Day 19 of NaBloPoMo: Married to Amazement
As I worked my way toward exiting Mormonism I tiptoed into the world of progress/ex/liberal Mormon Facebook groups. There are dozens, geared toward almost any audience you can imagined. I was posting frequently in the group created by the Feminist Mormon Housewives founder, and mentioned unhappiness with our new congregation in the Palo Alto area. A San Jose former-Mormon reached out to me and asked if I would like to be added to a small group for post-Mormon women in the Bay Area, and that is how I was introduced to a tiny troop of women who have become my replacement for the social structure I used to find through Mormonism. I didn’t realize until I left how much I depended on religion to meet my social needs.
This is a group where I can talk about anything related to religion or leaving religion or navigating the world of ex-Mormonism (what underwear are the ladies loving nowadays?) and the audience gets it. There are actually very few aspects of my life that weren’t affected by my decision to exit the faith of my childhood, and whatever I’m going through they are right there with me, 100% supportive. We talk about porn shoulders and cleavage, alcohol, drugs, tattoos, our children being exposed to Mormonism via our believing parents, sex, parenting, marriage, creating new traditions for religious holidays, frustrations, heartbreak, triumph, and everything in between. Today one of the women posted about sick kids and being overwhelmed and immediately there were a dozen responses offering childcare and babysitting and transportation. It feels just like the support found in the LDS church’s women’s organization, but without the guilt and religious overtones I felt oppressed by once I went through my faith transition.
We’re getting together for Thanksgiving, there are regular get-togethers for spouses and families, monthly ladies nights, park playdates, swimming parties, beach trips… Yeah, I know am damn lucky to be a part of a group like this.
I thought leaving my faith would be most difficult because of the ways my decision would intersect with the viewpoints of believing family and friends, but I think moving to a new place and learning how to form relationships outside of church has been even harder. I also have a circle of never-mo friends who rock my socks (you know who you are!) but the post-Mormon crowd fills a special hole in my heart that needed stuffing. (Mmmmm, stuffing. We’re going to have a fabulous time together at Thanksgiving.)