Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

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Linked
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Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Linked » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:05 pm

Malcolm Gladwell was recently on Conan O'Brien's podcast pushing his new book Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know. The book is about how humans are really bad at reading strangers, and has some examples of the disasters that can occur due to these misunderstandings. At about 16:45 in the podcast he touches on the death of Sandra Bland, who ended up committing suicide in her jail cell after a routine traffic stop went badly. Malcolm says that during the traffic stop "[The police officer] constructs this bizarre, paranoid fantasy that she's some kind of criminal." so he arrests her and she committed suicide.

The idea of bizarre, paranoid fantasies struck a chord with me. I find myself having bizarre, paranoid fantasies about conversations with my mormons. I imagine my parents telling me not to come over anymore until I find my faith. My parents will came up recently and I imagined them writing me out of it because of my non-belief. I imagine conversations with my brothers where they say horrible things. And then I feel righteous indignation and imagine how I will cut them out of my life if they go there. In Reuben's recent post he seems to be experiencing similar things.

The difference between what Malcolm Gladwell's point and where I am (along with others here), is that Malcolm's disasters occur because people don't know each other well enough to understand each other, and I understand my family very well and intellectually understand they are unlikely to take drastic measures to push me out of their lives. Yet I still find myself having these fantasies about them being judgmental mormons and me standing up for myself.

At some level my viewpoint and beliefs are mutually exclusive of TBMs, and I consider TBMness harmful where they consider my apostasy harmful, so it is difficult to find a stable place for our relationships.

Ramble complete.
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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Palerider » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:04 pm

I used to do this a lot when I was in my teens and early twenties. Carrying on a conversation or a conflict with someone known or even sometimes unknown.

Then through a psychology class, I learned about "projection" and how we feed our own responses into our opponent. Sometimes we can be accurate at guessing what their responses would be but many times not. But there's a part of our brain that doesn't differentiate between a real conflict and an imagined one. So we end up treating that other person AS IF we had already had the argument. We are defensive when in most respects we have no real reason to be. Projection can be a relationship killer.

So I began training my brain (small though it is) to recognize when I was projecting and to say to myself, "Hey cut that crap out!" Work on something different. Work on something more positive and helpful.

I'm trying to remember the person who said that the greatest battles we ever fight are those that we fight in our minds and hearts but that never come to pass. And yet they take a great toll on our psyche.

The real way to prepare for whatever comes our way is to be armed with the truth and the facts and have them learned so well that they are at our immediate disposal. As Covey says, when the emotions begin to run high is when we stop the conversation because any ability to persuade or even defend our position is lost. No sense in carrying on.
There is a way to "lower the heat" but it takes someone in control of their own emotions and having the patience to ask the right questions. Not all of us can do that. It's hard for me.

But still, a place to start is not to allow myself to get sucked into an imagined argument in my own brain. If you think about it, it's a dishonest argument. Because we aren't allowing the other person to respond as they would in reality. Our brain is feeding them the answers when in reality they might not be as opposed to us as we think. Or they might have different feelings than we think.

Just imagine a relative coming up to you and saying, "Hey, I had an argument with you in my mind the other day and you were really stupid and rude to me. I hate you for that..... you're an idiot."

:shock:
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by slavereeno » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm

This is an interesting observation Linked.

I do find myself doing this sort of thing. I don't know if I would call them either bizarre, or paranoid. But perhaps I should. Most of my thoughts are based on the way my TBM relative have responded to my disclosure:

"You have been deceived by Satan."
"There is no end to the slippery slope you are on."
"You have abandoned all your morals."
"What sin are you trying to cover up?"
"You are going to destroy your family."
"I have been crying every day since you told me you don't believe"
"How have I failed you?"
"I KNOW, the temple ceremony is based on ancient sacred ordinances, how can you not see that?"
"You are misinterpreting the doctrine."
"These questions have all been addressed by smarter men than you."
"Who offended you so badly that you would turn from the truth."
"Do NOT talk to any family members about this, including your children."
"If you only focus on the negative you will not be able to see the truth."
"You are too simple minded to understand the DNA evidence, it actually proves the BoM true."
"Your problem is that you are holding the church leaders to a standard that you yourself couldn't uphold."
"What is your hangup, I am sure you are just misunderstanding it."
"If what you think were really true, the church would have collapsed by now."
"Its impossible to prove or disprove anything, so why would you abandon your faith?"
"I will have brother X (former temple/stake president) come and answer all your questions"

Give or take a few words, these things have been said to my face, and there are quite a few more things have gotten to me second hand that indicate that there is a lot going on behind my back. For me this is all still fresh, I am still the only non-believer out of 3 generations of Mormons in every direction in my family. I have extended family reaching out to my children behind my back to save them from me. (This has happened at least 4 times that I am aware of) My siblings, parents and children used to ask me for advice from time to time, but that has pretty much evaporated. My daughters are being taught that the only valid man in their life is a temple-attending, priesthood-holder. So yeah, I feel threatened, harassed and completely invalidated as a father/husband/brother. I am starting to feel a little paranoid.

This has me listening to Mormon s**t all the time, as if I am preparing for battle. So, I see these fantasies as my rehearsing for the next time someone tries to "save" me. I work out the mock conversations in my head so I can address the logical fallacies and hit salient data points. I do this so that if I need to go toe-to-toe with a family member, I am well armed.

Now you have me asking myself: Is this all just my bitter disaffection working me into a bizarre, paranoid frenzy?
Last edited by slavereeno on Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Reuben
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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Reuben » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:14 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Now you have me asking myself: Is this all just my bitter disaffection working me into a bizarre, paranoid frenzy?
Maybe?

A few months ago, I was most worried about my relationships with my children. The thing is, they identify with me much more strongly than with Mormonism. On top of that, they're wired to seek my approval, and they know I accept them as they are. That's powerful stuff.

There are a few videos out there of big cats (like lions) playing tug-of-war with some burly guys. The cat always wins. In a tug-of-war against Mormonism for my children's loyalty, I'm the big cat.

Now as for my parents, siblings, in-laws, and ward members: the only time I spiral into these paranoid fantasies is when I feel like I need them to understand my faith transition. It's an important part of who I am, and they're always trying to invalidate it. In my head, when I try to push back against their bizarre and paranoid expectations, things go badly.

It's because it will never work. There's no way I can talk my way out of their wackadoodle expectations. There's no way I can negotiate with them against Mormonism's obsessive, judgmental god (i.e. Mormonism itself). Mormonism is a narcissist that makes its children arrogant on its behalf. You can't convince a narcissist to back off by telling him he's wrong about how awesome he is.

So my paranoid fantasies are probably representative of how badly things could actually go. I could make them happen if I wanted to or got upset enough. But that's probably all they'll ever be, like signs posted around a mine field. Danger - keep out.

For me, I think the trick will be to diversify my relationship portfolio. I need people who understand my faith transition, people who understand my nerdy sides, people who who get my creative sides, etc. Anything about me that's important and should be stable needs validation.

It's easier said than done, though. My trust in other people tends to build very slowly now.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by wtfluff » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:55 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Now you have me asking myself: Is this all just my bitter disaffection working me into a bizarre, paranoid frenzy?
Yeah, I'm gonna say that you wanting to come up with rational replies to all of the bizarre, paranoid questions and statements that have been lobbed at you is not bizarre or paranoid on your part.

I mean, a lot of answers to those questions could be a simple "No." But some of the others... Well why not come up with good (or sarcastic) answers?

I can honestly say that watching street epistemology videos and practicing the Socratic method / running through certain scenarios in my mind has actually helped me in a few religiously twinged / heated discussions. There haven't been a ton of those scenarios come up, but I'm not dead yet, so there's still hope. Is "visualizing" success in such a scenario in your mind "paranoid?" After being in an organization that literally told me not to think for more than 40 years, is attempting to untie the knots in my brain and learning to think "paranoid?"



I think you should start a thread slaver, so we can NOM-Crowd-Source answers to all of those questions/statements. :D (Some of them are pretty dam bizarre...)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:42 am

Relevant:

Image
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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by jfro18 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:35 am

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm
This is an interesting observation Linked.

I do find myself doing this sort of thing. I don't know if I would call them either bizarre, or paranoid. But perhaps I should. Most of my thoughts are based on the way my TBM relative have responded to my disclosure:

....

Give or take a few words, these things have been said to my face, and there are quite a few more things have gotten to me second hand that indicate that there is a lot going on behind my back.
I don't think it's paranoid to think about conversations that you've actually had and then have that wonder of "if they've said this to my face, what are they saying behind my back?"

I used to be much more paranoid because my in-laws wrote my wife a 'pep rally' letter once I was full into the deep dive, which as far as I know was basically a "your husband has been deceived, but you can't let go of the rod" type of letter. That is so manipulative, but that's what they do.

Then my sister-in-law told the entire family about a comment I made on a promoted Facebook ad for the Saints book saying I hope the "face-to-face event" would be more honest than the book was. :lol:

And they had private whatsapp groups that formed after my apostasy for the believing family members (i.e. not me or the other sis-in-law who left). I don't think it's a room to bash us in, but it being a reaction to me left me paranoid.

So when we did see her family I would kind of think through situations because I did not want to get caught in a conversation I wasn't prepared for and say something stupid, so as I would work I'd try to think of how I'd respond to things so I would keep my cool but also be ready.

Which is dumb, because the one thing I've learned is that Mormons are terrified of the evidence and the last thing they want to do is get into a conversation about it. No one ever asks me about it, because they just do not want to know, and asking me would open themselves up to having to hear it.

I've become less paranoid now because I know they're scared, even though it still leaves me bitter that they're willing to subject their kids to a fairy tale rather than actually investigate it.

The average Mormon will spend more time reading reviews on what hotel to stay at on a weekend trip than they will investigating the church they promise their time, money, clothing choices, and life to.

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Hagoth » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:05 am

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm
This has me listening to Mormon s**t all the time, as if I am preparing for battle. So, I see these fantasies as my rehearsing for the next time someone tries to "save" me. I work out the mock conversations in my head so I can address the logical fallacies and hit salient data points. I do this so that if I need to go toe-to-toe with a family member, I am well armed.
With the knowledge that if that actually happened, no matter how well prepared you are, they would find a way to shut it down or block it out and dismiss your facts and logic as devilish trickery. If you do poorly your just a faithless bozo, but if you do well you get promoted to Korihor. The better you are at responding to religious fallacy the more you play into their preconceptions. Sigh.

The sad thing about all of this is that we spend 95% of our time doing the things that have absolutely nothing to do with our specific religious beliefs: working, sleeping, eating, playing, reading, exercising, watching movies,,, Why does that other 5% count more than the 95% in the eyes of religious adherents? For some reason if you do those things without the occasional special sprinkles on top you are somehow perceived as a traitor.

And when we are dead and gone all that is left are memories of the way we treated others and how they treated us.
“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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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Hagoth » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:31 am

Here's a fascinating thing to consider. There are also believers who spend an inordinate amount of their time having bizarre fantasy conversations with apostates. I have mentioned this before but it was a great lesson for me of what not to do.

When I told my institute teacher friend about my faith change it became immediately obvious that he had been mentally practicing for the opportunity to wield his apologetic sword for a long time, and he pounced with an ugliness that would have made Dan Petersen proud. It was mostly ad-hominem attacks interspersed with piles and piles of not-that-impressive-by-themselves hebraisms and parallelisms. I was as totally unmoved by his "facts" as he was with my efforts as a "purveyor of sleaze" (his actual words). I'm sure he saw himself as a noble defender of the faith, but if I had come at him with the same amount of venom it would just have been more evidence of how far lost I am.

You can't win.
“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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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by jfro18 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:47 am

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:31 am
You can't win.
I think that sums it up as well as you can you.

The church is built upon a "heads I win, tails you lose" mentality, and until members have that mental break that opens them up to new information, there's no amount of evidence or reason that will matter.

We've all discussed how the brain works, but facts simply do not matter if someone is emotionally invested in a core belief. And that's why most people who leave have a moment that shook them loose just enough to look. (Not everyone, of course, but I'd say most)

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Hagoth » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:18 am

Now that I think about it, I probably spent as much time as a TBM mentally practicing fantasy encounters with apostates as I did after my faith transition mentally sparring with believers. I think I only had one actual conversation like that as a TBM and the response I got was, "hey, if that works for you..." In retrospect, that was an ideal diffusing response, although a bit dismissive.
“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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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Palerider » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:31 am

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:18 am
...... "hey, if that works for you..." In retrospect, that was an ideal diffusing response, although a bit dismissive.
I like it!! 8-)
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by wtfluff » Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:04 am

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:31 am
You can't win.
Sorry Tapir Rider, but this is not true. If this "game" could never be won, none of us would be here. It might be an uphill battle, but it's not zero-sum. You never know what piece of logic or reason, or what fact will lodge it'self somewhere in a believer's brain and eventually become the "chink in the armor." And yes, for some believers, the chink will not be found before they die. For some believers, it's probably better that way.

People CAN be reasoned out of beliefs they didn't reason themselves into, or again: NOM would not exist.


Edit. Heh... Here's a little serendipity for you: After typing up my little diatribe above, this popped up on "some other" website I was wasting time on:
ForcedMessage.jpg
ForcedMessage.jpg (46.32 KiB) Viewed 466 times
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by slavereeno » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:44 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:55 pm
I think you should start a thread slaver, so we can NOM-Crowd-Source answers to all of those questions/statements. :D (Some of them are pretty dam bizarre...)
jfro18 wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:35 am
Which is dumb, because the one thing I've learned is that Mormons are terrified of the evidence and the last thing they want to do is get into a conversation about it. No one ever asks me about it, because they just do not want to know, and asking me would open themselves up to having to hear it.
When I first told people about my disaffection, there was a flurry of activity, comments and questions. However, now its gone very silent. There are, interestingly, a couple of family members that have more sincere questions, but for the most part nobody seems to want to engage about it anymore.

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Wonderment » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:21 pm

For me this is all still fresh, I am still the only non-believer out of 3 generations of Mormons in every direction in my family. I have extended family reaching out to my children behind my back to save them from me. (This has happened at least 4 times that I am aware of) My siblings, parents and children used to ask me for advice from time to time, but that has pretty much evaporated. My daughters are being taught that the only valid man in their life is a temple-attending, priesthood-holder. So yeah, I feel threatened, harassed and completely invalidated as a father/husband/brother. I am starting to feel a little paranoid.
Wow. What you are going through is religious abuse and religious shaming. Of course you are going to react like anyone else who is experiencing emotional abuse -- which it is. The paranoia is part of a self-defense mechanism, as you try to prepare to shield yourself from the next attack. They need to back off immediately, as they are completely in the wrong; and they're trying to turn your children against you. This is a classic c*u*l*t* mechanism. ( I don't think we're allowed to say that word here, but that is what is happening). In this kind of mind control, you are made to be the outlier, the "other", the bad one, and they are part of the perfect in-group.

The paranoia is a natural result of you trying to protect yourself against their smear campaign. That's part and parcel of the religious abuse. I know that family counselors or psychotherapists are expensive, but in this case, in my opinion, one is needed to help support you and to help you set boundaries against this abuse. This is an example of where church members rip their saccharine masks off and show the viciousness that lies just below the surface. There is no way that you deserve to put up with this spiritual abuse. Hopefully you can get support and strategy for dealing with these abusers. Best wishes to you, and please keep us posted, from Wndr.

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Hagoth » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:32 am

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Now you have me asking myself: Is this all just my bitter disaffection working me into a bizarre, paranoid frenzy?
Like they say, you're not really paranoid if they really are out to get you. ;)

I think a degree of paranoia is validated by the fact that you know they they really are trying to undermine you with your own family, which is despicable and unacceptable. On the other hand, as difficult as it may be, it helps to try to put yourself in their shoes. That paranoia is not home-grown, it has been carefully cultivated by the organization over their entire lifetime. We can understand what it feels like, having participated in their world view at one time, but they don't have the perspective to look at it from your point of view. Group thinking creates a special place of disgust for traitors, and the church has done a very good job of creating the illusion that people who reason themselves out of the falling in line are easily labeled traitors and therefore dangerous. I have mentioned before that someone in my ward cut off communication with his son for decades over diet Coke, thinking he was serving the Lord and The Brethren by putting his loyalty to them above his own child.

They still teach the milk stripping story, for cryin' out loud!

It is a tough and sad situation. I agree that when you catch them sneaking around behind your back and planting hate seeds they need to be called out for it, maybe not in the angry way that would validate their boogeyman expectations, but in a firm and loving "hey, can we sit down and talk about this?" kind of way.

But I don't know these folks, so all I can do is wish you the best.
“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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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:41 pm

Ah yes, I have hoarded links to all sorts of source materials in expectation of all sorts of imagined debates with my believing acquaintances and authority figures only to be disappointed by silence and being ignored.

Over time my mind has focused less on that and more on hobbies that hold more interest. It's nice to start being more free from that paranoia. I think it really shows that deep down every beleiver's "Armor of God" is in reality made of paper, propped up only by mental compartmentalization and keeping ones mind away from uncomfortable facts. The exception being the arrogant apologetic hobbyists.

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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Reuben » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:42 am

Knowing firsthand how resentment over presumed future harm can build on itself, I'm a little worried. How are you this fine Sunday, Linked?
Linked wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:05 pm
The difference between what Malcolm Gladwell's point and where I am (along with others here), is that Malcolm's disasters occur because people don't know each other well enough to understand each other, and I understand my family very well and intellectually understand they are unlikely to take drastic measures to push me out of their lives. Yet I still find myself having these fantasies about them being judgmental mormons and me standing up for myself.

At some level my viewpoint and beliefs are mutually exclusive of TBMs, and I consider TBMness harmful where they consider my apostasy harmful, so it is difficult to find a stable place for our relationships.
I sometimes wonder whether most of that instability comes down to fear of rejection - on both sides. The first thing my wife asked when I confessed my unbelief was whether I was going to leave her.
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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Linked » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:54 pm

Reuben wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:42 am
Knowing firsthand how resentment over presumed future harm can build on itself, I'm a little worried. How are you this fine Sunday, Linked?
Linked wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:05 pm
The difference between what Malcolm Gladwell's point and where I am (along with others here), is that Malcolm's disasters occur because people don't know each other well enough to understand each other, and I understand my family very well and intellectually understand they are unlikely to take drastic measures to push me out of their lives. Yet I still find myself having these fantasies about them being judgmental mormons and me standing up for myself.

At some level my viewpoint and beliefs are mutually exclusive of TBMs, and I consider TBMness harmful where they consider my apostasy harmful, so it is difficult to find a stable place for our relationships.
I sometimes wonder whether most of that instability comes down to fear of rejection - on both sides. The first thing my wife asked when I confessed my unbelief was whether I was going to leave her.
Thanks for your concern Reuben. Things are fine, none of these feelings are new, I just had a new term to express them from that podcast. I'm thinking 2020 is the year I get into therapy just for me and work on this crap. Maybe with some work I can get past "fine".

That's interesting about what your wife said. One of my first questions to my wife after she found out about my unbelief was "Do you want me to leave?" Her long pause and unsure response did not inspire confidence in my standing with her.

I think that along with the fear of rejection by our TBMs is a recurring desire to reject them as we build a new worldview rejecting our old beliefs. It is difficult to build on what we have in common when something we both feel strongly about is at odds. And it's not just feeling strongly; it's life and death important. But then it is also not really important at all.
"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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Re: Bizarre, Paranoid Fantasies

Post by Linked » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:59 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:53 pm
This is an interesting observation Linked.

I do find myself doing this sort of thing. I don't know if I would call them either bizarre, or paranoid. But perhaps I should. Most of my thoughts are based on the way my TBM relative have responded to my disclosure:

"You have been deceived by Satan."
"There is no end to the slippery slope you are on."
"You have abandoned all your morals."
"What sin are you trying to cover up?"
"You are going to destroy your family."
"I have been crying every day since you told me you don't believe"
"How have I failed you?"
"I KNOW, the temple ceremony is based on ancient sacred ordinances, how can you not see that?"
"You are misinterpreting the doctrine."
"These questions have all been addressed by smarter men than you."
"Who offended you so badly that you would turn from the truth."
"Do NOT talk to any family members about this, including your children."
"If you only focus on the negative you will not be able to see the truth."
"You are too simple minded to understand the DNA evidence, it actually proves the BoM true."
"Your problem is that you are holding the church leaders to a standard that you yourself couldn't uphold."
"What is your hangup, I am sure you are just misunderstanding it."
"If what you think were really true, the church would have collapsed by now."
"Its impossible to prove or disprove anything, so why would you abandon your faith?"
"I will have brother X (former temple/stake president) come and answer all your questions"

Give or take a few words, these things have been said to my face, and there are quite a few more things have gotten to me second hand that indicate that there is a lot going on behind my back. For me this is all still fresh, I am still the only non-believer out of 3 generations of Mormons in every direction in my family. I have extended family reaching out to my children behind my back to save them from me. (This has happened at least 4 times that I am aware of) My siblings, parents and children used to ask me for advice from time to time, but that has pretty much evaporated. My daughters are being taught that the only valid man in their life is a temple-attending, priesthood-holder. So yeah, I feel threatened, harassed and completely invalidated as a father/husband/brother. I am starting to feel a little paranoid.

This has me listening to Mormon s**t all the time, as if I am preparing for battle. So, I see these fantasies as my rehearsing for the next time someone tries to "save" me. I work out the mock conversations in my head so I can address the logical fallacies and hit salient data points. I do this so that if I need to go toe-to-toe with a family member, I am well armed.

Now you have me asking myself: Is this all just my bitter disaffection working me into a bizarre, paranoid frenzy?
Hey Slavereeno, sorry if my post made you feel gaslit because I called your reality a bizarre, paranoid fantasy. I didn't mean to do that; in my head I covered the idea that in our situation those fantasies are not far from reality. Like when my dad told me I must have something weighing on me to have had a dream about my mom chasing me down a hall, beating down a door, and screaming at me for changing beliefs.

It would just be nice to be able to let the paranoia go, even though those events are quite likely to happen. It would be nice to be able to stop caring and move on.

Hang in there through all this, and hopefully there is a happy journey for all of us.
"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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