A self centered rumination from a freed BIC as a sincere thank you to Eric K. and to Susan I/S because I think some lurkers may like it, just may be helped. Maybe:
After realizing the Mormon church was a lie, I once described the feeling that washed over me as surfacing after a cliff dive. Blinding sun, the fresh salted air on the nose, big deep breath rushing into lungs that hadn't exhaled for so long, suddenly gasping at clear blue sky.
Reading RFM over the years I have not seen that reaction from everyone. In fact so many seem to have had a different reaction--despair, confusion, anger, and mostly the daunting cloudy question, "What on earth do I do now?" More like surfacing from the city dump than the cliffs of Acapulco?
For me it was quite easy to move on because I had longed desperately to be part of the world for most of my life. I wanted to be *of* the world--Not just in it. I hit the ground running. I suddenly had no reason anymore to not indulge. The truth had set me free--as promised in that old adage.
I had no way to understand why so many other apostates weren't jubilant. I could see the complications with family, especially a believing spouse, but still, why not be thrilled? Why not plunge in? Sing a little song. Do a little dance?
I read a line last night from a story called "A Shower of Gold" by Donald Barthelme. It goes, "How can you be alienated without first having been connected?" The line cut me like a "knife wrapped in velvet"--as some anon said.
Us. ExMormons. Alienated from the the Mormon's church, the Mormon family, Mormon friends, Mormon mores. Mormon food. Mormon mormon mormon. Mormon superiority. Mormon arrogance. Mormon need for persecution as validation. That is what we were connected to. That is what had set up shop in our selves.
This Mormonism--it that our foundation even now that we are unchained? How do you build on that? What kind of taffy pulled paddy caked tools are those to build with?
So, back to me. I thought I had it all figured out. Just charge into the world and experience . . . everything! Didn't work so well. I didn't understand normal friendship. I had trouble not judging. I had trouble letting anyone see what I really was, had to keep the front up even if I had taken down the Mormon marquee.
Took years to connect to what I should have been connected to in the first place--anything but Mormonism. Took years to see the problem was the "lack of" caused by Mormon upbringing. Took years to see where I had been robbed and what I needed to replace and no insurance to help out. I had disconnected from Mormonism but it still had me somehow for a while longer.
I had not in fact been freed all those years ago. I had tamped it down instead. Buried it. Shoved it so far to the back of the cerebrum that it may as well have been circling Mars.
Finally, I allowed the vault to swing open when I found RFM. I sat many nights crying as I read. Shocked at myself. The pain finally tunneled to the top as well and took it's first breath in the sunlight those years ago. My Mormon life was dusted off and put back in a new order that finally made sense.
Thank You Eric. Thank you everyone.
(Edited for slight spelling - approved by OP)
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2018 05:03PM by Maude.
What a lovely way to put it and it is soooo true. Even decades later some silly little thing will come up and make me wonder if it is mormon related. I found out this summer that public nudity is just not my thing. I ain't gettin' that way and I don't wanna see anyone else. Yes, I know it is just the locker room at the pool but I still don't wanna see everyone else's everything. I still feel guilty when I buy a pie. We have a local shop that makes crust to DIE for, much better than I can make, but it still makes me feel guilty. Learning to quilt and make jam was strange too. I have to remind myself I do it because I WANT to. Not that I must, not that I should but because I like it. Started card making (I still really suck at it, it is harder than it looks :P) and I run into mormon crap quite often but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. OK, when I am not ripping my hair out. But it is MY choice.
"How can you be alienated without first having been connected?" Interesting thought. In mulling that over I had to turn it around. How can you be connected to something you find so alien? I never did fit the mold, I never did want the things I should have. I found out young about the temple and that just cinched it. It's just dumb. And leaders and family would lie all the time. How can you connect to people/groups that lie? So much hypocrisy. I wonder now if that is one reason I am such an introvert. So many people/ideas I could not connect with.
Thank you Done & Done. All our paths are different but it is great when we can share and lend a hand. Hell, even if it is only to help someone buy their first real underpants!
I love your turnaround, "How can you be connected to something you find so alien?"
I never did fit the mold either, but not for lack of trying. The relief of realizing I didn't have to try to fit anymore was monumental. My father caught me reading Valley of the Dolls once when I was supposed to be reading the BoM. I wish I had a photo of the look on his face.
I am still a voracious reader and when I was young, as much as I loved to read, the Mormon stuff just didn't cut it. I mean once Nephi kills Laban it's all down hill from there. And the D&C? What kind of torture is that? The real world with real books that we weren't supposed to read was better and I knew it---but I *had* to get to the CK so I did all I was supposed to do as a good Mormon boy. Mission and whole enchilada. I found out the church was false just when I could barely take another minute. Last time I went to church even as a believer, I took a look around and just had to leave. Something deep inside was done just before I realized the church was a lie.
I had a friend who was misdiagnosed by a doctor and put on a prescription drug that nearly killed him. He bounced back quickly when another doctor finally figured out the problem.
Mormonism is the wrong prescription. It will kill you inside. Not always easy to bounce right back if you were given the heavy doses from birth though. But we do bounce back! And RFM can be like the good doctor.
Eric is a celebrity of sorts. People here love him, generally without knowing him; and some people, Mormons and post-Mormons alike, don't like him for their own reasons. But in any case he is a very important character who has left a deep mark on at least our corner of the world.
I find myself wondering what he thought he was doing when he started this place. He probably had no idea how big it would become and how long it would last. I doubt he even considered those questions.
But in the end he made a huge difference for many thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people, not to mention their families. It's a remarkable achievement, I'd think, for a quiet person who probably only intended to become a happily retired family man and jazz musician. He reminds us that individuals can make a significant difference in the world.