Date: March 31, 2021 02:22AM
I like what you wrote.
>>>"No more doing things I don't want to do and pretending to feel things I don't feel."<<<
It does take courage! I used to wonder why the Mormon church seemed to be "against" women's equality, unconditional love, individuality, creativity, curiosity, knowledge (I went to BYU), and even science. These were the very things I liked the most, along with true friendships, joy, and laughter. In order for me to feel like I was a "good Mormon girl", I had to pretend to feel less, do less, and be less. I was sidelined, as the youngest and least social in a large, self-important, Mormon Royalty GA family. No one cared what I thought or felt, or who I was.
Life changed all that for me, when my temple husband beat me, and I divorced him, to save my life. He had a previous history of assault and battery that he and his family hid from all of us. I tried to stay in my old role of the sweet, submissive victim, and married another Mormon man I had known back in the BYU days, and had children with him. He cheated on me the whole time, without my knowing about anything, and was nasty and cruel to me and our children. The children were relieved when he abandoned us--saying he didn't care what happened to any of us, and that he wasn't going to pay a dime in child support or alimony.
Sometimes life changes you. Although I was a victim, I was learning to set boundaries. I would say "No" to church demands, if my children were sick and needed me. I would refuse to clean the bathrooms, because I just didn't want to. I already put in hours and hours of being the ward organist for free, and I was gradually working more and more, learning how to adapt to the role of a working mother. In those days, Mormons frowned on working mothers, so I never got any encouragement. Yet--I didn't have a choice--I was our only income! The business world is tough, and I had to become strong and confident. I met many good non-Mormon people who were trustworthy and kind, and were fine parents, with good values.
Don't worry about leaving your "former Mormon self" behind. You will always have your good heart, your happiness, and your talents, and everything else. Closing the door to the Mormon church, actually opens the door to endless possibilities! I can promise you success! There were times I was abused, abandoned, fearful of the future, feeling like a failure, but I had to TRY. If I can do it, you can.
When you set boundaries, like you described, and stop all the unnecessary, unpleasant, nowhere stuff, you start finding what it is that you truly feel is meaningful and important to you! Whatever those things are, they will fire you up, and keep you too busy to ever want to go back to the deadening safety of sitting quietly in the corner and doing nothing but "obey."
Yes, it's a big shift, but it is also an exciting adventure! Try to do without the abuse part. My children's father dropped out of their lives, completely, and he missed and all the fun that we had, and the holidays, celebrations, games and performances, skiing and adventures, laughter, their high school and university graduations, their weddings, our careers, our cabin, and especially my adorable grandchildren--I have so much!
My new life had many events that were better than anything I could have wished for. My children and I were free from being judged as "a broken family." All of us had 10% more income to see us through the earlier tough years. Leaving the church help us restore our confidence and our positive outlook on life.
Good luck to you. The world is a beautiful, loving place. Don't let the turkeys keep you down.