I have gone through a tremendous amount of change in the past three years. I have been reflecting this morning on how that change has affected me. I have gone through the five phases of grief, brought up old wounds from years past that have not healed, and new wounds created by my exit from Mormonism. I have determined that Mormonism is a religion based on denial. As a Mormon I tried to deny I was human. I tried to be perfect, expected and expected those around me to be perfect. Mormonism prevented me from looking into my soul and finding peace within myself. Mormonism prevented me from accepting myself for who I am and others for who they are. I was always chasing the carrot on the end of a stick. Working to be better, to please those around me and to please god. I denied myself healing from abuses I had suffered. I denied myself the joy of just being me. I was kept so busy with church callings, reading approved church books, talking about church, that I did not know what Jeannie wanted or needed. It was all about the church. I look at those people I know within the church, with whom I thought I had great relationships. Only to find out, the church was the only anchor to those relationships. We had nothing else in common. My friendships now are so much richer than they ever were in Mormonism. My anger towards mormonism is fading, I don't pay attention to it much anymore. Religion is learned it is not something we automatically have with us when we are born. When I was a young child, religion was not part of my life except for the once a year vacation bible school. It was more of an opportunity for me to be with my friends. As I got older, and adults thought I should attend church, I was introduced to religion. The Baptists, were my first experience. Of course, it was again an opportunity to see friends. Then when I was seventeen and not quite sure what I was going to do after high school. I ran into the mormons. A messed up kid from an abusive childhood being saved by God. I fell into mormonism hook, line and sinker. Here it comes, perfection, guilt, obedience and anything else they could throw at me. I think it was good for me, it gave me they discipline I needed to get through life. I developed qualities that I am glad I do possess. I was not the most responsible person growing up. Mormonism was the strict parent that I never had in my life. It is easy to get along in Mormonism. Tow the line, do what you are told, and you will be fine. After experiencing growing up years of sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, Mormonism was my saving grace. I came to a crossroads, I could either continue down the road of mormonism, paying, praying and obeying. Or move on to paths unknown. As I moved on to paths unknown, I have had my richest learning experiences as I worked on healing from past trama. My path away from Mormonism has lead me home to myself. I believe in life, we learn the things we need to when we as an individual are ready. I believe as I walk my journey of life, It is my job to take care of myself. I have the ability as we all do of blessing ourselves with what we need to get through life. I have the strength and ability to do whatever I want and need to do for me. I don't need anyone or any religion telling me what is best for me anymore.