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Posted by: daughtersofperdition ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 05:41PM

I thought I had a good relationship with my parents when I was a kid. I got along ok with my mom, and thought the world of my dad. He was my hero and I would've died defending him. But this 'good relationship' only worked if I was doing exactly what my parents wanted. The first time I felt hate towards my mother was the day she made me cover up my date with a black guy. The first time I felt disappointed in my father was when he bought cigarettes for two fifteen year olds, right in front of me.

Our relationships waned and waxed over the years. Something my dad has done, that I will never forget, was tell me to "Stop crying" and "Suck it up" When I was in pain in a hospital bed at 15. There was a part of me that never forgave him for that.

When I left TSCC, our relationship got worse than it ever had been. I had disobeyed them, gone against their wishes. They never said it, but I could hear it and see it in their voices and eyes. They felt like they had lost me. But I remember ignoring it, because there were so many life achievements my parents could witness, now. I could have my whole family at my wedding, someday. My father could walk me down the aisle. We could have our father daughter dance.

When I met my husband, those dreams really began to take place. When we got engaged I pressed the urgency of having them at my wedding. Then my brothers said they probably weren't coming. And my and my sister started fighting. And if it wasn't me and my sister fighting, it was me and my mother. I spent many nights crying and confused, wondering what I was doing wrong.

Due to a family illness, we wound up moving our wedding up over a year from our original plan, with only a few weeks to plan (crazy I know). Because it was now out of state, my mom and siblings now had an excuse to not come! And I tried to understand. I consoled myself with the fact that they wanted to watch the ceremony on Skype. And I was happy.

My father, on the other hand, travels for work. I told him the first day we decided to do this, that it wanted him there. That I NEEDED him there. In my heart, I knew that this was my dads last chance to prove that he cared, that he still loved exmo me. He said he'd try, and see if his boss could get him to be in that area around that time and he'd figure out the rest. I spoke to him almost everyday until we flew out, reminding him. He always said the same thing; "Don't worry, #1 (my lifelong nickname from him, that I haven't heard since I got married) I'll make it". I told my future inlaws that he'd be there, and they were excited to meet him. My future mother in law encouraged me to pick out my father daughter dance song, and to pick some picture poses to take with him. And I did. And I was happy.

We flew out the day before the wedding was supposed to happen. When we landed and after we got our marriage license, I called my dad. He said that he was "Kind of close", only a few hundred miles away. His plan was to drive all night and sleep during the day, then wake up and drive the rest of the way until he got here. I even told our officiant and hosts that there might be a delay in the ceremony start.

That night, as I was doing the finishing details on the ceremony, I called him again, just to reiterate his plans and find out a tentative time he'd be here. Instead, he told me he wasn't coming. I thought I heard him wrong. Nope, I had heard him just fine. It was too far to drive, he said. He told me he was going home to see his family (I guess I didn't count anymore), to do his laundry (really??!) and that if he went home, he'd get to go to church (He could've gone there with my husbands family. They're Mormons too). After a brief conversation, it sunk it: my dad didn't want to come to my wedding. I couldn't be sure if my mom had talked him into coming home, or if he had made the choice. But either way, he decided. I was a wreck for the rest of the night. My poor future inlaws were so confused; my fiancé was very angry. But, I was getting married tomorrow, to the man I loved. And I tried to be happy. And in reality I was.

As happy as the next day was, it was full of "Should be"s. Trying to put my jewelry on by myself; my dad was supposed to be here to help me. Taking my bridal portraits; he was supposed to be here to take pictures with me. Waiting my turn to walk down the stairs; he was supposed to walk me to my husband. Instead I walked down by myself, legs and lip trembling, looking at the door the whole time, waiting for him. Hoping for him. Then I took my fiances hand, and I was home. Until that night when, instead of dancing with my dad, I danced with my father in law. I love the man dearly, and he did what he thought was a simple thing. But it was a very big thing to me. It helped me keep the sadness out of my heart. It was a wonderful day. We said our "I do"s, ate cake and opened gifts, and spent time with my new family. And I was REALLY happy.

A few days later, while we were on vacation with his extended family, I called my parents for the first time after the wedding. My mothers first comment was how nice my inlaws house was, and that it must be nice to have that kind of money. My inlaws are far from rich, but they are comfortable, and my family lives in poverty. The last little hope I had that I could have a good relationship with my parents, was gone. No warm welcomes, no joy. Just judgement. Then I called my dad. And he acted like nothing had happened. Like he hadn't just missed my wedding. No apologies, nothing. That tiny little part of me, that was still a 'daddy's girl', died right there. I knew then that I had idolized my father, and that had never been or would ever be the father I needed him to be. Not anymore.

Leaving the church was one of the best, hardest decisions of my life, and I would never go back. But I hate what it has taken from me. What it has let my family take from me.

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Posted by: nevermo1 ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 05:56PM

Oh my goodness,your story is so poignant and truly moving.I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart about what happened to you.It is amazing that you are such a positive person and still managed to remain so upbeat through one of the worst ordeals imaginable.

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Posted by: Red ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 06:04PM

Your dad bought cigarettes for 15 year olds?

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Posted by: daughtersofperdition ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 06:16PM

Red Wrote:
> Your dad bought cigarettes for 15 year olds?

Yep. I'm amazed that he didn't get caught. The worst part was that he felt no shame. Even though he's always hated cigarettes.

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Posted by: daughtersofperdition ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 06:15PM

Thank you, nevermo. That means a lot to me.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 06:49PM

It was always a painful puzzle, why it was that the actions of parents, those who one had hoped could be looked up to, could be guardians and protectors, standing in support, on my side against the world even – never were. Nothing I might do was ever good enough. Disappointing, heartbreaking, puzzling.

Then one day it dawned on me that I was, to them, never even a real person. I did not exist at all - except as an extension of their own egos. This sudden realization was dumbfoundingly fascinating.

Years later it dawned on me that they were the way they were, because they could not be otherwise. Their limitations, their vision, was the result of a hopelessly collapsed and restricted worldview. They were completely unaware. And it was easier to understand them.

Many years later it dawned that they were unconscious, because their own parents had been this way to them; they themselves were never once real to their own parents, never valued for who they were. And I began to soften a little, and maybe even feel some empathy and understanding for their situation. Which was not unlike mine own.

It may be that your parents will never have the capacity to see you and cherish you for who you really are; because they can not. But that is not because there is something defective in you.

These realizations never changed the dynamic between parents and myself; but now, I don’t hurt anymore.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2013 07:41PM by zenjamin.

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 08:19PM

I like the way you put that. There are many ways to describe the lack of authenticity that infects most mormons to one degree or another, but it is certainly rampant within the culture, and you just named some of its effects.

I still struggle intensely to even understand how they can tolerate living life like they do, but there is one line you wrote that is very important for all exmos:

"It may be that your parents will never have the capacity to see you and cherish you for who you really are; because they can not. But that is not because there is something defective in you."

I have had similar thoughts over the years, that I am not really perceived by them. There is an avatar of me wearing my face, stored in their heads, and I think a lot of imaginary conversations go on between my mother and this simulacrum, but she hasn't got the slightest clue what makes me ME to inform this memory representative of me that she carries around in her head.
There is what she thinks I should be like, heavily informed by mormonism, and she has memorized a few of my preferences, but she seems to have zero idea what I'm really like.
A few concepts like Impertinent Apostate, Possible Drunkard, Friend to Druggie Children, Likely Slut, have stuck in her mind from my teenage years. And I can't possibly be a good person with things like that clinging to her avatar of me.
Even though I would argue that it is not christlike to judge anyone based on rumors and associates. She is a christian and I am not, but it is easy to see she thinks I am a horrible person, or sometimes the imaginary mormon version of me she keeps in her head.
Well, tit for tat, I don't think much of her for thinging such things of me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2013 08:32PM by WinksWinks.

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Posted by: daughtersofperdition ( )
Date: November 11, 2013 08:55PM

It's been a long time since I have been able to sincerely say I love my parents, and longer than that since I could say that I like them. I know they are only human, and have flaws.

But I didn't deserve to grow up the way I did, or get treated the way I still am.I know I could have been raised worse, but I could have been raised a hell of a lot better, too. And I'm not just saying that because I like to complain.

I knew what hunger was before I understood it. I knew what racism, sexism, homophobia, and bigotry was before I was old enough to understand what it meant to be black, a woman, or gay. I wore clothes too big, and shoes too small. I had bruises. I didn't go to doctors. I watched my pets die preventable deaths because my mom wouldn't take them to a vet. I lost jobs, friends, boyfriends, because they didn't fall in line of how the church thought they should be.

I never learned how to do the simplest things, like how to balance a checkbook, pay bills, or use a credit card. I didn't learn how to cook, or clean, or even drive. Because I was a woman and should be subservient to my future husband.

I feel like me and my siblings were cute 'pets' that my mom got tired of and stopped training and caring for, and that they only put on a good face in church because we were supposed to be happy 24/7

I have multiple phobias that I'm trying to overcome, that were instilled in me from my childhood. I'm getting there but it's hard. I want to blame them completely, but I will always wonder how much of it is the fault of the LDS church.

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Posted by: Cali Sally ( )
Date: November 12, 2013 12:39AM

I was a daddy's girl too. The only thing that ever came between my dad and me was LDS,Inc. when I became a convert. My dad was really worried that since we believed in a modern day prophet we might do anything the prophet said, like Jimmy Jones. I assured him I still had a brain and would never just turn it over to someone else and I never fullly did. I guess LDS, Inc. would say I was never fully converted. But I was converted enough to scare the poo out of my dad. He was the bigger person and didn't give me much grief for joining and I never tried to push him into joining. We had a truce. But it still came between us in a very subtle way.

When my sister got married to a never Mo my dad came to me and told me he would never pay for my wedding if I got married in a temple. He probably would have but I know it would have crushed him not to be able to walk me down the aisle. I told him I wouldn't expect him to pay for a party he was excluded from and I meant it. That day I promised myself that I'd get married in a way that my father could be present and worry about the temple later on.

My dad died before I resigned my LDS membership and I'm sorry he never saw the day I came to my senses. But I'm super glad he never saw me get married in a Mormon temple. I'm sorry for the fact that TSCC came between you and your dad.

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Posted by: enoughenoch19 ( )
Date: November 12, 2013 04:26AM

The cigarettes thing makes it sound like your did is NOT Mo. But then it sounds like he is. I think he is just plain self centered. If think that no matter what religion you were or are, he ignore you. He is just a creep. I'm happy you have a new family now. Good luck with you brand new marriage.

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Posted by: anony ( )
Date: November 12, 2013 04:56AM

OMG!!! I'm soooo sorry for all the pain and loneliness you have felt. I HATE when mormon families do this. Our wedding day was so similar. And I carried the disappoint sent for years. Cried myself to sleep many times not understanding why we were treated so badly around what was supposed to be the "best day" of our lives. Talk about humiliation and hurt. Families are supposed to be important, but TBM just can't handle opposition. On our honeymoon, we had migranes for about 3 days. Just to decompress. But after that the rest of our island getaway was great! ;)

Its weird now because our never-mo neighbors now act more like family then the blood relations. Drinking, pool parties, sunday gatherings and all. I think my mother would flip if I told her that. But its better for me to just limit how much I talk to tb family. They just don't get it, and haven't a clue about how to treat anyone who doesn't believe.

Our only hope now is that we can give our children a completely different future. One filled with un-conditional love. HOPE your life can more forward with the same hope and find healing. Find new family, make new friends, expand your circles and love more deeply than ever.

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