Hey, I'm Ally.
I am fifteen. I have been PIMO -- physically in, mentally out of the church -- for close to two years. My family doesn't know. I was a Mormon. And now, I am hiding.
I was raised in a multigenerationally traditional Mormon family. My ancestor was one of Joseph Smith's wives. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety at age 12, which was, in part, because of Mormonism.
# Why I left More stories of 'Why I left' the Mormon church
I had doubts about the church even as a kid. Things just didn't seem to line up sometimes, but I still trusted and followed with blind faith. I didn't know anything different.
When I was thirteen, it all came crashing down. Over a year or so, I realized that I was queer and started doing some research about the Mormon church, and what I found shocked me. I remember this awful hollow feeling in my chest. If the church really wasn't true, then who was I? What would happen to me?
I cried in my room for hours and hours one night, praying and pleading desperately for God to give me something, some sign that it was all true. There was nothing. No answer. I was alone. On that night my "shelf" had broken at only thirteen, and ever since then I have been researching the history of Mormonism and contemplating how I will escape the church once I am eighteen.
It has been a year and a half since I fully deconstructed from the church. It will be three more years until I can leave, and yeah, it gets pretty shitty sometimes, pretending to be someone I'm not. But I have found a support system with my non-Mormon friends and with other exmos online. Right now, it is not safe to come out as exmormon. When I do, I will be the first in my family to leave. However, my hope is to not be the last. By exposing the hypocrisies and harm done by the church, I might be able to put some weight on the figurative "shelves" of my parents, sibling, and extended family.
In the meantime, I am pretending. I attend church and Young Women's activities, and try to stay quiet and compliant. In secret, I sneak out to drink coffee and joke with friends. I will make it out of this cult eventually, and I will take my life back.