The first lines of “Families Can Be Together Forever”: “I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me.”
Fortunately, that was true for me. My parents were far from perfect, but I always knew that they loved me, and I always knew I was important to them. I was never subjected to physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse. As I have gotten to know people throughout my life, I realize that many people weren’t as lucky as I was. I’ve heard tales of all kinds of abuse. Many of my friends lived in fear of their parents or other family members. Home was a safe place for me, and it should be for every child, but sadly, that is too often not the case.
For those of you who grew up in an active Mormon family, and were victims of mistreatment, did TSCC’s emphasis on family make an already horrible situation even worse?
For me, I wouldn't say it "made an already horrible situation even worse" (I couldn't imagine much that could have made things worse), but the mixed messages made life very confusing.
To go over to friends houses and see other family dynamics would leave me wondering, "Why can't MY family be like that?". My friends mothers would show more love towards me than my own mother. The words "I love you" were not spoken often in my house. My father actually believed that you shouldn't tell your kids that you loved them very often. I remember one Mother's Day in church when all of us Sunday school kids were standing in front of the congregation singing "Mother Dear I Love You So...". I couldn't bring myself to say those words...so I just stood there silent. When I got home I was beaten for doing so. For the years afterwards, I would mouth the words to the song to avoid a beating.
Every few years we would give Family Home Evening a try. One year when I was a young teen, following the lesson my father asked if there was anything we wanted to add. Mom - "No", Sister #1 - "No", Sister #2 - "No", Jaxson - "Well....", and I went off. I remember getting emotional as I spoke through my tears of how crappy our family was. I recall saying that perhaps we should worship Satan in our home since it appeared that it was HIS plan we were following. We skipped the closing prayer, skipped "refreshments", and never tried FHE ever again.
One thing the church's teachings did for me was raise a very early "red flag". I remember being taught in Primary/Sunday school that I chose my parents/family in the pre-existence. Even as a small child I knew that was bullshit. I knew there was NO WAY I would have chosen that path. NO WAY!!!
The church likes to promote the joy of "Families Can Be Together Forever"...on this earth and in the hereafter. The thought of being reunited with my family for the eternities is my definition of going to HELL!!
as we were not the perfect little mormon family. We weren't fake. My dad was so far from fake mormon that it effected how we were treated in church. I will say my dad was mean. BUT he was also very good to us and there were very few times in my life I wondered if my parents loved me. We stood out as the not perfect family.
And then I grew up and found out our family was pretty normal and the other families had all kinds of skeletons in their closets.
And that is why most of us are out of the church, because we were raised to not put on a show. Me, of all people, finally saw through the lie that mormonism was. And my parents were supportive. My mother was the most active of my parents and she was the most supportive of me leaving. My dad thought I was happier when I was mormon, but then I was going through a "divorce" and my life was a living hell. Then I told him how singles, divorcees, etc., are treated and he was shocked, but then my dad wasn't some TBM by any means. He told my brother that the WofW was bullshit. My dad broke the WofW in many ways. Just didn't do illegal drugs!
I would much rather come from my family than any I've seen.
Heartless Wrote: > > Furthermore, the need to project a perfect family > always always always took precident over actual > family needs.
This is so true, Heartless.
I think that although I didn't suffer what is easily understood as abuse, the education I received around always projecting/play-acting positivity and wholesomeness is still effing with me.
The Families Together Forever trope hurt me a lot when I was first leaving in my late teens. My younger siblings, mom, dad, were all believing that I was going away *for eternity*... they were always looking at me with so much sadness. My younger brother even confronted me with tears in his eyes about this very topic. It really contributed to the broken-heartedness I felt during that time.
Many strands to pull back on this question for me. In some respects Mormonism filled the deep unending well in my life that was created by the emotional, physical, and sexual abusive nightmare created by my family.
The Mormon culture surrounded me, and it was my Mormon friends including me in their church attendance and activities who thereby introduced me to the idea of the promise of happiness for the eternities via the Mormon family. This emphasis, family togetherness in the next life, is the one which stood out in my mind as I did not have any hope for anything different in the here and now. It was a rope, no a life-line, thrown in my direction. It's interesting that in my teenage eyes I did not really see many Mormon families that seemed to have this happiness and one might think that this would get me questioning the whole concept.
Did this emphasis harm me? It was a mixed bag of around 30 percent good and 70 percent harmful, with the good coming from the reality of seeing a few good examples of healthy, happy families plus that promise of unbelievable happiness in the next life. One of the most harmful aspects was the church teaching which said that we had earned our family placement on earth by our actions in heaven! This haunted me. Had I really been this bad in heaven? I mean, I knew I was anything but an angel on this earth, but I really was a pretty good person who, you know, did not kill cats or steal candy from children.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2021 02:44AM by presleynfactsrock.