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Posted by: Orion Pax ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 08:41PM

I've stopped going to Sacrament meeting. The rare time I actually do, I either leave right after or sit in the lobby. I thought I'd be happy from this newfound freedom but I feel even emptier. What am I doing wrong?

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 08:55PM

Am I making a correct assumption that one of the things you miss most is the sense of community?

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Posted by: Orion Pax ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 09:09PM

Now that I think about it, I think that might be it. It was my only community for my whole life. I don't really have that structure. It was just work and church.

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Posted by: CrispingPin ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 09:07PM

When you remove something negative from your life, sometimes you need to fill that void with something positive.

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Posted by: bobofitz ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 09:08PM

Discovering the fallacies in Mormonism isn’t about fulfillment and happiness, it’s about honesty and truth.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 10:30PM

It’s like when Truman leaves “The Truman Show”.

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Posted by: Aaron ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 10:23PM

Or the Matrix!
you have to decide which is of more value to you: a sense of community and/or internal fulfilment based on fiction- or a temporary sense of emptiness and/or confusion based on freshly realized reality.
I suggest giving it time and embracing the moments of clarity where you progressively realize the amazing freedoms you have secured for yourself by leaving.
The world seems dark and lonely at first, but it gets so much better. Only heroes have guts to leave. Hang in there!

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 08:50PM

I can attest it does get better but it was very lonely and dark for the first couple years. I think i actually have legitimate real friends right now and not cult pretend friends.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 08:48PM

Exactly. Imagine how hard it was for truman to adapt to the actual real world after he left his fake world(or the mormon bubble)

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 09:32PM

I am nevermo, but I have been here on RfM for a long time.

One of the recurring recommendations for exmos who miss a sense of community is the Unitarian Universalist church--which is, from what I have gathered, very strong on a sense of community, without pushing of any kind in regard to religion.

For many people who have passed through here, their local U-U church has been an important way-station, as they work their individual ways forward towards the rest of their lives.

[Disclaimer: I, myself, have never been to a U-U church, so I am simply reporting what I have read here.]

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Posted by: Testimonyman ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 11:06PM

Orion- I can remember feeling the same way. After 5 years I now better understand whom I am and what my interests are. Life just keeps getting better. I have always tried to develop true relationships. You find out quickly that most other members really weren't your friends. I hope you find true joy and happiness. It can be a slow process. Take care.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 08:53PM

I wish i could skip to the 5 year mark when things probably get really good.

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Posted by: not logged in ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 11:52PM

You're not doing anything wrong. The church attempts to be so all-encompassing that many mormons never develop an identity or sense of self apart from the church. Perhaps what you're experiencing is that loss of church identity with nothing to replace it with at the moment.

Once you see the light and leave the church, it's necessary to discover who you really are without the straitjacket of mormonism. Find out what *you* want with your life, not what *the church* wants.

Realize that nothing's holding you back any longer, and that you're free to experiment and reclaim your life. Discover what works for you and what doesn't. Common mistakes won't condemn you to hell; you don't need to repent for them or confess to the bank manager across the street who just happens to be a bishop.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 04:20AM

That was me. My identity went poof and then I had to build a new one with the leftover pieces. It’s not an easy job, which is why RfM exists.

You could be mourning the relationship you had with the church or the disillusionment that comes with finding out their fantasies are hogwash. Like when you figured out there’s no Santa. I’m assuming you know, I hope I didn’t ruin that for you too.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 08:58PM

My identity went poof as well. I was so used to being the bad guy in that religion no matter what i did. Then all the sudden i wasn't the bad guy to anything anymore and i did not know who or what i was. If i wasn't a son of perdition destined to go to outer darkness then what the heck am i? Turns out strangers or people in the real world actually like me. From being not liked by religionists or family to being really liked by random strangers was quite a weird experience that still confuses me.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 12:35AM

When you sever a long-standing, deeply involved relationship, you have a major adjustment to make--even if the other party was dysfunctional, harmful, even toxic. Your relationship was with a hurtful religion, not a sweetheart or family member, but there are strong overlaps.

In a way, you're grieving. Something that was very important in your life --even if in a negative way-- is now gone. It's going to take time to adjust. To "heal," actually.

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. Imagine you had been going with a sweetheart for a long time, someone who lied to you, abused you, took advantage of you (and your time and money) and for reasons you don't understand very well, you put up with it. Now--hooray, at last!--you broke it off.

Feels funny, doesn't it? Don't go out looking for a new sweetheart too fast. Take time, and let your heart and mind come to terms with all this. At least, your feelings of boredom and the blues, the blahs, whatever, are better than being victimized. And they'll pass! Give yourself time.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 04:22AM

I don't know what you're doing wrong, because I don't know that much about you. I can tell you a couple of things you really are doing wrong.

You are continuing to go to church, occasionally, and feeling that sense of not belonging, anymore. You walk into that building and feel the creepiness of it, and it infects you like a disease. I can't even go into a Mormon church, without becomeing nauseated and depressed, but I have PTSD.

You must shake it off, for good!

Don't sit in the lobby, and watch everyone else go through the motions without you. I can't think of anyplace more depressing than the lobby of a Mormon church! Really, I would have to go home and cry, afterwards.

The posters are right. Those people were never your friends, to begin with, and that's a tough wad to swallow. Mormons shun those who leave, so there's rudeness and snobishness all around you. Don't go there!

Go out into the fresh air, instead, and take a walk. Go to the speedy mart and buy a Sunday paper, and talk to the people you see there. I like to walk in the canyon behind our house, and I would rather be trudging through the ice and snow, than in a warm, stinky-stuffy, claustrophobic church lobby. Any church would stultify me.

Think of what you do have! Think of what you have gained by leaving, instead of what you have lost. You have lost a fantasy, a scam, and a bunch of judgmental money-grabbers who don't really care about anyone. Mormons believe that unconditional love is "anti-Christian."

I would rather go to the beach in a string bikini, and let all the people there look at every wrinkle, and critique me to my face. The Mormons whisper behind my back (I never did anything bad, except find out the Truth and leave the cult) and invent stories about me. They never knew my true values, never knew who I really was--they didn't even bother. They knew how much money I earned, though, and my attendance and past callings, and what underwear I wore, though.

You don't need to ever go back there, again. Why do you torture yourself? You can explore the whole world, now. It's a friendly, happy, beautiful, interesting place! Mormons are taught to fear the world, so they will want to be save in their windowless buildings, and keep their eyes shut.

Open your eyes and look around you.

The Mormon church doesn't need to be replaced in your life! It was unnecessary, to begin with.

Congratulations! I'm happy for you! These years since leaving the cult have been the happiest years of our lives, speaking for me and my children. You have a great adventure ahead of you.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 04:48AM

Do you understand that Mormons aren’t your friends? Even if they want to be, their religion gets in the way. They’re fair weather friends. Plastic flowers. It’s not their fault, unless you want to victim blame, because Mormon culture conditions them to be that way. You can test them. Break church rules, discuss sordid church history, etc. See what happens. Congratulations, you are now a leper.

Even ignoring everything else, a religion that does that to your mind is something to be avoided. The way Mormons act, you’d think it was a cult.

I have real friends now. They accept and support me even when we disagree. And they truly love me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2019 04:53AM by babyloncansuckit.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 09:05PM

I'm glad you have real friends now babylon. I like to believe that i FINALLY have real friends and not the fair weather friends that just used me for whatever. Found a couple of people that think like i do and like the same things which had been very hard to find in the last 6 years especially.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 05:06AM

Find something to do on Sundays. If you live close to one of the support groups in Utah, go to it. There is one that reports their meetings on this site in the message list.

Or go skiing on Sunday (come winter) as there are a lot of exmormons there on Sundays.

Find a group to join. Volunteer. There are many ways to find a community.

I've never missed going to church. It was such a relief--and I left so that my ex. sec. gay husband wouldn't get called as one of the next bishops (as I had been called in by the bishop and told me he would be), so I went inactive. WHAT A RELIEF!!!!

There are so many other things to do and some really great people out there, too.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 10:24PM

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 09:25PM

I struggled mightily for two years to get any real friends going in the real world and it is still extremely difficult. There is no physical community for ex-mormons to gather and communicate with each other in the actual real world, at least in my viscinity of the U.S. there wasn't anything that i could find. People in the real world that did not get raised in a cult do not really understand how to help us in any way at all and there are no facilities that you can go to deprogram correctly until your mind is functioning normally and appropriately for the average adult. Most adults in cults are still adolescents mentally but it is not their fault. Cults are designed to keep adults thinking like a teenager or 'become like little children' for jesus to better control them.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 01:09PM

Your blackboard has been erased. A clean slate is a wonderful thing. A bit intimidating at first. What ARE you going to write now that you can write or draw anything you want.

Many of us felt a void when we left that Mormon church which tied up all our time, made Us believe we had real friends, and a worthwhile social life--- along with the "true truth."

I went through some paralyzingly lonely years before I figured out how to fit into the new normal world that surrounded me with all sorts of people who knew nothing about that church. I had been robbed of normal social interactions and normal self esteem. What helped me was to read a lot. I devoured books and magazines of all types, thereby putting some interesting stuff into my head so that when I had a chance for a conversation with someone I liked, I had something interesting or even funny to say.

I slowly made friends and slowly gained some confidence that allowed me to try new situations and people and places.

I don't know if any of this would help you, but I do get what you are feeling I dare say. Just don't write on the blackboard what was there before.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 01:40PM

Orion Pax Wrote:
> I thought I'd be happy from this
> newfound freedom but I feel even emptier. What am
> I doing wrong?

Not allowing yourself to feel free from it.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: November 12, 2019 12:19PM

There is nothing in this world like the sweet taste of freedom.

It can be lonely while you're coming to terms with the falsehood of TSCC and "friendships" within it. But I would rather be lonely and free than living a life with false friends.

As some posters have advised here, there are many different ways and places to meet new people and cultivate new friendships, but IMO, you should take some time to decompress and then figure out things that you enjoy and that would help you.

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Posted by: NOM Lurker ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 10:26PM

This forum can be very helpful to those transitioning out of Mormonism. However, it is just one forum and one approach. Make sure you check in with other groups and other communities, online and IRL, to see all the options of navigating this situation. I chose to stay, and have been quite happy, but that may not be the best option for you. Go slow. Do you have a close friend or family member IRL that will love you no matter what you decide? Use that person as a sounding board.

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Posted by: forester ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 03:29PM

I felt the same type of thing when I took early retirement from my job of 25 years. I felt so lost and lonely and didn't know what to do with myself. My job was my community and because I commuted from an island to the mainland, I didn't even know my neighbors except for the ones that worked at the same company.

I had lived half my life there- divorced, dated and remarried people who worked there. All my friends were there, all the activities I did outside of work were with coworkers. And despite promises of seeing each other after I left, well, they were too busy with their working lives while I had all the time in the world.

It took me 2 years and a severe bout of depression before I started to redefine myself (with help from therapy). I started to volunteer which was a great way to meet new people in my community. Those new contacts led to new interests and more connections to the world around me. To my surprise, I am more busy now than I was when I worked full time and I am having a lot more fun.

It takes time to find a new purpose in life but the great thing is now you are free to explore new things and take roads untravelled. So instead of going to church on Sunday, find a place to volunteer (I personally volunteer for a land conservation group and help build trails and clear out invasive plants- good natural medicine for the soul).

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: November 15, 2019 03:50AM

Decide what you want in life as a non-mormon and go for that. If you don't know what you want, pick just one thing that you want and build from there. Don't make that decision based on what others might expect of you. Let that be all about what you want and for your own reasons. Don't talk about it to anyone in your former life or seek anyone's approval. Just do that thing and feel your own sense of accomplishment for only yourself. Protect that thing by doing it and not talking about it. For example, if you want to learn to play the piano, do it away from anyone who knows you. Don't talk about it until you've mastered your first song and even then, don't talk about it like you want anyone else's approval or praise. Then if you play it for anyone else, don't talk about how and when you learned how to do it, or why. Let it be your own feel-good thing for reasons that you don't share with others. If you share the music that's your choice too. But that doesn't mean that you need to share the details of your journey too or why you did it. Share that only after you fully own it and then only with people who really want to know who you are because you can see that they respect you. In Mormonism, people lose sight of reasonable boundaries. Be who you choose to be and let that make you happy for your own reasons.

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: November 17, 2019 12:26PM

It would seem to me that you haven't actually checke out!
In my opinion you need to find a different society with which to associate. As long as you continue the same actions you will recieve the same results.
It is a difficult choice but only you can make it
Best of good fortune

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