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Anyone Else Go Through An Anger Phase Deconverting?!


sithprincess
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I did. Mostly it was because I felt so foolish having believed it all and letting myself be taken advantage of.

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Yup. Still get hot about it sometimes (about 30 years now) when I reflect too long on it. Speaking for myself only, I don't think the anger ever goes away entirely. Forgive and forget? Sure, but that doesn't mean there won't be a scar...

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Most folks who leave Xianity get angry at it. After all, it's a religion that encourages absolute submission to its god on pain of eternal torment, as well as require a buttload of insane and inhuman standards to be met in addition to selling one's soul to Jebus.

 

Who couldn't get mad at that, once they realize that's what Xianity is all about according to its own holy book?

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Hmm...maybe that's my problem. Maybe I feel taken advantage of? I don't know. I can't quite seem to identify my anger. In the very beginning, when I first began to see that it was all untrue, I almost felt angry at Jesus for NOT being god' son, and for possibly not even existing, if that makes any sense. I always thought the gospel story was a loving and beautiful story, and then when I learned it didn't really mesh with the christian god, THAT pissed me off. Then to consider that maybe NONE of it was true....

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Guest Freethinka

I haven't been angry because I am no longer a believer, but rather I find me becoming more and more angry with religion. My husband is catholic- he hasn't gone regularly to church since I met him- he doesn't know I'm Atheist. His father died this summer and we of course had to go to church. The funeral was just appalling- I was so surprised at how irritated I was with the whole thing! Now, his mom arranges masses for her husband's birthday and their wedding anniversary. I thought it was just going to be for this year ( since it just happened ) but no- she will do it every year! For some reason it really really irritates me. I intellectually know that it shouldn't bother me- it's their right to believe what they want- but I FEEL so annoyed. This anger and growing intolerance is what is so difficult- especially since my husband doesn't know how I feel- and even when he does know, I have to respect him and his family's faith. This is SO tough!

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Yes, it is quite normal for a lot of people. My cure was this awesome site. I posted all the time (I went through about 6 user names and asked Dave to remove me from the site as though I never existed) and argued with the fundies, it's like a place to vent without taking out on Christians that are still in your life, lol. It wasn't funny at the time though, I was very angry, very hurt, mad at myself. My fundamentalism grew out of control and I singlehandedly almost destroyed my family and that was the hardest part to swallow. After breaking from the faith, I then became depressed and angry and spent HOURS on this site, trying to heal the wounds, for over a year and my family suffered again. I made a virtual family but was so screwed in the head that I forgot about them, even though I'm a stay at home mother and a home educator. I did my duties but my mind was always here, I went through the motions but always thought about what to post next. My children thank goodness are strong as anything and with my husband's love and support we're doing great. Despite me being screwed up we were still WAY happier during my deconversion than my last year of fundyism.

 

Anywho, after that long year or so after deconversion the angry feelings left, the addiction stopped (and a few good friends here will send me an IM if I'm in need of an addiction reminder). I love the friends that I've made on ExC.

 

It will pass and I'd love to say, "It'll only be a few months and everything will be fine" BUT deconversion doesn't happen the same for everyone. Many people need hardly anytime to heal and they move on as though nothing happened, and then you have the extreme like me who fell back and forth into fear and anger (never back to the faith) for many months and struggled to maintain any kind of happiness.

 

Tell you what, it feels SOOOO good to back to normal and living a happy life with my husband and children. Life is good. :grin:

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Guest Freethinka

Wow Jubilant, that's so great that everything is fine now! I think what makes me the angriest, is the fact that religion is too blame for all this turmoil. I know that when I do tell my husband, things are going to be very rough around here. I know there will be much unpleasantness- and it makes me just SICK to think about what my husband will be thinking and feeling when he finds out. There's nothing like religion to make ppl miserable! This transformation has been as smooth as it could possiby be, but for this issue. I know everything will be ok. It's good to be able to come here and read about other's experiences- it really helps. :grin:

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I was just curious as to whether anyone else went through a period of anger while deconverting, and if so, where did it come from for you? I seem to be going through that now, but I'm not sure why. Argh!

 

 

I still become angry for allowing religion to steal the best part and majority of my life. I always doubted it while a believer and it finally took courage to take an active atheist roll currently in my life.

I am angry at all the time feeling guilt and unworthiness and offering thousands of unanswered prayers.

This anger is now replaced by the utter happinesss and peace by no longer believing in any fuckin imaginary gods or religions!

I can go to church (only when absolutely socially necessary) and participate fully and then walk out and say "fuck it" its all bullshit!

Such thinking and behavior would have previously destroyed me and now I laugh it off!

I am still a good, moral person without the nonsense of religion ruling my life. Be patient while cultivating your disbelief. Good luck!

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I too have anger and am having problems dealing with it. I was raised as Catholic and realized in my younger years that I could not follow their beliefs. Because it would have killed my mother for me to change my religion I just stayed away for awhile. When my mom died I researched religions and decided that while I couldn't find a religion that totally matched my beliefs that Methodism was the closest. I attended religiously for almost a year and then took the steps to become a member of the church. During this time I grappled with my belief in the Bible and Jesus. The real show stopper for me was when I stood up before the church to become a member. I had to accept Jesus. Had I had to accept God that would have been different because I don't know if God truly existed (don't think he is here today but could have been millions of years ago) but I realized I didn't believe the whole Jesus myth and thought the Bible was just a folk lore. I was thinking, man am I a hypocrite or what. I went back a couple of times after that but haven't been back since. I can't pretend to believe in something I don't.

 

I'm not mad at myself because I was never part of a fundamentalist religion (yes I was catholic but I realized early in life that I didn't hold to their belief system). But I am angry with organized religion and how it makes people behave.

 

Right now I am angriest with a particular church in my community that thinks they are the best of the best and their congregants shit doesn't stink. I'll spare you the details but I've had run in's with 3 people that belong to that church (all different issues), one that even was illegal and the state and county government made them stop after I reported it. I have become so focused on wanting to expose them for the frauds that they are. What bothers me the most is that this church is a social club and because of that emphasis they are growing in leaps and bounds. Their idea of outreach isn't to do good works for the community it is to go out and recruit new members. I still have yet to figure out what charitable deeds they do. All I have been able to find out is they gave water bottles out at a park one day. Hmmm, I live in a fairly affluent area and I'm thinking most folks bought their own water. They should have gone downtown and given water out to the homeless.

 

Sorry for the rant, as I said I'm angry.

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It seems to take a person longer to emotionally remove Xianity from his or her life than it takes to intellectually come to grips with the fact that Xianity is bunk. Xianity paralyzes the intellect but really takes its toll on the human heart. There are so many bogus promises, so much dependence that is fostered, and also so many terrible threats of eternal torment if this and that condition isn't met. The mind may easily overcome Xianity but the heart seems to have a harder time.

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I did. That was about the time I found this site, actually. Being able to confront fundies in the debate forums helped a lot.

 

For me, it was from realizing that I had been brainwashed as a child and that most of my family is still brainwashed and there's nothing I can do about it, because they'd rather keep their heads in the sand and pretend. I'd rather go on with my life.

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Anger? You bet! But I was mostly angry at myself for being a gullible nitwit to believe in the first place. I ignored every skeptical instinct I had and traded it in for faith. And while my life isn't in total ruins because of this, I have lost much that I will never recover. I will ALWAYS despise religion for doing that to me.

 

However, these days I'm not nearly as angry as I was in the beginning. As Jubilant said earlier, this site has helped me work out a lot of anger by venting with the gang here. Today I mostly laugh at religion, having taken back my life. It may take some time, but it is possible to get over the anger. Just let it out and let the words of hostility fly, and soon it'll leave you.

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Freethinka wrote:

I haven't been angry because I am no longer a believer, but rather I find me becoming more and more angry with religion. My husband is catholic- he hasn't gone regularly to church since I met him- he doesn't know I'm Atheist.

 

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Then are you sure he's really still Catholic? He might even be another member of the board here. :Doh:

 

I'm mostly like Brick. I still get angery at times, but not at myself since I deconv'd at an early age (appx. 18). But my younger brother recoiled the other way from my venture into the dark side and even our mainstream Methodism into arranged marriages and literal Bible Evangelism. The catalyst for my conversion was church indifference to racism and segregation in the Deep South. I've never looked back except in anger.

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Yep, I felt angry...still do from time to time. Angry at myself for believing it all and for not questioning sooner as well as angry at religion in general and at the brainwashing I received at school since I was 5 years old. That kinda thing.

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Maybe I just have yet to go through an "anger" phase, but in the last month or so since my deconversion, I haven't felt particularly angry at anyone. The people in my old church did (and still do, in their way) love me very much. They're nothing if not sincere, and I can't be angry with them for believing and practicing the same thing I did for years. I'm not angry with myself, because I think I'm learning a lot about myself as a result of my conversion and deconversion that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. I do wish I had figured it out a little earlier, but it took 10 years, and I don't consider those 10 years wasted in any way. During those 10 years my son was born, my career has flourished, my relationship with my wife has deepened, there are no regrets. I'm glad I had my Christian experience. If anything I feel a bit nostalgic about it, like a childhood that I know I can never go back to.

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I know it isn't "PC" to not respect other people's religions, but I dislike religion in general, and flat out hate the Abrahamic ones. What I respect is the right for people to believe whatever they want. Yes, I have anger. I've been angry at Christianity for years. That doesn't mean I don't love the people who've been brainwashed, though.

 

I think, in many cases, the degree of anger you feel at deconverting has a lot to do with how deeply you believed in, and LOVED, Jesus. For my part, initially, I felt really betrayed when I found out it was all a lie. Now I'm pissed at religion (particularly the fundy varieties) because all they seem to do is promote small mindedness, hatred, warfare, terrorism, and Bronze Age mentality in general. I don't expect I'll get over my anger, either, in that regard.

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To this day, that damn turn the other cheek shit, which was forced on me by my parents every time i had a difficult time with my childhood peers, makes it difficult for me to be assertive when i really need to. It's not a cognitive decision, it's goddam instinct!

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I'm angry at myself for wasting probably the best years of my life on that B.S. when I could have actually been enjoying life.

 

The same for me. I felt a lot of anger and resentment. Later I realized I was angry at myself for wasting many years of my life on the B.S. I was even more angry that I pretended to believe even though I didn't and wasted even more time.

 

It's an issue that I still struggle with often, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to find the balance where I can be who I am, but still stayed married. I read the books I want to read. I don't attend church or the weekly "family group". If it makes my wife upset, that's not my problem. I'm polite and respectful. It's not my job to make anyone else happy.

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Yeah I am still quite angry at the ones spreading the word and brainwashing people. That is indeed what it is. I get angry by it and still do. This is just my second year of athesim and I am still quite pissed off about it, somedays I can live with it, others I can't.

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Anger? Oh hell yeah!

 

I became so angry after my deconversion that anger at the church or the Bible, etc. wasn't enough. I hated everyone for a while. It has come back lately, like some ugly flashback in a post-trauma nightmare. I call it 'residual fundy anger'. It's like some kind of evil slime that you crawl out of, but it still sticks to your skin, and has been in your eyes and ears and inside your mouth on your very tounge, and even a long time after, you still aren't rid of the 'demons' of Christianity, and there are so many 'Pastors' that would tell you that it is still with you because the Spirit of God won't leave you, but you know it's because you were brainwashed until you only saw one reality, and all others, including sunlight and goodness seem foreign to you.

So then after years of 'seeing' your own flesh and blood in your minds' eye sinking deeper into an eternal Hell because they didn't 'believe' that a carpenter from Galilee died for them two thousand years ago, and after years and years of believing to your very core that you are different and 'blessed' because you believe, you come to realize that any God that would do that to your sister or mom, or little brother, must be some kind of cruel God, and even if he is real, you don't want anything to do with him. So then all of the hours you have put in reading or listening to 'the man of God' justify why God would do such a thing and still be Holy and Righteous, and damn kind to you, you sinner! it all just stops making sense.

And after soul searching and praying (yes praying) and study, and despite your memories of sermons preached and admonishments given, you just don't believe any longer. You know that there are names (reprobate!) and certain fates (Anathema!) for you now, but they no longer have the right to impart fear to you. What were once dead books, that became 'living scripture', are now just dead books again. Like anyone that can suspend their disbelief and be drawn in to a good book, you were drawn into this one with much help from many of the books fans.

 

Religion in general, and Christianity in particular, has messed with my brain and soul. You may not be able to tell from this post, but anger after?

 

Oh hell yeah.

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I was just curious as to whether anyone else went through a period of anger while deconverting, and if so, where did it come from for you? I seem to be going through that now, but I'm not sure why. Argh!

 

 

Well I can Say I went through an angry period. For me it was a combo of a few things I was sad to discover that Jesus some oen whom I thought I knew didn't exist. The I was angery because I felt taken advantage of. then I wwas also afriad because I had no base for my life no moral base no epistimilogigal base and nothign to go on I had to start from scratch.

 

 

Then I started to rebuild and things hav gotten better as time has passed I have rebuilt my world and it is checked constiantly.

 

all I can say is hang in there and you'll make it through it is compleaty natual during your "detox" period.

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I'm in an angry part too, and I can't quite put a finger on what it is that's angering me, either, specifically.

 

Maybe it isn't anything specific though, who knows. I just am seriously feeling this utter blind rage about Xianity right now. It's starting to boil down into disgust and revulsion, but it's still mostly anger.

 

I do know that my own Xianity was and is tied into my relationship with my mother, which was not a good one. I'm not mad at myself about it, because I realize that under the circumstances it was just safer for me to convert and be Xian for awhile. But I *am* ashamed of the way I acted sometimes while I was a Xian, that's sure true. I had my head up my recharge socket a lot of the time and I wish I hadn't been that way.

 

But yeah. I don't know. I'm just fucking pissed as hell at Xians and Xianity right now. Maybe it's just sheer frustration at how arrogant and judgmental and STUPID they can be, I don't know. Or maybe it's just disgust at realizing what a horrible, evil deity Yahweh is, and wondering how any human being in their right mind can think that following such a deity is okay. Plus if I'm honest I'll admit there's some elements of being angry about being spiritually abused by Xians - my mother, and FundieBoy in particular.

 

So yeah. I'm still there. Probably will be for awhile.

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Guest Ivy Leigh

I think anger is a really common reaction initially. It's kinda like that feeling a kid gets when he finds out about Santa. ("Hey, believing in flying reindeer? And fitting down the chimney? Oh how stupid was I?") A kind of embarrassment and then being angry at people we love and repspect for being equally stupid!

 

I have come out of christian fundyism, so your mileage may vary if you're catholic or...whatever...but for people in my family that have deconverted, the period of anger seems to last about a year and a half. Then you achieve a happy zen state of "I'm not going to be thrown by whatever weird shite you want to believe! Have a nice day!"

 

Ivy

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