Mixed Feelings

I finally started my resignation process this week. It was as easy as an email. I sent the email Monday night and Friday afternoon received acknowledgment (in the mail). Apparently my last bishop has to contact me to take care of my request (I'll give him a few days, and then maybe I'll look up a phone number and contact him to speed things along).

My lovely cousin is getting married today (in the temple), so last night I attended a pre-wedding dinner for family and friends. I had the opportunity to catch up with one of my few non-believing cousins (out of 22 grandkids on this side of my family, there are 3 of us I think). She had no idea I'd left the church, even though I've been out for going on 2 years (and open about it for 1.5). I even ran into her as Dave and I were leaving a pub recently, and I guessed by her reaction then that she didn't know what to think. The funny thing is, I know my parents have had conversations about me with her parents/siblings, but apparently this kind of information doesn't get passed on to the inactives, lol.

So it was really nice to be able to talk about some shared feelings/experiences. At the same time, we were surrounded by TBM loved ones and I had this underlying worry about offending them if/when they overheard our whispers. Like, a couple times the four of us (my cousin and her partner, and me and my boyfriend) made drinking jokes, and my little sister (RS pres in her singles ward) looked a bit disturbed. And it bothered me - not in the, "I feel offended that you're offended" way, but in the, "oh crap, there I go offending people again" way. I think that is a remnant of my Mormonism.

I had a great time at the dinner, and I'm looking forward to hanging out with visiting cousins today, but - after coming home last night, I couldn't help but cry again. I just feel so disconnected from my immediate family. I hate that who I am, and what I believe, and how I feel - is an offense to them. I long for the approval that I really think a non-Mormon family would give me. Personally, I'm really proud of myself - I've chosen integrity over pleasing others. I'm healthy, both physically and emotionally. I'm in a loving, committed relationship. I'm working towards a doctoral degree.

So it simply inflames me to know they think my life is a train wreck, and that I'm morally depraved!

It's stifling to know that for the rest of my life, as much as I want to be close to my family (both immediate and extended), doing so means I will continue to be reminded of how angry I am at Mormonism, of how I feel so robbed by it. This bitterness is the thorn in my flesh.


Reuben said...

I'm sorry you're having a hard time with your family. I hope that they are able to accept you as much as you are able to accept them.

I expect, that from your family's point of view, you're the one that has changed and rejected them and their beliefs. I wouldn't be surprised if your family was at home feeling very similarly right now.

Christa O'Brien said...

Hey my girl!!

Side note: I love reading your blog because you do and say all the things I wish I could do and say!

My parents were in town last weekend...well, technically in Houston for my nephew's blessing, but we met up in half way so they could see their grandkids! It was awful and uncomfortable and everything in between. My favorite part of the night was when my mom was rubbing my shoulder in a super weird way and I was all "what the duh??" but then I got it...she was feeling for garments!! It was a fail.

Keep doing what you do. I really look up to you and respect you. You're amazing!

Nathan Raeburn Kennard said...

What a conundrum. Relationships which might be most loving and satisfying, instead seem sidetracked by some commitment to dogma. It is good to hear that you have some family members who share a point of view similar to yours. I also have some in my family and although I have always loved them, it must have been lonely when nobody was on the same page.

Gardner said...

Another insightful post, thanks Sarah. I wish I had something consoling to say about your family situation but all I can really say is that I feel your pain. I know there aren't any real fixes but I do think with time some of our family and friends will become a little more tolerant and understanding. I've seen a few family begin to see they might be wrong or begin to accept that if there is a loving omnipotent God that eternal punishments or lower 'degrees of glory' according to our beliefs or even actions just wouldn't be in the program.

simplysarah said...

Thanks for your comment Nate - I loved your video!!

And Gardner - I hope so. As you can tell, my experience has its ups and downs!