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Where Will It End (and When)?


sergei29
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hey guys,

 

I've been de-converted for about a months and a half. I started reading material on this web-site with some fear and guilt, eventually becoming comfortable with it, then few weeks later I almost stopped coming here what so ever. However, it all changed now. Despite my initial desire to just forget about my involvement in religion and simply move on, I am now becoming one of the opinionated and passionate anti-Christians. The weird thing is, that instead of moving on with my life I am trying to get my hands on as many books and internet articles as I can, and in my mind keep trying to see Christianity's fault and shortcoming.

 

So my de-conversion experienced evolved from fear/guilt, to simply moving on with bits of anger, to hate and passionate anger.

I always wondered what makes some of the most active members of this community keep coming back to the site even after they have been de-converted for many years.

 

Because if we think about it as a break up, you usually want to forget about your ex and move with your life, instead of reading gossip about him/her (to a degree you do want it), keep bashing him/her with your friends, and buying books on why you ex was wrong.

 

I understand the idea of that being a healing process and a chance to become stronger in your new found beliefs, or lack of them, but still, is there a time and place where you just forget, move on, and let people believe whatever they want?

 

Just some thoughts...what's your take on that?

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It can take anything from a couple of months to years. I'm at the stage where most of the emotional baggage is gone. Just work on it, and you'll get there.

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I think it depends on a lot of things; how badly you were indoctrinated, how others take your deconversion, where you live (some places are a lot more in-your-face about xianity than others), if you have a community of non-xians who support you, etc. I'm starting to get over the anger that I have about it. I no longer want to torch someone's car if it has one of those stupid Jesus fish on it (not that I ever would, but anyway). I still get angry if someone says something stupid, like when this one lady on the bus said that she didn't trust someone because they weren't saved. I think you start to get over the anger when you find a way to do something about the anger. I belong to a lot of Facebook groups that deal with religion, especially the religious indoctrination of children. I also take comfort in the fact that even though I was indoctrinated into religion, I can protect my son from that and I can raise him to be a critically-thinking adult, and that he'll probably take that into his adulthood and raise his children the same way. One way to start doing something about it is to donate to non-profit organizations that are trying to promote reason, like the Richard Dawkins foundation.

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Hi Sergei,

 

I don't have time right now to give as detailed an answer as I'd like, but here's the short version:

 

Deconversion from religious belief has stages to it a lot like grief does. Not everybody goes through them when they leave religion, but most folks do. The stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross model are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

 

When you become aware that you are starting to lose your faith, you might do things like read the bible more or "press into god" through prayer and worship, or engage in other religious activities to try to shore up your faith. When that ultimately doesn't work and faith is lost and the realization of how much time and energy you wasted on a false belief system hits, you justifiably experience anger. Then you might go through a stage where you wish for your faith back and bargain with god to restore it. Then you will very likely go through a period of depression and loss. And then, finally, you accept that your religious faith is gone, and you move on to better and much more realistic ways of viewing the world and the universe and how it all works. There is a lot of overlap, and moving between the various stages at various times. But you will get through it. :)

 

Hope that helps. Glory!

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I think brother Jeff's response is pretty right on. There's a "grieving" period. After all, this was once a "relationship."

For myself, I have very few non religious people in my life. Actually, since pulling away from church, I just don't see anyone much. And so, for me, this is a place to just hang out and talk to people. It's also a place for me to vent when something comes up that still causes me angst. Not sure where I am on that scale, but I am still dealing with anger. Good luck!

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Most people go through several phases. You may not feel completely comfortable with your new rational outlook for some time. It depends on how severe the brainwashing was, how long it lasted, your support group, your self image and mental stability.

 

It's a big shock to most people when they realize everything they used to believe is wrong. Believe me, it gets better. Have faith!

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It's not really a break-up, though. Past religious beliefs are a sort of a waypost for how to build your personality, your values. People trust religion in a way that they will not trust any person. (I gave my lunch money away at school prayer-time collections sometimes. My lunch money. And, um, god didn't magically provide more. And then I did it again next week. I wasn't stupid, I was just flat-out irrational when it came to god.)

 

The last time I was here, it was because I realized that parts of my beliefs I hadn't examined and had thought I'd left behind were tripping me up. And now that I'm working on eliminating the last of the ingrained guilt, I'm back here again.

 

Expect it to get better. If you were religiously abused, expect to have long stretches when you're not bothered at all before you have to stop and think about one more thing. But each time, it's easier, and after each time, you're healthier.

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I also think there's a bit of a difference in breaking up with Jesus and breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. In most cases, when you break up with someone, the other person also moves on so we can forget about them and maybe find someone new in the future. In the case of xtianity, even after you break up with them, xtianity keeps coming back to remind you how much you failed at your relationship when they were the ones who never called, harassing your new lover about how terrible and abusive you are when it was really xtianity that was, and trying in all its power to destroy your new relationship as payback for breaking up, so it's perfectly natural to feel pissed off about it and want to do something to stop it. And as Jeff says, there are phases to deconverting and you will get through this one. I think the first half of this video says it all:

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There's another difference between deconverting and breaking up with an ex-girlfriend.

 

In this case, your ex-girlfriend still has her claws dug into the balls of more than half of America (what, you thought you were the only one getting fucked!? :lmao: ), and that can have consequences for you and me if we just sit idly by and let her do all the same shit to them that she did to us.

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When I mentioned it was once a relationship, I was thinking more like someone who once was everything to you suddenly died. Someone you trusted, counted on, poured your life into. But the comparisons can't be played out all the way, obviously. I didn't mean to imply that is was like a break up (which could be hard enough!). The implications are life long for some of us. More long lasting, more deeply rooted into our psyche.

 

But, I have to admit, V.C. comments have me ROFL! :funny:

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I honestly feel like bashing CHristianity now and putting those quotes and videos on Facebook, I see my atheist friend post. Its weird, I thought I'll just forget and move on, but I am becoming really hostile towards Christianity (even thought I want to respect the people and their beliefs). I didn't have a problem, for the most part, with the Christians I've met. I still have wonderful Christian friends who are amazing human beings, and I don't want to offend them, but something inside of me really does want to start bashing religious systems.

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Eh. If you felt a lot of fear and guilt, anger at there being no reason to be guilty and fearful is a predictable response.

 

It's like when you're little and you go to bed. You're sleepy, it's dark, and you look down at the foot of the bed and there's something. There. It's wierd and ridged and you can't remember anything being down there. You lie there for minutes on end, looking at it and trying to remember what it could be, and you're scared to move, and you finally get the courage to swat the light on and look at what actually is there. And it's some laundry your mom put on the bed and you forgot to put away. You just kicked it up into a new shape when you got into bed.

 

And then you go "I was afraid of THAT? I let THAT freak me out?" and you shove it onto the floor.

 

I think you're going through a human reaction. If it really bothers you, maybe go back and look at what you felt guilty about, remind yourself it doesn't have power over you now, and look for some other places to put that anger?

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While I would like to "move on" after the "relationship" that was christianity, it is often flung back in my face by christians and I have to continually deal with it. Then there's the other ex's who visit this site and need encouragement. I'm not here very often as I'm a nomad and my internet time is usually rather limited, but I do browse and chime in when I can

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The weird thing is, that instead of moving on with my life I am trying to get my hands on as many books and internet articles as I can, and in my mind keep trying to see Christianity's fault and shortcoming.

 

So my de-conversion experienced evolved from fear/guilt, to simply moving on with bits of anger, to hate and passionate anger.

I always wondered what makes some of the most active members of this community keep coming back to the site even after they have been de-converted for many years.

 

Because if we think about it as a break up, you usually want to forget about your ex and move with your life, instead of reading gossip about him/her (to a degree you do want it), keep bashing him/her with your friends, and buying books on why you ex was wrong.

 

I understand the idea of that being a healing process and a chance to become stronger in your new found beliefs, or lack of them, but still, is there a time and place where you just forget, move on, and let people believe whatever they want?

 

Just some thoughts...what's your take on that?

 

You speak of being a Christian as simply having a relationship with someone. That's how it's sold. Christianity is an identity and a way of life, with it's own customs, language, relationship dynamics. It's a way of seeing things, of interpreting reality. It touches every aspect of someone's life. A closer analogy would be entering and breaking a relationship with an abusive boyfriend. See the similarities.

Abusive boyfriend: Isolation from friends/family. Love is demanded instead of requested. Love me or I'll...whatever. Girlfriend is not allowed to have any aspect of her life unscrutinized by her boyfriend. Girlfriend is brainwashed into believing she can't trust her intellect and shouldn't question her boyfriend, because he's smarter..period. God: Relationships with unbelievers is discouraged, unless you are actively trying to convert them. You have to love God or he'll send you to hell=). Shut down your brain and don't listen to those scientists, because I'm smarter...period..I just am. It's not enough to love me, every aspect of your life must come under my control.

 

An abusive boyfriend will never truly accept a breaking. He will stalk her, and still try to control her life as much as he can get away with. You can say we're "stalked" by God. We can't escape him. Say your girlfriend's name is Amy.

Amy is on the news and tv all the time.

Amy, is constantly talked about by your friends and family.

Amy has her own holidays.

Amy controls world politics.

Amy won't let you run for office in Texas unless you have a relationship with her.

Amy has pictures of her all over peoples' walls everywhere you go.

Amy is always brought up at funerals.

Amy is always brought up when there is a tragedy.

Amy is always brought up any time you are having problems.

Amy legislates her rules so she can still tell u what do to, despite the fact that u no longer have a relationship with her.

Amy is constantly saying,"I love u", even while she is also saying, "I'll kill u if I can't be with you".

Amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy, amy.

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I honestly feel like bashing CHristianity now and putting those quotes and videos on Facebook, I see my atheist friend post. Its weird, I thought I'll just forget and move on, but I am becoming really hostile towards Christianity (even thought I want to respect the people and their beliefs). I didn't have a problem, for the most part, with the Christians I've met. I still have wonderful Christian friends who are amazing human beings, and I don't want to offend them, but something inside of me really does want to start bashing religious systems.
I respect the people, but not neccesarily their beliefs. But I do respect their right to have there own beliefs. It's natural to strike out at someone who uses you, lies to you, threatens you, or tries to control you.
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hey guys,

 

I've been de-converted for about a months and a half. I started reading material on this web-site with some fear and guilt, eventually becoming comfortable with it, then few weeks later I almost stopped coming here what so ever. However, it all changed now. Despite my initial desire to just forget about my involvement in religion and simply move on, I am now becoming one of the opinionated and passionate anti-Christians. The weird thing is, that instead of moving on with my life I am trying to get my hands on as many books and internet articles as I can, and in my mind keep trying to see Christianity's fault and shortcoming.

 

So my de-conversion experienced evolved from fear/guilt, to simply moving on with bits of anger, to hate and passionate anger.

I always wondered what makes some of the most active members of this community keep coming back to the site even after they have been de-converted for many years.

 

Because if we think about it as a break up, you usually want to forget about your ex and move with your life, instead of reading gossip about him/her (to a degree you do want it), keep bashing him/her with your friends, and buying books on why you ex was wrong.

 

I understand the idea of that being a healing process and a chance to become stronger in your new found beliefs, or lack of them, but still, is there a time and place where you just forget, move on, and let people believe whatever they want?

 

Just some thoughts...what's your take on that?

 

 

I've been deconverted for about a decade, and I still feel anger towards Christianity and a desire to keep pounding it down. I'm comfortable with this, however, because I feel it's a religion that needs to be exposed and ridiculed. The moment you lack passion to correct the lies is the moment you stop caring about the world.

 

 

I like to think of it as a break up, but rather than just moving on, you realize what a douche your ex is, so you continue to expose your ex to the world for what s/he really is so that maybe other people won't be hurt/deceived by them.

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I honestly feel like bashing CHristianity now and putting those quotes and videos on Facebook, I see my atheist friend post. Its weird, I thought I'll just forget and move on, but I am becoming really hostile towards Christianity (even thought I want to respect the people and their beliefs). I didn't have a problem, for the most part, with the Christians I've met. I still have wonderful Christian friends who are amazing human beings, and I don't want to offend them, but something inside of me really does want to start bashing religious systems.

 

 

Why respect their beliefs? You can be nice to people who are nice to you, but you don't have to pat them on a back and say, "your Christians beliefs are just as good as any other ideas!" You can tear up the principles of Christianity without attacking people personally, but sometimes, they also deserve it personally, and I see nothing wrong with going after them. I can't stand wish washy attitudes, where people sit around in a circle jerk, telling everyone they can believe whatever makes them feel good. Bullshit should always anger you and cause you to want to set the record straight.

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hey guys,

 

I've been de-converted for about a months and a half. I started reading material on this web-site with some fear and guilt, eventually becoming comfortable with it, then few weeks later I almost stopped coming here what so ever. However, it all changed now. Despite my initial desire to just forget about my involvement in religion and simply move on, I am now becoming one of the opinionated and passionate anti-Christians. The weird thing is, that instead of moving on with my life I am trying to get my hands on as many books and internet articles as I can, and in my mind keep trying to see Christianity's fault and shortcoming.

 

So my de-conversion experienced evolved from fear/guilt, to simply moving on with bits of anger, to hate and passionate anger.

I always wondered what makes some of the most active members of this community keep coming back to the site even after they have been de-converted for many years.

 

Because if we think about it as a break up, you usually want to forget about your ex and move with your life, instead of reading gossip about him/her (to a degree you do want it), keep bashing him/her with your friends, and buying books on why you ex was wrong.

 

I understand the idea of that being a healing process and a chance to become stronger in your new found beliefs, or lack of them, but still, is there a time and place where you just forget, move on, and let people believe whatever they want?

 

Just some thoughts...what's your take on that?

 

Sure, it goes through stages and cycles, I think Neon Genesis (not positive) wrote an Uber-post detailing his view of the Stages of De-Conversion, look it up through his name under his posts, if it wasnt then search through the forum. I am pretty sure it got pinned. Or just wait and somebody will know what I am talking about and link you to it.

 

The problem with the "breakup" analogy is that you're also breaking up with yourself, and you can never hide from him/her so you have to deal with your new self, starving for truth and replacements for the holes that are left, as well as convincing those deeper areas of the psyche that still want to hold on, still dont get it.

 

Anyways, read about the stages of de-conversion. I am sure there are a few different models, see if one fits you.

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lol, well, I'm pretty sold on the breakup analogy (as you can tell by my signature!) but I also like the analogy of coming off drugs.

I think that coming off religion is a very up-and-down process and our mental states, interests and emotions vary according to what stage of grief we are in. And I do think you can use the 5 stages of grief like Brother Jeff said. With each stage that you're in, you have to just accept that as your reality for the time being. When you're angry, you can tell yourself "Okay, I'm feeling angry, and that's okay. I won't be angry forever, but I am angry now and that's okay." What has always helped me is blogging about how I was dealing with things. It helps me express my feelings and sort out why I feel that way.

 

and just an fyi, the five stages of grief don't always happen in order and sometimes you may revisit a stage after you thought you had already gone through it. Like you may think you're totally in the acceptence stage and everything is okay and then something happens (Christmas, Easter, Passover, elections, marriages, funerals, see-you-at-the-pole, new laws, a new Christian fad sweeping the nation, a comment from a family member, a movie, a song...etc) and all the emotion comes rushng back. If that happens, just remember you're normal and it happens to most of us at some point.

My deconversion process started about two years ago and i vividly remember there were some awful times at the beginning, but I reached the point where I'm okay with my life. I'm doing what makes me happy and even though i don't have my spiritual beliefs all figured out, I know I'm going to be okay overall.

And I know you're going to be okay too.

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Sorry about the repeats. Couldn't figure out how to delete my own posts.

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Again with the repeats. Sorry about that.

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