AnonAgno94

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About AnonAgno94

  • Rank
    Questioner
  • Birthday 01/07/1994

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    United States
  • Interests
    Music, running, walking, hiking, weight lifting, writing music and stories, reading, cooking, playing video games
  • More About Me
    I'm a young woman just starting her full-time career post-college. I've recently separated from Christianity after a 22-year relationship. Now, I don't really know who I am, but I know I have a lifetime to figure it out.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. @hockeyfan70 Search Yoga for Adriene on YouTube. Her vids so far have been pretty great.
  2. Spring is coming, and the weather was so warm this evening. I had the opportunity to go play card games with some co-workers, but I passed as I was tired from two long days of work. And I wanted to come home and enjoy peaceful time outside, enjoying the above-60 degree weather. I weight lifted, which I've been doing consistently the last year or so. I went on a long walk with my boyfriend, enjoying the outdoorsy, open areas near our place. And then I did some yoga. I did a yoga class back in high school for a year, so I have familiar with the various poses and such. I can't recall what compelled me this past weekend, but I thought - why not try to get back into yoga? To try and train myself to find inner peace, to love myself, to build up my core and body strength? To connect mind and body? Mind you - I'm not spiritual at all. Not one bit. Since losing Christianity, I've lost belief in god altogether and also the belief of a soul. This hasn't really helped in my search for finding "purpose" in life. If you're a fellow ex-Christian, then you probably know what I mean, the difficulty in finding purpose again. But this yoga thing. I discovered this Youtube poster who's a yoga instructor, and I'm not sure, but the way she talks you through the exercises and workouts, she's motivated me to keep up with this new yoga habit I've started. And interestingly enough I have found my moods lifting since. And my abs quite sore. More updates on this to come. -B. (AnonAgno94)
  3. Hi there - I admire you for the strength during this time. I too fade in and out of activity on here, but always end up coming back. I'm sorry to hear about the toll losing religion has taken on your marriage. I am not sure if I caught your testimony on here, but please feel free to share if you have already posted it. I'm doing some "soul" searching myself (though I don't thin souls exist). I've been started to study Philosophy, and am rereading Ehrman's The New Testament which was one of my course books back in college. I also just started doing yoga this past Sunday with this amazing YouTube yoga instructor. She uses yoga as a way to encourage you to connect with the body fully, which is helping me find some inner peace. It sounds weird, I know. But deep down I'm craving a gentle person to guide me to learn to love myself as, before "Jesus," I hated myself. So losing "Jesus" has reverted me to my hating-self state. Glad to see you connecting on here. Glad you're getting an opportunity to work with the non-religious, too. I hope things work out on your side. Sending you best thoughts. -AnonAgno94
  4. That's similar how my mom was with me. She always confided in me, even secrets against my dad, never paid attention or asked how I felt about any of the drama we had going on during my childhood. She pitted me against my dad and against his family. Fortunately I have grown close to that side of the family and come to realize the truth to all of it, but my dad has regressed socially and mentally (long story), so I regret not being encouraged to spend time with him as a child, to actually grow close to him. Instead, I was a pawn in their unhealthy marriage. I'm sorry to hear about the situation now with your dad. :/ I'm working on anxiety issues, too, like unhealthy obsession with perfectionism and constant need for verbal validation in my job, even though I am doing well. My brain doesn't know how to process that understanding. Feel free to message me on it more. I dunno about you, but sometimes even having someone to talk to who gets it helps, even a little bit.
  5. I lay next to my boyfriend, he to my right and the window with pale sunlight to my left. I watch him sleep, his back to me. It's a quiet Saturday morning. I look at where we are now, 2.5 years into our relationship. He's back in school looking to earn his Bachelor's degree, maybe even Master's. I'm almost 2 years into my first professional job, which has been a great success overall. You could say we are the epitome of a healthy relationship. We care for each other when we are sick. We never go longer than 5 minutes upset with each other, always working to improve our communication with each other. We say "thank you" when completing household chores. We have hobbies together and hobbies apart. We've had a few critical points in our relationship, such as finances and future goals. Everyday I wake up thinking that I made the right choice to be with him, and that firmness grows stronger moment by moment. We have our moments, of course. Sometimes we are worn down and exhausted; sometimes we say things out of frustration, without thinking. But in the end, we always end up back in each other's arms, learning and growing through each obstacle and experience. Yet sometimes I recall two years ago, when I was still a Christian. My boyfriend was an atheist at that time, and I went through one of the deepest bouts of anxiety when struggling with the thought of loving someone who would be doomed to hell when they would die (I was raised with conservative Christian, bible-based teachings). I remember being so distraught that I couldn't eat. I remember trying to break up with him three times over three days just to escape the anxiety. I remember being unhealthily obsessed with researching the Christian concept of hell. I felt eternally stuck - after all, how could I talk myself out of the deeply held conviction that hell was real? What triggered it? My former best friend, also a conservative Christian, disapproving my decision to enter a serious relationship with him, all based on the fact that he was not a "fellow believer." Mind you, I had been so supportive of her when her and her now-husband started dating, and even got married. But of course, since I wasn't following the bible-based teaching of dating and marrying a fellow Christian (a debatable tenet, but still taught and maintained in my religious circles), I didn't deserve the same support. Looking back, I wonder: perhaps I should thank her? It was really the Christian wake up call I needed that ended up driving me to losing belief altogether. See, it's easy to believe in hell when everyone in your closest circles believes in Jesus, constantly reaffirming your belief system. But what if you have many close family members who didn't believe to the same extent as you, or even at all? I'm grateful that my boyfriend and I ended up working through my religious difficulty, and we came out all the stronger. I had a kind religious mentor in my life at the time that was helping me navigate, with prayer and fasting, the emotional difficulty of dating a non-believer. She was sure god was at work, you see, and was sure that our relationship was happening for a reason. I am grateful I had someone like her ground me in faith and maintain my relationship. Though after a few months, the thought of hell started haunting me, not just with my boyfriend, but with my extended family as well. How could god banish one of my aunts to hell, just for not believing? This aunt who is like a mother to me. I started having questions to the tenets I used to hold so dearly, questions that the usual Christian answers didn't seem to satisfy. Eventually, after more breakdowns and lots of research, I lost my belief altogether. But I look back now, and my heart breaks for anyone who makes a decision on behalf of a religion that is not true. Whether it means breaking off a great relationship for a difference in beliefs, or behaving a certain way because you believe that "god" wants you to? Why is it religion gets the exception of understanding? Is it because we humans are so sensitive, so afraid of the unknown, of death, that ignorance is essential in living a productive life? I don't get it, and looking back now, I don't feel it was fair that I was blindly mislead, made huge decisions in my life in that blindness that I would not have otherwise decided. Some might argue that it's all part of the human experience - we change over our lives, make decisions differently than we used to. But I can't help but wonder how drastic those decision-making skills would change if religion didn't exist at all... Food for thought. -B.
  6. It does. I take it you've been in the same place? I've had to pull myself away in effort to not get pulled back in the middle, where I was stuck for my entire childhood.
  7. Wow. Thank you for sharing your experience on here and the perspective on a challenging transition period. It helps to have the positive attitude - best to you moving forward.
  8. I had drafted this a few months back: It's been 1.5 years now since the moment the concept of the Christian god no longer made sense to me. It wasn't like I chose for this to happen. There was something deeper that changed, where my inner logic snapped out of the Christian mindset and started nodding along with the agnostics, atheists, the non-religious. The problem is that I had deep dark voids within myself that religion used to fill. Lack the love, compassion, and attention of an earthly father? Well, don't worry - your heavenly father loves you eternally. Spent nights alone enduring arguments and occasional physical abuse in an unhealthy home environment? Don't worry - imaginary saints, angels, god are all there with you carrying you even when you can't see them. I was taught to seek external validation constantly. I was taught to do everything perfectly out of fear for if my mother was in a bad mood, she would lash out at me. So don't do anything that could possibly upset mother. And yet sometimes the abuse would come without doing anything wrong at all. For being a kid. I've clung to imaginary religious figures my entire life, through depressing, lonely nights in my youth. Through breakdowns in the shower so nobody to could hear the sobs through the water. There were voids, hate for myself, all that religion just "miraculously" filled. But now that religion is gone, and the voids have returned. So what do you do? By default you fill them with whatever closes good thing you have. In my case, it's my relationship. But the obsessive dependency religion slowly trains you to have is not healthy. Why is it we have this weird acceptance in society that being obsessively dependent on religion is OK but not otherwise, such as in a romantic relationship? It should never be OK. So now I'm left with those voids and trying to figure out how you're supposed to fill them in a healthy way. I also don't how to define a life purpose now, what should motivate me to want to wake up everyday because deep down I don't have a reason right now. It's challenging when hardship comes. When I consider my life, it seems more negative than positive, with a few shining lights along the way. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now adding from present-day, I feel alone. I've moved away from family/friends for work. My boyfriend and I - both atheists - have trouble meeting people like ourselves. Though we consider ourselves outliers of common society. Sometimes while driving on the interstate, I just get this urge to keep driving. Where, I don't know. My aunts and uncles, grandparents, are all getting older. I'm watching my parents age, watch them struggle in poverty and emotional chaos, the chaos that once chained me for so long. I'm watching my dad suffer from depression, from lack of social skills. He says he doesn't want to wake up. My mother looks to me like I'm her mentor. I'm only 24. How backwards this life seems to be. I seem to be one of the strong few who can pull it all together in times of doubt. But as I get older, and these difficult situations arise, and now that I don't have god... I don't know if I can do it. My brother is 9 years my senior, and yet he's not ready to deal with the emotional damage from our childhood. I guess that makes me the wiser one here. The rock for everyone else. I'm playing the role of project manager in helping my dad get help, helping my mom get her life together. Only because she's finally ready to help herself. But deep down some days I just feel empty inside, lacking motivation to do anything I used to dream of doing. The music within me feels like it's dying out, and I'm not sure how to get it back. Religion used to be my steady ground. But without it now, I feel like I'm over a deep, depressing abyss that is always under my feet, just every once in a while hidden by the pale glow of fading sunlight. Thank you, false hope and ignorant religion, for adding to my list of disappointments. -B.
  9. Thank you so much Margee. I am watching now. I appreciate the response and the share.
  10. I hope it's not too late to respond to this. Here I am sitting home alone this evening trying to shut out the anxiety I have felt, due to my OCD, black-and-white thinking as well. I couldn't help but resonate with your original post here. Lately my OCD has been revolving around work. I graduated college less than two years ago (the exact time I became an agnostic, now atheist). I started my job just after losing my beliefs and struggling to have confidence in myself or in my work. Now, 1.5 years later, my confidence has gotten much better, but my black and white thinking is still plaguing me at times. Recently, I've started working with a new coworker who's difficult to deal with and who sometimes makes derogatory comments in the workplace, which makes me feel like I'm walking on eggshells working with them. So this week, it's been the thoughts of, "Oh, you didn't think of this a week ago? You're awful at your job and undeserving of the promotion your team feels you should have." Blah blah, negativity, negativity. I usually try and talk out my racing thoughts with people around m e, but this weekend it's just me, and I hate when it's just me. I feel the main cause of my thinking obsessive and negative thinking patterns stems past the religious indoctrination I experienced and is more because of the emotional trauma I endured as a child, thanks to my emotionally immature parents. All in all, here I am on a Friday evening, feeling lonely and isolated. I've had a hard time making friends where I live now, 4 hours from home. Of all my friends back home, only one has visited me so far. Plus I've made plenty of trips home to see them. This year was better than last year, but it's been a very challenging road overall. Not that I would ever have the guts to hurt myself, I find myself thinking many times how I just don't care to wake up anymore. I keep searching for, "What's the point?" So hang in there, from one struggling ex-Christian to another. Positive thoughts your way.
  11. Thanks - I got the inspiration for the name after listening to many logical fallacies from those in my church. It kind of reminds me of what not to do My church is all hellfire and brimstone. Everyone but those in the church is going to hell... and now me too. Heaven? Pfff reserved for a very few chosen few, like very very few. I'm of two minds about worrying about the mental anguish you (And I) may put our friends/family through. I understand you completely, and do wonder how this will affect my family when they are told, however at the same time I think we need to think of ourselves. Is not telling your friends/family going to help or hinder you and your growth? What if they find out through other channels? Will they feel betrayed and hurt that you didn't tell them straight up? So I think there are a number of considerations to think about before deciding whether or not to tell others that you no longer believe. One thing I have heard an atheist say about him "going to hell"... and this might have been to his mother on the subject, he said to her, don't worry, according to the Bible you won't remember anything of this life anyway so you won't know I'm burning in hell. So that could be another way to approach the subject if it pops up. Keep on connecting! Logical @LogicalFallacy- My boyfriend is constantly pointing out logical fallacies. He's even had me read the wikipedia page on them to start being able to point them out more frequently. Just last week on Facebook I saw a Christian friend post a meme that said, "So you'll believe what someone today says happened 10 million years ago but you won't believe what witnesses say happened 2,000 years ago?" I pointed out in a straightforward comment that logically speaking, based on that meme, I should therefore be even more likely to follow Islam since it was even more recent in time than Christianity, among other factors. Of course, my comment was promptly deleted to hide any evidence that true logic had actually been applied to that meme..... What you shared about hell is quite interesting because my home church was Bible-based and taught a version of hell that was apparently dark, cold, and absent of everything "god"-related or "good." I also understand what you mean about the two different considerations regarding "coming out" as an atheist. I was telling my roommate tonight that I'm quite sure once I get back on my own two feet as an Ex-C, I'll be quite vociferous about my change in beliefs. I have conflicting views as to whether I should care what others think of me, but also that I don't want to live my life in a false identity. When I was having panic attacks over the thought of my atheist boyfriend going to hell, he also told me about passages in Isaiah that spoke about heaven, and he tried to comfort me by saying how when I died, I wouldn't even think of him because I would be with "my god." Quite the similarities here! It's nice to keep meeting people across the world who get it and are on a similar path that I am on. -AnonAgno94
  12. @TABA - Thank you for the reply! It's been super encouraging to read others' stories on here and realize I'm not alone. I've been having an emotionally difficult week dealing with my de-conversion and feeling spiritually alone, so everything I've received on here so far has encouraged me tremendously. I admit when I first lost my beliefs, I did feel such freedom in the person I wanted to become, the beliefs I wanted to hold -- it was like I was reborn into the reality that was around me, not the spiritual falsehood I had been taught previously (I'm more or less a secular humanist/agnostic right now -- still trying to work that out though). I even got so courageous as to cut my hair super short and try something different about myself. My boyfriend has been supportive as have a few other people in my life, one who in partiular was from my home church and is now an agnostic. They tell me it gets easier with time, and I'm hoping that to be true. Looking forward to connecting! -AnonAgno94
  13. @Chilledmilk - I'm encouraged to hear that this site can be some comfort to you right now. I recently deconverted but fortunately had been out of church for a little while. I can't imagine how difficult it might be to be in a relationship where faith is an integral part and church involvement is important. A few months ago, I was a devout Christian dating a secular humanist/atheist. Now I'm an agnostic still dating the same person (thankfully). I actually almost ended our relationship months ago, however, because of my deep fear of my boyfriend going to hell. It made me lose sleep, and it gave me such anxiety I couldn't even eat. He worked hard to see us through that time, though, and supported me through everything despite my fears. I won't go into a lot of detail of how we reached where we are now, but I am thankful that he didn't let me end it just because of our faith differences and my anxiety. I hope the best for you in your relationship with your wife. I read other stories online of couples who had married in the faith and then later in time one of them de-converted. In some cases, it gets very difficult, but some manage to work through it. I saw some earlier comments suggesting adding questions you could ask your wife while reading the Bible. Honestly, when I was still a devout Christian, my boyfriend would gently ask me questions here and there to get me to think critically about Christianity. I had never met someone before who asked me the questions he had asked, like how I knew "god" was real, etc. Looking back now, I'm glad I had someone challenge me gently in my beliefs because eventually those questions helped me "wake up" in terms of my sense of logic and realize that I was only believing what I had been taught my whole life, but that I had never actually questioned it. There's no one right way or wrong way to handle this. It's good you did find an outlet -- sometimes if you bottle up something that deep, it might eventually come out at a not-so-good time or in a not-so-good way. There are a lot of people on here to talk with about it and you can express yourself here openly and anonymously. That's one of the reasons I finally signed up -- I'm struggling meeting people like-minded and am trying to rebuild my identity. Sending positive vibes your way! -AnonAgno94
  14. -@LogicalFallacy - Love the screen name! It's encouraging to hear that I'm not alone even with great distance between. It's been a few years since I have been part of an online forum. Also, it's interesting to hear your connection with the church. I'm curious if the Christian community you are a part of is one that believes in eternal damnation/hell for those who don't believe, or if they're more laid back about non-belief, that everyone goes to heaven? I know some of my conservative friends believe in hell for those who don't believe, so I'm hesitant if I'll ever tell them that I no longer believe simply because the mental anguish I'm afraid it'll put on them (speaking from experience -- worrying about loved ones going to hell made me lose sleep many times). I hope over time you meet like-minded people. Congrats on having the courage to be open to questioning and for reaching where you are. Honestly it's been at times super difficult losing religion -- particularly trying to understand death without the promise of an afterlife -- but in the long run, it feels great to have freedom in believing what I want to without fear or guilt pressuring me one way or another. -AnonAgno94 @sdeslolray - This is quite true. I have a Christian friend who doesn't have any non-Christian friends. Every time we hang out, it's always about faith and Christianity. It's a friendship that I'm basically avoiding right now to be honest. @Abijah - Thank you for responding. I feel like I've been reading so many stories similar to my own as well. This is an online community I feel where I can be myself, at least for now, until I meet more people down the road. I appreciate what you said, too. My boyfriend has been encouraging me saying that if I want to be more of a recluse sometimes, that's okay. Christianity makes you constantly doubt yourself, an "imperfect sinner," and my upbringing also instilled a constant need for external validation rather than learning how to trust myself and my decisions. So now I'm working on improving my internal validation, especially with social interactions. I also agree with your point on my "unlearning" -- I was told by a friend who went through something similar many years ago that I losing Christianity will leave a hole, so it's important to fill that with something different now, such as science. My boyfriend and I are currently re-watching Cosmos, just for example, and it's helped me a lot to start learning more deeply about the world around me. I mean, I took basic biology courses in high school and college, but it never really sunk in, you know? Christianity was always the foundation in my mind, so I felt like I had all of the understanding of the world that I needed. I'm looking forward to talking with all of you! -AnonAgno94