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Still Rattled By Something


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Hi,

 

Sorry if this is long but I didn't want to leave things out.

 

My religious background:

My parents were very nominal Catholics, so my early exposure to Christianity was through Sunday morning TV, old movies on TV, and an occasional church service. The basic type, sing a few hymns, hear a sermon, and go home. My parents believed in the supernatural because of an experience before I was born (their stories match FWIW).

When I was about 5 my grandparents took me to a sermon which I still remember today for the line "when do you want your hell?" (go through it on earth or be in it after). I didn't understand what they saw in that.

At some point about then I saw something on TV that gave me a more appealing idea of Christianity, and my parents took me to some church.

They asked about my views, I expressed them and they corrected me (nicely), but I didn't like what they said, and I was quickly put outside and told to leave, which I now realize was because I expressed displeasure about something they said about the holy spirit.

 

My parents divorced, and my mother's new boyfriend decided to make a "man" out of me (I was 6 years old) by making me watch "The Exorcist" at a theater. It was made worse by a TV commercial for it days before saying it was "based on a true story". I took that to mean it was a documentary, and real as depicted. I didn't understand what opened the door for all the "stuff" to happen in the movie, and I was terrified that maybe it could really happen to us. My mother took me to a "spiritist" to try to help me, but he literally ran screaming away from me. IIRC he said "no, no, get IT away from me" just before he ran.

Though I now know that movie was very fictionalized, it still colors my view of the supernatural, even today, sad to say.

When I was 8 my stepmother dragged me to church with her and my father. then my father made going to church first a condition of doing fun things afterward. When I was 9 or 10 I considered myself an Atheist, partly because of my stepmother (let's call her "troubled" for now).

 

When I was 11 my favorite uncle (more like a big brother) died at 18 in a car accident. The last time I saw him alive I had done something stupid that really upset him. He kicked me out and rejected my apology, and then he died. I also blamed myself for his accident in a way. I turned to the church to try to atone for it, taking a moral cue from old movies. Do something bad, make up for it by becoming a priest.

 

The reason I'm writing this:

At the time my uncle died, my father and stepmother were going to an Evangelical church. I eventually went to an "advanced" splinter event. I got weirded out and was ejected. Down the hall, I decided I was an atheist again and as a parting shot decided to say something bad, but true, about the holy spirit. I couldn't think of anything, so I just said, in put-on little kid way, "the holy spirit...is stupid".

One of the guys there said "God heard you, you're going to hell! Why did you do that?". A minute before as I was being told to get out, he had told me repeatedly "I think you're going to blaspheme" and to get as far away as I could first. His explanation why distance helped didn't make sense to me, and he said he couldn't leave the room to help me get farther away for some reason (or to perhaps talk me out of doing it).

 

About 2 months later, back in church to be safe, someone came up to me, asked me to confirm my name, and said he had a word for me from the Lord. IIRC it was "You're going to hell, You don't really believe but that's OK, Once you die, you will. I heard you and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change or alter that fact. There is nothing for you here. Leave and never come back". He then apologized and said it wasn't him but the Lord giving him the words. He then asked my age (almost 12 then) and what I had done (I didn't answer but he acted as though he got the answer). Then he said he would pray that my punishment would be lessened because of my youth.

I prayed and hoped for the best, and continued church with my father and stepmother. Some weeks later, at that same church as I was about to take a seat, someone ran in front of me, grabbed the seat with both hands and growled "what are YOU doing here?" He reminded me of a horror movie.

After that, we went to a different church for about 2 years (one with no spiritual gifts) then we returned to the previous one. Once while there, someone came up to me and spoke in a voice I might describe as "executioner back from charm school" "what are you doing here?". I said I didn't really want to be there, that we were going someplace afterward. He seemed amused, put his hand on my shoulder and said "yes...you ARE...) then gave me a really piercing, knowing look and walked off.

I stopped attending church soon after that for other reasons (giving up, and avoidance of supernatural).

 

A year later my father and stepmother got me going with them to another Evangelical church about 30 miles away, where once as I was going in, somebody shot me a fierce disgusted look and said (fiercely and with disgust) "what are YOU doing here?" I was bewildered.

I went to church twice after that with my father and stepmother at different places "uneventfully", and now it's been over 20 years since I have gone to church. I had buried some of these experiences and they have come back up as I approach a milestone birthday and midlife.

I am not sure how to properly deal with these spooky church experiences now that they have un-buried themselves (you had to be there I guess).

Any thoughts?

Thank you.

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My first thought is, 'you must have a pretty negative disposition in the eyes of believers'. I don't know you or your experiences, but man, that's some pretty nasty stuff that those churches did and said to you not even knowing you. Do you feel negative a lot? Maybe you were drawn to the 'wrong' churches. Most of them are pretty nice to new-comers. Although I'd be interested (thinking now, on the spot) how a church would handle me if I smiled and introduced myself as an atheist as I was greeted!

 

No doubt watching the Exorcist was a very bad idea on your mom's BF's part. The other thing I was thinking just now as I'm typing is, maybe you misinterpreted some of these people's tones and mannerisms? Just a thought.

 

I know this is going to sound strange, but try going to a nice conservative church, like a Mennonite or a Presbyterian church. Nothing wild and crazy, like a Pentecostal. See how they greet you. Also go in with the expectation that they will want you there. If things change this time around, then there you go....solution found!

 

If you feel like you are somehow 'evil', you will likely interpret everything around you that way. Change your outlook, and you change the outcomes, too. Good luck!

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Guest Valk0010

I dealt with a different issue, in regards to the unforgivable sin but I took this to heart.

 

Think about the only people to ever we know for sure commit the unforgivable sin according to the gospels. See how they react and what they did.

 

Can you say your life as far as spirituality was like theres. If it wasn't, for what its worth, i don't think you committed the unforgivable sin. In your instance its a bit like saying god damn, its empty as far as real meaning but emotion filled. Not sure if that helps you any.

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You have had some horrible things happen to you. I'm sorry. I had some feelings of being "damned on the top side of the dirt" as they called it, but it was only my own feelings - no church people were ramming it down my throat. The mind is a goofy thing and I'm curious as to whether this is your emotions running ahead of intellect (which happens quite frequently) or if you still have not gotten the intellectual part settled as that there is no hell to go to, etc. I do like dB-Paradox's idea of going to a very mild church where God is love to just see how it "hits" you. Best wishes!

 

Edit: I see you're a newbie. Welcome to Ex-C!

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I'd be interested (thinking now, on the spot) how a church would handle me if I smiled and introduced myself as an atheist as I was greeted!

Those were actually thoughts as I left, I didn't say them to anyone. I don't recall any formal introduction at this church, just attending it, but it's been a long time.

 

Maybe you were drawn to the 'wrong' churches.

My father and/or stepmother picked them all. I was along for the ride.

 

No doubt watching the Exorcist was a very bad idea on your mom's BF's part.

Agreed.

 

The other thing I was thinking just now as I'm typing is, maybe you misinterpreted some of these people's tones and mannerisms? Just a thought.
I really don't think so. Thanks though.

 

I know this is going to sound strange, but try going to a nice conservative church, like a Mennonite or a Presbyterian church. Nothing wild and crazy, like a Pentecostal. See how they greet you. Also go in with the expectation that they will want you there. If things change this time around, then there you go....solution found!

I didn't seem to have any problem at the last one I attended. I'll keep that in mind. Thank you.

 

@Valk0010: What I meant about my being an Atheist was actually as a form of denial. I had a degree of belief, though it was subjective and largely fear based.

What was happening before I "blasphemed" was two guys were supposedly prophesying, but they were each acting really weird in different ways. As a way of saying "I'm out of here permanently", I spoke against the "source" of one of them. To be specific, the "good one", as the other guy was sounding really scary and I wondered if he was on the same "side". I took a few seconds to think before I spoke it. Technically I did it, though if things were more clear cut I would definitely not have. I'm concerned about that "word of knowledge" condemning me, and all of the "what are YOU doing here" incidents over several years and at two churches 30 miles apart. I'm hoping for rational (and safe) explanations for those.

 

@Eugene39: Thank you for the welcome.

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  • Moderator

hi Murdock! Welcome to the right place to get answers and become free!

 

We were taught that 'A word of the Lord' would ALWAYS lift or 'build up' the church or the person. Sounds to me as if you had some real 'nutsy' people friggin' with your head! Anything else that was said by people in the chruch was to be 'tested' because there are so many 'fake' prophesiers.

 

The 'Word of the Lord' is supposed to come from Heaven - not hell!

We were told that a prophet must be watched over time to see if his life is bearing fruit for the Lord!

 

We were also taught that we were to test the prophecies for encouragement! That it would:

 

..... build up the body or person.

...... exalt Jesus and his saving grace.

......come true.

...... lead to God.

..... produce liberty - It must produce life.

Doesn't sound like you talked to the right people to me my friend. I sincerely hope you can get 'free' of these negative thoughts that those silly people implanted in your head. You are sure welcome here!

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I know from more than 44 years in the cult of the cross that none of those pew-sitting hate-spitting cross-eyed wonders in church can tell from looking at someone they just met whether or not they are a christian without asking. Then they give you the crusty look if you don't muster up. Did the spiritist charge your mother for his performance? I would bet money someone told the spiritist and church groups about you prior to your arrival. Other churches talk to each other and pass around personal information. Evangelicals are some of the weirdest chrisitans you can be around and still call yourself 'human.' Westboro Baptist Church is a good example of a proper evangelical church. The evangelicals emphasize proselytizing, so if your thoughts run contrary to theirs, you will feel the wrath of the Holy Spirit penetrating your body by their burning eyes smoldering from things only they have seen! And their gaze will make you squirm and feel like you are in the depths of hell, somebody say 'amen!' Church-goers are the most pretentious of xtians and the most self-righteous. Any time one or more of them act like they can read your soul, it's an act. I believe loose lips have followed you from one church to the other.

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Hi, Murdock. Welcome to ExC.

 

You went through some traumatic events. No child should ever have to bear what you did from those people. It was child abuse and you were the victim. Never blame yourself, never. It doesn't matter what thoughts may have been going through your mind, you were innocent and they were the abusers. Of course you cannot get those things out of your mind. No victim of child abuse can. But what you can do is to learn to cope with it and to stop letting it control your life. I highly recommend professional secular counseling. I really mean this. You need to find a really good counselor and let him/her know about this abuse you suffered through and how it is affecting you today. You can be helped.

 

Do not ever worry that what these abusers said was anything from some spiritual source. It was not anymore than what other child abusers do to children is from a spiritual source. It was from their sick and sordid minds. None of it bears any semblence to reality any more than a victim of child sexual abuse was "asking for it" as so many sick pedophiles claim.

 

Christianity is a lie. There is no hell, no satan, no demons, and no demonic spiritual being of any kind which exists at all. In addition to seeking help from a counselor, you may also want to study the Bible to convince yourself that it is not true. There have been many very well done things written on ExC which you can search for and read. Also, you can ask any question you would like and someone on here will assist you in finding the answer. Just ask whatever you want to ask.

 

Best to you.

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  • Super Moderator

Hello and welcome.

 

There is no such "lord" and there is no "word" from same. There is, however, psychosis.

 

Still, especially as a child, cultist nutters can inflict psychological damage on their victims. Depending on the level and duration of cult programming it will take time and possibly professional counseling to overcome the brainwashing.

 

All the best to you.

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Guest Valk0010

Well then, why do you bother which xtianity at all, going back to what I said about, the only people we know for sure committing that sin. They didn't worry about it, I get the impression you do.

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Thank you all.

@Margee: Thank you very much. That was very enlightening and helpful.

@Valk0010: I do worry about it still. I'll take that as an answer. Thank you.

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So sorry you had to go through this garbage. I had very similar experiences and it fucked me up in more ways than I can even articulate. It is all about contolling you with fear. On one side of me that worked a treat, I am a highly sensitive person and it freaked the fuck out of me when I was a little kid. However on the other side of me, me and god were tight and there was no way I was going to hell. I even had a dream once where the devil (played admirably by Charles Dance of Golden Child fame) and I were in a hospital ward, with all my relatives in the beds and I screamed at him "you will never get me", and he said "no, but I will get them so I will get you too'.Then I ran to each person as he tried to "get" them, yelling in tongues as loud as I could to keep the devil away. I had that dream when I was about 40.

 

Subsequent events have taugh me that it is the live ones you have to be afraid of, very afraid, because they are the ones that do the damage. There is no devil, and from what I can see most likely no god either. But there are human beings who are as totally fucked up by this stuff as they made me. Oddbird is right, this is child abuse, psychological and spiritual abuse that I suspect no one else in society is allowed to get away with.

 

All up I have been in therapy over 20 years with this crap, but in the last four I finally realised the only way I was ever going to be okay is to stay away from christians. I am tired of being mindfucked by them, and it sounds like you are too. They are batshit crazy, pretty much all ofthem and I was tired of being crazy too. We both deserve a better life than that.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thank you all again for your help. I was looking for non-judgmental educated advice and found it here.

I hope my "by the book" approach didn't upset anyone. That was not my intention. I needed to sort things out in my own way.

 

My recollection of events cleared up and revealed the likely common thread in my church "incidents". My stepmother. She was at every one of the churches I had "trouble" in. The very last time I went to one it was with her and my father. They had been there before but I had not.

I was thrown out bodily after being there only a few minutes (before the service even started IIRC) and only told "you know why". My father was stunned, but my stepmother wasn't surprised at all. She even took the opportunity then to cheerfully insult me. To say she never liked me would be an understatement. I should have suspected her but fear (still left over from "the Exorcist") clouded my judgment.

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