Sunday, January 31, 2010

Done?

Yesterday I was casually chatting with my mom, when she told me they had a home teacher come for the first time in a few months. The man's teenage son is supposed to come with him, but apparently he is having problems with the son not wanting to go to church, etc. She was going on about how it is hard to know what to do about something like that, every child should come with an instruction manual, etc.

In one phrase, I changed the casual conversation to a not so casual one. I said, "I have the opposite problem: teenagers that want to go to church and parents that don't want to go with them." My mom is great, not judgemental, trying to sympathize and understand and keep the conversation light, but by the end, I know that I left her with a large amount of stress in her mind regarding something she really can do nothing about.

But today I went to church anyway.  Daughter singing in Sacrament meeting with the Young Women. Son passing the Sacrament. Both of them substituting in Primary while we had a 5th Sunday every-adult-in-the-ward meeting during Relief Society and Priesthood.

I felt horrible--headache, really tired (but the party was worth it :), and had another panic attack during Sacrament meeting, so I took it easy, sat in the foyer to listen to the bishop's lesson.  I was sitting by the stake offices and heard a discussion about girl scout cookies, so I stepped in to see if anyone needed to order any, and the stake president said from his office across the hall, "Put me down for this and this, please."  Then he said, "Sarah, come in here for a minute." The conversation did not go well.  He has been waiting for a month and a half for me to respond to questions in an email he sent me, questions that I didn't really feel like needed answered. And of course he said it all with an "I love you, but...". I don't need that kind of love, the kind that comes with a condition and lots of advice on how I need to live my life.  I rolled my eyes and left.  I texted Scott through the rest of the lesson, then sobbed all the way home.

For my own mental health, I have to be done.  Sorry Mom, sorry kids.  I have to take care of myself first, and continuing to go is not helping anyone.

18 comments:

Bror said...

Yeah, I got one of those "I love you"'s from my bishop. It didn't do a thing for me. Hang in there and big strong and lets hope for the best.
big hug :)

MoHoHawaii said...

The conversation did not go well.

I'm so sorry about this. I'm surprised that he's still taking such a hard line.

Tommy said...

I recently told someone about how stressed I was at BYU (that semester I came out during, and wasnt eating or sleeping and was underweight and losing hair and all sorts of stuff, all due to chronic stress) and told them that all other reasons aside, it was worth it for me to leave just so I could have a chance at living a life with some peace and acceptance, rather than subjecting myself to such a stressful environment.

I hope you get a chance to let some of the dust settle in your life and find some peace again. Lord knows you've been on one heck of a roller coaster lately!

I love you! Tommy

Mister Curie said...

Sorry things are so difficult for you. Taking care of yourself is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason your bishop, stake president and the prophet are all on the same side is because they are doing the work of the Lord? At the very least, President Monson is doing the work of the Lord. In the most absolute Christ-like and non-judgmental way I know how, I am asking you to consider that possibly it is you that needs to let go of a little pride and not them? There's a very good chance that your old bishop and stake president have a lot of learning to do when it comes to homosexuality, but considering President Monson speaks to Heavenly Father, I'm pretty sure his knowledge of homosexuality is up to date. And do you and your husband really think that if he was pushing his own agenda that Heavenly Father would still allow him to be the prophet? Maybe, just maybe, there's a possibility that acting on homosexual desires is wrong and sinful. Do I think that you and your husband and every moho you associate with has been given a hard lot in life? Absolutely. But do I think their lot in life is harder than everyone else's? Not necessarily. Many, many, many people have major adversity in life, related to doctrines of the church, but just because your life isn't easy doesn't mean the church isn't true. Some trials you have to endure. They aren't just going to go away. Men are that they might have joy, Sarah. Joy is an eternal thing; men are not always that they might have temporary happiness. Sometimes life is hard and we're expected to have faith and keep going every single day even though some days we're so sad and disappointed and lonely that we can barely breathe. The Church is true and maybe that means that homosexuality is wrong. It doesn't mean that we can't love homosexuals and be friends with homosexuals and stand up for homosexuals and desire happiness for homosexuals. Sometimes the Church being true means that you have to make sacrifices and experience unhappiness once in a while (or for some people, a whole lifetime of unhappiness). It will absolutely be worth it in the end. I don't know exactly how, but I know that I will. You will never find joy outside of the Gospel (and the Church is part of the Gospel, whether you like it or not). Temporary happiness, maybe, but it won't be worth it. I genuinely hope that at some point in your life, you can feel peace.

Sarah said...

Anonymous,

It has been a hard enough day that I have to admit that I only skimmed your comment. That is exactly what I am trying to get away from--other righteous people telling me what I should do, and listening to my heart and the spirit for a change and taking care of myself the way I need to.

I am not forsaking or leaving the gospel. I will still live a temple-recommend worthy life and teach my children to do the same, with the exception of holding a calling and attending church meetings.

Thanks for your concern.

Anonymous said...

Sarah,

On behalf of all of us "righteous people" that read your blog, I apologize for wasting your time with my comment.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the apology.

I wonder, why is it that people like you always post anonymously?

daine said...

Sarah,

Thank you for your blog post. This is my first visit (I linked here from your husband's blog after he made a comment on my brother's blog), but I loved your candor and honesty.

Anonymous,

Your second comment, although it was bitingly sarcastic, would have been the appropriate response to your otherwise-unwarranted novella. As an active member myself, I'm ashamed of the tone you took (in your second comment especially). There are sanctioned ways to preach and convert (long-suffering and love), everything else is unrighteous dominion, contention, and hatred.

When all is said and done, however, I think the only thing I need to know about your comment and your credibility is the fact that you're unwilling to share you name.

Gay Mormon said...

Amen Daine! You couldn't have said it better! To answer your question Sarah as to why "Anonymous" doesn't use a real name? Well the answer to that should be obvious. As for anonymous being righteous? I shouldn't judge, but perhaps "piously self righteous" is a better term to use. I also think it something to ponder upon that many members of the church assume that the Prophet has a direct line open to the almighty. I have yet to meet a prophet who claims such a thing. They merely claim the ability to receive revelation. And as for the Lord allowing a prophet to "Push His Own Agenda" Heck Yes! I believe the Lord would allow it. God needs men to run things here on earth and I beleive full heartily that he will allow them to make mistakes along the way. I also believe that "He" will make it all right someday. Going back in history how many Prophets and other General Authorities have made comments and taught their personal philosophies which the church would later have to retract and or correct. Perhaps Brigham Young, Elder McKonkie, and even President Kimball just to mention a few? I imagine that anonymous goes to bed at night after having said words such as the ones in his/her comment, feeling pretty good about themself. I can only imagine that anonymous is also quite proud of the fact that they are so humble and valient in their duty to call others to repentance? Brings to mind the scripture having something to do with a mote in ones own eye? OK I should be working on the mote in my own eye rather than pointing anonymous' out, it's just that this person is so ignorant in their comments.

After having met you at the party last night Sarah I am more convinced than ever that you and Scott are doing a lot good in this world. You are not just talking about helping others, you are putting your shoulders to the wheel and doing something about it. I do not believe that this is true but if for some far out reason we discover that anonymous is correct and there is no place for people like you and your MOHO's in the celestial kingdom(my own words but ones that were alluded to by anonymous) then I shall courageously choose said lower kingdom to be with people like those whom I met at your party rather than to spend eternity with people such as anonymous in all their "celestial" glory. Perhaps the day will come when many such as anonymous will shake their head in surprise when they discover how many "MOHO'S" actually made it to the celestial kingdom.

J G-W said...

Sarah, I too am thinking of you and praying for you.

My heart breaks to read about your tear-filled ride home from Church.

This is the huge frustration of blogging; that we can only be a voice of encouragement when what you really need is presence; when what we ought to be able to give is hugs and helping hands. I wish we could be the Church to you that you ought to have; the Church of unconditional love, of friends who know what's going on, and who sit next to you in meetings so you don't feel so alone, and who offer rides to the kids when the parents are too burned out to go.

Damn it.

darkdrearywilderness said...

Anonymous said: "Sometimes the Church being true means that you have to make sacrifices and experience unhappiness once in a while (or for some people, a whole lifetime of unhappiness)."

Ugh. How could that possibly be true? I definitely agree that following the Lord requires sacrifice, and yes, that means we experience unhappiness sometimes. But a whole lifetime of unhappiness??! The God I worship would neither want nor require that of His children. My God loves me, and is not vindictive or perverse enough to want me to suffer my entire life.

lanabanana said...

"The God I worship would neither want nor require that of His children. My God loves me, and is not vindictive or perverse enough to want me to suffer my entire life."

AMEN to that!! I can no longer relate to church members who think they speak for God and who think they know better what is good for me and my life, than I do myself (under the direction of my own spiritual witnesses). I no longer see the world in the black and white that was taught to me by the LDS church. I now see the world and all if its people in technicolor and I enjoy much, much more. I can thank my gay son for shaking me off my self-righteous perch.

Much love to you, Sarah. Your heart is in the right place and that's all I think you will have to explain to HF in the next life.

Daniel said...

God is bigger than the Mormon Church. I believe that whatever it is that makes us yearn for beauty and for improvement in the world can be found in many places. Don't loose sight of what really matters, which is your spiritual and emotional health and well-being. If the Church isn't contributing to that end, then God doesn't want you going to Church right now.

God isn't petty. He doesn't want His children doing something that is hurting them just for the hell of it. He's bigger than that--literally.

I can testify that real, lasting joy exists outside of the Church in addition to inside the Church, although it sounds like you haven't been experiencing much of it inside the Church as of late. No one has a monopoly on happiness, not even Thomas S. Monson. Ironically, the more we share it, the more we have. Anonymous would be a happier person if he/she acknowledged and rejoiced in the happiness experienced by millions of non-Mormons daily.

Hang in there and know that we all love you! I hope you find peace and happiness wherever you have to go or not go to find it.

Madame Curie said...

Good luck, Sarah. Remember that a break can be just that - a break. There is no reason that getting a breath of fresh air represents a permanent decision to sever ties with the Church. Anonymous would be good to recognize that good people sometimes need a well-deserved break.

Lane said...

Sarah, You are a wonderful person. I am glad that I have gotten to know you...and I hope that I will meet up with you again when I go to SLC. Lane

Sarah said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments and encouragement. I have been a lot more relaxed the last couple of days. I started writing a blog post about that...we'll see if I can manage to finish it in the near future. :)

Even as early as Sunday night, Scott and I were conversing more easily again, our support and love for each other evident. Neither of us was getting defensive as we have more and more lately. It felt really good.

I just wanted to clarify one thing to JGW, and that is that my problem is not with the people in the ward. Other than a couple of people that I am uncomfortable around, this whole thing is about the hurt that has come from my leaders--from general authorities and their "secret combinations" in Hawaii and CA, for Elder Snow's unwillingness to meet with us, his comment that we should "listen to our stake president." Our former bishop's quick judgments and lack of sympathy or care for us over the last 18 months since someone amongst our close friends or family decided to tell him about our situation, our Stake President insisting on acting on the side of justice instead of mercy, for his ever-changing reasons for why I am not worthy of a recommend, all of them nit-picky and frustrating.

Meanwhile, I have many friends in the ward that I love, some that have already offered to take the kids to church for me and to help me in any other way that they can. My inability to walk in the door of the church has to do with deep pain in conjunction with priesthood leaders, and thus an aversion that I have developed with regards to attending church, not individual ward members that for the most part are still Christlike and have a sincere interest in my welfare and happiness.

Does that make sense?

J G-W said...

Sarah - I am absolutely grateful and relieved to hear that... It absolutely makes sense, because that kind of Christ-like love is what I have experienced from members of my ward as well.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you, but given the position I'm in I think I'm at least qualified to say this... I don't have a temple recommend either!!! And probably never will. For me the gift of going to Church has been in focusing on giving and receiving that Christ-like love, regardless of status or standing, and letting go of everything else.

I hope you won't take this the wrong way..! Don't take this as me telling you you shouldn't take a Church vacation! I took one for about 19 years; nobody's Church vacation beats mine. But you are in a unique position now of learning about the true nature of love and faith...