This mess I've gotten myself into....

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SilentDawning
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This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Nov 2013, 20:55

OK, here is the short version. Attended a Ward that has a reputation of "the place where testimonies go to die". New Bishop causes sacrament meeting attendance to dwindle to almost branch status. Stake leaders know and resort to the "support your leaders" stance. I have my deepest spiritual crisis and end up here at STayLDS partly due to experiences in that Ward. I won't go into it, but there are horror stories.

Spiritual, good-hearted daughter bullied....TBM wife and TBM daughter eventually refuse to go to church, although they have testimonies. I suggest we go to a different Ward not far from our home, different stake. Wonderful experience for wife and daughter... committed, professional people, programs running at tip top speed. Daughter, who always felt rejected and never had friends in our home Ward (something we could never figure out) says she finally knows who she is -- a good kid -- because for once in her life, the YW treat her with respect, are phenomenal kids themselves -- and actually invite her and love to be with her. Wants to do Seminary with them, school, YW program -- and be a Mia Maid leader. Gets her YW medallian at age 14 (last night). Wife is just as insistent about moving to new Ward as her testimony is flourishing. I agree to look at houses, and they find one that is just like the one we have now, but BIGGER and better.

Problem is, the new Ward was in the building close to home temporarily....actual ward boundaries mean double the commute to work, car expenses go way up, the proposed new house is expensive, means financial risk, upheaval. I must give up service in a non-profit that is very fulfilling for me due to distance. I have a band that is getting very successful locally, will likely have to give it up. Worked to learn the business for several years...as a means of managing a business due to lack of reality in my work as a business professor.

I have properties nearby current home hard to manage from a distance when there is a need for showings. Car expenses go way up, traffic jams at all different times of day (I drove the commute several times in hopes I could manage it), We give up a good situation now -- only variable is the bad church fit in this area. My soul is tattered from 2 hour commutes each way for 2 years 10 years ago from which I have never recovered. I feel sick when I think of the commute and detest driving if we move to new Ward.

And then, today, I had a major spiritual experience with my daughter.

She was talking about a friend who has poor self-esteem. I indicated the girl was probably still learning who she was, so she could learn to love herself - like my daughter loves herself in a good, self-esteemish, non-prideful way. I ask how she has grown to know her strengths. She replies that the new Ward was where she learned that all these years who she is. I felt this huge spirit building up between. I say -- "Because your heart is pure, isn't it.?". She looks very cautiously at me and then carefully nods her head, but humbly, like she was embarrassed to admit it. She says, "I finally know all these years it wasn't me... [that she was bullied and not accepted in our dysfunctional Ward]

The spirit overwhelmed me at this point when she nodded her head when I comment that her heart is pure. Both of us are filled with spirituality where we could barely speak. Tears everywhere but no emotion to back it up. I could speak in a normal voice even though both us had tears streaming down our faces. Just strong, powerful spirit as she tells me honestly that only now, after being exposed to this high functioning Ward, does she really know who she is, and why she has lived without friends all these years in our dysfunctional, geographical Ward,

But I simply cannot move. I feel sick when I think of doing it.

And the family is really pressuring me to move into this new situation, which I personally do not want, will make me miserable, even though there is some comfort in my daughter's happiness. It will canker my soul to have to drive all that distance all the time.

Thoughts? I am so torn by this. I want my daughter to flourish, my wife to be happy, but I simply cannot shoulder this commute and the upheaval, unwise financial risk, and drain on my time....the spiritual discussion was great today, although I do not feel its a sign to move (I don't trust those feelings anymore)...all because the church has a geographical boundary rule that prevents full fellowship.

And by the way, my wife and daughter are unwilling to compromise. My son is indifferent.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 07 Nov 2013, 22:49, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Life_Journey_of_Matt
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by Life_Journey_of_Matt » 07 Nov 2013, 21:22

That is a really touching account. You know, I work with a guy who didn't really like the ward he was supposed to be going to. He told someone in the Stake Presidency, "I go to this other ward or I don't go at all." The SP said fine, it's better that you're in than out. I don't know if that will work everywhere though. I've learned from my own personal experience that sacrificing my sanity rarely ends up being the best thing for my family, regardless of the nobility of the cause. It always seems to catch up to me, and them in the end. If I were in your shoes, I would exhaust every effort in an attempt to get an exception to the boundary rule.

I really do wish you the best on this.
"So oft in theologic wars / The disputants, I ween, / Rail on in utter ignorance / Of what each other mean / And prate about an Elephant / Not one of them has seen." -- from "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by John Godfrey Saxe

"The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2013, 22:08

At the very least, I would tell the Bishop in the new ward what you just shared with us. Lay it out there and say something like:
Being able to participate fully in this ward but live where we live now is the answer to our situation. Is there any way you can make that happen?


See what he says, and then deal with whatever the answer is. Don't make a decision until you've had that conversation.

If he makes it happen, problem solved; if not, you are where you are now.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Nov 2013, 22:31

Thanks...my daughter wants the full experience -- high school, living in that area, the friends, everything. And so does my wife. My daughter cries when I extinguish all hope (or sound like it).

There is an underlying part of me that really resents the incredible expense and upheaval being a member of the church can cause. I even offered to buy a condo in that area, rent out one room, and save the other for ourselves so could get an address in the Ward (we would rarely ever be there). But the family won't compromise as my daughter wants the Seminary, the girls, the high school -- she wants it all.

20 years ago I bought a house in the boonies so my wife could stay at home while we raised an adopted child we were hoping to have placed with us. That fell through, and then my work moved 90 minutes in the wrong direction -- leaving me with a two hour commute each way. I did that for two years. All as an obedience measure with the woman in the home....and you know how that ended -- without an adoption. Its frustrating that the church has so much power over our lives this way.

Ray, I have met with this Bishop once before and he's by the book. They are leaving us alone right now after I told his counselor to tell "the entire Ward council" that corporate America moves at its own pace and that they won't tell me what their plans are with my work....informed opinions from the finance guy and someone else in the know both predict I won't be working up there in the future as the business is a ghost town.

There is no practical reason to move into this particular Ward. In fact, its a financially stupid decision.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2013, 23:04

Then, as directly as I can put this, you have to decide whose happiness you want more. It's a lousy choice, but it looks like it's the one you are facing. I can't give you any advice. This one is yours to make.

I feel for you, friend, and will support you the best I can.
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

Dax
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by Dax » 07 Nov 2013, 23:53

Maybe I'm missing something but why can there not be a compromise? They give up the big house for said condo that you all move into so you feel less financial worry. You drop the nonprofit and band time down a bit to save on the drive exhaustion for the next 4 years. Then you get more time to do what you want latter as you saved all the money by living in the condo. Daughter wins and you win. She learns healthy compromise in a family doesn't mean one person gets everything they want, each side sacrafices something they desire to reach middle ground and you dont destroy your own sanity. She will be gone in 4 years either way. Good luck! Sorry about your situation.

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SilentDawning
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by SilentDawning » 08 Nov 2013, 13:33

There is no easy solution. The condo would be window dressing, really -- we would't move into it. It would be small, I lived in basements and studio apartments for most of my life until a few years ago (to get a head financially). I am almost 50 and refuse to give up personal space after providing a comfortable home, good schools, and a decent lifestyle for my kids. The music was one thing my wife agreed to years ago as a way of making our marriage better.

Not sure what to do. It's not as if the family would be miserable living where we live, it's just that the church doesn't add up.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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turinturambar
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by turinturambar » 08 Nov 2013, 18:47

Is there more to this than just the church? It sounds as if there are other things that your wife and daughter are hoping for, things that are not necessarily related to the church. If that's the case, it sounds like this might be a family issue to hash out. IDK

My parents have been living in an RV for the past four months. It has been difficult for them, but it seems to be the best solution for them while they build their house. This sounds like it might be a longer haul, though.

I completely understand the need for personal space. As an introvert, I suffer greatly without a place for me to chill out away from other human interactions and refill my cup. Have you expressed this need to them? Are you feeling that this commute will push you over the edge in some way? If so, your desires are also relevant to the discussion. But I also understand that fathers often sacrifice for the happiness of their wife and children.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

(New Testament | 1 Corinthians 13:2‎)‎

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SilentDawning
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by SilentDawning » 08 Nov 2013, 19:21

There is a very strong will to move on the part of my wife and daughter. They partly see it also a way of getting me "back" again -- since i had to come out to my daughter recently about my true feelings about the church.
I am thinking of taking John Stuart Mill's approach -- the greatest good for the greatest number.

The way I see it is like this:

Option 1: Stay Put (out of 10)
SD Happiness (7/10) (losing three points due to not granting the family their wishes, but maintaining financial and inner peace)
Wife Happiness (5/10)
Daughter Happiness (5 /10)
Total Happiness Points = 17/30

Option2: Full Move
SD Happiness (-5/10)
Wife Happiness: 10/10
Daughter happiness 10/10
Total Happiness Points 15/30

It's not a clear decision this way, but can we also look at it as the minimum of the maximum regret?

SD Best Scenario 7/10, Worst Scenario = -5 .....total regret 7- (-5) =12 Regret points
Wife: Best 10/10, Worst 5/5 -- Total REgret (10-5) =5 regret points
Daughter: Best 10/10 -- Total Regret (10--5) = 5 regret points

The analysis points to staying put and everyone getting used to the fact that moving does not produce the greatest overall good.

By the way, am on the verge of a major depressive episode again -- first time in several years due to the combination of this pressure, having to fire someone I work with and valued in many ways, and general overwork that makes this move seem like a huge, huge burden...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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DarkJedi
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Re: This mess I've gotten myself into....

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Nov 2013, 15:22

First SD, based on your last post, go get the help you need now - whatever that is for you, counseling, meds, or whatever.

We can't make the decision for you. I've wondered, though, what I would consider if I were in your position. You mentioned if you move there will be some driving/commuting involved and understandably fuel costs are a concern. Can I ask how far and how long of a commute?
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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