Date: September 14, 2021 12:14PM
Good parents tell their kids that everyone does that [normal thing], and they don’t let their kid get so worked up over it that suicide enters his lexicon. In fact, they have no business saying the things they said to inflame his mind on that matter in the first place. Good parents wouldn’t say they would have “done some things differently” just to shut you up but really they’re only sorry you’re not part of the church any more. After having been through these fires and come out the other side, I have next to no anxiety and no shame about being radically transparent in front of almost anyone if it seems like a reasonable move to make. My dad tried to use the shame of this thing to keep me from telling other people that Mormonism is bogus. The stupid drama probably makes me look insane end probably not very Mormons we’re interested anyway, but I’m finally getting over the man. I’m smarter than him, far smarter. He thinks that should have manifested in me being some smarty pants professor somewhere, but I had to put out psychological fires in early adulthood that he started to have any home of being independent.
Maybe if I went back to school now things would be ok. I didn’t leave BYUI with the best GPA. It was one of the reasons I left when I did. Had a hell of a GPA in high school though. It was why we thought I was gonna go places. I’m thinking about the common Mormon attitude about education, and it seems they only value knowledge as a tool to move up in society to spite society. Knowledge is not its own end, and it’s not even valuable because only the gospel is: anything else is just what the world makes you care about for whatever their reasons are (which maybe would make sense if the Mormon was paying attention for more than a grade).
I’m 32. I can still be anything. Sam Harris didn’t finish his undergraduate until he was 31. Look at him now. Some people get their phds in middle age. I long to contribute to humanity’s knowledge somehow, and barring that to just be part of something that feels important again but without the expectations to marry some empty person with all the same psychological fires as I had and pop out kids unthinkingly to make it intergenerstional so the LDS corporation skims 10% off the top in perpetuity. Not gonna lie, Mormonism felt important once. I guess that’s why normies are attracted to religion in such numbers. I was a financial investment, looking back on it all. I was just a single stock that bellied up in a large diverse portfolio that was until recently doing pretty well, but they have other assets snd investments too. We sometimes talk about “being just a number in a statistic”. We are numbers in a statistic that focus group studies shows can be emotionally and informationally manipulated to behave in certain ways with high degrees of certainty. I’m part of that dross, the stuff that gets lost out the bottom of the sieve. Statistics also show that prolonged exposure to the dross without smearing its credibility first can cause a cascade loss. These are the numbers games being played in the great and spacious building across from the conference center in Salt Lake while my parents and I fight over their bigotry and whether I’m the bigoted one for wanting to share facts and have discussions about my experience with them when they just wanna die and be guaranteed a seat in heaven. I heard my mother one sigh and long for the second coming, and she meant it like “doing all these mental gymnastics all the time is exhausting, when can I go home to God?”
What do you do after leaving behind a dumpster fire of an intellectual family culture? You focus on yourself for a while, pay your bills, secure steady work, build some wealth as a cushion, and then plot your next move, I guess. Focus on hobbies. Meet people just for the sake of meeting people where Mormonism doesn’t have to be mentioned at all.