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The Truth Has Set Me Free (mentally, At Least)


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Let me start off by saying that I have been raised in a home where the teachings tend towards fundamentalism but are not quite as bad as they could be (but they still really suck). For instance, seeing movies, listening to certain types of music, and having non-Christian friends aren't a big deal. (Note that having non-Christian friends is only really okay if they are female. Any non-Christian males want nothing more than to get into my pants.)

 

To me, my parents seemed perfectly normal about everything. Except for boys. You see, any time I dropped a name in front of my mom that was male, my mom asked me if I was interested in him or if he might be interested in me. ANY TIME. I'm sure she nearly asked this about a girl, but first took the time to clarify what gender Alex was. I mostly just found this annoying, and didn't see what it was really pointing to.

 

Because of my parents' attitude towards boys, my first relationship was only physical. We were not allowed to go anywhere or do anything, so I simply went to his house after school every day and we made out for a while. Naturally, this relationship sucked royally (though somehow lasted a few months). Also, my parents made him read Bible stories on a weekly basis.

 

My next relationship was very short lived. Again, we were not allowed to go anywhere. So we just made out. Then we wanted to actually go do stuff, so my parents were like, "Well, we like you, but you have to meet with Shanleigh's father on a weekly basis." He met with my dad once. My dad talked about marriage and it kind of freaked him out. He broke up with me because he thought that "things were going too far physically".

 

The next one was online. Perhaps I did this because I was sick of my parents preventing me from doing anything with boys, so I let distance do that. We lasted about 6 months. My parents sent me to Cult Camp (Summit Ministries) with the intent of getting me to dump my boyfriend. There I was brainwashed into believing all kinds of fundamentalist crap, like neanderthals didn't exist and homosexuality was a choice (or at least it was influenced by sexual abuse as a child) and dating was a bad thing. I broke up with that boyfriend shortly afterwards, and decided I was going to wait for God to bring me my future husband and I wasn't going to kiss until my wedding day.

 

Then, armed with nothing more than my brainwashing high and shabby evidence for believing all kinds of creationist and Christian dominionism and anti-gay crap, I got to start out community college. Fortunately, I kept most of my opinions to myself, though the Cult Camp would have liked for me to be prancing around like a moron talking about how cool Jesus is and how everyone who doesn't agree is going to hell.

 

Eventually I met my current boyfriend, Art. (At that point I'd abandoned my decision to wait for God to bring me my future husband and not kiss.) After we'd been together for a little while, we made the mistake of deciding to ask for my parents' blessing. We got a little lecture that entailed asking Art what he believes will happen when he dies (and he didn't give the good Christian answer they would want to get from a boy who I'm going to date). Then, they told us, "No, you don't have our blessing. If you want it, Art has to meet with your father on a weekly basis and read Bible stories." This jolted me back into reality and I once again remembered that my parents are completely insane when it comes to boys (and I now realize that they're actually just insane).

 

Art met with my dad three times, couldn't take it anymore, and avoided my house as much as possible. My parents got pissed. One day, my mom asked me if Art and I were cybering. I told her quite loudly that we weren't. However, that did not stop her from going onto my computer while I was gone and reading our chat log. She did a pretty terrible job of not making it apparent that she had done so, so I knew immediately that she had. Then she went into my e-mail and forwarded herself a message that had been sitting in my inbox. Now, there was absolutely nothing private in the message, but I was pissed the hell off.

 

One morning as she drove me to the bus stop, I asked her what she'd been doing on my computer. It took a lot of prying to get her to say she'd read my log and sent herself one of my e-mails, and then instead of me getting to rant at her about how that was totally unacceptable, she started bitching at me about Art. She ended up telling me that he isn't going to marry me (which I found quite out of nowhere), and if he were to marry me then it would be an abomination. She continued to rant about how pretty much he'd been sent by Satan. When we got to the bus stop, I just told her that Art didn't want her or dad to ever come to his house again.

 

Ah, I must make an interjection here, because I totally forgot about one aspect of their insanity. My dad was STALKING Art. Like, driving around his house and hiding in his bushes and crap. Hence what I told my mother.

 

She screamed at me that I wasn't to go to his house ever as I shut the door in her face. But, she didn't drive off. So I went and opened the door to hear her rant some more. Once the words, "He doesn't love you and he just wants to tumble in the hay with you!" hit my ears, I shut the door in her face. She drove off. I didn't come home that night.

 

Because I didn't want to make matters worse, I made sure I spent the night at one of my best friends' houses.

 

They later gave me a lecture where they told me a few more convoluted things about Art and how he was Satan, and I came home late that night. When I got home, my parents gave me hell and threatened to send me to live with my aunt and uncle.

 

The next day we sort of worked things out in a civilized manner with my parents and Art. They even allowed us to kiss (but only short ones without any tongue) and go out in public without company.

 

Since then there have been very few notable arguments dealing with Art.

 

You would think that, after all that, I might've seen that there was possibly something amiss with my beliefs. But no... part of me even sort of believed that my parents were right about a lot of the things they said about how my relationship with Art wasn't in accordance with God's word and crap like that.

 

At this point, Art had begun looking up things on religion. One day he asked me if I knew that Paul had never actually met Jesus. I told him that, yes, Paul never met Jesus, he just had a vision of him.

 

He linked me to a website giving an overview of Paul and why his writings were in conflict with the Gospels and how they've pretty much shaped the entirety of Christianity as we know it. I freaked out a little bit because this was something none of my training to be a brainwashed soldier for Christ had prepared me for. I could explain away evolution science as scientists just trying to find a way to justify atheism and not face facts. (Yes, I know it was retarded to do so, but I had the infallible BIBLE on my side! :D ) But, now I had evidence that something within the Bible was in error. I suddenly didn't know what to do with my beliefs. If the Bible isn't perfect... then what now am I supposed to believe?

 

I still sort of believed in what I'd been taught for a while, but eventually it just felt wrong to hang onto it.

 

And now, at this point, the beliefs I was raised into have been stripped down to simply:

 

There is a monotheistic god. Somewhere. And, he doesn't actually want everyone to go to hell, because he isn't a dick.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, my parents are still insane. This means that I have to pretend I still believe in the Holy Trinity plus Paul. This means I still have to go to the weekly cult meeting (church on Sunday) and daycare (youth group). Not only this, but our daycare does a VBS (Vacation Bible School) twice every summer. This means that I have to fake my beliefs to my parents and ON TOP OF THAT convert little kids who don't know any better. I have to tell them that if they don't accept what I tell them, then they are going to burn in hell.

 

If my parents know now what I believe, they will decide that Art is actually Satan himself, not just sent by Satan, and they will send me away.

 

No, Christianity's not a cult...

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Wow. Your mom is quite the case... and I thought my MIL was crazy. :)g

 

Welcome to the site! Hopefully you can vent some frustrations and such here as you fake it for them.

 

I can't imagine still having to hold a position in the church. Why do you have to convert those kids? Do you have a quota? (One organization I was involved in did, so it wouldn't surprise me....)

 

Again, welcome! Glad to see another person released (um, sort of, at least mentally) from the grips of Christianity.

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wow that harsh. All I can really tell you is to stay strong. If posible, move out of your parents house. I know that can be hard financally, but if you can it would be a good move. Your parents sound like nut jobs. Like not just normal christian BS but like they really need some medication.

 

Hiding in bushes and stalking your boyfriend is just plain creepy.

 

On the bright side, your guy must really like you if he is sticking with you despite your parents. I know, I woudn't stay with someone in this situation unless I really cared about them.

 

I don't know if your interested in doing more reasearch to figure out your beliefs, but if you are I would highly recomend reading Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" Not only was he a founding father of this country but he was an ardent Deist. In one of his famous quotes he says that the bible is blashpemous. he has some very well thought out reasons for believing in God but rejecting all the claims religions make about him. As he put it, "I believe in God, and nothing more."

 

Welcome to the site, hope we can be of some help :grin:

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Welcome! I hope you will find this place useful for venting and learning more. I am sorry to hear your parents are psycho. Unfortunately, that is what indoctrinated religion does to individuals. Hopefully you can get away from all of that soon and be your true self.

 

I always reccommend Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Most of the information in there is very helpful on understanding the history of the Bible (it is a secular commentary not biased by Christian Apolegetics). It is well written and will help you understand TONS about the Bible's construction and make-up.

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Welcome to the light side.

 

Unfortunately it seems most of us have to fake our beliefs at least to some of our friends/family, no matter what our age so people will leave us alone.

 

That's when you know it really is as bad a cult as any of the ones about which the church told you stories of never being able to leave and having all sorts of control over members' lives.

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Why do you have to convert those kids? Do you have a quota? (One organization I was involved in did, so it wouldn't surprise me....)

 

Wow... no, we fortunately don't have a quota. But, we have to talk about why they have to become Christians or else go to hell, and how they have to convert everyone they love or else they go to hell.

 

If posible, move out of your parents house. I know that can be hard financally, but if you can it would be a good move.

 

I'm only 17 right now. I only have the intention of pretending until I'm 18. If, at that point, they continue to try to exercise control over me, then I will be moving in with my boyfriend.

 

Thank you all for the welcome and book recommendations. I'll have to check them out.

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Your dad was hiding in the bushes? :twitch:

 

That's an idea, maybe that's what I should do when my daughters turn teenagers! :HaHa:

 

Heh... well, he didn't exactly hide in the bushes. Once when I was over at Art's, he came and knocked on the door. Not knowing who it was, we decided to ignore it, but had a very strong suspicion that it was him. (This was right after my mom had read our log so we figured they knew I was going to be there.)

 

Then he knocked on the window. Art thought that it might be, for some reason, one of his friends randomly dropping by, because they would be the only ones who would know to knock on his window. He tried looking outside, but there was nothing to be seen. So he decided to go outside, and there was my dad, staying out of view of his window.

 

Not only that, but... he parked his goddamn truck out of sight of the house.

 

He also stalked around there a few other times when we weren't there. That really pissed off Art because his mom thought it might be one of her crazy stalkers, and he didn't want her to be put through any crap because of my crazy parents.

 

Also, one of Art's neighbors nearly called the cops on him for stalking around the house.

 

My dad's insane sometimes. :ugh:

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Well I hope you can weather it for the next year or so. Are you planing on going to college? If so, think about one out of state. WAAAYY out of state, like the other side of the country :grin:

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Well I hope you can weather it for the next year or so. Are you planing on going to college? If so, think about one out of state. WAAAYY out of state, like the other side of the country :grin:

 

Well, I live in Washington and want to go to the University of Oregon, but mom wants me to go to this über Christian school in Canada.

 

In order to graduate from that school, you have to sign a contract stating that you will not dance, drink, smoke, gamble, engage in premarital sexual relations, or be gay.

 

Anyway, Oregon would be far enough away that my parents couldn't bug me all the time, plus... I'll be able to get away from religious nutcases.

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You sound very intellegent and mature, despite the fact that you were raised by a couple of nutjobs. It sounds like your boyfriend is your anchor in the storm for you. What kind of chruch are your parents involved in? I remember being a youth leader in VBS and we didn't mention hell all that much. It was more the guilt approach of: "You are a worthless sinner and you made Jesus suffer horribly and die for your sins. Accept Jesus, so Jesus doesn't have to cry anymore and then Jesus will be happy."

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You sound very intellegent and mature, despite the fact that you were raised by a couple of nutjobs. It sounds like your boyfriend is your anchor in the storm for you. What kind of chruch are your parents involved in?

 

Well, they may be nutjobs, but they are also very smart people. I don't know why they haven't figured this stuff out yet. So... aside from all of the religious nuttery, I've been raised in a fairly intelligent family that values education and everything, but devalues education that contradicts the Bible because it is the Ultimate Source of All Truth and Knowledge. I'm taking geology next year, and my mom actually said something along the lines of, "And they'll probably show you that silly geological column that 'proves' that the earth is old." I had to fake a laugh. I don't know how they can't tell that I don't believe this crap anymore.

 

I was raised in a church my parents planted in Russia up until I was 8... then we moved back to the US and I've been raised in a Presbyterian church.

 

I remember being a youth leader in VBS and we didn't mention hell all that much. It was more the guilt approach of: "You are a worthless sinner and you made Jesus suffer horribly and die for your sins. Accept Jesus, so Jesus doesn't have to cry anymore and then Jesus will be happy."

 

It sucks that you guys are that way about VBS. I don't remember if we really talk about hell all that much... just that everyone's a sinner and the only way to deal with it is to go to Jesus. Ugh... I used to think it was cool that we did that...

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pseudovillain,

 

Welcome to the boards! I understand you said your mother was snooping into your messaging archives. Have you ever considered just deleting every archive after you use it? Also, get yourself a web based email like yahoo or hotmail that is password protected. Next, erase your history on your browser. Now, your mom could get some software but it would teach her a lesson about snooping. If she asks you why you deleted all your past info, just say..."because I chose to." When she asks you why you chose to then just say, "because I did." I would never take any of that crap from my parents and you can lay into them about the fact you are not too far from taking a job and moving out, and they are going to have to let you be an adult at some point and give some space or you may not want to spend much time with them when you are out and ultimately married. And if you do have a child, if they are going to be a pain in the butt, they may not get to see any grandchildren that often. I used that tact often and it worked for the most part. But then again, even when I was a fundy, I was still a smartass.... :wicked:

 

Well, my parents don't snoop anymore. Once my mom did that I started keeping everything closed. I do use a web based e-mail. And, when I'm doing stuff I know she isn't gonna approve of, I'll erase my history and cache.

 

She'll never ask about why it's cleared, because she isn't going to want to expose herself should she begin snooping again. Remember... it took a lot of prying to get her to admit to reading my crap.

 

I already have a job, but right now things are going fairly well and my mom doesn't give me "things to think about" anymore because I think she realized that I don't heed her words and she only pisses me off, and I don't want to have to move out yet. I probably will if, when I'm 18 and tell them what's up, they refuse to stop trying to control me. The only thing that's really keeping me from telling them everything now is the fact that they've threatened to send me to my aunt and uncle's. Should I move to Bremerton, I'd just be pissed because seeing my boyfriend would be slightly harder and Bremerton sucks. It wouldn't change me into what they want me to be.

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I remember being a youth leader in VBS and we didn't mention hell all that much. It was more the guilt approach of: "You are a worthless sinner and you made Jesus suffer horribly and die for your sins. Accept Jesus, so Jesus doesn't have to cry anymore and then Jesus will be happy."

 

It sucks that you guys are that way about VBS. I don't remember if we really talk about hell all that much... just that everyone's a sinner and the only way to deal with it is to go to Jesus. Ugh... I used to think it was cool that we did that...

 

I don't think it was cool that we did that. Brainwashing little kids whether by guilt or fear is still wrong. What I was trying to do was point out the differences in denominations and the tactics they use to get the kids "saved".

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