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Everything posted by DestinyTurtle

  1. Hello @Jenni! Welcome to X-Xian! I get what you're saying. I feel robbed for all the efforts I put into being a good christian in my youth. It's ok to be angry, I think, if you're not hurting someone by being so. I think it's important to feel and process that energy because the truth is, in fact, really infuriating, and it does a dishonor and a disgrace to ourselves to lie about it. And yeah, the bible does in fact present everything as transactional.
  2. I think in a crisis many people, as a coping mechanism, cling to false explanations and narratives just for the false gratification of feeling like you "know" something and therefore have some kind of a "handle" on the situation. It's really tempting for many people to even believe in a cruel god and a horrifying apocalypse if it helps them feel like they "know" what's going on. I think it's a petty and desperate place to derive a sense of security from, honestly. People really have a hard time just coping with the fact that we don't know what's going to happen. Honestly? Given recent events it makes sense it's a struggle.
  3. I grew up in a fierce hell-fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist family, so yeah it took a decade or more to get passed some very deep rooted fear that God hates me or that I was destined to go to hell. It was a long journey but I slowly worked through my childhood fears of annihilation/abandonment, and was able to see their theology as insane and self-serving as they are. I also studied a lot of religions and beliefs along the way - which helps even if you don't adopt one of those other belief systems. It helps see the commonalities of these beliefs and elements of the basic human condition they represent - not some "grand" singular TRUTH that will will be punished eternally if you don't adopt it NOW. It also helps that I worked hard, got lucky, and managed to become financially stable early on so my parents couldn't continue to flaunt potential financial/social abandonment in my face. There isn't anything left they can take away from me. My self esteem comes from my own life and my own accomplishments now. I have friends who accept me for who I am. A couple of my closer friends effectively form my 'de-facto' family. I am no longer afraid of God or Hell. Christianity has definitely affected my life and my relationships. My relationships are better and more meaningful now that I am no longer Christian. My purpose in life is to be the best me that I can be, and, to the best of my abilities, embrace the multitude of opportunities and experiences my life offers. My purpose is also to be as kind and as wise as I am able to be, and also to watch out and care for my own self that was so un-cared for by people who were supposed to during my childhood. I hope to extend this care to people who have likewise been deprived. This gives me gratification, because it helps me feel as though I was able to win back what I have lost. Cheers on the courage you showed by taking a step into this path. I hope my replies help
  4. I think I had some good teachers that were great role models for me. Maybe that's part of the reason I prevailed despite everything. So grateful for them!
  5. Hi @DarkLordPhil. That wasn't rambling at all I hear you and yeah it's hard to process how messed up it is even after you're outside of it. The level of fear and anxiety they put kids through is just not humane. I've gotten so much gaslighting and emotional whiplash from the back-and-forth of "god loves you" and "you are depraved, disgusting, and worthless". None of it makes any sense it's just tactics to batter you down emotionally so you will submit to authority. Good to hear you got out. I hope you find much fulfillment and healing from your newer spiritual pursuits!
  6. My dad really liked the Doctrine of Total Depravity, which is a fundamental principle in the theology of Calvinism. Basically it says that humans are absolutely incapable of doing anything positive or good, and that everything is constantly in a state of increasing depravity and deterioration. He frequently taught me, while I was a child, that no good progress will come from my time and that the future will always be worse than the past. That's really devastating to a child who has hopes and dreams for who he wants to be or what he wants to accomplish. None of that mattered to him, though. He was more interested in proving that he's right.
  7. Hello @ZenPaladin. I'm really sorry you had to go through that. I had a similar experience back in the day with someone (who of course) was a very vocal Xian, and wouldn't shut up about "forgiveness" when he has no intent on stopping the abusive behavior (man looking back he had this sh*tty grin on his face every time people forgave him - he must have thought of everyone are such huge suckers). Anyways, I won't bore you with the details but he's dead now (no I did not kill him). He very much deserved the way he ended, but it did not undo the damage he did to people in his life. Stay strong and take time to heal.
  8. I totally understand. That's part of why I don't usually get involved in the theological discussions on this cite (even though I super respect the people who do). I used to read the bible obsessively and follow all kinds of detailed theological arguments, and for me personally the headspace is too closely associated with how I was back when I was a Xian (full of fear and anxiety). I rather spend my time thinking about delicious food, comfortable cats, and good music (etc.). I earned my right for my life to be about something other than the distorted interpretations of an old authoritarian text. It took me a long time to stop thinking, for the most part. in terms of biblical passages.
  9. Welcome, @SarahJaneSmith! It took me many years to get over the fear of hell after deconversion, but I did get passed it eventually. I think it's important to remember that it's not a rational feeling and is a residual of all the brainwashing/abuse. I recall how I felt when I was a devout fundamentalist Xian, and I was plagued with the fear of hell even then (the whole point is to make sure you're never secure enough that you feel safe about the afterlife). With that in mind, the fear of hell after deconversion isn't a new fear - but an old fear that you are now facing head-on, bravely.
  10. Welcome to X-Xian, @Disgruntled! I feel like everyone's already answered your question in all the important ways and I hardly have anything to contribute. My main advice is to look inward and come to your own conclusions! Petty theological justifications aside, clearly most (if not all) Xian religion and institutions don't reflect biblical teachings. If you want to broaden your spiritual language and scope you might find it eye opening to read the scriptures and teachings of other religions, too.
  11. Hello @LeiaBryant! Welcome to X-Xian! Nice to meet you!
  12. Welcome to X-Xian! I don't have a degree in bible studies but I've read the bible a few times and studied it furiously back in the day, which probably contributed greatly to my deconversion!
  13. I think you're being super responsible by approaching relationships as a series decision based on where you are in your life (and not as a bullet in some to-do list). @freshstart's response above mentions that a lot of guys don't have girlfriends at 19 and I think that's completely true. I didn't have a girlfriend by 19 and I think it was because I was responsible and didn't blindly jump into things. I'm in a great healthy relationship now and everything pretty much turned out. I'm glad you have a good therapist that's reassessing your sense of reality through all this.
  14. People are very good at inventing statistics that seem to support their universal claims. This is especially true of Religion where most claims are unverifiable yet somehow pronounced with absolute conviction.
  15. Damn, that's rough. In my experience Evangelicals are similar. I always found it weird how in USA the Christian religion has become a stronghold of extreme views about capitalism and the economy, and it feeds into their cruelty and selfishness. In any case, welcome to X-Xian! I hope you find this place helpful!
  16. I can't tell you how to feel... but if it gives you any perspective many of us have had angry/dark phases of our deconversion, and aren't too proud of the things we said or did during those periods. I mean, think about it... the paradigm shift of realizing everything you've been told is a lie is kind of a lot to process and handle. It's normal to bug out. That being said, glad to hear you feel more internally at peace now! Everything you've said is clear and meaningful and not incoherent at all.
  17. Oh man I can totally relate to this. I have a fundie sister that I try to reach out to (she is a decent person aside from her belief system, and we used to be close as children). I still reach out to her at times but I try to keep things unrelated to religion or our parents. I mean, if you think about it, our whole relationship got twisted and recasted to be about pleasing our parents or validating/disproving/arguing about our beliefs and it's just not fair. Any conversation we try to have at that angle is already pre-scripted by our parents who turned us against each other... and it's better to try to connect us for just being us... I mean I missed the times we used to have long conversations about random fantasy stories, novels, or video games. We had a real connection before religion hijacked our narrative. Just saying.. I empathize.
  18. DestinyTurtle

    I Am Free

    Welcome to X-Xian! I'm so glad to hear you're free, and I'm sorry to hear what terrible stuff you've been though. You're in control of your life, but they go through great lengths to make sure you don't figure that out.
  19. Fear is an emotion and not necessarily rooted in logic or reasoning. I think it's common for people to have persisting irrational fears after deconversion, especially if they were brainwashed or intimidated as a child by christian parents, or their environment. In a sense the fear can be contextualized as a childhood trauma and fear resurfacing under a false narrative. It took me many years (and self reflection, and therapy) after deconversion to overcome this fear, and a lot of the process involved recognizing and healing from psychological/emotional hurt.
  20. woohoo! I'm not here as much as I would like because busy with work and all, but I still find my time here very encouraging and therapeutic. Glad to see other people feel the same!
  21. It's going to take some time to recalibrate your needs with your values so you should be patient with yourself. It's a real mindf*ck to realize almost everything that you've been taught is false. It's been more than a decade since I've deconverted and it's been quite a roller coaster ride, but I feel like my life is meaningful and I'm sure you can get there too (without religion). Good luck, and cudos to the courage it took for you to get to where you are now
  22. You totally deserve love and you will not go to hell!!!
  23. Hell and Welcome! I'm glad you're thinking for yourself and you're questioning everything! A lot of people have a problem with that - but their insecurity is their problem to reckon with, not yours. Good luck on your journey!
  24. Hello, Mark! I'm glad you're here! I grew up in a Calvinist family and so I empathize with the struggle and fear of breaking free from that particular nightmare. My parents have definitely branded me as 'unelect', but fortunately I have successfully made myself financially and socially independent. Cudos to your courage and your journey!
  25. I think a lot of people just want to be seen and understood, and once they get that assurance from this site they go off to face their life problems. Also life is just super busy. I love this site but I can't be on it as often as I would like, or to post my thoughts with as much thorough discussion as I would like.
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