August 30, 2006

When to tell...

I'm debating when I should tell my TBM family members my news about how I feel about the church and why I don't think it's true anymore. I've told my husband, who has never been Mormon, and he's very supportive of whatever I want to do. He's told me that he loves me no matter what religion I am, and that is sweet to hear. I know there are many who don't have that support and that's gotta be tough. I've got to break the news to my son who's 13, and my daughter who's 8. This could create some tension or problems. She won't probably care, but I'm not sure how he'll take it, so I'm fearing the unknown.

I know my son has noticed lately that I "BLOG" and it really irritates him for some reason. He made up this little song to the tune of Coolio's song "Livin' in a Gangsta's Paradise"...He goes past me singing "She's spending most of her life, livin' in a Blogger's Paradise" in this adolescent deep singing voice. Funny guy. Apparently one day he happened to look at what I was reading when I stepped away to answer a phone call, and it just happened to be La's sarcastic blog about being a "pawn of Satan." This week he made some comment so I know he read part or all of it. Anyway, I don't think he's read mine yet, although he knows I'm Sister Mary Lisa so he could easily find it if he wished. He loves to try to see what I'm reading over my shoulder, or what I'm writing, although I try to not let him see it as I'm reading. I'm sure he's noticed some changes in my behavior lately: I don't force him or his sister to wake up and go to church if they don't want to, even if I'm going. I get on my computer at home now like I never used to. I BLOG. I let the F-bomb fly recently for no apparent reason than to add shock value to my statement. And I laughed at their shock.

I've still gone to church during this last month since I discovered the church isn't true. Each time I feel more and more fake for even being there. Who am I trying to kid?? Why am I maintaining the charade? Why don't I just fess up and quit going starting now?? I don't know. I at first didn't want to be too hasty. I wanted to investigate more and decide using sound reason. I also didn't want to leave the primary in a lurch. I'm starting to care less and less. They will survive without me. This weekend will be a nice reprieve as I travel to SLC to visit my family.

I want to have my thoughts and comments organized in my mind before I discuss it with my son, so he understands clearly where I'm coming from. It may be hard for me. I'm going to have to list it on an actual list because I have a tendency to get sidetracked or forget what details I was going to say, especially when I'm really emotional about the subject or when it's really important to me. Or if I'm getting opposition, which may happen if he decides to argue against it. I'm going to let him keep going to church if he wishes, but I have a feeling that it won't happen that way. I really hope he doesn't decide to pull the LDS "I'm better than you and you are sinning" card.....

I'm scared to tell my dad. He's been active his whole life. He's the typical controlling, anal, stick-to-the-letter-of-the-law, unrighteous dominion type, and we grew up with much dysfunction and hatred of him. I've been blessed with a mind that can forget/repress many painful things from childhood, and I don't like to dwell on unpleasantness, so I have been able to forge a semi-relationship with my dad that doesn't include hatred and disgust over past events. Although there are still many things that I could recall if I let myself open that particular door in my mind, but I'd rather not at this time. Painful. But my dad is the type that you just don't cross since he's fanatical when it comes to religion. So I'm dreading telling him. He was a real control freak. I wonder if he'll be able to get past his Mormon conditioning and still treat me with love and respect once he knows I'm apostate. He apparently told my brother, when he came out of the "closet" as a gay man, that gays were the reason that God sent AIDS and other diseases to man, as a form of punishment. Come on, Dad. I can't wait to find out what kind of satan-is-influencing-me lecture he'll throw at me. It could get really ugly, really fast.

I've talked a little to my sister who was attending the temple prep class with me until we cancelled the class (last Sunday!). She's never heard much of what I've told her, and today we talked a little bit more. I can't wait to sit down with her to discuss all my thoughts and feelings.

I think Joseph Smith made it up. I actually believe the stuff I've read, because it makes more sense than the stories that I'm told are true in the LDS church. I read some of Joseph Smith's journal on the Deseret News website and I saw a letter he wrote to one of his plural wives and he acts all sneaky, asking them to come visit him in his hiding place, but watch for Emma and if she's there, hide until she's gone and the coast is clear. Come on, that's sneaky crap and smells of deceit and untrustworthiness and I don't buy into the claims he made to being a prophet of God. At least I don't buy into it any more. A few months ago I did, but not now. Never again.

I'm planning to sit down with my sister soon to discuss what I now know, and have already told her I'd understand if she wants to maintain her status in the church ~ that's her free choice, but I know I can't do it anymore.

I wish I could just quit going and never think of it again. I want to put it behind me and move on.

6 comments:

Just one of many said...

SML,
I can so relate. You are at the stage I was at a couple of months ago. I have a 9, 7, 5 year old. Although they are young, leaving the church presented a challenge. I let my children know that I love them very much and that fact would never change. I explained that lies are bad and I had discovered that the church has told several lies and we as a family were not going to support this church any more. I told them generalities...it is harder for the young ones to understand. Your 13 year old sounds mature and can handle some facts. But just make sure they know your love for them hasn't changed.
Your dad is another story. Forgive me for being blunt, but your dad doesn't seem to value you or your siblings as individuals. My mom is the same. The choice is yours not his. There will never be a perfect time. A therapist once told me that I would never be able to gain my mother's love and approval no matter how many hoops I jumped through. So guess what...I stopped jumping!!

C.L. Hanson said...

Your son sounds like a cutie. :D

I would suspect that he's just reacting that way because he's curious about your mysterious new hobby but is hesitant to talk to you about it directly.

Of course I don't have any teenagers yet, so really I'm not quite sure how they work... ;^)

Arizona Expositor said...

It's tough SML for sure and kids have a knack for detecting change. There will never be a "right" time to break the news to family or friends who are TBM's. Good luck this weekend in SLC and let us know how it goes.

La said...

We should meet in SL for lunch or something. This weekend is hectic, but drop me a line if you wanna. :)

LG said...

Okay, commence with the comments from good ol' LG. I can identify with so much of this post ... confusion about how I felt at first, wondering when to tell my family (turns out I am very efficient and came out as gay and apostate all at once), etc. I kept going to church for a while because I didn't know what else to do. Finally I felt so fake and hypocritical that I just stopped. I've been so happy ever since ...

questioninglds said...

I am glad to have found your blog.
It has really helped to know I have not been alone. This is difficult, questioning a church I have belonged to my entire life.