I was hurt by The Church. I was hurt because it let me down. It was like being in a relationship, being in love with someone, and being betrayed.
I was having a conversation with Jeremy, about how he'd remained so utterly devout even when he was being doled out years worth of unfortunate malarkey. I mean, he had a gay dad, right? His deeply concerned LDS leaders had some things they just had to say in order to sleep at night. Like, "You shouldn't spend too much time with your father, or the adversary will tempt you to live the homosexual life style," and "Anal sex is the cause of AIDS." He had a step-dad who may have used his priesthood as an excuse and a tool to be an ass. The thing is, these men really thought they were helping him. But it was guidance like this that contributed to the ultimate demise of his faith later in his life. They didn't care that his father was/is an incredible man- honorable, a good father, etc. All they could see was 'the gay'.
After giving so much of himself to the institution and receiving so little in return, he washed his hands of Mormonism.
The God I believe in, will understand his feelings and have nothing but love. He will say, "You were hurt. And I understand. I'm so sorry." Jeremy then looked at me after I expressed this and said, "Yes. I was hurt. Just like you were."
It was as if I'd been tasered. I had never looked at my own feelings about the church in that sense. Anger? Yes. Apathy? Yes. Unbelieving? Yes. Confusion? More than anything. But...
I had never before considered that The Church had hurt me, had let me down.
I had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom after he turned the tables on me, and I sobbed, uncontrollably. I wasn't really sure why. I didn't even realize at that moment that it was the topic of being 'hurt' by the church that triggered this emotional reaction. But I cried. Heartily.
I calmed down and was able to think.
These are the thoughts that came flooding to my mind:
1) My relationship with the church was like being in love with someone who betrayed me.
2) The church wants me to continue on as if nothing happened. But I need to distance myself from the one who hurt me, just like in a relationship.
3) I have not allowed myself to entertain the thought that I was hurt. I need to honor that now.
4) I believed, for all intents and purposes, that the church would take care of me, including and especially my happiness, if I did all I was asked to do. I am now left with little faith that will happen in this 'relationship', and I need for someone/something else to come along and rescue me/take care of me, like myself.
5) The church has been much, much more a part of my identity than I ever knew. This identity is a product of the teachings of my parents and church leaders, other members' opinions, facades, fear and guilt.
6) God=Love. The church=fairy tale.
7) Men so often say in church meetings, "My wife is practically perfect. I could not get to the Celestial Kingdom (heaven) without her." This puts an impossible and ludicrous responsibility on the women of the church and perpetuates the fairy tale, which is a lie. Now add to all that a woman who is married to a gay man and trying to keep her husband's desire at bay by being 'dutiful'.
8) My homosexual husband was more honest with me than The Church ever was.
My Mormon readers, I don't want to alienate you or become disillusioned with The Church as I did. I just want you to understand.