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Hello everyone. Just going to forewarn this is a heavy hitter of a post, so if that's not what anyone wants to deal with, I can understand if no one wants to read beyond this point. I'm basically typing here with no other avenue or way to go.

For some context: I have several autoimmune diseases and PTSD. My life hasn't been easy from the start, and I won't get into the details. I'll just say that if it wasn't for the gospel, I'd have committed suicide long ago with every justification to. No matter what's happened, though, I've never been alone.

The important bit for this post is the more recent past. Before I realized my autoimmune problems, I became deathly ill at the age of 28. In the struggle to learn enough to survive and then figure out what was going on, I ended up with my adopted dad (who was originally our stepdad). My biological father left long ago and my mother was already dead from cancer. My brother was in financial dire straits, so we were all in the same house together. My brother was humble and kind in learning of my situation as I did. My adopted dad was detached. He eventually told my brother to get out of the house, putting him in a highly stressful job that he wasn't able to get out of right away. I was really worried for him, and could do nothing. Then my dad and I moved several states away to Utah, where without friends I went through some really bad negligence.

I had been going to my ward about the unmet needs and no one was doing anything. The bishop went to my dad, my dad said, "Oh, no prob, I'll take care of it," and then did nothing. Didn't even tell me they met. I only knew when the bishop told me. I had been trying for months to get results. As my situation slowly unfolded, my best friend decided to move to Utah and stay with some cousins to look into going to BYU and on a mission. (I was the one who introduced him to the church and walked with him to baptism and beyond.) The weekend after he moved within an hour of me, my life fell apart into a life-threatening mess. I was forced to run with a few days' clothes and my medicine. My friend drove me around in his car while we looked for help and put me up in hotels. When the money ran out for that, I slept in his car. My dad didn't even notice I was missing for 3 days.

We both went around looking for help. My visiting teacher told me to stop staying at home feeling sorry for myself and to get a job. My Relief Society President basically flailed and said, "I have a family! I didn't ask for this! She just needs to make up with her dad!" My bishop tried to be everyone's friend and thought my dad and I only needed to talk. He fell for my dad's front, and didn't see him getting furious with his efforts to get us to make up. I went to the stake president while homeless and he just quoted Alma talking to his son about his own sins instead of someone else's. I then was like, "Where will I sleep tonight?"

And he was basically like, "I don't know, but I promised my wife I'd be home by 10:30 so good luck with that." He said he could only bounce things back to my bishop.

We tried talking to missionaries, who pointed us to a mission president. He said that he couldn't do anything because of the structure of the church.

My friend's bishop was the only person to listen and give me a blessing, which helped.

My friend's cousins didn't believe I was having all this trouble and refused to let me sleep at their house. They were at least honest enough to point out they were not a long-term solution.

Eventually, my options of who I could go to for help dwindled to 2 homeless shelters, one with a 6-month wait list, picking where I'd go in the mountains of Utah to die, or call my brother and hope he was on his feet enough.

The whole time of this, my friend and I were praying and walking temple grounds since he couldn't yet be in the temple. I have been worthy of a temple recommend the entire time this has been happening.

My brother was at least doing well enough on his own, but it was going to be tough for me to join him. (He is also an atheist.) We crammed into a one-bedroom apartment and within a week it was flooded. A couple months later, his car was broken into. We haven't been able to afford everything I've needed for medicine, so my best friend in Utah pays for a hefty monthly prescription. My dad washed his hands of us as soon as I arrived, and my ward sent my records to Japan. They couldn't get rid of me fast enough.

I turned to the ward here with some dim hope that it might be better. The bishop here heard us both out for an hour and a half. After the roller coaster of a story I've told here, he just said the church doesn't provide long-term support. He wasn't willing to do anything but assign me a visiting teacher, who is also the super busy relief society president. 8 months later and I don't have home teachers, no one to give me a blessing. As a nice gesture they sent us holiday food, half of which we can't even use, and then collectively patted themselves on the back for being united as a ward in a Christmas letter. When I've vented to my one visiting teacher about this, she said that I need to stand up to the bishop. Never mind that I explained more than once that every time I fight with someone, I'm the one who gets sick and goes down for awhile from it with no results. Waste of energy. I have no problem with fighting, I just need to very carefully and strategically pick my battles.

Thing is, it's not even about that. Money isn't the issue here. At this point, I've all but been officially kicked out of the church. I listen to these talks and quotes from leaders talking about the world and the church like there's some huge difference. My experience is that the church is more the great and spacious building than the world is. It's the non-members who have been kinder, more accepting, and more helpful. No charity or government support in the world can heal what's happened to me. The attitude I keep running into in the church is to go to one of those for financial aid, slap on my mask, and show back up at church like everything is fine.

Meanwhile, my dad continues to live in his upper middle class lifestyle. He continues to be adored by his ward, continues to be in the high priest group, continues to be a temple worker, and even got remarried and attached to another family in the beginning of December. My brother still keeps in contact with him. I don't. The last time I tried to talk about everything that's happened he was like, "I don't know what your problem is!"

The last thing I said to him was "Piss off."

And as salt to the wound, every time my best friend or brother brings up my situation to members they're all like, "Wow, you're so selfless and amazing taking care of her!"

Excuse me? I have fought and fought and fought to survive despite people's best efforts to kill me. I have not simply been a damsel in distress being carried by rescuers. They think it's been easy for me?! My friend and brother have believed me, the only 2 people who have, and the only 2 people unwilling to let me die because I'm too much of an inconvenience. If I wasn't a fighter myself I wouldn't have survived to the point of finding anyone who believed me.

At this point, I've come to hate the church. I love the gospel. I always will. I hate the church almost as much.

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Hi @Eternum.  Cool avatar.  

I understand much of what your pain here.  I too have been in the position where the Gospel is my solo lifeline, and learning to have to forgive the flawed people at church, and learning how to stand on my own two feet.  Each road is very difficult-- but in the miracles of God it is possible.

Anyway, welcome to the forum!

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Hi welcome! Yes I have seen some highly flawed things in the church. Yes we had a homeless woman who I tried fruitlessly to get help for from the relief society. The system even when it does work is very slow, full of holes and also full of the incompetent. My country has a much better social welfare system so we have fewer problems of this kind but even so sometimes people fall through the ctacks in both systems and they fall hard. I worked as a summer student for a service that paired volunteer advocates with seniors who needed help getting through the bureacracy of social services. I heard that the uk had such a service. I think that church systems often only function if the helping participants are semiretired or there are a lot of stay at home moms. When you have families in which both partners work, how on earth does home teaching or visiting teaching work if there is crisis? In my ward they are urging us just to say hi to each at church or send a message on Facebook. There is no one to help if there is a problem. The social services only seem to work in theory not in practice. 

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