I joined the church with my family when I was 5. Although I wasn't born into it, it's been all I know. We were sealed together in the temple when I was 9, which as a child was a big thing being told you'll be with your family for eternity.

Somewhere along the line dad became increasingly obsessed with the church. Every meeting, home teaching, conference etc Mum slowly stopped attending and brought work home almost as an excuse. Dad played the guilt card all the time. Mum began to drink heavily.

As a teen I had huge rows with my dad because he wouldn't let me out the house with school friends as they were 'bad' influences and could lead me astray. I could only socialise with church members. (went to a non-mormon school) This went on for years. Mum always kept quiet, she knew her place.

Shortly after my 16th birthday one of the boys asked me on a date, so scared to ask my dad. Because he was a 'good church boy' (his mum was my YW leader) he said yes without question! MY TICKET OUT THE HOUSE

And so it began, any time I wanted to go out i'd go on a date. The bishop (who happened to be my best friends dad & a police detective) started pulling me into his office for 'interviews' most Sundays probing into my social and sexual activities! Most of the time I had no idea what he was talking about. Did he not notice me every morning for seminary at his house? or see how well I lead the YW? I was seen as a bad influence because my mum was inactive.

I was blissfully unaware that this YM I had been seeing was heavily into drugs along with a few other LDS YM, who I was friends with. Being my only ticket out of the house it was only a matter of time...... "OK then bishop, lets give you something to interview me about!" (I never did tell)
My first club was a hardcore dance event. Was more worried about going to hell than dying when I took my first pill! Only bumped into a returned missionary doing the same thing WTF!!?
I smoked my first bong and joint before a cigarette! Still going to church, seminary etc. And still only allowed out with my church friends....

Mum had an affair and they got divorced. So what happens to my eternal family now? Dad made it quite clear in several statements that the church is his family. From that moment on I became a drinker of coffee and a smoker. I still clung to the gospel, realising what pathway I was rapidly traveling down, but no one helped me incase I lead them astray.

I felt guilty about my sexual discoveries and thought if I married him it would cancel out the 'sin'. By the time we got married drug addiction had taken it's hold (various types) and our double-standard life was getting hard to keep up. He liked to remind me he was still a preisthood holder and was more important than me. Our marriage lasted a year and I was getting divorced at 21. I lost everything and never went to church again.

6 years on, I am finally happy. I am getting married to my prince charming who rescued me from my self destruct and who believes in me. We have a little boy who is our world. My own family is my religion. I no longer pray as I believe I make my own strength.

Thank you for reading. I'm quite new to this site and on discovery I even felt guilty and sinful for typing 'ex mormon' into google!!! After all these years I finally feel I can start my recovery.

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Wow Erica, that's quite a story to have lived through, laced with heartaches and addiction. I'm glad you have found us and are now recovering from your church "addiction". Congrats on your up coming wedding. A book I might suggest to aid recovering from the cult mind control is "Releasing the Bonds" by Steven Hassan. Good luck with your new life and freedom.

Wow! Your story sounds so much like my own! It is almost eerie. But, since admitting to myself (finally) that I never really believed this stuff, I have found so many other like-minded 'ex mormons". Good luck. I think you will be much happier now that you mind is your own!
Isn't it amazing, Erica, how you don't need the church to learn how to be happy without drugs? All those ridiculous rules, all those probing interviews, all that fear of the least little misstep... It all goes out the window when you first learn the undeniable truth that Joseph Smith stuck his face in a hat.


Congratulations to you and your little family.

ahahahahahahahaaaaaahhhhh it gets funnier every time i think about it....the hat, that is.

Thank you all for your replies! Cant tell you how relieved I feel that people can see and understand and not judge. This website has really helped to start my healing. I never before realised my mind wasn't my own!
The best is yet to come. :) Congratulations on making it to this point!
Thanks for posting.. I am happy that you are happy.
You're really a beautiful, strong woman ~ I'm so glad you shared your story here! You've been through a lot, and a lot that I can relate to ~ the sex/sin/cure, ex-mormon google guilt, finally beginning to recover... and even though I've been single for ten+ years I really like what you said about your family being your religion. That's the faith that's in my heart too ~ and I'm glad that's really a part of who I Am. Here's to healthy recoveries! Love to you and yours ~

I can understand how you feel .....


I was once very much in love with a mormon and i though he better represented the christian values of love and kindness ...... i think it was both his religion and my religion (catholicism) or more particularly their views on relationships between men and women which brought a lot of trouble into my life ..... I could list a few of them : ban on dating or being friends with women, sexuality as taboo or sin (in lieu of a realistic, moral, safe and responsible approach and discussion), mormons shunning other christians and viewing them as members of Babylon, polygamy in the mormon church which, in my view, has hurt so many women and children (especially when it was forced upon the members), and so many more ..


I am glad that you found someone to truly love you and rescue you from the pitfalls of religions.


I myself still think there are some good moral values in religions such as monogamy and fidelity (mainstream christianity), healthy lifestyles (mormonism) and wise choices (basic common sense) but i think religions can also bring a lot of misery and evil (subservience, submission and siliencing of women, having too many babies too early, ban on contracetion which, in these day and age, is totally irresponsible,insensitive to the plight of women, and very selfish in many ways, cruelty of blood atonement and other religious practices such as sharia law) .... etc ;


In the end, finding someone who truly loves you and whom you truly loved and making sensible and wise choices in your life such as healthy lifestyle habits, managing once finance, having the number of children one can really takes care of and one truly wants, getting proper education, making our family our priority and caring for them (mutually) and being faithful and respectful to each other as well as loving and caring seems to me to be a good mix of the principles that should lead to a healthy, happy, fulfilling and safe life..


This is say from experience (mostly bad) and watching and learning from others believes, lifestyles and experiences.


The most difficult part is to find someone who truly loves you and whom you truly love and who believes in the same principles of leading such wise, sensible, healty and safe living.


I converted to mormonism when i was in my 20's but never was active so dont have the guilt burden and programming that you have when it comes to being in the true church and folllowing all its diktat ... I am still a mainstream christian (a far easier religion than mormonism and less guilt building or controllling or extreme) but i must say that i have learned some good things in mormonism (of the very little i know) : healthy lifestyles, focus on family (though family has been my greatest hurt and damage) and wholesome activity as well as understanding the benefits of chastity and monogamous commitment ..... maybe i knew this all along ... except that in this world where love is so brittle, we are bound to be hurt and make mistakes unless we have the right values from the start and are careful whom we associate with ..

All the best




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