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Fear Of Getting Sucked Back In


Rosa Mystica
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Lately, I've been experiencing tons of mental turmoil about my former faith. I've not been able to shake the feeling that one day, I may go back to Catholicism. And I'm troubled by this, as I increasingly despise the shit and damage that that religion dishes out. Catholicism *hurt* me very deeply. It caused me to develop a mental illness that I may not have ever struggled with had I not been raised in the faith.

 

So why the hell do I think, "What will happen if I go back?" I have no desire to do this- not in the slightest. I am wayyyyy happier as an ex-Catholic. I am more tolerant, more compassionate, more loving towards others. I am better able to see my SO as a good man than when I was in the system. I am freer to explore my spirituality, and find a positive view of the divine that was previously denied to me. Trust me, I *don't* want my former religion back!!! And yet, hearing stories of reverts to Catholicism sends chills down my spine. I think, "They went back. How do I know that *I* won't????"

 

I'm really not sure how to handle this. I like my current views. They allow me to acknowledge that it *is* possible for a non-sadistic deity to exist- one who will not heartlessly condemn me or the love of my life (or any other human, for that matter). I like not having guilt over certain actions anymore. In general, I can finally see that things are getting better for me now that I don't have the Catholic deathcult weighing down on me anymore.

 

So why the constant "What if I revert?" thoughts? What could this possibly be indicative of? And how do I silence these thoughts?

 

I hate this. :( I'd really like to stop being affected by the pro-deathcult propoganda that I run into.

 

Please help me.

 

Rosa

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Rosa, if you don't mind me asking, where are you hearing stories of "reverts to Catholicism?" Perhaps if you avoided these stories your anxiety would cease. It doesn't sound to me like your in any danger of going back. In fact it sounds to me like you wouldn't be able to back if you tried.

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Rosa, if you don't mind me asking, where are you hearing stories of "reverts to Catholicism?" Perhaps if you avoided these stories your anxiety would cease. It doesn't sound to me like your in any danger of going back. In fact it sounds to me like you wouldn't be able to back if you tried.

 

Mostly online. And actually, I haven't read any of these since I ceased to be Catholic. But the memories of the ones I *did* read on various Catholic and Christian forums at the time are still haunting me today.

 

I know what you're saying is true. My SO and my counsellor believe it's "very unlikely" that I'll ever be Catholic again. But I've always tended towards "what-iffing" for much of my life. Gotta unlearn that totally unhelpful practice before it destroys me inside.

 

Thanks for the reassurance. I don't see how I could go back. If I did, I'd just deconvert all over again. And I don't wish to go through that process a second time- too emotionally wrenching.

 

RM

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Hello, Rosa:

 

It's not easy to leave. I don't need to name all the reasons it's not easy, because you know them.

 

But I have more experience at this than you have, so I will share.

 

It's takes kind of a long time. A relatively long time. During that time you have occasional doubts, because you remember all the stuff that you did like and were attached to. Also there is a strong, superstitious attachment to certain objects and activities. I know all this, and you are learning it.

 

Now here's the good part. One day (probably really soon) you will realize that your almost-organic attachment to the church has disappeared for good. It will be as though a heavy weight has been taken off your shoulders (so to speak). You will know it when this happens, and this stuff will never bother you again.

 

It doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. Be calm, and be yourself. Nobody can claim ownership of you, so let it naturally and slowly happen that you become yourself and your own boss. I know how strong the church's hold can be. But one day it goes away for good, and you will know it.

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Hello, Rosa:

 

It's not easy to leave. I don't need to name all the reasons it's not easy, because you know them.

 

But I have more experience at this than you have, so I will share.

 

It's takes kind of a long time. A relatively long time. During that time you have occasional doubts, because you remember all the stuff that you did like and were attached to. Also there is a strong, superstitious attachment to certain objects and activities. I know all this, and you are learning it.

 

Now here's the good part. One day (probably really soon) you will realize that your almost-organic attachment to the church has disappeared for good. It will be as though a heavy weight has been taken off your shoulders (so to speak). You will know it when this happens, and this stuff will never bother you again.

 

It doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. Be calm, and be yourself. Nobody can claim ownership of you, so let it naturally and slowly happen that you become yourself and your own boss. I know how strong the church's hold can be. But one day it goes away for good, and you will know it.

 

(*Sighs deeply*) Yeah, I've heard that it takes a while. And I have a tendency towards impatience- something which is not serving me well at the moment. I've been out of the system for six months. In those six months, I believe I've made much progress. I don't have guilt about "disobeying" the Church at all. In fact, I've actually been really good at shedding irrational guilt (good riddance to that crap!). However, irrational *fear* is quite another story. I've still got plenty of that. And I just feel like I'm some kind of failure b/c it's still with me after more than half a year of being ex-Catholic. But maybe it really does take time, like you said.

 

I feel truly sorry for anyone who has received an upbringing in this System of Atrocity. Catholicism, IMO, seems to cause more emotional damage than most forms of Protestantism. I'd give anything to be ex-Protestant instead.

 

Thanks, Roman.

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(*Sighs deeply*) Yeah, I've heard that it takes a while. And I have a tendency towards impatience- something which is not serving me well at the moment. I've been out of the system for six months. In those six months, I believe I've made much progress. I don't have guilt about "disobeying" the Church at all. In fact, I've actually been really good at shedding irrational guilt (good riddance to that crap!). However, irrational *fear* is quite another story. I've still got plenty of that. And I just feel like I'm some kind of failure b/c it's still with me after more than half a year of being ex-Catholic. But maybe it really does take time, like you said.

 

Yes, my friend, it DOES take time. Time that is measured in years rather than months. If you have in this short time gotten rid of the irrational guilt, rejoice! THAT in and of itself is a mark of major progress. So long as the guilt remains you're bound hand and foot. You're free of the guilt so that means you're going to be okay.

 

Minds are funny things. Random thoughts come and go and flit their way across the mental screen. My people have a saying not to worry about the thoughts that flit through one's mind, but not to let them make their nest there. That's right. Not everything I learned from my church is bad. Christianity DOES have some very good ideas, concept, maxims, etc.

 

I feel truly sorry for anyone who has received an upbringing in this System of Atrocity. Catholicism, IMO, seems to cause more emotional damage than most forms of Protestantism. I'd give anything to be ex-Protestant instead.

 

I don't think it is more difficult to leave the Catholic church than some Protestant churches. I came out of a horse and buggy Mennonite church. (Some argue that Mennonite is neither Catholic nor Protestant. I'm not going into that issue here.) I was probably twice your age, which comes with its own pros and cons. But at the six-month mark I was not where you are. My focus was still on survival and dealing with the overwhelming rage and continuing persecution from my former community and from family. The persecution was not overt; it was suble, on the unspoken psychological level, the way people looked at me, what they felt and thought about me, what they said behind my back.

 

Several years ago I did a study of about half a dozen people who had left visible minority religious groups for mainstream society. All were from very conservative Mennonite and Amish communities that lived and dressed distinctly different from mainstream society; all remain strong Christians but they deconverted from visible minority religious status. One thing that really struck me was that even after fifty years, leaving the church remains a watershed in these people's lives. They continue to think in terms of what happened before and after.

 

There are cultural marks that cannot ever be wiped clean. One person left decades ago, and has held senior positions in his new church and in the university where he has been teaching for many years. Incidentally, he is an English prof. Yet I could tell from his emails that his first language was my own first langauge, which is NOT English. He had been referred to me as a possible source for research participants and information. He ended up becoming one of my research participants.

 

Another research participant told me that not until he helped provide care for his aging father did he feel any respect from his siblings. That was at least thirty years after he had left.

 

What I'm getting at here is:

 

1. I think perhaps the wounds can heal but the scars remain.

2. We have to learn how to live with these scars.

3. There is perhaps no one church that is more difficult to leave than others. Much depends on individual situations such as family attitude toward apostates.

 

By accepting that this is the case we can rise above self-pity and live a full and joyful life in spite of the injustices inflicted on us by religion. No one gets through life without scars of some sort. These happen to be ours.

 

ADDED: One more thought. The way I dealt with the fear was not to allow myself to think of it. I knew deep down that somehow or other my decision was right. With time I was able to deal with the fear. My greatest fear was about hell being real. Talking and writing about the experience helped me. Reading about and talking with others who had left the same kind of church was enormously helpful. Ed Babinski is a good author. "Leaving the Fold" is a good term with which to do a Google search for info on the internet. There are other ex-Catholics out there. (Ex-Catholic might be another good search term.) The trick is to find them. My hunch is that talking with some of them could be very helpful. You might want to find someone who has worked through the main issues rather than a person who is seeking revenge.

 

All the best and I hope you stick around.

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If you're not careful, you might go back to believing in the Tooth Fairy, too. :mellow:

 

Seriously, that's almost impossible, Rosa. I doubt that, at some future point, you'll forget about the lies and bs and go "Guess I believe it's true, after all."

 

Something that helps the process along is reading & education. May I suggest "The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan? Books like that really help reinforce your critical thinking, which in the end is what made us Ex-xtians in the first place. :grin:

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(*Sighs deeply*) Yeah, I've heard that it takes a while. And I have a tendency towards impatience- something which is not serving me well at the moment. I've been out of the system for six months. In those six months, I believe I've made much progress. I don't have guilt about "disobeying" the Church at all. In fact, I've actually been really good at shedding irrational guilt (good riddance to that crap!). However, irrational *fear* is quite another story. I've still got plenty of that. And I just feel like I'm some kind of failure b/c it's still with me after more than half a year of being ex-Catholic. But maybe it really does take time, like you said.

 

I feel truly sorry for anyone who has received an upbringing in this System of Atrocity. Catholicism, IMO, seems to cause more emotional damage than most forms of Protestantism. I'd give anything to be ex-Protestant instead.

 

 

From what I've read and what I've experienced, I doubt very much that it's more difficult to leave Catholicism than other denominations. Each denomination has its own hooks that they sink into you, and if those hooks have been sunk in for years, they leave painful wounds when they're ripped out. For me and my 10 year Fundamental Baptist background, the hooks are my family who are still in the church, the fact that all my friends are in the church (because I wouldn't associate with "worldly" people before), the notion of hell, the notion that I never was a Christian because I left, so maybe I didn't experience whatever I needed to experience to be a real Christian, and maybe if I did experience this I'd see the "truth" of the gospel, and a bunch of other stuff. Christianity has shaped my worldview for 1/3 of my life, so of course it's not going to be easy to just walk away from it. I think that's why this forum is here. Leaving your faith can be a lonely journey, but there are others on the same path.

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I tried going back once to a liberal church. I realized that I was only going to church to make other people happy (my family) and that I couldn't pretend to believe in it anymore. I had to be honest with myself, at least, that I didn't believe the fairy tale, and part of that has to include living my life as who I am, not as who other people want me to be.

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Here's something Paul got right: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Corinthians 13, verse 11

 

My question to you is this: now that you have been enlightened, how is it possible for you to go back to a state of blindness? If you have fears, then my advice to you is to study and get a firm grip on why it is you deconverted in the first place.

 

When I was going through my own deconversion, I realized at one point that my faith was gone and that I could never get it back. I still had fears of hell at the time and I wondered at the idea that god could send me there when it was impossible for me to believe what I had formerly believed because it was such obvious nonsense.

 

Once the genie is out of the bottle Rosa, he ain't going to get put back in, no matter what kind of silly stories you may have been exposed to in regards to others.

 

I'm going to commit the great sin of hipocracy here and claim that those who reconvert (short of those with problems like one of our esteemed members who suffers from bi polar), were never really deconverted in the first place. For unlike those who claim we were never really xians, it is just not possible to see xianity exposed for all its lies and then be tempted back into a state of belief.

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You get those thoughts because you were brainwashed to have those beliefs. They snuck in under your rational radar, and that makes them hard to access.

 

They just happen.

 

Over time, they will fade.

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Here's something Paul got right: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Corinthians 13, verse 11

 

My question to you is this: now that you have been enlightened, how is it possible for you to go back to a state of blindness? If you have fears, then my advice to you is to study and get a firm grip on why it is you deconverted in the first place.

 

How is it possible? B/c people change their beliefs all the time. Overtime, what once looked like "blindness" can look like "enlightenment" to a person (and vice versa). Ideas evolve and change all the time.

 

If you're looking for reasons why I deconverted, they're discussed here:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=11231

 

 

I'm going to commit the great sin of hipocracy here and claim that those who reconvert (short of those with problems like one of our esteemed members who suffers from bi polar), were never really deconverted in the first place. For unlike those who claim we were never really xians, it is just not possible to see xianity exposed for all its lies and then be tempted back into a state of belief.

 

I'm going to disagree with this statement for the reason I just listed above. But that's just my opinion.

 

I should probably also state that mental illness and religion have kind of fed off each other in my experience as well. I suffered with OCD for many years as a Catholic. I also have clinical depression and anxiety. I know someone here once suggested that the way I describe my relationship to my former faith makes it sound like I have PTSD or something.

 

Last night was horrendous. I felt like I was *reliving* my Catholic experience. Worst of all, the thoughts running through my head did not feel like mine, but seemed to have an origin that was outside of myself. I have no idea what the hell caused this- just that the whole thing made me incredibly scared and sad.

 

I hate this. I feel like I'm in prison, and that there's no way out. I also feel physically run down by all this shit. I just want to feel like I have during my "up" phases as an ex-Catholic (it was where I was until a few days ago).

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Here's something Paul got right: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Corinthians 13, verse 11

 

My question to you is this: now that you have been enlightened, how is it .......

Wait Wait Wait. I didn't realize this until now

 

Matt 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Put away childish things but also become like a child? WTF :twitch:

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(*Sighs deeply*) Yeah, I've heard that it takes a while. And I have a tendency towards impatience- something which is not serving me well at the moment. I've been out of the system for six months. In those six months, I believe I've made much progress. I don't have guilt about "disobeying" the Church at all. In fact, I've actually been really good at shedding irrational guilt (good riddance to that crap!). However, irrational *fear* is quite another story. I've still got plenty of that. And I just feel like I'm some kind of failure b/c it's still with me after more than half a year of being ex-Catholic. But maybe it really does take time, like you said.

 

I feel truly sorry for anyone who has received an upbringing in this System of Atrocity. Catholicism, IMO, seems to cause more emotional damage than most forms of Protestantism. I'd give anything to be ex-Protestant instead.

Thanks, Roman.

 

Give yourself much more than six months, this is my 2nd year of being out and as time goes by the fears lessen. Now I feel nothing when people start on their "heavenly father" and their religion being the true one. Back in the day, the word god used to have power but now it doesn't, I don't know I just feel nothing. I don't feel like I'm damned, and I feel good about myself and my life. You have to learn to be okay with yourself even if you are alone, and you have to kind of relearn who you are as a person after leaving xianity.

 

It takes time, the fears aren't just going to go away in six months. Rome wasn't built in a day, neither will your life be after leaving the Catholic church. It will take time, just be patient with yourself. I don't rely on just emotions, but on logic where it regards my camp nowadays. But what I've realized, is that even if it was true which it isn't, I still wouldn't go back. There's just no way.

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Rosa, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your disagreement. LOL

 

As AGF put it so concisely, can you go back to believing in the tooth fairy? Then why is belief in Catholicism any different? If you find it different, I would argue that you probably don't yet have a firm enough grasp on why it is you disbelieve. I don't mean that as a challenge or a put down. It takes time. My deconversion process stretched out over a period of probably close to 10 years. I don't know a lot of things, but this I know, I can never believe again short of a brain trama causing accident or illness.

 

The emotions you are going through are very likely just your brain working on the fears the church crammed in your head since your brain was in its early development stages. Get a strong grasp on why the ideas of the church are simply silly or get away from thinking about it all together. Either one will be much healthier for you than what you are going through now IMHO.

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Well my deconversion wasn't particularly tramatic. I haven't even written a testimony about it because it is fairly dull. However, I did have the occassional longing for the "fun" things about Church. About three years after I left the faith, I had to attend a Christmas Mass at an Episcopalian church. I was a teenager then and couldn't just tell my family to piss off. Anyways, the ceremony was pretty, but it was dul dull dull. I upset my aunt by not taking communion. I just sat there the whole time bored out of my mind. The thought of going back hasn't occured to me since. So I would suggest that once you have a really firm grasp on the reasons for your disbelief that you seek some sort of closure so that you can put it out of your mind. For me going back that once was plenty to show me that I really didn't want that in my life ever again.

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Lately, I've been experiencing tons of mental turmoil about my former faith. I've not been able to shake the feeling that one day, I may go back to Catholicism. And I'm troubled by this, as I increasingly despise the shit and damage that that religion dishes out. Catholicism *hurt* me very deeply. It caused me to develop a mental illness that I may not have ever struggled with had I not been raised in the faith.

 

So why the hell do I think, "What will happen if I go back?" I have no desire to do this- not in the slightest. I am wayyyyy happier as an ex-Catholic. I am more tolerant, more compassionate, more loving towards others. I am better able to see my SO as a good man than when I was in the system. I am freer to explore my spirituality, and find a positive view of the divine that was previously denied to me. Trust me, I *don't* want my former religion back!!! And yet, hearing stories of reverts to Catholicism sends chills down my spine. I think, "They went back. How do I know that *I* won't????"

 

I'm really not sure how to handle this. I like my current views. They allow me to acknowledge that it *is* possible for a non-sadistic deity to exist- one who will not heartlessly condemn me or the love of my life (or any other human, for that matter). I like not having guilt over certain actions anymore. In general, I can finally see that things are getting better for me now that I don't have the Catholic deathcult weighing down on me anymore.

 

So why the constant "What if I revert?" thoughts? What could this possibly be indicative of? And how do I silence these thoughts?

 

I hate this. :( I'd really like to stop being affected by the pro-deathcult propoganda that I run into.

 

Please help me.

 

Rosa

 

Hi Rosa, I know how you feel. I was in the Assembly of God church and then kind of went on my own to different denominations and then began to read the bible for myself and was a non-church Christian. The psychological conditioning they do to people (especially catholics) can be extremely damaging even after they leave the church. It is no different than leaving a cult. The difference is that Christianity is accepted in the mainstream as a legitimate religion and not a cult. However, if you go back far enough, it was a cult of small followers at one time. That should make it suspect. The ideas they hammer into people's heads from childhood are so powerful, that in spite of using all logic and rational thinking, a person raised in it can still think the boogeyman exists and will punish them for leaving him.

 

I view Christianity as "Spiritual Nazism" because it is so identical to nazi philosophy and behavior. So, the next time you think of the biblegod, just think "Hitler" and you won't ever desire to go back to following such a horrible thing. Just replace "God" and "Jesus" with "Hitler", replace "hell" with "concentration camp", replace nazi bigotry with "if you are not for me, you are against me", replace nazi hatred of jews with "Ye are of your father the devil", replace the "Pure blood of Aryans" with the "pure blood of Jesus", replace "1000 Year Reich" with "And they reigned with Christ for 1000 years". You get the idea. Ask yourself if you lived in Nazi Germany, would you join the nazi party just to avoid the concentration camps? Or would you keep your scruples and not join because you know it would be the wrong thing to do? Look at the christians who say "Well, at least I won't go to hell if I'm a christian". Just say this instead..."Well, at least I won't go to the concentration camp if I'm a nazi".

 

Also, just look at how the biggest bible thumpers are the most immoral people on earth. The moral christians who live in the world are the ones who read the bible the least. Same with the moral muslims who don't really read the quran. The results don't lie. So, don't be too worried about going back to the "NotSee Party".

 

Peace

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Just accept the fact that it is impossible for you to go back.

 

From the book of Hebrews:

 

6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

 

See you in Hell, if it exists.

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See you in Hell, if it exists.

 

Excuse me???? :eek:

 

Would you mind explaining that remark, please? It sounded like an insult against me, and was not appreciated. Little wonder I've thought of leaving this forum completely. I feel like my viewpoints are completely unappreciated at times. I feel so much pressure to think like everyone else here. Yet I can only be myself. I think nothing like a Christian, and yet I find myself in disagreement with certain viewpoints expressed by some of the ex-Christians here. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but I've been made to feel like there's something wrong with *me* (may not have been intentional, but it's how I feel right now).

 

Sorry for the derailment. I think I'm going to drop out of this thread now.

 

For those who gave me *good* advice, thank you. I'll do what I can.

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Lately, I've been experiencing tons of mental turmoil about my former faith. I've not been able to shake

 

Rosa, I am an ex catholic also. It is very difficult. I am out for about a year and it is getting easier. I haven't gone to fuckin church since June 10th at a wedding. I received, (in a state of mortal sin) and couldn't give a FUCK about it! I just convinced myself it is a ceremony and nothing more.Guess what? I've never felt better about my life!

Also, I find my wife no longer attends also. The use of jeeezus fuckin christ, godfuckin damnit and other terms among ourselves, NEVER around the children is liberating. It actually turns me on to know that she thinks religion is bullshit also.

I really don't mean to be crude as I have read all the other thoughtful responses you have received.

For me, I catch myself praying sometimes and I quickly say to myself ("stop that fuckin shit!)

 

Every day gets easier for me to laugh at how foolish I had been being a devout catholic. I no longer have ocd symptons myself. Attending church at times will be necessary and I will receive and play the part and just say FUCK IT when I walk out that building.

Utter godfuckin damnit blasphemy works for me.I just say jjeeeeeeeezuzs fucking christ to it all and move on.

I doubt there is a god and dont care if there is one. Thats my choice.

 

Please don't view this post as being vulgar, again this is whats working for me, Best regards.

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Hello, Rosa:

 

It's not easy to leave. I don't need to name all the reasons it's not easy, because you know them.

 

But I have more experience at this than you have, so I will share.

 

It's takes kind of a long time. A relatively long time. During that time you have occasional doubts, because you remember all the stuff that you did like and were attached to. Also there is a strong, superstitious attachment to certain objects and activities. I know all this, and you are learning it.

 

Now here's the good part. One day (probably really soon) you will realize that your almost-organic attachment to the church has disappeared for good. It will be as though a heavy weight has been taken off your shoulders (so to speak). You will know it when this happens, and this stuff will never bother you again.

 

It doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. Be calm, and be yourself. Nobody can claim ownership of you, so let it naturally and slowly happen that you become yourself and your own boss. I know how strong the church's hold can be. But one day it goes away for good, and you will know it.

 

 

This is excellent advice! It's exactly what is happening to me and I couldn't feel lighter or happier about it! Just be yourself and let nature take it's course.We are here for you Rose, you are one tremendous,strong person!

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Hey honey, I hadn't heard from you in a while and thought I'd drop by here and see how you were doing.

 

First is the obvious, you don't *know* that you won't go back ever. You aren't psychic. But not knowing that and beating yourself up over not knowing that isn't fair to yourself.

 

What you *do* know is how much happier you are now. You also know how much pain it caused you. Those are two very real very easily identifiable things you can hold on to. And that's what you have to do. You have to weigh choices in life carefully to see which is best for you and makes you happiest.

 

When you have those moments of wondering what it would be like, don't kick yourself. You aren't saying you want to go back. You aren't even saying that you are considering it an option. What you are doing is acknowledging that Catholicism was a part of your life for a long time. It is natural to wonder about it. It is probably very rare for someone to not change any aspect of their life that was a factor for a long time and not ever reflect on it. It doesn't make you weak or unstable in any way. All it does mean is that you are human. But when you wonder what it would be like, just also try to remember what life is like right now. And remember what it was like before. Side by side, which do you like better? That's a pretty good sign of your strength right there.

 

But then, you know I think the world of you Rosa. You're a strong woman, give yourself some credit. And don't forget the *snuggles* :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ive been mostly focusing on college for a while, and focusing on my studies has led me away from these forums and religion in general. I think its safe to say that I will never become a christian. I just dont care. I used to debate with christians about it. I used to take the bible seriously but now I could really just care less. I found that just living life as is takes care of any worries about some nonexistant skyfairy.

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How is it possible? B/c people change their beliefs all the time. Overtime, what once looked like "blindness" can look like "enlightenment" to a person (and vice versa). Ideas evolve and change all the time.

I think the big thing about people going back, and you'll find this is true 95+ percent of the time, is that it's fear driving the engine. People change their beliefs all the time, yes. But once they realize that organized religions lack foundation and/or stability when it comes to logic, facts, and proof- they can't just accept that those flaws don't exist. They can, because their afraid, convince themselves that they should believe again though.

 

The bare fact is this. There is no definitive proof that any religion is correct. Yes there may be a God, but we are supremely vain if we think that he is wholly contained in one of the exisiting religions.

 

 

I should probably also state that mental illness and religion have kind of fed off each other in my experience as well. I suffered with OCD for many years as a Catholic. I also have clinical depression and anxiety. I know someone here once suggested that the way I describe my relationship to my former faith makes it sound like I have PTSD or something.

 

I think this also explains a great portion of your fears allowing you to think about returning to the Christian fold. I know many people who suffer from depression specifically that end up suffering more because Christianity uses them and spits them out.

 

Last night was horrendous. I felt like I was *reliving* my Catholic experience. Worst of all, the thoughts running through my head did not feel like mine, but seemed to have an origin that was outside of myself. I have no idea what the hell caused this- just that the whole thing made me incredibly scared and sad.

 

I hate this. I feel like I'm in prison, and that there's no way out. I also feel physically run down by all this shit. I just want to feel like I have during my "up" phases as an ex-Catholic (it was where I was until a few days ago).

 

Always remember, that you are in control of how you feel. You guide it with your own thoughts. And if you're aware of that, then you can change your thought patterns back to a more positive line; or you can gravitate towards people who can help improve your state of mind.

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