I notice since being involved with the church I've become reclusive to an extreme. I'm naturally an introvert, so is my husband..but we have reached from that into reclusiveness. We don't really like, trust, or want to get to know people. I only have surface interactions. When I left I couldn't wait to remove church people from my social media..not all of them, some I talk with on there..but most.
I just feel this weird mixed of isolated and creeped out. I must come off like a complete weirdo but im pretty warm and friendly..I just geel exhausted mentally by my experience of being a member. I feel like everything is a cult..everything around me.
I relate. I'm like that as well. People who know me would be surprised. I used to have and encourage a zillion active friendships. Now I go out of my way to be reclusive. I want zero contact with any people I knew as a Mormon if possible. I think there are other reasons though:
I'm naturally a loner and reclusive. My husband is also.
A lot of older people tend to need less people around. Maybe they are tired of small talk. Maybe they are tired of always giving more in relationships than they receive. Maybe they don't care to spend the energy chasing around people.
In my case, I've found humans to be disappointing overall. I get more things to think about from books, study, and social media.
I'd rather spend time with my cat and dog than random people. I like to interact with my kids and grandkids, but not every minute of the day.
When I am at a social event, I find myself looking forward to getting home. I am most happy when I am puttering around by myself.
I think a great deal of this is genetic. Some people are introverts and like it that way.
The Mormon church provides introverts with the opposite of what we need as they require all things superficial regarding thought and relationships.
I basically am an equal opportunity bigot. I don't like anybody on the planet until they make me like them. Quite a few have but it's not an easy thing for them to accomplish. But, man, I have a few treasures for friends now. And not one of them is like the other.
I remember the sixties the "Up With People" tour came to our high school a singin' and a dancin' and stage smiles galore with their I Love Everybody message and even then I thought it was so lame. Played well to the all Mormon school though.
Love thy neighbor? Make me. People who need people can stay away from me.
Just before I lost my testimony I walked out of a Sacrament meeting as the bishop used the word "remiss" because I just could not take the dull, repetitious, mind-numbing, insincere, inanity for another second. Pushing through the doors back out into the sunshine was heaven. I drove around by myself for a whole Sunday shouting all the cliche sayings Mormons are always using. I was just sick of it. Testimony was still basically intact, but I had reached a point where I didn't give a damn even it was true. If I had to have a god I wanted to find an upgrade.
I was sitting in Sacrament meeting, and of course it was moving along just like any other in its boring repetition.
Then the speaker said something that was completely not church doctrine, but his own. What it was I cannot remember, but I sat up straight and began to look about. There were about 300 people in the chapel, and they all sat there with blank faces or were asleep. I looked at the stand, not one member of the bishopric gave any indication that they heard the same thing I did.
I realized at that moment, nobody was involved, nobody was listening, and they were just robots following programming. I brought the subject up to several people after the meeting, and they all had that glazed look and said they had no idea what I was talking about. Even though I pointed out the error of what was said, they just brushed it off, and said they were sure the speaker did not mean it that way.
That was one of many events that made me rethink everything I thought I knew about the church. And it was a clear indicator of just how it crushed individuality.
D&D, I may have told this story before but it seems germane.
A long time ago I attended a small invitation-only conference. Most of the participants were liberal American graduate students or young professionals working in international affairs. The topic in one session was whether there were things that could be done to improve relationships between countries generally, and the consensus was that the answer was increasing interaction between different peoples through exchange programs, etc.
At that point a friend and fellow cynic leaned over to me and whispered that all US college students should be required to spend at least a year in a developing country. I giggled, implicitly agreeing that American youth are naively optimistic about these things and don't know how power works in the broader world.
Then an old man with an unparalleled reputation in modern history and international relations took the floor and asked, "what makes you so sure that if people interacted more they'd like each other?" The audience laughed at the quaint old man, who was obviously past his prime, and his antiquated Cold War views.
Much time has passed since that conference, and in the last few years two of the optimistic people have confided to me that they have learned the old man was right. People from different cultures and with different interests and priorities do not naturally like each other. Often increased contact results in increased conflict. Rather than assuming mutual amity, therefore, it's better to start with low expectations and build from there.
That sounds like the international version of what you describe on a personal level.
I have 2 best friends. I've known them since my 20s when I worked with them at 2 different jobs. I'm 65 now. Others I might see or hear from now and then, but I don't pursue talking to them. I don't go to social things except once in a while. I think the last thing I went to was a cousin picnic for my dad's side of the family during COVID of all times. That was okay. I'm surprised I went. I got to talk about the fact I'm not mormon anymore, etc. It was surprising how the male cousins reacted. They all wanted to know about my nonmormon boyfriend and why didn't I get married? Only one is "real" mormon. Most of them were wild as teens and one is active mormon. The others aren't.
I didn't like being mormon, but I thought I had to be. All my siblings are introverts and all of us are out except our mentally/physically disabled brother and he is probably an extrovert. Shocking how well he does since our parents died. He has A LOT of support from good mormons who are good people.
My "husband" told our daughter when she was trying to get me to go back to church that "your mother was never happy as a mormon." I didn't even realize it until then. I went to church to worship and not to socialize. I hated the parties, but my "husband" forced me to go basically.
I also prefer the company of my dogs. I also work at home. I only work a little as I am retired, but I like my job and so I keep doing a few hours a day. I prefer it this way.
Hubby and I have as many friends as you can count on one hand, and we like it that way. The only ones that I really enjoy being with are our kids and grand kids.
Once in a while, we run into a former” ward friend” and they always say: “We really miss you”. Well, if that is true, you know where we live, we know where you live and the more time and space between us, the better.
I love animals; and I’m kinda like a bison; I have a personal space of about 500 miles in diameter
You reminded me of Stepford Wives. You see their pretty clothes and smiling faces, but what is behind the mask? With Mormons it's all about the mask. God forbid you analyze the church's problems. Try being real, then you're the kook.
I don't think most people could be real if they wanted to. Yeah, I'm disappointed in people too. What to do? You and hubby have each other. Going full hermit doesn't sound too bad.