I used to come on this site about 3-4 years ago when I was losing my "faith". I really started questioning when I was ten and found I really wanted an escape. Mostly because I wanted to read smut without God breathing down my neck. Yes, that's what started it all. It's taken me awhile to make an account for sure. I cannot remember why I didn't make one when I had questions. Much of my desire to escape the religion was emotional rather than logical so I stayed stuck in a very fearful questioning cycle for a long time. It got to a point that I was so obsessively questioning that I disassociated during a French field trip. Not that I'm any stranger to dissociation (being trans n all). I really struggled with the fear of hell for a long time and became quite nihilistic. That mixed with a constant state of depersonalization does wonders for the mind. Looking back on my whole journey, it's pretty sad I had to go through it alone. My Christian parents would have and never have understood the burden I had to carry. Because despite god's "wondrous love", I still felt suffocated. I would have nightmares of being buried alive or being dragged back to the religion. I could never breathe during those and always felt a weight on my chest. I made an entire world in my head based on a kid that made a deal with a fallen angel so that they could escape god's reach.
It's hard to chronically detail my de-conversation but I'm gonna try and mark down important things I remember. So obviously ten year old me just wanted to read gay smut in peace (I used a DSI to read it lol) and was then constantly apologizing to god for doing so . That produced a few good years of anxiety until I got my first dinky phone that had access to internet. Then I started my obsessive questioning. That had to go on for a bit. I would bounce back and forth between states of pure fear and then shaky confidence I had escaped. My dad forced me to go to youth for about two years as well. Ironically we made a deal that I'd go for a month and if I didn't like it, I wouldn't have to go. He went back on that obviously. So every Wednesday, I felt like an isolated, cornered animal about to snap. I couldn't trust any of the people in there. I did like this quiet girl however, who was the daughter of someone who was nice to me and understood my distance from Christianity. Of course by understand I mean she respected it enough to not constantly badger me about my beliefs. We'll call her T. One of my biggest fears in church and in general was being cornered by a Christian and them thinking of me as some pet project. Then I'd have to deal that empty, "oh so nice" Christian smile. Where they're all friendly and "care" because they cannot stand you going to hell. That smile got under my skin more than anything. In youth and in church, their eyes always seemed glazed over from euphoria and fake, hypocritical smiles. It felt like being in a cult even though it was just your average non-denominational church.
Now getting back to T. She was fairly nice most of the thing even if she had that same scary look in her eyes. Then there came the day I fucked up. The youth thing was opening up in prayer and everyone was bowing their heads. I was just walking in and felt like I was intruding. Yes, prayer made me uncomfortable but I really did feel like I was intruding on something. After it ended, she came up to me and started dragging me by the arm. She was angry for sure and was going on about how I should haven't been out of the room because security and shit. I approached her later trying to apologize about that. She was the only person who felt like any sort of safe figure in that place. Disappointing her hurt more than it should have. Anyways, she acted like I was some sort of monster when I tried to apologize. As if I couldn't get the big picture of my fuck up. Which I couldn't because she never told me the real problem in the fucking first place. I had to approach her again later to get what she was so pissed about. Apparently she thought I was ashamed of Christians or something because I stepped out of the room. I don't remember if I tried to explain my side or not. I don't think she'd let me.
So comes part two of that day. My attempt to apologize to her consisted of something that made my skin crawl. I had concluded that since prayer was the area I had fucked up in, that's what I had to fix. So I choose to go up on stage and lead the final prayer. I had some nasty social anxiety at the time and combining that with my fear of Christian garbage, I was really sticking my neck out for that damn women. I came up with the prayer on the fly and managed to get my apology in there. I was extremely uncomfortable the whole time and was equally relieved when it was over. T came over to me and seemed to think I was coming around to God. I just sat there and listened to her feeling confused and betrayed. I was hearing everything that made me angry and scared me from the lips of the person who'd been my only safety in that place. I was pissed at her for a good while and managed to distance myself from her. I eventually relaxed in youth after some friends who were chill started going. I also eventually managed to stop going after some point as well.
I was still bouncing back and forth and ironically had my first and currently only paranormal experience in that church. I'll detail it later if someone asks but onto the second traumatic event that I remember. I was 16 at the same and we were just leaving church. I was a lot more sure of myself and had been an atheist for awhile. I was also pretty skilled in the mindset of Christians and knew however my mother reacted, it wasn't my fault. Still everything that ended up happening broke me in a way I cannot describe despite the fact I remained calm for my mom's side of it. As we were leaving church I merely told her I didn't agree with a lot of things in the bible and didn't like church. That's all I told her. She then proceed to breakdown in the car and ask me why I hated god. I told her I didn't and just didn't believe. I can't remember most of it but she cried for awhile. I knew it was going to be a horrible idea but I told my dad she was upset so he could comfort her. Once again, I put people's feelings before my own and in return they hurt me. My father came back up after awhile acting like I was the one who was a hypocrite and monster. Like I was at fault for this all. He went on about how I was believing Satan's lies and threatened to sent me to a private Christian school. After sending me off to my room. I started to break down and 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩. It was uncontrollable and I absolutely lost it. All of my past fears were being confirmed and I could only laugh at the 𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘺. My parents probably thought I was possessed or something while I lost my shit but I can't say I care. I knew I'd probably kill myself if they sent me off to a private school like that. I wouldn't be able to take the isolation and hypocrisy. He thankfully never went through with the threat and I healed relatively unscathed emotionally.
Those are two of the biggest events I can remember. My de-conversion was ugly and traumatic despite the fact I'm more or less over my anger and bitterness. I could only hang onto it for so long. I really just wanted to move on of all things. Finding out I was transgender as well really shifted my focus onto a whole new problem as well (I was considering it when I was sixteen but buried it until about a year ago). One of the biggest things that I regret though is I never got therapy for it. I'd never have the chance because of my parents. I had to sort through all of that by myself knowing they'd never help me. It's not that they are bad people but they were unintentionally toxic and that far from helped in the long run. I've forgiven them since then even if we've still got our differences. They'll never be truly supportive of me and I've learned to live with that. My father especially. I don't really have any sort of deep relationship with him like I do my mother. I'm still trying to figure out all these weird things about me as well. I'm not really fully an atheist even though I consider that simply not believing in any sort of religious god. I'm best described as an agnostic atheist/deist that believes in the supernatural. I'm pretty superstitious as well despite finding comfort in the wrongness of Christianity. I don't think that will ever change, especially after having a paranormal experience I've never been able to explain. Thanks for reading and this about wraps up this post. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!