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Jimbo
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It's been a long time coming - this is my first official post on this site. I have been an xian for going on 3 years now. I am son of a Southern Baptist minister and needless to say was raised in an extremely fundamentalist environment. I accepted Christ at the tender age of 6 (and several times after that) and consider myself to have been completely brainwashed. As I have seen from a number of other folks on this site, various mental illnesses seem to be related to this early brainwashing. Growing up I never really connected with many other kids, in a way I separated myself so I wouldn't fall into their "sinful" ways.

 

Where am I today:

  • An Atheist
  • Husband and father (3yo daughter and 2yo son)
  • Depressed
  • Unmotivated
  • Extremely socially anxious
  • Perhaps with Seasonal Affective Disorder or bipolar
  • Hating my job / the American way of life
  • Feeling guilty that I feel this way as I should be able to happily support my family
  • Wishing I could just win the lotto
  • Few to no real friends that I see in person on a regular basis
  • Consumed with suicidal ideations

 

I'm not really sure why I'm writing this, I suppose I just wanted to get some of it out there and get some non-xian opinions or thoughts. I have been to counseling before, on medication, etc. but it seems the depression always comes back. From what I read this is likely something that I will suffer with the rest of my miserable life, and frankly I'm just not happy about that. I don't like my life, don't like having to work and run the rat race for no real reason, and am pissed and feel pretty screwed over. I remember wondering and praying as a Xian when dealing with feelings of depression and loneliness what I had done to deserve feeling this way about myself. Now I realize it is all just meaningless and there's not much I can do about it.

 

I feel like I have no real meaning in life now. Sometimes I have agreed with what I see as a typical answer here - that life is much more precious now that there is no eternity, just nothingness. Then other times (especially the last month or so) nothingness sounds pretty good to me. Pretty much the only thing keeping me hanging on is my wife and kids as I cannot imagine what it would do to them if I were not here...

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Oh Jimbo, first welcome to ex-C. I hope you will find the support here you seem to so desperately need. I wish you weren't suffering so much.

 

I have problems myself, and I think they are problems associated with my mind. On top of being manic-depressive I suspect that I have some severe psychological disturbances that arose as a result of my early upbringing. My mind needs to be healed. And I think yours does too.

 

I am no great healer of minds. But I am willing to stand with you as you work through your own salvation.

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Hi, Jim. Welcome to ex-C. It sounds like you are having a really hard time, and that you really love your family. They're lucky to be so loved. What are your kiddos like? 2 and 3 are fun ages, but must be a handful all at once!

 

Regarding counseling, did you try counseling with secular, non-Christian counselors?

 

P

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Welcome! I'm sorry to hear how xianity has fucked up your life. You're not alone. I hope you will begin to heal as much as possible and enjoy life again. You're free to rant here and let it out.

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Hi, Jim. Welcome to ex-C. It sounds like you are having a really hard time, and that you really love your family. They're lucky to be so loved. What are your kiddos like? 2 and 3 are fun ages, but must be a handful all at once!

 

Regarding counseling, did you try counseling with secular, non-Christian counselors?

 

P

 

 

Phanta,

 

Our daughter (3) reminds me a lot of myself when I was young. Very curious, inquisitive, and smart. Our son is just rambunctious - he is a bundle of energy. It is definitely a handful having them both at once. My wife found out she was pregnant a few months after our daughter was born. She wanted an abortion, but I was still in my fundie-mode and freaked out when she kept mentioning that. However, neither one of us could see life without him now.

 

It's tough because the kids require constant attention, and my wife and I both have our own issues we need to work on (she has anger issues), and have also been going to marital counseling together.

 

I have not been able to find a secular, non-Christian counselor, though most have been relatively open about my atheism. I live in deep South Texas, most everyone has some level of religious belief here...

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Welcome! I'm sorry to hear how xianity has fucked up your life. You're not alone. I hope you will begin to heal as much as possible and enjoy life again. You're free to rant here and let it out.

 

I appreciate that. Feel a bit guilty ranting because I know that there are many others in the same situation as myself (or much worse). I just fucking hate feeling this way, and am so pissed that it feels like my whole life has been stolen away from me. I don't know how to be a normal, responsible adult, and in many ways don't really want to be right now. I just want to escape from it all - ugh...

 

I get mad at my parents, but then I realize how screwed up / tightly wound in Xianity they are, and that they truly believed they were doing the right thing. I'm also mad, because it seems like many people are not nearly as deeply affected by religion as I am. It sucks to be a critical thinker sometimes, I wish I could just be a happy-go-lucky, non-thinking average Joe.

 

It's weird, but some of those old Bible versus come back and make a lot of sense: "Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

I saw the tears of the oppressed—

and they have no comforter;

power was on the side of their oppressors—

and they have no comforter.

2 And I declared that the dead,

who had already died,

are happier than the living,

who are still alive.

3 But better than both

is the one who has never been born,

who has not seen the evil

that is done under the sun.

 

4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 4"

 

That pretty much sums it up for me. Thinking it would have been better/easier for me if I had just never existed.

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Oh Jimbo, first welcome to ex-C. I hope you will find the support here you seem to so desperately need. I wish you weren't suffering so much.

 

I have problems myself, and I think they are problems associated with my mind. On top of being manic-depressive I suspect that I have some severe psychological disturbances that arose as a result of my early upbringing. My mind needs to be healed. And I think yours does too.

 

I am no great healer of minds. But I am willing to stand with you as you work through your own salvation.

 

 

Thanks Legion. I remember seeing your username (or a similar one) the first time I came to this site and thought that it was definitely evil to browse here. Now I see how much hurt so many have been through and the real evil is being done to innocent children everywhere.

 

Oh, one other odd thing, noticed we have the same birthday, though a different year...

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Welcome Jim. Sorry you're going through such a rough time. Please don't ever feel guilty about ranting here. Just about all of us do it and/or have done it. It seems to be part of the process. happy.gif For some/many of us (me), this is THE sane, safe place to be in bible-infested real life world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome! I'm sorry to hear how xianity has fucked up your life. You're not alone. I hope you will begin to heal as much as possible and enjoy life again. You're free to rant here and let it out.

 

I appreciate that. Feel a bit guilty ranting because I know that there are many others in the same situation as myself (or much worse). I just fucking hate feeling this way, and am so pissed that it feels like my whole life has been stolen away from me.

 

That's what this site is here for - ranting when we need to, and finding we're not alone. A lot of us here in the same boat. The anger at what xianity has stolen from me has hit recently. I'm trying to look at it from a "glass half-full"/ half my life still ahead of me perspective. But I also struggle with depression and totally understand the feeling of just wishing for nothingness.

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Phanta,

 

Our daughter (3) reminds me a lot of myself when I was young. Very curious, inquisitive, and smart. Our son is just rambunctious - he is a bundle of energy. It is definitely a handful having them both at once. My wife found out she was pregnant a few months after our daughter was born. She wanted an abortion, but I was still in my fundie-mode and freaked out when she kept mentioning that. However, neither one of us could see life without him now.

 

That's usually how it goes. If you have them, you love them. You find a way. It's a built-in drive. :)

 

It's tough because the kids require constant attention, and my wife and I both have our own issues we need to work on (she has anger issues), and have also been going to marital counseling together.

 

It is much easier with support. Is it just you and your wife, mostly? I know you said you don't have many close friends... What's stopping you from nurturing a supportive circle of people?

 

I have not been able to find a secular, non-Christian counselor, though most have been relatively open about my atheism. I live in deep South Texas, most everyone has some level of religious belief here...

 

That's a bummer. Yuck.

 

Move?

 

Do you enjoy time with your kids at all?

 

P

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Phanta,

 

Our daughter (3) reminds me a lot of myself when I was young. Very curious, inquisitive, and smart. Our son is just rambunctious - he is a bundle of energy. It is definitely a handful having them both at once. My wife found out she was pregnant a few months after our daughter was born. She wanted an abortion, but I was still in my fundie-mode and freaked out when she kept mentioning that. However, neither one of us could see life without him now.

 

That's usually how it goes. If you have them, you love them. You find a way. It's a built-in drive. :)

 

It's tough because the kids require constant attention, and my wife and I both have our own issues we need to work on (she has anger issues), and have also been going to marital counseling together.

 

It is much easier with support. Is it just you and your wife, mostly? I know you said you don't have many close friends... What's stopping you from nurturing a supportive circle of people?

 

I dunno - guess I really struggle making friends due to my social anxiety. Plus now I don't really know where to go to make friends - pretty much all my friends have been through Xian circles, church, etc.

 

I have not been able to find a secular, non-Christian counselor, though most have been relatively open about my atheism. I live in deep South Texas, most everyone has some level of religious belief here...

 

That's a bummer. Yuck.

 

Move?

 

Do you enjoy time with your kids at all?

 

That's about the only thing that I do enjoy. I love playing games with them, making them laugh, etc. Afraid they are going to grow up with the same issues I have - shyness, depression, etc.

 

P

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Hi, Jimbo, Welcome to ex-C! Can sympathize with you because I've been through a couple of seasons of depression myself, both because of problems with God as primary causes, although the second season was considerably stronger because of not coping well with my mom's death. Am glad to see that you're still thinking clearly enough to recognize what it would do to your wife and kids. The person I credit my still being in existence to is a very liberal Christian. My 2 cents is to not totally rule them out because they have faith. I was extremely fortunate that mine knew what I was going through because he had tried suicide when he was getting out of fundyism years ago. If you are a reader, I highly recommend Marlene Winell's book "Leaving the Fold". Take care.

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I feel like I ought to change my username now.

 

NO! I won't let you do it, you are always my Liege!

 

 

 

Jimbo -

 

Welcome to the forums and please feel free to write whatever you like here. A lot of us will never be able to let the religion go-- it is a part of us and we do understand.

 

It is too bad the internet is so impersonal. There are many of us who were raised in a fundamentalist church, including myself, who can surely relate to what you are saying. Christianity can really do a number on us, especially if we are born with certain sensitivities (I am talking about myself here) and being told you are a no good worthless sinner cannot be the right approach to a happy life.

 

After many years of dealing with a lot of low grade depression and a naturally serious attitude to life, I have come to achieve some equilibrium and I wish the same for you.

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Hi, Jimbo. I'm glad you found us. I'll comment on a few of your statements.

 

As I have seen from a number of other folks on this site, various mental illnesses seem to be related to this early brainwashing.

 

I wonder about this. I know there have been a number of people who have come out of Christianity and post here who relate various forms of mental illnesses/problems. But I'm not totally convinced there is an actual connection to the more severe forms of mental illness and Christianity. For sure, leaving a lifetime of believing in the bible and Christianity can cause mental problems for many people. I certainly count myself in among those. There is the pain, anger, feelings of being lost, and even a form of depression over discovering that what one believed in so fervently was not true. But these tend to be more transitory in nature when they are directly related to leaving Christianity. The problems tend to resolve themselves with more understanding and, most importantly, with time. If your problems are long-term and even preceded your leaving Christianity, there may be something else, more profound involved. It sounds like you are suffering from serious clinical depression that would have and probably did show itself separate and apart from the religion. Please don't give up on the professional help. But as others have said, stay away from those counselors who will shove the bible in your face as a treatment plan. Go to someone with a more secular outlook (even if they happen to be a Christian) and who will follow your problems very carefully and prescribe medication if that is called for.

 

I get mad at my parents, but then I realize how screwed up / tightly wound in Xianity they are, and that they truly believed they were doing the right thing. I'm also mad, because it seems like many people are not nearly as deeply affected by religion as I am. It sucks to be a critical thinker sometimes, I wish I could just be a happy-go-lucky, non-thinking average Joe.

 

Being a critical thinker is not a bad thing. Rather, it is a good thing. But you have to combine critical thinking skills with both being "critical" of various things like Christianity, for example, along with coming to a resolution in your own mind. Try to use your critical thinking skills first to evaluate various issues and second to form better thoughts to replace that which does not stand up to scrutiny. So, instead of only deciding that Christianity is untrue, go on to the next step and think through what will replace it in your life.

 

I feel like I have no real meaning in life now. Sometimes I have agreed with what I see as a typical answer here - that life is much more precious now that there is no eternity, just nothingness. Then other times (especially the last month or so) nothingness sounds pretty good to me. Pretty much the only thing keeping me hanging on is my wife and kids as I cannot imagine what it would do to them if I were not here...

 

You do have meaning in your life and you have already stated a very important meaning. That is your wife and children. There is great meaning in those things and you can use them to build yourself a new foundation for life. And you are right. They need you and you need them. Just in that alone, you have more than many people do. Try rejoicing in what you have and working from there.

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Hi Jumbo,

 

I'm new here. I'll just say that my years in the church were the most depressing years of my life. Your depression may or may not be church related. I will say that I think it's hard to believe in a certain way and then all of a sudden BAM, you are out and are feeling your way in the dark. It's tough. One thing I have been trying to do (baby steps, mind you) is to get to know people better as people, not judge and just try to connect on a human level. I still get depressed sometimes but I have hope. I wish you well.

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Hi Jumbo,

 

I'm new here. I'll just say that my years in the church were the most depressing years of my life. Your depression may or may not be church related. I will say that I think it's hard to believe in a certain way and then all of a sudden BAM, you are out and are feeling your way in the dark. It's tough. One thing I have been trying to do (baby steps, mind you) is to get to know people better as people, not judge and just try to connect on a human level. I still get depressed sometimes but I have hope. I wish you well.

 

Jimbo.......sorry!!

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Hi Jimbo nice to meet you. The meaning of life is connection :) and it sounds like you have some of that. Depression sucks and no one like going to work but sadly this is the culture we were dumped into and these are the parameters we work within.

 

I have had depression prettly well all my life. I would agree that you need to keep trying different medications and different therapists until you find a combination that works for you. You are worth it :) I kept trying for 20 odd years and it was only my kids that kept me around. Eventually I found a medication that worked and a therpist who "got me". This is the first 12 month period I have not felt suicidal in the past 35 years. 2 years a go I even met a wonderful man that treats me like gold. Five years ago my kids had to beg me not to leave them alone in the world but I really really believed that things would not get better. That was a lie I used to tell myself every day. But I was wrong.

 

I feel your pain, its so hard to go through a process that strips you of everything you have ever been, much less doing that with the dirty creature of depression on your back as well. I think you already look into the eyes of your children and see the meaning of life. We are born to struggle and we can do it, and it sounds like you have been doing it for quite some time. Cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself. One of the things I discovered in my last lot of finally successful therapy is that I am way too hard on myself and treated myself like shit. In certain types of personalities christianity increases that a hundredfold until we are so beaten down intot he ground by our own minds we can no longer see daylight. Leaving the beating up to the rest of the world, because it will happen. Hold yourself as precious in your own eyes as you do your wife and children, because even though you may not be able to see it, you are precious.

 

 

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Boy-oh -boy Jimbo, can I ever relate to your post. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way right now. I also fight low-lying depression because of the overwhelming and often disappointing nature of life. I’d like to share a little of my own experience with you.

 

I can't handle any confusion and I get weighed down very easily if I don’t keep my life real simple. Depression, chronic fatigue, overwhelms ness, and wishing my whole life that I could escape to a mountaintop has been part of my existence for a very long time.

 

Solitude is so important to me when I am overwhelmed. They say isolation drives you crazy. Sure it does when you can't get enough of it. Every one of us needs to have some quiet time all by ourselves. I am trying to stay as quiet as I can during this ‘deconverting’

 

Too much stress in our life is #1 on the list of causes of adrenal fatigue and depression. This can be from the demands of your job, raising a family, financial struggles, health conditions, too many responsibilities, relationship difficulties etc. Anything in your life that causes you ongoing stress can lead to adrenal fatigue. Either too much or too little stress becomes unbearable.

 

There is the saying: ‘Keep It Simple'. It's seems that when I am feeling hopeless, I need and require a very simple life. Overwhelm leads me to be very stressed. I think that I have also classified the term "simplify" as "prioritize." I decided that I was trying to focus on too many things in life and needed to prioritize. I decided to focus on two or three core needs in my life instead of the ten to twelve needs in which I possessed varied intensities of desires.

 

It is said that infants need a lot of sleep in order just to shut down and recover from the constant stimulation and sensory inputs from being awake. I believe that we adults need this sleep and rest also to recuperate.

 

I am ‘deconverting’ right now and cannot seem to handle 'overstress' of any kind. Lately, most of my posts seem to be a cry out for a more calm, type of life. This shows me that I must do my best to remove as much clutter and stressful situations in my life as I can! The words, ''Keep it simple'' and 'priorities first' continue to cross my mind as I continue to make my goal in my life to be as stress-free as possible.

 

I am feeling better right now, than I have in a long time, because I finally understand ME. All the questions that drove me crazy about the bible god are almost gone. What a relief. I wasn’t crazy after all. All these years everyone telling me that I just didn’t have enough faith!!!

This is the most amazing ‘forum’ to belong to. I have so many new friends to help me. Hang in there my friend. You will get some great answers from all these wonderful people. Good luck.

 

Here is a wonderful article on adrenal fatigue if you are interested in this.

 

http://www.holistichelp.net/adrenal-fatigue.html

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It's been a long time coming - this is my first official post on this site. I have been an xian for going on 3 years now. I am son of a Southern Baptist minister and needless to say was raised in an extremely fundamentalist environment. I accepted Christ at the tender age of 6 (and several times after that) and consider myself to have been completely brainwashed. As I have seen from a number of other folks on this site, various mental illnesses seem to be related to this early brainwashing. Growing up I never really connected with many other kids, in a way I separated myself so I wouldn't fall into their "sinful" ways.

 

Where am I today:

  • An Atheist
  • Husband and father (3yo daughter and 2yo son)
  • Depressed
  • Unmotivated
  • Extremely socially anxious
  • Perhaps with Seasonal Affective Disorder or bipolar
  • Hating my job / the American way of life
  • Feeling guilty that I feel this way as I should be able to happily support my family
  • Wishing I could just win the lotto
  • Few to no real friends that I see in person on a regular basis
  • Consumed with suicidal ideations

 

I'm not really sure why I'm writing this, I suppose I just wanted to get some of it out there and get some non-xian opinions or thoughts. I have been to counseling before, on medication, etc. but it seems the depression always comes back. From what I read this is likely something that I will suffer with the rest of my miserable life, and frankly I'm just not happy about that. I don't like my life, don't like having to work and run the rat race for no real reason, and am pissed and feel pretty screwed over. I remember wondering and praying as a Xian when dealing with feelings of depression and loneliness what I had done to deserve feeling this way about myself. Now I realize it is all just meaningless and there's not much I can do about it.

 

I feel like I have no real meaning in life now. Sometimes I have agreed with what I see as a typical answer here - that life is much more precious now that there is no eternity, just nothingness. Then other times (especially the last month or so) nothingness sounds pretty good to me. Pretty much the only thing keeping me hanging on is my wife and kids as I cannot imagine what it would do to them if I were not here...

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Wanted to post a quick update. I went to see a doctor yesterday and he referred me to a psychiatrist whom I met with today. After waiting close to three hours in the waiting room, and feeling like a cow in a herd of cattle due to the number of people in the waiting room and the fact that I was given a number I finally got in. Talked to the physician assistant, and she ended up giving me a mood questionnaire that indicates I am bipolar. The more I read about this, the more it makes sense based on my history. Starting on some medication tonight, we'll see what it does.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if I can really blame much/any of this on Xianity. I think I probably would have had some of the same tendencies, but maybe things were just exasperated by all the cognitive dissonance.

 

Thanks to everyone who replied. I was made to feel very welcome and am glad to know there are others who care. Looking forward to being a bit more involved in this community.

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Wanted to post a quick update. I went to see a doctor yesterday and he referred me to a psychiatrist whom I met with today. After waiting close to three hours in the waiting room, and feeling like a cow in a herd of cattle due to the number of people in the waiting room and the fact that I was given a number I finally got in. Talked to the physician assistant, and she ended up giving me a mood questionnaire that indicates I am bipolar. The more I read about this, the more it makes sense based on my history. Starting on some medication tonight, we'll see what it does.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if I can really blame much/any of this on Xianity. I think I probably would have had some of the same tendencies, but maybe things were just exasperated by all the cognitive dissonance.

 

Thanks to everyone who replied. I was made to feel very welcome and am glad to know there are others who care. Looking forward to being a bit more involved in this community.

 

Good to hear you are getting some help :) Bipolar is an interesting challenge and I hope the medication works for you. I definately think that anyone with any kind of depression should stay away from any kind of religion. We got enough shit to deal with already without an extra bootload of unnecessary guilt.

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I feel like I ought to change my username now.

 

Don't worry about it Legion. He came back, right?

When I first started coming here I was "EEK" because I was scared to even type the address in the bar.

Then I became a "Foolish Girl".

 

The fear subsides as reason takes root.

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Wanted to post a quick update. I went to see a doctor yesterday and he referred me to a psychiatrist whom I met with today. After waiting close to three hours in the waiting room, and feeling like a cow in a herd of cattle due to the number of people in the waiting room and the fact that I was given a number I finally got in. Talked to the physician assistant, and she ended up giving me a mood questionnaire that indicates I am bipolar. The more I read about this, the more it makes sense based on my history. Starting on some medication tonight, we'll see what it does.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if I can really blame much/any of this on Xianity. I think I probably would have had some of the same tendencies, but maybe things were just exasperated by all the cognitive dissonance.

 

Thanks to everyone who replied. I was made to feel very welcome and am glad to know there are others who care. Looking forward to being a bit more involved in this community.

 

Hey Jimbo, I am glad you are here too.

 

Relax, stay awhile ;)

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Wanted to post a quick update. I went to see a doctor yesterday and he referred me to a psychiatrist whom I met with today. After waiting close to three hours in the waiting room, and feeling like a cow in a herd of cattle due to the number of people in the waiting room and the fact that I was given a number I finally got in. Talked to the physician assistant, and she ended up giving me a mood questionnaire that indicates I am bipolar. The more I read about this, the more it makes sense based on my history. Starting on some medication tonight, we'll see what it does.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if I can really blame much/any of this on Xianity. I think I probably would have had some of the same tendencies, but maybe things were just exasperated by all the cognitive dissonance.

 

Thanks to everyone who replied. I was made to feel very welcome and am glad to know there are others who care. Looking forward to being a bit more involved in this community.

 

So glad to hear that you have reached out to a professional for help. Hang in there and stick around here.

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