I've mentioned this a few times before (I think) and I believe the sentiments are shared by fellow converts:
Y'all, I feel stupid for even complaining. BIC members had no fucking choice. Me? I was EIGHTEEN.
Yes, I know. Eighteen isn't exactly adult, except perhaps on paper. I could vote, couldn't drink, finally got my sorry ass out of high school, and had zero clue of what to do with myself. I had a great GPA, but not great enough to get into UC Santa Cruz--and it wouldn't take much to talk me out of even that. It just took a pretty girl full of energy who was willing to be my best friend and a group of people who loved me without even getting to know me (all they needed to know was that I was a potential inmate). Whereas once I was a social outcast, surrounded by people who had known me since preschool, I was a new person. They didn't know who I was. It was a relief.
And let's be honest: I needed to get the fuck out of my parents house. I needed to cut the cord, because my mom would never on her own.
So you have a convert who left the church and is now bitching about it. I feel lame for doing it, and like I said I'm not the only one. I know what the world is like without the church whereas BIC members have no clue.
But I've been doing some thinking.
I characterize myself as an ex-Christian girl, but if cornered you'd find out that I'm hard pressed to go very far in denouncing Christ. I may know what the world is like without the LDS church, I can largely break off from the hammering doctrine easily construed as brainwashing, but I can't get away from Christ.
For about a year following my disaffection I would denounce and bitch about the church, feeling rather confident in my feelings--but the second you put me with SIL for more than five seconds (if that), I'd leave with an enormous desire to go back. To figure out a way in. A compromise. In the end I knew I couldn't, but you can believe I tried. I believe I've said it recently, but that part is over now. Mostly because she has changed, and so have I. Because our friendship has fizzled, and I'm done mourning it nearly ten years after it began to crack.
That said, I still have Christ. I have entered into one church since leaving the LDS church that hasn't thrown me into a complete fit of anxiety and panic. I wasn't totally calm by any means, but I didn't freak out. And while that church is nowhere near me now (you wouldn't catch even a UU church within 45 miles of me), sometimes I think "you know, if I were to attend a church that would be the one."
But then it stops, because I don't believe. But I want to. Sometimes I want to so, so bad.
I want to compromise my beliefs sometimes, but I don't even try to. I don't because Eric is atheist through and through now and I don't want to deal with that, even though I know he'd deal with it. I don't because my desires always hit a brick wall when I realize I don't believe. Not really.
Christmas was weird for this. All the children's shows and whatever featuring characters who mentioned Christ and the way I'd react inside, wondering when we're going to have The Talk with the kids. Jason, I know, is interested. My views (my scrooge-ish views) on Santa changed: let 'em believe! then later we can use that as a lesson regarding how everyone can tell you one thing and yet it's still wrong: use yr brain, kids). I couldn't just relax. I'm on constant vigilance, and it hurts. It physically hurts.
I need to come to some sort of peace, but I don't know how. I've rejected Mormonism after some work, now I'm working on my feelings regarding Christianity which entails a lifetime of inherent belief. Even when I took the four year sabbatical from church, I still believed.
It fucks me up with regard to my kids. It just really sucks.