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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » Comming Out--too soon to be a proper landmark.

   
Author Topic: Comming Out--too soon to be a proper landmark.
lem
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Hello,

This is Alexa. I am not sure anyone remembers who s/he is. It was a handle I decided to use back when I was a lurker. My intent was not to be deceptive (pretend to be a female). I have seen enough forums that I felt people prejudge what you mean by your gender. I wanted a gender-neutral name. Alex came to mind. It seemed too masculine.

While I was creating my account, I ran Adaware, and it came up with the Alexa toolbar/Trojan/something.

"Ahh,"...I thought, "that little 'a' is just enough to make it less masculine." It didn't occur to me that it sounded like a girls name; it just sounded less like a guys. Yeah, I know a lot of thought went into something that didn’t matter.

It was exhausting. By the time I introduced myself, I realized that everyone thought I was a girl. I tried to defend neutrality, but I eventually gave up. Here's the skinny: I am a 29 male. I am married to a Japanese girl. We have an 8 month old son. My degree is in Psychology and Economics. I teach Anger Management in the summers, and I have been trying to get into the school district. I am a Social Worker who is going into education. I love psych, math, economics, and reading. I hate social work.

Why come out? What is this post relevant to? Amanecer wrote:
quote:
I am deeply curious about your situation. If you've outlined this elsewhere, please direct me to it. I'm curious how you came to feel this way. Were you raised Mormon and then differed with the Church later? Or did you marry a Mormon? Do you consider yourself Mormon? Is this the only area in which you differ? If you disbelieve many things, do you ever feel hypocritical going to church?
I used hatrack, under Alexa, to work through many religious feelings. It was culminating into this agitated frustration with the church.

You see, I was raised Mormon. Virtually everyone in my family left the church for philosophical reasons. I had a full ride scholarship to BYU and went --almost a semester. I dropped out to go back to Korea, where I served a mission, to teach English for a year.

I came home, married, got divorced, and lived an interesting life, I would never go back to, until I worked through my emotional issues. I left the church. It was more of a reaction to my marriage and life then a testimony in its falsehood.

I pulled myself out of the muck. I finished school, dumped my live-in gf, and set my life straight. I used the church as a vehicle. Once I was away and looked at the church from a more experienced perspective, it seemed false.

I repented, saw the bishop, and went through the church leadership to get my membership reinstated (for those Mormons out there: I was disfellowshiped). I met a wonderful new convert and we married--later in the temple, later in Japan. 3 times--I think it will stick!

After the marriage, she got more religious and pushed me into the church. I started to study church history and look at the doctrine with different eyes. I admitted to myself I thought it was wrong--but I found myself in a loving marriage with a staunch Mormon.

I worked through a lot of anger and frustration through "Alexa." I won't go over my posts. I deleted a lot of them because my posts would work me up and interfere with my marriage. I retired the name and came on as "lem"--vowing to leave religion threads alone.

Since I broke my vow and posted in a religious thread, and since I have felt a deeper connection to Hatrack (I am particularly moved by how everyone supports each other and how people can open up about real life issues), and since Amancer asked:
quote:
Do you consider yourself Mormon? Is this the only area in which you differ? If you disbelieve many things, do you ever feel hypocritical going to church?
Here is my reply:

"Were you raised Mormon and then differed with the Church later?" Yes

"Or did you marry a Mormon?" Yes

"Do you consider yourself Mormon?" Not emotionally

"Is this the only area in which you differ?" No

"If you disbelieve many things, do you ever feel hypocritical going to church?" yes and no

Pertaining to the last question: I consider myself Agnostic but spiritually inclined. My big beef with Mormonism is that it is literal. Once you make religion literal, it opens it up to logical scrutiny. I can't stop my mind from doing that. My mind says there was no Garden of Eden, Flood, Lamanites/Nephites, and the Book of Abraham/Moses, among other things. I disbelieve in the necessity for sealings, priesthood, and other ordinances and authority. I love genealogy and I disbelieve in the literal need for temple work. It can be good for the psyche, if you believe.

If I could leave religion in the realm of metaphor, then I wouldn't have to contend with myself in order to be faithful. The beauty of Mormonism is lost on me because I can't just take the message. It leads to frustration and contention.

I worked through it. I don't care if it is true. I don't get any personal benefit from believing in Joseph Smith or the Church. It does nothing for me. If I step back and let it go, I feel closer to God. I was praying one day, and the thought/feeling entered my mind, "You can be spiritual, even in the LDS church."

I take what I can get from it. I support my wife to the best of my ability. I refuse calls. I volunteer for service. I am at peace. I will not try to hurt anyone else’s testimony. My wife’s testimony is a great asset to her. “Nothing good comes of trying to hurt someone's faith.”

Talk to me in 7 1/2 years when my baby is ready for Baptism. I may have trauma then. [Wink] Not really. I will support him. I will trust him as he matures. I have my life to work out my faith, he will have his.

I had no problem giving him a name and a blessing. I felt inspired--not because of the priesthood--I threw in that qualifier for the benefit of my wife (and she knows it). I feel like a loving father who can receive inspiration for his son. I was struck by how little I believed the Church while I was giving the blessing, how close to God I felt, and how ok I was with my feelings.

I didn't bless him to marry in the temple or serve a mission, but I will support both.

Ps. Yes, I did watch conference. Yes, we read the scriptures every night. I don’t hide my testimony, or lack thereof, from my wife. I was also thinking of buying “The Lost Book of Abraham: Investigating a Remarkable Mormon Claim (DVD).”

I recently read “A Reason to Hope ” by Jane Goodall, and I identified with her spirituality.

[ April 13, 2005, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: lem ]

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rivka
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I remember you as Alexa. [Smile] (It helps that I was rereading bits of the proxy baptism thread earlier, but I would have anyway.)

I'm glad Hatrack has been useful to you in your journey. I wish you and your family much happiness. [Smile]

[ April 13, 2005, 01:43 AM: Message edited by: rivka ]

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Telperion the Silver
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Wow. Great to meet you Iem.
[Smile]

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lem
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Thank you. [Hat]
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Amanecer
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That was beautiful. It's wonderful that you have found peace with yourself and with God. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. [Smile]
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Storm Saxon
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Nice landmark. [Smile]

I do not envy you your situation. It must be very hard some days.

I sincerely hope everything works out for you and that you and your family can come to some kind of understanding on all of this.

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Morbo
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quote:
I admitted to myself I thought it was wrong--but I found myself in a loving marriage with a staunch Mormon....
I don’t hide my testimony, or lack thereof, from my wife.

Congratulations to you and your wife for honestly tackling your faith issues as partners, instead of just sweeping it all under the rug and pretending it didn't exist--the easy way out.

I totally respect that honesty, lem, and I hope for the best for you and your family. [Smile]

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ElJay
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[Smile]

Thanks for telling us all this. That's quite a story, and you are an admirable man.

Edit: an e is sometimes very important.

[ April 13, 2005, 08:21 AM: Message edited by: ElJay ]

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twinky
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quote:
I am at peace.
[Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

That's the most important thing. [Smile]

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Elizabeth
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Thank you for sharing.
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KarlEd
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Were I not gay, I might be in your situation spiritually. Mormons are very good people, generally, and if there is anything I miss about being Mormon it's the near instant acceptance in the community wherever you go. Were I able to fit in better secularly, I might have been able to deal with my spiritual/religious doubts and remain Mormon. Unfortunately, I found that there was no way as a gay man for me to find fulfillment there.

Best of luck to you. I'm glad you feel comfortable here. [Smile]

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Dan_raven
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Thanks.

I especially appreciated the part about not wanting to destroy another person's faith. I believe strongly in the power of faith, no matter what denomination it is.

My only question is in your choice of studies. Psycology and Economics? I always thought Economics and Sanity were diametrically opposed to each other.

[ April 13, 2005, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: Dan_raven ]

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Theca
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Wow. That explains so much. "Alexa" was one of the posters I felt most uncomfortable around, and reading "Alexa's" posts often upset me and I couldn't really figure out why. I did a Hatrack search once or twice this year to try to figure it out, but I couldn't find many posts. Now I know why!

Thanks Lem, and welcome. And good luck with everything.

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lem
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quote:
Psycology and Economics? I always thought Economics and Sanity were diametrically opposed to each other.

[ROFL] So are psychology and sanity~! I have yet to see any convincing definitions or tests that define normallacy. Identifying abnormalities, on the other hand, are much easier to justify. [Big Grin]

quote:
"Alexa" was one of the posters I felt most uncomfortable around, and reading "Alexa's" posts often upset me
Wow, I never knew I upset anyone. What was it that upset you? Was I snarky? [Confused]

[ April 13, 2005, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: lem ]

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Raia
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Hey, I remember Alexa! That's crazy. Wow. Thanks for sharing, Iem... good to have you around! [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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You upset me, because you were quite clearly lying about some stuff. A lot of us thought you were a troll: an ex-Mormon, possibly, who just wanted to cause trouble. I'm glad to meet the "real" you.
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lem
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Glad to meet you too. [Smile] I never was trying to troll. I was in a catch-22 where I was trying to open up without opening up. That is one of the reasons I switched ids with the ultimate goal (originally at 1000 posts) of comming out.
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Cow-Eating Man
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quote:
A lot of us thought you were a troll: an ex-Mormon, possibly, who just wanted to cause trouble.
There were people who didn't think that?

'tis all the past, though.

Glad you have and continue to find something of value here, lem.

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Vána
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I have to ask, because I keep confusing myself - is it LEM or IEM?
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mothertree
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Wow, something Theca, Tom and I agree on. Though as lem I have never found you troubling at all. How is the baby? I recall the post you made about the baby scooting across the floor at 6 weeks. I had actually noticed that Alexa stopped posting after the landmark and wondered what had happened to "her".

I actually wondered if you were one of my sisters when you first showed up. I have a sister whose relationship to the church is rather strained. Though in her case, she likes the doctrine and history and hates the social environment. Go figure.

I find Mormonism to be very literal, and also to have a lot more too it than that. What in the end, is the difference between "more than meets the eye" and "not what it seems?" I don't think you used either phrase. I'm just making a point is all.

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Theca
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*bump*
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lem
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BTW, my id name is LEM. I normally sign in lowercase (lem).

quote:
How is the baby? I recall the post you made about the baby scooting across the floor at 6 weeks.
He is doing great, but I got a big scare the other day. He is almost 9 months old. He is not walking or talking yet, but he is very...very...if you have kids you know the parental love thing.

A couple days ago he was in a saucer/bouncer--the kind that you can't walk in, but a baby can sit or stand and play with the stuff on the ring around the seat.

He was playing when he suddenly jumped/lurched forward. He jumped right out of it (he must of used his hands to push off the ring) and landed on his head. His head stayed in the upside-down position while his body folded over.

The bend was so severe that it certainly would of killed any adult. He froze for 30 seconds and looked dead--or paralyzed at best.

My mom checked for breathing and before 911 could be called, he twisted himself out of the position and started to crawl.

He never cried. I took him to the hospital and he passed all of his checks. He didn't get hurt, but I AGED about 10 years.

If I figure out how to post on foobonics, I will post his pic today.

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Ela
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Thanks for sharing your story, lem. I found it fascinating.

I, too, remember Alexa - a poster I could never quite figure out.

Glad to know the real you. [Smile]

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Eruve Nandiriel
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I remember you as Alexa.
I always thought you were a girl, too.

Nice to uh...meet you. [Smile]

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