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Posted by: theBlackSheep ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 04:23PM

Hello. This is my first time posting to this board. I will start by saying that I am not a Mormon, never been Mormon. I was raised Baptist/Evangelical. I also have some family members that are Assemblies of God. I don't know if there is a similar support forum for former Evangelicals - but I feel kinship with the experience of former Mormons, so if it's OK, I will post here. I feel like our experiences may have much in common.

I really never bought into it ... the religion. I suppose I have ALWAYS been the Black Sheep. My father is an Evangelical pastor of a smallish/medium sized church, very strict, "fundamentalist." He's a church-comes-first kind of guy. I know he loves me, but he sees me as the project kid, the Black Sheep, the prodigal.

I'm not really much of a prodigal ... I have a stable career, I don't have any substance abuse issues, my life is fairly successful - but I am not church-attending, and I don't believe in a literal seven day creation.

I also have fairly liberal beliefs - like for example, I support same-sex marriage rights. I am definitely not "on fire" for the Lord. I'm pretty much "lukewarm" and I'm happy that way. I profess Christ, but I try not to think about it too much because if I do ... I might question it.

My cognitive dissonance began pretty young ... I remember specifically seeing church literature about "Winning your Catholic family to Christ." Well, my grandparents on my mom's side were Catholic. I was told that because of the extra books in the Catholic Bible, this means they were adding to the Word of God. And that meant they were not true Christians. And also they prayed to Mary. Therefore, my maternal grandparents were going to burn in the eternal fire of Hell.

I wasn't ok with that.

I remember as a kid going to a Southern Gospel concert where the band at the front had a set of drums. It was a revival! I completely loved revivals, but I remember my dad sitting there with his arms crossed. He would not stand and clap with the band because there were drums ... DRUMS! And drums are against the Bible, or something.

And I remember that every other Baptist church in our small town was wrong. Except us. We had the truth.

So ... I dunno. It never really worked for me.

I tried to be devout in my later 30's - after a difficult divorce. I really needed my family, and they were there for me. They brought me through a really tough time and I will forever be grateful.

I taught VBS (Vacation Bible School) for a while, but I really struggled with teaching the 7-day creation "Answers in Genesis" when I didn't really believe it. I just don't think, in the grand scheme of things, this Creation issue is a big one. I may lean more towards Intelligent Design - but really ... I can't get all hard-line about it. Who even knows where we came from? I sure don't know. But I don't think Science and God are at odds with one another. They complement each other. And I just don't see the big fuss.

I guess the thing I am struggling with is ... disappointing my family. I really HATE being seen as the Black Sheep. I'm a pretty good person/adult. I have had certain successes in my life, so I have a beautiful home and sometimes I take awesome vacations.

In the Evangelical world, this is pretty much a no-no. We are supposed to give it all back to Missions and to the poor. And while I LOVE this - and I want to feed children in Africa ... I also don't want to feel guilty about enjoying a little vacay in Italy with my husband.

My family thinks I am too materialistic. I am beginning a Master's program, and my dad has told me that - although I am an achiever ... none of what I am accomplishing matters. It doesn't matter for the Kingdom.

Like I'm basically wasting my time by getting a Master's degree.


This makes me SO SAD :-( SO SO SAD! I just don't know how to be a part of my own family anymore. Honestly, I don't think I ever really have fit in with them ... but this second go-round, with TRYING so HARD to make them proud and be the good daughter ... it's like I have to crush my own soul to be a part of the Evangelical world.

And don't even get me started on Trump. LOL.

I just can't do it. But I feel like I've lost my family ... once and for all. I have always been a source of concern for them ... I stopped attending church as soon as I got out of the house in my teens. But I tried so hard to come back to the Fold this second time around - after my divorce.

I don't want to let them down anymore. I want to make my family proud. But I know that I am different than them. I feel very alone in this.

Anyways - I guess I've been thinking about "coming out" to my family. I want to just tell them, "Hey. You did your best. It's not you, it's me." I think my dad feels the weight of his obligation to God Almighty to lead his daughter in the right direction. My dad feels like a failure because of my choices.

I don't want to lose my relationship with them ... but I want to be myself. I want to be loved and accepted as myself.

I guess I am wondering how others of you have navigated this. It hurts me so much to be the Lost Child ... and I wish they would just accept me for me. Sans religion.

How do you navigate your family relationships, when you don't have religion in common? How can I maintain closeness with my family when the number one thing that matters the most to them, just doesn't matter as much to me? And how do I stop worrying that my choices are going to land me in the fiery pits of Hell, for not fully embracing the Word of God, as I have been taught?

Thanks for listening, the Black Sheep

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 04:36PM

My daughter is active mormon. I took her out of mormonism "kind of" at age 10. She went to seminary and went to church sometimes with friends, but she was anti-mormon for a few years after high school. She is 31 now. I have a set of twins. Her brother is anti-mormon and has had some difficulties, so she sees him as a failure and even though I'm very much not a failure, she sees me as one and feels that I'm bitter and angry and wouldn't forgive mormonism for what it put me through.

We were doing better until mother's day when she posted on fb about she loved all her mothers and then listed 3 mormon women she worships and me. I told her I was her only mother and that she was not to lump me into the same category as them ever again. I told her not to post about me on fb any longer. She said she was sorry for being insensitive and then told me I wouldn't be hearing from her any longer.

She has told me she tries to understand me, has tried to "save me" or "fix me."

It breaks my heart that our relationship is like this as her brother and I, along with her went through a lot of tough times together and I sacrificed everything I could for her and still do. Even if I were mormon again, she'd find a reason to be at odds with me.

My parents listened when I left mormonism and were supportive of me leaving.

My feeling is that there doesn't have to be an understanding (like my daughter wants to understand me). We should just love them because they are our family without any expectations. Accept us where we are and for what we've accomplished in our lives, and quit trying to change us or treat us as if we will never meet up to their expectations. Myself, I think religion tends to set people up for this attitude. Even if we were their religion, they might just find another reason to not "get us" and would always be looking for a way to fix us or save us.

I've given up trying to help her "understand me" or like me. She obviously doesn't. As much as it has broken my heart, it is up to my daughter to accept me as I am. I don't think telling your family will help.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2017 04:37PM by cl2.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 04:53PM

It sounds like your feelings and experiences in the Evangelical world are right in synch with what people who come here from Mormonism have experienced.

It hurts to be different from the consensus in your family, and to be treated by your family as if you are not a full family member, and many here know those feelings well.

Welcome to RfM!

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Posted by: paintinginthewin ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 05:27PM

Welcome to RFM. I think I care that no one else experience being without living existing adult relatives like an adult adoptee or foster care child needlessly. I wonder if there may be ways to recycle important relatives like repairing an old appliance. My husband just placed a $14.90 belt in our old washing machine and it spins my laundry loads like new again. I wonder if upgrading part of your family's vocabulary "apps" would accomplish about that when the driving belt made my washing machine really work well and serve me and my family? Same washer , new drive belt , it's such a small part. Well, what if we replaced a vocabulary phrase, replace vocabulary phrasing into the well worn wash-and-repeat ritual of daily encounters with them. What then? I wish you well. Be the love , I know that you are being torn between opposing conflicting culture & its, it is an extraordinary effort ...especially when we want to love , we love , and we want to simply be loved.

They show Such beauty you show such beauty. They're such hard workers you're such a hard worker, yet falling outside your parents judgement combined with ones goal setting & accomplishments is just combusting visions of parental love & pride. Learning them to express it will be well worth it!



You can teach the the vocabulary and phrases modeling by saying: "I'm proud of you ,dad " or "I'm proud of you -----" ----insert name here" with a concrete example of her work or efforts exists nearby in text photo or on the table-- like a cupcakes or bench built or woodworking or car engine repair or book published or paper edited for you. Or for someone else.

You can teach the phrase: "I enjoyed xxxxx " after speaking briefly on phone, eating her cupcakes, listening to his article excerpt, skimming his paragraph rewrite, hearing about their new walker or cane retip, or ex refill trip, rewire his church speaker sound system, financing his new microphone, learning a new music sound mix app they hope their church friends like, making the old copy machine work again, walking, running a car errand or whatever.

It may take time because these family members may not be used to pride in accomplishments or being noticed as an individual for works of their hands or minds. It was all gifted or not from god they had no To it. But you're going to teach them to be acknowledged for teeny works valued by or appreciated... and ....that...they are, valued and appreciated.

It may take time for them to restate the phrase: "I enjoyed xxxx" after something they did or someone else did hear them. Model it model it model it and you will over time remodel the vocabulary punctuation phrasing your home your parents and you.

By the time we're done they'll have acquired new phrasing new vocabulary new ritual small social interchanges in family.

You teach them as adult child child role giving speaking it vocabulary inserting your skills and some years from now you'll hear them speak their vocabulary about some churchy thing to each other (grin wryly) nod to appreciate an adoption of the vocabulary.

Then finally you might hear it too even if it's about repairing or recycling old junky appliance just like them ...who knew

They can be old appliances not quite worn out and get recycled a little bit. You you are worth it. Ain't no junk in this family yet.

It's like a wash cycle doing laundry use phrase: "I'm proud of you mom," after she drove somewhere or got something done. Eventually she'll be used to you being "proud of her." Eventually she will become used to being proud and repeat the phrase... wash and respect model phrase apply phrase model phrase apply phrase
Grin when they try it
Don't criticize attempts at it re model it use the phrase: " I am proud of you----" "I enjoyed xxxx dad"

Or the phrase: "I enjoyed xxxxxx " after cake or fair or Netflix or BBQ or phone call. Teach the phrase: "I enjoyed xxx"
In time the existence of /enjoying / and the existence of /proud/ of someone's work..... will exist in your family and will exist and be expressed in open ways

Hint: grin anyways when your parents enjoy the damnedest things
Hint: grin anyways when your parents are proud of the damnedest little things

Eventually they'll be speaking their pride and enjoyment
You're flipping their vocabulary

I'm saying, be the bridge. I'm saying, before you burn the bridge with them, teach them to express pride in small acts and teach them to express enjoyment,.; teach them consciousness of pride in small increments and teach them enjoyment. Make the family culture be a bridge of here and now enjoyments

Between cultures



Such comes to mind through recent encounters with a well meaning short walking voice calling out" --- you should let me be your xxxxx prayer leader." At my daughters home ah met a Pentecostal middle aged mama & I knew she meant well, but near to drive me mad. she took my kindness and politeness for deference & felt called that she needed to lead me , offering most graciously to direct me in ---- prayer (just like she'd been taught at her last convention; she was almost certified to bill for prayer group scheduled sessions she'd been flying out an official trainer and learning from her.) it's another day in the neighborhood , another day in the neighborhood, won't you be, my neighbor?

Before breakfast, across the patio, in the kitchen for three days "--- you need me to be you xxxx prayer leader. " Be like painting:," nice salad . " response: ," I should be your xxxx prayer leader tell me aboutxxx let's pray."

Mop headed short pale skin sweet smiling eyed savant for the lord somehow, scampering across the yard trimming my daughters garden putting seeds in setting surprize vegetables volunteers beneath fruit trees in any bare ground spots she could see pulling an earth angels joy Into the coastal hillside. Oh my goodness how beautiful.

And yet the scampering garden elf earth angel turned quickly into a mop head puppet for Jesus like a little monster. Short talking fluffy haired prayer group stalking puppet walking across the family's carpet,

I see such good in her, I see, things that worry me, basically because it's so annoying. And intimidating is she, is, is, she, Judging me! Yea Mormon in spades karma for early every member a missionary pompous attitude from me! Was I ever that annoying :(

Unwilling to make waves in my adult child's life kindness kindness kindness kindness drrrriiive. Whew


Welcome



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2017 08:25PM by paintinginthewin.

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Posted by: relievedtolearn ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 09:54PM

I like these ideas, but as another person who's been in a fairly fundamentalist evangelical tradition, I want to put in my 2-bits and suggest you not use the phrase "I'm proud of....." because some evangelicals won't say that as pride is a sin.

You could substitute "I enjoyed" very well to convey that type of message.

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Posted by: paintinginthewin ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 10:26PM

Being culturally sensitive makes it effective

You don't want to create an accidental paradox , the whole point is to be effective not right. Recognizing cultural connotations of vocabulary words embedded in culturally relevant literature, stories and traditions inherent infancy to age eight taught word cultural value memes ' relationship is crucial , it's importance cannot be over stated. Thank you so much, I appreciate you taking your valued time to analyze and logic this out. Because our original poster needs an effective vocabulary phrase for clear sailing steering free through rough seas scenes seasoned by a new power over past enculturation that is now adding suffering.

No chance of effecting change even in oneself utilizing a shame trigger or an anxiety trigger within the culture. That's like a not not plus. Or adding negative negative wanting a positive. It doesn't add up it can't logic it, it'll only cascade shame or anxiety panic or increase hyper vigilance response being prompted promoted by crossing a taught shame / anxiety cue ....better to avoid attempting to utilize exact terms associated with a shut down or shame response.

So I whole heartedly second sticking with the phrase : "I enjoyed ------" singularly.

Privately it's what I used to talk myself and my spouse & adult kids out of this church shaming mess. It creates so much stress and guilt grief and even higher blood pressure anxiety heart beat changes being involved in cultural contradictions guilt cues.... when you or yours stand between cultures which value opposite things acts events attitudes Wow.

I am not promoting be unreal with yourself, I am simply suppose that you are , that it is reasonable, for instance to take a photograph of a flower on your path. Then edit it or look at the flower in the photo and acknowledge you enjoyed seeing the rose, enjoyed photographing it. Or drawing a sketch of it.

If you might state to companions when you enjoyed a walk on a pier or across a beach? It changes an inner dynamic just like a human perceives patterns and facial recognition, this stating enjoying -- clarifies, communicates, even facilitates companions communicated with in civil courteous almost invisible magical assertiveness . The simple phrase "I enjoyed ----"

Promotes more of what you enjoyed. Your companion gets positive feedback they enjoyed being noticed or appreciated and seek possibly to repeat it if they enjoyed it.... from bay walks to late night talks. Food whatever. Eventually companions may pick up on it and reflect it. Goes from I want to, event happening reflecting this "I enjoyed".

How is it assertiveness? Not constantly saying what you want because finally. When your companion knows- what you enjoy.
Wow they want to hear it! They enjoy their lives with you! Or at least they want to!

How simple. What a positive affirming validating engaging statement to hear after an event, a picnic, a bar b q, a sports match, hearing a song, getting a phone call. And what if , what if someone eventually begins to respond in kind--

Flipping the dynamic, or at least extending a new civility in, within, your interactions.

I say win-win



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2017 10:42PM by paintinginthewin.

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Posted by: relievedtolearn ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 10:31PM

Love this; well said!!

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Posted by: Eric K ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 07:41PM

You are very much welcome here. The only differences within the numerous cult religious groups are the terminology they use and how they change the meanings of words. The damage they inflict seems to be universal. I live in a very heavy Evangelical area. The head of the Church of God, which is headquartered here, was my next door neighbor for a few years. So I understand. You cannot change people. You can only change yourself. It hurts to not be accepted. Take care of your family and yourself as best you can. The education is great. Do not give up on that.

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Posted by: theBlackSheep ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:01AM

Yes, I would like to read "the Poisonwood Bible" - I have heard it is good.

I just need to figure out how to be OK with me. How to stop feeling guilt and fear.

And I especially need to figure out what to do with the left-out feeling. It bothers me when my family doesn't call and invite me to stuff. It bothers me when my dad looks at me like I'm a lost lamb who needs to be Saved.

I wish they were proud of me.

I recently read a nice piece by Cary Tennis: ""To sense that your family does not really love or approve of you hurts but it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be somebody else. It means you’re supposed to bear that sadness with dignity; it means you’re supposed to bear that loss as a wise person would, knowing it’s just the tension between your capacity for dreaming and your capacity for acceptance."

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Posted by: changling ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 08:40PM

Eric is the site owner, so now you can chalk up belonging to "US"!

I agree that cult behavior = cult behavior, regardless of the patriarch to be revered and obeyed.

It is a grieving process to realize that one is an object in her family, rather than a prized individual. It is a the letting go of an illusion.

I really like paintinginthewin's upbeat attitude about effecting change, but it also does battle with the idea that people will be who they want to be. Still, it's a good idea to be the change.

The first thing that those ensnared by a cult must accept is The.One.Truth. It will be an exclusive club with special rules, nearly always subjugates females and children, and the brainwashing is evident only from the outside.

And that is where you are, no matter the language of love you may teach them or share. I am sort of glad for you that they will always be "working on you," because it also means that you are not being shunned.

It is a sorrowful thing, and I too have a suggestion. Keep studying about religion, and let facts, history and truth take you where they may. Don't be married to the fear that has been delivered to you, your entire life. I would even go so far as to suggest that such a quest might help to ease your sorrow, open you to seeing the entire situation more objectively, with a cleared vision.

It's also an extremely interesting subject, if you enjoy history.

I'd like to say that you are not the black sheep, the scapegoat, or any of those negative images used to manipulate "believers." You seem to have your head screwed on pretty tightly, have purpose and direction, and even compassion for those who prefer judgement.

I can't stop myself. I'm going to again suggest that you study the history of Christianity until your pain lessens. Many here have studied themselves clear of (false) guilty feelings, and you can, too.

The religions may be different, but the damages are the same.

I wish you well, and welcome to the board :)

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Posted by: theBlackSheep ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:03AM

Thank you for the kind words, changeling :-) They helped.

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Posted by: janis ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 08:43PM

One day I had a particularly bad conversation with my mother. I was in my late 20's.

It was made clear to me that I was viewed as the black sheep and a failure. After I hung up, I did my own inventory.

I lived in nice home, had a good marriage, had two adorable kids, a pretty good job, and the future looked bright for my little family. Nobody was in jail, on drugs, alcoholic, no bad choices were keeping us down. All in all, we were looked at as successful good parents in a happy marriage with some of the nicer things in life.

I realized that my parents were pissed that I wasn't suffering like their two favorite children. I had never asked them for anything. I had never had any type of financial or emotional support from them. My other 5 siblings couldn't make that claim.

I was happy and successful without buying into their religion in any way. Somehow, this pushed their buttons. I couldn't figure it out. I was the adult child most parents would be thrilled to have!

I was responsible. I loved my family and cared for them in every way I could. We had plenty to eat and wear, reliable vehicles, we took a vacation every year. I wasn't even 30 yet! What was the big gripe?

My parents have no clue what it means to have a "bad" child. They got a tiny taste of it when my very religious sister had to put her husband in rehab. That nightmare went on for years. As long as they went to church, they were viewed as the "good"ones. I give up.

One day I realized I could walk on water, speak in tongues, introduce them to Christ himself in person and I still wouldn't be good enough. This was a track that was set before I even knew how to walk and talk. This is not something I'm responsible for, neither can I fix it.

It's up to them to fix their ideas about me. They're unwilling. I could write a book about it. It's now 30+years later. I haven't seen or talked to them in 30 years at least except for one short phone call in my 50's. Enough is enough. I'm not willing to drag all that garbage around with me for the rest of my life. It's been so peaceful since I put up the wall and cut all contact.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2017 08:44PM by janis.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 08:51PM

If you feel like looking back in anger, this is the place. I do it all the time, and I'm tolerated pretty well, I should say.

I'm sorry to say that I'm completely estranged from my Mormon family and their judgment. We're all sinners on this bus, and I will not be told where to sit by other sinners who just happened to have joined a group. I'll sit by myself if I have to. Welcome, fellow black sheep.

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Posted by: janis ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 09:16PM

I'd gladly sit on the bus next to you Don. I'm sure it would be an entertaining ride.

Our families are somewhat similar. The difference being that my father was a bit better at holding down a job. We lived close to too many mormons that were in their business. This forced my parents to be better to their kids than they would have chosen to be otherwise.

Later we moved further out in the country. Things got considerably worse for the kids and my mother. The king had no clothes, but he didn't give a shit about that.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 09:00PM

Welcome and thanks for posting. You are right. Many of the things we experienced as Mormons apply to experiences with other religions.

Various religions have views and practices that are designed to differentiate between insiders and outsiders. Once you start thinking for yourself and not following along, they turn on you, pressure you, or issue ultimatums.

Good for you for realizing they don't get to control you.

I am an exmormon but I live in the South among Evangelicals. Honestly, I see a lot of similarities.

Good for you for being ambitious and successful. It can frustrate some religious types who seem to resent that they are praising Jesus all the time and someone like you seems to be getting rewards.

Only you know the dynamics of your family and whether or not it is worth it to indulge them. Don't hold yourself back or dumb yourself down to please them. There is no way you are going to make everyone happy, so you might as well make yourself happy.

Your post made me think of the novel the Poisenwood Bible.

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 11:06PM

Black sheep are welcome here. My brother and I fit that mold.

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Posted by: notmonotloggedin ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 09:55AM

theBlackSheep Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I guess the thing I am struggling with is ...
> disappointing my family. I really HATE being seen
> as the Black Sheep. I'm a pretty good
> person/adult. I have had certain successes in my
> life, so I have a beautiful home and sometimes I
> take awesome vacations.
>
> In the Evangelical world, this is pretty much a
> no-no. We are supposed to give it all back to
> Missions and to the poor. And while I LOVE this -
> and I want to feed children in Africa ... I also
> don't want to feel guilty about enjoying a little
> vacay in Italy with my husband.
>
> My family thinks I am too materialistic. I am
> beginning a Master's program, and my dad has told
> me that - although I am an achiever ... none of
> what I am accomplishing matters. It doesn't matter
> for the Kingdom.
>
> Like I'm basically wasting my time by getting a
> Master's degree.
>
>
>it's like I have to crush my own soul
> to be a part of the Evangelical world.

I am an evangelical myself. While I am truly sorry for your experience, because your post presents a very black and white picture of what it means to be an "evangelical", I thought perhaps my input might help. My husband and I are quite committed to our faith. We believe that in the end, all the material wealth we gain and all of the worldly successes we achieve will ultimately not matter. Yet we live in a beautiful home and we too like to take vacations. I just completed my masters degree and am a collector of fine prints and antiques. There is nothing in our beliefs that prohibits these earthly pleasures.

Your real problem is not with your religion (although, my, you do seem to have been raised in the sort of church that fits the Hollywood stereotype of "evangelical fundamentalist" to a T). But rather, your real problem is that you have not learned that adults cannot live their lives expecting the utter approval of those around them.

I am hoping your family is not refusing to have anything to do with you. In the end, you cannot control how others think about you but I do hope you are successful in having loving family relationships

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Posted by: theBlackSheep ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:08AM

"Your real problem is that you have not learned that adults cannot live their lives expecting the utter approval of those around them."

Agreed.

Although I don't think I would be human if I didn't crave the approval and pride of my family.

And I never meant to hurt them.

Since my dad is a pastor, all of my decisions reflect not only on him but on his ministry as well.

So it's a big weight to bear.

Yes, true. At least my family has not completely shunned me. That would be worse. But there are lots of subtle shuns that happen.

I just want to surround myself with friends and neighbors who build me up. Honestly, I'm struggling with that too, lately. Just not feeling like I am a part of ANY community at all.

And I think it's just human to want these things.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:17AM

It is human to want to be around positive and cheerful people who will build you up; not tear you down. And tearing you down to build themselves up is what a lot of people do who have problems of their own; mainly, a real lack of self-esteem. My family are black sheep: we're considered non-conformist. Know that you're not alone; my family isn't a part of any community at the moment either, because we are learning to discern who is a good friend and who is not.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:49AM

You made me remember a friend from so long, long ago who was raised to "win souls for the Lord." We spent an afternoon once exchanging my Mormon stories for her Evangelical stories and laughing about how crazy our upbringings had been. Thank you forgetting that memory to surface.

"Hey. You did your best. It's not you, it's me." Never ever say this. You are full of honesty in your life. You are full of courage to do what you feel is the right path even at the expense of bringing the pain of being the black sheep into your life. I don't know if. "it's them" for sure, but it's definitely not you.

I am the only one in my family to leave the church. Its been more than forty years. I was the black sheep and on top of that the black gay sheep.

I mostly buried the hurt at always being the one who wasn't really part of the family any more. My father once said in a letter that he was so glad my grandmother died before she found out about me. I buried that for years and finally my father found out through a sister. When he found out he apologized deeply and when he did I sobbed like I had never sobbed before. I know your pain.

Your church first family has no idea what they are doing to you. If they do and are doing it anyway, then you need to find new family. Many of us did.

In the end, after I had lived a wonderful life my family, especially my father, began to see me as the person I was and stopped viewing me through their church eyes. I was appreciated in the end. I was told how proud they were of me.

Time is all we have sometimes. I hope your family comes around because every family really needs the great gift of having the black sheep to show them the way.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 11:26AM

"It's not you, it's me"

Actually it's not you, it's them. They choose to believe in a belief system that is based on a proven fraud. It feels good, but is it good for them. Heroin supposedly feels good. Is that good for you? They are inside a bubble with a reflective wall.

Maybe we all live with mirrors. The mirror is either inside us or outside. When it's outside, it forms a bubble. When it's inside, people see themselves in you. Everyone's mirror should be on the inside and we should see ourselves in them.

The answers are all inside you. They will come when you need to, so there's nothing to worry about.

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Posted by: theBlackSheep ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 09:39AM

Hey there Babylon-can-suck-it :-) That's an awesome screen name! OK so I have been pondering this whole "Black Sheep" thing. And ... I've been kind of mired in pain about the whole thing ... not feeling accepted, feeling shunned, like an outcast, all that.

BUT I had a crazy epiphany this morning. I'm not just the BLACK SHEEP ...

I am also the Creative One :-) And that kind of makes me feel awesome. I'm the one who breaks out of the mold ... the one who marches to my own beat. I am kind of the odd one, I suppose.

But I don't have to walk around feeling bad about that. It's kind of awesome. I'm kind of creative and fun. I'm a rebel, I suppose.

I've been feeling so bad about myself - but maybe I just need to embrace my awesomeness.

There's a flip side to this whole "Black Sheep" thing - a paradox, maybe. I want to turn my story on it's head and realize that there is a beauty, a bravery in it. :-)

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