Sunday, May 14, 2006

What You're Talking About Sounds Like A...Nightmare

Pressure Tension Anxiety...I went to Church this morning. Happy Mother's day to all who it applies, and I guess that's everyone. Anyways, Gabe, my new 12 year old starts to panic about passing the sacrament. He refused to get up there because he was worried about his hair and his shirt being too wrinkled. I got very mad because he dilly-dallied (real phrase?) all morning and constantly picks on his younger brothers and then acts real cowardly in front of other people. Ugh. So, I told him I was disappointed in him and then it hit: I was in the hallway looking down to the other end of the church building and the rows of neon lights on the ceiling started pushing down and I looked at the pictures of the Lord in various biblical-themed poses and felt...I'm living a lie. Why am I here? I was very angry at my son, but also I felt very alone. I mean, my family was there, but I felt no presence of Spirit or anything like that. I heard the background noise, such as the chapel talks and prayers coming over the loud speakers in the foyer and the constant buzz of babies, but it didn't register. I looked but did not see, so to speak. Now this was all a mixture of physical and mental sensations. What happened? I told Heather (my wife) I'm leaving. So we all decided to come home and take a nap for four hours, which was very good. I told Heather on the days I'm not working I'm staying in bed. Sleep, beautiful sleep...Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning my testimony, but I think I'm questioning my role in the whole mess.

Now that leads to this: I think my whole anger/confusion about Church, Utah saints, Church culture, etc. stems from my lack of trust in my own motives for going. If I'm having so much trouble, then others must be feeling the same things, but why am I the only one talking about it? Is it because they're scared? Are they cowards? Or maybe I have to admit to myself I am feeling this way because of something biologically skewed in my synapses, my past (?), or my lack of drive for anything Churchy? Maybe I am the only one feeling left out.

Now, ewl, that is the shitniz, as you are wont to say...


Blogger Julie said...

I'm no psychotherapist or counselor or anything, but what you describe sounds like depression. As a member of the church and one who suffers from clinical depression, I know how hard it is to go to church every week and feel NOTHING. But few, if any, will talk about it. It's as if we cannot admit, in our LDS culture, that we have problems. We suffer from the myth that if we are just righteous enough, we will always be happy and nothing bad will happen to us.

We also suffer from the myth that, as long as we are doing what's right, we will always be able to feel the Spirit. That is a load of bull! When you are depressed, there is something wrong in your body that physically prevents you from feeling the Spirit. But with the whole negative stigma that members of the church associate with depression, who wants to admit that they can't feel the Spirit? You might as well admit publicly to adultery. And heaven help you if you mention that you take medication to help you feel better.

Okay, you've obviously struck a nerve here. Deep breaths....ah-oooom....calming down. I just had to share my feelings.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

When I was 20ish at byu I just about had a nervous breakdown, to use some antiquated jargon that best describes how I felt. I felt that there were two paths. One led down the road of involvement in the Church, and the other led down the inactive/apostate road. Both felt pretty nutty. To make a long story very short, I chose the craziness I knew. It's been a long time coming, but finally, finally I am starting to get it. I think faith is jumping off a cliff.
I totally agree that LDS culture supresses people talking about their short-comings, trials, etc. While I understand the purpose of it, there are days when I find it maddening. I think this [your blog] is a good, safe place to air that sort of stuff, get some perspective on it.
I don't know if that helps, but know you aren't alone in what you're dealing with, whether it is a crisis of faith, or as Julie has described, a crisis of biology, or something else.

8:32 PM  
Blogger elasticwaistbandlady said...

Nice try Patrick but the assignement was to use the word, shizknittiest.

I escaped going to Church yesterday by volunteering to work. I prefer working to sitting through Church these days. I'm married to a man that regards depression as a quality that only the "weak" have and he ignores it when I feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted. Papi's perspective is that if you just keep going, working, moving, you won't have the time to allow depression to seep in. He's a good man but he fails to notice that I only attend Church at all because of our kids. You're not alone Patrick in any of your feelings. My friend, miss biotech, is on the verge of leaving the Church for some of the same reasons. She feels alone and has a massive spiritual disconnect. Oh, and the most stressful day of the week for us is Sunday. Getting six kids ready to go at the crack of dawn after working all night involves a lot of screaming, threatening, prodding. Awful way to start the Sabbath every week.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Moi said...

"LDS culture supresses people talking about their short-comings, trials, etc."
I'm not sure I agree with this statement. I tend to get on my soapbox about stuff like this, but I will refrain, so as not to offend anyone. IMHO, I don't think it would hurt if you went to the doctor. Maybe I'm wrong, but being in the dark all the time, is not a good thing. You can brood for a while, but that's no way to live. I've just been depressed, and suicidal before, and know that medication really helps. Your choices not only affect your life, they affect your children and grandchildrens lives as well. I don't always notice when depression creeps upon me. Usually it's other people around me. You can say your alright, and happy with the way you are, but sometimes people see it differently.
On a side note, can you have the holy ghost to guide you if you're listening to things like metal music, or whatever? It seems like the message in those songs, is a contradiciton to the gospel. Music really affects peoples attitudes, imo. Sometimes you just gotta let the light in, even if it hurts your eyes. You'll get used to it eventually ;)

10:59 PM  
Blogger White Man Retarded said...

Who is IMHO? Imo?

6:05 AM  
Blogger Moi said...

Oh, sorry, I thought that was your real name ;)
IMHO- In my HUMBLE opinion
IMO- In my opinion

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Hypnotize said...

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1:35 PM  

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