I've basically spent the last 24 hours realizing everything about the church online...I think I'm still kinda in shock but it's totally hitting me now that my life will never be the same again. I don't even think my life is worth living anymore, all my friends and family and members and I will literally have no one if I try to leave...please help what do I do my whole world is crumbling apart around me and I just don't want to live after reading these things anymore everything I've though for the last 19 years is a total lie...

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Bree,

I seriously thought that my life would fall completely apart and that I would lose my family. Fear really had me by the throat. But here I am 2 years later and they have been the very best of my life. I walk around thinking- how did I get so lucky. I realize that my brain is filled with so many more positive thoughts instead of fear and guilt. Take your time and you will start to notice more and more happiness in your day. My children all listened and left one by one. As for your friends and family: You would be so surprised at how many of them are on the same road as you are and just afraid to talk about it. Our hearts are always searching for the truth. We survived, no we flourished, and so can you. Don't be afraid to do the right thing.

Take your time, Bree.  I took years to exit, to put things together.  Its a major shock!  

Bree,

First and foremost, discarding ones' life in the name of any of the myriad false gods and their accompanying belief systems is not an option. Ever. Historically speaking, more lives have been lost in the name of <insert deity here> than for any other reason, and the madness of this must end. Let it begin with you. Right now.

Second, this may seem harsh or incomprehensible at this moment, but trust me here, the so-called "friends" who turn on you because of your decision to leave are not and never really were your friends. If the full extent of their ability to bond with you begins and ends with Joseph Smith, then they can be regarded as little more than the equivalent of fair-weather drinking buddies. Trust me, given some time (not much) you won't miss them and you'll realize you can do without their constant and incessant efforts to drag you down. Real friendship requires actual trust and time invested in getting to really know someone and should not/cannot be founded exclusively upon what amounts to a shared delusion. Discard them as I discard an empty pack of cigarettes.

Your family will come around. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. Eventually they will realize that while they may not agree with your decision to leave the church, you are still family. Assuming they aren't a collective of raging dysfunctional idiots (I give the benefit of the doubt until I know otherwise), they will come to understand that you are bound to them, and they to you, in ways that transcend mere religious trite. Time is the key on this front, but mark my words, it will happen.

The realization that something you once believed to be true is, in fact, an outright lie is a painful realization. It can -and will- require you to reevaluate your entire world view from the ground up. It isn't easy and it can be terrifying. But ask yourself this: Is a false sense of happiness or reality really better than the alternative? Initially it may seem so, but rest assured, given time (with which comes a certain degree of wisdom) you'll come to realize that the alternative isn't as frightening as it seems right now. In fact, you may even come to regard it as a brand new adventure/horizon/vista to explore.  

One last tidbit: As you make your journey from Mormonism, do yourself a favor and don't automatically cling to whatever the next snake oil salesman to come along offers you. Take some time and sort things out in your own head, in your own heart. I came to the conclusion I could do without any form of religious or "spiritual" beliefs because they were just that -beliefs. Your millage may vary, and I won't presume to dictate where you go from here on this front, but be mindful of those opportunists who may seek to pray upon you during this time. Trust me, they're out there.

It's better to be hated for you who are than loved for who you aren't.  

That is awesome. Thanks for that. I think I'll post that on my wall, as a desktop wallpaper, and maybe more.

Agreed!  I really like this Nathan.  Did you word this or did you read it someplace else?

We have a Secular Humanists group here in Charleston and there is a Family division and I presented an idea to the one who runs that portion of it that we should try doing a group exclusively for the youth the way the LDS church has a Youth Group and she loved the idea because she has two sons around that age range and I was asked to be one of the leaders of it.  I approached it to her because I've decided not to contact Big Brothers/Big Sisters again like they wanted me to so they could get more information about my availability for the program because they are just simply being too difficult.  I also have been waiting for several weeks now for the Communities in Schools program in Charleston to set me up as an in school math tutor and I really just kind of want to get my foot out there somewhere to help out and I thought maybe if they had a kids group that is Secular based that would be the best route for me to take at this stage of my life.  

While I was talking to her one on one I told her some of the obstacles I faced in my life going through the Mormon church and being confused about my own sexual orientation and feeling wrong about myself for many years.  The discussion got a bit more personal because she told me she thinks her 12 year old boy might be gay and she would be perfectly okay with it but just wouldn't know how to approach him about something like that.  I told her some of the things I thought about that kind of issue then we talked more about how Gays are mis-treated so terribly by the religious community .  She told me that several years back just before Facebook became popular that they had a web forum where they talked a lot about how to encourage people to be themselves when they were so afraid of what others would think about them or if they would be shunned away.  Someone there in the group made that statement that everyone thought was very helpful. It's natural to be worried about what your loved ones will think of you being yourself but at the same time it's absurd to think that if someone doesn't accept you that they really are someone that ever loved you in the first place.  

I know there was probably a much shorter way to answer this question but I like to be articulate and answer questions in detail going to the core.  That is who I am, so hate me for it.    jk.

hey man, im sorry you feel so down. i work in outreach, so please contact me @ zlemesany@yahoo.com if you're ever feeling like you're so down that there's no way up.

the best way to go about things when you feel like you have no one, in my opinion, is to go out and meet people until you find somewhere you belong. there will be other rejections and frictions, keep your head up!

Bree,

I am just reading your post for the first time, and wish I had seen it sooner.

If you can make yourself available tonight (Saturday 2/18) join us in the chat room. Come meet some new friends. It usually gets busiest around 11pm - 1 am (Utah time). 

You'll find that there are MANY people who have been where you are now. For me it was about 3 years ago. Thankfully, my wife followed me out of the church a few months later. I'm grateful for all the friends I have made through this site, and facebook, etc. I now have more friends, and enjoy my life more, than ever did as an active Mormon.

Life is beautiful. But in order to see the beauty, we must first learn HOW to find it for ourselves. As Mormons we were always told what to do, and where to find "happiness". Now you have arrived at your graduation day from the church. And it's your turn to take control of your own life--to find out what makes you TRULY happy. Sure, there are going to be growing pains along the way, but they will be YOUR growth, and YOUR pains, NOT simply a will imposed upon you by a cult.

I hope to see you in chat later.

Eric

I just now saw your message. I was in my late 20's when I left. I already had a husband and 4 children. Married in the temple. I remember feeling like I was a piece of glass that just fell to the floor and shattered and I felt it could never be put back together ever, ever again. 

What happened after that, was I maybe picked up one piece of that broken glass and built a new life for myself with it. I'm still me. Most of us here have crossed through the looking glass. We're standing on the other side of the bridge. We're here to tell other's that there is life over here too. That we didn't go to hell, we didn't start being evil, we faced our fears, our terrible, terrible fears that we were cohorting with the devil, or going to outer darkness and kept on going. And we got to the other side and can now see it for the lie that it is. And we are free from that lie that was binding us. And we are living productive happy lives, just as much as anyone else. 

It takes time and it takes processing. We are organic beings after all. Take your time, you'll find out what's right for you in your life. And that is life. Finding our own way for our ownselves, is what makes life, LIFE. 

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