So my life in the Mormon church was like this:
Sunday, church for 3 hours, choir for 1, usually a meeting that involved me or one of my children for 1-2 hours, study for an hour to prepare for my Seminary lesson the next morning 1-2 hours.
Monday, Family Home Evening, 1-2 hours, study for an hour to prepare for my Seminary lesson the next morning 1-2 hours.
Tuesday, study for an hour to prepare for my Seminary lesson the next morning 1-2 hours.
Wednesday, Youth night, either attending, help, or driving children to these events, 1-2 hours.
Thursday, usually some activity that did not involve me, but may have been responsible for the children that night.
Friday, camping event once a month overnight, or some church event involving one or all of us....time commitment 1-15 hours depending on the event.
Saturday, Youth Dance, cleaning church, Primary activity, Baptisms, Home teaching appointments....a various array of potential meetings and/or activities....time commitment 1-4 hours.
Also, usually there were social events planned by families or couples for game night, eating out, or a movie. Most of the children's social events involved friends from church, scout or youth group. Everything about our lives were centric to church activity and social events. Just reading this makes me start to stress out! How did I do that for so long, how did I keep up, how did I manage to survive. I think in my need to keep myself busy to not focus on who I really was, I needed this schedule as a healthy escape. I am not saying that was my only motivation but it certainly increased that need!
Now I do not have those associations, connection, events, rigorous schedule, and commitments. There is/was a LARGE void in my life. I reflected today on the many people that trod this path......and may experience this loss along that same continuum. Each person will replace those lost "things" with new "things". Those replacement items come with new commitment, with greater or lesser needs. I struggle trying to find the time or meaningful commitment to places new things on my plate. Most of my energy and time is focused solely on my children. I still have that "church" connection through my children and running them to and fro.....but the connections have mostly been severed.
I do yearn for some of those church connections that I previously had, but that would require that individual to address a couple of conflicts. First, the doctrine conflict.....being gay is an abhorrent thing. Second, the church is their to support its own....Rachel is part of "their own", many probably can't support both individuals so the choice to to support "their own". I really am fine with the second reason, because I understand it intellectually, although the act of non-support hurts. There are a few people that have the ability to support the doctrine and the individuals involved (meaning me too) and still function in the LDS culture. These people are rare to behold, and priceless! I am thankful for those few! :)
I hope to continue to add (small, meaningful) things to my plate. To replace those things lost. I have had some brief conversations with individuals involved in LGBTQ advocacy activities, and think I might dip my foot in to see the temperature of things before I fully commit. I know that I need to do this in the future in a MAGNANIMOUS way, but will settle to sit on the side line for now. I am truly thankful for those people in the LGBTQ population that have assisted me in this transition....and I am mostly appreciative of John and Gigi. I would not be here without both of you.....thx! :)