New member of the group

If you are new to the board or simply have something new in your life, come let us know in the Introductions forum.
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m_bennett
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Location: New York State

New member of the group

Post by m_bennett » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:11 am

Hey everyone,

I'm M, nice to meet everyone. I finally joined up because I needed some people to talk to, who understand what it's like leaving the Church.

I'm a 30-year old single guy, finishing an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I grew up a member of the Church and really, wholeheartedly believed the doctrine. I've suffered from major depressive disorder my whole life and had a fairly screwed up childhood, and the Book of Mormon acted as a lifeline for me. I thought I gained a testimony at age 17, and decided to dedicate my life to trying to follow whatever spirit I thought I felt at the time.

Well, that lead to throwing myself into the Church, the doctrine, and its history. My family was pretty poor, and I lived just a couple of paychecks away from the street for years after high school. I gravitated towards the independent, fundamentalist attitudes found within the Church--avoid welfare at all costs, God will heal you/don't trust the medical system, just be as faithful as possible and you'll be rewarded, etc.--and so didn't end up seeking the help I needed until just a few years ago.

Ended up as part of the Second Comforter/Snuffer movement for a while; that started my dissatisfaction with the Church. That, and the fact that despite all my efforts at being faithful, church service and attendance, scripture study and prayer and fasting, etc., I still dealt with insane depression and couldn't hold a decent job past a few months. The past few years have seen me further dissatisfied with the Church and, ultimately, not really knowing if I believe in God at all anymore. So, I find myself about 10 years older than other people at my education level, single and ignorant about social life outside the Church, and dealing with major depression.

Luckily I've been seeing therapists and psychiatrists for a couple years now, and have gotten a lot of the depression under control. But it's still a huge emotional burden, particularly in light of the loss of faith, and it would be nice to have people who know what the faith transition is like. So, I look forward to getting to know you all.

-M

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IT_Veteran
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Location: California

Re: New member of the group

Post by IT_Veteran » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:33 am

Welcome, I'm fairly new here as well. I've been mentally out for a few years, announced to my family a week ago that I'm not coming back. It's been a very welcoming group. I have not dealt with depression as you have, so the depression associated with my faith crisis was a bit of a shock to me.

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RubinHighlander
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Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: New member of the group

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:39 am

Welcome to the wonderful world of Nomdopia!

There are a couple of things that helped me the most in making the transition out killing the cogdis. The first was to rid myself of the guilt - no more angel and devil on the shoulder, the truth really did set my mind free. The second was to replace the gap I felt (going from knowing the exact purpose of life to being on a journey of discovery into the unknown) with being out in nature. I've really enjoyed my Sundays by getting out to the west desert or mountains of Utah and getting more into landscape and nature photography. Spending one or more hours out on the lake watching the sunset is pure golden healing for the soul!

Good luck and congratulations on freeing yourself from the matrix. I hope you find comfort here.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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m_bennett
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Location: New York State

Re: New member of the group

Post by m_bennett » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:44 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:33 am
Welcome, I'm fairly new here as well. I've been mentally out for a few years, announced to my family a week ago that I'm not coming back. It's been a very welcoming group. I have not dealt with depression as you have, so the depression associated with my faith crisis was a bit of a shock to me.
Good luck with your family, man. Hope that goes well! And thanks for the welcome.

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m_bennett
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Location: New York State

Re: New member of the group

Post by m_bennett » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:46 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:39 am
The second was to replace the gap I felt (going from knowing the exact purpose of life to being on a journey of discovery into the unknown) with being out in nature.
Good advice! Thank you.

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No Tof
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Re: New member of the group

Post by No Tof » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:50 am

Welcome Mr Bennett.

NOM has been a life saver both figuratively and at times literally for some of us. Hope you find it a calm and safe place to share your experience of transition/maturation.

I’m honestly fascinated with the Snuffer movement within the church and when you feel ready, I’d love to hear more about that part of your journey.

For now get comfortable put your feet up and enjoy this as a safe place to vent, pose questions, complain, shout angry words if needed. We have been there done that and will empathize.

You’ll get advice from some sage folk here so I’ll let them do that. Just try to realize you’re not alone, not the one who has done something wrong, and with time things will get better. A lot better.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
Rumi

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notforprophet
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Re: New member of the group

Post by notforprophet » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:32 pm

Welcome to NOM! I'm obviously fairly new as well. I've found that this is such a welcoming, uplifting space. :D
God is either all powerful or all good.
I have yet to hear an explanation on how he can be both.
- Lex Luthor

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Corsair
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Re: New member of the group

Post by Corsair » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:05 am

m_bennett wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:11 am
Luckily I've been seeing therapists and psychiatrists for a couple years now, and have gotten a lot of the depression under control. But it's still a huge emotional burden, particularly in light of the loss of faith, and it would be nice to have people who know what the faith transition is like. So, I look forward to getting to know you all.

-M
We're glad you found us. Hearing the experiences of faith transitions helps us all.

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m_bennett
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Location: New York State

Re: New member of the group

Post by m_bennett » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:11 am

Thank you to all the kind welcomes. I appreciate it! Looking forward to getting to know you all.

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GoodBoy
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Re: New member of the group

Post by GoodBoy » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:54 am

Welcome, and I applaud your willingness to be open and vulnerable.

I encourage you to actively go seek an alternative tribe, whether it is another church, or other special interest group. Meetup.com is a good place to start. Go be the awkward newbie for a while. Keep showing up at some of these things. I found a partial community in a board game playing group. I also try to show up for some other groups, even though I don't really know people. The world is big and with the internet it is easier to find people who are like you. You need a tribe to be happy, even if you keep going to the LDS church for a while longer.

Also, don't burn bridges if you can help it. The Facebook announcement that the church sucks, or long letters to your family explaining why you don't believe usually aren't a great idea because they damage so many relationships that are important to you.

Come hang out here to decompress.

Best wishes!
Always been the good kid, but I wanted to know more, and to find and test truth.

Josephsmith
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:00 pm

Re: New member of the group

Post by Josephsmith » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:34 pm

m_bennett wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:11 am
Thank you to all the kind welcomes. I appreciate it! Looking forward to getting to know you all.
People here are pretty great. I've even been welcomed which is surprising, all things considered.

Vito
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:50 am

Re: New member of the group

Post by Vito » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:46 pm

Welcome one new Nom to another. Hope you find the healing you are looking for in this community. Thank you for sharing you vulnerability with us. Just reading the posts, I see Wisdom here.

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moksha
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Re: New member of the group

Post by moksha » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:50 am

M_bennett, think of us as a friendly group in search of the required therapy to make it through life. Pull up a couch and we can hook you up to the NOM analysis mainframe.

We are all in this together, so welcome!
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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græy
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Re: New member of the group

Post by græy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:51 am

m_bennett wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:11 am
I've been seeing therapists and psychiatrists for a couple years now, and have gotten a lot of the depression under control. But it's still a huge emotional burden, particularly in light of the loss of faith, and it would be nice to have people who know what the faith transition is like. So, I look forward to getting to know you all.
I'm glad to hear you're getting good qualified help. You're among friends here in terms of the faith transition burden. It certainly does help to have someone else to lean on, or at least vent to, once in a while.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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DPRoberts
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Re: New member of the group

Post by DPRoberts » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:38 pm

græy wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:51 am
m_bennett wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:11 am
I've been seeing therapists and psychiatrists for a couple years now, and have gotten a lot of the depression under control. But it's still a huge emotional burden, particularly in light of the loss of faith, and it would be nice to have people who know what the faith transition is like. So, I look forward to getting to know you all.
I'm glad to hear you're getting good qualified help. You're among friends here in terms of the faith transition burden. It certainly does help to have someone else to lean on, or at least vent to, once in a while.
Welcome, m_bennett. I wish you the best in getting a handle on depression. I for one feel strongly that the church was a huge contributor to my depression in the past. My treatment for depression coincided with my disaffection and along the way I noticed that this life gets a whole lot better when you stop worrying about earning the (imaginary) big Celestial prize. I hope life gets better for you as well.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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Hermey
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Re: New member of the group

Post by Hermey » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:33 pm

Welcome!

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slavereeno
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Location: QC, AZ

Re: New member of the group

Post by slavereeno » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:03 pm

Welcome, I love reading faith transition stories from others.

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Hagoth
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Re: New member of the group

Post by Hagoth » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:42 am

Glad to have you with us m_bennett. I'm glad you're finally getting the help that you needed. Hopefully this will be a friendly, healing place for you too. The good thing about losing your faith is that you're probably through the worst of it now. For me it's been a lot like a roller coaster ride; big dramatic ups and downs at the beginning that gradually smooth out as you go. At first I felt like I had lost an essential sense of knowing important but then I realized that my faith had actually been dampening my curiosity about the universe and I realized that entire new horizons had opened up to me. I hope that happens for you too.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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PalmSprings
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Re: New member of the group

Post by PalmSprings » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:25 am

m_bennett wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:11 am
Hey everyone,

I'm M, nice to meet everyone. I finally joined up because I needed some people to talk to, who understand what it's like leaving the Church.

I'm a 30-year old single guy, finishing an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I grew up a member of the Church and really, wholeheartedly believed the doctrine. I've suffered from major depressive disorder my whole life and had a fairly screwed up childhood, and the Book of Mormon acted as a lifeline for me. I thought I gained a testimony at age 17, and decided to dedicate my life to trying to follow whatever spirit I thought I felt at the time.
Your story sounds very similar to mine. I suffered from major depressive disorder until I left the church completely. The only side effects from almost 40 years is minor PTSD that seldomly triggers itself, but fortunately I can manage. The psychiatrists and doctors I've talked to say my depression was most definitely related to the hellish environment I grew up in and the church. I am extremely lucky I didn't turn out to be bat S***T crazy. In fact I look back and my life is so drastically different now, it was like I woke up from a nightmare and my former life seems surreal.

That being said, the longer you stay away from the church, the fogginess from your mind and soul will slowly dissipate. And it's great to know you are now seeking the help that is available so you can heal. Hang in there, don't beat yourself up over losing your "faith" in the church. What put my mind at ease was the realization that the mormon church is literally poison and damaging to a lot of people. It made me sick just like it made you sick and the universe is correcting itself.

Thanks for your post and welcome!!

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alas
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: New member of the group

Post by alas » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:40 pm

PalmSprings wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:25 am
m_bennett wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:11 am
Hey everyone,

I'm M, nice to meet everyone. I finally joined up because I needed some people to talk to, who understand what it's like leaving the Church.

I'm a 30-year old single guy, finishing an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I grew up a member of the Church and really, wholeheartedly believed the doctrine. I've suffered from major depressive disorder my whole life and had a fairly screwed up childhood, and the Book of Mormon acted as a lifeline for me. I thought I gained a testimony at age 17, and decided to dedicate my life to trying to follow whatever spirit I thought I felt at the time.
Your story sounds very similar to mine. I suffered from major depressive disorder until I left the church completely. The only side effects from almost 40 years is minor PTSD that seldomly triggers itself, but fortunately I can manage. The psychiatrists and doctors I've talked to say my depression was most definitely related to the hellish environment I grew up in and the church. I am extremely lucky I didn't turn out to be bat S***T crazy. In fact I look back and my life is so drastically different now, it was like I woke up from a nightmare and my former life seems surreal.

That being said, the longer you stay away from the church, the fogginess from your mind and soul will slowly dissipate. And it's great to know you are now seeking the help that is available so you can heal. Hang in there, don't beat yourself up over losing your "faith" in the church. What put my mind at ease was the realization that the mormon church is literally poison and damaging to a lot of people. It made me sick just like it made you sick and the universe is correcting itself.

Thanks for your post and welcome!!
I am another who suffered from depression whenever I was active in church. My therapy was supposed to be about an abusive childhood, but I always spent a lot of therapy time talking about church issues. Once I even terminated therapy with the explanation that I planned to go inactive at church, so I wouldn't need a therapist. I was being snarky, but at some level I was recognizing that the church made me crazy by repeating some of the emotional abusive aspects of my childhood. But, I would go a few years in therapy and then go inactive and all the depression issues were solved. I would be doing fine and then miss community and spiritually, so I would go back to church and within a year would be depressed again. I would get back into therapy, talk about church as much as I talked about my abusive parents, go inactive, be fine, and graduate from therapy. Then I would repeat the whole process. Now I finally made a complete break from church and I am doing great.

In many ways, the church is emotionally abusive. It uses a lot of shaming to control people, so if you had a childhood that was shaming, then church can just be a continuation of abuse. Just like I reached the point when I no longer let my father sexually abuse me, by #1 recognizing it was abuse. #2 getting out of the relationship with him or changing it so that he could no longer abuse me. #3 healing the damage the abuse caused in my life. Then I did the same with my mother. With my mother it was harder because emotional abuse is harder to recognize as abuse than something concrete like beatings or sexual abuse. With the church it was even harder to name the abuse as abuse. But excess shaming, never being good enough, sexism, all in the name of God is abuse. The church requires that to be in any form of relationship with it, you have to put yourself in a position that is like being a child with the church your all knowing all powerful parent. Otherwise it shuns you. So, just redrawing boundaries with the church was not enough like it had been with my parents, and I found I had to remove myself from the relationship.

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