I have found unresolved anger towards the Mormonism one of the more debilitating aspects affecting those leaving the church. While anger is normal and certainly justified in many instances, anger can affect our own well-being, or those close to us, if not resolved at some point. Please share what practices, coping methods or other techniques that have worked for you in dissipating and resolving anger towards Mormonism or even towards family members and church leaders.
For myself, time has dissipated my anger; that, and reading and posting on boards such as this. I took a long leave from boards and links to historical information (ie anti-mormon). I now come back, thinking about things and enjoy reading of the problems in the history vs what the church teaches. It has been over 5 years since I left my mormon wife.
It IS debilitating Micah, you are right about that. I have no coping mechanisms except that it is becoming easier to accept that I'm unacceptable as I am. Instead of becoming angry or having a melt down I just practice that 'neat little Mormon trick - turn it off, like a light switch.'
Perspective. I wasn't born into debilitating poverty like the untold millions of people in India, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Central America and South America. I wasn't born in a country with an oppressive government like North Korea, Burma, etc. I wasn't raised in an ever more oppressive religion. Despite all the baggage that came from being raised Mormon, my life could have turned out a helluva lot worse in other circumstances. As hard as it is to make the transition, I feel lucky I got my mind out.
Happy guy mentioned perspective and that is important. Also, I have found other connections important. You leave the church and often the church is your social network, your community, and your frame for your world view. You are left rootless.
I found other sources for that in hiking groups, playing music, and such. We ex Mormons do well to note that we can and should connect with non Mormons. Ex Mormons are not nearly as unique as we think we are and that brings me back to Happy Guy's comment. The world is full of people raised in oppressive situations. We are not alone. We can make connections with non Mormons and they will not think that ex Mormons are freaks with three eyes. Odds are your emotional baggage is small compared to most.
For years after I left the church, I was more hurt than angry to know that Joseph Smith had lied, that the foundation of the church was rotten which meant everything above it was rotten, too.
I worked with Marlene Winell's "Leaving the Fold" materials (http://www.marlenewinell.net/page/leaving-fold-guide-former) for some months, which helped me sort out what I wanted to keep about growing up in the church with the stuff I wanted to toss into the trash. There were days I felt deep relief at being out, other days when I felt deeply depressed that it had all been nothing but one man's fantasy run amok.
The process was like peeling an onion; it took a long time to peel back the entire thing. What helped the most to release everything were a few basic tenants of something called The Sedona Method combined with Byron Katie's releasing techniques (look up a few videos on YouTube). I didn't need to buy their products or attend their seminars; I only needed a few minutes of watching the videos there to help me learn how to release the residue of the feelings left behind at being what I can only call emotionally and spiritually abused by the church. Maybe I was just ready to finally release it all after 20+ years.
When I look back at how betrayed I once felt, I realize that it's as if Joseph Smith wrote a really bad fantasy novel, and I obsessed over it. Time was, I would have laughed at that realization. These days, the strongest feeling I have about the church and its founder is...meh. I got over it.
For me I think its times to. I have been exed one year in July and still there is anger however I still needed religion in my life and after 32 years of going to church i still need to be in a formal setting to worship. Funny eh! I initially thought I would never get the church out of my system. Unlike others on this site I didnt suddenly believe what I had been taught to be false in fact for a while after being exed I would still say the church was true. It was so painful trying to rationalise how could the chuirch I believed in - kick me out and tell me things like " you are no longer worthy to have the holy ghost "Anyway I met a Catholic Priest who was wonderful. He told me to embrace my mormon years and take the good things from the experience and realise the person you are today has been shaped by my years in the church. He made me most welcome in his church and only praised my contribution to my previous church. We prayed and then I relaised I can do this outside of Mormonism. I did what he said and embraced who I am - I still get angry when I read something on facebook but am totally happy with my relationship with HF, and not being LDS.
Not really sure I am over it yet... but one thing that helps is finding others would have left and drinking out sorrows away... but really it is just the idea of letting go. Talk about it with others who can relate and just letting go of it is the only way i have gotten through it. But every once in a while i get riled up and have to get another rant session going with some exmos.
"When the blood crystals fill with anger, hate, rage or resentment, this will code the sentient DNA to destroy the physical vessel. When we are out-of-balance, our internal microcrystals are pulsing in the downward clockwise spiral of gravity, decay and time." Meg Benedicte
As I learned the effects from negative emotions, anger that stemmed from mormonism just did not matter anymore. I was not going to be bound by decisions of my past. I was only glad I was FREED from a toxic belief system. I wanted to live in the moment / live in peace, joy, love. I deserved it and knew letting go was key to saving myself. Go forward and live.
My anger has fluctuated over the last thirty years with each new bout being of lesser amplitude than the one before - so for me resolution seems to look like "burn out" or just getting too old to care any more.
Well... It'd be a lot easier if I wasn't the only one in my family/social circle of truly all-in TBMs, (DW, 4 kids, parents, and most friends), to cast off the LDS church in 2006 but after it soaked in that no one outside TSCTC gave a damn about it, and realizing how bitterness did myself no good, I just decided to "let it go."
Sure, I still have feelings of betrayal but it just would continue to bring me down and cast gloom on my normal happy self to dwell upon it much. I have other healthy interests now to replace my "anti" church studies. My DW still goes to church every week, plays the organ in Sac Mtg/Stake Conf, choir, etc. She's the Gossip-le Doctoring teacher and all-round all-in member, she is finally (seemingly) relaxed going off to church each week alone. 3 of my 4 (all married) kids are treating me with pre-exit respect and they have apparently learned to live with my new found freedom. It was hard at first but the passage of time has done a lot to help me get past the anger.