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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 01:43PM

My shelf broke Christmas 2003 after my conversion back into Mormonism in 1990 from an angry atheistic teenager.

It all started when I was born. I was reading early and read The Book of Mormon before most kids. I wanted to be like Nephi and Alma. I was a friendly and happy kid whose older sister was molesting him occasionally.

I am bisexual. When I was approaching teenagehood the boys in the neighborhood were calling the unwanted kids "gay." I didn't know what that meant. I was precocious so I knew what sex was having delved into the subject as much as my 10 year old brain could handle it. I was relieved to find out it existed since I was equally attracted to both males and females.

Then my scoutmaster took me to a place I really didn't want to go but as a precious kid I was also very curious. I blamed myself, spiraled into guilt and shame, got angry with the world and turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with it. Spent some time on the street, with friends, in the super cheap housing options in Orem and Provo, Utah. Got caught with drugs and my parents eventually bailed me out because I was headed for Utah County Jail for a stint I didn't have to serve. Lived with them and Mormonism was their rule. Eventually got reconverted as a way to placate my hidden and suppressed guilt and shame and sexuality.

Got married. Had kids. Was Mormon. Hated it but thought it was my savior from a life of addiction.

Came to RfM on the suggestion of a polygamist site which I think was named Kingdom of Zion or something. I was trolling them passively poking the bear of polygamy given my childhood of visiting my paternal grandfather Rulon Jeffs and my sister's joining up with the Allred's AUB. Was fascinated with polygamy back then.

So when I came to RfM it was as an uncollapsed shelf but heavily questioning believer. And through my long time here changed my handle a lot and worked through my problems a lot. I didn't turn to the RfM side until I found out Mormonism's dirty history and my self collapsed.

My point is I toyed with the idea of unbelief before I stopped believing. I lashed out irrationally at posters here those days and the church. I was full of hate, shame, anger, confusion, disbelief and wild assertions.

Many patient, older, and wiser people here prevailed upon me. It wasn't their posts to me as much as how they posted. It was their patience with me and their non-judgmental ways that made me want to be more like them. I can't remember all the handles but I'm eternally (LOL) grateful for their examples here.

I was once a lost troll who found some real angels that lifted me above my trollishness.

So, in closing (LOL) I wanted you all to know that there are some trollish types who "kick against the pricks" here but eventually (I hope) will return to RfM with new resolves to behave better. After almost 20 years of coming here I know in my case it was possible and I would never be where I am today without this site. I can only imagine myself being like I once was and bound up with so much emotion at Mormonism. One can't really deal with a bad cultural upbringing much with out a village to help. Thank you all for being that village for me.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2018 01:46PM by Elder Berry.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 01:47PM

EB: I enjoy your posts and love having you here. No matter what your history. Love ya.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 01:48PM

Love you too Hie. I can't tell you how much your posts have meant to me.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 02:16PM

"It all started when I was born". Haha. You're a funny guy, EB.

I love your posts. You're a good writer. Your family history and young life experiences are certainly colourful, to say the least. They hurt you and I'm so sorry for that.

You know how they say that pain creates great art? Maybe you could be "Cheryl 2" and write a book about your life to date, giving us the gift here at RfM of your fine writing and insight into your multiple experiences on many fronts. You seem like such a great person, good husband and father, amazing writer and valuable contributor to this board.

I hope it's still helpful to you to talk to us here about all these many personal challenges - you could have sunk but instead you struggled to stay afloat and find a better way and it's been worth it.

I wish I recognized some of your previous board names from your stories and/or writing style. I'd love to know if I would remember you from way back when. It's crazy how long I've been here now. Way, way longer than my Mormon interlude lasted.

I appreciate your words about being patient and trying to think ahead to a time when a trollish-seeming sort may change or when a person needing a lot of help gets to the point when they can in turn help others. That is just one of the amazing things about this board.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 02:38PM

Nightingale Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wish I recognized some of your previous board
> names from your stories and/or writing style. I'd
> love to know if I would remember you from way back
> when. It's crazy how long I've been here now. Way,
> way longer than my Mormon interlude lasted.

Funny thing about wishes. Need to be careful.

"Subject:
He is backed by a promise from heaven NOT MATTER WHAT HE DOES with the small exception of
Date:
Jan 21 12:41
Author:
Cats

saying the Holy Ghost isn't real."
https://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon508.htm

https://www.exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,76785,76785#msg-76785

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 02:47PM


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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:00PM

Just your name makes me smile as it reminds me (as you know) of one of my favorite movies. You have had a hard road to travel and I am glad it has led you here. You can put a body in my window seat anytime :)

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:03PM

Susan I/S Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You can put a body in my window seat
> anytime :)

That made me laugh. Thank you.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:14PM

Along those lines, some people who end up doing very well here have started off as very TBM-ish. Not apologizing for the church, obviously, but square pegs trying to fit into round holes. It takes a while to wear away those corners. ;)

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:42PM

Right? And Rfm has always been a good blarney stone. It can trigger acrophobia in believers playing with the heights of heresy.

It doesn't grind axes very well.

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Posted by: saucie ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:46PM

No matter how you started out , we're glad you stuck around.. all passive trolls should be like you.

Go forth and be yourself forever !!

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Posted by: Aquarius123 ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 07:02PM

I love you Elder Berry, and I feel honored that you are here!

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:11PM

I'm glad you are too!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 11:35PM

As someone who has breezed through life, 99% of the time completely happy, healthy and carefree, I'm in awe of you, and some of the other notables here who have lived life in the trenches, as it were.

I hope to have the chance to meet up with you someday in the not too distant future.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 11:40PM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As someone who has breezed through life, 99% of
> the time completely happy, healthy and carefree,

Lucky dawg!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 11:54PM

It has to happen to some people if you believe in the Bell Shaped Curve...

Am I glad it happened to me? You bet. Can there be misery and misfortune in store for me in the future? Absolutely. Can I do anything about it? Yeah, faithfully follow my doctors' recommendations.

I'd offer up frankincense and myrrh to the Bell Shaped Curve, but no one knows where it hangs out...

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:12PM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I hope to have the chance to meet up with you
> someday in the not too distant future.

I would love to meet the people here I've read for years! It would be like meeting a favorite author. I hope it can happen someday.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 10:08AM

and squeeze you so hard, I'll have Elder Berry wine.

I've adored your posts for years and hope to see you around for many, many years to come. <3

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:12PM

Careful I might whine when I wine.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:56PM


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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:40PM

Elder, I read all your posts. You’re one helluva wonderful man, whom I’m proud to call a friend. I’m at the age where I value honesty above all. You’re honest, compassionate, and caring. You’ve also dealt with family shit that outside what most of us grew up with—even those of us from troubled homes.

My first RfM post was on if God had a penis. I think most liked it. But, after a couple of weeks, some posters objected to my constant use of “fuck.” My feeling were hurt. But I resolved to ignore those vocal wankers in best interests of the common good.

Here’s to you, Berry!

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 04:20PM

LOL! I remember that one. How could I forget. I was wondering if you needed to change your handle to BYU F_cker.

Here's to you, Boner for staying hard and staying here!

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