I was a sophomore in college when I joined the church. I mostly was a hormonal convert. My newly converted boyfriend told me he'd never marry outside of the temple and only mormons are allowed in the temple. I asked myself, "How bad could it be?" I was so young and ignorant.
One of the reasons I stayed active so long and served a full-time mission was because I attended a singles ward in VA where a large percentage of the members were converts like me. We had a lot of fun in those days and it wasn't until I really started to "grow up" that I realized what a terrible mistake I had made.
Recently I've been thinking back to that large group of friends and I realize that about 85% of these people had an alcoholic parent. Is that a coincidence? I didn't think about it at the time, but I think that was a huge factor to most of them joining TSCC. Anybody have any thoughts and/or anecdotes about this?
yes. my adopted mother (a jackmormon) was an alcoholic, Slept late every morning, slept all afternoon. No preschool food in the morning, climbing cupboards to acquire eatees. No supervision even in preschool. Hiding from abusers in grape vineyard covered dog holes, and if near them if I could run into the chained dogs they'd protect me. Climbable orchard trees provided a haven from violence for me hiding in green leafy canopies. adopted dad hardly ever came home, six hours on a weekend lived away.
when a local mormon branch president's wife began giving me rides I jumped at it. The church classes were the only place someone told me what to do besides 1 year of 4-H.
it all depends on which role in the family system you got.
One sibling got the addict drop out entitle favorite son role, could not handle a barn full of free wine & egging on by both alcoholic mom & enabling absent dad-
another sibling spent time as a bishop. I rebelled against it so I was married in the temple. in a world avoiding hurt I would do it (her life) in reverse LOL
its pretty common.
I recall an old friend who joined the mormon church. Their mom was an addict in the city, whereas my adopted mom was an alcholic in the country. ( I had country neighbors, fruit trees, a grandma across the drive way to feed me daily lunches- she, she had a mini market to shop lift bread from for her younger sisters when their was no food in their little room and their mom was passed out.) She remains loyal to church to this day naming their prejudiced but that is her place- she moved near by following a family incarcerated in a prison in the next county- so the cycle goes on- like a switch- flipped on- off. Could just as well roll dice- heads or tails you win you loose. Who knew anyone could choose? Just adopted or born into this assignment- this alcoholic drug using family system.
She knew, she knew she needed the church- she staked her life on it. She dumped me when I needed space from her beloved church. Se la vie. Been dumped before, probably be dumped again but she was the most understanding lds friend.
Thanks for sharing. It's easy to see how TSCC would be a haven from what you were dealing with at home. Many of my friends who converted, joined TSCC when they were adolescents. I guess they found what they thought was a benign paternal figure.
I could never figure out why one friend in particular stayed, even though the God she worships is such an unloving being. And I realized that she probably has no idea what a loving parent really IS. So the mormon god seems good enough.
...to anything that promises safety and stability, something we never felt like we had. Many of us were also abused in one way or another, or just put down all the time. So all that love-bombing really hits fertile ground, to really mess up a metaphor!
Doxi Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > ...to anything that promises safety and stability, > something we never felt like we had. Many of us > were also abused in one way or another, or just > put down all the time. So all that love-bombing > really hits fertile ground, to really mess up a > metaphor!
Same here, Doxi. I was abused in every way in the home I was raised in and did not know what a "normal" family life was. I thought I had found a wonderful place of love with lds church. Went on a mission, etc. Joining tscc was the biggest mistake I ever made. But it does make sense considering the awful way I was being brought up. What a stinking cult preying upon broken thrown away people.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2018 11:43AM by Aquarius123.
My father died when I was 15, but he tended to stay in the shadows and let alcoholic mother do most of the child-rearing.
She had been a military officer, and I think the structure of giving commands and having them obeyed by underlings appealed to her sense of how the world ought to be run. SHE gave the orders, everyone else obeyed. Dad brought structure into her world. After he died, she began tucking away a 6-pack every day after work. She wasn't a nice person when sober; she was awful when drunk.
I had always been a hellion, but after Dad died, it left Mother and me to go at it head to head, which we did daily, until I was able to leave home. We were nominally Presbyterians, but I don't believe either of us had the religion of a hedgehog.
I think that I have converted many "authority figures" into Mother over the years, and have had difficulty dealing with them. Hopefully, I will get the upper hand over this behavior before I croak.
One of my YW presidents converted as a teen and also has an alcoholic parent. She talked about how grateful she was for the church because now she doesn't have to worry about being an alcoholic herself. Well, there are plenty of non-Mormons who stay away from alcohol because of alcoholism in the family.
I think a lot of people from troubled families join because they are looking for a more functional "family" and TSCC, on the surface, appears to fit the bill.
Its good I came across this post. I am another ACOA as I just realised this in 2013 after being quite ill which caused a long term reflection and questioning. I am an ExMormon as well another Christian got me to question the beliefs but at the same time the Cult was making me more ill and thought religion is not doing me any good.
I have been known to preach against certain topics that offended me using Mormon beliefs to condemn the person.
I think some ACOA use religion as an escape. I got out of the Mormon Church in 2011 somewhere. However I do disagree against an idea of Church using a Membership System.
Like you, I'm a child of an alcoholic and, in the end, was a hormonal convert.
'The church' has been in my life since I was five. The contrast between my house and my mormon friend's house was stark, to say the very least. I spent every possible moment I could in that house. I went to church with them and modelled myself upon them up until middle adolescence. At that point I began to question but still attended the fun stuff like sports and dances while discontinuing Sundays. Eventually, when my friend went on his mission, I stopped doing mormon stuff altogether. Most of my friends growing up were mormons and I thought and called myself mormon, that changed as a young adult.
After having a 'fun' young adulthood I ended up hospitalized, because it was so much fun. Mormons helped me tremendously while in the hospital. I rather quickly married one, had kids etc. While Mormonism saved me from all that fun it didn't make it any less than what it is, a very expensive club with weird, verifiably wrong and constricting beliefs. So I officially resigned. Three years later my generational-TBM wife did, too.
From a personal stand-point I can see how Mormonism is very attractive to children of alcoholics. But I don't have much experience with converts. Most if not all the Mormons I knew growing up were generational-TBMs and as an adult it was the same.
It was the main reason I joined, a family forever, when I had none, stability and the love of Christ or anyone for that matter. It helped me for a year, I did more in the youth programs than in my family life.
As I grew up, those few tenants were not enough. I later found my own recovery and that really allowed me to free myself from my childhood and the church.
NO. "The church" will use ANY emotional vulnerability. Recent death of a love one, a recent trip to a hospital, moving and not knowing anyone, Parents which were incapable of loving you and giving a damn what you feel or want in life, etc... All of those were contributing factors in joining "the church". Especially as a vulnerable young-adult like I was.
My husband (who lurks here.....) is an ACoA, and we have both recently realized the significance it has had on his life.
He was raised Catholic, hated it, and decided organized religion was not for him. So he married his 1st wife and practiced no religion.
Then, divorced her, and met a Mormon girl who was crazy alcoholic herself, sexing him up, drinking with him, and then as time went on, decided she wanted a temple marriage, so she did the old switch-a-too and introduced him to tscc.
It didn't take him long before he was king of the hill (he's extremely extroverted.......to the point where I've had to reign him in sometimes.....lol), and had a bazillion new "friends", and he told me that her tbm family was one of the most attractive things about marrying her (how interesting is that?!......).
And the cherry on top of all that, was one day he decided to write a full page typed, scathing letter to his entire family......extended and everything, about how "good" he was now, no thanks to any of them, and that he wad joining up ranks with tscc, and that they could all just kiss his arse and wallow in their sinner ways.
Yeah. He was vulnerable.
It all fits together, looking back now. I am not too sure his family has ever really gotten over that letter, to this day.
P.S. I am NOT the mormon girl he met and married.......she was his 2nd wife.
I am an ACoA, and I can definitely see how this is true. My parents were abusive alcoholics. They provided no structure or guidance. I am an only child and we lived in rural America - making the isolation even greater. I joined the church and was active for decades - I traded my parent's path of alcohol for addiction to church activity. I moved up the ranks quickly for a convert eventually becoming a bishop. But it was all a guise to escape the reality of my life. Over time I began to see more and more hypocrisy and down right cruel behavior of those called "inspired." As my recovery progressed, I found I couldn't take it anymore. So... I left.
I am an ACoA. I can't say I was ever attracted to Mormonism, though I did marry an exMormon (who was just inactive early in our marriage). I have a sister who thinks Mormons are awesome. She isn't one (that I know of), but it wouldn't surprise me if she liked it because Mormons aren't supposed to drink.
My husband's ex wife had a very tumultuous upbringing, though I don't know if it had anything to do with someone being an alcoholic. She converted to Mormonism. I don't know if she did it just because of its wholesome image or because it makes a great parental alienation tool.
Okay, so it wasn't just the kids I ran with. My mother was ACoA so I wasn't too far removed from that. Many of the people I knew back then have found their way out of TSCC. Some are just inactive, feeling like they "know they ought to go back" but just not being able to bring themselves to do it. Another handful of them know it's a crock. I think only one has officially resigned. Too bad we didn't realize we could've all been friends and had a good time without paying 10% of our almost non-existant salaries and kissing the butts of self-agrandized "leadership".
Long story short, after being raised in awfully abusive situation, I joined the Mormon church at 22. For the first time ever, I felt loved and accepted, so I was "golden" and it was love at first sight. Too bad it turned out to be a crock of sh-- and the "love" totally conditional. Traumatized people are perfect prey for Mormon church.
My TBM ex-husband was an adult child of an alcoholic and drug addict, and when his dad died of cancer, he converted when his mom returned to full activity. His parents were both Mormons, but completely inactive during his childhood. His family actually goes back to the Mormon pioneer era, and his parents were actually distant enough cousins to be able to marry legally in most states. My ex-husband's childhood was extremely dysfunctional, where at one point, his bed was a table in someone's garage where he lived with his parents at the time. His dad could never hold down a job, and from what it sounds like, he was also physically abusive to my ex especially if he had been drinking.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2013 03:23PM by adoylelb.
I'm often at "loggerheads" with ACOA's, given that I've worked hard to to shed the "bad boy/prodigal son" role from my early years (and I still have those around who me who appear to prefer that individual). And while I wish them all the best in their own journeys, I have to do at least my share of the "boundary work" as I continually seek out my "authentic self."
As I see this one, it comes under the heading of "control," and for children of dysfunction, the operating motif is "there were no rules in childhood; there will be rules in adulthood."
This seems to have been an element of Mormonism's appeal since the beginning, and there were those where the "pathological loyalty" characteristic of codependents was obvious (Heber C. Kimball comes to mind) who were a large percentage of the genuinely authentic--albeit easily manipulated--individuals who were attracted to the sect from the beginning (as noted, that's true of other "controlling cults" as well). They were, of course, easy marks for the scoundrels within the leadership.
This "elephant in the living room" mentality still prevails, and has been elevated to a level that leaves objective viewers looking at it with both incredulity and dismay.
Mormonism is certainly the enemy of the authentic individual.
Well, my SIL wasn't a convert but did have an alcoholic father. Her parents eventually divorced and now that her husband is an exmo she has dug her heels in even deeper. She really believes her crappy childhood with her alcoholic father means she needs to be mormon. Her exmo husband treats her well and is in no danger of becoming an alcoholic. I think she's just scared.
Parents raging alcoholics. I joined the church at 28. Held all kinds of leadership roles, even bishop. Discovered i was ACoA at 46. As long as i was contributing i was accepted. Divorced at 55. Banished. Left the church at 60 after several years of failing to fit in. Such a shame the church has so much to offer, but if you don't fit into their perfect little model, they can't help you.
My TBM ex-husband converted because his Jack Mormon dad was an alcoholic who died of cancer when my ex was 19. In his case, the cult became his addiction instead of booze or drugs of some kind, as he was extremely TBM.
I am a product of an alcoholic home....my dad being the alcoholic and mom the typical co-dependent. Emotional abuse for me was rampant manifested by being either ignored or criticized.
My friends become my haven and they were LDS so I was too. For years I mainly attended the fun stuff like parties, dances, but I did get talked into sunday school and boring sacrament mtg by some of my friends. They had to go and wanted my company. This was how and why I got baptised.
At home I had little discipline or rules, so in the cult I found out quickly that I HATED their rules and discipline even for the minimum time I went.
But the Moronic promise of a better life here and later seeped into my psyche and I grabbed onto it with all the hope in the world only wanting a temple marriage with a returned missionary and little ones running around. This is basically what I knew about a "wonderful" marriage as at home I had seen sorrow and meanness.
So, yes I think I was a convert to Mormonism through my friends. And, as said by others, I would have become Catholic or Methodist or Wiccan if this is what my friends were.
When I became enlightened and resigned from the MormonCult because of realizing the cult lied, deceived, was so damn controlling, and really cared not a fuck about me, it was emotional abuse all over again. Good counseling was then my savior, not religion in any form.
I keep meaning to start my own thread on this issue, but I also keep putting it off. When I broached this in the past, I had the feeling that I came off as "whiney" to people. I knew that I wasn't the only convert from a wildly dysfunctional family, but I always had the feelings that other Mormons didn't appreciate me being around that much. I was useful as a statistic, however.
Mormons tend to be very celebratory and practically worshipful of a convert who appears normal. They need people who are healthy to help shoulder the load, not a drag carrying huge emotional burdens. I joined in the 70's, a time when people who complained of bad parents were regarded as wearing Satanic horns. You were supposed to appreciate your parents and be ever grateful for your wonderful, sacred, and self-sacrificing mother. ALL mothers had these qualities, they taught me. I needed to "snap out of" my needy ways. Counselors were for those who didn't have faith in prayer.
I resented the way everyone was all over a normal convert who came from a nice family that they had a good relationship with. This kind of convert was a superior human being that God favored. I started to feel like I had not been a good spirit in the Pre-existence.
Mormonism harmed me by standing in the way of seeking any mental health care. Nowadays church members are inclined to encourage getting help, but not back then. I was a demon who needed to learn to respect my wonderful mother.
And yet I stayed in the church, allowing them to abuse me emotionally again and again.
Addiction can also show up in other ways besides alcohol...eating...sex ...shopping...OCD obedience to the rules...whatever the poison...so many Mormons seem to pick one....meet my old man...gramps was an alcoholic but the old man would hardly touch a drop...he was able to conjure plenty of rage without it...yet addiction manifested in other ways...abuse...eating...sexual excess...and of course dogmatic need to control everyone and everything around him...placement marriage seemed to hold special fascination...complete utter control of a young girls life and future...plygmy is rife with these broken people...they are the true church after all