Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Don't cry for me ... In which I address a patronizing blog comment.

I was just thinking about you and decided to read what was happening on your end since I don't get to read your Facebook posts anymore, but I feel so sad for you Janie. You let others talk you out of what you once knew to be true. That is what Satan wanted all along and he sure did get you good. I hope that one day you will come back and feel the goodness and mercy of the Atonement of the Savior. He loves you. And He weeps for this choice you have made. But He also awaits with open arms. 

A peek into Mormon passive aggression. I just want to break down this comment since there may be other readers thinking the same thing. 

1. "I feel so sad for you Janie."

I have also had someone say to my face "You are so sad." to which I replied no in fact I am not and that is offensive... to which they came back with "No you are saaaaadddd" (Picture puppy dog face and condescension) 

To anyone who is concerned, I am genuinely not sad. There were dark times coming to the realization that what I believed and what I was taught, and what I was teaching my children was inaccurate. Being on the fence, living for a year+ as an active Mormon deciding how to proceed, fighting for answers. That was hard. Life now is sweet and full of freedom and active truth seeking. Even IF I was sad, or IF you feel sad for me that is generally a rude thing to haphazardly claim about some one's life especially through a blog comment. I'd reserve statements of that nature for your closest friends and family. 

2.   "You let others talk you out of what you once knew to be true."

OH MY STARS ABOVE. no. just no.  No one talked me out of anything, In fact there was NO one to really talk to about this. This has inspired me to fully address my deconversion story it is way too much to outline in one post. But this sentence alone shows me that the person is not really a blog reader of mine, did not follow my faith crisis posts or does not have the intellect to follow the reasoning that I had to go through. 

Or how about this? Talk me back into it. Who even talked me into the church in the first place? I was baptized when I still believed in Santa Claus. Think about that for a minute. I took the Gospel SERIOUSLY, I stumbled onto questionable church history WHILE I WAS BEING A GOOD MEMBER MISSIONARY. I took the entire process slowly from the first two emails to close friends to talks with the Bishops and scriptorians not a single issue I have struggled with has been met with satisfactory answers. So before you throw out something as simple as that someone talked me out of.... why don't you address the issues instead? 

3. "what Satan wanted all along and he sure did get you good. " 

Oh I forgot how shame ridden and fearful the gospel truly is... Satan is out to get you and don't stray from whatever correlated church materials there are or the scriptures because social isolationists and the Devil await. This is what my life looks like now:

I raise my children, I take care of my home (not well enough) Kyle and I are madly in love, we watch a little TV at night sometimes religious vs. atheism debates and yell at the logical fallacies like its football, if we get to bed after the kids but before we are exhausted we make love, I read too much and blab some on facebook, I breastfeed two babies several times a day, I am building new friendships, I teach and help moms have great births, I take my kids to the park, sometimes we swim, soon I will have four in school, we barely scrap by but still try to give a little to things like the Wounded Warriors Project and Midwifery charities. I might say more bad words than I like but I do try hard to help others. 

If I am the product of Satan's evil grasp then the world should not be too worried. I think most would be ok with me as a neighbor. 

Public Service Announcment - Satan does not exist - I already addressed that here

4. " I hope that one day you will come back and feel the goodness and mercy of the Atonement of the Savior "

I find the concept of the Atonement illogical. I addressed that here 

And there is no need for you to hope or worry, I prayed haaard, hard, hard when I was going through this and I made it clear to any deities anywhere what I would need for belief. I'll let you know if they get back to me. Answers would also be good ... but those aren't to be had. Just ask this guy. 

5. "He loves you."

And Santa Claus loves you. 

6. "And He weeps for this choice you have made."

And... we are back to shame. This is the 'I know what Jesus thinks', I have peered into his thoughts and he told me that you made him cry. 

So thank you for coming to my blog and letting me know I made Jesus cry. Since you can know his thoughts can you also let me know if it made him cry when his Prophet Joseph Smith married a 14 year old girl, even though she didn't want to?

7. "But He also awaits with open arms."

Ok cool. Since ya'll are so tight and all, can you get him a message?

There are babies dying from malaria ...


'preciate it. 


Jaime said...

I keep reading your posts on my phone and I hate typing on that thing but I've been meaning to comment ever since your goodbyes post! I just wanted you to know that it made me sad too, but selfishly - for what the Church has lost from you going! I love you and value your perspectives so much I am sad to know the Mormon community is now just that much more homogeneous without you. :( And I am angry/sad about the horrible passive-aggressive feedback you've gotten. What a failure of empathy on that person's part for someone who was obviously hurting for so long.

(Brief Tangent: I think there is an across the board failure these days (clearly present among but not limited to Mormons) to be able to step outside your own perspective and see things as other people might see them. You know...even though the person who wrote that may feel sad for you, if she had stepped back and read it from your perspective before sending she should have been able to see how offensive her comment was. People just don't seem to have that much imagination anymore unfortunately and I think it's a big reason our society is so polarized.)

I still feel like I have a "testimony" that the church is "true" (I don't necessarily mean those in scare quotes but the meaning behind those words has definitely changed drastically over the years), but it doesn't matter that I haven't come to the same conclusions about the church - I am in major awe of the cajones it took to make such a momentous decision. You are amazing to me. I am happy for the happiness you've found and wish you only the best - your life and family ARE beautiful! Love and Hugs to you all

Anne said...

There is no one true way, and when people insist that there is THEY are the ones up to no good... I have to admit that it's people like your commentor that are the reason I never took to Christianity, though I don't have a problem with Jesus. It's just too bad that they don't seem to have learned anything from his teachings.

Natalie McQuilton said...

Amy R. sent me your way and your post made me cry! I don't cry over religion or the topic of ever anymore. I gave up being a Jehovah's Witness many years ago. I honestly didn't do a lot of soul searching on the matter. In fact, I married an atheist and for the longest time, I did not agree with him. But, over time, what he said started to make sense. For years I denied that JW was a cult religion. Then, more recently decided that he was, in fact right. My parents visit about once a year. My father threatens to "disown" me if he catches me celebrating holidays (like you, I was baptized when I was a minor at age 14 and way too young to fully grasp the life I was getting signing myself up for) and preaches to me when my husband is at work, nonstop. I ask him to stop and he tells me how sad he is and how much of a failure he feels like - b/c I've been led astray. When one of my sisters was disfellowshipped during a life-crisis and when obviously dealing with some sort of mental illness, my parents refused to speak to her unless it was about her two young children (it remains this way after nearly a year). I don't know why it took me so long to understand that disowning your own flesh and blood for something other than, well, maybe murder, is absurd and cult-like. Like you, I know I'm a good person. I try really hard. I'm not "bad association." I remember sitting and listening to talks in which an elder would highlight all the things you could do wrong that would get you killed at Armageddon and thinking, "Man, that's just about everything. What CAN I do?" I would look around the congregation and know that Joe was doing this, and Jane was doing that and while not big deals to me (maybe I saw Jane out dancing at a club with non-JW's), obviously big enough to get locked out of everlasting life. After many years with my husband, I realized that God just can't be that cruel, if there even is a God. And, I have serious issues with an organized religion that kicks someone out when the person clearly has mental illness going on and needs a good therapist and lots of love and support. To lose your family during times of mental and emotional distress? What? That is not okay and it saddens ME that anyone would think that is okay. Apparently, the bible says it's okay and the elders tell them it's the right thing to do (disown family members led astray) So, they believe it. My own personal journey of questioning the religion started to present itself three years after I was baptized. I was 17 and thought, "Wow, I can't even back out! I was too young to have made such a decision and to back out now would mean that I lose everyone I love." I was still living in my parents home! So, they would disown me and not speak to me in my own home? Is that love? If so, how? So, I am right here with you! Questioning these things, however, is pretty much a sin and for believers, it's very very difficult for them to see outside their box. I don't want them to be sad for me as I can't say I'm really sad for them - because if that's how they find happiness in their life, if that's the kind of life they need, then so be it. It's just not for me anymore and they can choose to think I'm a sinner or that I've gone crazy, or that I haven't done enough research, or that Satan has gotten to me. I just say, "Thank you for your opinion" and move on. As for my parents, I just try not to rub in their face my "new" life. I do find I block them from certain FB posts and I know I shouldn't do that - but b/c they are elderly and so very sensitive, I do it to keep them from getting upset. My husband thinks it's crazy - but, I think it just saves a fight and I'm okay with a little filtering to keep everyone happy. I enjoyed this post - it really spoke to me. It's nice when you read about people who have gone on similar journeys and deal with the same type of feedback...

Natalie McQuilton said...

Sorry if this is a repeat post. I think I lost my original. Amy R. sent me your way and I can't tell you how much this post speaks to me. I was raised at Jehovah's Witness. I was baptized at age 14, when I was too young to realize the commitment I was making. When I was 17 and realized that I couldn't back out without being disowned from my friends and family, I felt trapped. Eventually, I walked away, even married an atheist. For many years, when my husband would remind me that JW is a cult religion, I denied. They have a whole brochure on why it is NOT. Surely they must be right. But, over time, I realized that it's true. Being shunned by your family if you decide to leave or if you sin, is cult-like. When my sister, who is obviously suffering from some sort of mental illness, got disfellowshipped, when what she needed was a good (better?) therapist and lots of love and support, it sealed the deal for me. My parents and sisters refuse to speak to her unless it's about her young boys. She feels "forced" into going back to the religion so she can have her friends and family "back." Like, you, I know I'm a good person. I am not "bad association." That is absurd. I don't believe God actually thinks disowning minors (especially) who "sin" is okay. Once I stepped outside of the religion, I began to see what was wrong with it. I felt a weight taken off my shoulders that I didn't have to live my life judged of every move I made. When my parents visit, my father preaches to me the entire time, leaves literature all over the house, upsets my husband. He cries over me and tells me how sad he is and how much of a failure he feels like. He threatens to take me out of his will and disown me if he catches me celebrating holidays. So, despite my husbands reservations, I block my parents from some FB posts. I don't feel bad about that b/c I don't live near them and they are getting older and it's just a way for me to keep the peace. I'm okay with a little filtering. And, anyway, they know everything anyway. They just refuse to see it - so I don't rub it in their face. I don't want them to be sad for me - I want them to be happy that I've find ways to be happy outside of organized religion. And, I"m not sad for them because if their faith is what makes THEM happy, so be it. I may have my own personal thoughts on the matter (I think they are brainwashed) - but it's not my place to tell them so. I've been where they are and no one from the "outside" is going to convince them they are wrong. They will either die believing what they do or come around in their own time. In the mean time, I try to set a good example for my children and live my own life w/o worrying what my parents, sisters or former JW friends think. It seems to shock them, however, when they ask me if I've been thinking about coming "back" and I tell them that I never even think about it. They can't imagine how I am not guilt-ridden every single day. That makes me want to pull my hair out, but I just tune it all out and move on with my life. Thank you for sharing your journey. I GET it!!!

Nana to Oz said...

Copy of my FB comment:
I am proud of you for what you have done. You are a great wife, a great Mom, and a wonderful DIL!! I know how hard this has been but I also know you did not come to your "conclusions" lightly or without a lot of angst and research and time, and a lot of trying to "make it right". I appreciate your candor and just wish everyone would leave everyone else alone. If, in the end, there are any consequences to what we believe or don't believe, we will each have to deal with it -- it is not up to others to do that for us. We cannot force our beliefs on others especially if we are unwilling or unable to answer questions with something other than "that's just the way it is"! Luv ya!!!

Janie said...

Jaime - Thank you so much! If I were the type to be able to lean on someone else's testimony and intellect, you would be on my short list. I too wanted to stay in some part to be a force for change from within, but psychologically the cost was too high. I remember on pants to church day I made this deal, IF one other woman wears pants to my ward I'll stay. Alas no one did. I wish we could literally chat about this in person - I will always consider you a friend!

Janie said...

Natalie, Your comment spoke to me and broke my heart. I never understood why some atheist were so "angry" but once you are on the outside you see the damage that is done in the name of religion and I TOTALLY get it. If there is a God he/she is so much more logical than the earthly constructs we have come up with in the name of religion.