I wrote an introductory thread where I tried to explain my extimony, but it was poorly written and even more poorly thought out. I included details I didn't need and left out important details, so here's my official story.
I was born with a disability called spina bifida. I can walk, albeit with a limp, but I do have other, more embarrassing problems with it. I was ridiculed in school for my disability, as well as for being a young, outspoken Christian in a Christian family. When the ridicule began in first grade, I tried to take solace in my family and my church. During that time, I was sexually abused by a family member. I also began to display signs of bipolar disorder, in addition to the PTSD that was growing worse as my circumstances persisted.
My Dad became abusive, and I developed passive aggression. Our relationship deteriorated as my Mother stood by as the good submissive wife. My sister and I had the normal sibling rivalry, but we never really grew close. At church, my family put on a good face, but I was labeled as a mild troublemaker as time went on. I began to get in verbal and physical fights, and I resisted going to the kids' programs like choir (run by the wench of a pastor's wife). At one point, I was literally tackled by five or six of the kids at church and dragged into the sanctuary for choir.
As things deteriorated, I became more hostile toward life itself. I made almost three dozen attempts to kill myself up to this point (and that's where the attempts will end). My sister became the preferred child, taught all the lessons she needed to succeed in life. I was essentially left in the pool to learn for myself--lessons I did not learn well. Guilt and shame were the weights on my shoulders. I was made to believe I would never be good enough for anyone, and it was my fault. I tried saying the Sinner's Prayer multiple times. I answered every "altar call."
The more I worshiped, studied, praised, and prayed, the further away from God I felt. I fell into a pornography addiction, self-injury, suicidal depressions, manic--borderline psychotic--episodes, and my criticism of the Church began to flare. I fought back against the idea that I was a wreck entirely by my own hand. I was constantly told to shut up, sit down, and behave. I prayed to God and sought out subcultures of the Church I might fit into. I wanted help. I tried to find a therapist. I researched mental illnesses on my own--because I felt something was different about me--and tried to present my parents with evidence for bipolar disorder.
"We're tired of your rebellious attitude. You need to pray and ask God to correct your attitude."
Finally, in May of 2014, I was diagnosed with help from my mentor. I stayed at the "mental hospital" for almost two weeks, and I've met with my therapist for over a year. Finally, I've dealt with the PTSD, and it's managed (not cured). The bipolar is managed as well. My therapist encouraged me to really consider what the beliefs at my core were, and what I might need to change. That's when I really took a good, hard look at my faith. I had figured out at that point that the Southern Baptists were wrong. I had left them when I was 18, though I considered them "Brethren" until last year.
It took me a few more months to realize the Church itself was corrupt in its entirety, despite the legitimately good intentions of many of its members. I saw few differences between Christians and non-Christians. They were all seemingly blessed and cursed alike, despite how much they prayed and petitioned God (or didn't). The dominant difference I saw between the two groups was in their attitude toward life. Christians are by far the most judgmental, self-serving, backstabbing people I have ever met. They want control of it all. Period. End of agenda.
In August 2014, I declared myself an agnostic--to myself. I now do not believe in a god I'm willing to follow, even if the Judeo-Christian God exists. I don't know what title that makes me, but I am not so concerned about the title. The belief (and lack thereof) is more important. I have met only three Christians I still trust, and all three of them describe themselves as "Christians who hate Christians." They may be misguided, but their intentions are sincere, and they're what I would describe as good people.
As for me, I want no part of the Church. I want no part of God's "love." I only want to live my life, which I am finally able to do, free of the guilt and shame I endured for so long. I am done trying to chase God like a puppy chasing a dump truck, only to get run over and dumped on. I'm done following an imaginary thing's rules. To quote "Serenity:"
No more runnin'. I aim to misbehave.