This is going to be a long post but I'll try to be as concise as possible. I need help.
I'm having my 23rd birthday in a week. So that's over 22 years of being a Christian, that was the religion I was born in. My parents are great people, they truly are. But I've reached a crossroads in my life where I realize that this faith is going to claim my life.
See, I'd like to think I was a "real" Christian. It was beyond just going through the motions, I had experiential evidence that God existed. I felt stuff. Maybe it was just a placebo of my imagination but I'd still comfortably say I'm agnostic. My faith got me through a pretty hectic childhood in terms of bullying. That did a number on my self esteem and installed a very negative mindset about myself and my capabilities. However, when I became a young adult I started seeing stuff about the bible that I couldnt ignore. I became aware of stuff happening in the world, of the pain and suffering that occurred against innocent people. I tried to still hold on but unfortunately, I ended up coming across what some of you may be familiar with as complementarian communities in my search for answers.
I've been called all sorts of things for questioning this doctrine. I was immediately a modern rebellious feminist Jezebel because I couldnt accept scripture despite my uncertainty being peaked from closer exegesis of the original languages. This is where things got ugly. For the longest time, my faith was all I had. I had believed that it didnt matter what I was going through because ultimately God was still in control. That was supposed to be my COMFORTING THOUGHT. But here I had men tell me straight up that I was loved less and made less by my creator. My only purpose was to be a submissive wife and mother. I did not bear the image of my creator, but I was made only for the pleasure of men and not God. I was a gateway to evil, morally weak, spiritually inferior, physically inept. God is male, Christ is male, the Holy Spirit is male. The heavenly hosts are male. Christianity is a self-contained expression of worship and I only existed as an anomaly, an ad-hoc solution to the real hero's loneliness. God didnt really want my worship or my fellowship, if he accepted it then it was conciliatory. All because of my anatomy which I had no control over and even worse, was GIVEN to me by God, supposedly. This went on for years.
And then there were the other horrors of the bible I couldnt ignore. The history of Christianity's bloodshed. And the coldness, the utter lack of empathy of its voices, men who only cared about being right and about keeping the monopoly on their power. Anyone who has a problem with it will burn in hell anyway. And I began to wonder, if this was not God's will or words then why did he let it go on for all the centuries it took for atrocities to be committed in his name? Why does he still allow people to step on others using his name? Still allow all this pain and suffering even within his own church, let alone the chaos outside of it. I believed what they were saying. I felt the same way I did as a child, only ten times worse because now I had no crutch. Now God himself, through his acolytes, was telling me that I was worthless. It might seem stupid, and I know it's nowhere near the horror story many others have endured because of religion. But the last few years sitting under these teachings on top of my existing depression drove me to fantasising about taking my life. I won't do it, not because I think it'll get much better but because I can't do that to my family. That's the only reason.
I dont really know what else to say. Regardless of whether or not God is real (I'm well aware of the evidence against it and the evidence shredding the bible), I dont think I could serve him anyway. I can't describe the pain and loneliness I feel brought on by the religion of love and freedom. And I know I'm not alone-that's the worst part. I know of many young women, some are girls even younger than I am, who were driven to suicide ideation because of what they were being told by men (and even some women) of God and their value to him. Again, the terrible things done to women described in the bible that he just allowed and sometimes with seemingly no consequence. It cuts you down the quick. It makes you feel inferior in your very essence, like your existance is a divine mistake and a blight. And now the isolation I'm scared of facing from my parents make it worse.
They said as an adult it's my choice but I can tell they'll be mad at me. And I fear the loss of my close relationship with them. I've already lost my faith. I can't lose my family too. How do I tell them that what was once my beacon of hope, is going to smother me to death if I dont let it go?