The core of my mormon trauma

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Finallyfree
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The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Finallyfree » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:38 pm

I just really need to share something that has eaten at me for a long time. I didn’t know it was really that related to church until just recently, in fact in the last few days it donned on me.

I have always been the person that was trying to break the mold of appearances and Mormon behavior. Starting as far back as when I was president of the deacon’s quorum, then president of the teacher’s quorum, and then 1st assistant in the priests quorum. All through that time, I had long hair, and tried very hard to dress as casually as I could get away with. It has always been in my nature to try to show people that the stereotype of conformity is not right, and people can be individuals and still be worthwhile people, and even very good rule following Mormons.

In high school (I grew up in Utah) we had a presidency of the entire seminary student body called seminary council, and I was called to be a vice president on that council my senior year of high school. I still had quite long hair (past my shoulders) and 2 months into that school year I got my ear pierced. Only one ear, and I can’t even remember which one, but for those of you who grew up in that time, you may remember that getting one ear pierced for a guy was ok (outside the church), but it had to be the correct ear or it was some sort of indication that your where gay. So, there it was, this council of seniors in high school that looked like future elder and sister missionaries…and then me with long hair and earring. I never really felt that uncomfortable, because I knew who I was, and that was all I needed. I always got the puzzled look, and people didn’t really know what to do with me, a person that seemed to fit the role in all the right places, but seemed completely comfortable stepping way outside the lines on the things that I could get away with.

It was about this time that I think I started to develop this notion that at some point, someday, the people around me would come to respect me for that part of my nature, that is to say, looking like I should feel very uncomfortable, but yet seeming and truly feeling comfortable with who I was.
This kind of behavior went on to a certain degree for a long time. I attended BYU and during my freshman year there I again got my ear pierced (The first piercing I had taken out at the end of my senior year because my girlfriends dad had threatened to rip it out of my head). I remember going to the testing center (for those of you who have done BYU remember the prison-like testing center) 3 days after getting my ear pierced. I had to go into the bathroom right before I went through the ID check-in process and take out the diamond stud I had selected, then take my test and immediately go back into the bathroom to put the earring back in. It was very hard to get the fresh piercing back in and I was in the bathroom of the testing center in front of the mirror trying to get it all the way back through the hole, and some guy walked in to the restroom. He looked at me, and then the earring pushed halfway through a hole in my earlobe and I thought he was going to pass out. He looked at me as if I had just finished slaughtering an entire room of Sunday school children with a plastic picnic utensil. He just turned around and walked out, apparently forgetting that he even had to use the restroom.

I don’t know what part of me liked to “prove” that I could rebel a little bit and still be “worthy” but it has always been that way, and I guess I have always thought it would turn out to be a good part of my nature.

Fast forward to today, and I am still doing the same thing. I was the guy in the ward that was on the “bishop track” if you will. I was in the elder’s quorum presidency 3 times, then the executive secretary for several years, then 1st councilor in the bishopric for a while. I was they guy that everybody would call “Bro. future bishop”, yet I still had this aching desire to break the mold of Mormon stereotypes by my own example. Then came my realization through a lot of different events that the church was not really what I had thought it was and my testimony turned to shit.

So, the final chapter of my journey to disprove Mormon stereotypes is the ultimate. Show up to church and feel as comfortable as ever with most people knowing that I am not the “bishop elect” anymore, and never will be. It is well known that I don’t wear my garments anymore and have no trouble letting people know that. The bishop even allowed me to stand in the circle when a good friend blessed his baby. When my friend invited me, I called the bishop and told him that I would like to do it, but I would respect his wishes. He asked me if I felt worthy as a man to be in the circle, and I told him yes, because I absolutely do. I think a few people were a little shocked to see that happen, and I wonder who went and asked the bishop if he knew how I was living my life.

After all that, I now come to the point that seems to bring me a lot of pain. I really thought that especially in this moment when it was well known amongst my family and friends that I was “off the crazy train”, that they would respect me for being un-afraid to be me. What I got instead was nothing. Just absolutely nothing. I am not shunned in any way, it’s just that all my friends, and my family just steer clear and are visibly awkward around me. My friends try to kind of ignore the elephant in the room and seem to go overboard to act like nothing has ever happened. These are people I have known for 20 or more years. No one has ever once, not one single time, asked me anything about how I felt about the church or why I have decided to live the way I have. It has felt like a giant “don’t ask don’t tell” kind of thing. Like they all know what I’m going through, but if no one acknowledges it, maybe they can pretend it hasn’t happened.

It has been very painful to endure being part of a group of friends that I thought could talk about anything. Guess what? There is one thing in the church, even the very best of friends, and even family can’t or won’t talk about. When a member of the club voluntarily bows out of the race for celestial glory, it’s dead silence. I think if people had found out that I had had an affair, or robbed a bank, or committed murder, and thus was forced to remove my garments and not participate in the church fully, there would have been a tremendous outpouring of support and love, and blah, blah, blah. But choose to bow out voluntarily and make no effort whatsoever to hide it in shame? I do that and no one knows what the hell to do with me. I have become the ward and family anomaly, the pariah.

It feels as though true self esteem, and a sense of self-worth are punished at church, rather than seen as a good thing to aspire to. It’s as though instead of looking at me and thinking, “That’s so healthy that he can still feel comfortable in his own skin despite the social pressure.” They give me a blank stare and think “we are baffled and pissed off that you don’t seem to have the need to feel guilty, and shameful like you’re supposed to.”

Here I thought that somewhere along the line I would be appreciated for my ability to just be myself, even if it wasn’t totally the “norm” to do so.

Nope! Never happened! And that fact has really fucked up my soul.

It feels like no one ever really cared who I was, they just wanted another body around to help prop up the magic bubble of faith so no one would notice that we were all standing in a sink hole of shit.

If you stayed around long enough to read that epistle, I would love your thoughts and encouragement. If you got bored and clicked onto another discussion, no offense, it’s all good.

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Palerider
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Palerider » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:44 pm

This sounds painful. And hard to deal with as well.

It also sounds like unfulfilled expectations.

Unfulfilled expectations usually arise when we misjudge the capability of something/someone we've invested in and only now see that the results aren't what we thought they would be.

A quick analogy. Most folks here know I'm a horseman. If I were an naive amateur who wanted to get involved in racing and I went out on bought a mule thinking I could turn him into a competitive Thoroughbred I would be sorely disappointed no matter how much I trained him or how well he was fed and vetted. In the end he can only perform up to his genetic best.

In the church there are two "principles" that bear sway.

1. The unwritten order of things. This little idea was promulgated mostly by Boyd K. Packer. It means that church members are to learn ways of behaving both spiritually and temporally by observation of leadership. If you see leadership do it it's probably commendable. If you don't see leadership doing it, don't do it. If you get too far outside that box you won't be appreciated no matter how "good" you are. It isn't just a matter of breaking a stereotype. It's a sign of disrespect. A sign of a slow learner.

2. In the last 50 years, the church has (even moreso than earlier) made the critical mistake of confusing "uniformity" with "unity in the Spirit". I consider it one of the signs that the church is false. In essence they are attempting to achieve through temporal means what they are unable to through spiritual means. But it's something they can tangibly visualize that makes them feel better. Feel safer. Feel part of the tribe. Holier.

So you went up against cultural genetics that have their limitations and you've been sorely disappointed. It's been a hard lesson and you paid a price for it. But something that costs that much usually has a silver lining if you can find it.
You could use this as a catalyst to create new avenues that have been better informed. It's obvious that the people (mules) that are around you now aren't feeding you spiritually, emotionally, socially as you need. And it's my opinion that much of our happiness in life comes through the association with like minded people. I don't know you well enough to suggest a particular direction but I'm betting you can handle that.

That doesn't mean giving up on your family and current friends. Don't burn your bridges. They're all good mules that can be helpful within their own limitations. But don't expect from them what they are currently unable to give. It wouldn't be fair really.

You can do this. ;)
"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

annotatedbom
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by annotatedbom » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:46 pm

FinallFree,

I feel for you amigo. I've been treated similarly since 2010 when I came out. About this:
Finallyfree wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:38 pm
It feels as though true self esteem, and a sense of self-worth are punished at church, rather than seen as a good thing to aspire to. It’s as though instead of looking at me and thinking, “That’s so healthy that he can still feel comfortable in his own skin despite the social pressure.” They give me a blank stare and think “we are baffled and pissed off that you don’t seem to have the need to feel guilty, and shameful like you’re supposed to.”
I know no one's experience is exactly the same, and wards can have very different social dynamics, but maybe my take on why my ward members act the way they do with apostates like me might help. If not, ignore.

Before I came out I was an assistant to the high priest group leader. We had a social event coming up, and we the leadership were divvying up who would take invitations to which high priests in the neighborhood (small ward boundaries because right in the heart of Utah County). Someone asked, "What about Steve?" (name changed). Steve was a former bishopric counselor, but no longer believed. None of them wanted to drop off a simple invitation. But I didn't take it as them being pissed. Baffled? Yes. But I think their inability to understand it left them frightened. Not so much that they thought they were going to catch the apostasy, but just not knowing how to act with Steve. The members have been fed the lies about apostates, so it just seems crazy to them that someone would leave. Among the teachings they've been given are that us apostates are hyper-sensitive and have lost the Spirit, so I think they worry that anything they do will offend and/or set an apostate off.

But, like I said, that's how I saw and see it with devout believers closest to me. It very well might not apply to you and yours.

Whatever the case might be though, sounds like their behavior is bad. It's not fair. It marginalizes you. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. Do you have family members or friends that are supportive?

My best,
A-BoM

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wtfluff
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:44 am

Finallyfree wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:38 pm
It feels as though true self esteem, and a sense of self-worth are punished at church, rather than seen as a good thing to aspire to. It’s as though instead of looking at me and thinking, “That’s so healthy that he can still feel comfortable in his own skin despite the social pressure.” They give me a blank stare and think “we are baffled and pissed off that you don’t seem to have the need to feel guilty, and shameful like you’re supposed to.”

Here I thought that somewhere along the line I would be appreciated for my ability to just be myself, even if it wasn’t totally the “norm” to do so.

Nope! Never happened! And that fact has really fucked up my soul.

It feels like no one ever really cared who I was, they just wanted another body around to help prop up the magic bubble of faith so no one would notice that we were all standing in a sink hole of shit.

If you stayed around long enough to read that epistle, I would love your thoughts and encouragement. If you got bored and clicked onto another discussion, no offense, it’s all good.
Thoughts and encouragement? Well... I can tell you FF that I have a lot of the same thoughts you have. Some of my life experience in LD$-Inc. mirrors yours. I had some of the same internal conflict that you did: Wanting to somehow be different, yet always feeling a bit guilty for it. I was lucky in that I clung to some hobbies that helped me have friends who were not members, so there was a bit of validation of my non-MORmON identity, so I don't know that I completely lost myself, but as you mentioned: Any sort of drawing outside the lines of typical MORmONism was highly discouraged, especially by my parents. I do feel that I spent most of my life trying to turn myself into the version of myself that LD$-Inc. wanted me to be, all the while not truly wanting to be that version of me, yet feeling guilty that I didn't want that, and couldn't truly be that person.

If you look into it a bit, one of the goals of high-demand (cult-like) organizations like LD$-Inc. is to beat down individuality, and remove identity. Whether the "organization" realizes it or not, they truly do want all adherents to basically be obedient clones who just sit down, shut up, and do what they are told. The titles that are used in LD$-Inc. to refer to one another is one blaring example of this that no-one on the inside even realizes or thinks about. As you mentioned, individuality, self expression, and real sense of self-worth are absolutely discouraged.

So after more than half a lifetime of trying to be someone else's version of me, what now? Will it take another half a lifetime to figure out who I am? Where does that leave my family? If I don't know who I am, they definitely don't know the real me either.

Finding folks who have been through similar circumstances in life, and spending time with them helps. I guess I would "encourage" you to do the same (since you asked for encouragement.) Find friends who are comfortable with you "feeling comfortable in your own skin despite social pressure."
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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

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alas
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by alas » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:40 am

I agree with Palerider, you are suffering from dashed expectations. You expected Mormons to be authentic, to act according to their genuine self. But Mormons are the biggest fakers I have ever met. I realized early on that the church teaches people to pretend to be perfect Mormons. There were some girls in my age group at church who acted like perfect angels at church, but at school their behavior was not up to Mormon standards at all. They were sort of opposite of what you did. Rather than being really good kids who did not conform to Mormon dress standards, they pretended at church to be really good Mormons, but at school they rolled up the top of their skirt to hike the hemline, they applied heavy make up that they washed off before going home, and they were the girls with questionable morals. But at church every Sunday they put on the act, and shunned the girls who were only slightly active as unworthy. (It was great to go to my 20 year high school reunion and see that they were the ones who had screwed up their lives)

The conforming stereotypes are all part of pretending to be perfect. I mean, who really thinks that all the men *like* white shirts and neck ties? No, most of them hate the “uniform” but they wear the priesthood uniform to demonstrate that they are perfect Mormons. With the women, I used to joke with my husband when we lived as active duty military overseas and out of Utah that I could pick out the women who went to BYU because of their conforming to “the look”. Seriously, at BYU there is so much pressure to look just right, that all the women had hair styled perfectly, a just right amount of make up, and sexy/modest clothing. Conformity is an important part of being a “good” Mormon.

Things like being genuine, having integrity, being authentic, having self worth, are not valued by the church. Really, who cares if anyone has self worth, in fact I think the church tries to beat “self worth” out of people until they think they are only good people BECAUSE of the church. They teach the “I would be a drug addict without the church.” And 99.9% of the time those people would be really good people if they didn’t have the church, just good Catholics instead of good Mormons.

There is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with the church that it teaches people to shun anyone who doesn’t toe the line and put on the act of perfect Mormon.

And you are right that everyone would be reaching out in love if you were some big sinner trying (or pretending) to repent. They are taught what to do with repent sinners. They are not taught what to do with someone who is confidant they are still a good person when they don’t conform to Mormon standards. So, you are this big puzzle because you are not guilty and ashamed for being an unbeliever. In their thinking you should feel terrible and guilty and ashamed for doubting Mormonism. The fact that you don’t confuses them.

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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:13 am

Finallyfree wrote: ” They give me a blank stare and think “we are baffled and pissed off that you don’t seem to have the need to feel guilty, and shameful like you’re supposed to.”
I like to call this "condescenvy". The members are envious of your freedom of conscience while at the same time being condescending towards your rebellion.

It's a painful form of cognitive dissonance from the example of those with more freedom. I used to suffer from it when my friends abandoned the faith and lived interesting lives instead of the proscribed one. Now it's my turn to be the conveyor of it.

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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:18 am

“Finallyfree” wrote:I was the guy in the ward that was on the “bishop track” if you will. I was in the elder’s quorum presidency 3 times, then the executive secretary for several years, then 1st councilor in the bishopric for a while. I was they guy that everybody would call “Bro. future bishop”
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here but you probably weren’t really “future Bishop” material. They just wanted you to THINK you were. The invisible cords of future leadership bind men to the church by instilling thoughts of “I could be a bishop someday. I could be a mission president someday. I could be... a General Authority!!”

That should be the first source of trauma!

...and garments! The garments are traumatizing when you first go through the endowment to get them, when as a kid you see your dad wearing them, then on your honeymoon when you see your wife wearing them for the very first time, and holy hell even when you first decide to STOP wearing them.

So traumatized.

Like 5 Finger making up words, I like to call this Traumapostized!

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fetchface
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by fetchface » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:24 pm

How many times have I been told that people want me at church?

I like to call them on it and tell them, no, they don't want me at church. They want someone who wears my skin but who in fact is a completely different person than I am.

I almost want to show up one day and be myself, raise my hand and say the things I'm thinking just to show them how unpleasant it would be for me to be there (for me and for them). It isn't something they want, and it is a waste of my time as well.
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by crossmyheart » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:12 pm

Out here in God's country you learn real quick not to touch a metal fence. The livestock learn the hard way and pull away in fear if you try to feed them through a fence they know has been electrified.

You tested the fence- just to prove its no big deal. But then you found out it wasn't electrified like you thought. While everyone else looks at you with fear.

Welcome to the other side of the fence. No matter what we do- we can't convince them to change their minds about the fence.

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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Mackman » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:54 pm

I know how you feel for years I did not feel the spirit but went along and wore the priesthood uniform, paid my tithing , shut my mouth and did all I could to fit in and for a while I did. At least on the outside but inside I became disillusioned and distressed to the point of suicide !!! I am no longer wearing the uniform and have switched to Jean's and a golf shirt . I am shunned and labeled an apostate even though I returned to church after being out 18 months. I say keep being an individual that God loves and admires for standing up to them . Keep praying as I do that the church will fall or at least you will be able to endure what you have to for as long as you must !!!!

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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:36 pm

alas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:40 am
Mormons are the biggest fakers I have ever met. I realized early on that the church teaches people to pretend to be perfect Mormons. There were some girls in my age group at church who acted like perfect angels at church, but at school their behavior was not up to Mormon standards at all.
All of my girls had to deal with abusive girls like that at church; truly they defined the word "Anti Christ". Our youngest was so relieved and happy when we told her we were leaving the church but we would support her if she wanted to still be part of it. "Oh hell no!" I think was her response.

FinallyFree, you nailed a lot of what I also experienced in my 40+ years in TSCC. At times I fell in line, but there were so many times the conformity just grinded on my desire to just be me. My non-member friends were so authentic, and as FiveFinger pointed out, I envied their lives and ability to just be themselves, at the same time that nagging thought the church put into my head that they are not part of the tribe and not super special chosen ones. It was a lot of cogdis growing up.

I didn't go through what you did in being the known apostate at church; I thank the universe my DW quickly had her own shelf break not long after mine did and we escaped the matrix right as we were getting up to the top of the project list.

There are many here that still slog the meetings for the sake of their spouses. It's not a pleasant place to be. The only advice I can offer is that you find a compromise with your spouse to take 1-2 Sundays away from church to go and do some things with the family, explore the outdoors, go to a museum or something of mutual interest to take a break from it. That could lead to a catalyst whereby they see more value in that than the church, that life could be better without it. Easier said than done, depending on your spouse.
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Finallyfree » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:23 pm

Thank you all so very much. I think I have always had cognitive dissonance, and that's why I tried to prove to myself and others that I could rectify my dissonance by being good, but not fitting the mold. It was my way of coping with the dissonance. I have been trying to convince myself for 40 years that this was a normal way to live. A lot of times, it felt really good, but I’ve noticed that those times where when I had experiences that fit the mold of what the spirit was supposed to be like. I always wanted to share them with others right away...I think to receive validation and commendation that I was "doing it right."

Yes, Palerider, I think you are spot on that my frustration and pain come from my expectations not being fulfilled how I thought they should be. I see that, yet working through the frustration is going to take longer, I think. I hesitate to even mention the name of the Packer individual, it brings up extreme anger and frustration that someone could be so ignorant to the realities of life...so insidiously narcissistic. Thank you for the kind way that you let me know that my expectations needed to be re-aligned. I agree.

Thank you AnnotatedBom, for sharing your experience with apostates, and your experience being one. I have felt that people are a little scared of me, and I think I need to learn how to be ok with that and try to turn it into something positive. I think I might go to sacrament meeting with a Starbucks cup in my hand to see who dares approach me. I’m being facetious, but I really don’t feel uncomfortable doing things like that. When my wife asked me if I was concerned about god’s judgment, I honestly told her that I would stand in front of God right now with this cup of coffee in my hand, unafraid, and with a clear conscience. I have not lived a perfect life, but I truly feel the god understands my heart and soul, and my desire to be good to myself and others.

Thanks for the encouragement wtfluff. I have been trying to find other people outside the church to hang out with, but I'm still in that stage where it feels weird, like I'm having a play date with Satan's children or something. It feels like I need to just let go and charge ahead, but I want to make sure I transition with as much control as possible to spare my family any pain. I'm actively working on it though, thanks for your thoughts.

I really liked what you related bout the girls growing up alas, because I am so proud and happy that my 14-year-old daughter is charging ahead being herself. She began asking to get a second piercing in her ears about 6 months ago. I didn’t really answer, because my wife just said no, the prophet has said we’re not supposed to. That was tough, but I left it alone for a while, and gradually over the past several months my wife softened when our daughter kept pestering her with question about why it was wrong. My wife had no real answers and she knew it, so she finally told her to think about it for another few weeks and then we would talk again. Well 2 weeks ago she went and had a second piercing in each ear, and I think they look very nice, and so does she. I spoke with her about people at church possibly telling her she was not supposed to and what she would say. She came back with "There really isn't a good reason at all that anybody knows of, so that's just stupid." I said, "You've got it girl!" I have talks with her about boys and really trying to reinforce her personal power. She gets to say exactly what she thinks is ok, and if she doesn’t feel comfortable with the nature of a relationship then it is within her rights and power to back out. Not because she's Mormon and not supposed to, but because she has the personal power to make decisions for herself and her own body. I find my kids have so much more personal stability when I teach them that it's not any set of rules that stop you from doing anything, it's your own personal choice that does that. It also seems to make them less susceptible to peer pressure, because they know they are captain of their own ship. My oldest is only 16, so maybe this will all backfire on me, but I've decided I will teach them everything I can, and try to help them see real world consequences of choices (not good vs evil, but smart vs not smart for their future) but in the end, it’s their life experience here on this earth, and they get to own it.

I love the new word "condescenvy" FiveFinger, I think I will use that, because it's real. It's so bizarre to witness, but its real. There should be a Mormon ad on that one. Your screen name makes me think of my experience in church a few months ago. I hurt my middle finger pretty good and when people asked me what happened I showed it to them! Some people laughed, and others really had no idea that I was flipping them of for 5 minutes, it was great fun. My wife just shook her head and muttered something about "boys and their humor."

Thanks for bringing me back down to earth Red Ryder with my view of myself as "bishop material." One of the things I am most grateful for is that I didn’t get called into more leadership before I got to this point, I am afraid it would have reinforced my dissonance skills to the point of potentially riding the crazy train all the way to the end, and I shudder to think of that possibility. I often wondered how many leaders have increasing dissonance and just feel that they would destroy too many testimonies if they came out, so they soldier on and suffer inside. My wife asked me last year when I was having a bad day to "count my blessings", and I couldn't really answer truthfully at the time, but what popped into my head was:
1. The blessing of looking in the mirror each morning as I get dressed and seeing normal person underwear. I really am grateful for that...A LOT!
2. That I am not in a leadership position going through this and feeling very trapped.
3. That I had the balls to just walk in and tell the bishop that I was releasing myself as scoutmaster, unless he wanted to hurry and beat me to it.

Mackman, you sound like a pretty cool apostle to me...er... I mean apostate. Funny how those words have the same root. Maybe the apostates are supposed to be the ones leading?? God doesn't judge a book by its cover, so jeans and golf shirts are ok by me. I had a thought about that idea of "the uniform of the priesthood" thing, and I have concluded that it might be ok if the church were really a military organization, but they’re not, so it's ridiculous. We don’t need the armies of Helaman to fight in the war of righteousness, because, there is no war. We don’t need to arm ourselves with anything or fight anybody because most people are pretty decent, they just drink coffee.

Rubin, my oldest son and 14-year-old daughter would probably fall right in line with the “Hell no!" answer, but we’re not at that point yet. We need to establish son non-church support systems before making a clean break away. I have a few co-workers that are never-members and I feel the most comfortable around them. It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day when I realized that if the prophet came and handed me a guaranteed free ticket to the celestial kingdom, I would totally pass, because I think all the cool people are supposedly going to hell.

I wanted to thank you all individually, because I wanted you all to know how much it meant to me that you gave me input and advice...and oh yeah, encouragement. Thank you all so much. I look forward to keeping in touch here for the foreseeable future.

A parting thought. We went as a family a few weeks ago to see the latest Star Wars movie and it occurred to me the analogy that is there. The empire personnel are all dressed in the same perfectly pressed uniforms, and all obey rules completely at the peril of being choked out from any distance and from any place in time or space.
The rebellion are fun loving free spirits all dressed in different clothing, unique, and individual. They fight against the oppression of the empire to crush their individuality and freedom. Sound familiar? Uniforms, conformity? Rebellion? individuality? I will leave you to ponder who are considered the evil ones and who are considered the good ones in that story.

As for me, I was born a badass rebel, and I’m ok with it.

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Fletch
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Fletch » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:06 pm

I’m new here. This whole thread has been therapeutic. I use to think all the people leaving the church were a bunch of wackos. Haha, now I’m one of them. Seriously, what well thought out postings here. I can relate so well to everything that has been said. Thanks for your time and effort in these posts. I’m sorting out how I feel right now. Reading all this is so helpful. Thank you.

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Not Buying It
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:57 am

The sad truth of the matter is that many of the relationships you had with the people you are describing were based entirely on the Church. Take that away, there’s nothing left. It’s not uncommon for that to even happen in marriages when one partner leaves the Church - the couple suddenly discovers the Church is all they had in common, and without it there isn’t much tying them together. I was very fortunate that my wife and I had many other things that kept us together, and she was - all things considered - pretty understanding of my position. Not everyone is so fortunate.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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MoPag
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by MoPag » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:55 am

Welcome Finalyfree and Fletch. We are happy you joined our ward family.
alas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:40 am

Things like being genuine, having integrity, being authentic, having self worth, are not valued by the church. Really, who cares if anyone has self worth, in fact I think the church tries to beat “self worth” out of people until they think they are only good people BECAUSE of the church. They teach the “I would be a drug addict without the church.” And 99.9% of the time those people would be really good people if they didn’t have the church, just good Catholics instead of good Mormons.

There is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with the church that it teaches people to shun anyone who doesn’t toe the line and put on the act of perfect Mormon.
So much this^^^
TBMs need to be constantly validated by other TBMs. I remember needing that when I was TBM. I would get so upset when people I knew left the church and even more upset when they seemed happier, because it didn't fit the narrative i had been taught all my life. It created massive cognitive dissonance. Very, very deep in my sub-conscience I could sense that the church and the culture were hollow and even toxic. But i didn't dare acknowledge what I was sensing. Instead, I relied on my TBM friends and family to preach and live the narrative i had been buying into my whole life. That would damped the insecurity I felt.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the way your friends are acting is just a reflection on their own insecurities. Hopefully one day some of them will wake up, like we all did. And I bet the first person they turn to will be you.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Red Ryder
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:06 am

MoPag wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:55 am
Welcome Finalyfree and Fletch. We are happy you joined our ward family.
alas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:40 am

Things like being genuine, having integrity, being authentic, having self worth, are not valued by the church. Really, who cares if anyone has self worth, in fact I think the church tries to beat “self worth” out of people until they think they are only good people BECAUSE of the church. They teach the “I would be a drug addict without the church.” And 99.9% of the time those people would be really good people if they didn’t have the church, just good Catholics instead of good Mormons.

There is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with the church that it teaches people to shun anyone who doesn’t toe the line and put on the act of perfect Mormon.
So much this^^^
TBMs need to be constantly validated by other TBMs. I remember needing that when I was TBM. I would get so upset when people I knew left the church and even more upset when they seemed happier, because it didn't fit the narrative i had been taught all my life. It created massive cognitive dissonance. Very, very deep in my sub-conscience I could sense that the church and the culture were hollow and even toxic. But i didn't dare acknowledge what I was sensing. Instead, I relied on my TBM friends and family to preach and live the narrative i had been buying into my whole life. That would damped the insecurity I felt.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the way your friends are acting is just a reflection on their own insecurities. Hopefully one day some of them will wake up, like we all did. And I bet the first person they turn to will be you.
MoPag, your thoughts are echoed by this post of the LDS Subreddit. Reading this guy’s story is so depressing.

https://www.reddit.com/r/latterdaysaint ... ing_words/
Short story. Was married for 5 years and have been divorced for about 3 months now. I have 2 toddlers! My relationship with my former spouse was full of issues and divorce was brought up by her multiple times in our marriage. She decided to “step away” from the church and that was the straw that broke the camels back. I am really having a hard time accepting her decision, even when we are not married anymore, the fact that she lives a different lifestyle kills me. Its hard to observe her living the “happy and free” life that she believes is what makes her happy, when I’m living the gospel and feeling so down. It has taken a toll on my faith, even though I’ve given everything to stay true to the gospel. I’m worried for my children, I’m worried for myself, and I’m worried for our future. I am active in the church and have a solid foundation and testimony, but with this whole situation, I feel so broken 😞. If anyone can give me some positive thought, that would be much appreciated.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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wtfluff
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by wtfluff » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:10 am

alas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:40 am
Things like being genuine, having integrity, being authentic, having self worth, are not valued by the church. Really, who cares if anyone has self worth, in fact I think the church tries to beat “self worth” out of people until they think they are only good people BECAUSE of the church. They teach the “I would be a drug addict without the church.” And 99.9% of the time those people would be really good people if they didn’t have the church, just good Catholics instead of good Mormons.
Gah!

This threads-bump brought back some "fun" memories.

I constantly repeated the "I don't know where I'd be today without LD$-Inc." I was one of those folks who "knew" I would have been a drug-addict in the proverbial movie-type crack house.


Funnily enough, I like to use the same phrase every now and then when someone asks me about my "beliefs" today:
  • I believe in gravity.
  • Without gravity, I don't know where I would be today.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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

The Beauty of Gray

Mackman
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Mackman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:13 pm

I was Bishop material once in fact I was the branch president once !!!!! Now days I dont want to be Bishop material !! I am different following my f.c. and I embrace it . I dont want to be MR Mormon !!! You will find yourself even though I think you already have, welcome to the land of misfit Mormons !!!!! Many of us are ole misfits and thank God for that !!!!

Reuben
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by Reuben » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:46 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:10 am
I constantly repeated the "I don't know where I'd be today without LD$-Inc." I was one of those folks who "knew" I would have been a drug-addict in the proverbial movie-type crack house.
Same. I was thoroughly convinced, as if ADHD guaranteed I would become addicted to something.
Funnily enough, I like to use the same phrase every now and then when someone asks me about my "beliefs" today:
  • I believe in gravity.
  • Without gravity, I don't know where I would be today.
In... in space, maybe?
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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wtfluff
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Re: The core of my mormon trauma

Post by wtfluff » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:10 pm

Reuben wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:46 pm
wtfluff wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:10 am
I constantly repeated the "I don't know where I'd be today without LD$-Inc." I was one of those folks who "knew" I would have been a drug-addict in the proverbial movie-type crack house.
Same. I was thoroughly convinced, as if ADHD guaranteed I would become addicted to something.
Funnily enough, I like to use the same phrase every now and then when someone asks me about my "beliefs" today:
  • I believe in gravity.
  • Without gravity, I don't know where I would be today.
In... in space, maybe?
:mrgreen:
Freeze-dried, floating aimlessly... In fact, I would likely be "matter unorganized," just waiting for some fictional deity to come along and use me to build another world, like-unto others.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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

The Beauty of Gray

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