Friday, November 19, 2010

Psychological Dysfunction


For anyone who has wondered why I have been doing mental gymnastics for the last year or so.

Read me

That's a fucking big list when you put it all together!

You can read the article this list came from here, also very helpful for ex-mos.

Thanks Cognitive Dissenter for posting the link over at Smoking Joe's new blog Moroni Blows.


  1. SHE'S ALIVE!!!

    That Moroni Blows blog is brilliant... I'm off to share it with my better half!

  2. Thanks for this post, Maureen. I totally identified with the list you shared. Then I went over to the article and found the list of fears. I think that I have experienced each and every one of them.

    It's good, so good, to know that I am not alone in the world.

  3. I like the way the list ends with "Addiction to Pornography." Ha!

  4. Yeah baby! I'm alive... very much so infact. That's pretty much why I have been somewhat inactive here. I've still been checking in w/other peoples blogs though, soothes the soul.

    Moroni Blows was a cool find eh! The author seems to be in the comical stages of deconversion w/I find produces some of the best writings ex-mo's come out with.

    You're welcome Donnell. You know I am so glad that you wrote here about how good it is to know that you are not alone in the world and that the links really helped you. They helped me too and other peoples blogs help me to heal as well. I just came up against a family member last night who said to me that my blog is disrespectful, rude and in bad taste. I responded by saying that it helps people and that I benefit greatly by reading other peoples blogs... and that they don't have to read it if they don't want to etc etc. Oh, they even mentioned that "freedom of speech is one thing but..." yeah but!!! but nothing, that is the whole point of freedom of speech, there is no but! that's why I don't watch violent porn or horror movies, it makes me feel crappy, but the writers etc have the right to produce the work. Hmmm, the conversation is still fresh in my mind so I'm a bit P.O.d about it. But it's all good, I'm glad I have the guts to stick up for myself now.

    Ha! mack, yes it was kind of like rahrahrah for a while, important but fairly straightforward examples and then BOOM, let's cap it off w/a bit of pornography addiction! Love it!

  5. Isn't that list crazy? I remember reading it and checking off almost all of the items on the list.

  6. It's a good reminder of all the crap that what we're leaving behind! Sometimes I forget what a big thing it is to leave the LDS Church. Yay for ex-mo blogdom :)

  7. p.s. I meant to say "Hi texcommando" :)

  8. I think I just made a huge assumption! Sorry Texcommando, reading through your blog it sounds as though you still identify as Mormon. I am just about to go to the beach w/the kids and I don't think they can wait any longer but from what I have read so far you have found a very liberal place/way in which to experience Mormonism. I look forward to reading more.

  9. I don't know. To me that list indicates more about some serious misunderstandings of the gospel and some deep needs to seek therapy than anything brought on by the tenets of Mormonism.

    Just to begin with the first few:
    1. Where is the doctrine that membership in the church exempts us from depression found?
    2. How many times do we have to be told to think it out in our own minds before we will start to believe that is what we're to do?
    3. I believe they call this the human condition.
    4. Actually, "don't be a pharisee" (seeking salvation in rote performances) is a pretty frequent theme of mormon discussion.
    5. What does I'm a child of God mean again?
    6. Isn't this exactly what we're taught not to do?
    7. Feeling overwhelmed...I believe that's what we call the parents of young children condition.
    8. Some remedial work on basic doctrines like agency and the plan of salvation needed here.
    9. And here.
    10. Again, seek therapy.
    11. Therapy would help here too. And establishing some more healthy relationships.

    I guess I'm just surprised that so many people seem to take what is on offer in Mormonism and make themselves miserable with it, rather than using it to help themselves be happy.

  10. The main thing I want say Retief is that I think you are one of the 'lucky ones' who has been possibly raised in a more liberal Mormon sphere. I agree w/you that Mormons ought to address depression just as anyone should. Mormons should also explore their belief system and understand exactly what they are committing to. There are a good number of Mormons who were raised in more conservative hubs (I happen to be one of them) who grew up believing that to be sad/depressed was the result of some sin or fault. That if I were truly righteous then I would be happy. I also grew up shunning any info that delved into the hows/whys/whats of Joseph Smith and his Golden plates etc.

    With no.3 (Not knowing who the real you is) I have found that this is one I noticed upon leaving. I started to say things like "I like______" or "I don't like _________ ", "_________ makes me feel happy" etc etc. I started to think about what I wanted/liked/felt rather than what an institution such as Mormonism wanted me to say/feel/think. It has been magical.

    4. and yet your time is eaten up w/all of the things one must do as a Mormon... leaving precious little time for personal growth... and to be honest I found, precious little time for family - the thing the Church says they are big on but in practice seems to mess up.

    5. Many people feel this in Mormonism (i.e. that they are not good enough). If you don't then great! I can't tell you how many Mormon women (and men) I knew/know who just can't seem to feel accepted by god. If they don't feel it then telling them to feel better because they are "a child of god" probably won't help much.

    6. Part of the point of this one is that Mormons love to attribute success to righteousness... and sickness etc to sin. Even if you know you shouldn't compare yourself to others doesn't mean you don't notice the differences.

    7. I found Mormonism to be very overwhelming. So do others. If you think it is just parenthood and not Mormonism then that's great for you. Many people identify w/this list and who are you to say that their experiences are not valid/real?? I would have loved to have been a young mum minus the Mormonism! no point in regrets though. Am loving the new lifestyle. Went to the beach w/the kids this Sunday morning and then out for breakfast. We used to spend 3+ hours at church and then collapse in a heap in the afternoon!! yuck!

    8. Again even if it is a misunderstanding of what you consider the 'doctrine' to be that is still going to be rather irrelevant to the 100s, 1000s? of people who sit in Sunday School/Sacrament mtg/priesthood/relief society/young womens and hear the ideas of their teachers presented as doctrine. There is plenty of misunderstood doctrine out there. The doctrine itself can be hard to pin down. I remember some of the young women still believing that if they did not marry in this life then they could marry some hunky spunk like Moroni or Nephi in the next life!!

    9. I felt this. No longer do!!! phew.

    10. Yup, I think many ex-mo's need plenty of therapy after surviving the crap that is Mormonism.

    11. I feel I am repeating myself but again if you have never felt this way Retief that I am happy for you that you have found a brand of Mormonism that works for you.

    I do also wonder about the high use of anti-depressants in Utah.

    Overall though, it still comes back to personal experience. if you don't identify w/this list then great but judging those who do and saying they don't understand doctrine, they need to see a therapist and they need to suck it up because life is hard (paraphrasing) I think just demonstrates the kind of 'holier than thou' attitude that attributes to many of the items on the list in the first place.

  11. Maureen, I absolutely agree that it comes back to personal experience. It is the universalizing and blaming these experiences on mormonism to which I object. I also agree that everybody could use therapy - None of us escapes childhood unscathed.

    I have to mention just a couple of the numbered topics. On number 5: Of course I feel it. We can't believe in eternal progression and believe we're ever good enough. But we have to distinguish between being good enough to stop working on ourselves, (which we aren't) and being good enough to be happy (which we can be.) Also from being good enough for a parent or whoever, which may or may not be healthy or even possible depending on your situation.

    On number 6: "Mormons love to attribute success to righteousness" You are completely right that this happens often. I think it is one of the most pernicious foolish traditions of our fathers. It is an example of precisely the kind of wrong doctrine I'm talking about. Mormons believe all sorts of non-doctrinal things, and being Mormon doesn't exempt us from being screwed up or from having screwed up parents who haven't sorted out truth from tradition.

    Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the beach with your kids. It's too cold here in Northern California to do much real playing at the beach, but I am going to take mine to see the elephant seals haul out later this month.

  12. I feel as though you may be missing the point with the list. The reason it resonated with me is that for the last 18 months I have been I guess 'un-doing' a lot of things in my head as well as changing habits etc. I find I still get caught out in old thinking patterns and it annoys me that I have had one persons religion (JS) along w/a whole bunch of other leaders (mostly men, and these days very old men) dictating how I should feel, think and act.

    There are some very valid reasons to be mad at the church as I am sure you are aware. Just the prejudice against the LGBT community is enough to get many members to leave and be very upset about having ever been involved in such a reckless and unkind religion.

    The way ex-Mormons feel about the religion will vary but I think that the list that I linked to in this post is very reflective of many peoples experience with Mormonism. Sure there are other factors that contribute to depression etc besides Mormonism but I have known since the moment that I realised JS made it all up that I had a lot of shit to clear out of my life and most of it had accumulated directly from Mormonism. If that is insulting to you then I am sorry that you feel hurt by these comments but for me (and for many others it would seem) this is a real thing. Mormonism leaves some big scars and it is not easy to heal but I am trying.

    It bugs me no end that every time I now struggle w/something in life there are a few TBMs who love to make a dig about my having left the church being the reason for it. We all have tough times in life, there's no god playing games with us. (p.s. I'm not directing this at you just talking a bit about the aftermath of Mormonism).

    I can honestly say that I have never felt more alive, more free, more at peace in my whole Mormon life than what I have experienced during the good times of my postMormonism. I could never go back. I am happy for people who find happiness there but I do wish they would let all people be happy (including the LGBT community).

    I am curious, why do you visit blogs like mine if you are a TBM? are you a TBM? You're most welcome of course. I just wonder because I have no desire to read Mormon blogs. I do read a couple of TBM friends blogs but they don't talk much about religion.

    It's great living near the ocean isn't it. So rejuvenating.

  13. I'm not insulted or hurt; we are all on our own journeys. As for why I visit here, I suppose it is mostly nosiness. A big open window on a stranger's life, total unlike mine but with just enough points of intersection to be interesting, who could resist? I'm curious about other people's perspectives. If I recall correctly I found my way here from some ex-mormon blog that I clicked on while on Jesus' General's website, which I enjoy in limited doses from time to time. I don't remember which one but it was mostly teenage drama. Anyway, yes I am a TBM and thanks for the welcome. Here's one anyway who knows that the rain falls on everyone.

  14. Always pleased to meet a TBM who doesn't look at the rough patches in my life as a sign that god is mad at me. Must be one of the most infuriating things that a believer can say/do. Aaaaah, letting go, that is my new thing, letting go of being hurt by other peoples comments (especially family, man! they can be the worst!) enjoying the festive season :) have a great one yourself Retief and all my blackbikini/greenbikini readers!