Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse... "
"...Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?"
Selectionsfrom "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T. S. Eliot
I spent several months worrying about what would happen before I "force[d] the moment to its crisis" and decided that hiding wasn't worth it anymore. I had to face the moment, had to stop worrying, and had to start talking. I was terrified. I still am, every time I speak. Every time I choose honesty and to say "no, that's not who I am. I am not one of the believers, try as I did, I am not one of them," I am afraid of what will happen.
I am afraid that my honesty and my choice to expose scarred and hurting pieces of myself to the outside world will be rewarded with rejection and more pain.
And I have learned that this wasn't an unfounded fear. I have had to face the fact that my opinion, no matter how hard I try to make it acceptable, is as light as a feather and as welcome as a blizzard. Who I am is not acceptable. People would rather me lie--people who speak highly of honesty, people who taught me to be honest--than to be honest about my differences.
Here's the thing. This isn't an overnight change. I spent my childhood confused and hurting, and my teenage years ignoring the creeping feeling of failure. I tried and I tried and I tried, but I am not wired for belief. I felt so broken and out of place. I couldn't accept myself, so I ignored it for as long as I could. So that I wouldn't lose my culture or my religious home.
But I couldn't keep it up for forever. Eventually I had to take the key and find out what was inside me. And then I had to work it out, and eventually accept myself for who I am.
So now everything's upside down. I'm finally square with myself, and I've disappointed everyone outside of me. I've lost my cultural and religious home. I mourn it with painful tears late at night, but I can't go back and make things the way they were before.
"Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort..." Mosiah 18:9
Luckily, I'm not totally alone. I felt very alone for a long time, but I've found a community (or, rather, a few loosely connected communities) of men and women who have traveled similar paths as I have, or who are empathetic and sympathetic to those of us who have undergone a painful but necessary change. It sounds crazy, but these former Mormons get together on the internet and do really Mormon things, despite it all: they mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I'm deeply grateful to these communities and to the friends I've made there. I'm much better off than I would be otherwise.
It still hurts more than I can say to find myself on the outside, despite my desire to fit in and be accepted, though.