Just joined NOM

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whatififly
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Just joined NOM

Post by whatififly » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:04 pm

I've been lurking on here for a month or so now and have finally joined as I really need support as I go through my faith transition. There is so much I need to talk about and work through, but I'm still in the closet as an unbeliever as my husband and I are afraid of the social rejection we'll face if we out ourselves.

Here's a little about me. I live in a predominantly LDS area (yep, in Utah), mid twenties, with three kids. My faith crisis started in 2015 when I realized that "the gospel of happiness" wasn't making me happy. It was making me unbelievably depressed and anxious. I already had a heavy-laden shelf at that point, but the weird thing is that I NEVER doubted the truthfulness of the church. I thought all these things that were strange to me or made me uncomfortable pointed to there being something wrong with me. I wasn't worthy enough. God didn't love me. I wasn't faithful enough to understand or accept it.

Despite my misgivings, I tried really hard to keep being faithful and going to church. I read scriptures and prayed daily. Attending church was a huge struggle. Every week many months I would come home from church and cry. It made me feel like I was unworthy and could never do enough. Eventually I saw an amazing therapist at LDS Family Services, ironically, who told me that it was ok if I needed to take a break from church for my mental health. She also told me that I didn't need to listen to the damaging messages and helped me feel like it didn't make me less of a person to reject them. That woman was a saint. It was the best advice she could have given me.

In summer of 2017 I found out about Joseph Smith's polygamy and polyandry, Fanny Alger, lying to Emma, etc. When I first stumbled across it I was sure it must be an anti Mormon website filled with lies. I tried to shelve it but it haunted me. I couldn't stop thinking about it. It felt wrong no matter how much I prayed about it. Finally last December I couldn't hold back the dam any more. I gave myself permission to research it further. Down the rabbit hole I went. My shelf broke. The day it occurred to me that it might not be true was awful. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I had never doubted that it was the true church, ever. Since then I have been going through the stages of grief. Some days I am just plain relieved that it isn't true.

A huge, unexpected positive of this transition is that my self esteem has sky rocketed! I NEVER felt good enough in the church. Ever since I was a little girl I wondered why God didn't love women. I have struggled with that all my life. I could never meet the expectations or fit into the box of what a good LDS woman should be. I didn't come from a picture-perfect Mormon family. I felt God must have thought I was less valiant. Now I finally feel happy with myself as a woman. I feel like I have permission to love myself and be whoever I want to be! It is an amazing feeling!

You guys will be hearing a lot from me! I have so much I want to discuss!
“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson

Proud Doubter of Dubious Doctrines

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moksha
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by moksha » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:02 pm

Welcome to NOM!

BTW, any God worth believing in also returns love unconditionally.
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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FreeFallin
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:48 pm

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by FreeFallin » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:10 pm

Welcome! I look forward to hearing so much more. This is a great place to unwind all the crazy. ;)

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Corsair
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by Corsair » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:40 am

We are glad you found us. Do you have a spouse involved in your transition?

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Just This Guy
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Location: Almost Heaven

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by Just This Guy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:30 pm

Greetings and Salutations! Pull up a chair and a drink of your choice.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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slavereeno
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Location: QC, AZ

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by slavereeno » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:40 pm

Greetings, Glad you are here! Thanks for sharing your story.

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whatififly
Posts: 36
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by whatififly » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:30 pm

Corsair wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:40 am
We are glad you found us. Do you have a spouse involved in your transition?
Yes, I have kept my DH involved in this process. He's hasn't had the time to do any research for himself, but I have kept him updated on what I have found and sent him some of the most poignant information to read. Luckily for me, he's about on the same page I am. We've had some discussions where we don't agree and his biggest issues aren't the same as mine, but overall he's done.

The funny thing is that he has never been as spiritual or religious as I am. Now I am the one pushing to further distance ourselves from TSCC. He's been questioning for a bit longer but not as seriously and based on concepts that are more philosophical and less historical. A few years ago he told me that he didn't like going to church because he felt like he was sitting in an MLM meeting there. I was still TBM and was horrified by that comment. Of course, if I was honest with myself I would have agreed and now I feel awful for shutting him down like that. He's been falling away much more gradually than I have.

Our struggle is that we live in the same ward as my in laws and my FIL is the Stake Clerk. I want to remove our names from the record but we are dreading the fall out from his family. We have a good relationship with them and this would destroy it- our kids would be the casualties. I'm sure I'll get into that situation a whole lot more in another post.
“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson

Proud Doubter of Dubious Doctrines

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whatififly
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by whatififly » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:32 pm

Just This Guy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:30 pm
Greetings and Salutations! Pull up a chair and a drink of your choice.
Happily, I have found that I enjoy tea, coffee, and beer. Currently it's tea I'm sipping. :lol:
“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson

Proud Doubter of Dubious Doctrines

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alas
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by alas » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:25 pm

As I said recently to another new member:

alas wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:40 pm
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.

Blashyrkh
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:39 am

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by Blashyrkh » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 pm

Welcome. I just recently joined myself. I wish I could have my wife talk to you. She is in the same boat. Always feeling like a failure because she doesn't amount to some random standard of perfect motherhoodness. I have tried to convince her how much better I feel once I stopped caring about whether I lived up to the LDS standard. It's honestly as if a huge burden has been lifted. Congratulations.

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whatififly
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by whatififly » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:46 pm

Blashyrkh wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 pm
Welcome. I just recently joined myself. I wish I could have my wife talk to you. She is in the same boat. Always feeling like a failure because she doesn't amount to some random standard of perfect motherhoodness. I have tried to convince her how much better I feel once I stopped caring about whether I lived up to the LDS standard. It's honestly as if a huge burden has been lifted. Congratulations.
Wow, would I love to talk to your wife. I wonder how many LDS women are privately battling the feeling of failure. There are so many pressures and expectations. I constantly felt like I was drowning under a list of all I had to do and be. I once sat down and made a list of everything I was told I had to live up to in relief society. I'll have to put it on here sometime. It was so insurmountable. But now I am free to be happily imperfect :)

I was once chastised by a relief society woman for admitting that I was leaving the dishes for my husband to do because of course that is supposed to be my job. Screw gender roles. I am so relieved to know now that God isn't going to condemn me because housekeeping is not my strength. Now I can stop beating myself up and embrace the beauty of all the things I do love outside of the little LDS box.
“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson

Proud Doubter of Dubious Doctrines

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

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by alas » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:18 pm

whatififly wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:46 pm
Blashyrkh wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 pm
Welcome. I just recently joined myself. I wish I could have my wife talk to you. She is in the same boat. Always feeling like a failure because she doesn't amount to some random standard of perfect motherhoodness. I have tried to convince her how much better I feel once I stopped caring about whether I lived up to the LDS standard. It's honestly as if a huge burden has been lifted. Congratulations.
Wow, would I love to talk to your wife. I wonder how many LDS women are privately battling the feeling of failure. There are so many pressures and expectations. I constantly felt like I was drowning under a list of all I had to do and be. I once sat down and made a list of everything I was told I had to live up to in relief society. I'll have to put it on here sometime. It was so insurmountable. But now I am free to be happily imperfect :)

I was once chastised by a relief society woman for admitting that I was leaving the dishes for my husband to do because of course that is supposed to be my job. Screw gender roles. I am so relieved to know now that God isn't going to condemn me because housekeeping is not my strength. Now I can stop beating myself up and embrace the beauty of all the things I do love outside of the little LDS box.
I have also wondered how many Mormon women live with this feeling of never being good enough. I kept hearing it in the Mormon blogs, so I started paying attention because I realized it was not just me. I noticed also that many of the women felt "not good enough because of their life situation. For example, the single sisters felt "not good enough" and like they did not fit in with the other sisters. But the sisters with small children felt "not good enough" because they compared themselves with the more accomplished sisters and felt they didn't fit in to RS expectations. And the working sisters felt not good enough because they worked and felt like they did not fit in socially with the RS sisters. And the stay at home moms felt not good enough when they compared themselves to the sisters who worked AND were mothers and the working women were "somebody" out in the world. And the older sisters just felt not good enough and isolated.

A pattern was there. No matter their life situation, the women felt (1) not good enough and they blamed it on their life circumstances, and felt (2) like they did not fit with "all the other women" whose life circumstances were different. Sum it up, Mormon women all felt "not good enough" and isolated from other women.

I think the church holding up this ideal of stay at home mom who is somebody out in the world is leaving all the women feeling like they cannot live up to the standards, even when they ARE. And even when we sit in the same RS meeting, we all feel like we are too different to be accepted socially and we feel isolated.

Thoughtful
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:54 pm

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:02 pm

Welcome!

I'm finding more balanced friendships with other women out in the world-- women who read, think, are active in their communities, are funny, leaders, and very kind and helpful. As opposed to women in the church competing over who is most accomplished at basic housekeeping tasks. There are a few at church that I'm nurturing friendships with that are more genuine and less stepford.

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Linked
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by Linked » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:57 pm

Welcome to NOM! I am so glad to hear your self esteem has sky rocketed.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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græy
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Re: Just joined NOM

Post by græy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:46 pm

Welcome to NOM! I'm happy to hear that you're feeling more confident in yourself and your self-worth. The community here is great! Stick around and make it great-er!
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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GoodBoy
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:32 pm

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by GoodBoy » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:28 am

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

Cnsl1
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:27 pm

Re: Just joined NOM

Post by Cnsl1 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:33 pm

[/quote]

I have also wondered how many Mormon women live with this feeling of never being good enough. I kept hearing it in the Mormon blogs, so I started paying attention because I realized it was not just me. I noticed also that many of the women felt "not good enough because of their life situation. For example, the single sisters felt "not good enough" and like they did not fit in with the other sisters. But the sisters with small children felt "not good enough" because they compared themselves with the more accomplished sisters and felt they didn't fit in to RS expectations. And the working sisters felt not good enough because they worked and felt like they did not fit in socially with the RS sisters. And the stay at home moms felt not good enough when they compared themselves to the sisters who worked AND were mothers and the working women were "somebody" out in the world. And the older sisters just felt not good enough and isolated.

A pattern was there. No matter their life situation, the women felt (1) not good enough and they blamed it on their life circumstances, and felt (2) like they did not fit with "all the other women" whose life circumstances were different. Sum it up, Mormon women all felt "not good enough" and isolated from other women.

I think the church holding up this ideal of stay at home mom who is somebody out in the world is leaving all the women feeling like they cannot live up to the standards, even when they ARE. And even when we sit in the same RS meeting, we all feel like we are too different to be accepted socially and we feel isolated.
[/quote]

Don't forget those men who feel guilty because they're not able to earn enough with one income so that their spouses don't have to work. My wife worked while I was in school but was able to stay at home once a started my profession. I think I would have definitely felt not good enough if I wasn't able to provide enough. I would have been okay if she wanted to work (and she does now) but not if she HAD to.

I've heard other guys express feelings of guilt about their wives working, even though it's really difficult and less common n this day and age to make enough with one income to provide for a normal sized Mormon family (which is also shrinking).

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