About 2 weeks ago, in an attempt to regain some control over my life, I closed my facebook account and shut down this blog. I had reached a point where I greatly resented the public nature of my journey. If I could change the past I would go back and start this blog as an anonymous venture. The passive-aggressive nature of some facebook interactions and misunderstandings had accumulated and worn me down. And perhaps most of all this blog was beginning to shape me rather me shaping it.
(There was also a very specific catalyst for the shutdowns but I won’t discuss it here).
It is one thing when friends un-friend you on facebook, it is quite another when a family member does it. How on earth does religion trump family? It would seem as though the religion that most likes to present itself as family-friendly has a rather bad track record of keeping families together. All of the focus on the afterlife has blinded people to the needs and feelings of those right in front of them in the here and now! I watched an online friend go through the full gamut of emotions recently resulting in serious consideration of suicide. And we all know about the suicide attempts and actual suicides of LGBT Mormon youth in the States.
It saddens me to be experiencing rejection and unkindness from family. The loss of friendships has also been hard but there have been many beautiful people ready to pop up and take their place; do I have to replace family as well? I guess I am beginning to learn that family is not a right but a privilege and must be earned with love, respect and kindness.
I am blown away by the lack of compassion shown by Mormons. There are some that shine out and do what you’d expect any decent human to do but then there are a disturbing number who refuse to even try to understand an apostate’s pain. The horribly overused label stating that a person has “Left the church but won’t leave the church alone” is one that is sadly so entrenched in Mormon culture and yet it is so hurtful to anyone who is trying to process the enormous changes going on in their life. Think for just a moment of how you might feel if everything you thought was true was turned upside-down and it happened at whirlwind speed and then imagine that the people who you have been closest to for your whole life tell you that you must never speak about this to them, ever. For you to discuss your confusion, feelings of betrayal and hurt, your loss… all of these very real emotions and experiences are rejected by those whom you love and instead you are told that you are mistaken, lost and evil.
Instead of discussion there is ignorance. Instead of love, distance.
And so because I started this journey with my brave real face on I now have to choose whether to ‘disappear’ and regain some peace or move forward in the face of hypocrisy and unkindness and put my name to my thoughts and experiences. I know that by writing these things down I will help someone else who is right now being shunned by their Mormon family and friends. After all of the lessons I heard in church about writing a journal to help my progeny it turns out that the most useful thing I can do with my words is to help people survive the turmoil that can come in the first stages of post-Mormonism.