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    Thread: A Personal Question/Is this normal outside of religious communities?

    1. #1
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      A Personal Question/Is this normal outside of religious communities?

      Hello DV This is my first post, so forgive me if this is in the wrong place.

      Anyway, I grew up in a Mormon family but decided to leave the church after a lot of questioning, studying, prayer, and deep spiritual soul searching. It was a difficult decision to leave behind everything I knew to follow my own path and stay true to my beliefs, and I went through a pretty bad depression when they found out because I felt like I lost my family. I'm living away from home, I have a job, and I'm supporting myself so I hardly ever talk to my parents anymore unless they call me to beg me to come back to the church.

      I'm not under any illusions that I've got everything figured out. I do feel lost, and I'd love to go to my parents for advice but I have no idea whether or not their advice is truly valid because I feel they take in everything that happens under biased, preconceived notions. They've never truly tried to step outside their restrictive beliefs to see someone else's point of view, and that makes me reluctant to believe anything they say.

      Therefore, I'd like to know of some third-party opinions as to whether or not my new way of life is really seen as rebellious and hedonistic outside the sheltered "world" of Utah and Mormonism.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Some examples of why my parents think I'm spiraling into a black hole of evil and slowly turning into a complete deviant:

      - They think I look trashy when I wear tank tops. In 95F degree weather.

      - I do understand that underage drinking is technically considered deviant, but I don't go to raging frat parties where my friends and I drink out of beer bongs and people get wasted enough to think they can operate a vehicle. The parties I go to involve just a few of my closest friends, maybe 7 - 10 of us at the most, we take a few shots, and we sit around playing guitar and have deep conversations, often about spirituality. My parents still find this outrageously evil.

      -I'm a virgin, and in a last-ditch effort to salvage any respect from my parents and retain any sort of freedom from them, I resolved to keep it that way until an acceptable time. God only knows when that'll be. I told my boyfriend this, and he was completely understanding, told me that he valued being in a relationship with me too much to sacrifice it for any shallow, physical reasons like that and has never pressured me to do anything I'm not comfortable with. I've seen no shred of evidenced that he's cheating on me. If he has anything to hide, he sure doesn't act like it. He lets me use his computer when his facebook is up, he lets me borrow his phone, I hang out with his friends on a daily basis, and when I told him that my parents said they'd give him 3 months before he cheats on me for "not giving him what he wants" he said he'd never been so personally offended in his life. My parents, who are yet to even meet him, tell me that he's not only not good enough for me, but a completely unrespectable human being because he's not a virgin, he drinks (the same amount that I do) and he used to do drugs, when his dad abandoned their family and he was going through depression. Right now, all I see in him is a gentleman who treats every person he meets with respect and selflessness.

      So, I guess, bottom line... Am I in the wrong for going against my parents and living life the way I want to? Is it unreasonable for me to think that I'm approaching this in a mature and cautious way despite my parents' view of this as being openly rebellious? Are they being unfair in stereotyping my boyfriend as such a horrible person because of what he's done rather than who he is?

      Thanks for reading this, if you've gotten this far! I'd love to hear any feedback

    2. #2
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      No. You're doing everything right, it seems. Don't let your parents misguided convictions determine your lifestyle.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Obviously no one on this site will tell you there's anything even remotely wrong or "deviant" with anything you've mentioned. You shouldn't need the validation of some random internet people anyway.

      However, it is worrying how much you still think about your parents. At some point, you will have to become independent enough that their approval doesn't occupy your thoughts.

    4. #4
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      Congratulations on escaping the grasp of a cult. Your parents are not infallible and quite frankly sound completely brainwashed.

      Just do what you want and exercise some common sense.
      Supernova likes this.

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      You =/= parents. You and your parents are 3 completly different people. If they wont let you do what YOU want, who cares, your not living with them anymore. Shrug it off and enjoy life without worrying about what other people think.

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      You sound like a thoughtful, intelligent, sensible person with a seemingly fabulous boyfriend.

      Might take your parents a long while to accept your new path but keep on keepin' on, don't let it stop you from enjoying the fun, independent lifestyle you've got going.

      Namaste.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      Obviously no one on this site will tell you there's anything even remotely wrong or "deviant" with anything you've mentioned. You shouldn't need the validation of some random internet people anyway.

      However, it is worrying how much you still think about your parents. At some point, you will have to become independent enough that their approval doesn't occupy your thoughts.
      It's not necessarily validation I'm looking for. I'm honestly just curious. I'm only just barely coming out of my sheltered lifestyle. I'm still young, only a sophomore in college. I'd never even seen any of the things I've experienced recently until I left home. And I'm still in Utah. It's not only my parents, but friends, teachers, and other adults who tell me that what I'm doing is not "normal," assuming that rebellious falls under the category of "not normal" and I fall under the category of "rebellious." I'm just trying to figure out why exactly my parents think I'm in the minority here when I feel they, as extremely conservative Mormons, are in the minority by the world's standards.

      As far as not thinking about my parents, trust me, I've already been doing that. They don't occupy all my thoughts, but I'm still dependent on them to put me through college if I want to avoid having to take out student loans. I only have so much scholarship money and savings from work. And they've used that against me in an effort to make me return to my old lifestyle.
      Last edited by Namaste111; 07-21-2011 at 06:58 AM.

    8. #8
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      What you're experiencing is pretty normal for alot of people your age regardless of religious background. Even if your parents were atheists and swingers, they'd almost certainly have some ideas and expectations about how you will live your life. It's pretty typical for some kind of falling out, or at least distancing, to occur in early adulthood, when all either party can see are the differences, often felt as a kind of rejection, in each other's lifestyles. There's generally not much you can do about it except try not to introduce new bitterness to the relationship, and give it time.
      Zhaylin likes this.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



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      Quote Originally Posted by Taosaur View Post
      What you're experiencing is pretty normal for alot of people your age regardless of religious background. Even if your parents were atheists and swingers, they'd almost certainly have some ideas and expectations about how you will live your life. It's pretty typical for some kind of falling out, or at least distancing, to occur in early adulthood, when all either party can see are the differences, often felt as a kind of rejection, in each other's lifestyles. There's generally not much you can do about it except try not to introduce new bitterness to the relationship, and give it time.
      Bullshit. Her parents are brainwashed scumbags and should not be given "time".

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      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      Bullshit. Her parents are brainwashed scumbags and should not be given "time".
      I'm sure that's the healthiest approach to take.
      sloth likes this.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



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      Quote Originally Posted by Taosaur View Post
      I'm sure that's the healthiest approach to take.
      Actually, sometimes it is. It's not healthy to have people in your life that actively try to control and brainwash you. An adult chooses who they associate with. If this person's parents are causing her misery, then they should be discommunicated (once it's financially possible).

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      It is not EVIL to not be religious. You simply have your own thoughts, rather than allowing outside human influence to determine what you believe.
      ---o--- my DCs say I'm dreamy.

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      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      Actually, sometimes it is. It's not healthy to have people in your life that actively try to control and brainwash you. An adult chooses who they associate with. If this person's parents are causing her misery, then they should be discommunicated (once it's financially possible).
      From what the OP has told us so far, her parents have taken no extraordinary steps. The tone of her posts struck me less as "misery" than annoyance. By your standards, roughly 75% of all humans should declare themselves orphans at age eighteen.

      Maybe they will prove intractable and toxic, but so far they appear to be acting like normal parents having trouble coping with their offspring's adulthood. The OP probably doesn't have enough evidence yet, and we certainly don't, to declare:

      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      Bullshit. Her parents are brainwashed scumbags and should not be given "time".
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    14. #14
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      Maybe I overreacted to your post, but it just brought up imagery of 40 year olds that are still slaves to their parents because they can't see the simple truth that they're being made miserable by them.

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      I agree with Taosaur. My parents are agnostic and once I moved out of their home and out of State they nagged me about everything. When I became one of Jehovah's Witnesses, they nearly stopped communicating with me because *gasp* I wouldn't celebrate holidays.
      After a few years, they became grudgingly tolerant of my choices- mostly because I have 4 kids and they didn't want to push me completely away.

      THEN I had a falling out with my congregation and I'm disfellowshipped. I love my congregation and would like to return one day but life is out of my control at this time.
      But guess what. My parents still nag and disapprove of almost everything about me.

      Critical parents will always be critical no matter if they're religious or not.
      But they're also afraid. They don't want to lose you to the world and it's ways and see you get hurt. Experience and Scripture have made them jaded about life outside the Congregation.

      Do you know anyone else who left? Was it a success story? Can you get in touch with them to see how they transitioned?


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      I am a Christian and I have a 6 year old daughter. We are bringing her up in the church where we are very active and she attends a private Christian school. Some people on here will say i'm a bad parent or whatever and that is fine for them to believe what they want. Anyhow, I don't look down on people of other religions or people who don't believe at all. I wasn't raised that way. Now to get on to your question, you need to do what you feel is right. Now that you are 19 you are a young adult. If my daughter left the church when she became older, yes i would be disappointed with her decision but it would be her decision. i would still love her and i would still treat her as my daughter. It sounds like your parents are much more strict then we are. I think you need to sit down with your parents and have a heart to heart with them because they are your parents. I think you need to stay true to your beliefs as well as try to patch things up with them. I'm sure they care about you and want whats best for you and that may be the reason why they are acting this way. Show them who you have become and that you aren't a "bad" person. Really talk to them about it. It was probably a major shock to them that you left the church and they probably still need time to get over that but in the long run if they truely love you and care about you they will come aorund.

      I personally don't think you are being rebellious from what you have said. i think you are being a 19 year old who is just starting out in life.
      Live to fish, fish to live!

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      "Being rebellious" is when you're deliberately doing something to spite someone. Mormon parents could easily label what you're doing as rebellious, but the truth is, you're peacefully following your own path. Their disappointment in you is the "brown glasses" they look at all your actions through, and like they say, if you're wearing brown glasses, even roses look like shit.

      Their comments about your tank tops being trashy, and all those little things... they're not stand-alone comments. Always remember, they're coming from the entire frame of mind that they expect you to fall into said black hole, and everything they see is reinforcing that belief in them.

      Keep doing what you're doing. You seem like a strong person, who wants to be the owner of her own destiny, and that's a very, very admirable trait.

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