How has your leaving Mormonism affected your family relationships, friendships, job, neighbor relationships, social life, etc.?

For me, the most difficult part of losing my belief in Mormonism was experiencing the trauma of finding out all of the dark lies of the church, and discovering the tools of manipulation that had been used to control me, and not be able to share my experience with my family without being seen as a lazy, prideful person like the church teaches. I could not share my pain, my thoughts, or my experience with them. I have learned that as long as I keep my thoughts and experiences to myself, I can at least keep my relationships on a shallow level. There is no longer any shared understanding or authenticity between any of my active Mormon friends and family.

It's like the trauma of suddenly finding out your spouse has been lying and manipulating you for all the years you were married, and not being able to talk about it, or warn, the closest people in your life because everyone loves your spouse, doesn't believe you at all, and they don't want to hear another word about it. How do you have a relationship with people like that? You keep your mouth shut, and you keep your sadness and pain to yourself. That is what this so-called religion does to family relationships.

However, I did find people that wanted to hear my story, and could either relate, or were fascinated by, and held space for, my experiences. I found authenticity, love, and acceptance  in new, beautiful, meaningful  relationships. These relationships are closer and more fulfilling than the relationships I had in Mormonism.  Looking back now, I realize Mormonism was never a space one could be authentic. When conformity and obedience is valued above all else; when you cannot question, criticize, research, or think outside of your belief system, there can’t be authenticity.

hmsmith0320

I think it’s been harder on me than on them. I have found my friends and family to be generally nice to me but not supportive of my decision. I am immensely grateful I have been able to maintain healthy relationships with them. 

bethlundgreen