I feel like I have one foot out the door

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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mom3
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Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by mom3 » 22 Apr 2014, 04:34

I sense your fear here. For the record, a large majority of us have been on the same or a similar page/anxiety/panic as you. What you choose will be up to you. Something that helped me was looking at the broad sweep of LDS people. Yes on Sunday we hear and see more traditional practicing members, and for a stretch - years even, you may feel at odds with them, but while you are looking at them - make sure to look around at the myriad non-traditional members. They may not be in your congregation, but you will find a ward full over here at StayLDS, you can find them on ByCommonConsent, Rational Faiths, Dialogue, Wheat and Tares, Times and Seasons. I find comfort through those sites and the people on them. I lean on them to help me on tough days. In my marriage it would be more helpful if I walked away from the church, in my family life it would be more damaging and hurt good people, in my heart I am divided. A large portion of my heart feels compelled by hope to remain connected to the church. I have felt personal impressions that the church needs me. For a while I thought that meant in vocal way, taking a stand, interjecting ideas, broadening "closed minds". It didn't help me or others. Today - six years later - I still feel the same draw yet it has a deeper more spiritual draw. Even in silence my attendance creates room for the fulfillment of Christs church, a church built on love, caring, service and nurturing. It has been a long road, there were weeks I needed time off to reflect, ponder, and seek. You may need them, too.

I encourage you to read all the great comments here, study the full landscape of your life, not just your religious part, then gently begin to determine what steps you wish to take. As has been mentioned here - assess your marriage and family first - what is your love for them - you hold their lives in the balance.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

jhp33
Posts: 49
Joined: 06 Jan 2014, 10:09

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by jhp33 » 22 Apr 2014, 06:29

Orson wrote: I know short thoughts in text format can come across as preachy or harsh, I am really just trying to throw out ideas to think about.
Please don't apologize. I really appreciate your comments and helping me see things just a little bit differently. Yesterday was a pretty bad day after a pretty bad Sunday, so I was at a bit of a low, and you guys have helped me get through this without making any rash decisions.

I think the thing I am most struggling with right now is a lack of a feeling of belonging in the church. That mostly stems from how I feel about my current ward. If, somehow, I could attend church with the lot of you, how my experience would be different! Just to know that I am sitting next to or near someone who is maybe rolling their eyes at the same thing or feeling frustrated about the same thing or pumping our fists collectively at the same rare instance of open thinking would really help. But if there are people like that in my ward, I don't know who they are. The bishop's behavior lately, and the fact that the ENTIRE bishopric knows of my faith struggle and still pretty much ignores me and my family just makes me feel like there's nothing really there for me.

Again, I know a lot of that is on me, as I don't take the time to reach out and look for opportunities to serve (although, we did commit to cleaning the church on Friday...a small step but a step nonetheless). This is compounded by the fact that I asked my HPG leader to release me as a Home Teacher and I'm sure word has gotten out about that. I just don't need that added pressure right now of having to home teach six (yes, six) families in one month while having the second counselor breathing down my neck via email every first Sunday of the month about my report. I simply can't handle that right now.

So I'm sure that creates a stigma in my ward of people who look at me or treat me differently, and some of that is on me, but I can't help but feel not very welcome in general. I wish I felt like the church needed me, but I just don't.

But I have my family to think about, too. To answer someone else's question, my marriage is suffering as a result of my faith transition, but to my wife's credit, while this is clearly very hard for her, she has told me multiple times that she is committed to the fact that we are a family first and that is ultimately what matters and even if I were to leave the church, the most important thing is that our family stays together.

She wants the traditional Mormon lifestyle. She wants me to baptize our kids and ordain our son and for him to go on a mission. I want to respect her dreams and wishes, while still remaining true to this new part of me that is emerging, and that's very difficult as I know all of you already know.

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Orson
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Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by Orson » 22 Apr 2014, 08:38

Yes it is difficult. All we can do is our best while we try to reach for higher ideals. I try to be charitable to those with whom I disagree. I try to reverse rolls. If I was bishop and my views were in the majority I can imagine a member coming to me worried about how the story of Job or Noah is being taught as a story and not as a literal history and how they are concerned about what that is communicating to their children. Yes, I would try to be sensitive to their concern, but my initial reaction would be something like an eye roll. It is difficult when you see things differently, but we can learn to adapt.

Hang tough!
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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mom3
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Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by mom3 » 22 Apr 2014, 12:52

I think the thing I am most struggling with right now is a lack of a feeling of belonging in the church. That mostly stems from how I feel about my current ward. If, somehow, I could attend church with the lot of you, how my experience would be different! Just to know that I am sitting next to or near someone who is maybe rolling their eyes at the same thing or feeling frustrated about the same thing or pumping our fists collectively at the same rare instance of open thinking would really help.
Oh yeah. Most of us have been there in one form or another. That's whats great about this ward. We've all been through it. We've rolled our eyes, walked out, pumped our fists (Uchtdorf!), and bit our tongues till bleeding. The double bonus is this ward is open 24/7. If you only use it to vent, it can be a great hall of healing, at the same time it saves us from inflicting unnecessary pain on others.

Second of all - You can have anyone you want on your bench on Sundays. I mean this. When I first began wandering this path, I too yearned for a companion who was just like me. Even though my husband had begun his journey first, he had come to different conclusions than I was coming to. I needed a me buddy. With a little imagination I found them. I call them bench buddies. They are the unseen souls of like minded friends I have met during this process. My first bench buddy was Lavina Anderson. She was excommunicated nearly 30 years ago, she had been a head editor for the Ensign, a robust writer, married to an LDS historian. And in one swoop of opinion, she was cut off. Yet she chose not be cut off. She continued to attend church faithfully, all 3 hours, where she can't speak or teach. She did find a calling for herself, and asked the Bishop for permission. He granted it and I believe she is still doing that one calling. I chose her as my buddy because of her courage and because of her husbands hymns that are in our present hymn book. They were the perfect paradox. In and Out of the same institution - and still connected to the church and each other.

Over time my bench buddies grew, mine are mostly girls because we girls get girlness - Mercy, Hawk, Jana Reiss, Kristine Haglund, Claudia Bushman, Fiona Givens, Chieko Okazaki. We can talk candidly as sisters when I'm hurting. I've now come so far, that I copy articles or comments of theirs and take them with me to read during the tough times. Yesterday I added Ann to my bench. Week after week she brings insights I grow with.

You can do the same. The world of unique Mormons is vast, grab Armaund Mauss or Orson or Mackay - bring them to church with you. Heck why not J.Golden Kimball or Porter Rockwell. Try it, see if it helps. And remember we are all here at this building whenever you need. No white shirt or tie required.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Ann
Posts: 2573
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by Ann » 22 Apr 2014, 16:59

jhp33 wrote: Again, I know a lot of that is on me, as I don't take the time to reach out and look for opportunities to serve (although, we did commit to cleaning the church on Friday...a small step but a step nonetheless). This is compounded by the fact that I asked my HPG leader to release me as a Home Teacher and I'm sure word has gotten out about that. I just don't need that added pressure right now of having to home teach six (yes, six) families in one month while having the second counselor breathing down my neck via email every first Sunday of the month about my report. I simply can't handle that right now.

So I'm sure that creates a stigma in my ward of people who look at me or treat me differently, and some of that is on me, but I can't help but feel not very welcome in general. I wish I felt like the church needed me, but I just don't.

But I have my family to think about, too. To answer someone else's question, my marriage is suffering as a result of my faith transition, but to my wife's credit, while this is clearly very hard for her, she has told me multiple times that she is committed to the fact that we are a family first and that is ultimately what matters and even if I were to leave the church, the most important thing is that our family stays together.

She wants the traditional Mormon lifestyle. She wants me to baptize our kids and ordain our son and for him to go on a mission. I want to respect her dreams and wishes, while still remaining true to this new part of me that is emerging, and that's very difficult as I know all of you already know.
I really feel for you. This is a therapist-y suggestion, but what if there are two speakers putting sound into your brain - one from the church and one from your wife/family. I spent my whole life thinking I couldn't control the volume myself. Are there things you can do to turn down the first and turn up the second?

Another idea - home teaching one family instead of six?

It is a pretty lonely spot you're in right now. But it does get better, in ways and by means I could never have predicted. I bet that if we here at StayLDS were all in the same ward.....we'd still manage to get on each others' nerves. Human nature. :smile:
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

Oneofmany
Posts: 49
Joined: 01 Nov 2013, 21:53

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by Oneofmany » 22 Apr 2014, 17:26

In my opinion you have received excellent advice and I just wish I could world advice in such an easy way. I just wanted to add something on the Home teaching subject. Talking with the bishop on Sunday he made a comment to the effect, we all know not everyone will be home taught. My point here is to second the thought that if six is too much go through the list and help the one that needs help or the ones that help you, even if they don't reduce the number of people on the list. Sometimes it isn't about how many you try to help but how many you do help. (i.e. it is better to be there for one person than to pretend to be there for six.) I also home teach 6 families and I do not get to all of them every month, I just don't think it is possible.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1728
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by Minyan Man » 22 Apr 2014, 21:19

jhp, thanks for your post. As you can tell, many of us have gone through this phase in our spiritual development.
You have made a list of the things you don't believe or can't agree with, can you make a similar list of the things you do believe? or agree with? or like about the organization?

My suggestion (for what it's worth) is:
1. Don't make a quick decision about leaving.
2. Continue to share your ideas & feelings with us.
3. Find one other person in your ward that you can talk to & won't pass judgement. I have 2 or 3 people in my ward that I can talk to about anything at any time. I know that they will not betray my confidence. It may take a little time & effort to develop a close relationship.

Keep coming back. We want to hear more from you.

jhp33
Posts: 49
Joined: 06 Jan 2014, 10:09

Re: I feel like I have one foot out the door

Post by jhp33 » 23 Apr 2014, 08:18

Mike wrote:jhp, thanks for your post. As you can tell, many of us have gone through this phase in our spiritual development.
You have made a list of the things you don't believe or can't agree with, can you make a similar list of the things you do believe? or agree with? or like about the organization?

My suggestion (for what it's worth) is:
1. Don't make a quick decision about leaving.
2. Continue to share your ideas & feelings with us.
3. Find one other person in your ward that you can talk to & won't pass judgement. I have 2 or 3 people in my ward that I can talk to about anything at any time. I know that they will not betray my confidence. It may take a little time & effort to develop a close relationship.

Keep coming back. We want to hear more from you.
Thanks, Mike (and to all of you) for your words.

I think making that "agree with/believe" list is a good idea. I'm going to work on that this week.

I think I have identified someone in my ward who I can talk to, but I need to tread lightly as he is in the bishopric (and, with our bishop moving soon, there's a chance he is in line to be the next bishop)

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