I Want You To Know That It's Okay To LEAVE

I can't believe I'm doing this right now, but also I couldn't rest until I did this, so I guess this is what I'm doing right now! So hi! Hey! Here I am! Hey, kittens!!!

Oh my gosh, I've missed you!

This is my TL:DR: I want you to know that I'm here.

I'm here specifically because of recent news that came out about our church (lol "our church"), the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" as they call themselves these days (please call them MORMONS still because that's both more fun AND more accurate), and because I don't want anyone to feel like they're going through this alone, or that their only options for going through this with others involves them going to places they're not ready for nor comfortable with.

I'm here to make this OUR space. A safe, marshmallow space in which to talk about things (use the comments!) I know you're there, so let's make this ours. Yeah?

I'm here because of the girls from my Beehive classes of 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

I'm here because of both my baby sisters, who I'm SO proud of, who both left the church on their own terms, as truthfully and boldly and brashly as they could have. I am in awe of both of them. ❤️

I'm also here because of the readers who emailed me way back in the day when I was blogging. I'm here because of one reader in particular, who emailed me to say she'd stopped cutting herself after finding my dumb blog because she suddenly felt less alone. I wanted her to know then and I want her to know now, wherever she is, that she changed my entire life, and that I am here entirely, fully, 100% because of her.  

I'm here because I pulled my family out of the church once I realized that if Huck were a girl, I would never, ever, under any circumstances, allow him to graduate from Nursery into Primary. 

I'm here because once I realized that, I upended my life to honor gender equality as best I could, and I left the church well behind me, and I am SO GLAD that I did.

I'm here because THIS SUCKS.

I'm here because I know that leaving is scary.

I'm here because leaving was THE BEST THING I EVER DID, and because I'm so excited for all of you to experience it.

I"m here because no one should have to leave alone, so I am here to leave with you.

I'm here because if you decide to stay, I'm here to love you and support you just the same.

In the comments, if you feel comfortable, please share how you are feeling. 
(I will kick the shit out of any of you who show up with antagonism FYI)


  1. Signing in with Blogger, reading your blog, out of the church, protecting the heart my mormon teenager self retroactively, healing already <3

    1. I love you and I commend your pioneer spirit and I thank you for commenting. I hear you and I'm so glad you're here.

  2. I'm struggling...hard. Was already. Even more now. Don't want to leave but really hard to stay.

  3. Leaving has been a process of several years for me. I mean one day I quit attending church cold turkey, so it probably looks sudden on the outside, but it’s a PROCESS. The complex layers I have to untether from as someone who grew up Mormon, I didn’t even fully realize. What I do know is that I did this smack in the middle of teaching seminary and spending 20 hours (volunteer!) per week reading the scriptures and studying it out in my heart and mind like I had never done before, and THAT’S when I knew it was time. The narrative that if you have doubts you must be a ‘LAZY learner’, or other similar words that build the narrative that those who leave are ‘LOST sheep’, or ‘DRIFT away’ or ‘WANDERING in strange lands’ or ‘FALLING away’, it’s all there to make you doubt yourself, doubt your doubts!! And I’m here to say that if you are doubting, you are none of these things at all! because you are starting to break free from the group think. Congratulations, you my friend have critical thinking skills. Believe in yourself!!! Trust YOU. You are questioning and looking for honest and genuine answers and that is so brave and so strong and so intentional. I have had to tell the relief society pres and the sister missionaries, “I am intentionally distancing from the church.” INTENTIONAL! They can’t compute it. And honestly it takes the wind out of their sales because it just doesn’t fit the narrative, right? I’ve been fortunate enough that they now leave me alone with just a simple word INTENTIONAL. It is absolutely okay to leave. It is okay to really listen to yourself. Listen to what your central nervous system is trying so hard to tell you. Thank you, Natalie, for coming back for this. I’ve been with you since that precious Huck was born and I think you’re a great human.

    1. Agree! Trusting in yourself is the hardest part of church healing (at least is for me). Dropping the guilt. But... I'm a recovering Catholic so....

  4. I've missed you, happy to see your writing here. I follow you on the insta and such so I shouldn't say missed.... I guess it just feels good to read vs look. Ya know?

    Personally, not Mormon. But I was a very good Catholic girl for too long, then less good, and now left. It's hard to feel like your turning your back on things that were "truths" for so long. But I suppose at some point I had to realize that there is no magic beam coming down to make bread holy. And that this book I've given so much power to, these articles that I felt stress if they touched the ground. The guilt I felt when I was shamed for wearing a rosary as a necklace innocently as a kid. That there is no magic or power there. And I was allowing people who have forgiven themselves for so much worse to assign how much value I have as a person.

    Not sure if magic is real or not, but finding that maybe there is a bit of magic inside of myself. A magic that can heal some of the hurt this world gives us all.

    There were lots of small little moments leading me here... But one day it just clicked. POOF I can see. There is no beam of thunder waiting to smack me down. The loving force which creates us all isn't lying in wait to torture us. This construct which I've placed so much value in was just made men. But just... people. No magic force. So therefore it's not wrong to believe in the magic within myself (cheesy but true)... I don't need anyone to give me the answers because I can decide them for myself. I can TRUST myself.

    This is rambling and I apologize. But seeing the man behind the curtain is truly a lifesaving moment for me. It's scary, but freeing.

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  6. *Reposting because my old blogger profile (I haven't used this thing is years!) still had a bunch of Mormon stuff on it


    I left! My testimony unraveled after having my first child. Physically along with my family during covid, my husband specifically during the Black Live Matter protests. Years ago I thought I would never leave. I also thought Mormonism wasn't as hard or obviously wrong because we didn't believe in hell or had the burden of taking the Bible seriously word for word.

    But there was all the other stuff. Doing everything that the church asked is what caused me to leave. I excelled at being Mormon but after all was said and done I was like, that it? All that hoopla for this? Also if they believe Joseph Smith is going to heaven then I'm EASILY IN. Same for Brigham. All I have to do is not do genocide or marry a teen!

    I could write much more. But just want to raise my hand say I'm in community with y'all too. I'm here because I'm out and I'm happy to be here.

    1. Merritt, your comment, ugh. I have been struggling to cut the cord. I have been out for a few years, but have not removed my records and I've been trying to figure out why it is so hard. I think you nailed it. I was SO good at being a Mormon. The rules, the responsibililty. Being good is my jam. And now, I KNOW the rules are crap, I know the standards are stupid, I KNOW I was being straight up lied to for YEARS, but finding the courage to break the final "rule" is going to do me in.

  7. Not mormon and never have been, but here just to say how happy this post makes me. I love who you've become, Natalie. I have always rooted for you and seeing what a bad ass you are now just filled me with so much pride. This post fills me with so much hope for other mormons. My one connection to the church, an aunt/uncle + two cousins....they have all now left. I can't believe they did it! I would have NEVER seen that coming, but the past couple of years shed a lot of light for them and they all individually left as well. I'm so proud of every single one of you out there doing the same because I can only imagine how hard it is to leave a community you've loved for so long. My heart goes out to all of you.


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