Monday, March 03, 2008

now that wasn't so bad

If you've been reading my blog for a few months, you'll know that last time I was in Utah was for Thanksgiving. On that trip, I had an allergic reaction to the very act of driving across the border into the Mormon state (manifest in the desire to get a tattoo or some body piercings--anything to look Not Molly Mormon). This time, though, I didn't get that suffocating feeling of needing to rebel, though I did lament the noticeably small numbers of coffee shops.

I'm not sure what was different this time; maybe it's the passage of time--I've been a non-believer for nearly three years now--or maybe it's that I had a week off and actually chose to spend it in Utah. Sometimes I think that must mean I am crazy. But really, it's about my family. I like them, whatever their beliefs. If they weren't there, I wouldn't have a reason to go to Utah (though the exmo meet-ups are nice).

The problem is we (my family and I) are virtually incapable of talking about my leaving the church. We pretend like it isn't there, that elephant in the room. Most of the time that's okay, really. There are other topics, of course. But sometimes I just want to blurt out, "I resigned my membership!"

There is one sibling, though, that surprised me with her openness and willingness to talk. Her husband recently resigned his membership, and--gasp--we actually talked about it! And other topics of belief, too. It was wonderful to have someone within the family to discuss things with. She's still a believer, but I feel like I can talk fairly openly with her (as long as I don't say something like Joseph Smith was a putz). The last time I had talked to this sister about religion, she had asked me to never talk to her about religion again, so this new openness is refreshing. The trip was worth that alone.


Becca said...

That's cool. It's awesome when people (especially family) surprise you like that

f said...

Indeed. The surprise was sweetened by her dropping the f-bomb a couple times, too. Sah-weeet.

fallingaway said...

You know, you might not think so, but you're lucky. At least your family still seems to accept you, even if it is only on the terms of not talking about certain topics in your presence. I know I can't tell my family about my husband and me, because certain members of the family have actually said that they would rather shoot themselves than see a child leave the church...yes, it really sucks. I am getting the impression that family is the biggest reason why non-believers stay in the church anyway. I commend you for getting out of it, regardless of the risk.

f said...

fallingaway- Yeesh. That's scary. If it came down to it, though, do you think your family would get a grip? If it really is one of their own who left, would they re-think and realize they want to keep the relationship? I would hope so.

(chandelle) said...

my MIL said a similar thing to my BIL & SIL when she misinterpreted something they'd said about garments - "i might as well kill myself now if i'm going to have another child leave the church."

it's amazing to be able to share that experience with someone in your own family, however. said BIL & SIL are indeed in the process of leaving the church, though they aren't in a rush to "come out" about it, and it feels so wonderful to be able to communicate with them about it, to have that corner-of-the-eye connection when religious topics are mentioned and whatnot. such a relief.