What was one thing before you left, that really hurt you? Whether it was tscc, family, a TBM.
For me, I think the thing that hurt me the most was something that my brother and his wife did.
Ten years ago when I was getting married. My husband and I decided to get married in Las Vegas. I always knew that I wanted a small wedding and this worked for both of us. We did a lot of research and found the chapel that we wanted to go to. We informed our close friends and family and asked everyone to join us. Leaving Seattle in March to go to Vegas was an easy decision for everyone. A wedding was the perfect excuse. Except for my brother (and his wife). When asked if they'd be joining us, they said no. They wanted to, but they didn't want their daughters to think that it was ok not to get married in the temple. WTF? Ok. Whatever.
Now I'm even more glad that we made the decision that we did. I couldn't imagine going to the temple and vowing to obey my husband. I think about when my brother and his wife got married and the gestures they had to make. Does she really want that for her daughters? It just goes to show how brainwashed the members get.
I had an unusual exit from the church in that I experienced little to no hurt, anguish, offense or otherwise, but I can understand why many do. I think this is partly due to my adapting a better serving philosophy for myself prior to and during my exit. Though I come from a family of 10 kids, all of whom are still fervent believers, I have come to accept that we all have our own paths to follow in life and the sooner we accept that for ourselves and others, the more likely others will come to accept that towards ourselves. Those who don't are really just hurting themselves by poisoning the relationship, causing those they don't respect/accept to withdraw from them for their own safety.
When leaving any religion, I believe it is well for us to remember that we were once completely enveloped in the same mentality as those we have left, and that memory should serve us at minimum as an understanding of why they do the things they do, or even further, allow us to feel compassion for them and not respond by causing hurt back at them. Not knowing whether we'll experience any other lives after this one guides me to seeking the most peace with others possible in this life towards others. Hopefully your brother and SIL will eventually follow that wisdom some day too.
the thing that hurt me the most was that I had allowed myself to be deceived for that long about the doctrine. I keep telling myself that it was not really my fault as information access was limited - but with hindsight I look back and think of the positive things that came out of my membership (and yes, there WERE positive things) and am just glad that I can build on the positive and leave behind the things that no longer matter. Do I have regrets that I once belonged? No, because that was THAT Season of my life. This is another...
Just before I told the Stake President that I'm gay, and in a relationship (at the time), it was the summer of 2008. As many of you know will remember all the political hype going on. What did it for me was sitting in Sunday School and being called a Republican (I'm very much a Democrat) and hearing gay hate being taught during the lesson. I stormed out, and told the stake president the following week. It wasn't the content that was the most hurtful, it was seeing the nodding and the members of the class unanimously agreeing with that trash being spewed from this so-called "inspired" teacher of dogma.
Most of the hair-pulling came after reverse-engineering the belief system. :)
And, what Micah says:
"When leaving any religion, I believe it is well for us to remember that we were once completely enveloped in the same mentality as those we have left, and that memory should serve us at minimum as an understanding of why they do the things they do, or even further, allow us to feel compassion for them and not respond by causing hurt back at them."
By definition, you were already mostly 'left' or 'out' -- or I may be misunderstanding your statement. Believing Mormons wouldn't dare get married outside the temple (except in countries where law requires), and those who do are supposed to feel ashamed with a sense of urgency to get married in the temple as quickly as protocol allows.
By all accounts, if you were still believers and were hurt by this, you might have been more 'out' of the church than you thought, contextually speaking.
Upon thinking about Micah's statement, I don't completely agree that we should allow our compassion to get in the way of our integrity. That is to say, compassion shouldn't be an excuse to walk on egg shells hoping not to 'hurt' those who believe certain things. I often find myself monitoring my responses and behavior with deliberate and considered intentions, but my integrity will still remain in place. I'll soften the blow, if there has to be one, but if someone really wants to be finite to the point where they're asking for an intellectual punch, I can only forewarn them that it might very well hurt. Pride is a sensitive area for those that believe strange things. Or not?
Like alcohol on a wound that needs cleansing. Really stings at first, but once it's cleaned, it's all good.
I think you might be misunderstanding my statement above. What I am trying to convey here is that once outside of the religion we left, when others in that religion do hurtful things, mostly out of ignorance and unconsciousness, we can save ourselves a lot of hurt by not taking their words/actions personally, as they are merely following their conditioning and programming. We might even feel sorry (compassion) for them as they are missing out on so much of what life has to offer when judgment of others is abandoned etc.
So I'm not saying we should walk on eggshells, around the religious. I agree that staying true to yourself and your integrity should likely always trump how others might feel about it. I'm just recommending that how we can avoid further hurt by remembering that those we left will likely do further things that could potentially hurt us, and by not taking their default programming personal, we can avoid it etc.
I was hurt by the actions of my Bishop a few weeks before I stopped attending church altogether..but it wasn't totally the reason I stopped attending.
I had been outed as a possible non-believer/doubter by an investigator who I thought was a true friend at the time. I had confided some of my thoughts/negative about the church, to him, and unfortunately he used them as an argument against the church with the missionaries who were continuing to teach him, even tho it was obvious to everyone except them that he wasn't interested in joining the church by that time, he just wanted the company of the missionaries and to join in the group volleyball classes they held etc. and with an older member of the church who was sort of mentoring him. He claimed that this older member persuaded him to tell him who had said these things against the church, and so he told him it was me, to which the guy replied, 'oh what does she know? all she does is spend all her days on facebook, she doesn't know anything.' Well, I was annoyed at this, and upset that he thought that was all I did all day. I am disabled and suffer from depression too. I wrote an email to the bishop, not stating the name of the member involved, suggesting that our next joint PH/RS Sunday meeting should be about mental health/illness, and how to approach people with it with compassion and understanding. He wrote back to me asking if it was Elder suchabody, and I said yes but that I was trying not to name names..so he then forwarded my email of concern directly to that member, who then had a small email war with me concerning my testimony etc. I must admit that I felt the Bishop was well out of order with what he did, and it did make me feel uncomfortable about attending church for a while..I also felt very paranoid that I may have been being discussed already in meetings of the Bishop and co. because of the things I'd told this investigator in confidence.
The total let down from ward members who came across as friends one day and then turned about face the next when they learned of my "early" release as 1st counselor in the bishopric. I wasn't offended, just shocked that I was suddenly a complete outcast.
@ Iron Lung - it is also known as the Big Love....er....I mean the Big Shun...
you are not alone in this - I have experienced this too as I am sure many others.
So much for the teachings on Loving your neighbour...
It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
I didn't have much pain from anyone/any specific thing before or after I left the church. I was always a bit of an outsider even in primary. The pain came from the shattering of my life foundation when I realized everything about the church was bunk.
I think if we are honest with ourselves this pretty much sums it up for most people Naomi.I often liken it to a marriage that has gone bust due to an extra marital affair and how the betrayed person must feel. One has hopes and dreams of all the beautiful things when you begin and when it ends there is just this "shattering of one's life" to use part of your posting. I don't know which one (the marriage or the church betrayal) would be most hurtful though.
Well put. x
When my grandfather died recently, I reflected on how much he supported me when I was a teen, and then a 20 year old apostate. He was very active in the Church and volunteered at the Salt Lake Temple visitors center and a life long Mormon. I never felt that he was disappointed at all in me but after he died, I have to admit that I was in a bit of hurt that I did not go on a mission or have a temple marriage; I felt that I let him down.