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I Wish I Could Forget The Name Jesus


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Hello everyone,

 

I'm new here, and excited to vent my inward frustration into the keyboard. I don't really know how to talk about this type of thing without exploding into an angry, seething rant, so please bear with me. In some ways its easier to control with a keyboard, but then I second guess myself and delete a 30 minute paragraph, stare at the screen, and start again. It's because in my case the programming affects even the most minute of decisions in my life. Would Jesus take 2% milk or cream in his coffee? Not quite that literally, but you get the idea! Anybody else feel overwhelming guilt at the mere mentioning of your distaste for all things christian?

 

So, where to begin, where to begin...

 

Well, I live in Canada, and was raised in a suburban household by a fundamentalist dad and a catholic mom. During my childhood years, dad used to take me and my older brother aside every day for about an hour to do "bible study", which consisted mainly of him reading the bible aloud to us. I didn't know what he was talking about, but it was good because we got to stay up late for bible study sometimes. Dad didn't believe in organized religion, and was extremely suspicious of anybody who went to church, often saying that most of them only keep up appearances. My dad suffers from mental illness and (former) substance abuse, and is very paranoid of everything and everyone. We did go to a "free methodist" church at one point for about a year, but other than that I've received mostly at-home religious instruction. As my father's undiagnosed OCD worsened over these years, so did his god addiction and bible abuse. Eventually he was reading the bible or bible-related books during 90% of his time away from work. Bible study also increased in duration and intensity as we got older, until when I was 16 my dad was diagnosed with OCD, fired from his job. By this point, dad would read the bible aloud at all times when we were home, no matter what we were doing. I remember playing Grand Theft Auto during bible study helped to prevent me from snapping on him. I bottled everything up nice and well, for a while.

 

At that point I already had declared myself an atheist and had decided that I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with christianity. I had been very well entrenched in "my beliefs" up until I was about 11, when I started having problems of my own with depression and suicidal thoughts. It took about 4 years to actually decide I was an atheist, mostly because of fear of hellfire, and because I didn't know what else to believe. When I was 14 I started to have serious emotional disturbances and spent every day after school on my apartment balcony, looking down, imagining how my body might impact the ground. My father thought it would be great at this time for me to read the Left Behind series. Boy was he wrong... For those that don't know, Left Behind is a serial novelization in 12 novels (each about 500 pages) of the book of Revelations. My 14-year-old brain was really not prepared psychologically for what I would find in those books. My mind was extremely fixated on this character "the antichrist", who is supposed to be evil incarnate.

 

At that time I had some really disturbing intrusive thoughts all the time, which I interpreted as the voice of "god". These thoughts started out benevolent, but eventually turned against me, and I somehow convinced myself that because I have such evil thoughts which I can't control, maybe I'm the antichrist. That line of reasoning sounds contrived, but it took a lot of questions and "god" answering to come to that conclusion. Questions I asked "god" at this time: "If god's will is absolute, then doesn't god choose who the anti-christ is?", "Does the anti-christ become the anti-christ because of his free will, or because god decided that there should be an anti-christ?", "Does the anti-christ know he is the anti-christ?", "Why do I have evil thoughts that just pop into my head involuntarily?", "Am I the antichrist, if I want to cause destruction?" Anyway, I know now that the intrusive thoughts were fueled by the aggressive approach to my dad's fundamentalist teaching, as well as my genetic predisposition to his OCD (ie: "unwanted thoughts syndrome"). This fear of mine was also fueled by a million other stressors in my life at that time. Something very negative happened at school, something in my brain snapped, and then my personality somehow changed very rapidly. I stopped believing before I ever admitted it to myself, but that was the point where things started getting better. My grades in school went from D's to A's, I started to recognize my own creative abilities, and started to feel optimistic that I may have a future as a human being, and not as a teenage suicide.

 

When I was 16, I then told my father off for the first and only time, proclaiming in a screaming voice "I DON'T BELIEVE IN YOUR GOD". He stood up, walked out of the room, then continued on after that as if nothing happened. Somehow I managed to convince my family that it was just a phase (that was the easiest thing for them to believe). Their authoritarianism sure made me a good liar. Which really helped when...

 

...I started drinking and experimenting with drugs when I was 17. I went through a few years of heavy drinking through the end of highschool and into early university years. I decided to study theatre. I was so good at lying already anyway to my overbearing family in order to protect the privacy of my thoughts, so it was a perfect fit for me.

 

I became obsessed with hallucinogenics, because of the feeling of escape it provided me. This would fuel my own problems with mental illness as they are today, but at the time I was enjoying myself. Not to promote drug use, but at the time it appeared to un-wire the part of my brain that was wired for god worship. The material world seemed to have so much spiritual potential in the mere fact of life existing, and that was enough. Unfortunately, hallucinogenic drugs lead you to make some stupid choices, one of which resulted in my patellar tendon being completely severed by a sharp boulder two inches beneath an opaque pond, ruining my dreams of being a stage actor.

 

In spite of difficulties, I continued my theatre studies and focused mainly on production and directing. In my 5th year I directed a play as a part of the directing class, and worked myself to the bone. By the end of the year I was completely burned out emotionally and physically, and was torn between feeling good about my success, and feeling burned out and frustrated. Of course, my brother picked the perfect time to marry his missionary wife at the end of the school term. The pressure of being the best man and being surrounded by very devout christians and expected to give a speech to them, and to read scripture on stage, etc, really wasn't the right thing for me when I needed to unwind. Especially because I feel like my brother was only making me his best man in order to try to convert me. I feel that way because he was all of a sudden trying to be my buddy, in spite of the tumultuous history we had as teenagers. One thing he said to me really left a deep wound, one which never went away. He said: "Why should I even bother helping you? You're just going to kill yourself. You're not even going to live to be 21." So when I was 23 and expected to be his best man, I felt extremely uncomfortable. The numerous acting classes I took really came in handy, especially for the quote from the book of Matthew I was forced to read.

 

Then a few weeks after the wedding, my mind snapped again like it did when I was a teenager, and a lot of repressed feelings flooded back in. I started to fall apart, and dropped out of school with 1 credit left unfinished, and have spent the last year trying to get treatment for what is apparently bipolar disorder.

 

Now, I apologize for the ridiculously long rant I have left here. I'm afraid to even look at it. I'm afraid my brother may be reading on this site. I have so many secrets. So many of these things I wish I could say to my family, but avoid saying it to protect them. So I rant where it's safe, and hope that I can somehow move forward. I'll try to be much more brief in future postings.

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you story is so so so similar to mine.

 

i came from a extremly fundamintalist home where we went to church 3 times a week so i was bombarded with their ideals too since the age of about three. i read the left behind serries at about the age of 14 as well were i found my favorite charachter to be the anti christ. this was probly becuase at one point as a child i had some deluded belife that i was supposed to be the anti christ and ti conflicted with my christianity greatly but i couldent shake the thoughts. i also deconverted at the age of around 15 as well where i grew up and began to relize the horrors of the christian religion and what it truly was in history.

 

after i deconverted i found a new respect for life and humanity like i had never had before and it felt good. the sad thing is was that i ddint respect life as a christian for i expected it to suffer.

 

any ways welcome to Ex-C and good luck.

 

lol i thought the left behind serries was a good read but i was so iritated by how the christians would never use violence such as in "desecration". personaly i thought it would of been cooler if a christian and jewish insurection rose up agianst the anti christ forces and liberated jeruslelum or made some sort of defencive stand at petra.

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This is a really heart-wrenching story. I can empathize with you actually. And please don't apologize for writing long posts--that's what testimonies are for. You've got to get it all out in the open. I was raised in an abusive, conservative fundamentalist home too, it's a lot of pain to get over. Putting it in writing or in some form of media is a necessary first step. Do you still do stuff in theater? I've put my story on youtube and have just recently joined this site to make more connections with people who have liberated themselves from Christianity, and it's getting better.

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  • Moderator

UnJoshua -

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to share your story. So familiar in many points for me. You have found a place where you can heal from all of this abuse. I am so glad you are here with us. The more - the merrier for me. I need your help. I love to watch the people grow on this site and if you stay with us - I will be able read and watch your progress. That will help me and then I can help you. Home, sweet home friend..........Please keep posting....... Sincerely, Margee

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Would Jesus take 2% milk or cream in his coffee? Not quite that literally, but you get the idea!

 

I literally did laugh out loud! Enjoyed your story. An atheist buddy of mine told me that the Book of Revelation almost didn't get included in the Bible. IDK about that, but would have certainly been a better world if it hadn't. Welcome to ex-c.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anybody else feel overwhelming guilt at the mere mentioning of your distaste for all things christian?

 

Yes, I do feel like that a lot but it's gotten easier in the last couple of weeks. When I feel guilty for speaking my mind, I remind myself how quick most christians are to talk badly about non-believers. My aunt says that athiest are blind and stupid. Words like that help me to not feel guilty. They don't feel guilty when they say things like all non-believers are going to hell. So why should we? I hope that helps some.

 

I went through a time when I had suicidal thoughts. I actually attempted suicide. And I was having anxiety attacks. I was drinking and using drugs at the time as well. I felt guilty for walking away from god and scared of hell. But as time went on I got better. And so will you.

 

As I am learning, this is a place where you can feel free to speak your mind. Don't be afraid to say what you want. It's been very theraputic for me. :grin:

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