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Everything posted by xphish

  1. Thank you, everone, for your kind words and encouragement!
  2. My Mom died last March and just a few weeks later Dad started looking for a new sweetheart. I'm very sorry for your loss. My father passwed away before my son was born, and my mother passed a few months before my father-in-law died.
  3. My Mom died last March and just a few weeks later Dad started looking for a new sweetheart. They had been together for 53 years and had dated for 3 years before they married. At first, I was like, "What?" but then I came to realize that Dad is really old and doesn't have a lot of time and I also learned that he and Mom had talked about this many times and that she gave her blessing for him to marry again. Dad doesn't do well alone. (He's also a twin so he has never not been part of a pair.) Fortunately, after a couple false-starts with dating, he has found a woman who adores him and they are very happy. My sisters had a lot of trouble with this but have since met the new lady and like her. I also learned that it's no uncommon for people who have been married for a long time to jump into a new relationship shortly after being widowed. That said, I have found that women in particular need to go through the grieving process before they are ready for a new relationship. And, in my experience, those who are Christians tend to have a strong denial-of-reality capacity. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in your Mom-in-law's case? Do you find that she was unprepared for her husband's death? Should she still be working through the grieving process do you think? Have you voiced your concerns to her? It's always such a hard thing with parents. We have a tendency to treat them like our kids in these situations. It's so hard to strike a balance between lovingly communicating your perspective and respecting their wishes, isn't it? But if the dude is hurting her, you and a couple other guys ought to go over and give him a thrashing. I know I would if it was my mom. Thanks for posting this very personal extimony. I am so pleased to know that both you and Rosebud are on this journey together. It makes all the difference in the world. My wife and I are as well, which makes it somewhat easier to bear the isolation that we experience. It's so weird to be in such a foreign place in our lives after years of being so involved in church. But I would still make the same choices if I had it to do all over again. I suspect she was totally unprepared; it was a sudden heart attack out of the blue. She also doesn't do well alone, she has trouble making decisions on her own, and relies on "voices from god" to make any decision at all. We had made our concerns known, but her "voices from god" were all she listened to. My wife told her that if she kept the con artist around (who was convicted, by the way) that she would be disowned and will have no contact with her grandchildren as long as he was in her life. The most important thing to us was to keep our kids safe. She went through with it anyway, because even though a few weeks beforehand "god" had told her to end it when the police forced entry in to the house at 3am to get him, she had another "voice from god" say that "jesus" changed his mind and she should do it anyway. Her pastor even told her to stay away, so she found another pastor that told her she should forgive him and go through with it so she felt like she was doing the right thing. Fucking nuts, if you ask me. Even though I've had doubts in christianity my whole life, this is what really made me begin my journey back in to reality.
  4. I just want to thank everyone for your encouraging words, I can’t tell you what this means to me. I don’t feel so alone, and I realize now that these things I’m feeling and am going through are normal. I look forward to future discussions as I re-educate myself and break free from the brainwashing of the cult of Christianity.
  5. Thank you, this helps fore than you may know... I need to remember it's a process. Christians force you to believe on the spot - say your prayer, dunk yourself in a pool of water, and magically you're a new person. Sheading those lies, well, I had hoped it would be that quick, but the deprogramming is going to take a lot longer than I thought.
  6. Yeah, she was doing the internet dating thing just months after her husband of 30 years died of a heart attack.
  7. New member here. Only recently have I confessed by unbelief, although I have doubted for much of my life. I've thought about some time what I would write here as a testimonial, and I've struggled with how to explain my life as a so-called believer. I just don't think I can. I've lost so many friends, isolated myself from the "evil" world, hurt so many people by my belief in this mystical notion of god that I'm still coming to terms with it, and still struggling to find out what it is I truly believe in, if anything. I'll start with who I am now. I'm a 37 year old dad and husband. I struggle with what I have done with my life, and feel like I have wasted almost 30 years of it as a believer. Other than that.... well... I'm still trying to figure that out. As for who I was.... I'll give you the condensed version. I was brought up Presbyterian, where I learned to hate myself and how I could never be happy because I was a sinner. I don't know that I truly believed growing up, but all through high school dated a fundie and went to youth group and such at a Baptist church. This is where I learned to hate everyone that didn't believe what I did. Around 16 years old I was diagnosed with depression, something I struggle with even now (although strangely enough, I have found some relief as I acknowledged my disbelief recently). I believe now the hatred and self-loathing the Christian church made be feel was the cause of. But I digress.... During this time I went to an event called "Creation" with my high school girlfriend - a Christian music festival - and was fundamentalized (completely brainwashed). Imagine the horror on my older sister's face when I came home from that with a horrific anti-abortion t-shirt and tried to tell her the evils caused by women. I can't tell you how many friends in high school I pushed away, how many people I hurt, how much of a douchebag I was all in the name of "going forth and spreading the word of Christ." I followed my high school girlfriend to a "Christian" college, and was further indoctrinated of radical interpretations of theology by being forced to attend chapel three times a week and force fed this crap in every class. When I started to have doubts, swarms of Christian "friends" would try to "help" by making be feel guilty and fear eternal damnation to sway me back into the fold. Eventually I was kicked out of the college - my depression had gotten so bad I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed to go to classes, study, or do homework. My life since then had been a struggle, although I did eventually meet my wife and in her found someone who would love me and have the same struggles I have had with trying to believe. Of course, she was a Christian, and her fundie parents would guilt us in to trying to find a church for years. My mother-in-law would control her with fear and guilt trips, we went from church to church trying to find some palce that didn't make us feel shamed and depressed after every Sunday service. It wasn't until both my parents had died, and my wife's father died that we were able to start our journey in to reality. Soon after my wife's father did, apparently Jesus told her to find another man on the internet and marry him. It turns out this man was a con-artist who physically abused his own child, and long story short, she found out about it, left him because she prayed and herd the voice of Jesus told her to. She then prayed harder, and apparently heard Jesus tell her that no, really, she should take him back and win him for Christ or some bullshit. This was the end of it for my wife and I, and my wife disowned her. We wanted our kids to have no part in it. We stopped trying to find a church - after 15 years we never did find one we could stomach - and 3 years later here we are, trying to reconcile years of struggles with a god that isn't there in to first place. This is barely the tip of the iceberg of everything I wanted to say, there is so much I want to get off my chest, but wanted to try to keep this fairly short. To all those out there that are confused and struggling - you're not alone. For me, it's a daily struggle. I've had some days where I just have felt such relief and freedom having given up a futile struggle to believe in a god, but days like today, I have been confused about the decision I made to move on with my life. There are days guilt overcomes me, of all the horrible things I said and did to people in the name of "Christ". I hope in the coming weeks to share more, to contribute to the excellent discussions, and hopefully be able to forgive myself for wasting so much my life on a god who isn't there. Thanks for letting me write and get some things out, and thanks for taking the time to read.
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