DanForsman

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About DanForsman

  • Rank
    Doubter

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    San Francisco East Bay
  • Interests
    hiking/walking, vegan diet, smaller houses and less stuff, sustainable world population size, economy not built on growth
  • More About Me
    I am looking for something meaningful to focus on in retirement. I value independent thought and believe that world peace is an achievable goal.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No thanks; I have had enough now.

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607 profile views
  1. This topic may be a ways down the road for you husband. He has to decide if he is willing, considering the children and all the other things you have in common and your continued commitment to him, whether or not he is willing to give the unequally yoked situation that you are proposing a try. How trustworthy and how changed you are or are not can only be discovered through the trials of time. There is a starting over aspect with some genuinely new ground to cover so quite possibly the only way to move forward will be to go slowly one small step at a time. He’ll need to do some reconstructing of his doctrinal views (but in fact this is something Christians are pretty good at once they really want something) so just stay on your path and allow him the time and space to make a well considered decision. He has a lot to lose PurpleLilac so I think you can more or less hang back and let him figure that out for himself. It will quite possibly come up that you’ve broken a promise of commitment to God that he counted on as fundamental to the marriage and I do think you are on very solid ground there by explaining that your beliefs are not something you decide but are based on what you truly believe looking at everything relevant to the subject and that a lot of information regarding Christianity was not even readily available to you at the time of your marriage. I call this safe ground because you are not saying that your conclusion is absolutely correct you are only saying you have done your very best to come to a well considered opinion and at the present time you have no real choice but to stand behind that opinion. I’m sure we’ll all, including lurkers, be interested to find out whatever your telling about you counseling sessions. We’ll be pulling you; you can count on that.
  2. Maybe you should check into exactly what Christian church your boyfriend is under the influence of. Most of the emotional cults are not open to considering any even slight divergence from whatever doctrine is included in their statement of faith. That would mean all “spiritual but not religious” types are hell bound so you would be nowhere near the A group. Having read what you’ve posted here I would think B. But the fascinating thing would be to put this question to your love interest and see what he says.
  3. Hi again PurpleLilac. You are doing great and good luck with your counseling that starts Monday. The thing about leaving the church and taking on the full weight of responsibility for your life is that you can’t expect more from yourself than you did from what was previously your god. Just like the old god you can’t guarantee results. Even though you are free to take a much more reasonable thoughtful approach to problem solving than you could under the influence of your old god you don’t ultimately control the outcomes of those problem solving efforts. It seems to me that such a good part of our lives is spent trying to solve problems or better our lives that we put ourselves in danger of putting off our happiness while waiting for the right result here and there over and over. I’ve become pretty successful in switching my goals from needing to see desired results to being satisfied with facing problems directly and putting in an appropriate and reasonable attempt to address the situation. You really are putting in a great effort here PurpleLilac. You know what you want and you’ve come up with a plan and are actively working towards a solution. There isn’t more that human beings have in their control. Be kind to yourself and patient and understanding. Mostly take pride in yourself the same way you would in your daughter if someday she found herself in a difficult situation like yours and worked as thoughtfully and wisely to resolve it as you do now. It’s ok to give yourself credit right now because you are doing exactly the right things. Another thing about relying on particular outcomes is that they can seem so terrible at a certain time and then a few years down the road look like the best thing ever. Just keep within yourself and keep playing your own game as best you can and then if maybe everything seems to start falling apart sometime or another you’ll be able to keep yourself protected so you can continue doing the best you can dealing with one thing at a time. With no god out there we have to learn to value ourselves and reward ourselves for doing the things we can do always taking into account we’re only human. You’re doing great and you’re a thoughtful parent and great roll model for your children.
  4. MOHO hit the two things that jumped out at me LostinParis. First of all you did everything right in the calm conversation with your husband that ended with him apologizing. Great job!! The second point is that when you double the number of firm disbelievers in a small family like yours you really shift the power dynamics. Great that your son is so level headed and therefore can almost certainly be counted on to back you up. Your husband is already working on this uncomfortable development in his mind i’m sure. He doesn’t want to have this blow up in his face so I suspect this 2 atheist issue is going to make him more willing to compromise in hopes of keeping it as under the table as much as possible. I’m also glad to hear that you have started to assert yourself more and more. You really have to for your own sake and then of course you can never think that your daughters aren’t watching your every move trying to figure out how to handle this situation or that. Anyhow I think you’re already doing great and are super lucky to have the son that have. “God” gave you your very own DNA and maybe it’s your responsibility to express that as fully as you possibly can.
  5. Wow LostinParis you are getting a ton of info and brain storming of possible responses here! Good for you. I totally have to add my two cents. I think you do need to say something in the near future to stick up for yourself and also to give your husband a chance by letting him know how what he says and feels affects you. So in my view the question is just regarding what you should say and how you say it. I’m not partial about whether you start with a letter or a conversation but I think (as I nearly always advise lately) you should stay away from specific reasons for why Christianity comes up short of it’s promises. Just be clear you’ve made a considered opinion that is not very likely to change and maybe say he can look at a book that explains some of your concerns (pick your favorite) or that if he really wants to hear specifically from you that you will be willing to respond to his specific questions as long as the conversation remains low keyed. I just think these discussions of what’s wrong with Christianity head into a never ending circle of conflict and bruised egos. Especially in your case because what needs to be discussed is whether or not Mr LostinParis is willing to venture into an unequally yoked relationship with you. You are both committed to your religious/non religious positions and you want to continue with the marriage even with the difficulties inherent in the situation, but does he? It can’t work if he has absolutely nothing to offer (as for example Mrs HOHO did offer a bit) regarding letting you make your own decisions impacting your own soul. And this goes into my last item. I know you say you have a good husband and i’m sure that is true in very many areas but I can’t help but suspect that he is also very patriarchal because of his inability after all these years of living with you to show absolutely any respect whatever for your judgment. No doubt it is easiest and probably hasn’t seemed like that big of a deal to subjugate your own feelings and thoughts to your husband’s over the years but you may one day come to discover that you have given too much of yourself away and have a very big price to pay when you have to go in search of your true self. If this is possibly the case your need to start sticking up for and making much more accommodation for your own thoughts and feelings. You didn’t really disclose a lot so there is necessarily a lot of guessing going on but just throw away the stuff that doesn’t make any sense. Good luck and good for you for wanting to take up for yourself in this instance. Who knows? Maybe this will turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened in you marriage as well as in your parenting. Patriarchy is damaging to children both directly and through the roll modeling of harmful relationships. So glad you came to this site LostinParis where we really do want the best for you.
  6. Such a clearly written piece mrspearl. I can’t help but wonder how your life would have unfolded if you had been raised with reasonsble explainations of who you are and why your here and reasonable explainations for what your world is and what affects the behaviors of yourself and other people and what might be reasonable goals to set in order to have a happy fulfilling life. In so many ways it seems incredible to believe that humanity has learned nothing in any of these areas over the last however many thousands of years that we would conclude that continually searching back over ancient texts to find specific detailed descriptions of exact behaviors to copy as perfectly as possible would be the wisest choice for all situations. Three failed marriages in a row seems like a reasonable outcome from such an approach. Good for you for breaking the cycle and putting yourself in the position as a parent to give you children a truly reasonable chance to become the best humans that they can be. If I had to pick an age when the teachings of Christianity were the most difficult for me I would guess 4 years old. I suspect I was a child much like the 5 year old you described who thought deeply about the things they were told. Like the Bible teaching that there were people who would think they were saved but would discover too late that they were not and that many would want salvation but few would achieve it. Some would rise to meet Christ in the rapture and some would be left behind. Like your 5 year old self I responded to the call a number of times but I don’t believe the feeling of knowing I was saved ever lasted more than a few days. Besides the cruelty of subjecting thoughtful children to these horrific fears I wonder what if all that energy and interest in life had not been wasted on made up scary stories. Surely we would have entered young adulthood much better prepared for what we would actually find. Thanks for this contribution and the others you have been making here.
  7. Thank you so much MOHO. It's a wonderful thing to feel appreciated. The internet is amazing in what it has done to help people who are questioning their religion to have readily available information (including things contrary to what is taught in churches) anonymously. My heart goes out to people and especially children who are wanting or trying to free themselves from these damaging cults. I retired last week and am thinking of starting a Recovering From Religion local group as part of my plan for creating a fulfilling new phase in my life. I believe you and I and everyone who contributes here are performing a much needed service that just wasn't available back when I was 13, 14, and 15 and would so much have appreciated a place like this to talk about what I was thinking and the problems I was facing. Your enthusiasm and genuineness come through so clearly (along with your sense of humor) in your frequent posts. Keep up the good work! It's great to be participating on this site with you.
  8. You're an inspiration mrspearl! You should be very proud of yourself. You have handled your bad situation perfectly! Is't it noteworthy how turning down that $300 a week that you needed so desperately at the time paid you such such huge dividends in terms of your selfrespect and resolve to succeed on your own. It's so good to hear how well you're doing. Glad to have you here with us and hopefully being part of our community will facilitate your continuing recovery. Thank you for participating on our site which I'm sure offers hope to others who find themselves in difficult situations.
  9. Hi Viktor. It's really good to have you here on this site. I am so very sorry to hear of what you've been goingb through!! Don't let deperssion ruin your life or cause you to take some unfounded actions. If you start having suicidal thoughts again please seek help immediately. Call the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) or you can Skype the US hotline completely free at 1-800-273-8255 but please don't ever try to go through an episode of considering or even toying with the idea of suicide all by yourself. The lines are staffed with the most sensitive caring well trained individuals who are typically volunteering their time just to be available to help anyone of us who is having these thoughts. I also think you would benefit greatly by reading Marlene Winell"s book, Leaving The Fold, and also taking a look at her website: https://www.marlenewinell.net/. She specializes in helping people like us make the difficult transition away from these cult like Christian religions and helps us recognize and recover from the surprisingly great mental harm these religions cause (for example from fears left implanted in our minds). Before i leave this part I want to recomend if at all possible financially to get treatment or at least a one time evaluation session with a good secular therapist regarding your depression, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, empty feelings, etc. Above all learn how to take good care of yourself and practice that every day. I give this advice often here but think about yourself as the ideal parent and how understanding, available, forgiving, encouraging, patient, etc. you would be and then work toward being that parent to yourself. Your emotions are what brought you into a cult (fundamental evangelical christianity) and keep hold of you, but your reason is what can eventually set you free. Don't allow scary confusing thoughts to take control of your mind. Fight back. Pull those thoughts right out into the light of day and separate them into all there pieces, put them out on the table and then use your reason to figure out what is the most reasonable explanation for your feelings and how true are the "facts" you're using to support those feelings. For example when you say to yourself in support of fears about deconverting that the " majority of the world is Christian" which on an emotional level seems absolutely true stop and check using your best Googling practices to find the most reliable online source possible. In this case it is very easy because the percentage of christians in the world is not seriously questioned. It is 33%. So fully 67% of humanity do not choose to be Christian! So your emotions have it backwards in this example but you have the ability to diminish the impact just by looking and questioning. Other questions might the come to mind once you've learned this new fact regarding how powerful could the Holy Spirit really be and why is God so ineffective at reaching humans? This kind of searching is what ultimately ended my fear of hell. There is absolutely no good reasonable support for hell so when my mind became absolutely convinced, my emotion based fear diminished until it just went away. It was a very long process and probably not 100% gone at any moment in time but it can't hurt me now. I believe you can gain ground every time you fight back with reason. If a real creator god exists it very obviously did not hand every human a book when they come into this world but it did equip just about every human with a functioning brain so it seems to me that the message from a god if one exists is to use our mind to determine what is true including what may be true or untrue in any books that we encounter. I hope you stay with us for a while and keep posting things that trouble you as you go through your deconversion.
  10. Welcome mrspearl. Earlier this month PurpleLilac reported on this topic of relating to a fundamentalist christian family after deconversion. She described an extended visit over the holidays here: (I don't know where that dark grey/blue highlighted part came from?) Hopefully you will find both the post and the responses of interest. This topic comes up fairly often because it is a difficult problem and the church more or less has an expectation that exchristians are to be reconverted by the family members who remain. That can get tiresome so consider setting some ground rules about repeated questioning of your decision to live without christianity. I think very often it is possible to have a meaningful loving relationship if both parties are respectful of one another.
  11. Welcome daydreamer. I see that the last reply LovelyC made was on Dec 14, 2017 and the last day she visited our site here was the following day Dec 15. I think she felt very guilty sharing the personal information she did because it showed some of her parents worst behaviors/abuses and they consistently accused her of making them feel bad by saying such things. If you read her last 2 or 3 responses you will see how much guilt she was experiencing over her posts here. She may never be back to read your comment but her experiences were definately horrible and the effects have surely changed her forever.Her description of "slain in the spirit" although one of her lesser traumas was nevertheless really frieghtening with the disassociating and loss on conscious memories. I have not personally experienced this as it was not part of my church rituals but i feel for you for having gone through such scary experiences. Hopefully you have found a way to stop being subjected to these types of cultish ceremonies. Congratulations on distancing yourself from christianity and I hope you stay with us for awhile and post often.
  12. DanForsman

    Finding Hope

    I suspect just getting to Austin would be far enough away even if it is surrounded by Texas.
  13. DanForsman

    Finding Hope

    You are absolutely on your way out and carefully and thoroughly reasearching the topic as you're doing is the quickest way to distance yourself from all the fear christianity implanted in you to keep you from leaving. The very most shocking realization you are likely to uncover is that there is absolutely nothing about christianity that is compelling. It looks from every angle to be the man made fairytail that it is (along with bits and pieces of ignorance, wisdom, disgusting advice, beautiful poetry, you name it all thrown together pell-mell). If there's any chance the awful creature they came up with in the bible is a personal god then every human being aught to be very afraid irregardless of what they believe in. The life that we apparently have is so much better and simpler so really good for you Bug! You're young with a nice athiest partner and just starting the best part of your life. It is so very nice to have you with us.
  14. Thanks MOHO. i thought this was the case with Mrs. MOHO but it's good to be able to put that into the confirmed pile. The especially pretty wife just fits so nicely with your past posts and your description of your situation in general. I do hope the tension settles down between the Mrs. and yourself. It's great to be posting on this site with you and I always look forward to hearing what you have to say.
  15. That sounds wonderful Dexter! Good for you and your father and your grandfather. I’m positive the visit was very welcome on your grandfather’s part even if it was exhausting. How very thoughtful of you to spend time focused on your grandfather when he is going through what must at times be a confusing and disconcerting period of his life. Most importantly he felt your love for him. Probably the three of you were able to acknowledge the significance of the reunion and your love for one another through the prayer format when otherwise it would probably have seemed too awkward to attemp. i’m sure you’ll treasure the memory of your visit for the rest of your life.