Date: November 06, 2012 02:29PM
There's a very large difference between a pesky friend and someone who is shunning you. Maybe the difference is their motives. I have a pesky single friend who does not work, and who has time on her hands. She also has money, and is always pestering me to go to expensive concerts, dinners, plays, the ballet, even road trips with her, and pay my own way. All these activities are fun, when I have time to do them, but they take me away from my family and work. We are in contact several times a week by phone. She is pushy, but never rude.
Someone who is harassing you, is usually part of a group--otherwise they would be in the "creepy stalker" category. Harassers come to your door, unannounced, in groups of two or three, and often late at night. Their motive is to get something from you--your money, your time, a commitment. Harassers use manipulative techniques, such as threats, and guilt, and they play on your weaknesses. They don't really care about you as a person, and you can feel that. Their conversations are one-sided. They are often rude.
To me, this is as clear as night and day.
Shunning is unmistakeable. I think it is we who are in denial, rather than the shunning being subtle. At first, I made excuses for my Mormon friends, because I was very embarrassed in front of my children, family, and other friends. I seemed to be very unpopular, even hated. So, there must be something wrong with me! I needed to have my children respect me, and it was not good for them to see others disrespecting me, and treating me like dirt. My family needed to know that I was not an evil person, and I was not the "hater." This was difficult for me. Finally, I had to explain to my children what was going on, and by then they had observed for themselves. Because of this, my mellow, loving, prejudice-free children were beginning to hate the Mormons. I needed to do something about it, and we couldn't be driven out of our own home. We simply steered around the Mormon obstacles, and focused on all the positives in our much fuller, richer lives. Our non-Mormon friends were great!
In this beautiful new cult-free life, shunning is the only thing that makes me unhappy--and it is not necessary! So, I set up boundaries, to at least gain some control over the situation. I can't bear the role of "victim" anymore. All I ever did "wrong" was get divorced, and later leave the cult. My children have always been good people. God has no reason to punish us. When you are being shunned, it is important to build yourself up like this. No matter what you did, or what mistakes you made, you probably didn't do anything as deliberately cruel as shunning.
Think carefully about each individual who is shunning you. Most likely, the Mormon friends who are shunning you were NEVER your real friends. Turn your Mormon thinking around, and think of receiving, instead of giving. What did they give you, in the way of friendship? I listened to their problems, babysat their children, drove them places, worked in my callings, volunteered in the schools, etc. I gave them casseroles, with the rest of the RS, when they were sick, but I received only two casseroles in 15 years. Ask yourself how many Mormons actually invited you into their home? How many did you go to lunch with as pals? Or even a movie? Church-directed parties with HT's or VT's don't count. Those old missionary open houses don't count. I mean, the Mormon equivalent of just inviting someone over for a cup of coffee--is there no such thing? I did have two single Mormon friends, who got married and moved away, and we used to do the normal girl-things together, like my non-Mormon friends do.
Your phone never rings now, but when it used to, wasn't someone calling to ask you for something? Did a Mormon friend ever call you to chat, or to ask how you were bearing up with a crisis? With me, Mormons were always asking me to accompany them in their many performances. At the old Primary, RS, SS, EQ, High Priest Christmas parties, I was always at the piano. Usually, I'd have to bring food, too. What did I get in return? Being the only single one in a room full of couples, being treated like the hired help, longing for some intelligent or witty conversation like at my work parties, being put onto the cleanup committee, driving home alone in the cold. The way the ward Mormons treated me was the opposite of how my work colleagues treated me. If I hadn't had my career to balance things out, my self-esteem would have been at absolute zero.
When you look back, were you treated WORSE when you were a Mormon than you are now as an ex-Mormon? My answer is yes! The shunning behavior is a blessed relief! It is a reason for me to flush Mormonism out of my life entirely. Ditching the Mormons began in self-defense 8 years ago, and was only going to last for a few months, until I recovered, but it has only escalated. It began with going to a different grocery store, a different movie theater and mall, shopping on Sundays, walking my dog in the canyon behind my house, instead of in the neighborhood in front, turning the other way and calling someone on my cell phone, not driving past the church on the way to work anymore. I ended up making a NO CONTACT boundary with my abusive Mormon brothers and their mentally ill children, because of their crimes of affinity fraud and embezzlement against other family members. I'm out of the family, and out of the business!
Most of us leave the cult because of all the lies. Shunning seals the deal, socially. AS CA Girl says, "One of the benefits of leaving is that by shunning, Mormons give away what they are really made of and make it easier for us to leave their sorry @sses behind."
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2012 03:15PM by forestpal.