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I'm in a very lonely place right now


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Sent in by notabarbie

 

I began my journey of de-conversion a little over a year ago, although I had had many unanswered questions for years and just buried them; mostly because I felt sinful for even considering them. It has been a long and arduous quest that continues and I'm sure will for a long time. If it had not been for caring ex-Christians on the internet, I don't know what I would have done. They have been as encouraging and honest as they could be and it has helped me tremendously. I hope I can do the same for others once I'm through the really tough parts.

 

I knew what I would lose when I de-converted, but when I was faced with all the evidence I couldn’t continue on. I'm not very good at faking it and just couldn't do it. It was destroying me. My husband knew of my struggles and questions, but it wasn't until I told him I couldn't go to church anymore that he realized the gravity of the situation. He says he understands and that he has his doubts too, but he continues to go without me and take our kids—that is tough.

 

I haven't really come out to most of my friends, but just the fact that I don't go to church anymore has caused many to avoid me. Even the friends that are still hanging in make me feel like they are here to "bring me back to the fold." There is a lot of pressure. It's not that I don't understand their motives — I do. I've been there myself and that makes me cringe a little. I have to be honest, I'm in a very lonely place right now, but I'm working on finding new friends and a new community, not that the cyber one hasn't been amazing, but I need a little human contact too; someone I can look in the eyes and pour my heart out to, you know?

 

Some might wonder why I would bring all this upon myself. Why not just quietly continue on attending church, etc., and just keep my beliefs under wraps? I can't do that and be true to myself or my family and despite the hurt and abandonment I feel at times, I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin before or felt more peace or joy and yes even love for my fellow humans. To do things solely out of caring and desire is so freeing. In the process my children are learning to be free thinkers and less judgmental. That is huge. I could never go back.

 

My internet friends told me things would be hard, but that they would slowly but surely get better and they were right of course. There are really bad days, but there are more and more good ones and I feel myself getting stronger and stronger everyday. I know I will eventually be completely honest with my friends, but I think that will be more gradual and hopefully less traumatic.

 

I know this was long, but thank you for the opportunity to tell a bit of my story. It has been very therapeutic.

 

To monitor comments posted to this topic, use comment-ful.gif.http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2007/06...-right-now.html

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Your story feels very familiar. I made my decision just a few weeks ago and am really feeling the consequences of it. My husband and grown children are also attending church. I feel like I'm splitting the family to not go with them, but like you, I have to be true to myself. Church has been my community my whole life. It's hard to give that up. Sometimes I am tempted to just give in and go back, but I keep coming back to the fact that I don't believe any of the things I'm supposed to. I looked up the statement of faith that I have signed to be a member of the church. Basically it says that I believe the Bible is the perfect ,inspired word of God, that Jesus was God born to a virgin, that he lived a perfect life then died for my sins and was resurrected; then he ascended in the clouds and sits in heaven and is coming back to get those who believe in him. It's not a hard call- I don't believe ANY of it. It's pretty clear that I don't belong there.

 

Like you, I'm not sure where to turn to find those close friends you need to have around you. Church is where I've found all of my friends. A few days ago I told one of my best friends about my decision. She was great- just listened, told me she respected my decision and wouldn't try to change it, and would always be my friend. I doubt many people will react like she did.

 

Hang in there! What did we do before the internet? At least I have found people here who understand what I'm going through.

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Wow, I could have written what you wrote almost word for word. I can really relate to what you've shared. The struggle, yet the sense of peace about the decision I've made to leave church while my husband and children are still there, but being able to help my boys be more open-minded and so on. Just hang in there, and I hope you find someone who can be a face-to-face friend who understands. I have one aunt who has been a big help in working my way through deconversion. She understands because she also has pretty much left the beliefs she was raised with. Take care.

Sparkyone

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Guest resonate11

notabarbie,

 

If you haven't already found it, try this site. It is a gateway site for Sacramento area Freethinkers, Humanists, and Atheists. You might enjoy the company of some of these folks. They probably have events your husband and children might enjoy also. When I lived within a little over an hour's drive from Colorado Springs, I used to to socialize with the Freethought group there. http://rthoughtsrfree.org/

 

Keep the faith that truth (verifiable truth that is, not fantasy) is more powerful and more satisfying than mendacity or delusion.

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