Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Awkward Moments at the Dinner Table

It's not easy being an exmormon.  I know I'm diving right into this blog without any initial explanation, but time and time again I thought of how to 'come out' as a non-believer to my friends and family. I could never figure out an appropriate time or place to do it. There is no simple explanation. I always felt it would take at least a week or two of speaking, from dawn until dusk, each day before I felt I could adequately express the reasons why I decided to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I have also been afraid of the judgements coming from other members of the church.  I remember what it was like to be a true believing member and how judgemental I was of others who did not appear to be on the 'straight-and-narrow'.  I guess this is what they mean by karma...

Anyways, the reason why I finally decided to let it all out is because I'm sick of sweeping everything under the rug.  I have told a few individuals face-to-face about my resignation from the church, such as my mom, sister, brother, and my brother's wife.  I broke the news to them just under a year ago, shortly after sending my official resignation letter to LDS headquarters in Salt Lake.  Since then, besides the initial conversation, no one has ever brought it up.  No one asks me why, or is even curious about my views.  The situation has been treated as if I had never said anything and I could never figure out if that was a good thing or a bad thing.  I could never figure out if they actually don't think about it and it's not a big deal (which is what I'm hoping for, actually) or if the concept of me being a non-member is such an uncomfortable thought that they don't want to bring it up.  It could be something completely different, but who knows? Whatever it is, the silence is really killing me.  I hate that no one tries to understand.  The less we talk about it, the more I just feel like they are thinking, "That girl is just crazy, end of story."

I feel like it's time to say something, if only to make myself feel better. I can't possibly understand why people don't have a desire to explore what's beyond their own noses...perhaps it's the scientist in me that drives me to ask, "why?" and maybe I have to just accept the fact that people are content with doing only what they're told and believing what they 'ought' to believe without really being critical of their sources.  I certainly don't feel true to myself when I conform to fit the expectations of others without asking questions. ...my throat sinks down to my gut when I think about people who live their lives this way.  And all I want to do is reach out and help....but if I did, I would only appear to them as the devil's sidekick. This is so unfair.

I finally decided to write about my experiences and reasons for being a non-member because I wanted to put everything on the table.  No one will bring it up, so I will. And anyone who wants to learn more can read about it, and those who don't can just continue to ignore.  I deserve to discuss how I feel after all the years I spent blinded by the church.  I was inhibited as a person (but I'm sure I'll write more about that later), lacked true happiness (that's right, you heard me), and could not think for myself (which could have had a lot with my age, I admit).

It really hit me when I sat at the dinner table with my mom and her boyfriend's parents (all LDS) and her boyfriend's father said (referring to my mother), "So, I assume your girls are also members of the church?"  I awkwardly glanced at my mom (who I wasn't sure remembered that I left the church, since we never talked about it!) and said, "I'm not." 

There was an uncomfortable amount of silence.

It sickened me that the conversation ended there.  No one wanted to know more.  It was swept under the rug.  No one was curious. In retrospect, I should have taken the opportunity to elaborate; however, explaining myself always seems in vain.  It's as if I have to keep my mouth shut in order to prevent the assumption that I'm trying to 'seduce them to the dark side'.  Hence, the blog.  I need to get it out...but I don't want to force my thoughts and experiences on anyone.  It's here for people to read.  It's here for people to ignore...but I hope it sheds some light on why I resigned for those who are afraid to bring it up (if those people even exist).

Anyways, I also exist beyond virtual space, so if you know me and want to talk to me in person, please don't hesitate - we can even go for coffee (or hot chocolate, rather!).  On the other hand, if you want to bombard me with scriptural references, prophetic quotes, and prayers....well, it's not going to do much, and please, I ask that we skip the yelling and cheap put-downs.

Expect more related blog entries from yours truly...my ultimate goal is to get my feelings out once and for all so I can just let go of it all and move on in life.  I thank those who have read this entry from start to finish! Congrats, that wasn't so hard, was it?! ...sorry, I'll try not to be so cheeky. 

Peace and love,



  1. Well there Kira, how are ya?. Blogs can be very therapeutic. Even if no one else reads them or no one else comments (although I'm sure that won't be the case) It's quite often enough to simply put things in writing and put them out there.

    I've had similar experience with my family, and I have similar feelings to you. Not talked about. Not sure what that means. Not sure if that's how I want it.

    Congrats on the new blog.

    Luv your cuz.


  2. Welcome to the ExMo blog-o-sphere!
    Unfortunately, I too know full well about those awkward moments. My family and friends completely ignore the issue, and like you said, not sure what that means. At least I know they can read my blog if they want, though that still means I won't know what they're thinking.

    Congrats on the new blog (even if you were only driven to creating it out of frustration). I look forward to reading more about your story and views!

    Your friend,

  3. Hi Kira,

    Thanks for the post. I ran across it by searching for #exmormon on twitter. ProgExMo posted it.

    I can relate to the awkwardness that comes from any suggestion that the church is other than what it claims to be.

    I look forward to future posts.

  4. Kira,

    You let me down, you started your blog saying you would explain why you left the church.... but I didn't see what your reason was. I am interested.

    As for the awkward moments with family members, most people in the world really do only think about themselves most of the time. This would be one reason why they won't bring up the topic about you choosing to leave the church. Another reason for the silents could be they just don't know how to deal with such a large change in their life, hence they avoid creating the conversation that may hurt your feeling or theirs. I think they really should talk to you about it, but I don't know their back ground.

    I look forward to hearing your reason "Why" because I too ask why about everything.

    Best of luck.

  5. Ryan,

    Don't worry...I'll be revealing 'why' in future posts. It will take a number of posts to get everything out - what I've learned over the course of 5 years will take more than a single blog post to explain.


  6. Kira,

    what an interesting blog. i read this entry a while ago and i keep thinking in the back of mind about what you said:

    "I remember what it was like to be a true believing member and how judgemental I was of others who did not appear to be on the 'straight-and-narrow'."

    I think it is really sad that you felt judgmental towards people who were not on the S&N, like you say. I really hope that other people reading this do no think that all Mormons are pointing fingers of scorn or negativity towards people who are not where they are. Most of my family has retired (I quite like that phrase) and my parents relationship is in shambles... and as a practicing Mormon, I just have to say that I do not negatively judge people who choose a different life style. There is no place for that. How are we to know the desires of a persons heart? How can we even begin to understand what that persons human experience has been thus far? I really don't think the gospel teaches us to be that way, perhaps the culture (which drives me bonkers), but not the teachings of Christ.

    I salute you Kira. Follow your heart :).