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Posted by: The Tare ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 02:34PM

This is the first time I've said anything other than to my "inner circle" of my husband, brother, and mom. This month I officially embarked on a heartbreaking and frightening journey for toward truth.

I've had serious questions, concerns, and disagreements with policies and doctrines of the church for years, but it just now came together upon learning the real history, examining the BOM, and seeing the contradictions between that and the church, within it's own text, and with Jesus' teachings. I won't go into it now, but have had a few disillusioning experiences as well.

I am heartbroken I built part of my life on a lie. This process has left me shaken due to the implications and a bit lost. I am bewildered that I've been hoodwinked until my late 30s, despite considering myself intelligent and a free thinker. I guess growing up in a predominately Mormon community and what I realize is now some mind control explains it, but I still feel stupid.

It has nothing to do with being offended, sin, lack of prayer and study; you know, the typical accusations. In fact I've held a number of leadership positions.

I'm still sorting it all out and solidifying my position. There is a nagging "what if I'm wrong?" It's not just me, but my family and kids I'll effect.

The good news is my husband has some similar views, although is much farther behind in the process. I'm not sure if he will ever totally disavow it. But, my marriage is not at risk. My brother is also at the same place and my Mom isn't going to disown me or anything. If/when my in-laws find out it might not be too much of an exaggeration to say they would rather see us dead than apostates.

Thankfully, I no longer live in Utah. I've never felt like I fit in as a woman who is a feminist and works part-time with children in the home. I'm also politically liberal and I never saw myself as part of the sheeple-but looks like I was to some degree.

If Mark Twain thought the BOM was "chloroform in print," I'd like to see what he would say about sitting through our 3 hours of church, endless meetings, and pointless activities. I wouldn't miss any of that and do not have many close relationships I my ward, nor do my children. After how we were attacked during the 2008 election for our political activity (which we never mentioned at church), the abysmal treatment of my children who have special needs, and being invalidated, blamed, and turned away in an hour of need... neither of us have wanted much to do with our ward "family."

But, I realize that either leaving the church or becoming inactive to any degree will be no easy task- hell I used to be the one tracking down the lost sheep so I should know. I'm trying not to underestimate that psychologically this will be a seismic shift for someone like me. Luckily I already have a therapist anyway.

Any words of advice?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2016 03:09PM by The Tare.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 02:45PM

Take it one day at a time. Keep your focus on being honest, genuine, and true to yourself. Don't let the bad arguments of others, who aren't concerned with honesty or truth, but with maintaining the status quo and peer pressure, keep you from what you know you need to do.

Most of us here have been down the same road. We were true-blue mormons, who found out the facts, and who left -- despite pressure from family, despite being shunned, despite being called all sorts of names, despite being chased after. We're all happier living honest, authentic lives. Come here for support when you need it, you have it from me now :)

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 08:35PM

^^^^^what my friend, Hie, said is perfect. Heartfelt wishes!

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Posted by: Darren Steers ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 02:47PM

Just posting to let you know you are among friends here.

We've all been where you are now, and it does suck. It gets better though with time. Keep reading and posting. You'll see your story mirrored in many places.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 02:48PM

Welcome to the club of ex-Mos! At least you have this site and there are others to help keep you grounded as you work your way out of the labyrinth of the cult.

I was where you are now when I left. In my 30's, children still at home. I had one foot in and one foot out for a time, until finally making the transition out for good.

You're on the right track. Why does/did it take us so long? I was born and raised into the "gospel" and just believed everything I was taught growing up. I didn't question it in the beginning. Once you do is when it all starts to unravel and come undone.

Hope you find a support network and don't let them hoodwink you any longer, if you can leave now the sooner the better. The LDS officials will mess with your mind and those of your children's if you don't sever ties. They did with mine even years after we'd resigned.

Don't trust their good intentions where it concerns your children or your welfare. Trust your own.

Best wishes on your journey outta there! :)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2016 02:52PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: Out for 15 years ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 02:56PM

You don't need to justify your decisions to anyone inside that church. The process of leaving is a difficult personal transition that most Mormons are incapable of understanding and accepting (or maybe they're just unwilling to admit to themselves that somebody could have perfectly valid reasons for leaving their church). They've never gone through the process of leaving a religious cult, so they won't be able to relate to what you're going through.

Also, setting boundaries is huge. Mormons, from my experience, will view you as deeply flawed and in need of fixing. Anyone who tries to fix you is a toxic person and definitely not a friend. They won't understand why you're leaving and in most cases you'll just have to accept that they have a deeply misguided perception of who you are and why you left.

Further advice which may or may not be necessary: just because the LDS church is a sham and you no longer have to follow it's rules doesn't mean that you have to go to an extreme of breaking all of it's commandments. I was young when I left so it may be different for me than it will be for you, but I initially fell into drugs and dangerous promiscuity before I learned there were reasons to moderate those behaviors other than fear of being punished by the Mormon god.

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Posted by: The Tare ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 03:07PM

Definitely good advice, I can see where people would go to the other extreme. It could have played out differently for me to if I left when I was younger. But, I've never had any interest in drugs. I'm not even sure if I will drink, because it might not be the best idea to mix with my mental health issues and psych meds. (Of course, maybe I'll be less anxious and depressed now...) I'm in a happy marriage. But, yes, if this had been my early 20s I could have gone down some paths I could have regretted.

The most dangerous thing I might do is try a Frappuccino and watch Game of Thrones- LOL.

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Posted by: Darren Steers ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 03:16PM

The Tare Wrote:
> The most dangerous thing I might do is try a
> Frappuccino and watch Game of Thrones- LOL.

Uh oh! gateway drugs right there!

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Posted by: blueorchid ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 03:03PM

Like hietokolob said, most of us here were the truest of TBM Mormons. You can be a little shell shocked when the truth finally surfaces so just take it slow and hang in there. The down side is obvious when you are at this point, but you are going to love when the plus side starts to reveal itself over time.

Just take a deep breath and start slowly but surely planning a new life. You will need one. What was tolerable before because you believed will now be unbearable.

And thanks for the laugh when you said this about one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes, "If Mark Twain though the BOM was "chloroform in print," I'd like to see what he would say about sitting through our 3 hours of church, endless meetings, and pointless activities."

Glad you are here.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 03:28PM

My advice: let it all unravel - little by little. Write about your process if that helps. You own no one an explanation unless you feel it's important.

This is about taking your power back and owning it. You are no longer giving anyone or any organization the right to tell you how to think, what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, where to go, and how to spend your time and money. You can discard all of those intrusive ideas.

You are entering into a whole new world of freedom. You will be changing and deleting a long list of automatic thinking scrips. You cannot be wrong about your recognition of new information. (Thinking you might be wrong is an old Mormon script. Delete it immediately!)

My view is to accept all that has happened in my life as part of what made me who I am and what I know. Nothing was a waste or a mistake. I spent much of my life as a Mormon. I was a convert. I have moved into a whole new World View and allow it to evolve as I learn new and better information.

Be nice to yourself. Regrets, self recriminations, etc. are all self sabotage. They keep you from being happy. Recognize that this is your life and you get to make the changes how you want. Leave the past in the past and live in the beauty of today.

Mormonism creates an altered World View which is often lived as if it was reality, which it is not.
Most of all, have fun and laugh a lot. (Somethings are never funny, but getting to a level of humor is very healing!)

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Posted by: AmIDarkNow? ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 03:31PM

It took time to get indoctrinated and it takes time to disconnect. It takes time to do the mental surgery to cut out the nonsense that makes you fear that you have made wrong or bad decisions. Nor is it that pesky pretend bad guy named Satan busy influencing your decisions with his wiley ways and tossing sparkles of badness at you.

10,000 things we learned while in mormonism and when those things are put under the microscope of evidence logic and reason, every single one can be seen infected with the virus called "I am a lie".

Remember these things.

You have done nothing wrong.
You are not under any LDS authority.
You are not guilty of anything.
You know better now than to be bribed/threatened with any pretended Heavenly rewards or threats to be separated from family.

Repeat to self often.

Now that you know, protect your children from it.
The LDS church is not a passive entity. Do not be passive in protecting your children from it and its tentacles, whichever direction they may come from.

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Posted by: ladyfarrier(not logged in) ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 05:06PM

I'm paraphrasing a comment you made about feeding dumb that you didn't figure it out sooner. The reality is that the church puts thought stopping memes in our minds as part of the brainwashing. The fact that you figured it out at all shows you are in fact pretty smart.

It is not easy to get past all the "it's not necessary for your salvation" or "the Lord hasn't revealed it yet" programs and actually let your mind function.

Good luck on your journey. There will be bumps in the road but it is so worth all the struggles to be able to live a life that is authentically yours.

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Posted by: deepcreek ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 03:36PM

Congradulations for figuring it out for yourself. It's a destructive cult that is based on fiction and lies by Joseph Smith.

Remember some church members have significant pride and can't admit they have been bamboozled all their lives.

Continue to put more distance in the rear view mirror on Mormonism. Enjoy your life without a controlling cult.

A happy life shows others how one can do it outside Mo'ism.

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Posted by: You don't know me ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 04:02PM

You can expect to go through the grief process, as you are "losing" something you once held dear. You are gaining truth and authenticity in the long run.

Understand you will feel: disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope. They may come in any order, and you may move back and forth between them. This is normal. It does NOT mean you're wrong to leave, or you're doing it wrong. You may get "stuck" at one stage or another, and a competent therapist could help you move on. The process may take weeks, or years, or a lifetime. That is normal too.

Keep your head up, and question any one and anything, no matter what position they support. Mormons (as a group) have been trained to never question - it will be healthy to undo that training, and it may be hard, but is worthwhile.

We'll always be here for you (though the names may change)!

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Posted by: dimmesdale ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 04:04PM

I quit going to church and disavowed its teaching solely for my kids.

I could have stayed in and held my nose and closed my eyes, but I couldn't stand what it would do to my children.

All of them have left the church, and several have made a point of thanking me, saying they are much better off and happier now.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 04:05PM

Oh this is Marvelous!

All of these feelings and thoughts are perfectly normal.
Suggest don’t listen so to the mind, which fears, chronically doubts, can justify anything.
Rather be guided by what is inside; by what you know already in every fiber of your being.

It’s a stage of growth.
Organization may have been useful once, protective like a chrysalis; but realizing the full expanse of life, becoming truly human, requires this be left behind.
Simply accept that disorientation, feeling lost, is a part of the emergence.

Free now, you are embarking on a wonderful journey of discovery.

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Posted by: the1v ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 04:17PM

"Only the very elect are ex-mo's"

It takes courage, self-confidence, and strong personality to leave a belief system that you invested so much of yourself into.

It takes time to process the emotions, reprogram your thought processes, and truly understand the depth of deception the LDS church propagates.

Be patient with yourself, its okay to feel the way you do. Seek professional help if you need to.

Most importantly, welcome you are not alone.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 04:24PM

The Tare,

Hello and welcome. You have gotten so very good advice so far.

1) Be kind with yourself.
2)don't be alarmed at the pain and the grief you will experience, if you haven't already. It's all very normal.

3)think about those things that you would love to do, or hobbies you have wanted to try out. Do them! :)

This is a time to not "do nothing" with extra time you will have on your hands.


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Posted by: CO2 ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 05:23PM

A crisis of faith can be quite unsettling. Some people skip on their way out. Others find it quite heartbreaking. Sounds like you have some support, which is good. Best wishes.

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Posted by: schlock ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 05:26PM

My 2¢.

You are now going to have a different set of rules and realities and perspectives. This means the dynamics of your relationship with your husband are going to change, the dynamics with your kids are going to change, the dynamics with your friends (past and future) are going to change.

Embrace these changes. They will be scary at first, but over time, I'll bet you'll be pleased with your new set of relationship dynamics - when compared to your old set.

And like others have said: Take your time, ease into things, and don't be afraid to grieve the past. For most of us here, the church was an integral and predominant aspect of who we were and how we identified. It takes a bit of sadness and pain to extricate something that big from one's psyche.

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Posted by: Flare ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 05:30PM

We know exactly how you feel. My husband and I left in our early 30's with multiple small children at home as well. Huge clan of Mormons among the in-laws so we feel those worries and fears as well.

Things are soooooo much better. All that time focused on "priesthood duties" and "RS-duties" and "being a perfect Mormon" is now taken up with being a great wife and enjoying being a mom. Amazing!!

And so much more time and money we have! So when the kids see a need in our neighborhood or beyond, we can allow them the $$$ to do something about it, without feeling guilty because it's coming out of God's tithing, or whatever.

We're in the Wash DC area, in case you'd like to meet up with other ex-mos who have young, well-adjusted, and happy kids after exiting the cult.

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Posted by: drq ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 05:43PM

As far as I can recall, admitting to myself that it was false and deciding to have nothing more to do with it was the hardest part. After that, it was just one relief after another. No more having to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Never regretted it for a single moment. Never felt grief. Never felt loss. Just felt a huge, huge sense of relief. I could finally be normal!

As for feeling stupid -- one of the fallacies that the Mormon church teaches is that there is a single, unchanging Truth and that once we've found it, we're done.

Life is change. Life is learning and growing. The only stupid ones are the ones who stop learning and growing and changing.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 06:03PM

Welcome, Tare. I'm one of the board's resident nevermos (never a Mormon.)

Don't beat yourself up over having believed it for so long. You were subjected to some very intense indoctrination over many years. Give yourself a lot of credit for getting it figured out.

The key thing to remember is that anywhere in the free world, church is a voluntary activity for independent adults. You are not required to believe, you are not required to go, and you don't owe Mormonism anything at all. Most of all, you don't owe any member an explanation for why you don't believe or why you don't go.

Come up with some stock responses for the requests, demands, entreaties, tears, anger or other responses that you might encounter. Practice in front of the mirror if you need to.

"I won't be doing that, and I won't be finding a replacement."
"As of [date,] I will no longer be available to do that calling." (Remember, finding someone new to do the calling is the bishop's worry, not yours.)
"We will have to agree to disagree about that."
"Sorry, but I'm not available right now. I was not expecting visitors."
"If the church works for you, great. But it doesn't work for me."
"The Mormon church does not meet my own personal standards."
"I simply don't believe it. I gave the church my best effort, but I'm through with it."
"I'm not going to debate that with you."

Just because someone calls you, doesn't mean that you need to pick up the phone.
Just because someone leaves a message, doesn't mean that you need to return the call.
Just because someone knocks on your door, doesn't mean that you need to respond.
If you choose to respond, you can do so through a closed and locked door. You can tell them that you are not interested, and to please leave your property.
If you choose to open the door, you don't need to let anyone in.
If you choose to let people in, you can decide when they will leave.

You are in charge now. Don't be afraid to assert yourself.

Keep reading and posting. We are glad to have you here!

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Posted by: bordergirl ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 11:32PM

Great responses, Summer.

I would just suggest tossing out the word "sorry" from one's vocabulary.

I like the "Sorry! Not sorry!" of the young women today.

JUst make it, "I'm not available today (or ever)."

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Posted by: seeking peace ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 06:17PM

All that is good about your life and yourself are yours, they all go with you. The morg owns none of it. Your kindness, your intelligence, your true relationships, your sense of humor, your integrity. Just because the church makes you feel that you will be nothing without them, doesn't make it so. Your life will just get better, one day at a time. And the bad--the toilet cleaning, the conformity, the censorship, the odd can go ahead and just leave that behind in the chapel!! This is a great place to help make the transition.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 08:22PM

Ah honey, we've all been there. It's a journey, to say the least. Just take it one step at a time.

You basically have to go through a mourning period, like with any loss. You go through shock, denial, anger, sadness and you finally do get to acceptance.

The best part is that, in the end, you get to live a genuine life. If you're kind to others, it's just because you want to be and not because of a guilt-inducing organization telling you to be kind.

You discover the real you and find out that you're an okay person just as you are. It's worth the journey.

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Posted by: Gone girl ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 08:40PM

Youre so fortunate to have this site to walk you through. When I left I felt like I was living in a world of stepford wives. My programming had collapsed, but no one else's had. It was so frustrating to try to share with friends and family only to be met with closed minds and robotic testimonies. My husband had left the church years ago, before we were married. He was my only support and he was great to listen to my daily rants. I think he was grateful when I found this community. It has helped me find people who understand and see the craziness.
Come here whenever you feel the need for support.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 08:49PM

The so-called activities aren't pointless; they're deliberately designed to indoctrinating the membership, to side-track them away from Christ-Like living of values, priniciples other than Obedience to Mormonism.

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Posted by: southbound ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 08:52PM

Listen to your heart. Listen to your feelings. Have the strength to follow thru on what you now know to be the truth. Many have stuggled and now live a better life than they had with mormonism. You now can control your life and live it in such a way as you see fit. No more guilt trips, no more feeling bad because you just didn't measure up to what the mormons said you had to do. Good luck.

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Posted by: perky ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 09:00PM

Welcome to the sunshine outside of Platos cave (the truth).

You are lucky your family is with you. Its lots harder if your family is TBM and you have to fake it all the time.

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Posted by: neverfooledagain ( )
Date: January 06, 2016 09:13PM

So much good advice here. I was BIC and TBM for 40 years. I experienced the same feelings, and like others here, I was content to leave quietly and go inactive .... until members came after my offspring. Then we resigned.

After getting past the shock, anger, hurt, and pure disbelief that I didn't see things more clearly years before, I have felt nothing but blissful relief that those cooked up "truths" were garbage.

Your feelings will evolve, and I wish you peace with the journey. And there is peace, comfort, joy and love outside of the morg. I feel it each Sunday we're watching our child play on a travel sports team, when we're out for Sunday brunch, or when I'm quietly enjoying a newspaper at my favorite cafe. Not obsessing about the state of our eternal affairs has freed my family and me from our enslaved Mormon lives.


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Posted by: Historischer ( )
Date: January 07, 2016 04:46AM

It sounds like you may have done what I did. When I was marginalized and treated wrongly, I tended to retreat into a sort of idealized gospel, in which the scriptures were a powerful defensive weapon that validated my life. And Joseph was such a magnificent hero! How come he saw angels, and received revelation after revelation, but the current leaders just fumbled around?

Then it was such a shock to realize that things were actually much worse under Joseph. That ever since then, or at least since 1900, his successors were just trying to clean up the mess he left, while preserving their own chain of authority from him. An impossible task, it was. No wonder they were so confused.

And the scriptures were a mass of confusion, randomly quoted to make me carry out other men's egotistical goals. They were a weapon against me. I had no protection whatsoever.

Obviously, I couldn't continue to revere a gospel like that. It was profoundly hurtful to realize that there was nothing higher than me, nothing transcendent, within the church.

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Posted by: ExCentric ( )
Date: January 07, 2016 09:28AM

Welcome, The Tare! I'm only 18 months ahead of you on this journey so I can definitely relate to how you're feeling. I'm in my 30's as well. I think everyone on this board can empathize with feelings of time wasted in the church. It helps to focus on being grateful that at least you figured it out while you're alive and your children are not completely grown. I, too, figured it out before my spouse and I kept on sharing sources and information until a month later my spouse was able to see the farce as well. We count ourselves fortunate that we essentially left together.

It can get rowdy at times, especially when posts are off topic, but this is a sincere bunch of people that want to help others on their journey because they know how difficult the path can be. You've already received some great advice, but here's a couple thoughts off the cuff:

1) Take it slow. Don't do anything until you're ready and at peace. It took me 6 months after figuring it out to stop wearing my garments and going to church.
2) Familiarize yourself with the 5 stages of grief. You are still probably in shock. Clarity of thought will come with time. We're in the anger stage right now, but we know this is normal and acceptance will come with time.
3) Keep learning. Even after my shelf collapsed, I've have learned so much more that has helped solidify my question to leave. You will need this after more and more people discover you are no longer believing.
4) Know that life gets better. It's a painful process, but knowing the truth is worth it in the end. There will be days where you will be tempted to think otherwise.
5) Come to the board to vent, to laugh, and to help others.

Congratulations on figuring it out! It's a feat that most Mormons are never able to accomplish :)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2016 09:38AM by ExCentric.

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Posted by: Optional2 (not logged in) ( )
Date: January 07, 2016 10:17AM

Understanding the 5 stages of grief and mind control techniques helped mewhen first leaving.

I like the website freedom of mind (.com) by Steve Hassan to understand how we were fooled.

Also helpful wrere listening to video on you tube; as well as audio exmormonconferences and Mormon stories by John Dehlin helped me when I was heart broken in finding out that the Mormon Church had duped us in giving our trust, time and funds to them for too many decades.

Then learning about other things such as online learning courses
science, music community college or hobbies can be fun. Googled and found Open source or edx .com

Most important are having more time on Sundays to shop with family or enjoy a nice lunch together or whatever you like.

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Posted by: bezoar ( )
Date: January 07, 2016 12:18PM

Congratulations! You just got a 10% raise and doubled your weekend!

Just wanted to echo what everyone else has said - we've all been there. I've been out 20 years now, and it's the best decision I ever made. I was a 6th generation Mormon. My ancestors joined up (fell for the con) in Kirtland, OH.

Just be patient with yourself. I'm at the point now where something "Mormon" will come up, and I'll laugh and my first thought is "I can't believe I ever fell for that nonsense!"

For me leaving Mormonism wasn't the hardest part. I know it was the right decision, no matter how difficult. What was hard for me was the feeling of emptiness I had after. I'd spent so many years letting the Mormon religion do my thinking for me I had no idea what I actually felt about things, what my own goals in life are. Don't worry, it takes time but it will come. And it will be very worth it! (Which reminds me of that Mormon picture of the Scandinavian, ultra-white-looking surfer dude Jesus that said "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."

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Posted by: onendagus ( )
Date: January 07, 2016 01:09PM

I hear you on the double checking yourself to make sure you are right and not misled. I think its called validation. In some ways maybe humans always do that. Its mostly a good thing because it keeps us grounded.

Finding out your whole world isn't what you thought, is called a paradigm shift. Not that many people on the planet ever have one of those. It can be a really big deal. I'm glad you have a counselor, I hope they appreciate and understand what you are dealing with. Take care, stick with us and post your feelings, there are some really smart people on here who can give you great advice.

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