Hello and Welcome!
Leaving a religious system is A LOT of work. You are taking a step into a new wilderness. It can be disorienting. When you subscribe, you’ll get content each week (along with access to the full archive) to help you personally process, heal and thrive in the new paradigms that come with leaving Mormonism.
Who am I?
My name is Ashmae Hoiland (she/her) (Ashley mae, but most people call me Ashmae). My mom was a convert to Mormonism when I was seven-years old, and my Dad came back to the church after a long hiatus at the same time. I grew up in the heart of Mormon-land, Provo.
I was all in through my teenage years. I very much loved Mormonism. Into my 30’s I was a progressive defender of the faith. I even wrote a book in 2016 for the Maxwell Institute, 100 Birds Taught Me to Fly. I knew at the time of writing it that Mormonism was no longer tenable for me, but I was desperate to find a way to stay and make change.
Soon after, in the fallout of hundreds of people emailing and wanting to talk about the pain of trying to make Mormonism work for them, despite it causing cognitive chaos in their lives, I knew I could no longer uphold a system that harmed so many.
I did what felt like the bravest thing I could do at the time, and took a step into the wilderness and cut my ties with the religion that raised me. It was and is hard, but along with that is an expansion of beauty, tenderness and understanding that feels entirely new. I’ve never regretted my decision to leave, but I do know that it takes a lot of work to heal, re-orient, and thrive.
I am certainly no guru on the subject of leaving a religion and thriving. Along with joy and awe, I’ve experienced depression, doubt in my abilities, and feeling totally disoriented.
I wrote Letters to a Leaving Mormon primarily for myself and I am grateful for what writing taught me—that I am more complex and mysterious than I thought inside of Mormonism. I spent the better part of a year writing, re-writing, editing, and writing some more. My hope is that the result of that writing can in some way be useful to you in your own process of living a life after Mormonism.
What to Expect here
As a paid subscriber for the next year you will get:
Chapters / essays from the book each month
Monthly Writing prompts on the current topic
Visualizations each month to help you write and articulate your own story
New episode of the podcast on the current topic
Access to the complete archive of posts
Community on this platform
All content delivered straight to your inbox
Occasional meet-ups via zoom
Occasional extra resources and posts
Why a Pay wall?
I thought a lot about the best way to go about offering this content. We all know that the internet and social media platforms can quickly become clogged with voyeurism, critics, and naysayers. It can be difficult to navigate and, speaking from experience, it is easy to fall back into the pattern of feeling like you’re “not doing it right”. I knew that I wanted to create as safe a space as possible by making sure that people who are intentional about being here are what the community is comprised of.
Honestly, I’d love to offer all of this for free (the Mormon woman in me runs deep), I know it is an important part of my own healing process to value my own time, energy, intellect and emotional work. It is a lot.
That being said, if finances are tight and money is a barrier to you being here, please reach out and we will make something work.
You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every essay, set of writing prompts, recorded visualizations to help you write and process, and zoom meeting invite goes directly to your inbox.
Thank you so much for your support and for being here. There is no right or wrong way to do life after Mormonism and I am grateful for the community in which that can be true. Remember that you are brave, valuable and your story matters.