|Subject:||A Sometime Longing|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:01 2003|
|Author:||SLDrone [SLDrone is a former Mormon Mission President]|
|Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Home
I had lunch today with a bright faced young man. He is my friend, he feels like my son, he was my AP. I've written about him before. He called me the other day, said he had some news, could I spare some time. Always. I arranged to pick him up. He opened the door with outstretched arms, a warm embrace, one without reservation, one full of love, "I love you president". "I love you too", "you don't need to call me that anymore you're a grown man now". "Don't know what else I'd call you!" "Well, my name is good." "OK, I'll try president." "Thanks Elder" I say with a smirk. He repeats my given name with a silly grin on his face.
The restaurant was uncrowded. The lunch crowd has dissipated, and the dinner crowd was a long way off. The waiter was friendly, and patient, it took us a half hour to even look at the menu. It was fun talking to my friend, my son. "We are pregnant", he blurted out with a tremendous grin. "You're name will be his middle name." Tears welled up. "Are you sure?, what an honor." "I want to make sure that you stand in the circle when we bless him". My heart skipped a beat, and sunk just a bit. An old longing tugged at my chest. I didn't answer, instead "how do you know it will be a HIM?" His face was beaming, his countenance bright, he didn't miss a beat, "because you're name in the middle would be weird for a girl". There was that laugh I love to hear. The laugh of an all too serious young man. An incredible young man. It's hard for me to admit that the Church has played a large role in his making. Yet I know it did. He asked again, "so you'll be there right". "I'll try". His smile faded a little, "I know you'll be there." He has no idea.
Sometimes I want to go back. Sometimes I yearn for it. Sometimes I've laid awake at night and thought about what I have lost, what might have been had I continued in faith. Contrary to popular Mormon belief, the road out of Mormonism is not the easier path. At least not for me. I often long for the brotherhood, I miss the surety of the meaning of life. I long for the common goals and faith that bound me so firmly to my community, and to my family. I miss the contentment of faith in a benevolent and loving Father in Heaven. There is much to regret on the path out of Mormonism. It is a road often strewn with sacrifice and tears. It is a road that disappoints so many who love me, and I them. I've often wondered if the sacrifice to myself of feigning belief was worth the benefit of the happiness it would bring to those that surround me. But what of integrity, what of truth to thine own self?
And so it is this very longing, this very loss of contentment, this very affront to the truth which rips at my very heart that brings me to despise the lie. The lie that promised me so much, that exacted from me my very soul, and then is revealed a deception with evidence so clear that the honest mind must yield, at least it is so with me. Where once was brotherhood is now only loneliness, where once was surety is now only doubt, were once was contentment is now only disgust, were once was love is now only spite. And yet one is truth, the other a lie.
Oh what might have been? For me the Church has made the lie sweet, and the truth bitter. There is no turning back. There is no way to gain ignorance where it is replaced with knowledge. And yet ignorance was blissful wasn't it? What might have been had a lie not turned my world on it's end. I can never know. I only know I was happier before. Perhaps it's not bad to be a little naive.
|Subject:||Re: A Sometime Longing|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:10|
|Sometimes when I look around and the 'dumbed down' people look happier, I momentarliy wonder tha same thing. But I always end up being grateful most of all for intelliegnce. You can have all the things you mention without any church.|
|Subject:||Beautifully articulated post, very moving. . .|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:12|
>I've often wondered if the sacrifice to myself of feigning belief was worth the benefit of the happiness it would bring to those that surround me. But what of integrity, what of truth to thine own self?
. . .and this is it in a nutshell, isn't it?
Thanks very much for sharing your beautifully articulated thoughts on this topic. You can only go forward from here, and to sacrifice your integrity would be the worst of all possible crimes, against you, and against others.
Good luck in your journey.
|Subject:||Indeed, we can never "go back" no matter what it is. I thought I would miss|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:13|
|Mormonism - with all it's trappings, but I did not.
I was ready to move on. The cup was empty. I had drained everything out of it.
I was a little girl then. I am an adult now.
Other friends and activities hold more importance to me now.
I know I will never feel I need to live up to someone else's expectations again. How sweet that is.
I am happy with what I have chosen and I have no regrets. I am more content now than at any time as a Mormon.
When one door closes, another one opens and another journey starts.
I am content with my decision to close the door on Mormonism as my way of life. Mormonism will forever be in my life, but it will not ever again by my way of life.
Maybe it is a personality thing, maybe it is because Mormonism was not my culture (joining it was a culture shock), but I am grateful for what I have now because it is so much much more.
Nothing can replace the freedom I now enjoy.
Mormonism, as a way of life, has left such a bad taste in my mouth that it is repulsive to even think of going back.
But that's just me. And I like me a lot better now.
|Subject:||You have put my thoughts into your words......*m*|
|Date:||Feb 22 16:18|
|I sometimes miss the 'specialness' I felt around the other
members..I had people who acted like they cared about my family and was concerned if we
didn't come on Sundays or missed a meeting..We were always getting phone calls filled with
love and friendliness. I had 'sisters' calling me for lunch appointments...my daughters
were asked over to their homes...Yes, they made me feel 'special' and 'accepted'..then
came the day we became...inactive...at first we got calls asking when we were going to
return and that we were missed and they were worried about us..and soon those stopped and
then came the day when I would run into those same 'sisters' in the grocery mart and be
ignored and shunned..why?...because I no longer fit in...I was now the outsider..the bad
One 'sister' who had a husband that wouldn't work and she had 7 children and she was trying to support all of them.
Several times she asked me for money for food and I happily gave it to her with no thought of being paid back, at xmas I tried to help her out with gifts and such.. I went out of my way to make sure she got alittle time to herself every now and then by taking her kids for the day..I knew her for 20 years...and in the end I divorced my ex...She never not once contacted me to ask me if I was alright or if I might need anything. .even if to just offer her support..I tried to contact her thru email and she wouldn't even acknowledge the receipt of them...No one in my ward contacted me or my daughters...Our Bishop, after speaking with the then husband...told me to basically move on with my life...I never realized how dependent I was on the morg for my socialization....how sad.....
Yes, I too, sometime wonder "What If.."...but then I remember...I remember and am thankful I had the strength to leave all that behind me...I may not have alot of friends now but what I do have is real...and I am at a point in my life that I am taking care of me.
I feel that for 23 years I was in a cartoon....
No...not in a million years would I want to go back to that part of my life...
|Subject:||I find this so sad.......|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:17|
|_Were_ you happier before? If so, you can go back, if that is what
you truly wish to do.
Personally, I have never believed that a few facts should stand in the way of happiness. Believe whatever makes you happy! We live in the USA. You have the right to pursue happiness wherever you may find it--it is no one's business but your own.
|Subject:||SLDrone, I was touched by your post. I believe.....|
|Date:||Feb 22 16:17|
|a person has every right, and perhaps an obligation, to him/herself
to be in a place, or a station in life, in which they feel the happiest, the most
complete, the most accepted and the most comfortable. If that is in a church of their
choosing, regardless of the evidences for or against it, then so be it. You might try
going back for a while to see if it can be comfortable again. Maybe, however, you are
beyond that point. Only you know that. I don't think anyone on this board would criticise
you for any decision you would make in that regard.
In my case, I have often longed to return to various stages in my life....my days on the farm, my days of high-school sports and blossoming romance....my days as a "steely-eyed fighter pilot. But, those days are gone forever, except for the memories.
I still attend church occasionally, but then just to please my wife. I still have a lot of TBM friends whom I pity...but with whom I still share a lot of good times. I really think there are TBMs who do not look down on those who have found a divergent path to follow.
I also don't think it inadvisable to inform your young friend of your new thoughts and feelings regarding the church. You don't have to do it in a way that is at all confrontational...but in a way that is kind and shows your love and concern for his own feelings and testimony. I remember when I gathered my grown children together and told them how I feel...how I let them know that I did not want to negatively influence them in their belief and feeling about the church. I told them that my feelings were mine alone and, unless they asked me specifically, I was not going to ever try to disuade them from anything they believed.
Maybe you could strike up good friendships (if you haven't already) with those of us on this board. My fishing boat always has room for one more, and I'd love to have you along to help me tell of the big ones that got away.
You appear to be a good, honest man. Don't be afraid to follow your heart.
My very best wishes to you!!
|Date:||Feb 22 16:26|
|For me there is no going back. Just an old longing. An itch that can't be scatched and runs deep...|
|Subject:||Re: A Sometime Longing|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:23|
|Most of us can relate well to your experience, Drone. My favorite
missionary companions were people that I really did not want to disappoint. I feigned
belief or at least kept silent about my disbelief for many years whenever I was around one
I finally told them by email about my discoveries. Unfortunately, they ignored that email and for the most part have ignored me since then, although I would not say that they have completely shunned me.
My heart tugs when I read your story because I know the love you feel for him. My own story is different than yours in the sense that I never found that Mormonism brought me happiness, or even a naive happiness.
What I relate all this to now is to the wonder and happiness I felt when, just before Christmas, I thought that Santa was going to fulfill all my dreams. That was definite bliss and happiness as a child, but it was not a kind of happiness to last a lifetime.
Since having met you for lunch a couple times, I will always feel an attachment to you. I am so glad that you are posting here for you express so well the things that many of us feel.
|Subject:||same here old friend n/t|
|Date:||Feb 22 16:28|
|Subject:||I see no harm...|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:53|
|in joining the circle. (Unless everyone knows how you feel, of
course.) I believe that the energy of your love for this "son" and his child
would be a beautiful, but separate part of the Mormon ritual. Your purpose there would be
to give love, not to pretend something you do not believe.
I always read your posts. They are beautifully written.
|Subject:||Re: A Sometime Longing|
|Date:||Feb 22 15:59|
I just read your post and the poignancy, the longing, the regret, the pathos and sadness came through so very clearly. I feel for you so very intently. The earnest young man, like a son, the shared experiences, the hopefulness in his eyes, the desire for things to be the way they once were, the excitement of new life, must have tugged so strongly at your heartstrings that you could hardly bear it. The loss of companioniableness in the Quorum, the assuredness of company that looked and thought alike, the knowledge with a surety that the truth was yours alone, this also must have hurt and twinged.
But, a lie lived is not a life at all! It would have been comfortable for you to sink back into the massive comfortableness that Mormonism offers to those who belong. Indeed, there is great good in that organization, but at what cost to your soul? Take what was good and bring it with you on your journey. It is your journey and no-one can walk it for you. Also, since you are sincere and a very good man, life holds rewards for you in great measures in the walk of life you choose. It is not meant that the journey is to be easy or without trial. But it is a chance to continue to grow without blinders on and without the all-encompassing cradle-to-grave rutted path that Mormonism would force all its members into.
You have the right to make mistakes, earn rewards, meet the challenges of life on its own merits, without regrets and without forgetting where you came from. Take the good with you, forget the negative but always be aware, you are not alone. You walk with Christ in you. Don't go back to the way you were, a retreat from advances made. In that path is truly great regret without reward. you cannot stand in that circle and express yourself as a Mormon man. You can write a letter of love and wishes for the future of the child, expressing love for the father and mother of that child and sincere wishes for them to be good stewards of his/her soul.
That would be sincere and honest, a truthful letter of appreciation and hope. Be true to thyself, to the journey you are on. If they wish, they can do with the letter as they would. But they would know that you loved them and their child.
I was in the Priesthood, once an Elder, a Scoutmaster, I held most every office in the Church I could without being a High Priest. I was in the Quorum Presidency, a Sunday School President, almost anything I could be. I lived this life for over 20 years, a convert from Catholicism. But I also learned that a lie lived is no life at all and left the Church. It has been very difficult to adjust to the ostracism that was heaped upon me and my family by the members of the Church. Many donated items and gifts we gave to members were found strewn all over our front yard. Our daughters were maligned and insulted by children they once were friends with. All of our friends abandoned us and we have had to go on without their support. It is not an easy road to travel because the Church tends to not easily let go of its members and guilt is a very strong tool in its hands. But at some point, the pain recedes and life goes on. New friends are made and new circles of life form. But this time, the risks of reaching out are honest and true. If a person wants to be your friend, in the church, it may or may not be honest. In the world, friendships are a risk, and the true friends will not abandon you. Good Luck and God Bless.
|Subject:||So the kid's middle name is going to be "President?"|
|Date:||Feb 22 16:11|
|It's sad that unlike other endeavors in life we can't leave Mormonism without causing a serious rift. To me, that's indication enough there's something wrong with that religion.|
|Subject:||Re: A Sometime Longing|
|Date:||Feb 22 18:34|
|I didn't read any of the posts cuz tears are in my eyes. It is exactly how I feel. The blissful ignorance, the "knowledge" that I "knew" the "truth," the comfort of instant "frienship." My closest "family" do not yet know I have left the "faith." It will not break our relatinship but ir will dissolve the common bond that was mormonism. The reality has indeed been bitter for me.|
|Subject:||do we take the blue pill or red pill? (n/t)|
|Subject:||I'm grateful I never fit in.|
|Date:||Feb 22 19:35|
|I could be wrong, but it seems to me that you're still very much
tied into the Mormon culture and Mormon social circles.
Most of the exceptional, wonderful people I know are not and never have been Mormons. My good friends are honest and genuine and accept me for me, warts and all, and are not Mormons. There are lots of them out there. You should give them a try, those nevermos.
My experience has been quite different from yours, SLDrone. During my stint in the Morg, most of my fellow members made me feel inferior and second class because I didn't have the right pedigree. Most of the TBMs I know today are fake, passive-aggressive backstabbers.
I lost practically nothing and gained so much by taking the plunge and getting out of the Morg. It was nothing but fear and superstition that kept me in for so long. The only sad part about leaving was that it made my mom nearly disown me but, fortunately, not quite all the way. We could have had such a much better relationship if she wouldn't have been so disappointed in my leaving the church and marrying a nevermo. Oh well.
|Subject:||Beautifully articulated Drone.|
|Date:||Feb 22 20:56|
|Those feelings of longing can be very persuasive. I think it's
healthy to acknowledge them and give them their due. My guess is that they will pass and
it won't be long before you're reminded of why you left and feel grateful that you did.
I think it's fascinating how different people's journey out of mormonism can be so completely different one from another. I have never felt any longing because I was never happy in the church. Ever. So there's nothing there to long for. But I long for other parts of my life that are gone so I know exactly what you mean.
It's good to talk about it. It's good to feel it. And it's good to read about it when it's written this beautifully.
|Subject:||In the Morg, at the end of the day, all approval is STILL conditional; here's why...|
|Date:||Feb 22 23:44|
|Author:||Colonel Thomas Kane|
|you did the right thing.
The Colonel replies:
When you are facing tremendous personal adversity, DAMN it is nice to retreat into the safe, confortable lies.
DAMN it is nice to think that all of these handshaking businessmen posing as spiritual guides REALLY care about YOU, and helping YOU to get ahead.
The reality is, it's a damn BUSINESS disguised as a religion; to be exact, it's a damn BUSINESS first, foremost, and forever.
The culture induces such a state of learned helplessness among the faithful, their only choices of dealing with power are the choices of the powerless: passive aggression, and enough medication to stop an army.
Psychologically, and spiritually, there is no growth without pain; all of those living in Matrix power bubbles are still living an illusion they hate.
That's why they respect you so.
YOU have the personal integrity they lack the courage to have.
Time spent as a correctional officer in a maximum security prison, where one faces no shortage of animosity, has taught The Colonel several great truths.
Here's one of them.
When people tell you they hate your guts, and want to kill you, burn your house down, and shoot your dog, they are telling you the truth.
And that's wonderful.
It's such a refreshing change from everyday life, yes?
And, when you face adversity, you realize who your TRUE friends really are.
And the rest can go to Hell.
|Subject:||I can't help but wonder|
|Date:||Feb 23 00:24|
|....do you think there's any possibility that someone has put a bug
in the ear of your AP? Someone who knows how this young man could influence you to turn
your life around & go back to church?
If I remember correctly, there are many higher ups who know you personally & who may have gone out of their way to set this up.
What do you think?
|Subject:||I understand your pain|
|Date:||Feb 23 00:34|
|Author:||OU812 (formerly edy)|
|and it runs deep. After the few hours we spent discussing situations
and promises a few weeks ago I feel that I can relate to some degree.
I know previous commitments prevent you from sharing your true feelings with this elder yet your conscience will not allow you to join in the circle of blessing. It was not right for the brethren to extract self protective covenants from you but that does not relieve you of your obligations.
I think you shared a genuine bond with this young man and even though it is genuine, you may wonder if it is strong enough to survive when all cards are face up on the table.
I suspect that you feel unworthy to have this pure and unspoiled new person named after you, but circumstances prevent full disclosure. It is yet another lose lose situation in your life.
I wish I had advice that would help you resolve the conflicts, but I know that whatever I would say would come up short when compared to the results of your own decision making process. I wish you well.
|Subject:||I had a similar occurrence this week.|
|Date:||Feb 23 00:52|
|My husband's aunt and uncle took him aside and asked if we would
seal them in the temple after they die (aunt's already sealed to her late husband). They
asked us because they thought we were the only active lds couple in the family. My husband
still attends church and did not tell them that I stopped believing. I have debated
whether I should, when they die, go back briefly just to do this ceremonial thing in their
honor. But I would have to lie to a lot of people in the process, and I no longer believe
in the church ceremonies that I would be doing "vicariously". It breaks my heart
to tell them no, though, as they are so sincere and this has such meaning for them.
Thank you for posting your story. It's good to know we're not alone. You're quite right about this not being the easy route.
|Subject:||I don't think you necessarily have to do the work.....|
|Date:||Feb 23 01:30|
|as long as you see to it that it gets done. By your taking the
initiative and seeing that it gets done is, in and of itself, paying your respects to them
and their wishes. Someone working in your stake's family history library I'm sure would be
glad to help you...and you wouldn't have to feel like a hypocrite in the process.
|Subject:||A few thoughts|
|Date:||Feb 23 03:25|
|1. Are you going to help bless his baby?
You don't come right out and say it, but it sounds like you don't intend to go. Why not? If memory serves, you've promised Hinckley to hide your disbelief from your missionaries (a situation that you're clearly not happy with but feel bound to accommodate). So it seems to me you'd have the prophet's blessing (apologies for the pun!) to go do what this young man wants.
2. Exmo Limbo
You said, "Contrary to popular Mormon belief, the road out of Mormonism is not the easier path." That's not been my experience at all. Mormons I know think that the road out of Mormonism should be plagued with despair. The believers who know of your struggles probably nurse their own testimonies with the notion that your turmoil comes from the devil, or loss of the spirit, or something of the sort.
I suspect that it's not just what you've lost that is painful but also what you're denying yourself moving forward. You have indeed lost much by losing your faith, but you are also avoiding new treasures by not exploring the new you. There is brotherhood, community, meaning, etc., to be found outside of Mormonism, new friends to make and old relationships to redefine. But not until you can be true to yourself and to others about who you really are. In the mean time, you live in a limbo that must truly feel like hell!
So maybe it's not the road out of Mormonism that's so hard as much as the ramps on the interchange that connects the Mormon road with the non-Mormon road that are a real bitch to negotiate.
3. So what's next?
I know you have your reasons for "feigning belief." I have no desire to debate them with you, but I hope--for your sake--that someday you will be able to move beyond them. The fact that you are starting to "despise the lie," as you have every right to, may be a good first step. Maybe someday it will get bad enough that you will write an eloquent letter to Hinckley telling him why you can no longer honor your original agreement. Or maybe after he dies you won't feel so bound. I don't know when or how you might work your way out of your various dilemmas (I realize you have more than Hinckley to worry about), but I wish you the best in your efforts.
4. Was ignorance bliss?
I can't speak for you, but it wasn't for me. It hasn't always been easy for me and my wife to deal with friends and family and new beliefs, but leaving the church was the best thing we ever did for ourselves and our daughter. We wouldn't trade it for anything. I hope that someday your journey takes you to a point where you can say the same thing.
|Subject:||I usually love your posts SLDrone, but I'm sorry, you haven't done the work|
|Date:||Feb 23 03:43|
|I acknowledge that Utah is a hard place to tell the truth, but you
haven't been very courageous it seems. I may be waaaay off base, but how hard have you
tried? Have you told the Truth about what you feel to your wife and kids, Unvarnished
truth from your heart? What you really know? Did you give them a chance to accept or
reject what you know?
I've had to tell the truth about the church to my wife and children, and guess what- there were very rocky times, and alot of discussion, years upon years of discussion, and my wife and kids are in great circumstances because of it, and my grandkids have so much more to look forward to. I absolutely never dreamed it would actually work out, that they would see the light too, and we'd all be so happy. I catagorically did not think it would turn out so well, I was conditioned by the church to beleive it would all be a big horrible mess.
I just thought I had no choice but to tell the truth. But guess what? The church lied again, and we are happy, and successful. Surprised me to this day, I'll never get over it.
A friend of mine had the courage to come out as as an authentic person - a gay man- for him. It was the truth, and it supposedly should have distroyed his family, but through all the pain and change the family became stronger, because they were dealing with the truth. It was years of tears amongst laughter, but always REAL- it makes all the difference.
I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it myself. You may say they are unusual, but I don't think family love is all that unusual, TRUTH is unusual.
One thing they said that stuck with me, it that although maybe they could have all stayed in the closet of denial, what would happen to their grandkids, and others if they let the lie continue?
You should maybe ask yourself the same question. Integrity, what does it mean? What's it worth? What is a fake life and fake "love" of family worth?
People say "I can't rain on their parade", but you would let your children go through life with a comfortable lie, subject to a blindsiding truth that could bring their downfall?
Yes it's sad, but do something about it, or just keep wallowing in your fake life as a victim, because "they" won't let you tell the truth.
Sorry about my mood tonight, it just seems like maybe you haven't given the family and friends a chance to make a choice. You know something, and have an obligation to warn your neighbor.
|Subject:||Yours is a painful post but a feeling shared by many|
|Date:||Feb 23 07:46|
Despite the use of pseudonyms which are so common on this board, enough clues are dropped for me to suspect that you and Steve Benson are our two highest ranking defectors. I've always appreciated the sincerity of your posts here. I was the AP to my mission president and have often wished I could have sat down with him and with a smile on my face and an un-threatening manner explained what I had discovered since I worked with him so long ago. I'd hope, of course, that we could express love for each other despite subsequent religious differences. I sense that I could easily do this, but could he?
One of my criticisms of the church has always been that it allows its members to surround themselves with high walls to prevent contamination from people like me...and you. My guess is that you've seen that popular poster that pictures Jesus above the quote: "I never said it would be easy. I just said it would be worth it." I wonder if those who boldly proclaim that message can possibly believe that it works that way for us too.
|Subject:||Do you ever wish you could go "home" again?|
|Date:||Feb 23 01:19|
|I must admit that sometimes I wish that I could have remained blind to the truth about Mormonism. I lost so much. My marriage, sons, friends, career, etc. I'm the type of individual that tends to think, reason, and ask questions though. God how I sometimes envy others in Mormonism that can remain blind and just go along and not think about it. Me, I have to study and ask questions. Now I'm screwed and lost it all. It would have been so much easier to just go along with the crowd. God how I wish I hadn't ever got involved with Mormonism in the first place. My life would have been so much easier and the pain of losing everything because of leaving Mormonism wouldn't exist. They say that the truth will set you free. I guess I'm "free" now but still struggle with the emotional chains and fallout due to leaving Mormonism. To my children, I'm sorry for all the pain, confusion, and hurt I caused you by leaving Mormonism. I hope we can sit down and talk about it someday and that you still love me. To all on the board, I'm sorry for this negative post but I'm extremely depressed at the moment. If I just hadn't thought so deeply about things in Mormonism I could still go "home" again.|
|Subject:||Re: Do you ever wish you could go "home" again?|
|Date:||Feb 23 01:30|
Yes, I often feel that way. I wish I could believe in Mormonism, or any Christian church for that matter. I am very isolated and ache for a real-life community, but I just can't believe. I've always been too different from others to fit in anywhere, even in non-religious organizations. Even within my family. I spent a lot of my youth struggling to fit in and failing at it, and then trying to learn not to need other people and failing at that, too.
I wish I could go back to the LDS Church and start over. A part of me doesn't care if the friendships are conditional and superficial. At least someone would be pretending they cared about me. But my intellect, conscience, and independent spirit won't allow it. I can't just go along with the herd.
All of which is to say, yes, I can relate to your pain and sense of loss. I am so sorry you're going through this, and I'm sending lots of good vibes your way, for what it's worth.
|Subject:||Your last sentence described my dilemma a few years back [from: Do you ever wish you could go "home" again?]|
|Date:||Feb 23 01:31|
|I was still sort of attached by bonds of "friendship" to
several Mormons despite my "inactive" status. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding
between a friend and a guy she had spent a year and a half painting as a big ol' loser. He
was and is a loser but I digress. The wedding was announced a month and a half after the
"happy" couple got engaged. Now I had forgotten just how tacky and annoying
Mormons were in packs. During the reception (I had no recommend so the wedding was out:
Thank God!) I was told "You know Gail, your problem is that you think too much."
My initial response was shock. Later, some excellent one liners came to mind but it was a
bit too late. The reality is, the minute I started questioning LDS theology, history and
doctrines, I became a social leper. It hurts at times: conversations are verbal mine
fields and leave wounds on all sides. That is where the board comes in very handy as a
|Subject:||Re: Do you ever wish you could go "home" again?|
|Date:||Feb 23 01:41|
|I only wish I had been smart enough not to join in the first place! The lds corporation was never 'home' to me.|
|Subject:||Re: Do you ever wish you could go "home" again?|
|Date:||Feb 23 01:42|
|You are experiencing what is known as the "human
condition." This is what happens when we make choices that seem so correct at the
time, but then, looking back, we wonder what would have happened if we had not made them,
or had made other, different choices. Unfortunately, many times the other choices look
better to us, because we are not experiencing them at the moment.
You must accept the fact that the choices you made seemed to be the correct ones at the time. You must have wanted to make them desperately enough to cause the chaos that occurred in your life, or perhaps you could not visualize the chaos that would occur. It is difficult to do so. Either way, it doesn't matter; the past is past. We can only move forward.
Luckily, you can still show your children that you love them. You can move on from where you are and find new friends and new happiness. But, unfortunately, there is nothing to gain from regretting a past that you cannot change. However, you may have to grieve for what you have lost from time to time. Take care. Find happiness where you are now.
|Subject:||Re: Do you ever wish you could go "home" again?|
|Date:||Feb 23 04:29|
Let me start by saying I have never been Mormon, nor have I had the privilege of being part a community whose brainwashing is inclusive. Yet, I can indubitably say that I feel and understand your pain and sense of loss. I have lost those close to me and painstakingly tortured myself over my exhaustive analyzation of why and how, as I know you have. It has taken me years to realize that the decisions you and I have made to think and ask questions, to seek knowledge and understanding, are in fact not choices we have made after all.
There are two types of people in this world: those who go through life without thinking about why things happen or are the way they are, just coasting blindly, and those who take a vested interest in life and embrace the beauty that it births in each of us. For you and I, and for many who frequent this board, there is no continuum, we know where we stand. Never doubt or torment yourself as a result of what makes you the wise and introspective man that you are. Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living," and you better believe those words hold as true now as ever.
Do not be mistaken. You have not caused your children harm, nor have you irrevocably altered their lives by any means. Your love for them is unconditional and by making it so, I assure you that it will be reciprocated. Your time to sit down with them and talk and laugh and smile will come. By seeking the truth and by showing courage, doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons, you have not only freed yourself, but you have given your kids an opportunity to one day seek the truth for themselves. An opportunity that they may never have otherwise possessed. Whether or not something is difficult or easy has no reflection on whether it is right or wrong. You did the only thing you could have. You did what was best for you and your children. You did the right thing.
Friends are gained and lost everyday. True friends are not. The true test of a friend is not found in those everyday moments of commonplace and routine. It is in times of adversity and change that true friends show their true colors or hobble away to be meek and mild another day. And that they will.
When you decided to leave Mormonism, your true friends stayed with you, those who merely pretended did not. Understand though, my friend, that these individuals should be pitied. For they are as brainwashed as you once were. They do not know any better. They act for fear of punishment and hope of reward. This is no way to live and it is not a way of life that could ever bring you happiness. Let them go with no regret or malice and understand that you are a better man because of it. You will find those live in reality and are not afraid to do so, who are deserving and worthy of your friendship, mark my words.
You will be fine and your career will be sustained. The average successful worker changes career fields five times and often moves laterally many times on top of that. Just work diligently and apply the same principles that got you where you were before and you will be back where you belong. Many ex-mormons have been in your shoes and have come out on top. I have no doubt that you will as well. What you gained far outweighs what you may have temporarily lost, in all respects.
As for your wife, I will not pretend to know the intricacies of your relationship, but I will assert what I do know. You cannot like someone you cannot respect and you cannot love someone you cannot respect or understand. If she has chosen her path, then she did not love you for who you really were and you did not love her for her true self. I am not saying that love was not present, but the degree of love which you and I seek for all times was not to be found. Your "home" was one created by someone who you no longer embody. You can never return there because the man who lived there does not exist.
You will be ok, David. You are going through a natural progression and I am so happy for you. I have always refused to settle, seeking the truth and wondering if any sublime lay out there for me at all. I long wondered if I would ever be happy and had nearly given up.
I have met and completely fallen in love with the girl of my dreams. She is an ex-mormon and for her, leaving the church and those who had manipulated and subdued her for so long was a very, very painful experience. Those who had claimed to love her most turned their backs on her and showed their true colors. But she is no ordinary woman. She broke out the chains and embraced the truth as you do now. She has changed my life and I am truly happy because of her. You are going to make someone else truly too, David. Let life takes its course, you are in control of your own life now and you will find a "home" that is right for you. One where you belong. Just as I have. Always remember, that if something is easy, that is likely to be its only reward. You are on the right course, slow and steady. Do not worry, there is land ahead.
|Subject:||I miss having something in common w/my family, but|
|Date:||Feb 23 04:54|
|I am far happier now than I ever was. It was hard at first, but now I am grateful to be living life the way I want to live it; to REALLY have free-agency.|
|Subject:||Hang in there - you did the right thing - there's no need to apologize|
|Date:||Feb 23 05:50|
|Your posts are as valid as anyone else's. The only
"negative" posts are those that try to invalidate someone else's experience -
so, don't apologize - just post how you feel, because it will help you in your healing.
Now, to your post. I can understand it, but I think what you're remembering is an illusion. Ignorance doesn't really bring happiness. And gaining knowledge doesn't come without some costs.
I don't ever want to go back to the time when I believed that polygamy was sanctioned by God, or that blacks were "cursed" for something they did in a prior existence, or that the Lamanites would become a "white and delightsome" people, if they only believed. That stuff is toxic to the soul.
Hang in there David. Keep your perspective. It's not as peachy as you remember.
|Subject:||Don't worry, your reaction is normal|
|Date:||Feb 23 07:10|
|The reaction you describe is a common one. I suspect that most who
post on this board have looked around them, especially those of us who live in Utah, and
wondered how all of these supposedly happy people could be wrong. It is, after all,
difficult to swim against the current. But then, rational thought takes over again and
when you are able to peel off the outer layer of this religious onion you discover that
these happy people have an unusually high suicide rate, the highest rate of prescription
anti-depressants in the nation, the highest rate of personal bankruptcy and home
foreclosure. These are things never discussed over the pulpit at conference. At its core
this thing is rotten.
Salvation for me has come in reinforcing and being reinforced by friends who feel as I do. In Utah, you have to look a little further to find them, but they're there. I too have lost a relationship with a couple of my children but that loss is balanced off by finding a wonderful wife who is a "shrug shoulder Catholic" and who has always understood that Mormonism is a bizarre cult. My TBM first wife, who threw me out like a used Kleenex, has re-married and divorced three times. Her life is a disaster. Mine on the other hand is full of happiness, but it took a little time. It's hard advice to take but try to be patient. To use a phrase TBMs are fond of: I never said it would be easy. I just said it would be worth it.
See similar topic at Mormon172 "Do You Find Yourself Wishing You Could Go Back to the Mormon Church"