Date: August 08, 2019 07:55PM
I know what you mean. I always felt like "nothing." By priesthood-holding older brothers used to call me a "skinny little nothing." My parents and other Mormon testimony bearers used to say, "I would be nothing, if it weren't for The Church."
In high school I never FELT good enough, or popular enough. Nothing I did made any difference to how I was labeled by my TBM family. My father was a graduate of an ivy league university, but I failed to get into it. I was called a "failure," but no one mentioned the fact that I had taken an opportunity to study in Europe, and had lost a semester of high school credits.
In high school, I was a cheerleader and prom queen, won the talent show, had the lead in the class play, and had a lot of friends--yet, I was condemned in the ward YW, and by my parents, because I wasn't CONVERTING these friends. In those days, it was "every member a missionary," and I was failing, yet again.
I suspect, Forgotmyname, that you are not at all "less than," IRL. Stripping members of their self esteem, taking away their right to think and ask questions, making them feel inadequate and child-like--all these are manipulative ploys to keep members submissive and obedient.
I found some high school and college photos, awards, and art work, stuffed in to a suitcase in the back of my parents' attic. I was amazed at my achievements, because they had never been acknowledged by my parents, and I had forgotten them, as I had been pushed lower and lower on the Mormon social ladder as a single girl over 21, an unmarried singe adult, a divorced woman, a dreaded older single adult, then a twice-divorced single working mother. Worse than a "nothing," I was an embarrassment to my TBM family, and a hopeless failure.
I had to ask my mother, "Why didn't you go to my plays and recitals, like you went to my brothers' games? "Why didn't you congratulate me, or reward me for my achievements?"
My TBM mother said, "We didn't want you to become overconfident. That's just the way we (the Mormons) raised children, in those days."
If it makes you feel any better, it was nothing personal. Most of the rest of us Mormons were raised that way, too.
Leaving the cult was very beneficial for me and my family. The initial rejection and shunning made me feel very bad, when we first left--until I realized that my children and I had been treated far WORSE when we were Mormons.
I became more positive, hard-working, and independent. I was confident enough to try, when the TBM's said I would fail. I supported my children, alone, and my children helped, when they got older. They all graduated from the university, have great careers, nice families of their own, and are happy and loving. I could never look on any of them as failures, or think of any of us as "nothing", now.
You will get over this! You are doing great. Keep working. In any kind of therapy, there are usually set-backs, but they become fewer and farther between, and don't last as long. Those negative, discouraging Mormon voices are coming from outside of your self, so just refuse to internalize them. Mormons are liars! In ways more harmful than mythological history or threatening scriptures. Knowledge is helpful, and one poster suggested reading about cults. Read about brainwashing. Find out if you have "triggers", that create flashbacks from your past. You might have a touch of PTSD, depending on how bad it was for you, having been raised in a cult.
The Mormon cult has tried to suck our very soul. Allow yourself a few setbacks, now and then. You are a hero for saving yourself.