An ex-Mormon woman has spoken candidly about her regret for letting her religion spoil her understanding of love — describing how she married and divorced at age 24 after feeling “unworthy” for being “unworthy.” would not tie the knot at a young age.
Kristjana Hillberg, 32, of South Dakota, says she always didn’t deserve love and happiness when she was part of the Mormon church, but it wasn’t until she got married at 21 that she realized it was actually the rigid religious values that she held. had. once held so close to her made her feel incompetent.
From an early age, Kristjana learned that the role of a Mormon woman in life was to establish herself as an obedient housewife. Gender stereotypes that pushed men as breadwinners and women as housewives and made her believe that this was all she could ever be.
Kristjana Hillberg, an ex-Mormon, has revealed she regrets that her religion has distorted her understanding of love
The 32-year-old, from South Dakota, married at age 21 (pictured) and divorced at age 24 after feeling trapped by the beliefs of the Mormon church
She noted that her upbringing often made her feel unworthy and felt she had to play the role of obedient housewife
In an interview with Insiderthe ex-Mormon revealed that in high school she was told it was a woman’s duty to “replenish the earth,” and taught that if she drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, and had sex before marriage, she sinner.
Although as a woman she wanted to empower others, she learned to put her personal thoughts aside because they were inconsistent with the beliefs of the Church.
“In such a strict religion where everything is off limits and you don’t question anything, you just have blind faith, if you have ‘bad’ thoughts you just pray them away,” Kristjana told Insider.
When Kristjana was in college, she was a victim of sexual assault, and learning that premarital sex was a serious sin, she began to internalize that belief, and because she was drunk, she convinced herself that she deserved the assault and that she the one who had to repent for her sins.
After the attack, the now 32-year-old found herself doing everything she could to escape the negative thoughts that told her she was unworthy, such as partying continuously.
Two years later, she met a fellow student and a Mormon who “changed the belief in me that no one would ever love me,” she said.
While dating him, she was shocked at how accepting he was toward her, despite her breaking the rules when it came to alcohol, sex, and drugs, especially since he was the son of a Mormon bishop, who is the leader of the mormon church.
In an interview with Insider, the ex-Mormon revealed that in high school she was told it was a woman’s duty to “replenish the earth”
After suffering sexual assault, Kristjana found herself doing everything she could to escape the negative thoughts that told her she was unworthy, such as partying continuously.
She married a fellow Mormon at age 21, but couldn’t escape feelings of unworthiness (pictured with her mother, who is still a member of the Church)
What It Takes To Be A Mormon: 10 Rules Members Must Follow To Be A Part Of The Church
- No alcohol, tea, coffee or caffeinated drinks of any kind
- no drugs
- No premarital sex, contraception or abortion
- No vulgar language
- No single mothers or surrogate mothers
- No homosexuality
- Don’t gamble
- no tattoos
- Women are not allowed to wear sleeveless tops
- No dating before age 16
The two married after nine months together, during which time they abstained from sex. After their marriage, they had a child together.
And while Kristjana was glad he accepted her for who she was, she couldn’t shake her mind that she wanted to do something more with her life.
As her now ex-husband traveled for work and spent time alone and with their baby, she began to question the beliefs the Church had instilled in her, especially when it came to family dynamics.
She felt she had everything the Church had told her, but still she was not happy.
“I fought all these inner feelings of, ‘You’re extremely selfish. You just have to like to be confident and quiet and do your job, Kris,” she told Insider.
Kristjana tried to be happy and grateful for the part she was supposed to play, but she couldn’t shake the feelings of unworthiness.
She felt like she could never escape her life or her thoughts. She knew she could no longer live within the beliefs of the Mormon Church that fueled her shame and low self-esteem.
Just before she turned 25, she filed for divorce, left church, and began her healing process through therapy, which helped her find peace and joy.
She started trying new things, becoming a burlesque dancer and co-creating Step Into Your Magic, a course designed to help those struggling to figure out their true selves and what they want from life.
Just before she turned 25, she filed for divorce, left church and began her healing process through therapy, which helped her find peace and joy.
She started trying new things, became a burlesque dancer and remarried a non-Mormon named Keith Hillberg (pictured)
Now Kristjna is a mother of three and happier than ever because she has found comfort beyond the boundaries of religion
Now Kristina is married to a non-Mormon, Kurt Hillberg, with whom she has two children.
She and her ex-husband co-parent their 10-year-old daughter and Kristjna commented that he’s a “wonderful” dad, but says she doesn’t regret filing for divorce.
The mother of three added that her marriage to Kurt makes her feel safe outside the boundaries of religion and has helped her find her passions while coming to terms with her true self.
‘It was a lot of experimentation and still, I’m shifting and unlearning and figuring out. But I’m more myself now. I go strictly from my intuition and what feels right,’
“It’s so different from when I was in my early twenties to say, ‘Oh my God, God hates me.'”