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Still Feeling Gulty? What The Hell?


sergei29
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So I de-convert from Christianity, decide that its not true, and start living with almost no guilt and a need to confess my sins (i had a religious type of OCD, called religious scrupulosity which made me confess 24/7). So once I don't believe in the Biblical system of sinning-confessing I can put my OCD aside and move on...NOT QUITE. Maybe you guys can help me to realize what's going on...

 

For some reason I still feel guilty swearing, saying mean things to others, judging others, being angry, and there is a lot of guilt concerning sexuality.

I guess what I want is to live a guilt free live where I am free to get angry and punch someone out (if the person deserves it :)), or to have casual sex guilt free, curse, and so on, but I can't get rid of the idea that there is someone watching, and even though its not a Christian god, its some kind of a God who does not like me doing things like that. I call myself an agnostic now, but probably a deist is a better label. I can't accept atheism so I choose to believe that there must be someone out there, but I am okay with not knowing, and just living my life. How do you get this freedom to just act on your desires and urges and not having to think that someone is not happy with you.

 

Anyone is in the same shoes here?

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It takes TIME.... I'd like all the Xian songs to depart from my mind, but I spent 30 years cramming them in there. Some of them are pretty, and that makes it even harder to turn them off inside.

 

Learned behaviors and mental pathways take a long time to unlearn and re-train, especially when the motivation was fear of torture by God. Some things will take experience, over and over again, to convince the inner mind that it is ok and that "divine wrath" is just an ooga-booga threat that has no substance.

 

I am still in favor of some kind of deity, for lack of a better word. I am searching through some beliefs to see if anything pans out. I regulate my behavior with a different code of ethics now, and primarily focus on not doing anything that would hurt my wife's feelings, and then I extrapolate that to others in a lesser degree. I find that there is much to enjoy about life, and as I'm in my mid years, I want to enjoy what I can. Some things I can now embrace without the fear of any thought-monitoring spooks, and other things I regulate because they could cause harm to my relationship, or to my livelihood, reputation, etc.

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Years of brainwashing don't disappear overnight. Sometimes professional help is needed.

 

There are dozens and dozens of topics here attesting to that. It gets better in time.

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I agree with the above. Old habits die hard. I've been out of the loop for years now and I'm still not comfortable swearing in front of people (by myself it's okay.) But I have lost a lot of my "christianese" language and started thinking for myself. And I can comfortably hurl a bible into a dumpster without fear of getting hit by a car moments later. I feel a bit uncomfortable with it, but at least I don't panic and feel the urge to repent profusely. So what you're going through is normal. You'll be alright. :)

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I agree with the above. Old habits die hard. I've been out of the loop for years now and I'm still not comfortable swearing in front of people (by myself it's okay.) But I have lost a lot of my "christianese" language and started thinking for myself. And I can comfortably hurl a bible into a dumpster without fear of getting hit by a car moments later. I feel a bit uncomfortable with it, but at least I don't panic and feel the urge to repent profusely. So what you're going through is normal. You'll be alright. :)

 

I had three bibles at one time. Two of them I have since given away. The last is still on my bookshelf. It makes a grand place to display my dust collection. I tell myself that I keep it as a reference, knowing full well that I can look up anything I want to in the bible online. I have been tempted to drop it in the recycle bin but just can't talk myself into it. I also have a book of Christian apologetics that needs to be in the recycle bin much more than a bible, but I keep that one if I want a quick way to jack up my blood pressure without turning on the evening news.

 

As far as the feeling of having someone watching you all the time---------I kind of have those moments subconsciously I think. It was so ingrained into my head as a young boy that I don't think it will ever completely go away, even though I've been away from it for years. It's kind of hard to unlearn and forget something that was deliberately intended to stick with you for the rest of your life. Just live with it and accept the idea that even though you may still have those feelings, they are just from conditioning and indoctrination. In fact it may prove useful to all of us in a sense. It gives one the ability to remember just why they started to question their path in religion, and try to keep whatever good that was learned from Christianity, and leave behind the bad.

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Agree with all the above. It takes time, and there are a few choice professional counsellors who can help you as well.

 

You might want to get a book on "CBT" ... Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ... it will give you tips and methods to change how your brain works. The fact that you recognize your own dilemma is a pretty good sign.

 

Keep the non-faith!

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I am a firm believer in situational ethics. To a point.

 

I won't own a gun because my neighbor might. But I might take a hit off his joint for bonding puropose, even though I don't smoke dope. Won't curse around the xtians I work with but will do so with gusto around the gutter mouths who can relate to it.

 

I don't have many friends but I wish to relate to people on the terms that they can relate to. We live in a zoo, but we choose the cages that we wish to inhabit so we also choose the behavior that we feel comfortable with and that will make those who wish to associate with feel comfortable.

 

If you are living your life to please a set of ethics that you no longer subscribe to then you will go blind from the exercise of mental masturbation. Go watch Woody Allen's "Zelig". Be true to yourself but have fun in being a chameleon.

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Well, leaving the idea that there is a deity of some sort does raise the question of how involved it is. If you're thinking it's a watchmaker, then just remind yourself that.

 

As for the rest... it's how you live that determines what you're used to. You programmed yourself into habits by stopping swearing. All right, swear again. I'm not going to go advise you to have promiscuous sex because that's not healthy in its own way. But there must be another way to work on pushing your comfort level back.

 

As for being mean to others and judging others... well, sometimes you do want to curb that anyway. Even if someone deserves a punch in the face, you could still get sued, or get infected knuckles. XD

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I agree with the others that it takes TIME.

It always lasts longer than you want it to, but it does get better. A good sense of humor is essential to keeping the process going!

I can totally relate with the OCD confessing thing because I was in the A/G cult that believes you can lose your salvation. I lived in fear of going to hell just because I thought about sex or I got mad at someone. It's been almost 2 years now and I hardly ever deal with irrational guilt anymore. My friends have helped me a LOT with their laid-back attitudes and great sense of humor.

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I prayed regularly for forgiveness after having 'impure' thoughts, but towards the end I just gave up on feeling guilty for all the things I thought about or did.

 

Now I feel guilty for other things, but I don't know that it's a bad thing.

 

Ditto on the time stuff. Was the OCD thing for realz? How often would you confess?

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yeah, it was big time for real! Pretty much i could hardly have a conversation with a person without confessing in my head. I felt guilt for almost any feeling, thoughts, and opinions that I thought weren't 'Christian'. I couldn't even not feel guilty for the things my truly committed Christian friends had no problems with. So it was an over-the-top sensitivity. I would often get stuck on something and keep having it in my head. For some period of time it was denying Christ, which i was confessing all the time, because I often felt that I wasn't 'truly' proud of him, or even ashamed. For another period of time it was fear of being demon possessed as thought I would rebuke the devil and drive out demons out of myself after hearing some hard rock music, playing some video games, and whatever else.

 

Yeah, it was really real, and even now I can't seem to judge someone, dislike someone, say something negative about someone without feeling guilty.

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and I don't want to be a mean guy, i was never like that, but sometimes a person is a jerk and being a pain in the butt, and so I want to feel that way about him. Or some other jerk cuts you off on a free way and I just want to have some road rage without feeling guilty and having to accept his action and not feel angry at him.

 

So i don't want to go over the top, i'm a nice guy, but i feel like its not healthy to be one all the time.

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yeah, it was big time for real! Pretty much i could hardly have a conversation with a person without confessing in my head. I felt guilt for almost any feeling, thoughts, and opinions that I thought weren't 'Christian'. I couldn't even not feel guilty for the things my truly committed Christian friends had no problems with. So it was an over-the-top sensitivity. I would often get stuck on something and keep having it in my head. For some period of time it was denying Christ, which i was confessing all the time, because I often felt that I wasn't 'truly' proud of him, or even ashamed. For another period of time it was fear of being demon possessed as thought I would rebuke the devil and drive out demons out of myself after hearing some hard rock music, playing some video games, and whatever else.

 

Yeah, it was really real, and even now I can't seem to judge someone, dislike someone, say something negative about someone without feeling guilty.

 

Hell's Bells------and I thought only us Catholics could be that fucked up. I once had a friend describe the Catholic church as "the Mother of Perpetual Guilt"---------the bastards took the guilt of a Jewish mother and turned it into a damned cottage industry. And a very profitable one at that. I remember the bit about having "impure" thoughts. Jesus H Christ on a bloody pogo stick---I can't tell you how many times as a young boy I had "impure thoughts" and ran to the confessional to tell some asshole of a priest about the heinous crime I had committed.

 

I felt so dirty-----------

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Just to echo what everyone else is saying, it takes time!

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  • 4 weeks later...
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So I de-convert from Christianity, decide that its not true, and start living with almost no guilt and a need to confess my sins (i had a religious type of OCD, called religious scrupulosity which made me confess 24/7). So once I don't believe in the Biblical system of sinning-confessing I can put my OCD aside and move on...NOT QUITE. Maybe you guys can help me to realize what's going on...

 

For some reason I still feel guilty swearing, saying mean things to others, judging others, being angry, and there is a lot of guilt concerning sexuality.

I guess what I want is to live a guilt free live where I am free to get angry and punch someone out (if the person deserves it smile.gif), or to have casual sex guilt free, curse, and so on, but I can't get rid of the idea that there is someone watching, and even though its not a Christian god, its some kind of a God who does not like me doing things like that. I call myself an agnostic now, but probably a deist is a better label. I can't accept atheism so I choose to believe that there must be someone out there, but I am okay with not knowing, and just living my life. How do you get this freedom to just act on your desires and urges and not having to think that someone is not happy with you.

 

Anyone is in the same shoes here?

 

Interesting. I deconverted because I thought Christianity's moral standards were too low. And I still hold to Christian values not theology. I practice many of the things I did when I was a Christian. But now I feel it's much more genuine. I used to be good to people because I was scared. But now I'm good to people because I value human life and like seeing people thrive. I don't believe I'll be punished/rewarded either way. I choose to love them. Their happiness is my reward. Their misery is my punishment. I have a "chew the meat and spit out the bones" mentalitity.

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So I de-convert from Christianity, decide that its not true, and start living with almost no guilt and a need to confess my sins (i had a religious type of OCD, called religious scrupulosity which made me confess 24/7). So once I don't believe in the Biblical system of sinning-confessing I can put my OCD aside and move on...NOT QUITE. Maybe you guys can help me to realize what's going on...

 

For some reason I still feel guilty swearing, saying mean things to others, judging others, being angry, and there is a lot of guilt concerning sexuality.

I guess what I want is to live a guilt free live where I am free to get angry and punch someone out (if the person deserves it :)), or to have casual sex guilt free, curse, and so on, but I can't get rid of the idea that there is someone watching, and even though its not a Christian god, its some kind of a God who does not like me doing things like that. I call myself an agnostic now, but probably a deist is a better label. I can't accept atheism so I choose to believe that there must be someone out there, but I am okay with not knowing, and just living my life. How do you get this freedom to just act on your desires and urges and not having to think that someone is not happy with you.

 

Anyone is in the same shoes here?

 

 

First off, you're an Atheist if you say you don't know if there is a god. Atheism is just a lack of belief, but anyway. Just try to think through these issues though. Ask yourself WHY you should feel guilty for these things. First, ask why you should you feel like these things are wrong in and of themselves, and then ask what the hell this would have to do with a god? How would it be any god's business? It's your life, and if it doesn't hurt an innocent person, then who gives a fuck? If there was some god up there, I'm sure it would have actually said something to us by now, but humans and animals have been doing this shit for millions of years. Think about that.

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Guest niels lyhne

I think it would be rather strange if you haven't experinced this guilt and sinfulness having left the institution that gave you all your guidelines from since you were born.

After all this is the way christianity have worked - and with such a huge effectiveness!

 

In my opinion this is the worst thing whatsoever with the christian faith. Christianity teaches you that you're nothing - and God is everything - and that you have to give your self up and deliver you to Jesus. This also implies that you have to fight the sinfull and evil self within you, the self that is alsways trying to corrupt you.

 

This idea that you're born evil and that you have to change yourself through faith is such a cruel thought, because it weakens the child and makes it insecure of it self. And being insecure what feels more drawing than delivering yourself to an almighty power.

 

So what you feel is totally normal, but unfortunately it takes time to get rid of the guilt.

 

I myself was raised in an orthodox lutheran church, of all places in atheist Scandinavia, and I struggle enormous with all of what you name.

 

I have learned alot of things from working with my self and from my therapist, and one important issue is that you have to be honest with yourself. That, however, also means that if you still believe in God or Jesus, meaning if you can still feel a connection, that is the way you feel and you shouldn't try to change that.

It sounds strange and contradicting, but I think that the worse thing you can do is to try to reason with "the voices" in you telling you what to do. The voices (not in a skizophrenic way) are there, and you can't make them disappear by telling them so. So if you feel guilty meanwhile having sex, cursing or whatever, that is the way you feel.

 

It all sounds a bit weird and contradicting, and I don't grasp it totally myself. But to end this and with an attempt to sum it up, I once read some of Andrew Salomon's book on depression, and here he says that depression is the absent of love. And if you regain this love, some will feel love to God.

 

This is how they feel. And I think the first step to recover from a break-away from one's faith is to acknowledge and accept all feelings. Also the one's with guilt and believe in God.

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