A collection of faith transition stories may be found here). Many of them discuss their anger. [need to go through and pull out the relevant bits]
Below are former members discussing their anger or anger in general.
In relationship to abuse
Note: many former members begin to view LDS culture or leaders as somewhat abusive, so they may interpret anger in terms of this kind of relationship
I’m reading Pete Walker’s book, “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving,” and this is something I’ve learned from the book and have been pondering the last couple of days. Here are some things I’ve learned about anger from this book:
- Anger is a normal and healthy emotion when expressed appropriately.
- Anger is expressed appropriately when it is expressed without hurting yourself or others.
- Anger is a sign of abuse. It is a natural feeling of indignation when one’s boundaries are crossed.
- Sometimes people have to get angry before they will stand up for themselves.
- People will put up with a lot of bullshit if they aren’t angry. Therefore, abusers teach their victims that being angry is wrong.
- An additional insight from my husband: abusers get angry at you for getting angry. It’s a double hypocritical mindfuck.
Betrayal and loss
One letter of a transitioning member trying to explain:
One thing you know about me is I tend to be an all or nothing type of person. This is certainly true of me in the aspect of the church. For 30+ years I was all in on the church. I was never inactive for any point in my life. I paid tithing on the gross of every dime I ever made (over $100,000!), I never broke the word of wisdom, I spent 2 years of my life on a mission, I spent 4 years in seminary. I gave it all I could and I did it because it was true. I knew the church was true based on what I was taught at home, church, and seminary. It was my life and a core part of my identity.
After giving my all for 30+ years, I found out I was wrong. What I was taught was a lie. I am angry at myself for being deceived for so long. But I am mostly angry at the church. I’m not angry that it is false, I am angry that the church has very deliberately and intentionally crafted a false narrative and sold it to me as true. They set up a structure where they were the only valid source of information. (Beware of anti-mormon literature, the devil will deceive you.) Then hid any information that didn’t fit the their narrative regardless of truth.
Now that I have discovered the truth, I am triggered every time I see the church misleading it’s members. I am triggered whenever I feel it’s tentacles still wrapped around my personal choices. I am triggered by knowing that it is still deceiving the people that I love and there is nothing that I can do about it.
Feeling angry at this stage is normal and expected. I just lost a core part of my identity, of course it will take some time to work through. Even though I feel my anger is justified, I can’t wait for the day where I am able to move passed it.
Sometimes anger is all I got
Sometimes anger is all I got. Not because I’m crazy or a bad person. Because I’ve lost many intimate and close relationships. Because one of my children in particular wouldn’t even hug me for quite a while after I left the church; do you know what that feels like?!? Because my marriage is over except on paper. Because some of my kids thought I wouldn’t be their dad anymore. Because my elderly parents and other family see me as a cancer now. Because the Mormon church is actively creating a wedge between me and my family now. I wish my transition had been easy. Yet the pain of lying to myself till I die was greater so I left Mormonism knowing it may harm some relationships I cared deeply about. I hope to one day not care about Mormonism. But right now I’m angry. If there is a righteous anger, this is it.
To our new visitors, this is why some exmormons are angry. We’re very good people and care deeply about those we love. Yet some of those we love no longer love us back simply because we chose to not be Mormon anymore.
Why am I angry?
In my experience it seems that, in the eyes of a member of the LDS faith, the words “ex-mormon” and “angry” go hand in hand. For many people, including myself, that generalization is true. However, I don’t think that many people find my anger just. That upsets me. So these are some of the reasons why I feel anger toward the LDS church. I hope that in saying this, I’ll help to create a mutual respect between the two parties that seems to be lacking.
I’m angry because I have been lied to by an organization that preached honesty.
I’m angry because I had to be exposed to the truth about the church by some random guy on the internet.
I’m angry because I alienated myself from dear friends with differing opinions because that’s what the church told me to do.
I’m angry because I’m constantly battling between what I think is right and what my family and friends want me to think is right.
I’m angry because homosexual Mormons are forced to choose between never having real love their entire life, leaving the church, or committing suicide. And, sadly, too many choose the latter.
I’m angry because my decision to leave the church segregates myself from my family.
I’m angry because I’ll be “the uncle that didn’t go on a mission” or “the son that fell away”.
I’m angry because my heart breaks every time I tell a Mormon I respect that I no longer believe the church’s truth claims and am forced to watch the disappointment flood their face and voice.
I’m angry because no one believes I can be happy without the church.
I’m angry because I’m vilified.
And most of all, I’m angry because I shouldn’t have to be.
I shouldn’t have to feel lied to by an organization I was prepared to give my life to.
I shouldn’t have to be exposed to the truth about the church by searching the internet.
I shouldn’t have to lose friends over disagreements in beliefs.
I shouldn’t have to choose between what I believe and what my family believes.
Homosexual Mormons shouldn’t be forced into committing suicide because they feel they’re a walking sin.
I shouldn’t have to feel segregated from my family.
I shouldn’t have to feel like a disappointment to my family.
I shouldn’t have to constantly feel like I’m letting someone down.
I shouldn’t have to explain how I can be happy without the church.
I shouldn’t have to feel vilified.
I shouldn’t have to.