Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
rosy_mary

Newly "de"converted

Recommended Posts

Hello, all. I'm a twenty-year-old college student. I don't know where to start. This hurts too much.

After spending a day lurking through this site, I decided that this looks like the kind of place I need. Right now there isn't a single person I know that's not a Christian. I feel like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Like many here, from what I can see, I grew up in an American Fundamentalist Christian home. My Dad is a strict Calvinist; my mother just believes whatever she's told. Apparently she's happy that way.

 

I was never a good Christian. I had trouble reconciling the Old and New Testaments. Unlike many Christians, I actually read the Bible. I'd always been assured that reading the Bible would strengthen my faith, but I found the opposite happening. I often ended up angry at the seething wrath and intolerance of a god that demands love and worship and would condemn the majority of the human race to Hell simply for being human. Of course, I would always end up repenting of these thoughts, often with "holy" terror of God's displeasure as the motivator. As I said, my Dad was a Calvinist, so I lacked the ability to gloss over Hell and brimstone passages as so many seemed to. In my mid-teens I started avoiding reading the Bible altogether. I felt awful because of it, since it made me a "bad" Christian, but reading the Bible seemed to hurt my faith more than help it. It didn't help that I attended a Fundamentalist Christian high school in which Bible-reading was seen as one of the most critical signs of a person's faith. So I read. But I had to avoid the troublesome epistles with their sneering disdain for humankind, and focus on the “nice” passages.

 

I developed a love for the literary value of the OT. The poetry, majesty, and thought-provoking themes of the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes made them my favorites. Sometimes I could enjoy the prophets, too. I never liked the NT that much. I'd heard the stories of Jesus' life so many times they bored me out of my skull, and the epistles were nothing but a dense, convoluted mess of do's and don'ts that I got enough of every Sunday in the pulpit anyway. The upsetting, barbaric tales of rape, murder, and genocide (God-sanctioned!) made the history books off-limits, too, if I was to keep my sanity intact. The Mosaic Law was also troubling, especially the misogynistic aspects. How could God think it was just to force women to marry their rapists? Why was a menstruating woman “unclean?” And just why did God need all those silly laws in place, anyway?

 

This is getting long. I'll go over the next part quickly. After going to college, even though it was a Christian college, I began questioning my beliefs for the first time. I began to see how the OT and NT just didn't mesh as well as I'd been taught they did. Jesus didn't fulfill OT prophecies, Paul made up his own religion, and God never gave the love and peace he promised. The church sickened me. Hatred and intolerance toward "sinners," especially homosexuals, incensed and confused me (because I read the Bible, I knew that homosexuality is barely ever even mentioned in it!). The existence of denominations had always troubled me. How can Christians say that all of them worship the same Lord, but never interact with members of another church, even one that's right down the street, if it's a different denomination? Just how many “one true faiths” were there, anyway? Which version of Christianity is “right?” Finally, just a few months ago, I gave up. It was the darkest day of my life. Everything I ever believed just fell apart.

 

This isn't what was supposed to happen. I didn't mean for it to be this way. I was looking for answers, damnit. I'd been promised that they were there, that all my questions would be answered if I would just trust. But God never saved me. And I never found the answers I wanted.

 

This is killing me. I have four younger siblings, and we are close. My father's trust in me would shatter to pieces if he knew about my “betrayal.” I don't even know what my mother would do. She is not a logical person; she acts almost purely on emotion. I could never, ever reason her to my position; she's too emotionally dependent on Christianity. My father is like a rock. Dogmatic, unmovable, unfeeling. He's worked at home for years, but in my whole life, we've never once had a meaningful conversation. I have no idea how I'd ever even tell him, let alone make him see how I feel. He barely even knows me.

I'm very much alone. If anyone in my college found out I'm an agnostic-turning-atheist, I'd probably be expelled. I can't talk to anyone.

 

When I first “converted,” I felt scared and uncomfortable just being on campus. I felt guilty, like a wolf in sheep's clothing. A lifetime of habits dies off hard. I still sometimes feel like God is breathing down my back, ready to pounce and condemn me for my “backsliding.” Prior to my leaving the faith, for months I was plagued with horrific nightmares of darkness and suffering. I would lie awake all night, staring at the ceiling, terrified of dying in my sleep and slipping into Hell. My sleeping habits became terrible. In complete despair, I lost the motivation to do schoolwork. In high school, I was always a meticulous student. I always did my homework the night before, studied, and got straight A's in everything but math. But last semester, as all this was happening, for the first time I began skipping assignments and slacking off on grades. I was alone forever. I had never enjoyed talking about my feelings to other people. Most of the time, I hate to even acknowledge my emotions—probably has a lot to do with with my father. Like him, even though I'm a woman, I tend to be emotionally cool. I'd never experienced feelings like this. I didn't know what to do with them. I was sure I was gonna die, and go to Hell, and that it was all over. It was like I had come down with a fever, and it was killing me.

 

I still feel that way sometimes, but I'm much better now. I'm much more confident in my criticisms of Christianity. I'm still stuck in a sea of fanatics, and it is upsetting, because I can see the people around me suffering under the impossible burden of an implacable god. Christianity stifles the spirit, makes demons out of normal human desires, and enslaves the intellect. If I were a more emotionally-driven person, I never would have gotten out. My need for belonging, acceptance, and love would have outweighed the nonsensical demands and stories of Scripture. People talk about being tolerant of people of faith, and I try to be, but it's very hard. Just thinking about the Bible makes me sick (mostly because it reminds me of the poor souls that are still bound to it). Christianity is poison.

 

Thanks for reading. It feels good to say this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, really enjoyed reading your story- and welcome!! Sounds like you are doing a great job making your way through this. I'm impressed at how far you've come considering your age and situation. Keep on movin' forward and happy to have you in the community!

 

Deb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, really enjoyed reading your story- and welcome!! Sounds like you are doing a great job making your way through this. I'm impressed at how far you've come considering your age and situation. Keep on movin' forward and happy to have you in the community!

 

Deb

 

 

Thank you very much! I was afraid of coming off too critical or gloomy. I'm so thankful to have found a place that is receptive and welcoming of people in my situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, rosy!

 

It was study of the Bible that led me to where I am. Almost anyone who actually reads that collection of writings must come to the same conclusion, if they can be at all objective.

 

Some friends and family may love you for who you really are, but usually it seems Christian friends and family feel too threatened by a freethinker in their midst and can love only another sheep. I personally don't think the latter group are worth trying to please and keep around. However, if you are depending on financial support from family to get you through college, maybe you're better off living the lie a while longer.

 

Best of luck to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome, rosy!

 

It was study of the Bible that led me to where I am. Almost anyone who actually reads that collection of writings must come to the same conclusion, if they can be at all objective.

 

Some friends and family may love you for who you really are, but usually it seems Christian friends and family feel too threatened by a freethinker in their midst and can love only another sheep. I personally don't think the latter group are worth trying to please and keep around. However, if you are depending on financial support from family to get you through college, maybe you're better off living the lie a while longer.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

Thank you very much. That's exactly my conclusions. Fortunately, my younger brothers and sisters are kinder and more open-minded than my parents. My parents are generally good people, but small-minded. I intend to tell them everything someday, but for now, I can't. I am still dependent on my parents, and I'm not ready to be shunned by my community just yet. For now, it's great to have a place in which I may be honest and talk to others that are on similar paths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rosy!

 

You are a very intelligent and perceptive young woman. If only I had used my intellect rather than my emotions when I was your age...

 

Yes, it would be best to keep things to yourself around your parents as long as you can. You can always unload your frustrations at a forum, and even battle with christians! Rip that bible to shreds with your intellect. How's that for payback!

 

I wish you the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, Rosy! It sounds like you and this site are perfect fits for each other! I'm glad you thought critically and navigated through the toughest early stages of deconversion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, really enjoyed reading your story- and welcome!! Sounds like you are doing a great job making your way through this. I'm impressed at how far you've come considering your age and situation. Keep on movin' forward and happy to have you in the community!

 

Deb

 

 

Thank you very much! I was afraid of coming off too critical or gloomy. I'm so thankful to have found a place that is receptive and welcoming of people in my situation.

We're not like one of them Christian communities or churches who would attack you and shove scary Bible passages down your throat if you express your feelings. Welcome to Ex-C!

 

Anyway I have gone through similar situations like that. I feel how terrible it is to be a slave to a tyrant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, rosy mary! I agree with agnosticator:

 

You are a very intelligent and perceptive young woman. If only I had used my intellect rather than my emotions when I was your age...

 

In fact, I am still working on that issue. ^_^

 

I think you will find a lot of support on this site and it appears you will also have a lot to offer. Best wishes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Welcome!

 

I know how stressful this stuff can be, I deconverted at about the same time as I graduated from college, and my grades dropped my last year of school. I simply wasn't able to concentrate on things anymore.

 

I think that maybe your biggest problem is that you don't know anyone you can talk to or who can understand what you are going through. Find a way to make some friends outside college and church.

 

If possible could you transfer to a secular school? If your parents are uncomfortable with it perhaps you can convince them by telling them that school "X" has the major that I want and the school you are in now doesn't have a good program for that. I know it sucks to be dishonest with them, but its for your own sanity and I'm sure you don't want to have it out with them on this right now.

 

I'd also suggest, at least until you can transfer, finding a hobby or something that will let you make friends outside of church/school. Something that you like and will take your mind off of obsessing about religion. This helped me enormously right after I deconverted. My hobby was anime, when I was a Christian I had watched some and liked it, but my Christian friends didn't approve of it. They thought it was a waste of time that was better spent sharing the gospel. Picking up a hobby helped me to feel normal again and I also took a certain amount of pleasure from doing something I knew most of my old Christian friends wouldn't approve of. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calvinist eh ? Ouch. That's one of the worst ones. Congrats on getting out of the sect that is IMO one of the most devoid of any kind of moral reasoning.

 

Like Kuroi said, your biggest problems seems to be a need to have someone to share this with followed by a lack of anyone that you can trust. I grew up in a Strictly christian part of California ( yes, its not all blue ! ) and felt the same way you are now: a wolf in sheep's clothing. You can begin to question your sanity in that state.

 

Mind if I ask which state you are from ? The best ways to deal with this depend greatly on how deep in/close you are to the bible belt .( Or as we like to call it - the "buybull belt" )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your support. Part of joining this site was indeed so that I could meet non-Christians. I have been thinking of transferring, but I would need to have a really good reason to transfer to convince my parents. I live in Ohio and attend college in Indiana. My family actually lived in Long Island, New York until I was 11. Come to think of it, I'm not sure how Mum and Dad picked up their beliefs while growing up in New York City. Mom was raised Catholic, and much of her family still attend Catholic churches. Dad was a conservative Protestant.

 

I'm also an anime fan and have enjoyed sharing it with friends that are Christian, but not "actively" so (that is, they identify as Christian but do not integrate it into their thought and allow it to influence all of their actions). Don't worry, I'll continue finding ways to survive among Christians until I find a way to live in a more secular environment. Right now I'm trying to influence my Christian peers by encouraging them to use their heads more, both as they read the Bible and go about daily life. I don't mind being among Christians if I feel like I am able to help them. My female peers seem to suffer so much peer pressure. The religious aspect only makes it worse. I want to encourage them to learn to think on their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.