Sunday, November 29, 2015

11. Sick of It All

In order to set up what my wife’s decision might have included, I need to tell you about my family. My wife converted to the church when she was 15 and after a bad boyfriend experience. She’s been very focused on keeping her family with her forever. We adopted a child who is black. It was through LDS Family Services and from a married couple who didn’t feel they could support another child. They purposefully wanted a white couple to adopt and the church was the only ones to assist them. Shortly after we adopted him, my wife started working for LDSFS as a counselor as she had a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. After a few years, I felt an obligation to help some children from a poorer country and adopt there. We eventually adopted a brother and sister. A few years after that, and after 19 years of trying ourselves, my wife became pregnant and we had one the old fashioned way.

 After I expressed my issues with the church, we had a baptism of my middle son and ordaining my oldest to deal with. It was harder and harder to be a non=believing father. My oldest was inquisitive and asked me a lot of questions about God that I no longer felt qualified to answer. I had more discussions with my wife about how to handle it and my increasing frustration. That made the marriage harder and harder as my wife demanded that I stop creating a bad environment. There came one point when I figured that I was so disruptive that I had better leave. We came to an agreement. My wife would listen so that she could respect my views and that I would talk to her about how I answered the children. I just wanted to be heard and have just a little respect on my views. Not much. I don’t need much. After a few more discussions, I read 2 Nephi 5 to DW about our children being cursed. She was clearly, loudly angry at me for pointing out that our children that we loved more than anything, were disfavored by God. We also had an issue with my oldest, the black child, at church. He was consistently, routinely being bullied at church. Several children were involved and we had made repeated complaints to the Bishopric about it. I was unsure if it was racial. I feel it was more an issue with his being passive and frankly, a darn good kid.

I had also had a few discussions with the bishop, a personal friend of mine, that he was not to ask my children ANY questions of a sexual nature. NONE. My wife was shocked when I told her that every bishop I ever had had asked me about masturbation. I felt that was psychologically damaging and I wasn’t going to put my children through what I went through. I was also highly annoyed by the YM emphasis on missions. I didn’t feel my oldest had the personality to survive a mission. Only a few years before did I finally tell my wife how much I hated mine.

 On Easter, I was home from church tending my youngest who was ill. My wife came home and went into the kitchen and started crying. The bishop’s wife, my oldest’ teacher, had expressed to DW that she essentially didn’t believe us about the bullying. She couldn’t subject our child to 6 more years of abuse from members of the church. She couldn’t let my daughter learn her “proper place” that the church would teach her. She couldn’t handle the stress that she felt for 27 years trying to be perfect. We were out.

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