Time's Up

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Kipper
Posts: 239
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Time's Up

Post by Kipper » 23 Jan 2018, 04:46

I'll make this brief and to the point. There is so much more behind this that I couldn't possibly vent it all here and probably shouldn't. Some may remember that I was full of angst, anxiety and depression a couple years ago and received more help here than I received form all councilors, friends and leaders combined. I eventually got to a point where I know what I know and I am comfortable with that. However there are some really serious issues that I have continued to struggle with and I just can't go on this way. I was pointed in a direction that I wasn't supposed to go and it is emotionally wrecking me.

First of all let me say I'm not planning on going anywhere as it relates to the church. That said, I don't think there are many people who feel the way I do about the church and the leadership who would stick it out this long. In fact if I were to disclose my perspective entirely I'm not sure I would be welcome everywhere I am involved. The choice I have made is to not disappoint my family or rock their boat which seem to be sailing along nicely. I have committed to stay on board and pretend although it is not an emotionally easy thing to do. I just know where the line of contention is and I don't cross it. Therefore I am alone in many ways. I am not concerned about convincing DW, local leaders or anybody else that something could be amiss with church policies or whatever. They know what they know just as I know what I know and nothing is going to change. I am not going to be convinced otherwise and I don't expect anyone else will be either.

I don't know how to describe it but I can't take it any longer. I have made an appointment with my HP leader Tuesday night and I feel the need to disclose some things but I also need to know where the limit is and right now I'm not sure. All I know is it's not the right place to spill my guts, there will never be a place.

What I do need to talk to him about is where am right now and what got me here. I have been reactivated, somewhat reluctantly, about 10 years ago. I won't go into those details and reasons, just to say it had to more do with making the family happy and being involved in the same society they are than picking a direction and going for it.

The church has hurt me. I feel like I have been fooled. Specifically, about 8 years ago I was called to a position three times before I accepted. You all know the ways leaders can compel, say you are needed, you have come up in our prayers and get you to believe this call is a direct line thru us from God himself to you. Whatever you are worried about, it will all work out. Well it didn't work out and I think about it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for the past five years since that calling ended. At times it's a weight that will get me down for weeks at a time. This is huge to me and only to me. Again I am alone.

Root cause:
Years ago I had a dream. It was squashed by Wednesday night mutual and scouts. Nothing wrong with those activities but they were not my choice. I was ambitious and smart and at the age of fourteen I wanted to start my education in the aviation world. Maybe be a fighter pilot or at the very least a professional pilot. Church was more important, I was led to believe. The time between the age of 16 and 30 was a self destructive period for me and I won't go into that either but I did come out of it and got my self pointed in the right direction. So, fast forward to about 8 years ago, dreams never go away, I had re-visited my dream of being in the aviation industry in some way. I spent all my time and ten's of thousands of dollars in a few short years to get to a point where I had it set up. I had never really accomplished much in life, at least not near to my potential and nothing that would give my son inspiration. I needed less than two years of schooling to finish my degree I never got and had the resources, connection and ambition again to get it done. Son was leaving for his mission so the timing was perfect, I would be done by the time he got home. I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing at church, at work and putting everything I could into finishing my goals. I prayed, taught priesthood, asked for guidance and got a subtle but definite answer (personal revelation) that it was my time. When I finally did accept the call in YM presidency I had no idea how many activities there would be and how much time would be involved. I tried to do both but it was impossible. No matter how I appealed for understanding I couldn't find it. Slowly my efforts to complete my goals dropped away until they became ashes. How ironic that all these years later my dreams were again snuffed out by mutual and scouts. As I think about my anger and disappointment I cannot in good conscience direct it at my bishop or any local leaders. And this is where I need to be careful because I feel it is the institution that has trained and guided these leaders to think they are acting by holy authority in everything they do and say even to the point of making compelling promises. Yes, I have been fooled and nobody knows it but me. Alone again.

So I am going to meet with HP leader to have a heart to heart, see how he reacts and, well I don't know what will come out of it but I sure will not be as open as I have been here. At the beginning I said I would be brief and to the point. I don't know what to leave out. I could go on for two more pages but here's my final word. Instead of leaving a legacy in the world, instead of being an important example to my son, instead of accomplishing at least some of my God given potential - I have only survived, I will leave my son with nothing more than advice and may be worst of all the memories I have of life now are those years of mistakes I made when I should have been growing and learning and making something of myself.

Now I can see that my personal revelation was either just imagination or trumped by authority who knows what is better for me than I do. It has been that way from the beginning and that's how it's going to end. They have no idea nor will they open their eyes wide enough to see what has happened. Before anyone says it's never too late, thanks but no thanks. My 26 year old therapist from LDS family therapy said that to me, the last time I saw him.

I don't know what kind of responses I'll get, I don't have any expectations really. I know this is rhetorical and maybe so will my meeting be tonight. I just need to know what to leave out. Anything that shows my anger and disrespect I guess. Actually I have learned how to turn my anger into depression which doesn't affect others as much and is less destructive. I have to do something with it. It's almost 4 in the morning. I hope to get a couple hours of sleep before going to work. I really need some way to leave this behind.

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LookingHard
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Re: Time's Up

Post by LookingHard » 23 Jan 2018, 05:08

Kipper, it is a bit too trite to say it sounds like you are going through a hard time.

I can relate in many ways. I spent over a decade as a assistant scoutmaster or scoutmaster. I took the call seriously and didn't want to be one of those troops that was just laughable. Not for me, but for the boys. It took nearly all my free time. We stopped camping as a family because we were too busy. I had no hobbies. At times we had 2 patrols/deacon quorums with 2 dozen boys. I was released after about 10 years and it felt soooo good. Then after a year the replacement scoutmaster couldn't take it so they asked me to step in. I did it for 1 year and I realized I shouldn't have accepted as after having a taste of having a bit of free time, I was burned out to a crisp. It is a contributing factor to my faith crisis.

I also have been going to church and taking callings to keep peace with the wife (told her a bit over a year ago I no longer believed). Part of is that I want to show her it isn't just that I am lazy or want to sin. Trying to do this forever wouldn't be emotionally sustainable.

The only way I have been hanging on the last few years is I have given myself permission to take steps toward backing out and I plan them in the future. Before the end of this year I will be taking my next step. That is what keeps motivating me through things like 8 hours at church this last Sunday.

But enough about me.

Advice here is free and you get way you pay for. :D I only have 2 suggestions. One is to focus on the fact that you are emotionally worn out and you feel like you can't get back up on your feet with the current pressures. I wouldn't focus on lack of belief. I think many can sympathize with the emotional and time load (I think many are having a hard time, but feel they are supposed to just "suck it up and keep going" and blessings will come).

The other item is if you feel your therapist isn't really helping, go therapist shopping. If you don't know where to start, PM me and I will pass on what I know that might help.

Best of luck Kipper and don't be shy coming back here. It helps for others to see what works for some and not for others.

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nibbler
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Re: Time's Up

Post by nibbler » 23 Jan 2018, 05:29

All I can say is that I can relate to much of what you've said.
Kipper wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 04:46
I just know where the line of contention is and I don't cross it.
At least you've learned not to cross it. ;) I crossed the line the other day. You spoke about keeping the peace and the pressure we're often under to accept callings. As it just so happens, that's the line I crossed the other day. My kid got an assignment at church, accepted it, and later, at home expressed just how much they didn't want to do the activity. I said at church there can be a tremendous amount of pressure to not say no, and that it's okay to back out of the commitment. That got me in trouble.

I'm with you, I fell incredibly alone. There are lots of people in my ward and stake that know my name and know about me but they don't know me, I mean really know me. And it's one of those Catch 22 things, you feel that the more you open up to let people know the real you, the more likely other people will be to withdraw from you. Especially considering all the rhetoric we hear about "doubters" and people that have left the church. So that's Sunday, a weekly reminder of how alone I am.

I get it.
Kipper wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 04:46
First of all let me say I'm not planning on going anywhere as it relates to the church. That said, I don't think there are many people who feel the way I do about the church and the leadership who would stick it out this long. In fact if I were to disclose my perspective entirely I'm not sure I would be welcome everywhere I am involved.
I think you're right... many people that feel the way we do about church wouldn't have stuck it out this long and the choices for those that stay seem to be a combination of capitulating at a personal cost or setting up boundaries. Unfortunately I think that the approach where you set up boundaries often gets you labeled as lazy, lukewarm, or whatever. Those aren't the best roles to have to feel like a part of the tribe, especially when on the inside you feel like you're going above and beyond with where you're at and what you do.

Good luck with your meeting. Let us know how it goes.
We must all live in the real world... and sometimes that world can be pretty grim. But it is the dream... the hope... that makes the reality worth living.
– Captain America

Kipper
Posts: 239
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Time's Up

Post by Kipper » 23 Jan 2018, 11:15

nibbler wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 05:29
Good luck with your meeting. Let us know how it goes.
I will let you know and thank you for sharing your thoughts. We have lots in common.

Kipper
Posts: 239
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Time's Up

Post by Kipper » 23 Jan 2018, 11:35

LookingHard wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 05:08
Best of luck Kipper and don't be shy coming back here. It helps for others to see what works for some and not for others.
In retrospect I don't see how putting aside pursuits or altogether dropping plans to make a life style suitable and personally rewarding in order to make sure an organization stays in tact is a way to a happy fulfilling life, not to mention all the family time sacrificed. 10 years as scoutmaster, unbelievable. I too lost traditions of family camping and other outings with my son that I can never get back. The church literally limited if not took us out of each others lives except at stake priesthood meetings. There are to many areas where man's thumbprints are directing us. Also, I am done with therapists. They all lead to medications, not resolutions which to me is uncaring. Same with leadership, no one is going to be understanding and offer resolutions. That would take accountability.

Kipper
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Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Time's Up

Post by Kipper » 23 Jan 2018, 13:15

Wow, I do sound bitter.

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Heber13
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Location: In the Middle

Re: Time's Up

Post by Heber13 » 23 Jan 2018, 13:17

To me it sounds like you have endured it as long as you could. It is what it is and not really changing for you.

You can keep doing what you are doing, or you can choose to try another way.

Neither choice comes without pain. You just choose the least pain and look for growth and new experiences.

I have a feeling you are on the right path. No one else, even your inspired HPGL can give you permission for what God has in store for you, you just follow your heart, let go of angst, move towards love and peace, and trust God has a plan for you.

What do you mean when you say
. I was pointed in a direction that I wasn't supposed to go and it is emotionally wrecking me.
perhaps the way you were pointed towards is exactly where you need to be and you continue to journey forward on the exact path you should be on.

Maybe there are no wrong paths.

Allow yourself to be bitter. It's ok. Some great change comes from pain that pushes us to choose what we might otherwise settle for and not learn important lessons.
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."

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Heber13
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Location: In the Middle

Re: Time's Up

Post by Heber13 » 23 Jan 2018, 13:31

The church literally limited if not took us out of each others lives except at stake priesthood meetings
not literally. You made choices.

One thing you may need to adjust is what you choose to do at church and what not to. It is a buffet, not an all or nothing church, even tho some might suggest it is.

God wants you to grow and choose righteousness and peace, not obey blindly (or fake obedience) as an unprofitable servant does.

No doubt the church has betrayed you, and robbed you in years past.

Don't continue to give them that power over you. They are there to help you. Choose your love and love your choice.
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."

Kipper
Posts: 239
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Time's Up

Post by Kipper » 23 Jan 2018, 15:59

Thank you Heber13. your comments are both understanding and instructional.

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Time's Up

Post by Roy » 23 Jan 2018, 18:11

Kipper wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 04:46
The church has hurt me. I feel like I have been fooled. Specifically, about 8 years ago I was called to a position three times before I accepted. You all know the ways leaders can compel, say you are needed, you have come up in our prayers and get you to believe this call is a direct line thru us from God himself to you. Whatever you are worried about, it will all work out. Well it didn't work out and I think about it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for the past five years since that calling ended. At times it's a weight that will get me down for weeks at a time. This is huge to me and only to me. Again I am alone.
As a young couple, my wife was called as an RS or Primary president the 3 places we moved. She would also be pregnant every time. We began to joke that when she got pregnant, it was only a matter of time before she got called. The last time we expressed our concerns to our bishop. My wife would get post partum depression and we felt that this was not good timing for us. He testified to us that if we moved forward with faith our life would be blessed and we accepted. He repeated similar words when he set DW apart for the calling. About 6 months later our daughter was stillborn and my FC began. DW's depression was immense and my marriage was struggling. I stopped paying tithing because I felt disillusioned by the "blessings" promises. At the following tithing settlement, this same bishop said that he sympathized with my story as a man but as a church administrator it was his duty to confiscate my TR.

Anyway, the point of my story is that bishops need to fill holes in the organization. They will use the commitment pattern to get you to say yes. They honestly believe that your involvement in the church will bless you now and in the hereafter so for them it seems like a win-win. They may make promises on behalf of God that they do not have authority to make.
Kipper wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 04:46
I don't know how to describe it but I can't take it any longer. I have made an appointment with my HP leader Tuesday night and I feel the need to disclose some things but I also need to know where the limit is and right now I'm not sure. All I know is it's not the right place to spill my guts, there will never be a place.
It can be so cathartic just to be listened to and understood. There was a time in my life when I needed that almost like I needed air. However, remember what happened at the tithing settlement with my former bishop. Any church representative that you disclose to can be a dangerous game. They are likely to feel defensive. Receiving validation and acceptance from them may be asking more than they can give from their limited position and perspective.
nibbler wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 05:29
Unfortunately I think that the approach where you set up boundaries often gets you labeled as lazy, lukewarm, or whatever. Those aren't the best roles to have to feel like a part of the tribe, especially when on the inside you feel like you're going above and beyond with where you're at and what you do.
Yes, this is the feeling and impression I get. Even if I can get some sympathy for losing a child and the resulting grief and mourning - there is still the overarching belief (from key priesthood leaders) that I am succumbing to weakness. That I have a "duty to God" and his church and that I am negligent in that duty - somewhat like a deadbeat dad that fails to pay child support. As uncomfortable as that role may be for me, I much prefer "struggling weak of faith" to "dangerous wolf in sheep's clothing". I work most Sundays and have a Wednesday night calling in scouts (bear den leader) that is sustainable for me. I believe that the majority of the ward would just assume that it is the work conflict keeping me from greater activity. Thus I stay connected to the church but not let it overwhelm me.

Kipper. In my post above, I talk mostly about my experience and my path since then. I hope some of that applies to your situation.

Even if none of that applies to you, I hope that you know that you are not alone in your path.
"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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