I Feel My Life is Over

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Shawn
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 14:22
Location: Utah

I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Shawn » 04 Dec 2016, 13:21

I've posted many things about depression. I have dealt with it for 20 years. Before, it was only clinical depression due to a chemical imbalance in my brain (at least, that's what they say). Now I am also grieving.

I have been mourning the loss of my religion for some time. More recently, the affects on my family have also become an issue.

I like to listen to music from Les Miserables on Sundays. Today I listened to "I Dreamed a Dream":
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream, I dreamed
I noticed my wife was sobbing. She said that song is her life. I have made her life a living hell. I have killed her dream. She is no longer married to a worthy priesthood holder. I don't know how our life together can go on.

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Roy » 04 Dec 2016, 14:23

Hi Shawn,

You well know that I am just a person without any type of medical training (I hardly feel qualified to teach the cub scouts about knife safety and first aid). I have my life experiences and you have yours.

To the degree that my one limited voice in the dark can help - I am willing to try.

I too lost my religion. It was as though I was mourning the loss of my former self - so thoroughly was my world view shattered. Like all mourning - it does get better in time. It never goes away completely. It becomes part of the new you. There are very few life experiences that cannot contribute towards growth. They become part of the past that built who you are.

I know that my transition has also been very difficult for my wife. I remember a time when she seemed to be hoping that I was in some sort of phase that I would just snap out of. As she has been able to accept the semi-permanence of my way of being, we have been able to work together on reaching out to each other from where we are (rather than hoping that one or the other of us will change).

The Song "Broken Together" by casting crowns has been very meaningful to me. Is it enough just to be broken together? Can we turn our joint brokenness over to Christ? I hope it is helpful for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhxELo-uD3c

Your friend,

Roy
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
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Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Dec 2016, 14:41

Like you and Roy, I also lost my religion. I was in deep mourning for some time and I still mourn. Those words from "I Dreamed a Dream" have great meaning to me and are as true as any scripture. And like Roy, the transition has been very difficult for my wife. Sadly, all I can offer you is that it does get better, and I can mourn with those who mourn - in this case you. I have shared Elder Wirthlin's (Oct. 2006) words before, and sometimes I read them when things are most dark (emphasis added):
I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross. On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth. Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant. On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross. On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies. On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled. It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God. I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure. The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind. And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Reuben
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Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 10:04

Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Reuben » 04 Dec 2016, 16:35

One of the first things I did when I told my wife about my FC was apologize. I knew she would feel the loss at some point. She finally cried about it for the first time last week.

I sincerely hope you can find a way to grieve together instead of separately.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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mom3
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Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by mom3 » 05 Dec 2016, 03:48

Shawn - I am glad you came back to share.

I have said it before and I will again - I was the wife. The hurt, shattered, and rejected. I could only handle my pain. He could only handle his. I remember him saying things like, "Don't shoot the messenger." to me or "I didn't cause this. Get mad/sad/angry at Salt Lake. Not me." After I tried to hit the *#it out of tree with a baseball bat because my rage had reached a breaking point, did we move into silence mode. Those were long days and years.

Shawn, we are beginning our second decade of this painful journey of faith whatever you call it. I have had no one to talk to directly. I needed someone to talk to who wouldn't automatically tell me how doomed life-eternity was. He needed many someone's who could assure him he wasn't crazy. And that non-believing didn't make you invalid. No one existed. They still don't - for either of us. Our community in large measure will not know how to help either party for a very long time. Yes, I see cracks of hope, but they are fissures compared to the needs.

Both of your hurts are real. Every song will ache. Every church meeting where anything comparative comes up will burn. The personal loneliness you both feel will take decades in some respect. You will both be wary of much for a long time.

My advice - Even against your depression or dark hours - if you want a marriage and family life with her you need to give a ton of support and caring to her. More than you have ever done in your life.
If you can't stomach church - Can you keep Christianity in your home and life?
Verbally and emotionally support her continued attendance. No matter how much it hurts you. You owe her this.
If she is at church functions take care of the house and family. Have meals ready, the place clean like she likes it, let her tell you about her experience (show no judgement).

It took me a long time to get the fullest sense of his loss I could feel. I still didn't end up where he did. On many things overtime I did. For him agnosticism is where he landed. For me a Christ still exists and God in some form.

Some weeks church is wrench for me because the church has made your pain invalid. And that sucks. It also ticks me off big time because homes, marriages and families like yours don't need the added strain. But neither you nor I can storm the castle and change it to something in an instant.

I do believe though, over time, as homes like yours, mine and most everyone on here, begin to demonstrate that we can keep marriages, families, and some style of happy/joyful/connectedness together - we will tear down the false narrative - by our living actions- and hopefully only a single generation will continue to live under the pain your home is experiencing.

Yes it takes time. But don't wait till you feel better. Do better now. Make a run for it with all you have. Cherish her. You can do this. Be like Jean Val Jean.
"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

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Heber13
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Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Heber13 » 05 Dec 2016, 05:07

Everybody here is so nice and compassionate and lives the religion by taking time to share uplifting thoughts to help a stranger, because they care, and because it is what makes us connected to others and find ways to pass through life. I really appreciate everyone's comments. Perhaps with such displays of compassion...religion hasn't been lost among us as much as we feel it is.

Shawn, you've got a tough road to travel. You've been working through so many things for so long.

But your life is not over, and you have good and bad things ahead, because this life is about experiences for which you gain only by passing through them.

I fully believe the Lord knows we will learn from it. And so, he stays out of it and lets us learn.

The religion is there to be a help, a Liahona for us, as we travel. The religion doesn't fix it. We fix it when we use religion, or depression meds, or behavioral therapy, or choices that put us in different places mentally, and sometimes physically. There are no angels to swoop in and do it for us. There are no prayers that magically change reality. There is no blame on others for changing or being disappointed in us.

As human beings...we create stories to try to frame this physical world to our spirits and our minds so we can process things and try to make decisions. Religion is a story. God is a story. Depression is a story. In my life, over decades, God has let me suffer so that I can learn some important lessons about life so I can find my story.

The fact others can identify with you, and that millions more identify with feelings like the artists who put together Les Mis...means we all have these feelings as we are writing our stories. So...if we all have it...that means you are not so broken or different than others, and that also means it comes down to what we do about it. What we decide to do to handle things in life.

God wanted me to learn new things. So he left me alone and let me suffer. When I stopped crying about why it is happening to me, and turned inward to search my soul for answers I couldn't find at church, I started viewing my life like an onion. With layers of bs I had built up over the years. And so I had to peel back layers and layers, like the onion, until I could get down to the root of who I am and what my purpose in life is. That onion story to me, helped me let go of baggage, and focus on core principles that are more important than anything else...including the temple or anything else others tell me about.

Finding my core...I could then re-engage in church and with others, realizing I have my own story. This is who I am. This is how I live. I don't know how to be somebody different. I'm me. And I suck, and I am also a nice person at the same time, and I'm a deep thinker and I don't now why I can't let go of some things. All of it is me.

I have greater compassion for you now than I would have had without my experiences because I know your feelings to some degree. I felt my life was over to be facing divorce...it was not the dream I had. My religion didn't help...unless...I realize my religion isn't church teaching me that divorce is not an option, or that I had to pray harder for a miracle, or that God would save me from my problems without me doing things to change things. You see...mormonism is a library of stories and we pick and choose the ones that help us in our unique situations, which are common across the human race.

yes...church isn't what it used to be for me. But mostly because I had a story that I out grew and it no longer worked for me. Like many things in nature, we shed the skin of the past that was good for us then but not us anymore now...and we learn we grow a new one that is healthy for our present state. A more thick and healthy skin I need now.

Perhaps the dream is dead...but we get to make new dreams again. There is real beauty in that. Knowing that there is a new day, new dream, new experience...and a way to find peace through hope.

I suggest you find all the resources you can to help you peel your onion back to the core, and look for ways to find hope again for the future. Love your wife as much as you can. Accept that you can only do what you can do. Love yourself equally as much. No matter what your path ahead, you need to find the hope that can guide you. Depression meds, counseling, shedding the past BS that is holding you back.

Today is a new day, my friend. We get to live it over again and try again. We can make choices. In 5 years from now...you can look back and realize you learned something from the trials you are now going through. Seek that inner peace that you can do it. And reach out to others with compassion to lift the other travelers who also are weary like you.

PM me any time if you want to talk. Hang in there. My prayers are with you. THanks for all your contributions here on this site for so long.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Roy » 05 Dec 2016, 10:26

Heber13 wrote: When I stopped crying about why it is happening to me, and turned inward to search my soul for answers I couldn't find at church, I started viewing my life like an onion. With layers of bs I had built up over the years. And so I had to peel back layers and layers, like the onion, until I could get down to the root of who I am and what my purpose in life is. That onion story to me, helped me let go of baggage, and focus on core principles that are more important than anything else...including the temple or anything else others tell me about.
We can learn wisdom from different sources. Les Miserables, the BoM, or even from Shrek.
Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Shrek: No.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.
:mrgreen:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Shawn
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 14:22
Location: Utah

Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Shawn » 05 Dec 2016, 11:56

Everyone, thank you so much for your comments and support.

I was thinking last night about how my wife and kids will repeatedly hear references to a "worthy priesthood holder" and "eternal families" at church. I will be supplanted as the father figure in the family. I thought about my baby girl who will turn 8 next September.

I was visibly upset so my wife asked me what's wrong. I told her I don't want someone else to baptize our baby girl, but I'm not going to do it. I said our marriage just can't work. She said we will plan on me moving out after the holidays. But we talked more later and decided I'll say. Rough day.

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mom3
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Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by mom3 » 05 Dec 2016, 12:02

Everybody here is so nice and compassionate and lives the religion by taking time to share uplifting thoughts to help a stranger, because they care, and because it is what makes us connected to others and find ways to pass through life. I really appreciate everyone's comments
Then Heber - I read my post that I wrote at 3:00 am and realize "Oops"

I will leave my post as an example of how not to help another. We need all the lessons we can get.

Shawn - I wish you and your family success at this journey. Good luck. I will keep my fingers off the keyboard and send thoughts and prayers of hope for you.
"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

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Holy Cow
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Location: Las Vegas

Re: I Feel My Life is Over

Post by Holy Cow » 05 Dec 2016, 12:12

Shawn wrote:Everyone, thank you so much for your comments and support.

I was thinking last night about how my wife and kids will repeatedly hear references to a "worthy priesthood holder" and "eternal families" at church. I will be supplanted as the father figure in the family. I thought about my baby girl who will turn 8 next September.

I was visibly upset so my wife asked me what's wrong. I told her I don't want someone else to baptize our baby girl, but I'm not going to do it. I said our marriage just can't work. She said we will plan on me moving out after the holidays. But we talked more later and decided I'll say. Rough day.
Shawn, all I can say is OUCH! I'm feeling for you, brother. That's a huge load of stress that you're carrying. I know it doesn't even need to be said, but just remember that you've got a lot of people here pulling for you and willing to listen. Unfortunately, that's about all we can do to help, but I hope it's something. Sorry to hear your pain! :cry:
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