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Have You Dealt With This Yet?


ReneeRadical!
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Wanting to pray so bad, but you know your prayers go unheard. No one is listening. We are lone in the world.

 

Tonight, my parents are fighting I guess and my stepdad is being a jerk. My mom is such a good woman and I hate to see her so sad. She knows I don't believe but she always tells me its a phase, jesus wants to save me, etc. Tonight I just wanted to make her happy and say "its okay, god bless, mom" and im having sentimental thoughts of Christianity and the sorts. I suppress a lot of emotions to begin with, and I feel like if I let it go and pray, everything will feel so much better. But i hold back and fight myself cause I believe its just not real. This makes me even more sad and hurt inside. Can anyone help me out? thanks.

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Do you keep a diary of some kind? I started writing one after decon and just used it to lay out whatever I was thinking at the moment. Reading it later was like hearing myself as a different person because I was in a different mood or had a different perspective by then. It doesn't offer the idea of a cosmic force bending the turns of life in response to you, but it's healthier. What you learn about yourself this way and how to handle these problems would be like answered prayers.

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Yeah, I know. Amazing how just believing someone was listening made things seem better, at least short term. In the long term it keeps one waiting on miracles no one is going to perform.

 

Righ now it sucks, but I have found that after the initial emotional response, that I am better equiped to deal with prblems.

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I catch myself wanting to pray, too. My resolution is to consider where the prayers really went. And that was to myself. Therefore, I think about the situation for which I formerly would have prayed over. One might even call it a short form of meditation, though nothing formal in the sense of saying a mantra or the like.

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It is such a natural habit for me to come out (without even thinking) and say: 'please lord help me with this!' At least once or twice a day! :shrug: I wonder also when this will stop.

Of course - I'm still searching for 'the real' god' in the sky..................................:shrug:

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I stopped praying once I realized that it was only making things worse for me, and that I could conjure up the feeling of god's presence at will. I had a very passive personality, where instead of taking care of my life, I'd react to stress by burring my head in the sand and asking god to magically make everything better. I was bad off enough that at one point I couldn't open my mail, I'd have a panic attack at the thought of it being something bad. So step one was to realize that most of my prayers weren't neutral, they were harmful. Then once I realized that all the times I'd felt god's presence, I'd just been interacting with some buried part of me, praying seemed unnecessary.

 

I recently had a resurgence of wanting to pray last week when I had lots of crazy stress. At first I fought the urge, for all the reasons listed above. But then I realized that I was just panicking about things I had no control over and wanted to feel like there was something I could do, or at least someone else who could do something, to make it better. So I let myself pray to god, to the air, to whatever beings might be capable of listening, just so I could calm down. Given the choice between bad enough anxiety to nearly make me puke and expressing my distress as mental appeal to some vague potential other(s), I decided the second was the healthier option. I tried to frame it to myself as just a way to acknowledge my emotions even if I knew it would not help, to avoid turning it into an avoidance mechanism again. The urge has worn off along with the panic, so I still think that was the right choice.

 

If it helps, you can allow yourself to have "honest prayers", something like:

 

"Dear being I don't actually believe in, if you really do exists it would be awful nice of you to help me out, 'cause life is hard and overwhelming."

 

I found that prayers like that helped me to transition from christian praying to being honest with myself and working through my problems.

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I haven't had those moments anymore, but I do deal with my parents fighting.

 

As you know, prayer doesn't change anything. People change things.

 

The one thing I do for my mother is be there and listen. When she broke down and cried, I just knocked on the door, sat on the bed, and asked "What's wrong?" and let her talk to me.

 

Actions speak louder than prayers.

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I stopped praying once I realized that it was only making things worse for me, and that I could conjure up the feeling of god's presence at will. I had a very passive personality, where instead of taking care of my life, I'd react to stress by burring my head in the sand and asking god to magically make everything better. I was bad off enough that at one point I couldn't open my mail, I'd have a panic attack at the thought of it being something bad. So step one was to realize that most of my prayers weren't neutral, they were harmful. Then once I realized that all the times I'd felt god's presence, I'd just been interacting with some buried part of me, praying seemed unnecessary.

 

I recently had a resurgence of wanting to pray last week when I had lots of crazy stress. At first I fought the urge, for all the reasons listed above. But then I realized that I was just panicking about things I had no control over and wanted to feel like there was something I could do, or at least someone else who could do something, to make it better. So I let myself pray to god, to the air, to whatever beings might be capable of listening, just so I could calm down. Given the choice between bad enough anxiety to nearly make me puke and expressing my distress as mental appeal to some vague potential other(s), I decided the second was the healthier option. I tried to frame it to myself as just a way to acknowledge my emotions even if I knew it would not help, to avoid turning it into an avoidance mechanism again. The urge has worn off along with the panic, so I still think that was the right choice.

 

If it helps, you can allow yourself to have "honest prayers", something like:

 

"Dear being I don't actually believe in, if you really do exists it would be awful nice of you to help me out, 'cause life is hard and overwhelming."

 

I found that prayers like that helped me to transition from christian praying to being honest with myself and working through my problems.

 

THIS VaccuumFlux - Is Good! :3:

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Wanting to pray so bad, but you know your prayers go unheard. No one is listening. We are lone in the world.

 

That happened to me a little bit the past few nights. I'm looking at a massive bureaucratic/paperwork/monetary clusterfuck, several people are pissed off at me for different work-related reasons, and I'm hoping I'm not going to get shafted over it. In the past I would have comforted (masturbated?) myself for hours praying to the Lard, "knowing" that He heard my whimperings and exhortations. Nowadays my only option is to talk to the stale air inside my dimly lit room. I know the feeling you describe: there's no Almighty Fixer who listens with bottomless patience and who just might make everything work out with a wave of his hand despite the circumstances.

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I was bad off enough that at one point I couldn't open my mail, I'd have a panic attack at the thought of it being something bad.

 

Fuck, that's me right now for the past month. Except it's with e-mail and voice mail. My gut's all in a painful knot as I type this right now. You're the first person I remember who has experienced the same thing. I sometimes tell people I have a phobia or aversion to e-mail and voice mail, and I just kind of attribute it to my Asperger's Syndrome and leave it at that.

 

However, I know it all stems from a traumatic nearly-had-a-goddamn-mental-breakdown episode in my life that happened about six years ago. Maybe I'll go into detail about that some other time, but the relevant bit is this: most of the gut-punch "fuck! No! No! FUCK!!!!!!!" type moments during that year-long episode of shittiness occured via e-mail. As a result, on a good day I mildly dread checking my e-mail but make myself do it anyways, and at worst I just can't do it, I go into pathetic shut-down mode. This past month it's been more acute than it has been in a while, and I feel like a total non-functioning retard because of it. My gut is all knotted up as I type this. If God was real, he'd tell one of my office mates to give me some bourbon right now.

 

The mess I'm dealing with right now went from being an annoying inconvenience to Mt. Clusterfuck because it triggered my e-mail/voice mail aversion to where I've avoided looking at it for a month. I blame myself and I feel pathetic, but at the same time something's not working right and I ought to fix it. Maybe CBT will help. God, I feel like such a non-hacker, like a retard, like a failure at life.

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I don't have a problem with praying even though I don't believe in a christian deity. The deity was something in my mind that I took comfort in, so if I feel the need to I still do. I created a comfort in my imagination, so I still use that whenever the need arises. I just know that it's me comforting myself which doesn't bother me.

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Just pray if you want to, if it makes you feel better. I prayed for a couple of years after I quit believing, just in case I was wrong. Never worked of course. So I quit for good and haven't had the twinge of an urge in thirty-five years. :grin:

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Comet, you're not alone. I have panic attacks like that too. I thought I was unique in this situation. I had never heard of anyone having an anxiety attack over email or the phone ringing. I work online so I have to check my mail frequently thoughout the day, some days are better than others.

 

Lately, I find myself wanting to scream at people who talk about religion. I am notcing the arrogance and one-sidedness of religious people and there are days when the nager I feel is overwhelming. I don't feel violent or anything just anger and dare I say, some hatred?

 

I recently posted a link on my Facebook wall about the creation museum spending a ton of money on a stupid theme park or something instead of helping peoplke with the multi-million dollars they were going to waste to try and brainwash more people into believing the fairytale, when a former church friend publicly lashed out telling me how UNxtian I have become... It's OK for them to post all their BULLSHIT but god (the imgainary one) help anyone who even attempts to disagree with them. I solved this problem by cleaning house On FB and any other social networks with religious people. I can't stand the fucktards.

 

Anyway, just want to let you know you're not alone :)

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I still feel the urge to pray when I know something is wrong, and I desperately want to fix it, but there's nothing I can really do.

 

Ultimately, I think that's what prayer is---a way to feel like you've done something. At worst, people will do it *instead* of doing something they really could, but...then there are times like this, where not having prayer just makes you realize how helpless you actually are. The diary idea might help--at least you'd be able to express how you feel about it.

 

Taking a really different tact, maybe rub a rabbit's foot or something equally pointless, just to remind yourself what that urge really is, and why you don't want to give in to it.

 

Of course, I think the end goal should be to figure out things you really can do, and learn to accept when the problem isn't yours to fix. Other people's fights? The most you can do, I think, is be extra-supportive of both of them.

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Wanting to pray so bad, but you know your prayers go unheard. No one is listening. We are lone in the world.

 

Tonight, my parents are fighting I guess and my stepdad is being a jerk. My mom is such a good woman and I hate to see her so sad. She knows I don't believe but she always tells me its a phase, jesus wants to save me, etc. Tonight I just wanted to make her happy and say "its okay, god bless, mom" and im having sentimental thoughts of Christianity and the sorts. I suppress a lot of emotions to begin with, and I feel like if I let it go and pray, everything will feel so much better. But i hold back and fight myself cause I believe its just not real. This makes me even more sad and hurt inside. Can anyone help me out? thanks.

 

Might as well do it if it'll make you feel better, there isn't some heathen code that says you can't pray ever again. Usually getting on my knees isn't for praying though.

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What helped me a lot was realizing what my religious practices were and why I took comfort in them. Prayer makes you feel better because it is relief. I would get that same "god is listening to me" feeling from imagining that I'm blowing bubbles and watching my worry float away in the bubble or just taking a few deep breaths.

Anyone else used to ask for signs from god (If that light flickers 3 times in a minute then....)? Yeah, I realized that that was an OCD compulsion and was only damaging for me.

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I got the urge to pray today, twice, for very different yet similar reasons.

 

First, I went to go move my car to closer parking, since it was late enough I was allowed to (my parking pass is only good for a bus ride away during weekday daytimes). Fiddled with the car key in my pocket until I crossed the street and saw the bus I wanted driving by, so I put the key back in my pocket so I could run to catch up with the bus that was stopped at a red light. Got on bus, took bus to parking lot, got of bus... no car key. I figured I probably dropped it on the sidewalk, and as I caught a bus back to go look for the dropped key, I found myself wanting to pray that it would be there. I realized that prayer would not help, panic would not help, and I was already being proactive about finding the lost key, so there was no need to pray. I ended up not praying.

 

So I get back, retrace my steps, am worried that it could have gotten buried in a pile of snow. Walk slowly, looking everywhere. Finally find my keys... not on the sidewalk. They were sitting on a windowsill near where I'd dropped 'em. So a total stranger had found my keys, removed them from the sidewalk so they wouldn't get stepped on or lost in the snow, did not steal my keys, and left them somewhere safe and visible in the hopes that I would have an easy time when I came back for them.

 

I have no idea who the total stranger was who helped me find my keys, and I will never know. I am very grateful to them, and I have no way to display my gratitude to that individual. I wanted to pray a prayer of joy, of thanksgiving, of blessing on the kind stranger. But without believing in prayer... the happy thoughts may feel good to me but they won't help anyone else, especially not the person I want to do something nice for. It's a totally different sort of helplessness than the one I was feeling earlier when I freaked out about lost keys, but it is still a sense that I want to change something about the world and am powerless to do so.

 

The best I can do is put a thank-you note on the internet and hope that my happy experience causes some other human somewhere to have a nicer day for it. So, thank you total stranger for not being a dick. Thank you, total stranger, for pausing to put my keys somewhere they would not be stepped on or buried in snow. Thank you, total stranger, for not taking my keys, for pausing to think of me and my needs as you went about your own life. I hope you got some warm fuzzies for knowing you did a nice thing, because I cannot find you and share my happiness with you.

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I confessed my sins every night (as I would usually do) for several weeks after I left Christianity. I still felt the psychology wave of forgiveness wash over me. Eventually I got over it. Once in a while I'll catch myself praying over my food and stop mid thought. Other times someone will tell me something that makes me think *I should pray for them* and then I realize I can't do shit, which is slightly depressing sometimes. Also, as someone else has mentioned it is also tough sometimes when something really good happens and you have no way of thanking *anyone* about it.

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ReneeRadical!

 

I don't believe in prayer. With some embarrassment I will confess that I only do it.

 

I can't make intellectual sense of prayer. If the careless universe operates following the lockstep of cause and effect no entreaty on my part will change anything.

 

Even though I know that the "vibrations" of my heart's gratitude emitted into the vast darkness of the universe do not strike any Ultimate "anvil and hammer," I still find myself praying.

 

Maybe it's the song bird in me helpless to do nothing other than sing even when there are no ears to hear. I'm comfortable with that. No harm done.

 

Maybe my words are just a primitive way of cherishing the truth of "nature" or the truth of VacuumFlux's "key" stranger.

 

Anyway, I do at times find myself praying.

 

"My spirit, like love, cannot be contained within the horizons of my mind. It soars above reason and swoops down into the chaos beneath rationality. It travels with its own passport and freely crosses the frontiers of the known and explainable world." (Keen) My spirit sometimes prays.

 

saner

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I was bad off enough that at one point I couldn't open my mail, I'd have a panic attack at the thought of it being something bad.

 

Fuck, that's me right now for the past month. Except it's with e-mail and voice mail. My gut's all in a painful knot as I type this right now. You're the first person I remember who has experienced the same thing. I sometimes tell people I have a phobia or aversion to e-mail and voice mail, and I just kind of attribute it to my Asperger's Syndrome and leave it at that.

 

However, I know it all stems from a traumatic nearly-had-a-goddamn-mental-breakdown episode in my life that happened about six years ago. Maybe I'll go into detail about that some other time, but the relevant bit is this: most of the gut-punch "fuck! No! No! FUCK!!!!!!!" type moments during that year-long episode of shittiness occured via e-mail. As a result, on a good day I mildly dread checking my e-mail but make myself do it anyways, and at worst I just can't do it, I go into pathetic shut-down mode. This past month it's been more acute than it has been in a while, and I feel like a total non-functioning retard because of it. .....

 

For me, it's the telephone. I hate answering the phone for similar reasons and have for years. I have caller ID now and can screen calls and let almost all of them go to the answering machine. I only answer if it's one of my children or my husband.

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I got the urge to pray today, twice, for very different yet similar reasons.

 

First, I went to go move my car to closer parking, since it was late enough I was allowed to (my parking pass is only good for a bus ride away during weekday daytimes). Fiddled with the car key in my pocket until I crossed the street and saw the bus I wanted driving by, so I put the key back in my pocket so I could run to catch up with the bus that was stopped at a red light. Got on bus, took bus to parking lot, got of bus... no car key. I figured I probably dropped it on the sidewalk, and as I caught a bus back to go look for the dropped key, I found myself wanting to pray that it would be there. I realized that prayer would not help, panic would not help, and I was already being proactive about finding the lost key, so there was no need to pray. I ended up not praying.

 

So I get back, retrace my steps, am worried that it could have gotten buried in a pile of snow. Walk slowly, looking everywhere. Finally find my keys... not on the sidewalk. They were sitting on a windowsill near where I'd dropped 'em. So a total stranger had found my keys, removed them from the sidewalk so they wouldn't get stepped on or lost in the snow, did not steal my keys, and left them somewhere safe and visible in the hopes that I would have an easy time when I came back for them.

 

I have no idea who the total stranger was who helped me find my keys, and I will never know. I am very grateful to them, and I have no way to display my gratitude to that individual. I wanted to pray a prayer of joy, of thanksgiving, of blessing on the kind stranger. But without believing in prayer... the happy thoughts may feel good to me but they won't help anyone else, especially not the person I want to do something nice for. It's a totally different sort of helplessness than the one I was feeling earlier when I freaked out about lost keys, but it is still a sense that I want to change something about the world and am powerless to do so.

 

The best I can do is put a thank-you note on the internet and hope that my happy experience causes some other human somewhere to have a nicer day for it. So, thank you total stranger for not being a dick. Thank you, total stranger, for pausing to put my keys somewhere they would not be stepped on or buried in snow. Thank you, total stranger, for not taking my keys, for pausing to think of me and my needs as you went about your own life. I hope you got some warm fuzzies for knowing you did a nice thing, because I cannot find you and share my happiness with you.

 

I know its a little late, but is it ever too late. Maybe a little card with the words Thank You placed on the same window sill under a small stone (to keep it from blowing away) would get them the message and make yourself feel less helpless in your gratitude. Apparently it was someone who passes by the spot, they might see it, might not but at least you tried. It might also relieve them of any doubt that their deed helped someone and the wrong person, or a "dick" as you put it didn't just walk up and steal the keys.

 

Just a thought.

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I had a 'I wish I could pray' thankfulness moment a few days ago. I was low on money and nearing the end of my birth control pack and at my pill renewal appt. my Dr. gave me a free pack(it costs $35 a month which is a huge amount for a f/t college student with no job.)

 

I was so happy that i thought 'This is the kind of thing that I wish I could thank a higher power for', and then I realized that I would be thanking god for something that goes against the bible in at least 3 ways :HaHa:

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