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escaping the Mormons
#1
escaping the Mormons
I was raised Mormon. This is no simple thing to endure. Church EVERY Sunday and Wednesday, until you go to high school, and then it's also every morning for an hour before school (seminary) as well as weekend activities and youth "camps" and dances, which I referred to as Mormon breeding ground because it felt so disgusting being forced to be there. You never get a break. It was grueling and I fought the whole way because I was outraged by some of the beliefs.

I was the youngest of 5 and my parents were not sympathetic to or even open to discussion of my intense hatred of every aspect of "The Church". My father was and still is a narcissistic controlling jerk who used the structure of this religion to his special advantage so he could call upon it as justification for whatever he felt like making us do or not do. I was depressed all of my life from the age of a small child and religion compounded all of my worries and I felt horrible about myself and guilty about RIDICULOUS things and was always thinking about it. I felt that it was unjust to be confined in the ways we all were, and being a quiet child, I just simmered in this isolated world where no one in my environment questioned anything and treated me like a product. I say this because my parents seriously expected that no matter what my complaints were, if they had me do X Y and Z day in and day out, I would pop out at the end a pure and beautiful Mormon woman, so I was ultimately ignored as a person. I felt at all times like I was so far off from what the world wanted of me, and this was hard to deal with as a child. They even had me seeing a Mormon psychiatrist at 13. They kept taking me to different ones, each offering pharmeceuticals which I refused until I was suicidal some years later. I was so isolated and bombarded with a hideously flawed ideology for years.

I was especially outraged at an early age by the distinction between males and females, which I would say was the first sign I showed of not believing what was being fed to me. The males believe they get special powers of the priesthood and are told things women cannot know, as well as many other lifestyle differences such as the boyscouts programs vs the women's Relief Society where you are taught how to serve men and families, basically. It was a feminist's or intellectual's nightmare. and I mean it when I say nightmare. All reason and questions rolling off of the clean-looking blank-eyed sickly sweet members. it was like being in the Twilight Zone. only it doesn't end in thirty minutes. I felt the whole world must be that way. I was effectively trapped and the world I knew was intentionally molded by other people. I could only know it felt wrong and was at the least frustrating.

At 16, I was very worried about the afterlife and sin. I knew I didn't believe the mormon religion, and made appointments to see some other religious leaders in town, without letting my parents know because they'd never even let me set foot in another church or learn about any other religion. I had a friend drive me to meet them. That day I was shaken to the core to learn that for instance not everyone believed that God and Jesus and holy spirit are different beings, that we existed before being sent into out bodies, etc. It took me about a year to think through all of the questions this debasing led to. All of my assumptions about life and the universe fell apart that day, and I'll never forget the feeling. It was urgent fear and confusion and anger at all the people who had lied to me and kept me from common knowlege. That isn't likely to happen to a person more than once in their life.

The very day I turned 17 I moved out (that's when it's legal in Texas) and lived in my car more than a year. The freedom from a life of religion felt so wonderful and I didn't speak to my family for a long time. I still can't forgive them for making the first 17 years of my life so .... bad. If anyone has experienced the same thing, I'd like to hear about it. Of course I know other Mormons who "fell away" but they usually go back or have an alternate superstition they take up. I would be equally interested in hearing about people who were raised in any religion against their will or just to their detriment. I consider it abuse.

I am not an atheist just because I hate Mormons and I want to get as far away from them as I can, though that is true. I wanted badly to find another religion that was real. Of course, I couldn't. Seeing the example of how my father used religion to control us in his maniacal way made me all too aware of the danger of others who are just as hungry to do the same and also those who have done so in the past. I have identified as a humanist, but atheist applies too. I am an atheist because I'd like to see people being good to each other and not making our lives any more difficult than they have to be, and religion has gotten in the way and stopped us from being rational about how to accomplish that, all while parading around in a self-congratulatory way claiming it is the only way to get there. The worst is that they are meanwhile claiming people's minds and lives which is unforgivable since that is all we have.
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#2
RE: escaping the Mormons
Good on you for getting out and being true to yourself.

I had a friend once who was kidnapped with his sister as a child by his mother and tkaen to live in Utah and raised morman by an abusive step father. He hates them and eventually got out to live with his father in Mississippi. He's now an atheist living in Seattle, but we don't talk anymore. So while I'm not friends with him anymore, I know how mormonism can affect people because of the stories he told me.
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Benjamin Franklin

::Blogs:: Boston Atheism Examiner - Boston Atheists Blog | :Tongueodcast:: Boston Atheists Report
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#3
RE: escaping the Mormons
I'd just like to say well done on keeping yourself together throughout those 17 years of brainwashing. It would have been all to easy to simply succumb to that level of indoctrination but the fact that you obviously has some form of built in immunity says a lot for you.

And you are quite right in saying that this is a form of abuse. Any loving family would have let you decide what path in life you wanted to take for yourself, but then, perhaps they are as much victims of this religious virus as you were.

At least now you are free to work things out for yourself and if nothing else, the experience seems to have made you a very strong and determined person.

Oh, and welcome to the forum { cool }
[Image: cinjin_banner_border.jpg]
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#4
RE: escaping the Mormons
Also from me welcome to the forum, and I am glad you managed to break away from what I regard as the most abusive form of Christianity.
Best regards,
Leo van Miert
Horsepower is how hard you hit the wall --Torque is how far you take the wall with you
Pastafarian
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#5
RE: escaping the Mormons
Welcome IamAwake,

Your story is a pretty compelling case for reconsidering the 'freedom' of religious education.
What interests me is what was the basis of doubt for you, was it rebellion against the repressive nature of your upbringing or was there an intrinsic doubt in the 'truths' provided by mormon religion?
"I'm like a rabbit suddenly trapped, in the blinding headlights of vacuous crap" - Tim Minchin in "Storm"
Christianity is perfect bullshit, christians are not - Purple Rabbit, honouring CS Lewis
Faith is illogical - fr0d0
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#6
RE: escaping the Mormons
(January 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm)IamAwake Wrote: I was raised Mormon. This is no simple thing to endure. Church EVERY Sunday and Wednesday, until you go to high school, and then it's also every morning for an hour before school (seminary) as well as weekend activities and youth "camps" and dances, which I referred to as Mormon breeding ground because it felt so disgusting being forced to be there. You never get a break. It was grueling and I fought the whole way because I was outraged by some of the beliefs.

I was the youngest of 5 and my parents were not sympathetic to or even open to discussion of my intense hatred of every aspect of "The Church". My father was and still is a narcissistic controlling jerk who used the structure of this religion to his special advantage so he could call upon it as justification for whatever he felt like making us do or not do. I was depressed all of my life from the age of a small child and religion compounded all of my worries and I felt horrible about myself and guilty about RIDICULOUS things and was always thinking about it. I felt that it was unjust to be confined in the ways we all were, and being a quiet child, I just simmered in this isolated world where no one in my environment questioned anything and treated me like a product. I say this because my parents seriously expected that no matter what my complaints were, if they had me do X Y and Z day in and day out, I would pop out at the end a pure and beautiful Mormon woman, so I was ultimately ignored as a person. I felt at all times like I was so far off from what the world wanted of me, and this was hard to deal with as a child. They even had me seeing a Mormon psychiatrist at 13. They kept taking me to different ones, each offering pharmeceuticals which I refused until I was suicidal some years later. I was so isolated and bombarded with a hideously flawed ideology for years.

I was especially outraged at an early age by the distinction between males and females, which I would say was the first sign I showed of not believing what was being fed to me. The males believe they get special powers of the priesthood and are told things women cannot know, as well as many other lifestyle differences such as the boyscouts programs vs the women's Relief Society where you are taught how to serve men and families, basically. It was a feminist's or intellectual's nightmare. and I mean it when I say nightmare. All reason and questions rolling off of the clean-looking blank-eyed sickly sweet members. it was like being in the Twilight Zone. only it doesn't end in thirty minutes. I felt the whole world must be that way. I was effectively trapped and the world I knew was intentionally molded by other people. I could only know it felt wrong and was at the least frustrating.

At 16, I was very worried about the afterlife and sin. I knew I didn't believe the mormon religion, and made appointments to see some other religious leaders in town, without letting my parents know because they'd never even let me set foot in another church or learn about any other religion. I had a friend drive me to meet them. That day I was shaken to the core to learn that for instance not everyone believed that God and Jesus and holy spirit are different beings, that we existed before being sent into out bodies, etc. It took me about a year to think through all of the questions this debasing led to. All of my assumptions about life and the universe fell apart that day, and I'll never forget the feeling. It was urgent fear and confusion and anger at all the people who had lied to me and kept me from common knowlege. That isn't likely to happen to a person more than once in their life.

The very day I turned 17 I moved out (that's when it's legal in Texas) and lived in my car more than a year. The freedom from a life of religion felt so wonderful and I didn't speak to my family for a long time. I still can't forgive them for making the first 17 years of my life so .... bad. If anyone has experienced the same thing, I'd like to hear about it. Of course I know other Mormons who "fell away" but they usually go back or have an alternate superstition they take up. I would be equally interested in hearing about people who were raised in any religion against their will or just to their detriment. I consider it abuse.

I am not an atheist just because I hate Mormons and I want to get as far away from them as I can, though that is true. I wanted badly to find another religion that was real. Of course, I couldn't. Seeing the example of how my father used religion to control us in his maniacal way made me all too aware of the danger of others who are just as hungry to do the same and also those who have done so in the past. I have identified as a humanist, but atheist applies too. I am an atheist because I'd like to see people being good to each other and not making our lives any more difficult than they have to be, and religion has gotten in the way and stopped us from being rational about how to accomplish that, all while parading around in a self-congratulatory way claiming it is the only way to get there. The worst is that they are meanwhile claiming people's minds and lives which is unforgivable since that is all we have.

Well done you! You have many more years to enjoy this earthly life we are so fortunate to have the chance of experiencing. Enjoy all that it offers and rejoice that you escaped from those who spend their time as prisoners of superstition.

Oh..and er...welcome aboard!
HuhA man is born to a virgin mother, lives, dies, comes alive again and then disappears into the clouds to become his Dad. How likely is that?
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#7
RE: escaping the Mormons
(January 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm)Purple Rabbit Wrote: Welcome IamAwake,

Your story is a pretty compelling case for reconsidering the 'freedom' of religious education.
What interests me is what was the basis of doubt for you, was it rebellion against the repressive nature of your upbringing or was there an intrinsic doubt in the 'truths' provided by mormon religion?

First, as a child, I felt that the rules being implemented were unjust, most importantly to me the knowlege barrier that females could not cross. Then I thought the people implementing them must surely have unholy reasons, such as making women subservient and obedient. That did not sit well with me because I didn't blindly trust anyone, let alone anyone who wouldn't listen to my concerns and thoughts. I was asked to leave a class by a church leader when I questioned his logic of how God used Hitler to do his will, which was to eliminate Jews. What made me furious was not only that he mentioned girls needed to listen to men when they're speaking and not talk back, but that not one other person questioned that statement. They just all looked at me uncomfortably as I was fuming and standing there outraged at being dismissed by reason of gender and also at everyone there for accepting these ideas. They were just blank slates being inscribed upon, waiting to see how I would be dispatched so that they too could learn how to deal with those who question.

When I doubted a god's existence, it was after reviewing other religions, seeing the same faults and shady origins, and then many months of denying myself the right to fully think the thought. The guilt of betraying God. The fear of being punished for the thought. The uneasiness I perceived life to hold without God. It's amazing how long it can keep you in that state of being too afraid to think your thoughts. The conflict was great, but the thoughts weren't even fully formed and conscious until the moment I finally really didn't believe. The veil blew away. The guilt was gone. And it was good.
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#8
RE: escaping the Mormons
I recognise how it can feel as betrayal, even if all reasons thereof are cleared by rational thought. And I haven't been in a situation that is anything near to yours. I think you've shown great courage and persistence fighting your way out of this lunacy. These are indeed things with which you have defined yourself in this world. Welcome to reason.
"I'm like a rabbit suddenly trapped, in the blinding headlights of vacuous crap" - Tim Minchin in "Storm"
Christianity is perfect bullshit, christians are not - Purple Rabbit, honouring CS Lewis
Faith is illogical - fr0d0
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#9
RE: escaping the Mormons
I'm so glad that you have managed to escape from such a bad situation. And that you have found the courage to escape and also to now truly express yourself like this.

Good for you. And welcome to the forums.
Evf
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#10
RE: escaping the Mormons
Very interesting read. Thank you for posting it.
I used to tell a lot of religious jokes. Not any more, I'm a registered sects offender.
---------------
...the least christian thing a person can do is to become a christian. ~Chuck
---------------
NO MA'AM
[Image: attemptingtogiveadamnc.gif]
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