Date: May 29, 2011 08:12PM
I dont know how I stumbled upon this site today, but I'm so glad I did.
I'm 22 years old, I was born and raised in the church and lived in Utah all my life. When I was younger I always counted myself lucky to be born into the right church, (probably because the rest of the luck in my life was never great). Everything I was taught always made sense, the church made sense, that's why you're "choosing" to be a member. It wasn't until I was 17 that I really started seeing how people could see it was a cult, but even then I convinced myself that that was just because "they didnt know what I knew."
I haven't been to church in two years. I tried going back in 2009 and after the ward published my cell phone number without my permission and the resident pervert wouldn't stop texting me and harassing me, (it was creepy, he was known to do this to girls in the ward, they never gave out any type of warning about him. PLUS a neighbor recognized him advertising for random sex on craigslist, after i showed her his picture, which is fine, to each his own, but come on!) I've given up for good.
When I became inactive in high school, I lost all my friends, because I was so sinful and a bad example, even though the worse thing I did was, work on Sundays and ditch seminary. My best friend of 5 years up until then said to my face that I simply was no longer mormon enough to spend time with.
Ever since then I've felt like an outcast, and it makes me feel so ashamed, like I've done something wrong for not going back and trying to fit in again, even though I know that's not right.
I feel like the church is the only social connection I have, and without it, I have no way of meeting new people or friends. Am I crazy? Or is that just how the church works, cutting you off from everyone if you dont toe the line?
Date: May 29, 2011 08:36PM
I feel the same, I'm no different than I was when I was going to church, I still drank coffee then, I drink occasionally now, as long as I'm a responsible adult, I dont see the problem.
Yep, I'm stuck in St. George, Ut.
Do they really have meetups and things like that? That would be really cool.
Date: May 29, 2011 08:57PM
> Do they really have meetups and things like that? That would be really cool.
Yes. I often see meetups mentioned over at PostMo, and occasionally here. Also see if you can plan on going to the Exmo conference in SLC the fall.
Any chance you can move to the big city? (SLC, Las Vegas, etc.) There are lots of exmos in the SLC area.
Other than that, I like the idea of taking adult education classes. Visit your local coffee shop (even if all you do is get a hot chocolate,) and definitely get out on Sundays. Go see a movie, go malling, or whatever. You might see if the Sierra Club has a local chapter; they often organize group hikes and nature walks. Volunteer work is also an idea. You can volunteer at the local hospital or for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity. You can also meet a lot of people by walking a cute, friendly dog. If you don't have your own, you can offer to pet-sit for friends or volunteer to walk dogs for the local animal shelter.
Oh, and welcome. :-) I'm a neverMo. One of my good friends from high school is a Mormon, so what your friend said to you about "not being Mormon enough" to be her friend is pure silliness. Unfortunately, shunning is a fact of life for many exmos. I'm sorry that it's happening to you. I wish that members would realize that shunning only reveals their own insecurity and does not reflect well on their religion.
Date: May 30, 2011 06:05PM
The church makes you think you can have no other friends but Mormon friends. That is ridiculous. Those so called friends weren't really friends. They are taught to be afraid of you. How sad. Did JC say be afraid of those who are not like you?
I lived in Utah for 4 yrs. with young kids. NO parent wanted their kids to play with mine- none. I could not believe it and it was all due to us not being Mormon (and knew we never would join a cult). No couples wanted to interact with us eithere. We survived. You are experiencing what I experienced and my kids experienced.
But as for other people....there are many places to meet people. Do you have any desire to hike, bike, join a softball team, etc. Do you like bookstores, cafes, boating, gun shows, etc. On this site people meet up too. I would stongly suggest you connect with some of them. You are NOT crazy. How they treat you has to do with THEIR disfunction - not yours. YOU are just fine and very smart to leave the Mormon "faith".All the best to you. One day you will settle down to a normal life of an adult. And you will not shun people or judge them due to their religion. It may be tough for a bit yet, but it will all turn around soon.
Date: May 30, 2011 06:53PM
I know how you feel. When I quit the church I lost my social group and felt like I didn't know how to get a new one. Its kinda lonely and depressing at first. Unfortunately, for the first couple of years after I left the church, I felt sorry for myself and became introverted and anti-social.The LDS church provides a very convenient social group for people.
However you will create a new social network outside of the church, if you try. New friends aren't gonna come knocking on your door. You have to realize that it usually takes a little bit of effort to make new friends.
I have moved to different states several times over the years and sometimes it is a challenge making new friends especially in big cities. Feel lucky you are in smaller town where you can just stop by at people's houses and people tend to be friendlier. Even though St George has a high percentage of Mormons, I believe there are still about 30% who are not. That means there are probably about 20,000 non mormons there. You need to tap into that.
Sometimes making friends requires you to be proactive. Think about is as networking. Be out there. Be active. DON'T STAY AT HOME. Sometimes you can make friends through other people. You meet one person but that person has 5 friends and those 5 friends have 5 friends and so on.
I moved to LA a few years ago and was a little depressed at first because we hardly had any friends that first year. We felt isolated and confined to our little apartment in the middle of this giant city where it seems harder to meet new people. However she met people from school. Those people had friends. Then we started hanging out a lot and met friends through those friends. 3 years later, it feels like we have so many friends we have to turn down invitations to social activities on the weekend because they are constantly overlapping! haha.
Don't worry. But don't be apathetic either. Get out of your comfort zone and get out there to make friends. Good luck!