church] is really like that get posted help. Because so many people went through the hells you did. Yours was unique. I know a lot of people who came home with parasites or intestinal disorders they picked up on their mission that are still affecting them 30 years later.

If you are an introvert and with OCD, etc. it is excruciatingly painful. Then add the abuse of your village, the home ward and your parents it is terrible. The culture of the TSCC is abusive and we need to keep letting people know so they can not just walk away from this corporate cult, they can run!!!!!

anon for this
Re: My mission in hell!
One of the reasons I chose to go on a mission was all of the wonderful homecoming talks I heard proclaiming that it was the best two years of their lives and they would go back in a heart beat. I see now that these overzealous RMs are probably brainwashed into saying and feeling this. They feel if they don't talk about how wonderful it was nonstop people will catch onto the truth of how miserable they really were. Maybe if they say it enough times they will really start believing how great it really was.
Re: My mission in hell!
Wow. Just wow! Honestly, the thing that affected me the most was how you were treated afterward. Un-freaking-believable.

I'm a mother of three, and one of the things that helped me to finally split from TSCC (I'm a 6-generation BIC) was the pressure that was put upon my son to go on a mission when he didn't want to go. I was hearing stuff about how troubled he was, and wayward and rebellious and wore tee shirts with rock bands on them (gasp!) and played the guitar (shudder). They made him sound like he was a child from hell, and I knew he was one of the best people I'd ever had the privilege of knowing.

My ward forced me to choose between my son and TSCC. I chose my son. I'm sorry your parents didn't do the same. This probably doesn't help, but just know that the way you're being treated has to do with THEM and THEIR mixed-up belief system. In reality it really doesn't have that much to do with YOU. I imagine that fact doesn't make it hurt any less.

I apologize in behalf of your parents. They made the wrong choice when they shamed you. It was unfair and cruel.

Re: My mission in hell!
I think my heart just broke in two reading this story...

anon for this
Re: My mission in hell!
I came home around Christmas and my parents were very angry with the amount they had to pay for a plane ticket home. I was told not to expect a Christmas present that year because my only present was a plane ride back home. Didn't even get a stocking or card. I just remember feeling like a piece of @#$%; that xmas.

Thanks for the support so far. I have often wondered how my life would be different if some of you had been my parents instead of my own.

GQ Cannonball
Re: My mission in hell!
Anon, i am curious...did your parents serve missions?
anon for this
Re: My mission in hell!
Yes both did state side.
Re: My mission in hell!
Cathy Wrote:
> I think my heart just broke in two reading this
> story...

Sending warmest wishes to you anon.

Re: My mission in hell!
That is just proof of how twisted people that believe in Mormonism are.

When you consider your child dead because they either refused or came home early from a mission, then something is seriously wrong with your train of thinking.

seeking peace
Re: My mission in hell!
Just one more example to show the world that we all belonged to a cult. A mind controlling, dangerous cult, no different than any of the others.
Been There
Re: My mission in hell!
Anon ...

Many people have or had sh**ty parents also. I hope you can get past their crappy parenting without it ruining your future. I came from a home of abuse, and it's taken me many years to overcome the damage. I'm still damaged in some aspects, but I started to progress the moment I no longer cared what my parents or anyone else thought. I'm now VERY STRONG, possibly because of all the hardship.

I hope you are in a good place and a good frame of mind now.

I wish you the best.

Re: My mission in hell!
I have a friend of mine that I have known for some time. He was set to go to Australia for his mission, and would have went around the time the 2000 Summer Olympics were about to begin.

My friend was and still is an avid fan of the Olympics in general. So to be blunt, this mission would have been a dream trip for him.

The night he was to finalize his plans, I was with him and his father. His father said to him "Son, you DON'T have to do this, no matter what they say to you."

He didn't go, and him his parents eventually left the church.

But for a while after he refused, the branch treated him as a leper. He said to me one time "What did I lose out on? A trip to Australia? The go go eyes of a few girls? If I was going to go to the Olympics, I want to be able to actually enjoy them, and I would rather date a girl that can actually think."

He eventually did go to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and ended up marrying his high school sweetheart, who was far from mormon.

I know I got off topic with this, but the point is his dad did not care if he went on the mission or not, and told him point blank he didn't have to if he didn't want.

I'm sorry that the church put you in a situation where you had to choose the church or your son. But the funny thing is, the church teaches family comes first, and that is exactly what you did.

Re: My mission in hell!
I know just enough about your conditions to join the list of those who are appalled and terribly sad that this happened to you.

I treat my pets better than that. Some people just shouldn't be parents.

What a nightmare! I hope you're recovering.
Curses on the cult for mistreating you.

Re: My mission in hell!
anon for this: I think as part of your ptsd therapy for recovery, you should shove the evidence that the LDS church is a sham down their throats until they need prozac function in society. You can start with the Facsimiles in the Pearl of Great Price. Make them eat that sh_t sandwich and say its the best sandwich they ever ate.

By the way, what years and where did you serve?

Re: My mission in hell!
The Mormon Church doesn't realize just how often a mission can De-convert the missionary himself or herself. That's what happened on my mission.

I didn't change the world - the world changed me!

Most of us went out idealistically without realizing what a comedown the mission would actually be: We we weren't really missionaries, we were made into high-pressure sales people who were under highly-abusive pressure ourselves.

The new age changes may backfire on the church because the more immature missionaries are when they go out, the more shock they will experience when they meet the REAL missionary world.

Re: My mission in hell!
I can relate a lot to what you said. My mission was also the absolute worst experience of my life. But I still came home and blathered about how wonderful it was. It's truly the Emperer's New Clothing.

> They said that the Lord wouldn't have sent me somewhere I couldn't handle.

What a dangerous, stupid mindset.

Terrible dreams that I was being forced to go back out on a stateside mission.

To this day I also have nightmares of having to go on another mission :).

Re: My mission in hell!
"anon for this Wrote:
> One of the reasons I chose to go on a mission was
> all of the wonderful homecoming talks I heard
> proclaiming that it was the best two years of
> their lives"

I remember my family always commenting about not only what you said above, but a lot of the missionaries that came back from foreign missions came back skinny and tan. People in the ward would say "oh he/she just looks so healthy and happy" VERY far from the truth I'm sure, but I remember that was a reason we were supposed to look up to the RM's in our ward. Especially if it was someone that was "fat" before leaving.

You are incredibly brave
I am so sorry you had this nightmare that was viciously and knowingly perpetrated on you by that evil cult. I pity your parents if they ever realize the pain and suffering they caused you.
I think you are incredibly brave to realize the truth, and speak it. I am so grateful you were able to come home, even to that manipulative creepy home. It was your speaking out that made the difference for you.
I hope you find supportive places to study, work, and love where your true self is valued.

Re: My mission in hell!
Reading that makes me so glad that my son refuses to serve a formal two-year mission for TSCC.

Re: My mission in hell!
Your story makes me so sad. How can parents, who believe in God, treat a child this way. This is beyond belief. One of the reasons I have a very hard time with the Mormon church. God Bless you and I hope you can move forward in a positive way-knowing that you are NOT the one who let anyone down.

Re: My mission in hell!
What a coincidence, I also served in hell. Maybe we were in the same areas.

Re: My mission in hell!
I am reading 1984 and life in this fictional novel matches some of these mission experiences.
War is Peace!
black is White!
isolation, torture, insanity, the missionaries have it all.
Re: My mission in hell!
Hey I served in foreign Hell too, and came home early because of medical condition. My parents however were very supportive - other church members, stake president etc. not so much. I can certainly relate to the bad dreams of being forced to go back.

My advice is to take a deep breath and let it go. It's only as bad as you make it. Move on with your life and chalk it up to a learning experience. Don't let maladies define who you are.

Re: My mission in hell!
I am sorry you had such a bad experience and that your parents were so horrible to you after you came home from your mission. It's sad that many TBM parents are blinded as to what is best for their children because of the church. I'm glad you were able to do what was best for you at the time. It's very hard to do that when the church keeps pounding into our heads that we should please everyone else rather than ourselves.

Re: My mission in hell!
The mish who baptized me eventually left the church. He and I stayed in touch for years, but neither of us dared to confess that we had left the church. Once when my spouse and I were traveling, we were invited to spend a few days with the ex-mish and his wife. That's when we got up the nerve to "confess" that neither of us was still in the church.

He told me he never got over not being allowed to go home when his mother was terminally ill, or even for her funeral. He was told by his MP that her dying words were, "Don't let my boy come home from his mission for this." In fact, she never said any such thing - he learned about the truth from his sister.

He also said that they were told repeatedly never to say, in letters home, anything about being homesick, missing anybody, or even colorful stories about the mission experience. All they were to write about was "testimony" stuff - how great it was to be doing the Lord's work, yada, yada.

I remember repeatedly peppering my letters to our oldest son (during his mission) with questions about what the area was like, how was his fluency in the foreign language coming along, what was the food like, did they have customs that would seem different to us, etc. He never answered anything like that. It was just the same old testimonkey stuff. After he came home, he told me he was dying to answer my questions, because it would have made it much easier to write letters home. Instead, all he could do was to repeat the party line. It must have worked, though. He is still a practicing Mormon, married in the Temple, the whole shebang.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"