Glad I found you!

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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llamamama
Posts: 6
Joined: 23 Mar 2016, 19:07

Glad I found you!

Post by llamamama » 02 Apr 2016, 09:32

Here's my story, I'm 40. I've been a member all my life, I've never fit in. I don't think there's that much off about me, but then, I'm me. So I think I'm pretty used to myself by now. I'm married to an Army guy, and we've done a lot of moving around. We have 4 kids, been married 20 years. I grew up in Utah, in an ok family. Things weren't amazing, but they weren't horrible either.
After getting married, choosing the active Army lifestyle has been the best thing we've ever done. But at church, it's been hard. I always went into a new ward with open arms, ready for a calling, ready for new friends. Church was our family away from family... Or it was supposed to be. People always touted that from the pulpit, but I always ended up watching that "family" from the outside. I've reached out so many times and not had anyone reach back.
I have been blessed with 1-2 close friends in places we've lived, and I don't know what I would have done without them.
So fast forward to now. DH's last deployment was the hardest one I've done. I guess I'm over the 'tough it out, business as usual" attitude I used to be able to trick myself into when he left. I had no "tough" in me this time. He's home now, and I'm doing better, but the most painful part was church.I asked a friend who lives far away' What is wrong with me? With us? why is this always so hard? her answer hurt, but it brought me to a realization that my family and I really have been avoided at church in multiple wards, and I wondered if that was happening here.
I have friends here, but I guess they were Sunday only friends. People knew he was leaving, but nobody seemed to care. If someone had just asked me how I was or how he was doing, that would have let me know I was on somebody's radar. I got nothing, Not even a VT phone call. I felt more alone than ever. So much for a ward family, and all the while I was seeing people at church, making plans with each other, inviting each other over, So I know that family and fellowship is there, but my family wasn't part of it. I was doing a ton of callings, too, and caring less and less about them and feeling more and more resentful.
I have depression, the kind that doesn't go away... and I got to the point where if all I did in the day was eat something (I had no appetite) and talk to my kids, I had to congratulate myself. That rock bottom experience was deployment and church related. I put too much faith in a group of people who barely notices me, and I need a better plan for next time. I've decided I can't count on church anymore for support. I need to find a new way to do this. Stepping away from what I have spent my whole life investing in is painful, and I have no idea what to do instead.
I had to stop going to church for a few months, I started going back to take the sacrament, but I had to leave quickly after taking it to avoid an emotional meltdown in the middle of the chapel. I will go back to church, in my own time. I may take a calling, but only after taking at least 48 hours to think about it and make sure it's right for me. But I can no longer tell myself that people at church are true friends or a family.
I love the Book of Mormon, and that is what keeps me here. There's more, but I don't want to write a book here. This is my most recent church issue. My goal is to forgive and have a real connection to the Savior. I was talking to another friend who lives far away (when you Army for a long time, you get lots of friends who are far away), and I was telling her how mad I was about church problems, and I asked why? (It's so cliche', but I really did) Why hasn't anybody cared about me? Why have I been let down? The Lord is supposed to reach out through the hands of people, and I didn't have any people when I needed them! She said, He let that happen so you would come closer to him. (I've always known that answer, but I've never had to actually use it, and live it.) It's hard, but that's what I want to do. I don't want the people at church to matter as much to me. I want Jesus Christ to be the only reason I go.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5718
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Glad I found you!

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Apr 2016, 11:37

Welcome to the club of those who are glad we found this place!

I can relate a bit to what you have experienced with feeling as though people at church (or "the church" as some would inaccurately term it) don't care for or about you. I don't move around, I have been in the same ward for over 25 years - but I believe when I stopped going to church (and didn't return for a long time) I found out who my real friends were. Sadly, there were not many. Like you, in the beginning my faith crisis I was dependent on the church and quickly learned that it was a bad thing because I was truly alone.

I think you're on the right track. I go primarily because I can go believing what I believe and not be concerned with what others believe. Let them worship how and what they may, I will partake of the sacrament and focus on the Savior. And if their talks aren't about the Savior and related core gospel principles, I'll tune them out and worship in my own head.

I hope we can help you, and I hope you can find the peace you seek.
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."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
Posts: 1420
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Glad I found you!

Post by Minyan Man » 02 Apr 2016, 12:04

Welcome IIamamama, (I love that name.)

Don't apologize for writing a lot. You need to get it out. You mentioned:
I have friends here, but I guess they were Sunday only friends. People knew he was leaving, but nobody seemed to care. If someone had just asked me how I was or how he was doing, that would have let me know I was on somebody's radar. I got nothing, Not even a VT phone call. I felt more alone than ever. So much for a ward family, and all the while I was seeing people at church, making plans with each other, inviting each other over, So I know that family and fellowship is there, but my family wasn't part of it. I was doing a ton of callings, too, and caring less and less about them and feeling more and more resentful.
Now that we are going back to church, my wife & I sit in the back during sacrament meeting. We look for other people that maybe
new or sitting alone. We extend ourselves to them. The leadership & "regulars" can take care of themselves.

I try to treat the rest like I want to be treated.
Keep coming back. I want to read (hear) more.

amateurparent
Posts: 953
Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 20:43

Re: Glad I found you!

Post by amateurparent » 02 Apr 2016, 12:48

Llamamama:

DH and I lived in a ward for 14 years that was near a military base. Not close enough to be a military ward, but close enough that we did get a few military families in the ward. Military family after military family showed up with open arms, ready to jump in, and then BOOM, they were gone. The permanent ward members knew that the military families were there for a short time for training. Even instructors expected to be there a maximum of 3 years. The location was not one that anyone would want to retire to.

The permanent ward members got to a point at which they did not let themselves get too emotionally attached to the military peeps. It hurt too much when they moved away. DH grew up with a military father. I grew up moving too many times. We were permanent .. But tried really hard to befriend and fellowship with the military families .. Yet by year number 9 or 10, I found myself guarding my heart a little bit too. I grieved every time a close friend moved on. Because we were not military, we had no expectations that we would run into them in the future at another assignment or base. They were just gone.

That attitude of guarding one's heart isn't kind and it isn't right .. But it is very human. It also doesn't help you one bit when you are all alone someplace while your spouse is deployed. You were really in a tough situation -- emotionally and socially isolated when you were in need.

I understand the situation, but I have no advice.

Welcome to this board. I look forward to hearing more from you
Last edited by amateurparent on 02 Apr 2016, 15:01, edited 1 time in total.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

Ann
Posts: 2561
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Glad I found you!

Post by Ann » 02 Apr 2016, 12:51

Hi, llamamama - I'm glad you're here, too.

I know what it feels like to have all your eggs in the church socializing basket. When you fit in, it's a fantastic inter-connectness that nearly fills all the time you give it. But now that I don't fit in as well, I'm aware and very sympathetic for the people who never did and still don't. I try to extend myself more to them, and I've invested more in my relationships with non-members. It's helped me care less - in a healthy way - about my social "fate" at church.

I hope you like being here at StayLDS. It's been a big help to me.
"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

Mordimor
Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Mar 2016, 00:12

Re: Glad I found you!

Post by Mordimor » 02 Apr 2016, 23:14

I am so thankful to read your post!! I'm not military but I have a ton of friends either currently serving or have served. Well versed in the lifestyle, I lived 10 minutes from fort Lewis growing up... Lots of friends that moved away.

I have lived in my current ward for two years. I have no friends. Inside or outside of the church currently. I've had a hard time making friends in this ward and in my current circumstances. I too have signed up to serve and be friendly, with no "week-day" friendships being built.

I have been thinking of choosing my family and finding new friends outside of the church, maybe even stepping away until I can let go of my resentment.

I don't have much to add sadly but I wish you get all the peace that you need. I look forward to your future posts.

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nibbler
Posts: 3492
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Glad I found you!

Post by nibbler » 04 Apr 2016, 04:11

llamamama, I know how a lot of that feels.

Welcome to StayLDS.
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

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