Family Pity

by pharrell Jan 2012

I recently had my sister leave me a note, in it she said she felt concerned for me because I wasn’t going to church, and that I was staying out late at night and she didn’t know what I was doing. She bore her testimony to me about doing the simple things, like praying, reading scriptures, going to church, etc.

I don’t really talk to my sister much, we don’t even live in the same city, which makes me think that my family has been talking about me to each other. It was kinda a painful realization for me, that my family looks down upon me for being different, and I felt like some sort of second class family member. I think there is a real pain involved with being an exmormon that mormons will never understand, I have been where my sister has been, but I wish she could see things from a different perspective. It’s a sad feeling when my family looks at me like im some apostate, that I am one of the deceived elect, or that Satan has a grasp on me. Im doing the best I can to understand truth, and just because my idea of truth is different than mormons, doesn’t mean they should act condescendingly, or pity me

Carol Y.
Most of us here have been in your shoes. I'm snubbed regularly by TBMs I've known for decades. Plus my Ex thinks I'm deluded. And WE'RE the courageous ones. 

Re: Family Pity.... "The Devil's Got That Boy".
When they finally figured out that I found their disparaging remarks entertaining, they shut up.

Get even by keeping your happiness to yourself. Don't share.
Whenever I get the pity response, I smile to myself, like I have a secret. I don't want to share my joy with these people. They would just think I'm pretending, or trying to be brave. They think Mormonism is happiness. They are told that they must enjoy the meetings, the dreary music, the repetition of lies, the silly make-work projects, fighting with their kids to sit still. They are told that cleaning the building is an uplifting family-togetherness activity.

The Mormons are the ones to pity, and that is my little secret.

They sit in a stuffy building, being told they aren't paying out enough money, and aren't being obedient enough--and they pity us for not being there. All the while, we are skiing down a mountain with our friends or playing in a park with our children. We are not worrying about dead people, the hereafter, and Judgment Day.

Poor us!

Re: Family Pity....
Return the favor and send your sister a note stating that you are concerned because she supports a man that took on teen brides and in this day in age when so many young girls are sexually molested, (boys too) how could she possible support anyone of this cancerous morality. She should denounce Joseph Smith to show she is in favor of children vs molesters. Also, is she still against the "negro" or has god revealed it to her as well that they should be equals now.
It is always good to go back on the offensive when attacked!

Re: Family Pity....
Similar to the bully effect. Bullies are strong when nobody stands up to them. Watch how she crumbles and flees when you return the favor.

Dear sis...
You don't have to live by a checklist in hopes that you might become happy. In fact, it is so much easier to feel and recognize Gods love when we are free to worship Him according to the dictates of our own conscience. Please don't wait until you are dead to see whether you deserved to become happy while you were alive.

Jesus condemned the temple leaders because they placed The Law above God. His teachings consisted of teaching us to recognize the kingdom which had already arrived. Nothing alienates us from the Lord faster than following rules just for the sake of being seen following rules...that is called pride.

You'll recognize that the people of the Book of Mormon had peace and happiness when they followed Christs teachings of caring, but pride destroyed that inner peace because they loved themselves and their piety more than their neighbor.

Personally, I think we are a threat to their
delusions. I know some of my friends knew how strong of a mormon I was and leaned on me for my testimony. Me losing it has been a threat.

My life was a mess when I went inactive--and so the resulting public fallout was blamed on our inactivity. Now--they just can't quite figure out why my life is going quite well and that the problems I have are just like the problems they have. As of tomorrow, I've been in a relationship with the love of my life from my 20s for 7 years. All my neighbors were waiting for it to fall apart as most of them are very unhappy in their marriages. My ex and I are best friends, etc.

I agree with some of the others--tell her you pity her.

Oh--and as some of my ex's friends told him about being gay--if you act as though you are ashamed, people will treat you that way. Be proud of who you are. Be proud that you have found the truth. They will pick on how proud you are. I flaunt my life to my neighbors. I get a big kick out of their responses.

I sent messages like this
When I was really intensely jealous of the life of the person to whom I was expressing it.

An lds friend from HS remained single until age 25 when she married in the temple. She went to graduate school and didn't start her family until her late 20s.

I dropped out of school and lived in a 600 sq. ft house with three children under the age of 4 when I was 24. So yeah - I was a royal pain in her arse I imagine. I know I sent notes and called admonishing her to get married and have kids.

Today though she is still LDS. She only had three kids, decently spaced, and she is still speaking to me! I enjoy her company. We give each other plenty of respectful distance on the topic of religion.

Re: Family Pity....
The truth is that both sides are feeling sorry for each other. They feel sorry for us, that we've lost the truth. But we feel sorry for them because they're busy living their entire lives following their little invisible friend and living in a self-imposed box. Sad.

Just realize that we feel just as sorry for them for leading such a limited life, because there's nothing we can do about them feeling pity for us.

Yes, it's frustrating, but I don't think we can change that. All we can do is lead a genuine, great life. I have noticed that my closest and most-TBM friend has been rather confused by my happiness and peace with my decisions.

In her mind, I should be dark and miserable and the fact that I'm not confuses her. She recently said that she realizes that life isn't as black and white as she thought it was. That's a start and is something I never thought I'd hear from her, of all people.

Just let them see how at peace you are with your decisions. It'll at least confuse them a little. But there's nothing you can do about them feeling pity for you. They'll all huddle more closely together and comfort one another, to protect their own testimonies, and feeling sorry for you is just a part of that. That's just something that they do, as it comforts them.

Re: Family Pity....
Sometimes I wish I could reciprocate the pity, but i think that if i treat them like they treat me, i wouldn't have much of a family relationship left over. Its kinda a one sided issue.
Re: Family Pity....
I feel very sorry for my Mormon friends, who live in such a tiny little black and white box of a world.

But I certainly don't tell them that. Not if I want to keep those friends. LOL

Re: Family Pity....
Oops, I forgot to tell my family. I guess my mom will figure it out when she calls salt lake to have my records forwarded. I tried talking to my ultra tbm sister once and she wouldn't stop crying about my inactivity.

Avoidance perhaps, but I have more important things to focus my attention on than my family trying to manipulate me with their irrational behavior.

Re: Family Pity....
Returning the pity might be effective if that's what it really is.

I am not so sure. Most of us have been and still are in your shoes. When the truth sets you free, it comes with a price--family relationships will never be the same.

If it really is a problem, you can ask them to stop persecuting you. Mormons really get thrown by that because they see persecution as their exclusive trump card and are shocked when the tables are turned. It could open up an honest discussion. I would wish that for you since I could never get one myself.

And yes, your family will be discussing your apostate status forever.

Re: Family Pity....
Please don't attack your poor sister, have some empathy instead. Think back to when you were a TBM and the sadness and confusion you felt when somebody you loved left the church. Were you worried about the loss in tithing revenues or shrinking of the church rolls, or were you extremely sad that you wouldn't be able to dwell in eternal happiness with you and yours?

Then go out and enjoy your new found freedom.

I remember my sister telling me that she pitied me. It was a long time ago.
We are now the best of friends. I saw very little of her during the transition, and it took quite a few years before we both grew strong enough to get past our family roles.

There is hope, and there is a lot of time. At some point you may be able to build relationships with some of them individually. For now, you just have to put your energy into building yourself a life they envy.

Re: I remember my sister telling me that she pitied me. It was a long time ago.

Mrs. Estzerhaus
When my sister tried the pity act on me, I told her she was a bigoted hick. Now we don't discuss religion, and it's pretty good between us! 

Re: Family Pity.... "The Devil's Got That Boy".
you are so correct on many levels, well stated

Re: Family Pity....
I'm glad you wrote this. I had a relating funny conversation with my dad tonight on the phone. He said a comment kind of jokingly for me to show my aunt and uncle when I see them (maybe)(probably)next week that I haven't totally lost my marbles (cause they are coming down from ID to AZ...I live in AZ) I laughed a little and said, "Huh Dad? Everyone thinks I've lost my marbles??" He stopped and was like, "You know they think that cause you left the church." (My dad has been in-active for years but lets his whole family pity him left and right...we were always the "lesser family" I think. I still think he believes a bit.)

I am engaged and they will potentially meet my fiancee' for the first time next week...I lived with this aunt and uncle in high school. Anyways, I laughed and said, " had to lose my marbles to find them again."....cause I did go a little loop tay loop(partied...lived life) when I found out the church wasn't true and I had to run hans solo--and figure things out.

I pity the Mormons...So you have every right to fire back and defend your outlook. I have been known to use that right. I really don't even care to see my family that are over zealous Mormons that feel bad for that bad?? You are not alone...I deal with the same crap :)

CA girl
Creative Misunderstanding
You know what your sister means but you need to pretend she is saying what you want to understand her to be saying. In this case, pretend she is apologizing for her reactionary, cult-like, totally predictable response and say/think the following:

Oh, honey, it's OK. You've been programmed to think that way. I understand and I forgive you.

Patting her on the back wouldn't hurt either.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"