I hate my mormon past. Oct. 2011


Man, oh man do I hate it.

I'm in a working environment with more single never-mo men who think rightly that mo-ism is crazy. I'm going out with guys for the first time in years and don't even broach the subject of my mo past for fear of being viewed as nuts which I unfortunately still feel within. I could spin my history but don't want to do so; I'd rather be honest but for now, I remain silent.

Over fifteen years out of the morg, ten years since my divorce, and I still don't feel comfortable discussing my mormon past. Fear. Big time. Still. A relationship with a cool guy would be an awesome adventure but I first need to get over myself.

Yes, I need a psych. Until my appointment, I'm hoping for any stories of how anyone overcame or dealt with the embarrassment of a past in the mo-mo faith and how you've been able to discuss your past with newly-found friends. Thanks for any support.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Raptor Jesus
I opened up.
I dished out the dirt and I didn't apologize for it. I just was honest. But I also joke about it too.

A lot of dudes want to know more about it. And they want to joke about it.

I just own all of it. Laugh at it and laugh at yourself too a little bit.

We got pranked, man.

We got pranked big time.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

I am open about it. IT's the anti-missionary way.

I let them know that I once participated but education and research destroyed my belief. RJ is right. Just own it and get on with life. IMO anyway.

Re: I opened up.

RJ - Laughing about it, what a concept. How interesting that I've been so embarrassed for so long I've never even thought to laugh about it.

Anyone who knows me in person can attest to my "loud laughter" in all things EXCEPT my mo past. Heavy sigh. OK. Seeking to find the humor in this stupidity.


Re: I hate my mormon past.

AIDN? - A few years have passed since I've had the chance to date (living in rural Utah with slim to no pickings), so I feel now it IS time to get on with life. Anti-missionary? OK, I'll try.

Thank you.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

I think you would be surprised at how willing to listen the guys would be. Be sure you bring it up in a serious tone of voice and not a joking way. It IS serious that you had been so brainwashed. I don't think many people know enough details to truly understand how hard it is to break away. The majority won't have any idea how ridiculous a "faith" it really is until you share with them. So just have a serious talk. Let them know you need to vent and can they handle it. They will most likely be very sympathetic.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

honestone - I hope to be surprised if they're willing to listen. So I need to balance serious and joking? OK. I also like the idea of asking if they "can handle" my venting. That's a really good starter point, thank you.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

Yeah, I'm embarrassed, too. I let my friends know, but say that I don't want to talk about it. We are so much MORE than just ex-Mormons.

Even if you can't really laugh about it, I think the best way to handle it is to not make a big deal about it. You could just say, in one sentence, in your own words, something like, "My parents raised me in the Mormon cult, but as soon as I grew up and realized the truth, I got out of there, fast." Wait until someone asks, or the subject of religion, or cults, or polygamy comes up.

You don't need to explain BIC or what it means. You happened to be baptized when you were still a brainwashed little boy, and the truth was hidden from you. Your PARENTS were cult members, and it wasn't your fault.

You don't need to explain all the weird details of JS's visions and the rock-in-the-hat translation of the BOM, the temple rituals for dead people, or the racism or sexism. Your friends might think you are naive, secretive, racist, and sexist, still--which after 15 years, you are NOT!

Letting it all hang out, and airing your dirty laundry, will give your friends a false impression of you. The truth is, that Mormonism is not a part of your life. You disagree with what it teaches.

The Mormon cult likes to be more important than it really is. You know about all their advertising, PR, recruiting, false statistics, lies, loud proclamations, and political interference. Even though the cult might have left huge scars in some of us, it doesn't create even a ripple in the real world.

Go to therapy if you need to. I'm sorry about your divorce, and any other bad experiences. Only an ex cult-member will understand what a survivor you are.

But with your friends, tell it like you would tell a story of your most embarrassing moment, fake a chuckle, and then shrug it off.

IMO, there are times to bare your soul, and times to change the subject. It would be fine to bare your soul about your divorce, if you want, because that happens to half of us, and relationships are sometimes interesting. But a cult is too weird.

If your friends want details, refer them to various websites, or suggest some books. You don't want to talk so much that they think of you as "that Mormon dude."

I agree with the encouragement to just be open. People are almost always curious rather than judgmental.

This is especially true if you can joke about it. When I've told people I was Mormon at one time, I invariably get, "Nah. You're kidding. You?!" I tell them it was my period of "radical conformism."

Really, most people will be fascinated and will be on your side. The Mormon Church isn't exactly loved :-)

Only difference, forestpal...

...is that I was a convert. That's where my embarrassment comes from. In the past, with friends or colleagues, WAY in the past when I sometimes talked about my mo-history, the response would be, "Why in the hell did you do that?!" like I was an idiot. Which I felt, and to which I agreed.

I do like your idea of not making me into the "mormon gal" by always talking about it. I want to share my past but will do so to move on, not to linger on the subject. Thanks for the advice. Lots of good stuff you shared.

BTW, about the divorce, the good part: we both left the morg together and were grateful for helping each other out, but the bad part: we didn't know the person we'd married once we left. We were so different from our mo-selves. Five years later we divorced but have been so good with each other because we have amazing children who we love and adore and have raised together from different houses (and cities). It's been hard being alone and raising the kids, but I ain't lonely, and they're good children. Thanks again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 01:18AM by toto.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

I'm over the embarrassment of my situation. I tell all the women I date that I'm an exmormon and I'm a virgin. No I don't come out and say it right away or bluntly, but I don't try and hide it either. Most the women have no problem with the mormon part. Its the virgin part that is off putting for them. Still I would rather be honest with them then try and hide it and lie about it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 01:09AM by jackol.

Re: I agree with the encouragement to just be open. People are almost always curious rather than judgmental.

I hope "people will be fascinated" and on my side. Man, I hope that so badly. I like your response about your "period of radical conformism." Good one.

Thank you.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

I wish I were in your shoes, jackol: over the embarrassment. FYI when I converted at 21 years of age, so many people thought I'd had sex, like, "Of course she's had sex before, she's a convert and she's 21!" Surprise. I was a virgin. So I understand the response you get from others.

I want to be honest, too. This burden of hiding my past is too much and I'm tired of it.


TO ALL who have responded so far...

...thank you, sincerely. I'm overwhelmed with how many thoughtful and insightful comments/suggestions you've given me, and how quickly these responses have been posted.

I'm off to bed. It's late.


Re: I hate my mormon past.

Then don't hide it. That is what I had to do. Even though I have learned that most women my age want nothing to do with a 32 year old virgin I'm still going to be honest with them about it because that is who I am. I want a relationship of some kind so starting things off with a lie or keeping a secret just doesn't feel right. It was actually very freeing to finally just own it and be honest with yourself and others.

As a fellow former convert, I sympathize. It helped a lot to understand my motivations for joining.

Usually our motivations are really good. But at 21--or 19 in my case--we don't have enough experience sometimes to make the best decisions. After I left Mormonism my dad said, "Hey, at least you didn't join the Moonies," which made me laugh.

If you can find some compassion for your 21-year old self--your needs then and your lack of experience--it will help a lot. It helped me to give myself credit for my motives, as I said. It also helped me to identify the good I got out of being a Mormon and to see how that good has carried through until today.

I would encourage you not to disown your younger self but to have compassion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 01:24AM by robertb.

Re: I hate my mormon past.
I understand where you are coming from, and for a while I felt the same way as you do. I was very afraid that people would find out I was once part of that religion and think less of me for it.

Like others have posted, now I don't go about telling everyone about it, but I don't hide it now, either.

If the topic ever comes up I just tell them I was once a Mormon but not anymore. I usually throw in a crazy story or two about just how crazy the religion is and it gives people a laugh.

The 1st FreeAtLast
It's nobody's business, IMO. I choose not to share info. about having "done time" in cultic Mo-ism

In the past 19 years of freedom from the Morg, I've mentioned that I was a Mormon to a no-Mo friend only once - and did so consciously. He's from Columbia and asked where I learned Spanish as well as I did. I simply told him that I'd been a young Mormon missionary in Peru in the mid-1980s. He asked why I'd been there and I told him that had been raised in Mo-ism from early childhood and boys and male teenagers were indoctrinated to believe it was their duty to go on a mission for the church. He didn't ask any more questions and I didn't proffer any more info.

You can choose to mentally leave cultic Mormonism behind and not define yourself as someone who spent X years in the chronically dishonest and manipulative LDS Church. You can choose to re-create, in your mind, a new identity for yourself. None of us can change the past, but it's like water in a river that has flowed downstream, never to return.

Thinking about cultic Mormonism and all the time it wasted in a person's life, the needless suffering it caused, etc. is mentally living in the past, something that every ex-Mormon needs to move past, sooner or later. It comes down to CHOOSING what to think. We're not obliged to spend ANY mental time thinking about Mo-ism if we don't want to.

My 25-year experience in the deceitful LDS Church is behind me, like a section of highway that I left behind me long ago. I wouldn't fixate on the rearview mirror to visually hunt for it nor would I stop my car and put it in reverse and go back to where I was. I'm not interested in my LDS past, really. There are far too many interesting things going on in my life here and now to waste my mental time and energy on thoughts about Mo-ism.

A great way of moving past the LDS Church and religion psychologically is to spend time thinking about what you want out of life. What turns your crank? What are your hobbies and interests? Where do you want to live and travel? What type of people do you want to associate with? Dare to dream. Think big. It sure beats spending minutes (hours? days? months?) thinking about Mormonism!

Best wishes!

Re: I hate my mormon past.

I agree that you shouldn't try to hide your past, and you shouldn't make a big deal out of it, either.

Twenty-one is still young, and you could maybe put your decision in the context of what was happening in your life at the time--like the poster who called it a period of radical conformism. Were you a student at the time? Did you fall in love with a Mormon? Were you away from home, lonely, looking for your life's direction? Missionaries are trained--I repeat, they are trained--to seek out "golden contacts". They zero in on people who are away from home, who have just lost a loved one, and who might be going through a crisis. (These days, the Mormons are promoting a 12-step program for contacts.) I know you have a story to tell--not an excuse or an apology--but an honest story about how the missionaries were able to recruit you.

Then, as some posters suggested, you tell your story in two sentences, make light of it, give an embarrassed giggle, and move on to more interesting facts about yourself our the people you're talking to. Embarrassment, like shyness, disappears when you face it head-on.

Congratulations on getting out, and kudos to you and your ex for joining together in raising your children--outside of the cult.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 03:51AM by motherwhoknows.

Re: Only difference, forestpal...

toto Wrote:
> WAY in the past when I sometimes talked about my mo-history, the response would be, "Why in the hell did you do that?!" like I was an idiot. Which I felt, and to which I agreed.

The way to respond to that might be to shrug and say, "it seemed like the thing to do at the time. I was young and lonely/searching/in need of direction. The Mormon missionaries are trained to seek out people like that and I was ripe for the plucking."

The truth is, no one makes it to adulthood without doing at least one colossally idioctic thing. Often several! It's just that other people may or may not choose to share those incidents with you. Likewise, I would be very choosy about whom you share your Mo past with -- perhaps limit it to your very closest friends. But coworkers? I wouldn't bother.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 11:18AM by summer.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

This reminds me of the movie the Lion King.

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I've been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.
[swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way]

Toto, you too have that choice, you can learn from your past and not repeat the same mistakes or you can let it forever haunt you.

You have been given a lot of good advice from many people here, make that advice your own and learn from it.

SL Cabbie

Need a Laugh For When You Wake Up?

Remember that night with Seagull Choker at the Oyster Bar...

Re: I hate my mormon past.
I tell ppl honestly up front because I don't want them to fall victim too. I even say it like that.

One guy joked with me and said, "why do you have to invite more than one mormon fishing with you?" Answer: "So the lone mormon doesn't drink all your beer". LOL

I do have one friend who won't stop jawing me about Joseph Smith. He keeps saying to me in a disgusting way, "Joseph Smith!, HAH!"

I just look at him and say, "who cares, I don't follow". He don't understand how family pressure can be just as tough as peer pressure at school etc... But its real nice that I know what I know now so that I can now mind fuck them back. LOL

Re: I hate my mormon past.

A supportive counselor would be able to help you. I would pick one with an ex-mo past or never-mo because if you got a TBM, you might get a hidden agenda of shaming you back into the church.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

You're a pioneer... only instead of discarding something to gain mormonism, you've discarded mormonism in favor of a better life.

As others have said above, mormonism can be pretty tricky and deceptive. Some never leave. Congratulations, you did!

Do your best to spin it the other way, that you had the strength to escape from a mind-numbing cult. Pat yourself on the back. My experiences are that other people would either not care about your mormon past, or they would be interested in its cultish antics and how you got away. I doubt many, if any, would think badly of you.

Best wishes.

Re: I hate my mormon past.

You have absolutely no need to worry about sharing your Mormon past with non members. You will find they are not judgemental, in fact quite the opposite. Non Mormons are far more friendly and charitable than Mormons. I know that's a generalisation, but for the most part, it's true.

Your mates will accept you for who you are, flaws and foibles, strengths and weaknesses. You will be pleasantly surprised.

My experience has been

that they find it all very interesting. I think many people are curious about mormonism. One of my nonmormon friends, though we were friends when I was mormon--said that every time he talks to me he finds out something new. You can just let them know you were mormon--but no longer are. Don't make it a big issue--and see where the conversation goes. Some people will want to know more--some will not.

Believe me--imagine how many people have asked me--including my own family--why I married someone gay. I did the best I could with the info I had at the time. We all made those kinds of decisions.

It's in the past. Period.

I do not mention the Morg to anyone. Guess I am a closet exmo. If I met someone who was struggling and asked for help, I would give it. I left so long ago and moved to a new town, I choose not to mention my past.

I was also a 20-year-old convert. My experiences are still vivid, like the endowment and being invisible, but it was so long ago, it is not part of my everyday life. Also, don't beat yourself up thinking you were "stupid" for joining. All converts are lied to, with the mishies deliberately omiting VERY important facts and TSCC "Leaders" whitewash their real history. TSCC is all based on lies.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 10:57AM by FreeRose.

Re: Need a Laugh For When You Wake Up?

Oh god, Cabbie, that was an awesome time together. And thank you, yes, I laughed hard when I read that statement this morning.


...I've been hesitant to share my mo-past with my colleagues but these are the people among whom I also live (boarding school). We support each other like family and our relationships stretch beyond work. This living arrangement makes for an unusual situation among colleagues but it's what I've chosen for my livelihood.

If I were in a situation where I would go home and have more time away from campus, I wouldn't care about saying anything. Does this make sense?

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"