Author Topic: So Much Anger  (Read 1833 times)

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Offline ATX

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So Much Anger
« on: December 10, 2012, 10:37:12 AM »
I feel so bad.  I have so much anger about Mormons and Mormonism.  It's wrecking me and this weekend was awful.  I was a source of darkness, not light, at home.  As you know, my wife is still LDS and really wants my boys there with her.  I go with her to help get them there, but I have so much emotional baggage.  I turned my back on my family's heritage (mom, dad, and wife) because I never did get that vaunted Mormon 'witness' of the spirit that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, went to university and learned the truth about Mormon origins, then discovered the ancient Way.  Mormons tend to not handle people leaving well at all.  All of my relationships are strained, including with my wife.  Making things worse is my weakness - I don't take insinuations of insincerity and faithlessness well at all.  That's usually what Mormons say to people who try and fail to gain that witness of the spirit.  I was such a devout, faithful Mormon and it just didn't happen for me!!  Instead of compassion and understanding of how devastating it was for me to learn the truth about the faith of my ancestors and never feeling the presence of God, despite a desperate desire, I was passively-aggressively asked by family, friends, and church leaders whether I was really willilng to do what it takes for that witness, implying that I wasn't doing it right.  I allowed this to go on for many years as I clung on, trying to make Mormonism work, until I got so incredibly intensely angry.  I thought the anger and resentment at being told these things was going away.  But it's still there under the surface, just waiting for the right combination of factors to produce the darkness again.  It's like some kind of demonic attack and I so easily fall for it.  Things at home have reached a crisis point since my older son knows how I feel about Mormonism.  He knows I'm Orthodox and that I was Catholic first.  He hears Mormons talk negatively about Catholics at church and it really bothers him.  I drink beer and coffee ( a big Mormon no no).  He hears Mormons talk negatively about people who drink beer and coffee.  It makes him angry.  He doesn't want to go to church anymore.  He sees my turmoil.  He hears my wife and I argue about the church (I try so hard not to argue, but it's so hard.  I loathe Mormonism so much).  He's getting to the point that he doesn't want anything to do with religion at all and I don't blame him.  He's only 14 and I'm not helping him by being angry and arguing.  Yesterday he put his foot down and told my wife he's not going to church.  This upset her greatly and she blames me.  It's going to require me forcing him to go, even though I hate going myself and would rather the whole family went with me to Divine Liturgy.  Forcing him, as I've had to do for a while now, makes me feel so awful.  I get angry and depressed.  My wife doesn't understand at all.  She's the more liberal kind of California cradle Mormon and just blames my parents, who are really hardcore Utah Mormons, for ruining me.  When she does that I go blind with anger.  It's a slap at my parents and it's a slap at me, since I'm smart and educated and I learned the truth of ancient Christianity by actually reading every ancient Christian document from the first two centuries of the Church.  My wife's family knew my parents before I met my wife.  They have a picture of me when I was 3 years old at their son's birthday party, right after  my wife was born; her parents and mine were friends in grad school in the 60s.  Her family thinks what she thinks about  my parents.  They all feel sorry for me, like I can't help feeling how I feel about Mormonism.  I don't handle insinuations about my character well at all.  It's just pride, I know.  I need healing from that pride and anger.  I long for chrismation so I can commune with our God and find that healing.  Sundays are horrible, the worst day of the week.  Instead of peace and rest on those days, they reveal the division within my family.  I fear for my young sons and I don't know what to do.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 10:49:45 AM by ATX »

Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: So Much Anger
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 10:50:13 AM »
This maybe sound blunt, but has the humblest intention behind it. My suggestion is this: pray Psalms 37 and 103 for a good while and reflect over what the words the say.

Anger is one of the worst we as christians can deal with (I cannot name myself as an orthodox yet, as I am a catechumen in the Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) ).

Will keep you in my prayers.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 10:55:35 AM by Tommelomsky »
I will not be posting or participating here anymore.
They claim this is an Orthodox Christian forum.
Well, it is not!

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: So Much Anger
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 10:50:22 AM »
What a terrible mess - I will pray for you. Having more than my share of anger and pride, I can surely empathize with you. Of course, you know intellectually that the more you argue and the more you give in to anger, the worse things get.
Some things that sometimes work for me: recognition of my sins of anger and pride, prayer, of course. But also, when people accuse or criticize, saying "I'm so sorry you feel that way. I know that I have a great many faults, and I'm trying to be a better person, husband and father. Forgive me." Sometimes walking away helps as well, so that you can simmer down, and gain a little control and perspective.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: So Much Anger
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 11:06:18 AM »
Lord have mercy.

I'd second what Katherine wrote. I've had some similar issues (thankfully not to anywhere near the same degree) though with my Protestant mother. Learning to let go of the anger and avoid the fights (much harder in your situation than mine I'm sure) is really the only way. Try to be an example for your kids and pray that they will see how Orthodoxy changes you, and it will, for the better.

We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Offline Ashman618

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Re: So Much Anger
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 11:14:18 AM »
Can you restrict yourself from drinking beer and coffee since this is a source of tension which you can control?

Offline Delphine

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Re: So Much Anger
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 05:23:38 PM »
The LDS Church guarantees that if you pray for an answer with an open heart, that you will come to know that the LDS Church is the true Church. There's no condition for what happens if you do everything right and still don't get the answer Mormons say you will--you're going completely off-script here. But that's not going to stop faithful friends and family from trying to make your story fit within the narrative. It's either that or avoid thinking about your situation and what it means altogether. What else could they do that wouldn't leave cracks in their framework? It's an awful situation to be in, but try not to be so hard on them.

As for your son... your wife is probably right that he wouldn't be so fed up with religion if you were playing the part of the ideal Mormon father, but that's only because you would be removing a source of contention and stress. However, I think that stress can still be alleviated without living a lie, and being honest with your beliefs is healthier for everyone. You may not be able to affect what your son hears at church, but maybe you could brainstorm ideas with your wife on how to talk about religion, including your different views on it, without hostility. The LDS Church teaches that each person must come to know the Truth for himself--no matter how much you may know it yourself, your own experience is not sufficient for someone else's journey. Could you capitalize on that? Your sons are learning that to be a fact even within their own family, and if you and your wife can be at peace with where you each stand on your spiritual journeys, then they can see that it's safe to seek and come to their own conclusions as well. In more favorable circumstances, you could give your son a choice as to where he wants to go to church... but no need to push it.

Your son hears negative things at church that relate to you and he gets angry, because he refuses to force you into the Mormon narrative. Good for him. I hope things get better for you.