The Mormon church is currently running this social media campaign, #BecauseofHim. The idea, it seems, is to have members share their intimate feelings regarding the church and Jesus Christ.
To balance the discussion, I’m adding my own experiences. The Mormon church placed a great deal of pressure on me, using doctrine to convince me that my son was their property. I was subjected to lessons and lectures, even though I was told that it was my choice. In the end, there was no choice, between my parents demanding that adoption was the only option, and the scare tactics that were used by both LDSFS, and leaders regarding the safety of my son. Manipulation and false statistics were used to convince me when the doctrinal rhetoric didn’t work. In the end, the bigger message was that Jesus and Heavenly Father wanted me to go through with the adoption so my son would have an eternal family, which was apparently something I would never be able to offer. I wasn’t good enough.
So while the Twitter stream is full of unicorns and rainbows regarding the Mormon church, just know there is a darker side, and I lived it. Mormon Jesus can be a vicious, vindictive, wicked entity.
#Becauseofhim I bought the idea that God was punishing me for having consensual sex with a committed partner.
#Becauseofhim I believed that I was the last person that was capable of raising my son.
#Becauseofhim I bought into the idea that in order to “repent”, I had to sacrifice my first born son.
#Becauseofhim, I don’t know my son.
#Becauseofhim I felt like I had to listen to my own mother chastise me, insult me, and condescend me, because I deserved it.
#Becauseofhim I did everything I could to exclude my son’s father from this life changing decision.
#Becauseofhim I ended up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
#Becauseofhim I wonder and worry about my son, every single day.
#Becauseofhim there is a chance that my own son will hate me because I am no longer Mormon.
#Becauseofhim I believed the dogma that my child was foreordained to another family, and wanted to go to that family instead of being with me.
#Becauseofhim I find myself on my knees, in pain, every May because the enormity of losing my first born son still causes my soul to ache, and my heart to shatter into millions of pieces.
#Becauseofhim my son will likely hear over and over again that he has no need to search or know his family of origin because he now has an “eternal family”.
#Becauseofhim I get comments on this blog, and even in real life, that my son is better off without me, because I left the church.
#Becauseofhim my parents chose to ignore their parental responsibility to me while I was pregnant, and allowed their church to beat us all into submission. Because repentance.
#Becauseofhim I have to explain to my parented children why they don’t know their brother, and comfort them when they express how they wish they could be a part of his life.
#Becauseofhim I learned that my voice was insignificant, and spent years repressing my true feelings regarding the adoption.
#Becauseofhim I was shunned by members during my pregnancy. I lost friends and became the spotlight of the rumors circulating.
#Becauseofhim my sister had to endure Young Women’s lessons where my unexpected pregnancy was the focal point and discussion on the importance of the Law of Chastity.
#Becauseofhim my son’s adoptive parents believe that they did more than they needed to cultivate a relationship with me, because LDSFS and other members told them they had.
#Becauseofhim to many, I am just a birthmother. I have to, over a decade later, still fight the stereotypes regarding those women who relinquish their parental rights.
#Becauseofhim I was forced to give my first born son away because the church policy was as such, and being a young single mother was unacceptable.
#Becauseofhim I learned that my parents love their church more than they believe in the unconditional love and support of family.
#Becauseofhim I don’t have my first born son in my life, in any way whatsoever.
#Becauseofhim I have this deep, dark aching within that I’ve learned will likely never disappear, even if a reunion is to happen at some point.