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Loneliness


Guest barb
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This has been touched on, but I want to discuss more directly how lonely the exchristian life can be. Just tonight while in class I mentioned something about my church and someone said "it's not that evangelical church...?," because her relative was a member, and I said "oh no, I go to the most liberal church in the galaxy, the UU." What ensued was a discussion of how "freakish" the fundamentalist ideals are-- and while I agreed heartily, no one in the discussion really knew what it was like to have lived it. Sort of like discussing pedophilia, and you're a victim, and others are just appalled.

My husband was brought up without religion at all (product of darling bizarre hippies), and he just does not understand some of my truly warped psychological constructs (like my immense, gi-normous capacity for guilt and shame-- like I'll worry for a day and a half if the fact that I ate the last cookie was a problem for some, and I'm always intensely worried about how I "come across" to people- obsessive-compulsive self-inventory). He's impatient with it, and I understand that. But it's very isolating.

If we were in a different socio-economic level counseling would be an option but frankly it's not.

 

So I appeal to you all to counsel me. I feel like a freak in my own freaking world-- I second-guess my every move, and spend WAY too much time thinking about myself. Any thoughts? Any book suggestions? Any programs you've followed that have helped with this...?

 

 

Thanks in advance,

-Barb

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Guest Shiva H. Vishnu

I feel your pain, Barb. I've never met a single soul who could relate to my particular upbringing. But this site is a great place to go when you feel that estrangement from the world. Keep on keepin on is all I can tell you. The world is a lonely place.

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I feel your pain, Barb. I've never met a single soul who could relate to my particular upbringing. But this site is a great place to go when you feel that estrangement from the world. Keep on keepin on is all I can tell you. The world is a lonely place.

 

Ok Shiva,

 

You're a peach. And cute too. ( Caveats. Have had 3 glasses of wine. Am married with child.)

Thanks,

-Barb

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knock knock...can I come in..

 

yep....diitto. I'm also married to a non religious man...and have never meet anyone who has had a remotedly similar fuckedup fundy upbringing as I have.

 

Never..! amazing ain't it.

 

yeah...been a bit lonely in that way...but shit...look on the brightside..it gives you a pretty damn pecular sense of humor.

 

Proud of my freakdom!

:grin:

 

P.s. when I left home ...I become a hippy

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Guest singlecoil

Hey my turn. I grew up in very strick fundyville. I'm surprised I can function at all.

 

Oh and I've had one glass of wine and am married (barely) too. Three more and I should stop feeling guilty.

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Hi,

I do experience a fair bit of empathy for what you have been discussing. I had a radical conversion story and spent my adolescence in a small fundementalist pentecostal break-off group. When I left that group (for reasons of conscience and the well-being of my family) most of my friends/family practiced a non-offical shunning. I have been very lonely since I started developing intellectually. I am still not really accepted in my new church - even though it is pretty liberal for a pentecostal assembly. I think that one is either a hero or a heretic when one becomes a thinker - there is no other way in which fundementals can understand intelectual life. I seem to be constantly confronting myself with instances where I catch myself enacting an inauthentic faith (enacting a cultural pattern instead of acting in good conscience). These cultural patterns seem to be the very things that make one a bonafide member in the Christian community and not enacting them makes me disqualified as a member. The criteria of 'faith in Christ' seems to be a bit of a smoke screen. It is a strange feeling when people don't want to talk to you because you are different. I feel pressure to pretend for the sake of my family (so that they don't recieve descrimination) but this is certainly 'bad faith.'

 

I take solice in the fact that, whatever the outcome, I can say that I made choices in good-conscience: I endeavor to do what is right (which often seems at odds with Christian ethics????)

 

Sorry if I have crossed any lines here b/c I am not an ex-christian.

 

Best,

Jimmy

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A lot of what people in religion develop is co-dependency. This is because of the "put others first" mentality and the guilt and shame. I recommend Codependency No-More by Melody Beattie. It really helped me when I was coming out of religion. She mentions God, but not really in a way you can't skip over- kind of like AA's 12 step program mentions a higher power, but it really doesn't matter.

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:wave: Barb,

 

I can relate so much! I feel like a "freak in my own freaking world" too. Can't relate to the fundys anymore and can't relate to the secular world. Lots of guilt and second guessing myself.

 

Please, if you haven't already, checkout Marlene Winell's book called Leaving the Fold. It is absolutely incredible, filled with things I have never heard, yet seem so simple. I grew up in strict fundyville and still live there even though I'm not there in mind/heart.

 

The book is filled with ways in which to change your thinking and take care of yourself. You can get it as an e-book on her website so you don't even need to wait for it to come.

 

Oh, wish I were a hippy! ;)

 

Hugs.

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I was the ultimate in feeling guilt and shame..and still do, to a certain extent.

 

I take babysteps in it though.

 

Like the issue of worrying about what others think. I love water stuff..swimming, tubing, etc. But, I look lousy in a swimsuit, so it often held me back from doing things I really love to do. My husband constantly tells me "why do you worry about what others think??"

 

And..why should I? We live in a city of over 1 million people. We travel to lakes/beaches/rivers within the second largest state in the union. If I go to one, and people there want to think "look that woman in the bathing suit!"..why should I care? I'll most likely NEVER see them again. In fact, I have yet to run into the same people twice at any of the places we go to, except park rangers..

 

I have found to get over some of this, I have had to be bold..and just do something outrageous, that would normally go against the grain..or should I say "ingrained" attitude that I held. And, keep doing that "thing" until its comfortable.

 

Its like facing a fear to get over it. I no longer care what I "look" like as I float down the river in a tube..especially after our last trip, when we went down the S. Llano with a group that sounded like they came right out of "Blue Collar Comedy"...those folks were having a blast..and really didn't give a shit!

 

Life's too short..enjoy it while you can, even if that means eating the last cookie..you can always buy/make more.. :)

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I know what you mean. I've had to live with being the "paisley sheep" in the family in that I can't seem to help but become everything but part of any flock. It DOES get very lonely being an individual.

 

I recommend "Breaking Free From the Victim Trap" by Diane Zimberoff. It's not about relgion really, though it touches on it and it's role it plays in our culture of guilt trips and constant push and pull of victimizing ourselves, persecuting ourselves, and rescuing ourselves.

 

I recommend checking on books and articles on learning to love yourself. It feels really weird and silly and uncomfortable at first, but it's a very valuble skill to develop. Learn feel as much love when you think about yourself as you do when you love others, and it increases your pleasure in life on so many levels.

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