Have you read, heard or seen some of the responses to the editing fiasco? I'd list some but then I'd have to kill myself.
I'm done! People, there is no hope. In this sense I do think I need to leave the fucking church alone. I can talk about, work through, cry and scream about my experiences, but this bitching activism thing about their doctrine and policies and ignorant beliefs is like bashing my head against a brick wall. I can only lose so much blood.
I realize that wavering members might see this blog and that leaving is a difficult thing but ultimately a very good thing, but it's like a reverse version of Russian roulette. Most of the time I'm just hurting myself. Once in a while someone will stop by and be all "hmmm, she might have something" but is it worth it? I'm not sure, and I'm leaning toward "NO." Unless a person comes to me, I'm done. I at least need a break.
I started this blog to just talk about religion. Y'all, I had severed all ties with the church for months except for the ones I couldn't escape: family, a few friends. Every time the Ensign showed up at our house, BAM! into the trash. It still does, but y'know. Example. I didn't look up this shit. I left the NOM board alone. It was wonderful.
But like I mentioned, you just can't escape this completely. You can't. And I go through cycles, sometimes severe, of obsession. I began not too long ago to obsess over religion and god and what I believed and didn't believe. I wanted a bit of support. I needed it. People told me I needed to blog again, and I figured the church would only be a part of it. It would have to be. Aside from being born Christian (which is huge), the church is the single biggest influence in my life. My membership spanned what I consider to be my most formative years. I can't ignore it completely, and I knew I wouldn't be able to.
That said, I was under the naive and hopeful assumption when I began this blog that the church had to at least give it a fucking break for a little while, but jesus. They can't. Always something.
And their sheep just follow. I don't even know why they have eyes.
Mmph. I mean that and I don't. I visited with my MIL last night and I don't think I have to say it again but I will: I love my MIL. She's a sweet woman who has been nothing but the same to us since we (er, the kids) told her we don't go to church anymore. And it made me think of all the shit I've been saying, the posts on facebook where she is a friend, the thoughts, whatever.
I don't want to shove this shit in her face. Not without her asking about it. She's happy, she's a good woman, she's not hurting anyone. She's even really kind to her out nephew. She's a good, good woman. We disagree on many things, but she's always been really good to me. And it's good to love others despite fundamental differences, because we are more than just our sexuality. We are more than just our beliefs. Though those two things make up a huge part of who we are, nobody is two-dimensional. We are complex, wonderful beings and we need diversity in this world if we are to really survive and be happy.
My ex-roomie has been nothing but good to me. MLDSFDTS.
I can't figure out how I can rail against the church and not against them. It's not possible. They take it so personally. And why not? We all know how it gets into your blood.
Railing against the church for us is like an exorcism. We take it personally, and why the hell not? We have every reason to. But sometimes, I just really wish I could quietly go. My anger more than anything makes me feel the church still has power over me.
It all makes me think back to when I was first disaffected. You know, very very angry and very loud. The regrets afterward. Nobody responds well to childish ranting. I need to respect their decisions and their views if I want them to respect mine. Shoving it in their faces doesn't do jack shit because, in the end, they will believe despite until something hits them just right. Just like Prop 8 did for me. Polygamy.
In short, I need to STFU. I will speak up when necessary, but it needn't take up the majority of what I do say. If I want them to see me as more than just an ex-member, if I want them to see my happiness, then I need to curtail the bitching which doesn't do much good anyway. I will stand up, but I also need to know when to back down. If I want respect then I need to give it. I remember what it's like to be a TBM just like I remember what it's like to have your first real doubts.
I get my recent anger, you know. Events like Packer's talk and Prop 8 was what really gave me the green light to consider leaving. It was offensive. I didn't appreciate what my experience taught me about the church: that they think I'm stupid, blind, and willing to ask "how high?" when they demand that I jump. I've never been that kind of girl--except as a member. And the more my political views changed over the last five years, the more I realized the grey in the black and white, the more these doctrines snapped me out of it. That really was the beginning of the end, polygamy. Thinking I should have another child when I knew I shouldn't, couldn't. Being told how to vote. The hatred toward people who don't hurt others any more than anyone else. So when I see these issues arise again, it triggers and I get obsessively angry all over again. And I kind of hate myself for remaining. I can't condone this shit, even passively.
Which is why I drafted my first resignation letter last night. I'll get into that in another post probably.
But once you've been gone for a while you begin to romanticize it. You want to be kind and not like the devilish "antis" you were warned about and vilified for so long. You want to be that good example, to prove to other members that see? i may be an apostate but i'm still a good person who doesn't obsess and bitch and turn into a monster. And, in that vein, because we're good people, before we know it we're only thinking of the good things about the church. For me, it's (some of) the hymns, the smell of the church building, the traditions. I miss seeing my husband dressed up. I miss seeing my boys dressed up. I enjoyed teaching the women in Relief Society for the two times I could handle it before I had to cry uncle--not because I hated teaching (I loved it) but because I didn't believe in it.
Yet if I were to attend a church, the LDS church would be the only one I would feel at home in despite everything. I liked the quiet. I liked the lack of crazy shouts of "hallelujah!" and the lack of fear that someone would break into tongues. It's a more inclusive doctrine. It wasn't weird to me--with the exception of F&T Sunday, but that was more entertainment than anything else. So you begin to forget about the hurtful things, the things that made you miserable. You want to forgive and forget. So we need the reminders occasionally that it wasn't all that great. Ask Kiley. Sometimes we need an Elder Packer to remind us why we left.
It's not a bad thing to remember the good. Because they are, in large part, good people. We didn't join to be assholes. We joined because we wanted to be better. We stayed because we wanted to be good. We left because we wanted to better our lives, to be truer to what we know now is reality. To grow and enjoy life. We got out of the fucking cave and omg, it's pretty awesome. We want to spread that gospel. But we need to give remaining members the benefit, to allow them their own time to get to whatever conclusion they will get to. We may be sad for them because we feel they are missing out on so much, but in the end it is their decision. If it makes them happier and they're kind to others, then we need to leave them alone and not waste our breath fighting with people who have dug their feet in, who only want to be right. And we can understand that. At least I can.
I'll talk with MLDSFDTS if she wants to, I'll just be myself and deal with his family thinking I'm super weird instead of just a little, but I need to GET OVER IT. Life is too short for this.
Besides, MIL aside, there's no arguing with super TBM members. There's just not. Not that I've really tried, but listening to their reactions was enough. I get so angry as to lose all rationality. I just want to scream, and that does nothing for the cause.
I'm done. White flag. Surrender. All that. There's no point. I know there's a point with people who are wavering, but goddammit, that's not my place. Not to the extent I've taken it. I'm yelling at people in vain and at the expense of others who don't deserve to hear it all the fucking time. What good is it doing?
I'm tired of being so angry...again. I always end up hating myself in the end. I'd like to enjoy myself. Laugh a little. Move forward instead of going back. This isn't that. There's a whole world out there, and all I can do is be spiteful. This isn't getting my power back. This is giving it back to the people who I allowed to take it away in the first place. They don't deserve it.
I recognize, however, that it might take me a little bit to fully get over this. I'd be dishonest if I told you and myself that I won't ever bitch like this again. I will. It's part of the process. But for now, I want so much to be done. Also, I'm dealing with a bit of depression this last month or so (I'm bipolar. There. I said it.) and it makes it difficult to make firm decisions. To not obsess and feel attacked. To not feel so goddamn insecure and defensive. Anger is easier and more cathartic than being depressed and feeling like nobody likes me, guess I'll go eat worms. Being angry makes me feel in control, powerful. But I'm not.