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Sad In 2006


mick
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2006 was one of the worst years of my life. For the most part it was a direct result of realizing Xtianity was a lie. Don’t get me wrong in any way. I am in shock that I believed the Bible for so long. It astonishes me that I did. I see myself, when I was an evangelical, not any different than I would have looked at a Jehova’s Witness or a Mormon. Wacked.

 

The sad thing for me is that I was happier though. It’s only been about 8 months, but with my household Fundy, I’m not sure how I am ever going to feel good day in and day out. Even my 9 and 10 year olds talk about God all the time.

 

I have often compared this whole thing to Neo coming out of the Matrix in “The Matrix”. However, for those who saw the Matrix, remember the guy who actually wanted to go back into the Matrix because he was happier? I feel kind of like that guy. It’s ironic because Xtianity disgusts me now, but I am unhappy in life.

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Shit, Mick, I'm really sorry.

 

The express purpose of Ex-Christians.net is to support and encourage ex-christians, and I'm afraid I don't know what to say.

 

The end of year holiday season can be particularly depressing tho', what with it being winter, and the end of year approaching, we look at the year gone past and wonder if we have squandered it.

 

Hang, on Mick, hang on, the night is always darkest before the dawn. Even if I have nothing concrete to offer, I am thinking of you. You are now the odd one out in the family, but it need not always be that way. Search for something outside of the church that can unite and excite the family. (especially the kids) Roller blading, cycling, hiking, museums, galleries . . . something that you can all share in and enjoy and help to see that there is a life apart from god.

 

Accroche-toi bien, mon ami

 

Stew

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Yes, Mick, the first year is the worst. Find other interests that excite you as much..I know, easier said than done when so much of your life was focused on christianity.

 

Hang in there..it gets easier. And, hey, you have a whole new year coming up!

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Mick,

 

My wife hung on to the church much longer than I did. I had to be patient with her. I didn't badger her or get into fights with her about religion. Eventually she came around, and I attribute most of that to the fact that she is an intelligent woman who can think for herself.

 

It will hopefully get better for you, but for now, hang in there.

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Mick,

 

Maybe you need to give yourself more time to adjust to the changes that you're going through. Eight months is a short time, though it may feel like an eternity right now. Try not to obsess about your past happiness... that time is dead. Those memories are dry bones best left buried....try not to focus on the closed door.

 

Happiness will come of it's own and when we just let things, ourselves and others just be what they are, we recognize happiness in the moment it comes. Try to just let the day be what it is and don't put too much of your own expectations into it. Right now is the only time we breath. Don't hold your breath... realize the happiness that can be had with the ones you love, right now, not in some tomorrow where you don't have a promise of another breathe.

 

I truly wish the best for you and yours, Mick. As other's have said, it does get better. Hold fast!

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I can empathise Mick.

 

The advice of engaging in activities away from the church helps. Surround yourself with beauty - go out on a clear night and look up.

 

While I retain some religious beliefs, I think that one can gaze at the universe in wonder without religious overtones.

 

Beliefs are comforting things, they become a backstop against uncertainty. That said, uncertainty can be bracing and life affirming.

 

When I examine Christianity now, having left the faith a while ago, I find much that is toxic. In medicine, it isn't uncommon for a body - having rid itself of a toxin, to feel worse than when the toxin was present. (I'm thinking of drug adicition here.) But, as the body heals and health returns, one learns that the toxin enduced euphoria was false.

 

Just remember that we're here when you need to vent.

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Once you get a little more perspective you will be glad that xianity isn't true Mick. The connotations of it being true are horrible for all involved; sinners and saints. Your kids are still young. Kids watch their parents. I seriously doubt they will be too faithful to the faith once they hit their teens. Not when they see you not taking it seriously. Why? A parent who questions is good cause for questioning.

 

If I were you, I would make an agreement with your wife. Agree not to preach anti christianity to your kids if she agrees not to paint you as lost and in need of prayer. Let her know that the only thing that is acceptable to tell her kids about your decisions are that you have serious doubts and that that does not make you a bad person. If she can't do that, she should not discuss the matter with your kids. Anything more would amount to indoctrination and alienation. Tell her you will not accept her alienating your kids from you by painting you as a lost sheep.

 

As far as happiness. That's up to you. Realize that the only limits you now have are the ones you put on yourself. You are not guided by fate. You are not dependent on god's will. You are free to do and be whatever your imagination can create. If you want a thrilling life, then think outside the box and question all the values you were raised with; not just the xian ones. You can design your life anyway you want to. Don't limit yourself just because you have obligations. The brain is a powerful tool. It will come up with solutions for any question you ask of it. I'm guessing you are still a young guy. You have the whole world at your disposal. Live.

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mick,

 

I have been living with anger, frustration, and loneliness for over a year. Just coming out as an EX-c has been a relief to me, but yet I'm not sure how to progress. I don't feel I can look at people the same way I had just a few years prior. I was able to overlook so much, and just go with it, and enjoy folks regardless of their fucked up idealolgy. It's most definatlely created a void in my social ablitlites that quite frankly I'm not sure how to overcome.

 

I think the recovering addict analogy seems to fit it best, and I am somewhat familiar with that recovery process, so I remember how stable I felt after that process had run it's course. Life was better, and my confidence was high. Give it time, and express yourself here when you feel frustrated. I so much want to be able to enjoy life, and I'm going to have to do it with christians all around me. I know we can do it.

 

regards,

 

Chris

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Wow, those are all such good replies to Mick's post. I've been actively moving away from the church for about 10 months and it can be tricky sometimes because I don't want to lose the few friends I have in the church, but I'm quite sure they will begin to "mark" me and "have no company with" me, as the Bible recommends. I guess I'm tired of people picking and choosing which verses to follow. I mean, couldn't they pick one like "a friend loveth at all times" or "thine own familiar friend, and thy father's friend forsake not", etc. or "there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear". Maybe that's what my friends are doing, since they still are talking to me and associating with me. Maybe they hope to win me back, or don't realize how far away I've gotten in my beliefs. Or maybe they just really want to be around me. I basically try to take it one day or situation at a time and not worry about whether someone will like me in the future, or if something bad will happen to my family, etc. That reminds me that if a tragedy should overtake me or my family, I bet some in the church would attribute it to God's chastening to win me back, but at this point I almost don't believe that anymore. Besides, as a parent myself, I don't think it's loving to deliberately hurt one of my children to change them (except maybe an injection or treatment when they're sick that will help them get better, I suppose some use that as an example of God's methods) Unhappy things happen to Christians regularly and they just say it's God's testing or something or maybe ask "why me?"

So, Mick, just do what you can to see the joys and opportunities in each day. I'm sure it will get better for you.

I also wanted to mention that I just discovered that our local community center has exercise and recreation areas at no or little cost, as well as Tae Kwon Do and water aerobics at a local indoor pool. I mention it since I hadn't even realized that some of that was available in our small town, but it seemed like something I could do or my kids could do if they want to. Maybe your area has resources that you aren't even aware of and you could find an activity outside of the church for your family, like someone else suggested.

 

Sparkyone

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Yeah, mick, the first year is always the hardest. It was for me; I had the worst time learning how to not see myself as evil because I rejected Judeo-Xian dogma. decades of programming that says the only way to be good is to be Xian really engrains it in people's heads. It's hard to let go of, even when you want to.

 

Hang in there - it really does get better. It's just like adjusting your eyes to the light; it hurts for a bit and you want to go back into the darkness, but you know you just need to wait it out and your eyes will adjust. The same goes for you - your eyes will adjust to the light of reason before you know it :)

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I feel for you Mick, I really do and can only nod my head in agreement with what others have posted. However, I would like to add that each person will differ in their healing process. Some like me were abandoned by every single friend that they made while being a Christian because we couldn't go along with the lie (I don't know about others but I could only stand listening to bad-mouthing unbelievers so long before I was like, "Hey, I'm one of the "sinners" to which you refer). Some still haven't "come out" yet and therefore still have many Christian friends and that is okay. Some were friends with those Christians who weren't considered True Christians™ and those people have remained loyal. That is my family pretty much, Christians but the non-judgmental type and even though my dad is a full-fledged fundy conspiracy theorist, I am his daughter and he has treated me with nothing but love.

 

My first year was the worst and it is getting better but I'm still having trouble being "true" to self. Some people walk into a room and you know what they're all about because they don't hold back as to who they are, like a Christian wife I ended up next to at my hubbies work Christmas party. She had no problem saying what she thought about evolution/creationism, sat in judgement of people at the party but yet I said nothing. Then there was another woman across from me who cussed and swore like no one's business (she's Catholic) and I thought...she could give a shit who is around (not that I want to cuss and swear and be a loud-mouth) but the point being, she could care less what anyone thing whereas I do. Makes me sad as all through school I tried to fit in, instead of being myself. I know that some people can do that without causing waves and being rude but I don't know how. KWIM?

 

Anyway, my family life couldn't be better. My husband is now an unbeliever (but I never nagged or pressured) and my children are both unbelievers too (my 12yo ds is an atheist and 8yo dd believes in *something*). Our home life is amazing with happy relationships all around. My children have quite a few friends but I have only one super good friend here that is an unbeliever but that is okay.

 

 

Keep your head up and do find something that you enjoy, a passion perhaps to get your mind off the negative.

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Thanks for all your comments. They are very uplifting.

 

I recently told an old CHristian friend from college that I had deconverted. He insisted that he wanted to engage me, to try and "help" me. He almost arrogantly said he would have no problem defending the faith from any assault I would have. Well, he was terribly wrong, and it has turned out to be a pretty bad experience. I hit him with all the OT attrocities and cruelties of Yahweh, and that was it. He crumbled. Then we went in deep about Hel, how horrible it was, etc. (You get the picture)

 

He completely rejected everything with me. He really did. He basically caled the Bible immoral, God a murdered and so on. Anyway, shockingly after all that, he has decided to force himslef back into drone mode. He is going to try and believe it all again and wants to not talk about faith with me anymore. (Which is fine) This was a depressing dissappointment.

 

Here is another thing that I have been thinking about lately. I really find it interesting. How can ANYONE make a claim, that a book (rather long collection of books) is the INFALLIBLE, INNERRANT word of GOD, IF they have NEVER READ LARGE SECGTIONS OF IT??? Serioulsy, how could anyone make the claim the Bible has no errors and is perfect, if they have not at least read every single thing in it? How would they know? The can't! When I first read the OT I had been a Christian for like 4 years. I was so shocked with what was in it, that I think I really stopped believing way back then. (I was a Christian 17 years) I went into a denial mode, and I stopped reading the OT and never finished it. When I re-visited it this year, and putrposely dealt with the cruelty, genecide, etc, I rejected it.

 

Couldn't you ask a Christian if they have read the whole Bible cover to cover, and if they say no, then ask them how could they possibly be sure it is innerrant if they have not even read it? OK, don't answer like some fundy might, but isn't utterly illogical (even impossible) for someone to claim that a long long book has no errors if they have not read it?

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Here is another thing that I have been thinking about lately. I really find it interesting. How can ANYONE make a claim, that a book (rather long collection of books) is the INFALLIBLE, INNERRANT word of GOD, IF they have NEVER READ LARGE SECGTIONS OF IT??? Serioulsy, how could anyone make the claim the Bible has no errors and is perfect, if they have not at least read every single thing in it? How would they know? The can't! When I first read the OT I had been a Christian for like 4 years. I was so shocked with what was in it, that I think I really stopped believing way back then. (I was a Christian 17 years) I went into a denial mode, and I stopped reading the OT and never finished it. When I re-visited it this year, and putrposely dealt with the cruelty, genecide, etc, I rejected it.

 

Couldn't you ask a Christian if they have read the whole Bible cover to cover, and if they say no, then ask them how could they possibly be sure it is innerrant if they have not even read it? OK, don't answer like some fundy might, but isn't utterly illogical (even impossible) for someone to claim that a long long book has no errors if they have not read it?

 

The Bible by and large is just a symbol of Christian faith, not actually a guide. Very few people can stand reading the Bible. It's crappily written, dry, confusing, contradictory, esoteric, vague, and boring as all hell. So it sits unopened on shelves, coffee tables, nightstands, and alters, except when the few favorite verses are pulled out, as a symbol of what people THINK their religion is.

 

Christians follow a god and a practice a faith that isn't really written in the book. Depending on what you believe has the truth, the followers or the Bible, it could be ending up that millions of Christians are worshipping a false idol. Wouldn't THAT be ironic?

 

Things are going to get better for you, Mick. You've lost some very important resources for your life but new ones are going to be built once you are done with the mourning period. Losing faith is a hard thing to have happen, and most of us have gone it or are still are going through it. I haven't been happy without my faith structure since I abandoned just a few months ago, but I've got a blank slate ahead of me to write with, and so do you. Keep looking forward, and you'll get there.

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Mick,

 

I have to admit, my experience was the complete opposite of your own. Once I realized I was the one in the driver's seat of my life, that I was the one in control, things became a lot better for me. Hopefully, in 2007, you'll learn as I did that you are in charge of making positive changes in your own life; that things do not happen at the whim of some arrogant, spiteful god. To me, it felt like I was 16 again, behind the wheel of my own car...sure, that first car was a gutless rust bucket that didn't run too well nor did it last for very long, but at least it was mine. Mine. I was in control. It belonged to me. Just like my life; it may not be the best, it may not last the longest, but it's mine, just like that first car of mine. Well, okay...maybe my life is better than that first car...but I think you get the point. ;)

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Hi Mick,

 

I don't know your buddy's circumstances, such as if he has family that are believers and to not believe would cause issues for him. It's hard to say to your family who believes that you no longer believe. People have all sorts of reasons for continuing with things they know aren't true. You obviously placed doubt. I'm thinking that since that doubt is there that he more than likely will question things more closely from this point on and will be using his mind more frequently. You shook his world and he is terrified.

 

I equate losing your belief in Jesus, God, the Bible...your whole belief system to grief at the loss of a loved one. There are numerous stages of grief and it takes some time to work through them all. What you are feeling is normal. You have lost a close friend that you have had for years. It will get better.

 

Keeping active does help. Join a gym if you haven't already, volunteer somewhere or do something else. My favorite thing to do is to take a walk around 4:00 in morning with my dogs and look at the stars in the sky. No one is out and about and the world so quiet and at peace. I totally enjoy it because not only are the stars beautiful (I am learning the constellations), I am getting exercise and it's so quiet I can actually do a lot of thinking without interruption.

 

Just hang in there.

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He completely rejected everything with me. He really did. He basically caled the Bible immoral, God a murdered and so on. Anyway, shockingly after all that, he has decided to force himslef back into drone mode. He is going to try and believe it all again and wants to not talk about faith with me anymore. (Which is fine) This was a depressing dissappointment.

 

Like I said, they are like drug addicts.... religion addicts to be more specific. And like an addict of any kind, they will come to realizations at times that there are problems with the object of their addictions. But they will go back time and again. It is a hard thing to kick, and the fears instilled through christianity can often overcome even the strongest of logical arguements.

 

This is why I no longer have my heart in debate. You can't cause someone to give up what they want to keep. The bottom line is, it doesn't really matter what he knows or understands, he just isn't ready to give up christianity. The stakes for him are too high. He probably has a really hard time though, sitting through a sermon as I am sure he has to repeatedly shut down his brain.

I'm also come to realize that I don't need to debate or try to change my husband's, kid's or friends' minds about their beliefs. I would be willing to discuss it if they ask, but I'm to the point where I just want to get on with my life as well as I can and let them believe in peace. I've noticed several people here (including the webmaster) mention that they didn't harass or go after their believing family members to try to change them, and I agree that's a good idea.

I've been part of an online group for people leaving fundamentalism for almost a year, and it was a big help during the first several months of my doubting process. I noticed that several of the folks there are now atheist or agnostic. I used to wonder if I could switch over to a more liberal form of Christianity, but have found that it won't likely work for me. I have also considered just trying to make myself reintegrate into the church where I am, sort of like Mick's friend has, but don't think I can do that. I'm always listening to sermons with rational thinking and even when the pastor says we shouldn't take notes just to critique the message, I make my own little comments in my notes. It's interesting sometimes.

 

Sparkyone

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