Old Wounds

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Beachplease7
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Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 12:15

Old Wounds

Post by Beachplease7 » 07 Apr 2019, 20:36

This weekend has been so hard for me. I feel like the reversal of the policy of exclusion, has opened wounds I was healing. I’m so angry that, just like that, everyone can feel great again because it was reversed. I’m reeling. What of the people who lost their lives? What of the people who lost their church memberships? What of the people who lost their testimonies and had their whole world turned upside down? Why can’t the church take ownership? Why can’t they apologize? My family is believing and active. What used to be such a nice weekend of peace and hope has turned into quite the opposite for me. I’m so emotional and truly don’t know where I belong. I’m surrounded by people but feel more alone than I ever have.

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nibbler
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Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Old Wounds

Post by nibbler » 08 Apr 2019, 05:21

I've felt the same about many things in the past, I understand.

It's okay to feel hurt. I've found that healing is not a linear process, especially when the conditions that cause hurt are reoccurring.

I'll do my best to sugar coat this, but I think it can be even harder when surrounded by people with an optimistic bias. Some people may have a strong need to put a positive spin on things in an effort to crowd out all negativity because optimism and positivity are viewed as the more favorable path forward. I think that approach can run the risk of leap-frogging the healing that others in the community may need because the environment makes it more difficult to communicate pain.

This is why I said I'd try to sugar coat things, because I'm going to talk about times where I'm surrounded by people but feel alone. Occasionally I'll struggle with that feeling here.

Your example is the reversal of the PoX. Another (reoccurring) example could be dealing with the aftermath of general conference. Church doesn't feel like a safe place to communicate the pain that orthodoxy causes. Orthodox members' instinctive reaction to defend their faith may override their ability to mourn with those that mourn.

"Everything about the policy of exclusion and the reversal hurts."
"Why are you questioning the prophets? Have you been praying and reading your scriptures? This is why the reversal is okay..."

You end up feeling alone at church.

Sometimes that feeling of being alone can extend to "middle-way" places. Places that are south of orthodoxy but north of anti. Sometimes there's communal... pressure is the wrong word, but it will do for now... communal pressure to put a positive spin on things. I understand the reasons. The difference between negativity and positivity can serve as a boundary between the middle-way and a more anti approach, the communities that lean faithful may want to avoid negativity.

It's a fine line to walk, but it can be just as hard in middle-way communities to raise your hand and say, "this hurts" when the people around you are engaged in putting a positive spin on things. In the context of the PoX reversal, if the community is actively celebrating change how do you raise your hand to say that this still hurts? In the context of general conference, if the community is putting a pollyanna (sorry) spin on all the talks, how does one raise issues they have without the fear of coming across as being overly negative or raining on other people's parades? The end result is that you may end up being just as silent and feeling just as alone as you would in a more orthodox environment.

I get how holding on to negativity isn't a long term solution but there's a time and a place for long term solutions. If the short term solution is anger, negativity, hurt, pain... that's okay. Those feelings serve as stepping stones. If we remove stepping stones because they aren't the long term solution it just makes it that much harder to take the next step.

Beachplease7, if this is off topic, I'm sorry for hijacking your thread. I know it's hard to sort through all this. You aren't as alone as you think.

Thanks for raising your hand to sat that this still hurts.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

Beachplease7
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Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 12:15

Re: Old Wounds

Post by Beachplease7 » 08 Apr 2019, 06:22

Nibbler, thank you for your kind, heart-felt words. I am solidly walking the middle line and it’s not an easy place to be in our culture/community. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out and help me feel less alone.

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Old Wounds

Post by Roy » 08 Apr 2019, 13:19

Hi Beach,
In a support group we were covering the steps of grief and I wanted to do them correctly and methodically to ensure that I would never have to return and do them again.
I was gently informed that these steps do not work that way. Maybe a few years later a previous step returns. This does not mean that you did it wrong the first time or should be mad at yourself. It is totally normal for progress to be non-linear. Accept it.

That being said, there was a difference between going through the steps in a healthy manner and a less healthy manner. The unhealthy option involved closing yourself off from your support network of family and friends. I hope you can feel less alone, either with a trusted confidant or a support group such as this. I firmly believe that “It Is Not Good That . . . Man Should Be Alone.”
"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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rrosskopf
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Re: Old Wounds

Post by rrosskopf » 08 Apr 2019, 17:09

Beachplease7 wrote:
07 Apr 2019, 20:36
I feel like the reversal of the policy of exclusion, has opened wounds I was healing.
Perhaps this is a little off topic, but the cross you bear reminds me of the cross another bore. I served a mission in Peru where I met a young man who had his own problem. He was faithful and wanted to marry a young lady in the temple. Unfortunately, she was of African descent. He poured his heart out in prayer asking God what he should do. I don't know how long he knelt in prayer, but he received an answer that day. The Lord spoke to his mind, and he wrote the words down as he heard them; the priesthood would shortly be given to blacks. It was only a matter of months before the revelation on the priesthood was given to the church. He exercised faith, and his faith was rewarded.

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

Re: Old Wounds

Post by Roy » 09 Apr 2019, 08:24

rrosskopf, that sounds like a cool story. I'm just not sure how it is related or helpful to Beachplease at this time.
"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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Rumin8
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Re: Old Wounds

Post by Rumin8 » 09 Apr 2019, 09:52

What a great thread. Right now I have similar feelings to what Beachplease7 shared.

Thank you for sharing. I have closed myself of since Saturday to "process." It's turning into an echo chamber. I need to open up and share. Thank you for that gentle reminder, Roy. And Nibbler, thank you for sharing your empathy. You shared very eloquently some of the feelings and challenges of trying for a "middle way."
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

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Daughter1
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Re: Old Wounds

Post by Daughter1 » 11 Apr 2019, 15:32

Beach, I wasn't emotionally impacted by the POX or its reversal as many others here. But I do relate to the feeling that you don't belong and there is no one who really understands. In my life, my mom, my dad, and one of my closest friends have all gone through a faith transition. Each one has a different approach to it, a different reaction to it, and a different set of catalysts. Mine is unique as well. And I feel frustration and isolation when I realize that whether I'm talking to someone fully orthodox, someone who has experienced a faith crisis, or someone who isn't a member, I cannot fully express what I am feeling.

I'm learning that it's ok. I'm learning to cherish that my feelings are things only God and Christ will ever comprehend accurately. And that is how I manage to come back. After my realization that I wasn't going to receive the promised witness of the BoM, I felt a bit betrayed. My prayers have become less consistent. But whenever I kneel to pray, I am reminded that God does know how I feel. And He is the only one who does. So I will always return to prayer.

God knows how you feel. I don't, and I'm sorry I cannot empathize fully. But He can. Your pain, both at the inception and reversal of the policy are things He knows.
I don't think there could ever be just one single philosophy or one single religion. Since there are so many different types of people, with a range of tendencies and inclinations, it is quite fitting that there are differences between religions. And the fact that there are so many different descriptions of the religious path shows how rich religion is. - HH the XIV Dalai Lama

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rrosskopf
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Re: Old Wounds

Post by rrosskopf » 12 Apr 2019, 02:41

Daughter1 wrote:
11 Apr 2019, 15:32
After my realization that I wasn't going to receive the promised witness of the BoM, I felt a bit betrayed.
My wife feels the same way. It saddens me deeply. She has only felt the spirit a handful of times, and feels like God doesn't want her. In all fairness, she hasn't really made much of an effort to receive these spiritual witnesses, and was once ashamed to be LDS, rebelling against her mother and her mother's religion. Now she is active and works in the Temple, and strives to live worthy, but cries when I talk about anything religious. It breaks my heart.
I wonder if some descisions, made early in life, are very hard to undo, leaving a lasting spiritual damage. Certainly that is the case with sexual abuse, even though it is the decision of the perpetrator, it leaves a wake of spiritual damage in the many victims. Our society is poisoned by the actions of a few men. Women who as children have been sexually abused by men rarely experience the spiritual witness of the Holy Ghost.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Old Wounds

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Apr 2019, 09:13

The spirit speaks to people in different ways, and, for some people, "the Lord makers no such things known to (them)." Trying to blame people for not feeling the spirit in some way, specifically or generally, only deepens existing wounds that ought to prompt us to mourn with those that mourn - and not go further than that.

After all, if SOME have the gift to know, and SOME have the gift to believe, why in the world would we do anything to slight or reject the gift to believe without knowledge? Frankly, I admire those who hang on with faith but without knowledge far more than those who feel they know, since there is a lot more "enduring" for them. Seriously, those people are my heroes.

When I read your description, I was struck by the fact that you are trying to assign blame for your wife's "spiritual orientation". If you will excuse my bluntness, I would suggest you not try to find a justification for your wife's relative lack of spiritual experiences and accept that she is blessed with the gift to believe - and honor that gift fully by not trying to force or expect the gift to know. The gift to believe without overwhelming confirmation is precious, and assigning it to past sin or lack of effort or rebellion or anything else devalues it. That is a shame.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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