I was born into the church to a conservative LDS family with a pioneer heritage. I was never good at fully accepting all of the gospel but I did become adept at putting things on a shelf. I embraced the LDS way of life. Despite several traumatic experiences and some serious personal ups and downs along the way I was fortunate to marry a wonderful supportive man. We have four beautiful children, two through birth and two through adoption.
My husband is having his own doubts but he is on a separate journey. I don't feel it's helpful to his discovery for me to vent to him all of my frustrations, fears, and anger. This is hard place to be in. My closest friends aren't an option either as they are all LDS.
It's been a difficult few years. My parents are not really speaking to me. I'm 35 years old and it's high time I grow up but it is difficult to loose the acceptance of the people I come from. I have a deep love and respect for my parents, brothers, and extended family. I have known from day one that I couldn't discuss any of my doubts and the things I researched. Instead I deal with the comments, being accused of sinning, of not having the "spirit," etc. I have put up some boundaries with a few people who were sending me scriptures and links to help my unbelief. Some were texting me multiple times a day. I realize this is shocking to them and it is painful for those who love me. I was a long time TBM. Former Primary President, my husband was put in the Bishop-ric at 25 and has served in various "high Priest" callings since this time. People like me don't leave unless we have a serious character flaw. It is hard for me to know that is how I am viewed. It is difficult for me to accept that I can't change this. I wish I was one of those people who didn't care so much.
In addition to the theology and historical issues I have it is difficult for me to separate the abuse I witnessed and experienced by those who are LDS from the LDS church. Everything was experienced through my LDS washed lense by LDS people. I have many things that I have refused to face or deal with and now I find that I have no other choice.
I struggle deeply with the split my leaving has caused within my own family. My oldest children are torn, I want to take them out of something I see as mind controlling and damaging and yet I have taught them to believe this. Most of the time I feel that as a parent there is nothing I can do. I know that it hurts them to see their mom not going to church. I feel very helpless.
I'm sorry if this was a long vent. I hope I can find people who can relate. Thanks to those who created this place.
Have you told your children of your deep seated feelings, and why you cannot go to church? Are you still in a position of encouraging them to go, rather than expose the other side of the coin to them?
I lived 60 years as active in the LDS church. Like you, No one I knew are likely candidates to discuss doubts. I finally broke the bonds and am using my own blog to share my journey. Feel free to take a look at some of my thoughts. I've only been blogging about it for 6 months. As others have said, "You are NOT alone".
Thayne, I have to disagree with your blog about most christian churches requiring, or, proposing 1/10 for a tithe. I have been in probably 12-14 christian churches over the years, and it's not ever discussed from the pulpit, or even in writing. People give what they are comfortable giving, hence, the baskets that are passed each week. Now, it can be common for people to make a "pledge" for a given year to the session of a church, but again, this is not a particular amount that is named. It can be as little as $20.00 a year, or as much as $50,000. As a universalist, attending a presbyterian church, never once has a dollar amount been discussed. For two weeks in a row, at the first of the year, someone takes the pulpit and asks that we make whatever pledge we can afford. I cannot afford a pledge, and nobody has said boo to me. Some months I give, and some months I don't. And the beauty of it is, it's guilt free.
Thank you, Pollypinks. I have had very little exposure to churches other than LDS -- and I should not make generalizations about any of them.
elleheartland, The thing that I found the most sad was that your parents aren't still embracing you in love and acceptance, and that can be horribly difficult. Many here share your journey, so please know you are not alone. While my father never cut me off emotionally, we've had our ups and downs when it's come to theology. I don't like it when people in the church seem to think they are doing the right thing by cutting off members of their immediate family simply over the issue of leaving the church. There's nothing my children could say or do that would cause me to stop loving or caring for them. I think you will find some people here who you will relate to very easily, and will help you through your journey. Thank you for sharing. Patience with your husband at this time is probably difficult, but a much needed aspect of your recovery.