Saturday, August 31, 2013

Coming Out the IKEA-Mormon Closet

You are going all in. Your palms are sweaty, your mouth is dry.  Why are these three little words so hard to say?  It’s silent.  Their eyes anticipating as the letters rock from one side of your mouth to the other.  Like a sea sick sailor it’s time to spill...  “I don’t believe”

There is one thing every single post-Mormon must face.  Telling people.  You can’t hide it.  Once you pick up a beer, or ware a tube top, or move in with your boyfriend the word is out.  You imagine all the things people will say about you. Probably the same things you said about those who left before you.  Coming out is a big deal.  Before you open the door to the closet, do a little IKEA style organization.  There are thing you need to have in place mentally before you open yourself up to scrutiny. If you don’t clean the closet your baggage will spill everywhere and make a real mess of your life.

#1.  Set up Your "PORTIS"  There are so many different people from different walks of life.  Put yourself in your friend’s and family’s shoes.  They love you and they love the church.  You need to do your best to make it possible for them to love you both.  Avoid using words like “hate” “brainwashed” “cult” “indoctrinated”.  Find people you can trust as your outlet. 

#2  Sort out the rogue socks  You may have a strong feeling of betrayal.  Suddenly you just hate every darn thing about the church.  Some things you used to love.  Some ideas may still be good ideas but now you want to rebel.  And some grudges that are highly exaggerated in your mind.  You may, like me, just have crazy mouth (see: Gift of Tongues) It is wise to find those Ideas that are destructive and just throw them away.  Like the red sock with green dotes. You will never ware it again in will just turn all your white socks pink. 

#4  Organize your “BESTÅ  You may want to have a throw down with your friends or family.  Tell them everything you learned.  You may be thinking it’s not personal.  Wrong!  It is very personal.  If it is a true friendship they will be able to Shelf the disagreement and focus on the person you are. Keep your copy of No Man Knows My History right where it is.  When they pull out their Book of Mormon remind them that you already have one. If they try to argue with you simply don't.  If they tell you "you will be punished" smile and nod.  Some of your friends my earnestly want to know the history. With this I take a Que from Le Var Burton.  I say, "Here are some other books you may like, but you don't have to take my word for it."

#3  Get a "HEMNES" with Closed Drawers  Just because your closet is a walk in dose not mean anyone is welcome.  You need to set up boundaries for yourself.  You can leave out your Sunday Sailing hat but maybe tuck away your lacy lingerie with the front clasp. I'm not ashamed of my *cough* experiments.  But I don't feel a need to share with  my relief society friends exactly who has been vacuuming my shag carpet. It is no one business what you do. You decided to Whom, exactly When, and precisely What you want them to know.  

#5  Hope Chest I’ll bet your head is swimming with confusion.  I know mine is. Regrets, what ifs, and emotional unrest.  Throw everything you don’t understand in your hope chest and sort it out later.  Maybe with time, or a therapist, or even a soul searching trip to Thailand you will find your inner peace.  Until then, make do with what you have.  You will never have all the answers. That is okay.  All you need is the confidence to build your own life. Do what you believe is right and hope for the best.

I’m no expert.  I’m just a 27 yr old girl with an optimistic attitude and a concussion. Start by telling your closest friends.  People who you trust like family.  Recognize that the dynamics with your friends may change. It is not because they don’t like you, but because you may not be able to relate as well.  It’s times like these when you find out who your real friends are.  Wheather you have lost your religion or lost your car to a Buick going 45 mph, your friends are the ones who come over with a bowl of soup and a big ass hug.  


  1. Nice visual aids, and good observations too. The guy or gal ;) that lands you will be very lucky.

  2. "Probably the same things you said about those who left before you." <--yes

  3. I've told a few people. A sister in my family (not including the one who already left the church - she's known for years, of course) and my wife's sister. Because we are still adjusting to my wife's death, I shudder to tell her parents. Part of me wants to keep pretending to avoid the pain. A big part of me, the one that realizes that this is part of MY coping, wants to rip off the bandaid and get it over with.

    I accidentally swore in the chapel while talking to my EQ president. It was just "what the hell!". We both just laughed it off. Then he sends me and my home teaching companion a challenge to be 100% the rest of the year. My companion (a super busy new doctor) responds with contrition. I just want to tell him to "go to hell!". Ha ha!

  4. I just caught up with your blog, and I see so much of myself in your posts. I'm not Mormon, I'm church of Christ, and at age 24 I feel exactly like you did... that I know absolutely nothing of the world and how to live in it. So many of your stories sound exactly like me. I live in a major city, and quite a few times I've driven downtown and thought about trying to enjoy the nightlife, but I don't even know where to begin, so I just get back in my car and drive back home. When I was 18 and home alone for the evening, I poured a small glass of whiskey that my mother had had for cooking, and it just sat on the counter as I stared at it, trying to get up the courage to drink it before finally pouring it down the sink. I'm so glad I found this blog, it has been inspirational... I'm glad I'm not the only one who WANTS to experience the world but doesn't really know how.

  5. Good article I find it fascinating the life a Mormon has to live by example of religious requirements. I'm not Mormon but just today two female Mormons came over to speak with other family members starting up life in Mormonism. I was curious to how they live and what kind of lifestyle they have in regards.
    They seem bubbly and very polite every time they say hello, but I sense an absence for a shared view of reality?
    Thanks to your insightful blogs I can gain a greater understanding of your experiences of your previous past time. Thanks!