NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

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Reuben
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 am

The title is not ironic. Seriously, thank you.

A few months ago, I tried the "avoiding all things Mormon" experiment. It seemed to make me happier at first, but ultimately seems to have failed. I don't know that the experiment was solely responsible for my declining mental health, but I think it was a big part.

About 1.5 years ago, I worked through depression, learning ways to pull myself out of self-blame spirals that approach hopelessness. These new spirals have been different: they're resentment spirals that approach explosive anger. They usually start innocuously enough, with imagined conversations with friends or loved ones in which I'm just trying to be understood.

Yeah, we all know how well that usually goes with real-life Mormons, especially when they're in a comfortable majority. The conversations went exactly as well in my head. Distorted thinking does happen while in a spiral, but that wasn't it.

At the start of my holiday vacation, I decided on a whim to catch up on NOM. Coincidentally, the conversations in my head have become much less distressing. I'm having fewer of them. The drastic ups and downs between being perfectly fine and seething with resentment have been replaced by constant, low-level bitterness, which is much more manageable.

So thank you for being here and for being you.

Here's my best guess at what's been happening. I need to be understood and accepted as I am. I find that here. When I imagine transferring that responsibility to others, I predict that they'll be unable, which is almost certainly true. Then the distorted thinking comes up, which looks like this: they're going to reject me, my life will be hell, and I'm helpless to stop it. That fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering...

In truth, at this point, the worst "they" can do is passive-aggressive bulls*** that I am unlikely to be affected by because I live in another country from most of them. But there's a frightened child living in my mind who thinks even indifference means death, who doesn't consider distance, and who has been trained for years to expect people to make my life hell for the high crime of being too different. "Trust issues" and "rejection sensitivity" don't really capture the scope and intensity of it.

So I'm back for the long haul. You all help me in ways that are deeper than you know, just by being you. Thank you.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

iwanttotalk
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by iwanttotalk » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:52 am

Reuben wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 am
The title is not ironic. Seriously, thank you.

A few months ago, I tried the "avoiding all things Mormon" experiment. It seemed to make me happier at first, but ultimately seems to have failed. I don't know that the experiment was solely responsible for my declining mental health, but I think it was a big part.

About 1.5 years ago, I worked through depression, learning ways to pull myself out of self-blame spirals that approach hopelessness. These new spirals have been different: they're resentment spirals that approach explosive anger. They usually start innocuously enough, with imagined conversations with friends or loved ones in which I'm just trying to be understood.

Yeah, we all know how well that usually goes with real-life Mormons, especially when they're in a comfortable majority. The conversations went exactly as well in my head. Distorted thinking does happen while in a spiral, but that wasn't it.

At the start of my holiday vacation, I decided on a whim to catch up on NOM. Coincidentally, the conversations in my head have become much less distressing. I'm having fewer of them. The drastic ups and downs between being perfectly fine and seething with resentment have been replaced by constant, low-level bitterness, which is much more manageable.

So thank you for being here and for being you.

Here's my best guess at what's been happening. I need to be understood and accepted as I am. I find that here. When I imagine transferring that responsibility to others, I predict that they'll be unable, which is almost certainly true. Then the distorted thinking comes up, which looks like this: they're going to reject me, my life will be hell, and I'm helpless to stop it. That fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering...

In truth, at this point, the worst "they" can do is passive-aggressive bulls*** that I am unlikely to be affected by because I live in another country from most of them. But there's a frightened child living in my mind who thinks even indifference means death, who doesn't consider distance, and who has been trained for years to expect people to make my life hell for the high crime of being too different. "Trust issues" and "rejection sensitivity" don't really capture the scope and intensity of it.

So I'm back for the long haul. You all help me in ways that are deeper than you know, just by being you. Thank you.
I used to think of the mind as a cohesive whole. I dont anymore. I think of it as many distinct smaller brains interacting in the experience we think of as conciousness which we experience as a cohesive whole. But that is an illusion. The same way the two viewpoints of our eyes seem to become one image.

Part of that is our primal instincts. One of the most powerful fears that manipulators use is “the outsider”. We are primaly terrified to be labeled the “other”.

This primal urge is so powerful that to deny it willfully causes cognitive distress. You can have articulable reasons for leaving the group, but the part of your brain concerned with being an outsider is not pursuadable by logic. It only says “you left the group. You are the other. You are in danger!”

As you form new healthy experiences and interactions it will subside. The problem with trying to argue or reason with people in a group is that they dont care about truth. They care about being in a group. Their cognition then forms their reality around that primal need. Quite litterally they experience things to warp reality to prove the group right so that they can happily retain their membership within the protective body.

In anycase i found leaving mormonism to be similar to experiencing a death and went through the stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. I think in some way we all do.

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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:06 am

Reuben wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 am
The title is not ironic. Seriously, thank you.

A few months ago, I tried the "avoiding all things Mormon" experiment. It seemed to make me happier at first, but ultimately seems to have failed. I don't know that the experiment was solely responsible for my declining mental health, but I think it was a big part.

About 1.5 years ago, I worked through depression, learning ways to pull myself out of self-blame spirals that approach hopelessness. These new spirals have been different: they're resentment spirals that approach explosive anger. They usually start innocuously enough, with imagined conversations with friends or loved ones in which I'm just trying to be understood.

Yeah, we all know how well that usually goes with real-life Mormons, especially when they're in a comfortable majority. The conversations went exactly as well in my head. Distorted thinking does happen while in a spiral, but that wasn't it.

At the start of my holiday vacation, I decided on a whim to catch up on NOM. Coincidentally, the conversations in my head have become much less distressing. I'm having fewer of them. The drastic ups and downs between being perfectly fine and seething with resentment have been replaced by constant, low-level bitterness, which is much more manageable.

So thank you for being here and for being you.

Here's my best guess at what's been happening. I need to be understood and accepted as I am. I find that here. When I imagine transferring that responsibility to others, I predict that they'll be unable, which is almost certainly true. Then the distorted thinking comes up, which looks like this: they're going to reject me, my life will be hell, and I'm helpless to stop it. That fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering...

In truth, at this point, the worst "they" can do is passive-aggressive bulls*** that I am unlikely to be affected by because I live in another country from most of them. But there's a frightened child living in my mind who thinks even indifference means death, who doesn't consider distance, and who has been trained for years to expect people to make my life hell for the high crime of being too different. "Trust issues" and "rejection sensitivity" don't really capture the scope and intensity of it.

So I'm back for the long haul. You all help me in ways that are deeper than you know, just by being you. Thank you.
I'm really glad you're back, Reuben.

My immediate family is mostly still faithful -- and if not faithful, unwilling to discuss the church's failings with me because of loyalty to the family members who are. It does sometimes lead me to question myself and how I got to this point in my faith journey. NOM is important to me because it validates the sober, reasonable, sometimes bitter conclusions I've come to about Mormonism. (I also value the different points of view presented here, and how even when we may get a little heated, those different points of view are accepted and made space for.)
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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MoPag
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by MoPag » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:05 am

anytime!!.png
anytime!!.png (43.48 KiB) Viewed 681 times

It's good to have you back!!!! :D
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Corsair
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Corsair » Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:23 pm

Reuben wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 am
Here's my best guess at what's been happening. I need to be understood and accepted as I am. I find that here. When I imagine transferring that responsibility to others, I predict that they'll be unable, which is almost certainly true. Then the distorted thinking comes up, which looks like this: they're going to reject me, my life will be hell, and I'm helpless to stop it. That fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering...
It's an important step for anyone in a faith crisis to finally understand that the path out relies heavily on not following that script that was so passive aggressively handed out in LDS Sunday School. So many disagreements that appear to us as firm reasons to disbelieve simply do not resonate similarly with our dear, believing families and friends.

As the righteous are told to cast thy burden upon the Lord, we should similarly cast the burden of proof upon the believers. Forgive them their dialectic debts as we forgive our rhetorical debtors. Spend time in an angry phase then eventually realize that you won't be changing anyone's mind very often about these closely held beliefs. Accept the beliefs and the believers inasmuch as they are not harming you or anyone else. Enjoy your coffee, tithing directed to other causes, and non-temple brand underpants. Let the believers face the uphill battle of proving why you are the one who needs to follow their beliefs.

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Palerider
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Palerider » Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:49 pm

Corsair wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:23 pm
Let the believers face the uphill battle of proving why you are the one who needs to follow their beliefs.
Excellent 👍
"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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græy
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by græy » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:51 pm

Reuben wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 am
So I'm back for the long haul. You all help me in ways that are deeper than you know, just by being you. Thank you.
Welcome back! Now we chant...

One of us! One of us! One of us!
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Hagoth
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Hagoth » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:24 pm

Great to hear from you, Reuben.

Your comment:"But there's a frightened child living in my mind who thinks even indifference means death, who doesn't consider distance, and who has been trained for years to expect people to make my life hell for the high crime of being too different," is something that I recognize from someone who is very close to me. I think some of us live closer to our fight-or-flight response than others, which distorts your perception of the danger of situations, and that can be exhausting, which in turn keeps you cycling back to those same thoughts because they are powerful but don't quite make sense in terms of all real-world outcomes.

One thing I really like about NOM is the way people here often approach the ludicrous and often painful situations they find themselves in with humor and healthy (rather than mean-spirited) sarcasm. Finding ways to to see the ridiculousness of others' self-importance, and sometimes our own, can really help. And a twist of well-moderated bitterness as necessary.

I hope you have a nice Christmas!
“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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moksha
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by moksha » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:15 am

Image
Don't get nervous, we will not haunt your dreams... much. We are only NOMcats.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Wonderment
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Wonderment » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am

So thank you for being here and for being you.

Here's my best guess at what's been happening. I need to be understood and accepted as I am. I find that here. When I imagine transferring that responsibility to others, I predict that they'll be unable, which is almost certainly true. Then the distorted thinking comes up, which looks like this: they're going to reject me, my life will be hell, and I'm helpless to stop it. That fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering...
Welcome back ! We are all here to support each other through the lonely times, the trying times, and also the happy times. :) Best ward ever ! Glad that you returned. Take care, from Wndr.

Reuben
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:34 am

iwanttotalk wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:52 am
I used to think of the mind as a cohesive whole. I dont anymore. I think of it as many distinct smaller brains interacting in the experience we think of as conciousness which we experience as a cohesive whole. But that is an illusion. The same way the two viewpoints of our eyes seem to become one image.
Yes, this, and I love the analogy to stereo vision. (I'll be using it.) Also, there's a lot of negotiation going on that we're not privy to or in direct control of. We couldn't function otherwise.

I think of conscious thought as a combination of marketing, legal, and CEO.

BTW, nice to meet you. :D
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:43 am

Fifi de la Vergne wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:06 am
I'm really glad you're back, Reuben.

My immediate family is mostly still faithful -- and if not faithful, unwilling to discuss the church's failings with me because of loyalty to the family members who are. It does sometimes lead me to question myself and how I got to this point in my faith journey. NOM is important to me because it validates the sober, reasonable, sometimes bitter conclusions I've come to about Mormonism. (I also value the different points of view presented here, and how even when we may get a little heated, those different points of view are accepted and made space for.)
Thank you!

I think validation is more important than I've given it credit for lately. I work with very understanding and accepting people, but they can't understand this aspect of my life. Not having validation makes me feel like I have to stand up to pervasive invalidation on my own.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:44 am

MoPag wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:05 am
anytime!!.png


It's good to have you back!!!! :D
This made me lol, and I don't even know what it refers to.

Thanks, MoPag.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:54 am

Corsair wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:23 pm
As the righteous are told to cast thy burden upon the Lord, we should similarly cast the burden of proof upon the believers. Forgive them their dialectic debts as we forgive our rhetorical debtors. Spend time in an angry phase then eventually realize that you won't be changing anyone's mind very often about these closely held beliefs. Accept the beliefs and the believers inasmuch as they are not harming you or anyone else. Enjoy your coffee, tithing directed to other causes, and non-temple brand underpants. Let the believers face the uphill battle of proving why you are the one who needs to follow their beliefs.
Thanks for this. I know it already - hell, I can give five reasons off the top of my head why changing people's minds probably won't happen and I can back it up with research papers - but somehow hearing it from you is more convincing than telling it to myself.

I was about to challenge the idea of my recent experience being "the angry phase," but I think it really is. But it's from grief over community betrayal instead of grief over my faith transition. My FT is 3.5 years in the past and is no longer very painful to think about. I'm having a much harder time with community betrayal.

It's interesting that it starts with bargaining for acceptance (internally) before moving to anger.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:00 am

græy wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:51 pm
Reuben wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 am
So I'm back for the long haul. You all help me in ways that are deeper than you know, just by being you. Thank you.
Welcome back! Now we chant...

One of us! One of us! One of us!
ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
Posts: 1122
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:15 am

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:24 pm
Great to hear from you, Reuben.

Your comment:"But there's a frightened child living in my mind who thinks even indifference means death, who doesn't consider distance, and who has been trained for years to expect people to make my life hell for the high crime of being too different," is something that I recognize from someone who is very close to me. I think some of us live closer to our fight-or-flight response than others, which distorts your perception of the danger of situations, and that can be exhausting, which in turn keeps you cycling back to those same thoughts because they are powerful but don't quite make sense in terms of all real-world outcomes.
I lived close to fight-or-flight in grades 6-10 and learned a handful of powerful false lessons. The next 2 decades slowly undid most of the damage and taught better lessons. I've been living close to fight-or-flight again for the past few years and learning the false lessons again. It's hard not to resent that, too. I'm tired of bullies, as well as my own instincts and thoughts that make their bullying so effective.

The stupid thing, which is so stupid it crosses over into hilarity, is that they think they're the ones being bullied.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
Posts: 1122
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:18 am

moksha wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:15 am
Image
Don't get nervous, we will not haunt your dreams... much. We are only NOMcats.
Haha! I want to see this and inflict it on my kids so hard.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
Posts: 1122
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:20 am

Wonderment wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
Welcome back ! We are all here to support each other through the lonely times, the trying times, and also the happy times. :) Best ward ever ! Glad that you returned. Take care, from Wndr.
(((Wndr)))
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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jfro18
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Re: NOM: Thank you for the low-level bitterness

Post by jfro18 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:26 am

Reuben wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:54 am
I was about to challenge the idea of my recent experience being "the angry phase," but I think it really is. But it's from grief over community betrayal instead of grief over my faith transition. My FT is 3.5 years in the past and is no longer very painful to think about. I'm having a much harder time with community betrayal.
This is absolutely the case for me, although community is more specifically family for me.

I will say that as I've dug into Mormonism more, I've also completely lost any belief in the Bible being a literal text or one that is based in a true history... that has been weird for me since I originally fell back on the Bible as a foundation once I realized the Mormon church wasn't true.

But even that doesn't make me angry so much as having family that looks down on me without being willing to even talk to me about it. Seeing my sister-in-law post about how hard it is with her kid on a mission yet refusing to talk to the two family members who left over church history makes me angry - she pushed something on her kid that she is unwilling to verify, and then *I'm* the one that is looked down upon for being willing to dive in.

So I think I hold a medium level of bitterness, but I've found ways to get it out of my system so that it doesn't carry into my marriage and this site is a huge help for that. While reddit has some plusses, it is such an explosive place that it's hard to find others who approach this all in a manner that is (in my opinion) constructive and relatively calm.

NOM has been great - I kind of wish more people knew of it, but then again there's something really nice about it not being a reddit type of community so who knows.

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