Letters that ended it all
Dear loved ones, this blog is a little bit of a divergence from my usual and today I was reflecting and revisiting. I had been thinking of my siblings and how we were alike and how we were different and what was it about them that kept them clinging to a particular religious belief and what was it about me that made me run away from said religion. Actually, they kicked me out – disfellowshipped – is the terminology.
I have not been part of this religion for a very long time but about 3 years ago I went back for another look, another bite of the apple. This back tracking happened after the death of my mother and after the pleas of my sister and her doe eyes, asking me to “come back, come back, come back to the truth”. Well I did go back ‘to the meetings’ and was delegated to the back row and was unspoken to, not greeted or smiled at, nothing, a non person. I may as well have been in spirit form for all of the attention that was given me. Even my sister sat as far away from me as possible and never looked in my direction, but I could see her body language and I knew she was happy and even excited about something (I guess it could have been because her black sheep sister was there).
Three months passed, three months of torture and boredom and frustration listening to the bla, bla, bla of the speakers and the nonsense being spun and reshaped, being passed off as absolute truth. I had had enough and couldn’t take it anymore. It boggled my mind that anyone could believe this trash, but then I remembered that I too had once believed.
I decided to write a letter to my family, not an individual letter to each one but a group letter so there would be no confusion and it would be clear that I was not ‘coming back to the truth’. Attached please find a copy of said letter to family and also the one sent to the congregation.
I don’t know why I want to share this stuff with all of you today as a part of my purging and healing process. We all have life events and people that shape us and challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves. I am a creation in progress.
Thank you so very much for reading and listening to me blab. Love you all very much and I really do mean this. Sincerely, Summerhill Lane
August 28, 2017
Dear D, G, D, D and S,
I am writing this letter to all of you although it would be easier for me and more personal if I wrote individual letters, but I wanted you all to get the same information at the same time so there would be no confusion.
As you all know I have been attending meetings at G. Congregation (S’s congregation) regularly since I came home from ….. and Mom’s funeral. The only reason I missed any meetings was if I was working. S. had asked if I would come back to the meetings, and I said that I would. I thought I would go basically to make all of you happy. I know you all sincerely want me to be reinstated so we can have a family connection. This being disfellowshipped has been hard on all of you as well as terribly hard on me. You really have no idea how traumatic it is to have your entire family and all your friends (anyone you have ever know) torn away in one day.
So, I have been going to the meetings and feeling like a fake. The only reason I was there was to win back your love and fellowship. I began to realize that your love was conditional. There is something wrong with this picture. I am the same person I always was and I love you all as much as ever, maybe more.
Anyway, I wrote a letter to the Brothers at the ….. congregation explaining why I would no longer be attending the meetings. I have included this letter so you will know what it said.
I couldn’t continue to lie to myself about why I was there. I couldn’t lie and say I believed that this organization is directed by God. There are too many discrepancies. What really upset me was ——————–. There is a lot more but I won’t get into it here. Probably never.
Well that is about all I wanted to say. Very Sincerely and I Love you all,
August 24, 2017
As many of you may know, my mother died some months ago and I attended her funeral and was able to spend some time with my brother, sisters and extended family while we went through this grieving process together. Because I have been disfellowshipped for the past —- years, this is the first time in all those years that I got to really feel the love of my brother and sisters.
As you can imagine, this reunion was very emotional and powerful. One of my siblings encouraged me to come back to the meetings and I said that I would with the intention of trying to be reinstated. But, to be totally honest, I must admit that the only reason I want to be accepted back into the congregation is to be able to once again freely associate with my family.
This family connection is very important to me and I feel like I am being emotionally blackmailed to get it back. In my opinion, this shunning policy is cruel, unkind, unloving, unchristian and should be abandoned.
I don’t want to be a fake and lie to get back into the congregation, and I shouldn’t have to. This shunning policy is emotionally damaging to all involved, i.e. the disfellowshipped person as well as their family in the congregation who are forced to abandon their loved ones.
After sitting at the meetings for some months and following along and studying ahead, I realized that everything is different than I remembered from the years that I spent as a …….. Now it seems that the emphasis at the meetings is on fear and obedience and not love and compassion.
With all this in mind, I am writing this letter to let you know what I feel and think. It is increasingly becoming clear that I cannot continue to attend the meetings, as I am feeling more and more fake about my reasons for being there. I am afraid there is no putting the genie back in the bottle.
I have never stopped loving our creator and I always feel his direction and love in my life.