Date: October 01, 2010 04:38PM
One of the most interesting things about our experiences with the LDS Church is how varied and different they are especially in how we handle what I call the Exit Process,:how LDS family members/friends and other church members treat us, and behave.
They cover a large variety of experiences from mild to extreme.
Some folks never liked the LDS Church while some loved it.
Some spent a short time in the LDS Church, some were converts, and some spent their whole life as a BIC member.
Some feel they have been betrayed, duped, and treated with dishonesty, some do not.
Some leave quite easily, some with great difficulty.
Some leave within a few hours or days some take years and years.
Some keep their family together and some do not, and some divorce.
Some are bitter, resentful, angry, for years, some for a short time, or not at all.
Some use name calling, put downs, derogatory names, pejoratives. etc, for anything to do with the LDS Church, it's leaders, it's members, friends and relatives and some do not.
Some refuse to have anything to do with Mormons, their buildings, refuse to attend, and some still attend.
Some feel they are harassed, stalked and terrorized, and some recount being mildly bothered or not bothered at all.
Some have long standing difficulties with family and some do not.
Some share experiences of being shunned and some are not.
Some families and friends are accepting and understanding and some are not.
Some still have warm, healthy relationships with Mormon loved ones and friends, and some do not.
Clearly there is no such thing as One True Way to leave the LDS Church or only One True Experience that is valid.
Every experience is valid for that person whether they are similar, the same, or not even close. It's very important to remember that, in my view, as we have such varied experiences.
All of our experiences and observations are valid. Just because they are different in no way invalidates another person's experience or makes it wrong.
I happen to have a warm, healthy relationship and love for many Mormon loved ones, and friends. I always will. I know that not every one has that kind of relationship.
My exit process was reasonable with only minor difficulties that were easily remedied.
I hold no bitterness, resentment, anger toward Mormons, or the LDS Church.
I used to love the LDS Church and enjoyed my involvement and have many wonderful memories.
It was, as I often say: The Good,The Bad, The Ugly!Just like all of my life.
I am grateful for my life as a Mormon, my family for those times, what I learned and experienced. I have no regrets and hold no animosity toward the LDS Church or any individual member.
That is the result, in my case, of the process of "making peace with it" including all of my life, which has contributed greatly to a sense of inner peace, freedom, and happiness, filled with a lot of laughter and fun.
I have learned what it means to take my power back and own it, set healthy boundaries, and keep my marriage to a believer in tact for 48 years, so far. I know the value of an attitude of gratitude, and the power of love.
We are fortunate that we have this board and other places to share our many, many varied experiences dealing with the LDS Church, our LDS family and friends.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn from others, to share and to be of support to those who need it.
Leaving the LDS Church (or our tribe as I describe it) is most often an exercise in great courage, setting boundaries, being clear minded, and taking our power back while protecting our self respect, self confidence.
It's about making choices and decisions that are in our best interest that put us at the helm, totally in charge of our lives, working through the various dynamics of our individual families and our relationships with friends, etc.
And so it goes, we keep putting one foot in front of the other, managing our own individual Exit Process - or the Do It Yourself Project with No Manual - as I define it.
I'm particularly grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to use this board and other places on the Internet to communicate with folks that are making those kinds of individual choices as they relate to leaving the LDS Church and all that entails.