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Obsessed With My Ex-christianity


mick
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I was a Christian 15 years. (Though struggling to believe for last 8 years of that) I have been full blown Ex-Christian for over a year. All I ever think about is how mad at Christianity I am, how easy it is to reject it, how stupid it is to believe it, how foolish my wife still is, etc.

 

I used to love the New England Patriots, the Red Sox, funny movies, on and on. It seems to me like all I care and think about now is religion. (anti-religion)

 

I am hoping at some point I stop living this way. I do despise the Bible and Christianity, but there has to be a point where I can truly enjoy things again. I definately drink more than I should now, and it has to be because of it all. My wife and 2 older children are at church right now.

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Sickening, ain't it? Even after you're out, the cult keeps dragging you down. :banghead:

 

Oh well, if you based your entire life on and around it for 15 fucking years, who wouldn't be able to understand that it takes time until the fury stops?

 

Especially in the situation you describe above. *imagines to be a dry ex-lush in a family where at least one bottle of vodka per day and person is killed*

 

I'll get better someday. No idea how long it will be in your case, but you get my :3:

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The letting go is the toughest. You feel like you should be fighting someone all the time, yet all you can do is walk away.

 

Don't let your past hold you in an internal prison. You hold the key, and the bars are all rusted out anyway. Let go and enjoy the freedom.

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One really cool thing for me is that I rediscovererd the Rolling Stones. I was huge into the Stones right up until I got "saved". I actually saw the Stones Live in the summer of 1989 2 weeks after I became a CHristian. Though that was awesome it was at least partly ruined by my new faith. I remember closing my eyes, and turning my head straight up and praying during the entire "Sympathy for the Devil".

 

Anyway I have been watching them all the time on Youtube, and downloading Itunes. My 9 and 10 year old really like them. My Christian wife is all worried.

 

The letting go is the toughest. You feel like you should be fighting someone all the time, yet all you can do is walk away.

 

Don't let your past hold you in an internal prison. You hold the key, and the bars are all rusted out anyway. Let go and enjoy the freedom.

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What I'm trying to do is to stop thinking of myself in terms of Christianity and how I differ from its beliefs and practices. The only way to stop defining myself in such a way is to define myself and my beliefs in a positive way. So I try not to think of myself as an ex-Christian, because it will only make me feel anger towards Christianity, and I don't want any part of that, especially as I have a great deal of respect for some aspects of Christianity and for many of the Christians I know. I think of myself as a humanist.

 

Remember that Christianity is the aberration from a normal and natural state of human existence. It is Christianity that is a departure from something good, and defines itself as being against much of what we know to be right as human beings.

 

Good luck. :)

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Maybe we need a term that does not point to what we don't believe, ie ex-christian or atheist both say what we are against, but not what we are for.

 

Antiabortionsits call themselves "right to lifers". Maybe we need a positive spin name to focus on, so we don't have to be connected to the negativity that we all have tried to escape from.

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Remember that 15 years is a long time. One year is not so long. But I have to agree with the post about letting go. Except for the liberal variants, xianity is marketed as an all or nothing proposition. You are either a xian or you're not. You're either going to spend an eternity in paradise or agony, with not even a razor thin line for an option in between. Now you know that the mentality, and the strangle hold xianity tried to take on your life was bullshit. And now that you are free, it's time to stop giving it continued power by casting a shadow over the here and now, and the future.

 

You were screwed over by the xian line, so rant, be angry, post and read at places like this, and then embrace life without the lies, fear, intimidation.

 

Just like you start to find enjoyment in the Rolling Stones again, I'd take in a game, see a good movie, etc., deliberately if need be.

 

It's been a little over 20 years for me, and my ex-christianity anti-religion still holds a stronger place for me than religion, non-religion, anti-religion, etc., otherwise would have without my journey out of xianity, but really it's a small part of my life now that helps make me what I am, and no longer ruins the here and now.

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Maybe we need a term that does not point to what we don't believe, ie ex-christian or atheist both say what we are against, but not what we are for.

 

Antiabortionsits call themselves "right to lifers". Maybe we need a positive spin name to focus on, so we don't have to be connected to the negativity that we all have tried to escape from.

 

WE need better PR. how about Pro-Humanity.

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Maybe we need a term that does not point to what we don't believe, ie ex-christian or atheist both say what we are against, but not what we are for.

 

Antiabortionsits call themselves "right to lifers". Maybe we need a positive spin name to focus on, so we don't have to be connected to the negativity that we all have tried to escape from.

You have the name Brights.

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Hi Han, I know what you mean. I was in for 10 years, and I only struggled, really, for the last 2 years of it. I struggled with some of the people, and attitudes before that, but not the faith. My anger came slowly and in spurts. I also got angry at one thing, got over it, just to get angry about something else. The money, the time, suffering the insufferable assholes.

 

You already got really good responces here, all I can do is tell you how it is and was for me. I still get angry, although I am not so obessed as I was. I've been out for over 5 years, I don't remember exactly how long. I still get angry because I still have to deal with xiananity sometimes. My husband is also a xian, I don't get angry at him, or think he's stupid, because I know him deeply, and I see that he thinks about things. He went from fundy, to moderate, and is know just beginning to question how infallable the bible is. It's been steps for him, and I respect that, plus, he's not an asshole.

 

Sometimes I think we have to be almost obbessed to keep out of the cult, it's EVERYWHERE! And xians can have serious attitude problems, that to me, just seem to be getting worse. Maybe not, maybe while I was in it I just didn't notice. You still being angry is understandable Han, totally. The thing is if you really are not enjoying life, none of it, and you're drinking more than you think you should you might have a problem. For 15 years you were in that church, it may have been all you did. Hey we were that way, we were the church family. There early on Sunday, last ones to leave. There Tuesday evenings for a ministry meeting, Wedensday night service. Thursdays was often, but not always, small group. Fridays were often free, we made it a family night. Saturday there was nothing that was "always" planned, but many church things, outings, outreaches, parties, were planned for Saturdays. Since my DH ran a minsitry and I taught Sunday school there was always work to be done. You leave and all of a sudden you have all this free time. I still sometimes don't know what to do with myself and I have never recovered the amount of friends I once had. Although I feel the friends I have now are more real, at least I don't think they will dump me if I change what I believe.

 

Han I can't tell you if your obession is unhealthy and that you need to let it go. Only you can really decide if its time for you. If you are concerned you're drinking too much, try to stop, if you can't, then go talk to a professional about it. If you are not enjoying your life as much as you want to, because you only have one interest, then you need to ask yourself what you really want to be doing. Mick got back into the Stones, I got back into women. You've got to find your own thing, and hopfully it's not drinking. One of the other things I also rediscovered, were my kids. I was close to them as a xian, but as a xian EVERYTHING is about da lawd. Now I can enjoy my kids for who they are, no worring about their eternal soul.

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It does get better. Takes a while, but it does. Took me at least a year to burn myself out on the topic. The main reason why I still stick around here is the people.

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I know exactly what you mean, I try to not be angry at it but it is really hard not to because it influences so much people and the way they treat people. I know what you mean. I guess just live with it for a while and hope it will go away because nights I just think about it.

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Mick, You sound like my husband and myself. He was the first to admit he didn't believe anymore. I took a little bit longer. I know I frustrated him because I would agree with so much of the arguments he presented to me against god, I just had a hard time letting go. I eventually did, just this past winter.

As far as being obsessed, I kind of know what you mean. I can't stop reading the posts on this site or buying books on the subject. I think it's all rather fascinating. But you have to find a balance to your life. Sometimes you have to get out of your own head. I feel sad for you that you don't enjoy the things you once did. Maybe you need to change your perspective. The past is gone but you have today and hopfully a long future. You said you like funny movies , me too. Don't under estimate the power of laughter. Seriously, you have to keep your sence of humor. When things get to heavy or serious, I always try to find a way to lighten up. I could recomend MANY movies and TV shows to you!

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Hi Han, I know what you mean.

 

*****************

 

Mick got back into the Stones, I got back into women.

 

Purple, I'm a bit confused who you are talking about here. Mick wrote the opening post and asked the original question that you seem to be responding to. Han wrote only one sentence in response. Then mick seemed to feel a bit brighter in his second post on this thread. Did you get names and people mixed up?

 

On another note, I really like what you wrote about rebuilding your life after deconversion.

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Maybe we need a term that does not point to what we don't believe, ie ex-christian or atheist both say what we are against, but not what we are for.

 

Antiabortionsits call themselves "right to lifers". Maybe we need a positive spin name to focus on, so we don't have to be connected to the negativity that we all have tried to escape from.

You have the name Brights.

 

Oh, I hate that name. Makes me think of Teletubbies or something. :)

 

I like "freethinker".

 

Anyway...Mick...like others said, give yourself a break. 15 years is a long time. That's a lot of neural circuitry that has to rewire. You'll get bored with it all eventually, although being an "ex-christian" is very much a part of "who I am". It really is part of my identity, and probably always will be. But the "obsessive" phase passes in due course.

 

I'm a little over 2 years out now, and I'm losing interest. A year ago, I was still sort of preoccupied.

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I've been out of Christianity for a little over 2 years now, my first few months were no doubt the toughest as you got so many what-ifs going on but as you educate yourself you get more comfortable in your new belief. I still am angry over Christianity and what's it done to my fmaily, my Dad for example is a great skeptic and debater on many subjects but he just can't be on religion as it's taken his logic and reaosn away on the one subject that really should matter and it's made him act intolerant and many other things I've posted before on this site. The fact that no one in my family not once doubts the Bible no matter what says a lot about the influence of it here. I still have yet to burn a Bible and feel I need to sometime, great for symbolism. I still go to church once a week because of my Dad but it either has a flat-lining effect or makes me more angry with Christianity, it really does nothing my family wants to. I'm happier as an atheist and have recent;y come out about it and finally put it up on my MySpace profile for all those friends form the small town I went to high school with to see and if anyone asks me now I'm not afraid to tell them I'm an atheist, I think it's just maturity on my part why I've changed for the better recently. Good luckw ith getting over it, it's not all I tihnk about it but it's an important subject to me nonetheless.

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Hi Han, I know what you mean.

 

*****************

 

Mick got back into the Stones, I got back into women.

 

Purple, I'm a bit confused who you are talking about here. Mick wrote the opening post and asked the original question that you seem to be responding to. Han wrote only one sentence in response. Then mick seemed to feel a bit brighter in his second post on this thread. Did you get names and people mixed up?

 

On another note, I really like what you wrote about rebuilding your life after deconversion.

 

: total red face : yeah I got a bit confused, sorry everyone. Soooooo um just ignore that bit,

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Maybe we need a term that does not point to what we don't believe, ie ex-christian or atheist both say what we are against, but not what we are for.

 

Antiabortionsits call themselves "right to lifers". Maybe we need a positive spin name to focus on, so we don't have to be connected to the negativity that we all have tried to escape from.

You have the name Brights.

 

Oh, I hate that name. Makes me think of Teletubbies or something. :)

 

As soon as I saw the name, I was like, "Ick".

 

We have the best minds on the planet to think of a name, and we get that as a contender.

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Hey, no problem, Purple. It happens to everybody.

 

Re topic of this thread. I haven't been out all that long. I can't see myself ever not liking exChristian as part of my identity. I just think it's such a neat term. Doesn't lock me in any corner. Just tells me who I once was and that I moved beyond that stage with a clear conscience. That's quite an accomplishment, in my book, esp. given that it was branded onto my brain from childhood that there is absolutely no peace outside Christianity. The jouney wasn't easy. Just look at it this way:

 

Amazing strength how sweet the word--

The strength that rescued me.

I once was lost in Christianneese

So thick I could not see.

 

Through dangers of smooth grieveous lies

They led my brain along;

They tried for all that in them was

To rob my soul of song.

 

Strength taught my brain to think again

And trust its wisdom true.

Twas strength that brought me safe thus far

And strength will see me through....

 

The strength of body, strength of heart...

The strength of mind and all

I'll honour as I only can

I never more will fall.

 

 

This world it is my home

I'm not just passing through

My treasure's aren't laid up

Somewhere beyond the blue

This life it beckons me

From lifetime's open door

And I'll always feel at home in this world forever more.

 

O yes! I know

This is the life for me

If others disagree

Then does it bother me?

O no! It cannot ever nag the life of me

And I'll always feel at home in this world forever more.

 

My life when it is gone

Will leave my body rest

And then it will return

To earth's cool calming breast

This life it must be lived

With all that in me is

And I'll always feel at home in this world forever more.

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I specifically WANT to be known as an "Ex-Christian" and not a Non-Christian. I think it is a very important part of who I am now. I also find that people who NEVER were Christians are completely unable to understand what is going on with deconverting. I have still-Christian friends who are understanding of the situtation. (Because they have doubted, questioned things, etc: just never taking it so far)

 

I can tell when I talk to my brother who never was a Christian, he does not get it. He's like uncomfortable, and like "why are you so worked up about this?" And frnakly most people in the world simply think the Bible is rediculous and can't even understand why we care so much.

 

About the Ex-Christian thing. I do want to that to be what I am. It is important for when you are talking to Christians, new Christians, people who are considering Christianity, etc. It is real head turner to be someone who knows the Bible inside abd out, has read EVERY page of it, has been a "born again" Christian for many years who believed everyone who does nto receive CHrist is going to Hell, to find out that YOU no longer believe. Most Christians reject the concept, so you are likely to have the most impact with the ones who know you personally. The ones who cannot deny your testimony.

 

Hey, no problem, Purple. It happens to everybody.

 

Re topic of this thread. I haven't been out all that long. I can't see myself ever not liking exChristian as part of my identity. I just think it's such a neat term. Doesn't lock me in any corner. Just tells me who I once was and that I moved beyond that stage with a clear conscience. That's quite an accomplishment, in my book, esp. given that it was branded onto my brain from childhood that there is absolutely no peace outside Christianity. The jouney wasn't easy. Just look at it this way:

 

Amazing strength how sweet the word--

The strength that rescued me.

I once was lost in Christiannesse

So thick I could not see.

 

Through dangers of smooth grieveous lies

They led my brain along;

They tried for all that in them was

To rob my soul of song.

 

Strength taught my brain to think again

And trust its wisdom true.

Twas strength that brought me safe thus far

And strength will see me through....

 

The strength of body, strength of heart...

The strength of mind and all

I'll honour as I only can

I never more will fall.

 

 

This world it is my home

I'm not just passing through

My treasure's aren't laid up

Somewhere beyond the blue

This life it beckons me

From lifetime's open door

And I'll always feel at home in this world forever more.

 

O yes! I know

This is the life for me

If others disagree

Then does it bother me?

O no! It cannot ever nag the life of me

And I'll always feel at home in this world forever more.

 

My life when it is gone

Will leave my body rest

And then it will return

To earth's cool calming breast

This life it must be lived

With all that is in me

And I'll always feel at home in this world forever more.

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I have to admit, in my first couple years after deconversion, I merely replaced one addiction for another (being religious and going to church for reading and talking about ex-ness or religion). But now, I find myself interesting in broader topics and I don't spend nearly as much time on the internet researching these things as I used to. Thank goodness... I actually get to bed before 3-4am these days! I was *really* obsessed there for a while.

 

I think it's part of the grieving process of leaving religion.:) Hang in there.

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I've discovered that whenever I've been involved in something big and painful and traumatic, and the time finally comes for getting out of it and healing from it, it just takes as long as it takes. And I go through a time where I can't think of anything else, and where my identity is in large part defined by whatever happened - identifying as being a survivor of whatever it is, for instance. I keep the labels as long as I need them. And I've also discovered that it doesn't do me a damn bit of good to try and force myself to discard the labels or the obsession before it's time for it to go: it NEVER works. To the contrary, it usually just makes things worse, because it drives the issue underground emotionally.

 

I've gotten flak from people for "not being able to let go" or had people tell me to "just get over it" or what have you, but I've managed to figure out in the past few years that comments like that are about the people saying them, not about me and what I actually need to get over something. (I don't think it reflects negatively on someone at all, that they might "just get over" issues in their own life more quickly or in their own way, but it does reflect negatively on them to try and impose their own healing standards onto other people.)

 

So I say, maybe don't worry about it. You might need to be obsessed for awhile, jump into it with both feet and get completely submersed in what it means to be an Ex-Xian, before it just comes to a point where you're tired of doing that and it's time to move on to something else. If you were in it for a long time, too - 15 years? That's a long time. It'll take a long time before you move past it, probably.

 

Although I agree that cutting the drinking back is a good idea. Getting hammered might help you get through a rough night, but in the long run it puts more of a damper on emotional crap than is really helpful (in my experience, anyway). Plus it's really scary for kids when their parents drink too much. (Also in my experience. Unfortunately.)

 

Anyway. Good luck and hang in there.

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I was a Christian 15 years. (Though struggling to believe for last 8 years of that) I have been full blown Ex-Christian for over a year. All I ever think about is how mad at Christianity I am, how easy it is to reject it, how stupid it is to believe it, how foolish my wife still is, etc.

 

I used to love the New England Patriots, the Red Sox, funny movies, on and on. It seems to me like all I care and think about now is religion. (anti-religion)

 

I am hoping at some point I stop living this way. I do despise the Bible and Christianity, but there has to be a point where I can truly enjoy things again. I definately drink more than I should now, and it has to be because of it all. My wife and 2 older children are at church right now.

 

You had a big belief system that was built around christianity, and the you lost that belief system. I don't think it's surprising that that has caused more than a bit of turmoil in your life, nor do I think you should feel bad about it. But at some point the anger becomes counter-productive, and it sounds to me like you're at that point.

 

Though I am an theist (and ex-christian), that's not how I define my beliefs, since that merely says what I'm not. As far as my positive beliefs go, I'm closest to the humanist perspective (I belong to the council for secular humanism), but I'm not evangelical about it.

 

Perhaps if you spend some time exploring what your positive beliefs are, you'll spend less time on religion.

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I wake up refuting the Bible- no joke. I lay in bed in the morning and my first thoughts are usually some sort of refutation. "Zechariah says blah blah but Mark says..." Its quite annoying but you live with it.

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