Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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Give It Time
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Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:26 pm

As you read this, these aren't my full feelings on this topic. I may share some of my hard won through experience jaded views further down, but this initial post I am choosing to keep positive.

I recently opened up to my bishop about how my former bishop having mishandled my situation and how that had impacted our family. We had gone from a fully engaged, fully active family to one that barely attends, at all. Granted, I didn't believe at that time and I think that bishop caught wind of that, hence his panic, but I was still willing to be fully engaged in the ward.

When I went in to talk to my current bishop, he basically let me scold him for forty-five minutes. He apologized for the previous administration. He took down notes of my story to follow up in case he needed to report. When I told him a couple of my stories, he was empathetic. It was really just an ordinary visit, but also kind of amazing.

A few days later, I was out to lunch with my department. I sat there in the restaurant enjoying the conviviality. As I sat there, I felt my mind relax, some sunshine in my mind. I felt some knots in my psyche loosen and some dust and cobwebs blow away. I felt content. Genuinely content. I hadn't felt that way in years, decades. It caught me pleasantly by surprise. I realized the reason I was letting go was because of the empathy the bishop had expressed.

In contrast, I recently shared an experience with my VT. I told her about a moment I realized I wasn't so innocent about abuse, myself, and I had decided to hold my feet to the fire on that issue. Her response? That we need to forgive those who've hurt us. ?!?!?!? Truthfully, I think she just says that to shut me up. However, if she asks me how some gospel principle applies in my life, I give her a very vague idea of why that gospel principle has not been a blessing in my life. What am I supposed to do? She asks the question, I'm sorry my life experiences aren't faith affirming for her. Enough of these exchanges and I think it's damaging her testimony. I don't even get specific. She tells me to forgive. I could elaborate with how frustrating I find these conversations, but you get the idea. I'm sure you've had your own version.

Anyway, after our most recent exchange, I was spiraling for a few days. Working not to spiral, but still spinning. The contrast between the empathetic response from my bishop and the judgemental one from my VT was stunning. I realized if I want to heal, I need a new VT.

I've given my ward a little fair warning that I'm going to be sharing stories. They seem to be afraid. That's logical. If you'd lived my life you'd see that's logical. However, I've decided to give this church, or at least this local administration, a chance. The church should be a tool available for me to utilize for my healing. Heavenly Father would want this.

If this is the Lord's church, it should be able to take my faith destroying experiences and eat them for breakfast. I'm going to approach this in that way. I will be considerate and kind. I will choose the quotes and thoughts to comment on that are least triggering and, therefore, the least offensive response. This is the church that helped Elizabeth Smart heal. If this church and its members can handle that situation with a modicum of competence then it can handle my situation and many others, as well.

Wish me luck.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:46 am

Hey GiveItTime.....loved the post. It brought up some things for me.

As my own faith has been deconstructed and is going through a whole rebuilding (and I think faith IS a valuable attributed in people), I've had to disassociate and unravel aspects. Let me list a few:
  1. I've had to set a foundation of 3 optional choices about belief: its no longer "true" or "false"; now a third option of "i don't know" is in the middle, and is by far the biggest option there is. WOW,..how many things have moved into that middle place astonishes me!
  2. I've had to disassociate the idea of a Higher Power and God as I was originally taught. Both are now more in the middle place from #1 than anything else. But, my options of what constitute a Higher Power has grown significantly more important as opposed to the idea of "God".
  3. My ideas of a Higher Power and the "Church" have needed to be completely untangled. My "Higher Power" is mine, not the Church's, and I get to decide. In fact, not only do I get to decide--I HAVE NO CHOICE....I Must decide IF a decision is required at all.
  4. Principles have become foundational, and those I have decided upon. For example, I am 100% ... "I KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt!" (I'm smiling because for the first time in my life, this actually really does apply) that Love and Compassion are principles that for me are creative, calming, strengthening, enabling, ennobling, and protective. Those are core values, and the ONLY core values I want to embrace as who I want to be. In fact, they are the only core values I CAN embrace. All others, if they are positive in that they build rather than tare down, flow from those.
And here is the biggest one: at this point in my life, it doesn't matter as much if there is a "God" or even "Higher Power". That use to freak the living sh!t outta me!...I mean rattled me to the core, because it meant there was no purpose to life!...(How frightening that was!). Now, because I have and continue to make a shift to inner control, it doesn't matter. Why?...because those things that give meaning to life...love and compassion...I have those qualities inside. I KNOW I have those. I value those, I hold them dear, I nurture them. They are that which I try to mold and build my life around. So, I know those things exist BECAUSE I HAVE THEM IN ME. And THAT is my purpose in life. Every time I reach out and love someone, try to build and be kind to someone, I have exercised the purpose of life for me.

I can't tell you how painful this process has been...GAWD IT HURTS BAD!....nor can I express how much relief I have found now that I have landed on a place that for me is like air in my lungs and blood in my body. It is foundational. AND,...it is sure...for me. Its mine. I don't need anyone or anything outside in this area. I HAVE purpose. And, that purpose means something positive to those who can receive.

This is a long response GiveItTime. But,...I want to know, flat out, what is your transition. Can you take some time and lay it out?...

You have guts--i've read your posts. I wanna know more. Tell me what the core is inside you. Please?

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Give It Time
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:29 am

Rob4Hope wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:46 am
Hey GiveItTime.....loved the post. It brought up some things for me.

As my own faith has been deconstructed and is going through a whole rebuilding (and I think faith IS a valuable attributed in people), I've had to disassociate and unravel aspects. Let me list a few:
  1. I've had to set a foundation of 3 optional choices about belief: its no longer "true" or "false"; now a third option of "i don't know" is in the middle, and is by far the biggest option there is. WOW,..how many things have moved into that middle place astonishes me!
  2. I've had to disassociate the idea of a Higher Power and God as I was originally taught. Both are now more in the middle place from #1 than anything else. But, my options of what constitute a Higher Power has grown significantly more important as opposed to the idea of "God".
  3. My ideas of a Higher Power and the "Church" have needed to be completely untangled. My "Higher Power" is mine, not the Church's, and I get to decide. In fact, not only do I get to decide--I HAVE NO CHOICE....I Must decide IF a decision is required at all.
  4. Principles have become foundational, and those I have decided upon. For example, I am 100% ... "I KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt!" (I'm smiling because for the first time in my life, this actually really does apply) that Love and Compassion are principles that for me are creative, calming, strengthening, enabling, ennobling, and protective. Those are core values, and the ONLY core values I want to embrace as who I want to be. In fact, they are the only core values I CAN embrace. All others, if they are positive in that they build rather than tare down, flow from those.
And here is the biggest one: at this point in my life, it doesn't matter as much if there is a "God" or even "Higher Power". That use to freak the living sh!t outta me!...I mean rattled me to the core, because it meant there was no purpose to life!...(How frightening that was!). Now, because I have and continue to make a shift to inner control, it doesn't matter. Why?...because those things that give meaning to life...love and compassion...I have those qualities inside. I KNOW I have those. I value those, I hold them dear, I nurture them. They are that which I try to mold and build my life around. So, I know those things exist BECAUSE I HAVE THEM IN ME. And THAT is my purpose in life. Every time I reach out and love someone, try to build and be kind to someone, I have exercised the purpose of life for me.

I can't tell you how painful this process has been...GAWD IT HURTS BAD!....nor can I express how much relief I have found now that I have landed on a place that for me is like air in my lungs and blood in my body. It is foundational. AND,...it is sure...for me. Its mine. I don't need anyone or anything outside in this area. I HAVE purpose. And, that purpose means something positive to those who can receive.

This is a long response GiveItTime. But,...I want to know, flat out, what is your transition. Can you take some time and lay it out?...

You have guts--i've read your posts. I wanna know more. Tell me what the core is inside you. Please?
Mine will take time to lay out, so I need to do it in pieces. However, I really loved your post. Deconstructing and reconstructing your core values and belief system does hurt gawdawfully bad and that's something I wish members understood.

Part I

I grew up in SLC in a stake with a high percentage of GAs. My father was a convert. He was also a conversion success story. He grew up poor white trash and he liked how the members were happy and successful and lived good lives. Fact of the matter is, even though I'm pretty sure he lost his testimony with the lifting of the priesthood ban, he never lost his testimony of how membership in the church turned his life around, and for the better, and I agree with him.

My father was an extremely patriarchal man. Men of the greatest generation usually were. My mother was a typical patriarchal matron. An exemplar of selfless service, a warm presence in the home, a gracious hostess. My father was abusive, mostly verbal and emotional. He was more physical in the early days of my parents marriage, but my mother put her foot down. I never saw him really get physically riled up, though I knew he could, but I was the youngest. He was very like Mufasa in Lion King. Although, he could be a benevolent ruler, you just knew not to mess with him and you knew what triggered him and my mother, my siblings and I became experts at clearing any environment or situation of any possible triggers. Having said all of that, every last one of us would have admitted--my parents, included--that my father was abusive. But aren't we all? I mean we've all turned out okay.

My mother could be as manipulative as any excellent Mormon woman. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck and the neck turns the head. My mother, like all of her contemporaries, taught me that when a person of the male gender mistreats me, it's because he likes me. They taught me that a woman earns her rape by the way she dresses. My mother and her friends used to sit and talk in hushed tones about our neighbors and how the husband was brutal to his wife and kids and the bishop just let it happen. Come to think of it, some of those conversations were when my father would have been in the bishopric. I'm liked that bishop. Crap. I liked all my bishop, growing up. Crap upon crap upon crap. Oh well.

When I was growing up, the second wave of feminism started and, yes, it hit my ward. Friendly battles of the sexes over who could put the most chairs away, paddle canoes, races, etc. However, there were also the discussions-turned-heated-arguments with our young men who were just learning about the priesthood. Young women calling out the young men for unrighteous dominion. It could get quite heated until one of the boys would say, "I have the priesthood, so what I say, goes". Foiled, again. Foiled, always. I remember two of my brothers telling me that if they ever saw a woman passed out at a party, they would have sex with her, because she was asking for it. I remember hearing a few young men in my ward saying the same thing. I remember some of the boys in my high school saying it. I remember the young men at the Y saying it. Even though the atmosphere would get uncomfortable, I never heard anyone challenge this statement. I grew up, literally, in a rape culture. I figured this was just the way guys were. I will reference that, later.

I was also taught that I was a daughter of Heavenly Parents who loved me. My life has a divine purpose, that I am valuable in the sight of the Lord. I was taught that the church teaches correct principles and lets the members govern themselves.

That's the start.

Yard work awaits.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Give It Time
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:55 pm

Too hot for yardwork until evening.

Part 2

My ex and I just hit it off, right away. However, there were warning signs. Small ones that I didn't think were bad and I wrote off because I'm not perfect. He would criticize others. Not a little. It was near constant. He did speak well of some people he'd known on his mission, but the people he saw in everyday life. Critical. Constantly and sometimes harshly so. A lot of it was the "bless their heart" type. He never said that, but it was if only he wasn't such an idiot (bless his heart), his life would be better. He would also neg me. That was before we had the term, but he would cut me down in ways that varied in playfulness. I think he was seeing what the traffic would allow, actually.

Then, there were more troubling things. After our first date, he was around constantly. At first it appeared sweet. He showed up unexpectedly to fix my broken tail light. However, we'd only known each other a week and, come to think of it, I don't think I'd driven knowingly in his presence. I didn't necessarily want him fixing that taillight, but it was sweet. So...

As time went on, more troubling things would emerge. I told him I needed some down time and time with female friends. I suggested he get a hobby. He took up shooting. He showed me some of his human head silhouette targets. He was a good shot. After we were married, he admitted he was thinking of me when he shot those targets. He admitted to having been in a physical altercation on his mission. He didn't really claim responsibility for this. I had never heard him claim responsibility for anything. He claimed half responsibility for the altercation, so I considered it progress. Back when we were dating, society knew these things didn't necessarily say complimentary things about a person, but we didn't know they indicated an abuser. Then, he made the statement that if he ever came across a woman who was passed out at a party, he'd have sex with her. This didn't throw me, at all. As I said, I'd heard many males say it. I figured it was just a guy point of view and my ex's saying it was proof he was a guy.

I will say, I wasn't perfect, myself, so I didn't judge him. He knew how to play the sympathy card. He's had such a rough life, if only someone believed in him...Any and all misgivings I wrote off because he was a member of the church. Any tendencies to follow in his (atheist) abusive father's footsteps would be burned out and washed clean by his holding the priesthood and a temple recommend.

For historical context: the two incidents that made domestic violence a part of the national conversation were the O. J. Simpson case and the Lorena Bobbitt case (he was physically abusive toward her and she cut off his penis). Both of those happened shortly after we were married. Marital rape was made a crime shortly after we were married. Around the time we were married, I remember hearing the first over-the-pulpit statements about the church not tolerating abuse in any form. I remember being concerned he might become abusive like his father. I looked for information on the topic, but could find none. The only thing commonly known was that if they had an abusive parent, chances were good, they'd be abusive too, but choice was always a factor. I was asked if he'd ever abused (hit) me. I said no. That's all most people knew, at the time. I married him.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:00 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:29 am
When I was growing up, the second wave of feminism started and, yes, it hit my ward. Friendly battles of the sexes over who could put the most chairs away, paddle canoes, races, etc. However, there were also the discussions-turned-heated-arguments with our young men who were just learning about the priesthood. Young women calling out the young men for unrighteous dominion. It could get quite heated until one of the boys would say, "I have the priesthood, so what I say, goes". Foiled, again. Foiled, always. I remember two of my brothers telling me that if they ever saw a woman passed out at a party, they would have sex with her, because she was asking for it. I remember hearing a few young men in my ward saying the same thing. I remember some of the boys in my high school saying it. I remember the young men at the Y saying it. Even though the atmosphere would get uncomfortable, I never heard anyone challenge this statement. I grew up, literally, in a rape culture. I figured this was just the way guys were. I will reference that, later.


Yard work awaits.
HOLY FREAKING CRAP!!!!

The disparity of our experiences are polar-opposite. I was taught through hushed tones and everything else that all women hate sex, that "real men" deny themselves, and those men who can't simply go without sex (FOREVER) are not being true disciples of Christ. I got the polar opposite of your upbringing. In fact, I was taught somehow that sex was for procreation ONLY.

How amazing the disparity. My upbringing jaded me, and created anger and hate. I've had to grapple with that, accept that its there and that it had a source in deep soul wounds from teachings and cultural LDS underpinnings....and as I've accepted it, I've slowly been able to make peace. That is the hardest peace to make IMHO...the kind that requires acceptance that you have soul scars.

I can't even imagine what it must be like for those who have subtle or even flagrant abuse in their lives. It gives me shudders just to consider it!

Anyway GiveItTime...I'm picking up what your laying down. As you can, I look forward to part 2.

FLASH...you just did part 2!!!

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:13 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Too hot for yardwork until evening.

Part 2

My ex and I just hit it off, right away. However, there were warning signs. Small ones that I didn't think were bad and I wrote off because I'm not perfect. He would criticize others. Not a little. It was near constant. He did speak well of some people he'd known on his mission, but the people he saw in everyday life. Critical. Constantly and sometimes harshly so. A lot of it was the "bless their heart" type. He never said that, but it was if only he wasn't such an idiot (bless his heart), his life would be better. He would also neg me. That was before we had the term, but he would cut me down in ways that varied in playfulness. I think he was seeing what the traffic would allow, actually.

Then, there were more troubling things. After our first date, he was around constantly. At first it appeared sweet. He showed up unexpectedly to fix my broken tail light. However, we'd only known each other a week and, come to think of it, I don't think I'd driven knowingly in his presence. I didn't necessarily want him fixing that taillight, but it was sweet. So...

As time went on, more troubling things would emerge. I told him I needed some down time and time with female friends. I suggested he get a hobby. He took up shooting. He showed me some of his human head silhouette targets. He was a good shot. After we were married, he admitted he was thinking of me when he shot those targets. He admitted to having been in a physical altercation on his mission. He didn't really claim responsibility for this. I had never heard him claim responsibility for anything. He claimed half responsibility for the altercation, so I considered it progress. Back when we were dating, society knew these things didn't necessarily say complimentary things about a person, but we didn't know they indicated an abuser. Then, he made the statement that if he ever came across a woman who was passed out at a party, he'd have sex with her. This didn't throw me, at all. As I said, I'd heard many males say it. I figured it was just a guy point of view and my ex's saying it was proof he was a guy.

I will say, I wasn't perfect, myself, so I didn't judge him. He knew how to play the sympathy card. He's had such a rough life, if only someone believed in him...Any and all misgivings I wrote off because he was a member of the church. Any tendencies to follow in his (atheist) abusive father's footsteps would be burned out and washed clean by his holding the priesthood and a temple recommend.

For historical context: the two incidents that made domestic violence a part of the national conversation were the O. J. Simpson case and the Lorena Bobbitt case (he was physically abusive toward her and she cut off his penis). Both of those happened shortly after we were married. Marital rape was made a crime shortly after we were married. Around the time we were married, I remember hearing the first over-the-pulpit statements about the church not tolerating abuse in any form. I remember being concerned he might become abusive like his father. I looked for information on the topic, but could find none. The only thing commonly known was that if they had an abusive parent, chances were good, they'd be abusive too, but choice was always a factor. I was asked if he'd ever abused (hit) me. I said no. That's all most people knew, at the time. I married him.
OK...so one of the things that jumps off the page at me is the lack of accountability you mentioned here. When I was a young child, I recall seeing people in my family who never said they were sorry. EVER. I use to marvel at that, because I noticed something in my family as well (and I was the youngest): I noticed that there was a kindof culture that revolved around certain people--don't do or say certain things because if you did, it would trigger violent outbursts. As a young child I knew this was dysfunctional, but I didn't have the ability to articulate it, let alone understand. I use to wonder if there was something I did that caused this to happen. Was I at fault? There were times I felt I was, but I also made up my mind I didn't want to be like those in my family who were like that--though I didn't know how I wanted to be either.

I've since learned a NAME for this type of life. Its called: "Being Shame Based". Someone who struggles with that CAN'T say they are sorry. They CAN'T own they made a mistake. They CAN'T be wrong.

OH, how I've seen that, and how I am sensitive of that.

As I recall GiveItTime, in another thread, I came across rather harsh as I responded to one of your posts--and for some reason it reminded me of one of those soul scars inside. And, I also remember saying...WOW,...I'm sorry for the harshness of this response. If I've hurt you or lashed out,...I don't mean to do that. I'm sorry.

Why would I say that?....BECAUSE of what I mentioned above. I really don't want to be like that with those I've seen.

But the point of this response is how prevalent that type of "shame based" crap life is out there. LDS culture actually fosters it--you have GAs who don't say they are sorry; Oaks sais the LDS church will never issue apologies or say its sorry; you have the PH crap you described above.

I have sibling who married into a GA family. The father in that family was a VERY high up GA (and I will not divulge who that is). What surprises me is I was told by that inlaw recently that the father never said he was sorry. That person "never heard him say he was sorry; but once he said he could have handled it differently; and that was all I ever heard, ever." That is close to a direct quote.

GIT,...you hare uncovering and describing the tip of the iceberg IMHO about a massive blind spot that exists out there....SHAME BASED. People who judge their worth by their success, and lack empathy and the ability to "cry with those who cry". Its amazing to me...

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Give It Time
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:32 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:00 pm
Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:29 am
When I was growing up, the second wave of feminism started and, yes, it hit my ward. Friendly battles of the sexes over who could put the most chairs away, paddle canoes, races, etc. However, there were also the discussions-turned-heated-arguments with our young men who were just learning about the priesthood. Young women calling out the young men for unrighteous dominion. It could get quite heated until one of the boys would say, "I have the priesthood, so what I say, goes". Foiled, again. Foiled, always. I remember two of my brothers telling me that if they ever saw a woman passed out at a party, they would have sex with her, because she was asking for it. I remember hearing a few young men in my ward saying the same thing. I remember some of the boys in my high school saying it. I remember the young men at the Y saying it. Even though the atmosphere would get uncomfortable, I never heard anyone challenge this statement. I grew up, literally, in a rape culture. I figured this was just the way guys were. I will reference that, later.


Yard work awaits.
HOLY FREAKING CRAP!!!!

The disparity of our experiences are polar-opposite. I was taught through hushed tones and everything else that all women hate sex, that "real men" deny themselves, and those men who can't simply go without sex (FOREVER) are not being true disciples of Christ. I got the polar opposite of your upbringing. In fact, I was taught somehow that sex was for procreation ONLY.

How amazing the disparity. My upbringing jaded me, and created anger and hate. I've had to grapple with that, accept that its there and that it had a source in deep soul wounds from teachings and cultural LDS underpinnings....and as I've accepted it, I've slowly been able to make peace. That is the hardest peace to make IMHO...the kind that requires acceptance that you have soul scars.

I can't even imagine what it must be like for those who have subtle or even flagrant abuse in their lives. It gives me shudders just to consider it!

Anyway GiveItTime...I'm picking up what your laying down. As you can, I look forward to part 2.

FLASH...you just did part 2!!!
Thank you for this, R4H. The first men I came across who were shocked that men would have the attitude I would describe were the men on NOM. The bishop is the first man in real life I've told that to. He looked very disgruntled and angry that there are men with that attitude. Opening up and sharing in NOM had helped me realize there are men, men who are my approximate age, who are disgusted by that view. It was healing to see a real, live human male express that disgust at that attitude.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Give It Time
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:10 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:13 pm
Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Too hot for yardwork until evening.

Part 2

My ex and I just hit it off, right away. However, there were warning signs. Small ones that I didn't think were bad and I wrote off because I'm not perfect. He would criticize others. Not a little. It was near constant. He did speak well of some people he'd known on his mission, but the people he saw in everyday life. Critical. Constantly and sometimes harshly so. A lot of it was the "bless their heart" type. He never said that, but it was if only he wasn't such an idiot (bless his heart), his life would be better. He would also neg me. That was before we had the term, but he would cut me down in ways that varied in playfulness. I think he was seeing what the traffic would allow, actually.

Then, there were more troubling things. After our first date, he was around constantly. At first it appeared sweet. He showed up unexpectedly to fix my broken tail light. However, we'd only known each other a week and, come to think of it, I don't think I'd driven knowingly in his presence. I didn't necessarily want him fixing that taillight, but it was sweet. So...

As time went on, more troubling things would emerge. I told him I needed some down time and time with female friends. I suggested he get a hobby. He took up shooting. He showed me some of his human head silhouette targets. He was a good shot. After we were married, he admitted he was thinking of me when he shot those targets. He admitted to having been in a physical altercation on his mission. He didn't really claim responsibility for this. I had never heard him claim responsibility for anything. He claimed half responsibility for the altercation, so I considered it progress. Back when we were dating, society knew these things didn't necessarily say complimentary things about a person, but we didn't know they indicated an abuser. Then, he made the statement that if he ever came across a woman who was passed out at a party, he'd have sex with her. This didn't throw me, at all. As I said, I'd heard many males say it. I figured it was just a guy point of view and my ex's saying it was proof he was a guy.

I will say, I wasn't perfect, myself, so I didn't judge him. He knew how to play the sympathy card. He's had such a rough life, if only someone believed in him...Any and all misgivings I wrote off because he was a member of the church. Any tendencies to follow in his (atheist) abusive father's footsteps would be burned out and washed clean by his holding the priesthood and a temple recommend.

For historical context: the two incidents that made domestic violence a part of the national conversation were the O. J. Simpson case and the Lorena Bobbitt case (he was physically abusive toward her and she cut off his penis). Both of those happened shortly after we were married. Marital rape was made a crime shortly after we were married. Around the time we were married, I remember hearing the first over-the-pulpit statements about the church not tolerating abuse in any form. I remember being concerned he might become abusive like his father. I looked for information on the topic, but could find none. The only thing commonly known was that if they had an abusive parent, chances were good, they'd be abusive too, but choice was always a factor. I was asked if he'd ever abused (hit) me. I said no. That's all most people knew, at the time. I married him.
OK...so one of the things that jumps off the page at me is the lack of accountability you mentioned here. When I was a young child, I recall seeing people in my family who never said they were sorry. EVER. I use to marvel at that, because I noticed something in my family as well (and I was the youngest): I noticed that there was a kindof culture that revolved around certain people--don't do or say certain things because if you did, it would trigger violent outbursts. As a young child I knew this was dysfunctional, but I didn't have the ability to articulate it, let alone understand. I use to wonder if there was something I did that caused this to happen. Was I at fault? There were times I felt I was, but I also made up my mind I didn't want to be like those in my family who were like that--though I didn't know how I wanted to be either.

I've since learned a NAME for this type of life. Its called: "Being Shame Based". Someone who struggles with that CAN'T say they are sorry. They CAN'T own they made a mistake. They CAN'T be wrong.

OH, how I've seen that, and how I am sensitive of that.

As I recall GiveItTime, in another thread, I came across rather harsh as I responded to one of your posts--and for some reason it reminded me of one of those soul scars inside. And, I also remember saying...WOW,...I'm sorry for the harshness of this response. If I've hurt you or lashed out,...I don't mean to do that. I'm sorry.

Why would I say that?....BECAUSE of what I mentioned above. I really don't want to be like that with those I've seen.

But the point of this response is how prevalent that type of "shame based" crap life is out there. LDS culture actually fosters it--you have GAs who don't say they are sorry; Oaks sais the LDS church will never issue apologies or say its sorry; you have the PH crap you described above.

I have sibling who married into a GA family. The father in that family was a VERY high up GA (and I will not divulge who that is). What surprises me is I was told by that inlaw recently that the father never said he was sorry. That person "never heard him say he was sorry; but once he said he could have handled it differently; and that was all I ever heard, ever." That is close to a direct quote.

GIT,...you hare uncovering and describing the tip of the iceberg IMHO about a massive blind spot that exists out there....SHAME BASED. People who judge their worth by their success, and lack empathy and the ability to "cry with those who cry". Its amazing to me...
I wasn't really hurt. I tried to write a response. I tried three lengthy drafts and I could just tell it would be awhile. Then, I did have an actual "fire" come up at home I had to deal with. I just didn't have time to respond. By the time I could, the discussion had moved on.

So, you're good. I've been concerned I hurt you and, if I did, I want to apologize to you for that. I was a little insensitive in how I wrote that post that set you off. I felt badly, because I know what it's like to get triggered.

Also, during that time, my ex had made a situation apparent that the wisest way for me to handle it was directly and without any behavior that transmitted shame. However, I'm a private person and being so open isn't comfortable for me. In addition, I was letting the present administration know how the previous administration had bungled the job. Still, a more daring move than I'd like, but they've been real sports about it (with the exception of the VT who I will now put under past administration). Still, when I talk to people, I unintentionally snap at them. I do feel badly. I realize and tell them that I am now being made aware of the fact that I have emotional scar tissue. I thought it interesting you'd use the same analogy.

I do believe the culture is very shaming and, unfortunately, I think it's a part of religious culture. Like my VT is very shaming, but I figure she thinks her motives are beneficent so I should give it a pass and do what she wants. My ex is very shaming and that is how almost all of our interactions go, now that our children are emancipated and the gloves can come off.

Thing is, I've never been scared of his opinion. I haven't appreciated his temper and treatment of us. I've wanted to please him, because I was his wife, but sometimes I thought he had rocks in his head,c so I would cooperate out of trying to avoid abuse, or a sense of duty, or a sense of love and unity. Usually I'd cooperate for all three reasons, but my sense of self was not tied to his opinion if me. I still considered myself of worth. However, when the person you love, your primary relationship, the main contact you have with the outside world is constantly cutting you, it does get wearing. It does tie the psyche in knots. When you're in that person's presence, you do need to be on your guard to protect against assaults. Constantly.

I do believe he got this from his father, but also church. He saw it as an effective motivational tool. He was always talking about Godly sorrow. He was using that term from the earliest days of our marriage. In kept waiting for that Godly sorrow he was fond of invoking to kick in so he would see he was abusive and start being more loving. It finally occurred to me, at the end of our marriage, he'd been waiting for the Godly sorrow to kick in with me so he could have absolute control over me.

It's interesting the perspective that distance has given. My biggest fear has been that he would have unfettered access to our children. Apparently, he thinks my biggest fear has been his holding a poor opinion of me, because now, he writes to me and tries to find some new way to shame me. I'm all, whatever, dude, I've changed my principal email account, but if it floats your boat, I guess we all need a hobby.

So much of it, I think is we're programmed to want to please the authority figures in our lives, we want to please our friends. Part of that pleasing is giving in to shaming. That is exactly the wrong thing to do.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:31 pm

Part 3

So, yes. He was abusive. Yes, he did rape. Now here's the tricky thing. There's just what's generally inconsiderate, there's what's intentionally jerky and selfish, there's what's immoral and there's what's illegal. My ex was, the vast majority of the time, the first three. That so maddeningly egregious behavior that was bad enough for the recipient of that treatment to be outraged, but not bad enough to bring the bishop or call the police or draw up divorce papers. He knew just where the line was and go up to it and put a toe right on top of it and lean over. All the while claiming this was for my own good.

By contrast my father was just degrading with an occasional dose of rage. My ex was constant. All the time. Every interaction was like a dog poop brownie. Lot of good ingredients with that tiny bit of poop thrown in there. I tried concentrating on the good. Problem with the bad I was ignoring, it can make one sick.

Yet, with all this, I let it pass with "he means well". He's imperfect. He was taught by poor example, but he means well and the gospel and the priesthood. He means well. One day, my ex very fairly complained about how my father had treated him. I confirmed that it was crappy, but I always reminded myself my father meant well.

During these years, my mother died. I was devastated. Oddly, my father was not. He was too merry of a widower.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:52 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:31 pm
Part 3

So, yes. He was abusive. Yes, he did rape. Now here's the tricky thing. There's just what's generally inconsiderate, there's what's intentionally jerky and selfish, there's what's immoral and there's what's illegal. My ex was, the vast majority of the time, the first three. That so maddeningly egregious behavior that was bad enough for the recipient of that treatment to be outraged, but not bad enough to bring the bishop or call the police or draw up divorce papers. He knew just where the line was and go up to it and put a toe right on top of it and lean over. All the while claiming this was for my own good.

By contrast my father was just degrading with an occasional dose of rage. My ex was constant. All the time. Every interaction was like a dog poop brownie. Lot of good ingredients with that tiny bit of poop thrown in there. I tried concentrating on the good. Problem with the bad I was ignoring, it can make one sick.

Yet, with all this, I let it pass with "he means well". He's imperfect. He was taught by poor example, but he means well and the gospel and the priesthood. He means well. One day, my ex very fairly complained about how my father had treated him. I confirmed that it was crappy, but I always reminded myself my father meant well.

During these years, my mother died. I was devastated. Oddly, my father was not. He was too merry of a widower.
OK...I've read all your posts.

Isn't it interesting that culturally, as we were taught, we had to depend on or "maintain a relationship with" those who were abusive. I've had to do the same thing as you but from a different place. I use to think about it as my family's "dirty little secret." Later in my life it mushroomed into the "church's dirty little secret" as well.

One of the things that really messed with my thinking was when I made some mistakes (as the church would call them). I begged the bishop to meet with me because "I don't know what to believe." He made and broke, one way or another, 14 appointments with me.

Now, here is the kicker part....

A GA came from HQ down to our ward. That GA put his arm around the SP in a big meeting and said: "The HG has told me that you have a very special SP. He is a man of God." So....from an authoritative perspective, the SP is a man of God. Now, a week later in Ward Conference, the SP put his arm about this bishop and said: "The HG has told me that you have a very special bishop. He is a man of God."

OK...so, the SP and the Bishop are BOTH men of God. Neither one of them met with me. I apparently am not worth their time; I apparently and not worth their effort; I apparently am not worth them keeping appointments. Clearly,...I am "worth less". That is how it played out to me. I made the mistake of reading "Miracle of Forgiveness" about this time and heard messages like: "These sins seem to be those in the forgivable category."....and "The prodidgal son lost his blessings forever and could never get them back..." ETC...ETC....ETC. This was a fun time in my life, let me assure you.

This created a large crack in my shelf. You see, as I read the bible, the shepherd goes after the lost sheep. I was, at least at this time, a "lost sheep". I was out there bleeding, crying for help, begging for help....and the only way I was gunna get it is if I came and found the Bishop of SP and begged them for a meeting?...and called them to remind them I had a meeting?....and showed up at their office ahead of time to make sure they were at the meeting?

I laugh about it now. But back in the day, this was an example that twisted the fabric of what I had been taught with the stark reality of a pretty big difference to what reality was. This shelf crack that grew into a complete collapse. My faith transition was inevitable! I couldn't understand why abuse was hidden behind "men of God" images that were anything but.

And this is only a small example. I have a better one.

When I was a child, my ward had a softball team that played against others in our stake center. I use to attend those as often as I could: I wanted to play ball. Of course I sat the bench as the non-members played because they were being "fellowshipped". Anyway, when I was a little older, two other teams in the stake were playing and I was asked, because there was no one else, to umpire at the base. Well, something happened and I made a bad call that wasn't liked. I was verbally and emotionally abused badly for the rest of the game, and I walked the 2 miles home that night in tears. At that younger age, I couldn't understand why these men could act like that on the ball field, and the next day attend church and talk about love and kindness. It made no sense to me...ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

I concluded at a young age there were 2 sets of rules: those you lived on Sunday, and those you lived on other days of the week. For years, because of this experience, when I was in social situations with "good LDS people", I would physically ask myself the question: "OK,...which rules are in play for this?"

How sad.

When I brought this up with leaders later, or with those in authority, I was always told: "well, they were wrong to do that." Really?...then why don't you as a leader DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!? Why do you let it continue?...and why do you, mister leader, seem to ignore it when its happening?

Anyway,...that child experience sowed seeds later in life that have helped me in my faith transition, and not looking back. I don't want to be with people like that. If there is a "life after death" (and I lean to there being something, though I don't know what), then I don't want to be with LDS people who say: "Joseph Smith & Brigham Young were Men of GOD!"... Or who have to ignore history and lie in order to maintain the "good name of the church".

I AM a sinner. I already know that, and I don't try to hide it. But I am trying to live by love and kindness. I value those things. And I HAVE the ability to say "I'm sorry" when I make a mistake.

What's your excuse Dallin Oaks? Hunh?....you man of God you?

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:03 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:32 pm
Thank you for this, R4H. The first men I came across who were shocked that men would have the attitude I would describe were the men on NOM. The bishop is the first man in real life I've told that to. He looked very disgruntled and angry that there are men with that attitude. Opening up and sharing in NOM had helped me realize there are men, men who are my approximate age, who are disgusted by that view. It was healing to see a real, live human male express that disgust at that attitude.
Hey,...I want to validate this as well. I can't believe someone would rape a passed out woman and say: "They were asking for it."

That is pure criminal in my opinion. Its like have a parent beat a child half to death, and then justifying themselves: "Oh, my child was asking for it!"

OOOOOO.....I have to be careful. As I am thinking about that, I feel some pretty hot anger flaring. This kindof stuff triggers a defensive protective impulse that comes out pretty strong....


Deep breathing..........

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:12 pm

Breather. I have to go see to dinner, but first, virtual hug.

{{{Rob4Hope}}}

Second, I want to share with you Elizabeth Smart's NPR interview. I have to confess I didn't finish reading it. At the moment, it was a little triggering. First of all, Brian David Mitchell targeted a Mormon lass. The elephant in the room that is ignored at this point of the interview is that a Mormon lass would be familiar with the idea of polygamy.

What was truly triggering, though, was Elizabeth's comments that she had been taught by her parents, the way to tell a good person was by how they treated others. That is an absolutely correct teaching. That is the litmus test I now apply to every other homo sapiens on the planet. Yet, I was not taught this! I was taught to excuse bad behavior. To give it a pass. To forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive. Remember, my mother and her contemporaries every taught me that the way a male personage lets a female personage know he likes her is he will be mean to her. I was specifically groomed to be a victim. I was taught as long as that temple recommend was in place, it's all good.

So, Elizabeth was taught well and correctly and kudos to her parents. By going on NPR, it does imply that all parents in the church teach their children this. I can tell you, for a very long time, I taught my children the other. My VT apparently does, as well. My old comp and my present, same thing. Now, I teach my sons to let stuff roll off your backs, but do pay attention to how people consistently treat you and others.

I will probably read more of that interview. Just not today.

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/01/258687244 ... kidnapping
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:19 pm

I want to add to this intermission. Elizabeth Smart was found during this time frame. Between the battery incident and the move. When I had that experience with the bishop, I concluded and I believe rightly, that the church was the church of my youth. That those statements about not tolerating abuse were taken as seriously as the injunction not to drink cola.

When Elizabeth was found, I considered it a miracle! Amazing! Kidnapped children are never found alive! I still marvel at that. I saw the news cameras covering the story of her going to see her bishop. The bishop's excellent handling of this case is a matter of record. However, jaded TBM me watched those news stories and strongly suspected that this girl's healing wouldn't be left to "leader roulette". We couldn't risk her having one of *those* bishops when the world's cameras are trained upon us.

I can't find much info on Mitchell, but it appears he was a member, though not in good standing, at the time of the kidnapping. This would have him invoking his priesthood and using our doctrines against her. Even if the perpetrator is in good standing, this happens. In fact, in a way, it makes it worse, because the person is in good standing. When they aren't in good standing, it's going to be patently obvious to everyone he's in the wrong, but when he's in good standing, his priesthood and temple recommend trumps the situation.

At this point, I will say I don't think Elizabeth is finished healing. She has a daughter who will become fourteen, fifteen and this will all come back. I don't know what or if she's been told about section 132. Frankly, I'm a little nervous for her, but she states very strongly her faith was a major factor in her healing, so I will trust her statement.

As I've remembered this case and sat down to compose the OP, I've lost most of my sarcasm in the interest of trying to accomplish something good. For years, I've operated under the assumption that the church simply doesn't have a model in place and doesn't want to devote the resources. However, Elizabeth's case could be the template. It is in place. It has been used. It did work. Elizabeth shouldn't be a "lucky" anomaly. The care Elizabeth received should be the standard of care for every abuse, every molestation, every rape. When we say we are a church that doesn't tolerate abuse, that means the bishop isn't solely responsible for carrying out that statement. That means the members don't tolerate abuse. That means statements like the ones my contemporary males made would absolutely not be tolerated. That means the term "one of those bishops" would never be heard again. Each victim would receive excellent care and, if they don't, a change in situation can be made to ensure that they do. That means HT/VTs are possibly given a different set of lessons and instructions on what to say, how to say it and what not to say. That means ward members are aware that certain lessons and doctrines may be triggering and a victim may choose to stay home and the members STFU and mind their own business.

There are so many simple things that could be done and a template is already in place. I don't know how my ward will do, but I'm going to pay them the compliment of having the emotional maturity to recognize that the doctrines can be employed in toxic ways by unscrupulous members. That not every member will fit the mold and if the Savior was badass enough to embrace someone like me, they can be that badass, too.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:14 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:03 pm
Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:32 pm
Thank you for this, R4H. The first men I came across who were shocked that men would have the attitude I would describe were the men on NOM. The bishop is the first man in real life I've told that to. He looked very disgruntled and angry that there are men with that attitude. Opening up and sharing in NOM had helped me realize there are men, men who are my approximate age, who are disgusted by that view. It was healing to see a real, live human male express that disgust at that attitude.
Hey,...I want to validate this as well. I can't believe someone would rape a passed out woman and say: "They were asking for it."

That is pure criminal in my opinion. Its like have a parent beat a child half to death, and then justifying themselves: "Oh, my child was asking for it!"

OOOOOO.....I have to be careful. As I am thinking about that, I feel some pretty hot anger flaring. This kindof stuff triggers a defensive protective impulse that comes out pretty strong....


Deep breathing..........
This is just a general I'm so sorry for your experiences and how unimportantly those leaders treated you. As gawdawfully painful as this experience has been, I've been glad to have it, because I wouldn't have explored Wicca, a little bit. I've decided I don't want to go that route: too expensive, too time consuming, I don't like their deities and sex rituals aren't my thing. I do think they have the best overall creed of any philosophy: "An' it harm none, do what you will". As long as you aren't harming anyone (including yourself), do what you want.

So, I wouldn't care and don't care about your past transgressions.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:26 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:14 pm
So, I wouldn't care and don't care about your past transgressions.
I smiled when I read this. The reason?...I don't care neither. :)

I know that I value love and kindness, that I have those inside; and THAT is what matters to me. I don't define myself by what I still consider past mistakes; i define myself by who I am now, and what I have LEARNED from those mistakes.

----------------
I want to illustrate a point of insanity.

Imagine 2 young engaged people (lets make then heterosexual just to be ultra safe here...lol). Suppose these 2 are going to get married in a week, and they are in the back seat of a car kissing. Things get a little hot, and they...err....fill each other up for lets say,...err.....10 min.

Now, imagine an executive who over a period of years destroys the retirement of thousands of people by intentionally making bad choices because he is arrogant, cruel, and doesn't care about his employees. But,...even though he has created destruction in the wake of his activities, he didn't kill anyone.

Neither one of these people killed anyone. But,...are you telling me that this couple WHO WERE GETTING MARRIED, committed a sin "next to murder" in seriousness?....and could be considered close to or WORSE than this guy who destroyed people's lives?

MANY TBM would say YES!......and THAT is insanity.

Thank you Spencer Kimball for your clear teachings in Miracle of Forgiveness. No other book about sin could take a moment of closeness between two consenting adults who are a week away from marriage and make it something worthy of extended prison time in a dungeon. The cruel executive in this example WAS worthy of prison time. But,...these two committed a sin next to murder (says the LDS church). Is that not also worthy of prison?

point about insanity made.

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:09 pm

Part 4

I'm leaving the episodes of abuse intentionally vague, because I'm leaving those for my bishop and ward.

Okay, we moved to be closer to family. However, we did move in under a cloud of shame because things had gone horribly wrong with my family. I think my ex did the right thing under the circumstances, but I was now estranged from my entire family and I had no idea what had happened. So, I didn't reach out to the ward much. What in heaven's name would I tell them when they asked why we moved here?

We lived life. There was much that was imperfect, but it was life. The abuse continued. Whatever.

Then, my father died. When he died, our relationship was bizarre and not healed. He refused to acknowledge any kind of tension between us, refused to work it out and heal the relationship. He was obsessed with asking us about my late mother's opinion of him. I don't think he really cared what she thought of him. I think he was trying to figure out who knew what. My father was still a bizarrely merry widower, involved with a married woman. Just not really being an exemplary guy. He was so different from the man who raised me, I wondered if he'd been abducted by aliens and replaced with a clone.

After my father died, one of my siblings told me my father had been having a long standing affair. That the affair consumed the last years of my parents' marriage. That my mother was, in fact leaving my father when the events were in play that culminated in her death. The events surrounding my mother's death had never made sense. My father's story and my sister's story didn't match up in a way that made sense. My mother's attending physician offered us an autopsy. I later learned that autopsies are expensive and aren't offered unless there is some question surrounding the cause of death. We turned down the autopsy. None of us suspected anything.

However, I started reading my father's journals surrounding the last days of my mother's life to see if there was any indication of an impending divorce. I read an entry that my father had written concerning these events and I knew for a fact it was a lie. I started asking questions of my siblings and put the pieces together. He's not here to confess and I'm not sure he would, but the only conclusion that made sense was my father killed my mother.

Let's take a minute to review what society knew, at this point, about domestic violence. Had known it for a few years. It always starts with the verbal and emotional, then escalates to physical then escalates to real physical harm that culminates in hospitalization and possible murder of the victim.

I had heard that for a few years, but wrote it off the way one ignores the warnings about reckless driving. That's other people. However, here it was. I witnessed it, myself. My father had been verbally and emotionally abusive, rarely physical, but it did happen and he had orchestrated my mother's death.

Remember how I prayed for a decade about my marriage? I actually consider this the answer to my prayers. My ex was worse than my father. The time had come to take a hard look at my marriage. Since, I had the experience with the previous bishop and subsequent bishops had been aware of my ex's abuse and didn't do anything, I needed to go into my bishop's office with some sure information. Now, that I fully understood how important it was too get any person out of an abusive relationship who felt the need to leave, I started my search for the answer to one question. Remember, my father wasn't as bad as my ex and much more revered than my ex. My searching question was "If my mother went to her bishop and said that she wanted to leave her husband because he was abusive, would she get assistance and support from her bishop or be sent home to die?"

I started my search in conference talks, lessons and LDS Canon.
I expanded to LDS scholars
Then I expanded to mainstream Christian and Jewish scholars
Gnostic scholars
I studied Biblical history

Know what I came up with? Nothing. The man owned the woman. At this time my testimony was held together with paper clips and hope. Basically, Heavenly Father wouldn't do that. He loves his daughters and continuing revelation.

One day, I was wanting to draw a cartoon for my sons and I looked up Steve Benson to see if there was some artwork I could emulate. I knew that Steve had had a faith crisis years before, but the gospel's true. I'm sure he had come back, by now. Wrong. I was curious as to what trivial thing was keeping him from experiencing the joy the gospel brings. I had grown up hearing everything I was well inoculated. I thought I could handle it.

I read where he was criticizing the BofM and I knew enough Biblical history to know that the apologist defenses could not have happened. What they say about the BofM being the keystone is true. Take that out and the whole thing falls apart. I read that part about the BofM historocity and I realized Joseph Smith had told a whopper. Like an overgrown, real life, Tom Sawyer, he'd told a whopper. He'd told a big whopper. He'd told several really big whoppers. I laughed. I laughed, because all those things that had been painful for me about toxic patriarchy no longer mattered. I laughed at the thought of a rapscaluous overgrown boy holding crowds captive with his really tall tales.

The actual moment was freeing laughter, but the process before and after has been excruciating.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:47 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:09 pm
However, I started reading my father's journals surrounding the last days of my mother's life to see if there was any indication of an impending divorce. I read an entry that my father had written concerning these events and I knew for a fact it was a lie. I started asking questions of my siblings and put the pieces together. He's not here to confess and I'm not sure he would, but the only conclusion that made sense was my father killed my mother.
This stuff happens,...and it chills. You have reason to believe this happened, and it makes blood run cold.
Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:09 pm
Remember how I prayed for a decade about my marriage? I actually consider this the answer to my prayers. My ex was worse than my father. The time had come to take a hard look at my marriage. Since, I had the experience with the previous bishop and subsequent bishops had been aware of my ex's abuse and didn't do anything, I needed to go into my bishop's office with some sure information. Now, that I fully understood how important it was too get any person out of an abusive relationship who felt the need to leave, I started my search for the answer to one question. Remember, my father wasn't as bad as my ex and much more revered than my ex. My searching question was "If my mother went to her bishop and said that she wanted to leave her husband because he was abusive, would she get assistance and support from her bishop or be sent home to die?"
This is a really interesting paragraph GIT. You have reason to believe that murder REALLY happened (I don't think exhuming your mother for a possible autopsy would help anything) in your family, and you are being abused by your husband. And in this paragraph you are unable to make the decision yourself...but are going to your bishop? This deferral to the priesthood?

I don't want to draw conclusions, but I can see in here the seeds of your faith transition being sowed painfully...REALLY painfully. You are an articulate woman! You are intelligent! And, in your upbringing it is clear you had the part of you that chooses FOR YOU damaged.

I'm still picking up what your laying down. IM SOOOO SORRY you had to endure this! OUCH!!!!
Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:09 pm

I read where he was criticizing the BofM and I knew enough Biblical history to know that the apologist defenses could not have happened. What they say about the BofM being the keystone is true. Take that out and the whole thing falls apart. I read that part about the BofM historocity and I realized Joseph Smith had told a whopper. Like an overgrown, real life, Tom Sawyer, he'd told a whopper. He'd told a big whopper. He'd told several really big whoppers. I laughed. I laughed, because all those things that had been painful for me about toxic patriarchy no longer mattered. I laughed at the thought of a rapscaluous overgrown boy holding crowds captive with his really tall tales.

The actual moment was freeing laughter, but the process before and after has been excruciating.
Yep...and here it is. Your break away.

You ain't alone girl. This faith transition stuff hurts. And, in your case, it was breaking out of institutional abuse! Patriarchal organizations, like the LDS faith, can have this crap jump generations and go on and on and on. And, its a "dirty little secret"!

Makes me ANGRY! I'm glad you got out!

{{SAFE hugs}}

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Give It Time
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:07 pm

Thank you R4H. I'm glad you're finding peace, too.

The bishop is so instrumental, because abuse victims need a lot of help and support getting free. Times are changing. It used to take a victim eleven tries to get free. Now it takes only six. It took me two. I have to say, each person needs to choose this for themselves and whatever choice they make needs to be respected. On top of the support, a person's faith can be a very instrumental part of their healing. It should be. Look at how much it meant to Ms. Smart. Then, in our church, it's not just the faith and faith community, but the neighbors, as well.

For instance, my old VT comp was very uncomfortable with me and because I spoke passionately about being kind to our gay brothers and sisters. She stopped talking to me. She refused to call me to arrange VT visits. She recently married and came back to pick up her mail. I was out front doing some yard work. I called to her loudly, several times. She ignored me. Crapola like that goes down in this church. For our members, it's not just Sunday; it's everyday. It doesn't just stay at the church building and you can get away from it. It chases you down in the form of VT and HT, so support is really important. As I said, if this church is the Lord's church, it should be able to handle people who don't fit the mold. I'm not talking about changing doctrine. I'm talking about basic decency.

Thank you, so much. See? That's another empathic response and they're all very helpful.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Give It Time
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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Give It Time » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:42 pm

Part 5

I'm one, who when I hurt, will find out why so I don't hurt in that way, again. I started learning about abuse. Guess what? Most of our doctrines either give people with authority permission to abuse or groom underlings to be victims. This was where the pain came in. This was rough to learn. I trusted my religion to be from God. Realizing doctrine after doctrine after doctrine is toxic was rough.

As I was evaluating my marriage and assessing the receptiveness of my bishop. I came across a well-intentioned, but terrible idea. The idea was to teach my bishop about abuse. Not just epic fall. Epic explosion! I mean, you'd think that people would want to know how they can save lives, right? Wrong! Especially when it's a bishop. This idea failed so epically that I would now say, the person who was traumatized shouldn't have to further traumstize themselves by explaining abuse to thick headed people. If they want to know, they can track down the information, themselves.

However, I really struck a nerve with my former bishop. When I told him the obedience covenant actually puts the victim in a subordinate position and can make the abuse worse, his eyes grew wide with fear. After an hour and a half of spiritual abuse, he gave up and but he made sure to give a bad report of me. He made sure to withhold help. He gave my ex a temple recommend, had him administer the sacrament and, when my ex was deadbeat, my former bishop did nothing to hold my ex accountable.

One of my VTs thought it a tragedy my sons would no longer have their father in their life. I told her to take that up with their father, because as it stands the price of admission to a relationship with him is abuse and I would, in no way, consider it a tragedy my sons were no longer being abused. My other VT thought I should excuse and accept his behavior because men are just naturally violent. Nevermind that the priesthood is supposed to make them better. Men are violent and the price of admission to a relationship with one is to accept that they'll be abusive. Terrific, no? Wow....

Nevertheless we tried and, I just couldn't provide them with rosy examples of how the gospel had blessed my life. One VT gave up, eventually. The other kept telling me to forgive. While, this Sunday School manual advice is well intentioned, it's telling the victim they're not healing correctly. Besides, I stayed with an abuser for more than twenty years, what on earth gave her the notion that I'm not forgiving? Forgiveness shouldn't be pushed. That's becoming widely known, but I think that is also going to be this church's cola. In case you can't tell, I like that analogy. Just one of those things people choose to ignore.

Anyway, there were more things and my ward got wind I supported Kate Kelly. My VT lovingly spread that gossip. So, the past few years have just been a crapfest. Not to mention such lovely doctrines as eternal marriage, gender roles, priesthood, etc.

So, that's basically it. I'm not going to do any educating or testimony deconstructing. Just, if they ask me about a principal whether my experience is awful or wonderful, I'm sharing it. This is supposed to be the Lord's church. I'm paying them the compliment of being able to handle the truth.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: Giving The Church A Chance To Handle My Truth

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:59 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:07 pm
As I said, if this church is the Lord's church, it should be able to handle people who don't fit the mold. I'm not talking about changing doctrine. I'm talking about basic decency.

Thank you, so much. See? That's another empathic response and they're all very helpful.
Small rant. Not directed at anyone....

This is one of those things that irks me. VT and HT seem shallow in a big way, for several reasons. We have to be 'assigned' to love our neighbor?..and watch and help them?...and love them?

I've learned something in my past. Love--the kind that makes a difference and matters--is not glamorous. Its not glamorous to hold someones head as they throw up; its not glamorous to have someone sob and get their snot all over your shirt because they are weeping uncontrollably; its not glamorous to have to get up in the middle of the movie, or the dinner, or the award ceremony and race down the freeway to pick up a stranded friend who is desperate to get help and is frightened. Its not GLAMOROUS to be the only one helping a desperate friend move, late into the dark hours of the night because the rest are away on vacation and couldn't miss the boat on the lake. ITS NOT GLAMOROUS to be the one who cries with the friend when the word "cancer" is said. ITS NOT GLAMOROUS TO BE THE ONE WHO WIPES UP THE DEFECATION WHEN THE CHILD HAS AN ACCIDENT AND YOU ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TENDER FEELINGS OF THE CHILD THAN THE RUDE NASTY PEOPLE AROUND!

YEH,...It just aint GLAMOROUS!

I've learned something in the process of being hurt, scared and having a few spiritual bones here and there broken and mended not so well. I've learned that the person who matters is NOT the big-shot who gets up and tells everyone how great they are, or how great the next apostle in line is. I've learned that the person who matters is NOT the person signing the check, or making the decisions on what to do during next youth conference.

The person who matters TO THE ONE HURTING is the not-so glamorous one...its the one getting blood, sweat and sh!t on their clothes because they are down in the trench WASHING FEET!....like someone named JESUS would have done!

Some of these "glamorous" people need to read a little about this guy named JESUS and some of the crap that came down on him cuz he wasn't too glamorous...

Nuff said.

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