The Letter.

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wtfluff
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The Letter.

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:44 pm

Well, it has finally happened. I received "the letter" from my still living parent that they "know" I have "become inactive" in the church.

The letter was the usual guilt-tripping and testimony-bearing. My family is the epitome of passive-aggressive ignore-the-elephant-in-the-room MORmON. It's next to impossible to have any sort of conversation with the believers that is not about LD$-Inc. My parent is in their mid 80's...


So what say ye NoMies? Should I attempt to have the most difficult conversation of mine and my parent's lives? Or should I just acknowledge my "inactivity" and say I've had to distance myself from LD$-Inc. for my own mental health reasons, and leave some ambiguous hope?



Damn I hate this sh**...



Edit: Spelling.
Last edited by wtfluff on Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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StarbucksMom
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Re: The Letter.

Post by StarbucksMom » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:01 pm

I am sorry. I like your idea of saying you distanced yourself for mental health. Something like “thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings with me. After careful consideration, I needed to distance myself from Mormonism due to my personal beliefs not aligning with their past and present practices and teachings. It was not a healthy enviromment for me and I am much happier now.”

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Linked
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Re: The Letter.

Post by Linked » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:45 pm

Tough times Fluffy, we are cheering for you.

I've had a little experience here, but the results are inconclusive so I'm not sure what advice to give here. I opened up to my parents and siblings about my disaffection unplanned on a long drive, in person. It was freeing to be open and out. We got into it a little bit on the drive, but later emails were more preachy. I have tried to respond fairly; matching their tone and amount of preachiness from my perspective. I make it a point to highlight anything they say that is manipulative or unfair so they know I won't tolerate it. It hasn't really made us closer to be open about it. But it hasn't pushed us apart either.

What would you like to get out of the exchange with your parents?
"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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wtfluff
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Re: The Letter.

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:22 pm

Linked wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:45 pm
What would you like to get out of the exchange with your parent?
<EDITED For removal of personal FLUFF.>

So, as with most people, I'd like to be able to sit down and have an honest discussion, and come away with some understanding that I'm not lazy, didn't want to sin, etc... We all know that's likely impossible.

So the reply will more than likely be just an acknowledgement that I am in fact "inactive," and it's better this way for me as mentioned. I'm thinking of offering to sit down and have an honest discussion, but I'm not sure I can state that without also saying: "Or maybe we should remain somewhat friendly, not talk about religion or politics, and just ignore the elephant like we did with (sibling who got out 30 years ago.)"

Yes I have anger issues with my upbringing. This is something that could likely kill my parent. While I don't want to hang out with them, I also don't want to kill them. It's highly likely that me simply being honest could literally "break their heart."



So maybe the reply should be:
LetterForMyParent wrote:Hi Parent, I got your letter.

Yup, I'm out; Church Sucks!!!

Love you. Looking forward to ignoring the elephant at the family reunion!


Sincerely, Fluffy Apostate
Edit: Yes, the above letter is sarcastic, but might in fact be the best way to deal... :?
Last edited by wtfluff on Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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Red Ryder
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Re: The Letter.

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:36 pm

I got “the letter” from my mother in law last year. She’s in her late 60’s. It was a four page hand written diatribe written in cursive too. She confessed that she held bad judgement towards me and realized it was unchristlike. I think it was more to clear her conscious then trying to correct mine. She also confessed that her own father was unworthy to attend her temple wedding and how bad she felt for him because he was excluded. She confessed it hurt knowing he couldn’t participate and didn’t agree. A few other nice thoughts that ended with “I know you’ll be back in the temple with us some day.”

I simply responded with “thanks for your concerns. It means a lot to me to know you care and love me.”

That was it. No need to spend unnecessary emotional energy defining my faith or lack thereof.

I’d suggest responding back with the same.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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jfro18
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Re: The Letter.

Post by jfro18 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:22 pm

I agree with Red Ryder -- maybe just a short acknowledgement that you got it, that you appreciate they care, and that you're happy.

Maybe add that you don't want to tell them the reasons you left, but if they are ever open to hearing them to let you know... that way you're leaving the ball in their court with regards to the reasons, and my limited experience talking to others says they probably will never want to go down the road.

And what is it about Mormons and letters?! My wife got one when I found all this stuff out and while I have not read it, I get the impression it was a "Stay strong and don't forget the promises you made in the temple" letter... which really bothered me but there's nothing I can do about it.

So sorry you got one - hope you find a way to respond that diffuses the situation as best as you can and creates some space of understanding for you with your family moving forward.

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moksha
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Re: The Letter.

Post by moksha » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:14 pm

Mid-eighties! I suppose it would be good to acknowledge right off the bat that you are glad your parent's religious belief is a positive thing for them. Also important for you to communicate that you are still their loving Wtfluff. The reassurance of that point is most likely what they want and need to hear. The rest is just chatter and semantics.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Arcturus
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Re: The Letter.

Post by Arcturus » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:16 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:36 pm
I simply responded with “thanks for your concerns. It means a lot to me to know you care and love me.”

That was it. No need to spend unnecessary emotional energy defining my faith or lack thereof.

I’d suggest responding back with the same.
This. Probably won't be productive to get into the details with a TBM at that age, even your parents. Good luck wtfluff.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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Hagoth
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Re: The Letter.

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:36 pm

Yeah that sucks. I agree that you should approach it in the vein of "thanks for your concern. My mental health is much better now, and I'm doing really well. The Fluff just gotta fluff."
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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wtfluff
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Re: The Letter.

Post by wtfluff » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:38 pm

I just had a chat with a friend that mentioned that saying my mental health has improved could be seen as an attack on the church.

What do you think?

I'm not sure I care. It's the truth. Can I actually be honest and tell someone in my family the honest truth once in my life?

Personally, I always come back to the primary reason for me leaving is because it just doesn't work for me. All the other historical/etc. issues with LD$-Inc. are just confirmation as to why it doesn't work...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: The Letter.

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:14 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:38 pm
I just had a chat with a friend that mentioned that saying my mental health has improved could be seen as an attack on the church.

What do you think?

I'm not sure I care. It's the truth. Can I actually be honest and tell someone in my family the honest truth once in my life?

Personally, I always come back to the primary reason for me leaving is because it just doesn't work for me. All the other historical/etc. issues with LD$-Inc. are just confirmation as to why it doesn't work...
I know mental health is a big reason; not sure if that's what I'd respond with or not. When I told my TBM mom recently, at first I thought she took it well, but she has too much time on her hands to think about it. She's churned it into a stressful mess that now Satan and his minions are having their way with me. I don't know where to take it from here because she's so emotionally driven there's no amount of logic provide to make her view any different. I guess I just need to live my life as I am, being happy and thriving outside TSCC. So I guess I would just tell them that living the LDS way was making you terribly unhappy and impacting your mental health and now you feel much better about your life without it. You can tell them you understand their concerns but that you are perfectly at peace, or at least much better off with where you have been and where you are now. IDK, really there's no easy answers here, which sucks, because in most cases honesty would be the best way to go, but because of their magic world view honesty doesn't work.

TBMs will always see us as broken and deceived and nothing we can say or do seems to change that, unless they have some ability to slide their LDS glassed down their noses a bit and can see a little bit of the view over the rims. I was emphatic and tried to be as nonjudgmental toward my NOM and NoMo friends when I was at the beginning of my crisis, but then, I didn't actually know I was beginning that crisis at the time and it was my willingness to listen and not preach that put me on that path.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Hagoth
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Re: The Letter.

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:42 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:14 pm
She's churned it into a stressful mess that now Satan and his minions are having their way with me. I don't know where to take it from here because she's so emotionally driven there's no amount of logic provide to make her view any different.
Maybe she's right! Or maybe Satan is causing the stress she's feeling. Don't you hate the way Satan is so much better at using logic than God is?

Man, I hate that the church does this to people. I would be totally ok with people believing all of the stories and devoting their life to the church if somehow the church could figure out a way to not make people devour their own for its own benefit.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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2bizE
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Re: The Letter.

Post by 2bizE » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:04 pm

Dear mother and father,
Thank you for your heart felt letter. I’m glad I have wonderful and faithful parents.
I am so happy you are checking up on me, and have kept me in your will...
~2bizE

Wonderment
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Re: The Letter.

Post by Wonderment » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:20 pm

I'm sorry that all this guilt-tripping and shaming happened to you. If your parents are in their mid-eighties, then you are probably in your forties or fifties and well past the time that you should be treated as a guilty child. It may be time to reinforce the boundaries and let them know that this kind of religious shaming is unacceptable.

In setting a boundary with my super-religious relatives, I tended to quote the 11th article of faith:
“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege... etc."
You can cite the fact that you're caring for your own mental health, or have the right to relate to heavenly parents as you understand them, or anything else that sounds right to you. Be gentle and tactful, but be firm that shaming, judging, or guilt-tripping is unacceptable.

If your parents can do nothing except talk about church, then your in-person contact with them may need to be limited - set that boundary. But maybe you can still keep contact through e-mail ( if they use a computer) or phone conversations.

In their mid-80's, parents start thinking about what happens to the children when the parents are gone. Maybe that is what triggered their letter. As a suggestion, assure them that you love them and appreciate their concern. But again, continue to set that boundary for the sake of your own health. JMO -- Wndr.

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wtfluff
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Re: The Letter.

Post by wtfluff » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:23 pm

2bizE wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:04 pm
...
I am so happy you are checking up on me, and have kept me in your will...
Wait, there's a will?

Oh yeah, it's just piles of old MORmON books, and 20-30-year-old food storage.

Yeah, I'll pass on the will. Whew! I had a moment of angst and re-consideration there. :shock:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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wtfluff
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Re: The Letter.

Post by wtfluff » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:47 pm

Wonderment wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:20 pm
I'm sorry that all this guilt-tripping and shaming happened to you. If your parents are in their mid-eighties, then you are probably in your forties or fifties and well past the time that you should be treated as a guilty child. It may be time to reinforce the boundaries and let them know that this kind of religious shaming is unacceptable.

In setting a boundary with my super-religious relatives, I tended to quote the 11th article of faith:
“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege... etc."
You can cite the fact that you're caring for your own mental health, or have the right to relate to heavenly parents as you understand them, or anything else that sounds right to you. Be gentle and tactful, but be firm that shaming, judging, or guilt-tripping is unacceptable.

If your parents can do nothing except talk about church, then your in-person contact with them may need to be limited - set that boundary. But maybe you can still keep contact through e-mail ( if they use a computer) or phone conversations.

In their mid-80's, parents start thinking about what happens to the children when the parents are gone. Maybe that is what triggered their letter. As a suggestion, assure them that you love them and appreciate their concern. But again, continue to set that boundary for the sake of your own health. JMO -- Wndr.
Yeah, there's definitely some guilt-tripping and shaming in "The Letter." Along with some "Woe is me, my grown, old-ass adult son finally learned to think for himself after he was more than half-dead."

If any more of it happens after my initial acknowledgement, I'll definitely have to set some boundaries. As mentioned, there's already not much contact with the fam. due to my hatred of MORmONism. :D I'm pretty sure we'll just go back to ignoring the elephant, but I could also be wrong.

<EDITED to remove personal FLUFF>
Last edited by wtfluff on Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: The Letter.

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:31 am


wtfluff wrote:"Woe is me, my grown, old-ass adult son finally learned to think for himself after he was more than half-dead."
ImageImage

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alas
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Re: The Letter.

Post by alas » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:25 am

I agree with Wonderment that now is a good time to set boundaries. If your parents are in their 80s it is high time someone let them know that it is inappropriate to shame and guilt your grown children. But at this point, it should be gentle. Something to the idea of, “ Mom, Dad, I love you but I am an adult and capable of making my own religious choices.” Then nothing else about church, but go on to talk something else, but keep it happy, maybe about how well you are doing at work, how well the kids are doing in school, how happy you are in your marriage, your latest wonderful vacation.

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wtfluff
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Re: The Letter.

Post by wtfluff » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:26 pm

alas wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:25 am
I agree with Wonderment that now is a good time to set boundaries...
As mentioned: I'll likely not push boundaries too much with this first reply. I truly am worried at the implications of what this could do to my ailing parent. <EDITED: More personal FLUFF removed>

The general outline of my reply so far is as follows:

<EDITED: Fluffy Dirty Laundry removed. I just clicked "Send." It Is Done...>

So there it is. It will be a bit funny watching how long I will stew over this before I click "Send." If you'd all do me a favor and not quote my outline I'd appreciate it. I'm not sure how long I want to leave all my Fluffy Flamily Fodder out there for all of Internet-Dom to read...
Last edited by wtfluff on Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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glass shelf
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Re: The Letter.

Post by glass shelf » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:31 am

Sounds like a solid plan, WTF.

When I first told my dad that I had left the church (which was very different because he was much younger than your parents), he reaffirmed that our family mattered far more to him than the church even though he was fully in at that point. I think that is a critical message for anyone to hear. I'd focus on that and not reasons for sure.

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