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Whooo.....deep Breath


Guest Abby84
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Guest Abby84

Hey Everybody,

My name is Abby, I'm 25 and am just now expressing my unbelief. I grew up in a family of 7, my Mom, Dad, and four younger brothers. I was home-schooled and didn't get out very much, so my exposure to other belief systems and people that were not in the "homeschooling, fundamental, conservative" way of life was very limited. My Parents were always (still are) talking about god (wow, I wrote that with a little g), and their conversions. I can't remember, to this day, a real conversation with my parents that didn't include god and living a christian life.

 

As a kid, I didn't really question anything, I went to sunday school, said my prayers, sang the" father abraham" song went along with the whole shebang. I then hit my teens, and underwent a deep depression, crying uncontrollably, went even to the point of cutting myself and contemplating suicide. I remember going to my Mom, and started to tell her how I felt, before I got very far she dismissed it and told me that I was just going through a phase and to pray to god to help me. I, being the good little christian that I was, prayed very hard......it didn't work.I think that was the start of the disenchantment. I eventually came out of the depression, don't ask me how, I just did.

 

Then.....all hell broke loose in my family, my brother suddenly changed, it wasn't until maybe a year after these changes occurred that he was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia. When it first started, my parents were bringing pastor after pastor, prayer warrior after prayer warrior, to try to expel the demons from my brother. I tried to explain to my mother to take him to the doctor, tried to reason with her that god maybe put doctors here for this very reason and we were ignoring god's will. It wasn't until my brother started to hurt himself and started talking about killing himself that my mother finally relented and an ambulance was called. Well, it's a looong story from there, so I'll move on.

 

I got older, and my questions started.....I kept asking why, if my parents served god for so long does he let them go through all this suffering, especially after they have been through alot already in their lives . Whey did he let this happen to my brother who was the kindest and best out of all of this. I did pose these questions and more to my parents, but they answered that it was the devil trying to make us stop believing and that it was a test and god was giving them the strength to get through all of this.

I turned 18 and got a job where I was exposed to people that didn't believe the same things that I was taught. Guess what?! They were great people, so what if they told dirty jokes and maybe drank on occasion? I was finding it harder and harder to believe that god could send these wonderful people to hell, and did I really want to serve a god that would do that?

 

I then started to realize that so many religions were similar in so many ways, that what made ours any better or any more right? The stories of the bible were looking more and more like fairy tales, like something I would read in one of my fantasy novels that I love so much. They also started to seem so absolutely ridiculous, I mean come on, we are grown ass people and we believe that there was actually a talking donkey?!

 

Just this past year, I finally admitted to myself that I was an agnostic.I'm not at the point to say I'm an Atheist, I just started to get interested in reading material on the subject, so that could change. I don't know for sure if there is something out there,I do know that I will live the best life I can. I want to be kind and respectful towards others, regardless of their beliefs unless those beliefs harm someone else or themselves. That's where I'm at right now. I do know that since I've made that admission to myself, I can say that I'm happier than I've ever been.

 

I'm still in the "closet", the only person I've told was one of my brothers, he was ok with it. I'm terrified of telling my parents, not for what they would say to me, but because I know that it would hurt them deeply. I think my mother senses it, seeing as I don't go to church as often and she recently pimped me out for jesus with keychains and bracelets etc for my birthday.She has also been telling me to get closer to god, and to remember that I don't belong to them or myself, only to god. I still live with them, so maybe when I move out I'll end up telling them. Although, my mother made me go to church with her and I had to endure 4 grown men jumping up and down like they were in an african tribal dance to headache inducing repetitive "worship" music, that went on for about an hour! I almost jumped up right there and screamed "I'M AN AGNOSTIC!". I'm sure the end result of that would have been being surrounded and prayed over that the devil would loosen his hold on my mind :) So, I'm kind of glad I didn't.

 

Anywhoo, I'm hoping to learn alot from this site and your experiences, and hopefully educate and prepare myself for that inevitable moment when I tell my mother, cause believe me, she is going to try reconvert me with every fiber of her tiny being. My mother is into the apologetic side of things as well, so she will want to debate me and I want to be able to intelligently carry on a debate with her. So, if anyone has any book recommendations to start with, that would greatly be appreciated.

 

P.S, it was really hard to type that without capitalizing "god" :)

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Welcome Abby! All the best on your journey!

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Hi Abbey.

 

Thanks for sharing your story. I haven't told my wife and kid about my de-conversion either. I want to spare them the angst as well.

 

Keep thinking for yourself and asking questions. At least you are getting out young. This site has a lot of very smart people your age.

 

Hang in there!

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Welcome to the forums! I would recommend Dan Barker's Godless as a helpful introductory book. He was an evangelist and he talks about his own story, then runs through a good overview of answers to apologetics and the objections to xtianity, then he returns to his story. It's a really easy, casual read. If you like that and want more, John Loftus' Why I Became an Atheist is a good next step. You might check out some podcasts too, since they're easy ways to get into the conversation without sitting down for hours on end with a book.

 

On a personal note, I can sympathize a bit with your brother's experience with mental illness. My brother went through a very severe period of bipolar before he finally got it under control, but not before we had a few suicide threat scares. It was a horrible time for me, since my brother and I have always been really close. I hope things are going better for him now. Congratulations on your newfound freedom, and I hope things go well for you if you ever decide to out yourself!

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Welcome Abby! I recommend spending time looking around the site, especially the testimonies section and the Ex-Christian Life forum. Some topics were posted years ago but are still quite relevant.

There are also good external sites like these:

Why Won't God Heal Amputees? http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

Skeptic's Annotated Bible http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

 

Lots of other sites are linked on the main page of ex-christian.net, some better than other in my opinion.

 

Debating believers is sometimes an exercise in futility, because they were not usually convinced on the basis of evidence, nor do they care if you have legitimate arguments against their religion. They cling to it based on fear and hope, not reason. Arguments for Christianity come after belief, not as a basis of belief. Only those who are really interested in truth, or those who are struggling with their faith not "working" will be influenced by evidence. You kept looking for the religion to work and it didn't, and that began the unraveling of it for you. Others in your family may derive too much emotional support from the system to be willing to depart from it, as well as harboring fears about damnation if they even consider doing so. Since you are 25, I hope you can get out from under the influence of your mother's long arm of religion. There is much to enjoy out here, and I wish you well!

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Welcome Abby! Enjoyed reading your story. It sadly reminded me of how I myself raised my 6 children for many years! Kudos to you for listening to your rational mind and not being afraid to face the questions it posed. You'll find a lot of support and info here.

 

Deb

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Welcome, Abby!!!! You've landed in a great spot for support and education. Unless you have a lot more time to read than I do, it will take a long time to get through the great material on this site alone. So, welcome again, enjoy, and I look forward to future posts!

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Welcome!

 

Just this past year, I finally admitted to myself that I was an agnostic.I'm not at the point to say I'm an Atheist, I just started to get interested in reading material on the subject, so that could change.

 

Just remember that you don't HAVE to call yourself anything. I know the label helps since we all get used to being identified as "Christian" and when we leave we don't know what the hell we are anymore. Fact is though...you're YOU. More of an identifier than you even know.

 

She has also been telling me to get closer to god, and to remember that I don't belong to them or myself, only to god.

 

You belong to YOU and to no one else. Not even whatever "god" may or may not exist. Even a creator "god" doesn't have the RIGHT to lay claim to us as property.

 

I almost jumped up right there and screamed "I'M AN AGNOSTIC!". I'm sure the end result of that would have been being surrounded and prayed over that the devil would loosen his hold on my mind :) So, I'm kind of glad I didn't.

 

Well...if they had surrounded you and forced you to stay you could have charged them with assault and unlawful confinement... :D

 

 

And I know what you mean about typing the lowercase "god"...took me some time to get used to as well...

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Guest danny64

hey abby. thanks for sharing your story. i like what one of the responders said...dont worry about labels. i personally like non theist. or ... retired christian. just the fact that you have the intelligence and integrity to find your way out of the jesus club says a lot about you. it is different when you deconvert. and there are stages i think most of us go through. you are probably feeling like the world is brand new...you will see things so differently and that process will take you to some mind opening realizations. i have been deconverted for 3 years now this summer. im 36. parents are fundy folk, dad is a preacher. so i understand how you feel about telling them. i still havent. im not sure i will. if i ever figure out why i should tell them, maybe i will. i will say that my non theism has probably weakened my relationships with my parents and my sister. but i dont think that me confronting them with an official declaration of my lack of belief would make the relationships any stonger. i have several good friends with whom i can converse and then there is this site. anyway, best of luck.

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Guest Abby84

Thanks everybody for the warm welcome. Ahhhhh, my eyes are very tired now from being on the computer all day trying to soak up as much as possible.

I also got a long list of books to get on my next trip to the book store.

If only my mother knew how I spent my sunday;)

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Abby!! Wow, your childhood sounds like mine! I'm the oldest of 6 children, and I was also homeschooled and super-sheltered for most of my young life by fundy parents (although I should note that homeschooling need not include over-sheltered-ness. I'm homeschooling my own children). I'm also 25, married with 4 children. Hubby and I just deconverted a few months ago (my story is here). I hope you find these forums enlightening and encouraging.

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Welcome to the forums, Abby.

 

There's already a lot of insight being offered you on this thread, and I'm sure you'll find additional help as you look around this site. I look forward to reading more from you as you continue to share your new life observations with the rest of us.

 

Congratulations on getting free!

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Hello Abby!

 

Your story sounds almost exactly like mine. I'm 27 and settled into being agnostic last year. But after research, thought and experience I think I've become an atheist. A book that really really helped me was "godless" by Dan Barker. Seriously I think that book would be a great piece for you to read. I'm new to reason too and it's a long journey. I tell people it's like being unhooked from the Matrix. (have you ever seen that movie?).

 

Glad to have you hear. Glad to hear a story from someone who experienced life similar to how i had growing up.

 

 

Rob

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Hi Abbey, welcome!

I feel like I can relate to your story. I'm your age and I've been depressed when I was younger, and got about the same advice as you did. (There's this swedish saying "Ryck upp dig", which means, basically, get a grip). Like you described, it just sort of went away at some point.

Hope you'll like it here!

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I almost jumped up right there and screamed "I'M AN AGNOSTIC!".

 

Oh how I know how you feel... I too remain in the closet and have had to endure going to church many times as an unbeliever. I'm pretty solid in my desire to make sure my parents don't find out, as it would break their hearts to believe that their only son is hellbound. But there have been moments during church, ussually during the sermons when the pastor says something incredibly stupid or inane and everyone just nods along with him regardless of how ridiculous and nonsensical the message, that I have just wanted to scream the very same thing along with "DO YOU PEOPLE SERIOUSLY NOT REALIZE HOW DELUSIONAL WHAT HE JUST SAID WAS ? GGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh

hhh !!! POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRR QUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE !?!?!?!?"

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