I've said bits and pieces about my deconversion in threads, but this is what led me to leave christianity. Unlike most here, I do not come from a religious family. Growing up with both parents, they never talked about god or anything religious. They never really cared about that. When I was about 7 or 8 there was this teacher in my elementary school who was from a Catholic background, I don't know if she was Roman Catholic or not, but she was pretty religious.
She'd talk about god, jesus, satan, and hell in our class. No teacher had ever done that before, even though I was living in Central America at the time, which is known to be Roman Catholic. I've lived in 3 continents before I was 10 years old. Anyway, I was kind of curious when she talked about that, because I think that's when god was first introduced to me. My parents never spoke about god when I was little, I think that they didn't because they thought I was probably too young to decide that.
Because I was curious, I actually went up to my teacher privately and asked her about it and she insisted that it was the truth. Then at home, I'd talk to my parents about it, particularly my mom and she was pretty much like, "What? No. Don't believe her." I wish I had listened to her, but no, I thought that my teacher was somehow right. I don't know why I thought that, I thought that since she was a teacher, she knew better, even though my parents were teachers themselves and went to college and got their teaching degrees. Anyway I decided to believe my teacher.
Shortly after, my parents got divorced, my mom met my stepdad and they decided to move to the states. My stepfather had a religious cousin of his with a family, we went with them to church on holidays and sometimes on certain sundays. Religion was never a big thing for my stepdad, he was someone who said he believed in jesus christ and that since jc died for him then he could do whatever he wanted. I don't know if he ever really bought into the salvation message.
When I was 13 my mom and stepdad got divorced, which really sucked. We kept in touch with that religious cousin of his, even though he was religious, he was good towards our family. For my 13th birthday, one of the things that they gave me was a bible. I was curious about it, so I started reading Genesis, I got through most of it, even though it was somewhat boring. After all going to church on ocassion you do get to hear how jesus died for the sins of mankind, and we need him and the threat of hell. I made it through until I got to the part about Jacob wrestling the angel and I didn't understand it. I tried so hard but it just didn't make any sense to me. So I abandoned it.
Then I hit high schol and ugh what a horrible time that was. Most people in college now don't think that because I've changed, but yeah it was horrible. I hated it. It was all about who's popular and I've been there before,, it didn't interest me anymore. I quit caring about who's popular, it also was stupid to me when people would go out and then break up within a week. I went through someone who used to be well-liked, people knew me and everything, to being treated horrible.
We also decided to move to another city in AZ and my friends went to another school. It was very hard to take all of this especially when you're 14, but I learned a lot on how to treat people. I learned that everyone is human and to not make friends based on who has what and other materialistic shit.
I began having questions about life and god. I got really curious. So I did a lot of research, met some christians at my high school, particularly this one girl who was the daughter of a pastor. We began to be friends, we had a lot in common, and later on in my junior year I found out she was bisexual. It was kind of strange because we knew that xianity told us that being gay was wrong, and I didn't want her to go to hell, she was my friend. The best friend that I ever had back in high school. She really had my back. I got in a fight with my parents once, actually ran away from home, and she picked me up and took me back to her house with her folks, and we just dealt with it.
So no one else knew that she was bisexual, except me, a couple of friends, and her family. Her parents gave her all sorts of books on why homosexuality is wrong. It was horrible for her. Ugh. I can't imagine how she dealt with it. So she really rocked as a person and a friend, I'll never forget her. Sadly, she went away to bible college on her parents orders, mainly her father who was a pastor. I don't know if she's still there or what? I hope she's happy, that's all I want for my friends.
Back in high school, there was a book that came out in the late 90s called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. That book really fucked me up. It was anti-dating and anything related to it. So I graduated from high school without going on a date, making out, being kissed, etc. I wasn't completely innocent because I've seen porn before, etc.
High school felt like a prison to me. I was happy that I did graduate, now I wish that I had dropped out and gotten my GED. I didn't learn that much from the crappy education they teach here at AZ in public schools, and a high school diploma doesn't mean much. All employers care about is if you have something.
Now my parents say that they regret making me go all through high school, where I hated most of the people there, they come from the mindset that education is everything, but they now say that they should've listened and not made me go. Well I don't blame them, they're not perfect, so I moved on. I really can't change the past, neither can my parents. I understand why they said those things back in the day.
Sometimes I still think that maybe I should have done more to fit in, I know that if I really wanted to, it would've happened. I just didn't care, I just thought it was all superficial bull. I learned to be my own person, to stand up for myself, to really care about people, and now if someone's been through any bullying, I know what that's like. Some other horrible stuff happened, like getting sexually harassed in chemistry class.
My teacher actually took me aside and asked me if I wanted to press charges. I said no. I was so embarrassed that it had happened, couldn't believe that it had happened. I wasn't the type of girl who wore short shorts or gave any guys "come-hither" looks. I don't like playing games or any of that bull. I never flirted with this guy or anything like that. It was also during test day, and I bombed that test. Ugh. I also didn't tell my mom until last year that it had happened, and she got all pissed off. I did bump into this guy in college once and never again. It was kind of ironic, he didn't say anything. I didn't say anything. We parted ways.
After high school, I went to college immediately, I lasted two semesters and then withdrew. In my 2nd semester as a freshman, which was the Spring semester, I got serious about God, having a relationship with him and Jesus Christ, I got serious about hell, prayer, church, etc. Started going to a non-denominational church. I thought that Jesus Christ was the truth, the way and the light. I didn't want to go to hell.
I also had some shit to deal with after all that had happened to me in high school, and then issues with my real father, not the stepdad though. Anyway, I began to pray, began to read christian books, see xian movies, and basically be exposed to xian media. I began to think that harry potter and anything "secular" was wrong. Ugh. All the money I spent on my madonna cds, my harry potter book collection, I'm a huge entertainment dork so I shelled out the money for special edition sets, etc.
I got sick of how I'm going to hell, nothing I did for god was ever good enough, I hated feeling guilty for being human, for watching movies and listening to music that was great. I hated all the guilt attached to xianity. How other xians shunned me because I said I didn't want to watch The Passion of the Christ. I wasn't sure about dying for jesus, whenever someone asked my take on what would I do if I was ever faced with a gun to my head about my beliefs.
Finally a xian friend said to not worry about it, he explained that people don't know what they will do, they think they know but no one really knows until they get there. Maybe some who would deny him would actually die for him, and those who have claimed they would die, probably wouldn't. After all we've seen that example from the bible itself.
I had huge issues with the bible's take on women, the bible's stance is very degrading. The church treats women as 2nd class citizens. I would try to believe the bible 100% and couldn't always buy everything in it. Like submission, I just couldn't swallow it hook, line and sinker. I never want to be in a relationship where the guy and I tell each other, "you can't do this, wear that, go with them, etc." Ugh. That would be hellish.
From the time that I withdrew after my freshman year, I lasted three years in xianity. When I hit 21, I was so sick of it. But my life depended on christianity, on god, on my relationship with jesus christ and that I didn't want to go to hell. I started acting really paranoid. I was praying and waiting on god's will, seeing my life pass me by, being a ghost in it, and watching others enjoy their life.
God's will never came, I wasted three years when I could've been in college getting my degree in something, anything and instead of being 23 and back in college with 18 and 19 year olds (no offense, its just that I feel old and a total loser next to them), I could have been at a entry-level job somewhere. I wouldn't have to work as a telemarketer and take on the shitty jobs that you would when you're a student.
During this time, I went to church a lot, socialized with xians, I prayed a lot, worked and did my xian thing. Ugh. Finally I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I was so scared of hell, and there was this guy online who was harrassing me about god and jebus. He was a fundy who I talked online and on the phone, but never met. He was really freaky.
I don't know what it was, but when I was 21, in the fall of 2004. I saw the truth for what it was, what xianity was, I didn't want to live my life this way anymore. Left church. I began working on my issues, especially with xianity, christmas 2004 really sucked for me. I hated anything that had to do with jesus, god, the holy ghost, etc. I hated it all. During December all the radio stations start playing christmas/holiday theme music, but christmas music more than anything. I turned off the radio anytime jesus related lyrics came on.
It was not a good time to deconvert. In January 2005, I began deal with my daddy issues. I think that I was ready for it, I went to counseling, talked to my mom. My whole life I had been mad at my real father for the shit that he did, he was worse than my stepdad. Anyway in January 2005, I was just pissed off that he was still affecting my life. I hated being angry and mad at him, I just hated it. I haven't seen him since I was 9 or 10 years old but I had a lot of issues and I remember the things that he would do to my mom and me. Nothing horrific, thankfully, just verbal/emotional abuse that stuck through.
I didn't want to be mad at him anymore, I didn't want to hate him or anyone, so I dealt with it. It took a while but I was able to come to terms with things in 2005. Now I don't hate him anymore. My mom explained his past to me, which was so sad, I actually cried about it. Now I understand why he did the things that he did. I wish we could have had a better relationship than we actually did. But we don't know where he is or anything like that. Even if we did, would he be mature enough to do better now? I would be willing to try with a mature father, but who knows?
It took me most of 2005 to deal with issues of the past few years, sometimes I'm still dealing with it, but somehow its not as bad as it was. I feel more freedom to be human, to live my life, to enjoy it because we only get one of it. No one gets to come back and do it over again. If only, right?
Anyway, most of all I'm no longer a ghost in my own life. I am not watching it pass me by anymore. I'm making better friends, with others, I've taken the lessons from my own high school experience with me and I still treat people as human beings. I'm not always perfect, sometimes I make bad choices, sometimes I mess up, but I always try to be better. Best of all I got my Madonna cds back!
Ugh, I didn't realize how long this was. I'm sorry about that folks.