Jump to content

Why Not Just Leave?


florduh
 Share

Recommended Posts

"I'd rather be with a company of pretenders than be alone."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

 

 

That did it!!!!!!!! :woohoo:thank you florduh! :grin: Pictures back up - Proud Ex-christian! :3:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were not married, I may have a need for friends. Company I could get by going to the local pub and the "friendships" as shallow as the church ones. Its about all I can do these days at my age. When I was young I was sports crazy and made friends with my team mates. Folk moved and I ended up staying and the few I have left, well we all have grown kids and some have grand kids now.

 

The social pressures to entertain/socialize when you are young disappear with age. Here is you have a stocked home bar, there will always be some leech to come get slammed on your account. The kids bring friends home now and so there is input from the outside world.

 

For me, I wasted too much time with church activities and neglected my family esp. the kids when it mattered. If anything, the church community made me more dysfunctional than functional.

 

It was hard letting go but now I do not miss it at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for this.

 

My personal problem with leaving isn't so much that I get anything from the social atmosphere, but rather that between my innate tribalistic tendencies and my authoritarian upbringing, when I think about making changes a voice in my head demands "what gives you that right?" It's hard to see myself as an autonomous being instead of a broken cog disrupting the machine. And it's not necessarily religious; I briefly tried out utilitarianism as a moral system (in a very naive "greatest good for the greatest number" sense) and decided that my leaving would help me at a medium-high level but hurt lots of other people and a low-to-medium level, that the sum total of the pain I would cause was greater than the benefit to me personally, and therefore the only "moral" choice was to keep faking it. The tiny bits of integrity, pride, sense of self I have are fairly recent developments. It's hard to be yourself when you don't know who you are or think that it's irrelevant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I wish I could click that little green plus button more than once.

 

Me too Noggy!

 

I have decided today that I will tell some of these christian 'friends' about my 'non belief'. I will do it gentle and kind............

 

If they reject me......oh well.....:shrug:

 

I will prepare myself for that. If they don't reject me...... bonus!!

 

If they discover my picture up in the corner before I have a chance to tell them...... I will deal with that too........I'm tired (my whole life) of being someone I'm not. Tired of the people pleasing mask I've been wearing and the whole make belief bullshit of religion.You know - most of the time, I am quite nice, but when I get pissed off...............

There, I said it................ Fuck, that felt good! I like sayin' the F word every now and again too!!:fdevil:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I'm already somewhat "out," I will say that it's very difficult, if for no other reason than finding time to talk to everyone. I see my friends/acquaintances primarily in group settings and because I care about their feelings, I prefer that they hear directly from me... so in certain circumstances I'll hold my tongue or somewhat "play along" (say, bow my head but still not say any vocal prayers vs. looking completely upright with eyes wide open) in order to preserve their ignorance until I can speak with them personally.

 

Though perhaps this isn't what you meant -- perhaps I'm already "out" and you're more addressing anyone who hasn't and won't tell anyone. Even the decision to just come public with anyone is tough, though, and making the rounds has been agonizing. I hate retelling the same story. I plan to come out "en masse" later this year with a PDF booklet telling my story and giving my reasons. Then I plan to try and not care much about religion at all unless some crazy new evidence comes along. I have far more interesting topics and endeavors to get into (rationalism, biology, physics, probability theory, computer programming, exercise) to invest more time in reading books just to feel like I've done my "due diligence" (when even most of my very faithful Christian friends have never done any).

 

Life's too short to un-proportionately invest my time in finding a being who can reveal himself to me in a convincing manner whenever he/she/it desires to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I think I'm ready to let go Florduh!!!!!! Ya-hoo for me - I'm almost 'there'!!:woohoo:

 

I dunno where - but 'there'! :shrug: Wherever that is!! :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Don't make me do a happy-cry.

 

:HappyCry:

 

you're so adorable Legion!! :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread takes me back to the early days of my decoversion. Like you Margee, I had spent my life trying to please other people and avoiding confrontation and conflict. Looking back on it now it seems as if I felt that I didn’t deserve to have an opinion or have the right to take a stance.

 

With the support of my best friend and encouragement from many wonderful people on this site, I eased into telling my friends and family members that I had become a non-believer. My mom did not take it very well but we both survived! And, I’ve lost touch with many of my church friends including one long term friend that I had once called my best friend.

 

Thankfully, I already had a close group of friends outside the church and those friendships mean the world to me today.

 

But the best thing about walking away is the tremendous sense of freedom that I feel. I don’t go out of my way to inform people that I am an atheist, but I no longer feel any discomfort if the situation calls for me to disclose it. Even better, I’ve learned to speak up and stand up for myself on other important issues as well.

 

I think this is very good advice, florduh. Thank you! There are many people who will benefit if they are brave enough to leave. And, you are absolutely right – It does get better!!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

This thread takes me back to the early days of my decoversion. Like you Margee, I had spent my life trying to please other people and avoiding confrontation and conflict. Looking back on it now it seems as if I felt that I didn’t deserve to have an opinion or have the right to take a stance.

 

With the support of my best friend and encouragement from many wonderful people on this site, I eased into telling my friends and family members that I had become a non-believer. My mom did not take it very well but we both survived! And, I’ve lost touch with many of my church friends including one long term friend that I had once called my best friend.

 

Thankfully, I already had a close group of friends outside the church and those friendships mean the world to me today.

 

But the best thing about walking away is the tremendous sense of freedom that I feel. I don’t go out of my way to inform people that I am an atheist, but I no longer feel any discomfort if the situation calls for me to disclose it. Even better, I’ve learned to speak up and stand up for myself on other important issues as well.

 

I think this is very good advice, florduh. Thank you! There are many people who will benefit if they are brave enough to leave. And, you are absolutely right – It does get better!!!

 

Thank you noob. I also have no intentions of running around screaming that I am a non believer. And I can be very patient with the 'non Fundy's' who just believe in god. It's the real 'born agains' that bother me - like the pastors wife - standing there pretending to believe in what she believes. It will be very interesting to see when I tell her my truth.......Is she a 'real' friend or is it because she thinks I am part of the clan?

 

I will find the right time and I will be very gentle about my presentation. It will never be to change another person - it will be for the purpose of being true to myself. I already feel a little more free this morning. :grin: And I have no problem speaking my mind most of the time about other issues and where my 'boundary lines are, but this friggin' issue of religion...............:shrug: I just need to get brave...............

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great thread! When I see a thread that florduh starts, I read it! It's a rare and special thread for sure!

 

Having said that, my deconversion took so long because of the fear and guilt. I think everyone deconverts at their own pace. It's possibly related to personality and upbringing (I was abused as a child). But either way, it does get better! And when it does...it's so awesomely liberating!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Great thread! When I see a thread that florduh starts, I read it! It's a rare and special thread for sure!

 

 

And you are right dB - bumping this post up, for any newcomers or struggling people to read!!:grin:

 

These are very important questions that florduh asks!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I told my mother about this site and my de-conversion today. She's not a believer by any means, but first she said she was disappointed. I expressed my surprise at that remark and she clarified that she was only disappointed because I had been so happy as a believer (it was the brainwashing). I explained Dr. Marlene Winell's work and that the numbers leaving the faith with symptoms akin to leaving a cult. I think I gave her something to mull over. The conversation went well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator

If you have realized the Bible is not what it claims to be,

 

If you have realized that gods don't answer prayers,

 

If you have realized that churches are merely tax-free businesses,

 

If you have realized that you've been deceived,

 

If you realize you have been manipulated by fear,

 

Why not just leave it all behind? Why continue to live in fear that your leaving might offend someone? Why bow in mock respect to those who would tell you what to think? Why pretend to be something you're not? Are you ashamed of thinking for yourself? Are you afraid that Christians won't accept you unless you share their beliefs? Well, most of them won't as they are too shallow to do otherwise, so just move on, okay?

 

Maybe you won't find instant friends. Perhaps you're addicted to the "community" feeling that church provides. You could be lonely for a time, but the real friends you will make in real life will be so much better than the phony "brothers and sisters in Christ" you're currently stuck with. Christian family members - sometimes they get over it and sometimes they don't. Not your problem how they react to what amounts to a difference of opinion. If they really loved YOU, they will continue to do so. If not, better to find out the truth about Christianity's "unconditional love" claims.

 

Good luck in your journey to freedom, and hang in there. It gets better.

 

This is a post I have stored in my 'favorites'. It's a 'gem'. Every time I feel a little nervous - I come back to read it. I like the questions that florduh asks.They just make sense to me and give me comfort. I think this is such a good post for the newcomers to read. When we have a bunch of new people - I like to bump it up because it is a short .... and as always - florduh makes his point (usually) in 5 sentences or less and they always seem to hit the nail on the head for me. Thanks always florduh! :grin:

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

If you have realized that gods don't answer prayers,

 

Why not just leave it all behind? Good luck in your journey to freedom.

 

I was just sitting here on this Sunday morn, remembering how I would get ready for church with enthusiasm because I really believed that once I got in the actual 'building' (house of god) - god would see my desperate cry for help and finally answer one of my prayers!!

 

Now, I prefer to sit here with you guys.................

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

If you have realized that you've been deceived,

 

Why not just leave it all behind?

 

The more I read the posts, the more I am understanding, really understanding, how decieved I really have been my whole life. Somehow, I am past anger about all of this.......I am actually more calm than I have ever been in my life. If I could only get over the fear of more hurt in my life or death....I think I could be the most peaceful person in the world!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it was an issue of low self-esteem. I was drawn to a fundamentalist church that was full of other people with low self-esteem, but we became (seemingly) confident people through our religion. Leaving has forced me to work on my issues instead of burying them.

 

In church I didn't have to face myself, I could focus on imaginary issues that never dealt with the real problem. It's like a drug. It makes you feel good about yourself, but really it makes you worse because you're running from the real issues. You can cover up your low self-esteem by imagining yourself as a special, chosen, child of god who has 'the Truth', and by constantly being reinforced by others who think the same way. Then when you leave, it feels good to be free at first, but you still have to deal with the hard stuff. Either that or you can turn to drugs or alcohol and continue being fucked up.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

For me it was an issue of low self-esteem. I was drawn to a fundamentalist church that was full of other people with low self-esteem, but we became (seemingly) confident people through our religion. Leaving has forced me to work on my issues instead of burying them.

 

In church I didn't have to face myself, I could focus on imaginary issues that never dealt with the real problem. It's like a drug. It makes you feel good about yourself, but really it makes you worse because you're running from the real issues. You can cover up your low self-esteem by imagining yourself as a special, chosen, child of god who has 'the Truth', and by constantly being reinforced by others who think the same way. Then when you leave, it feels good to be free at first, but you still have to deal with the hard stuff. Either that or you can turn to drugs or alcohol and continue being fucked up.

 

Man, chosen you hit dead on with this whole paragraph!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, chosen you hit dead on with this whole paragraph!!

Thanks. It's a normal reaction to turn to drugs and alcohol. The bat shit crazy religion was not normal. There's probably others like me who need recovery and treatment not only for the fundamentalism, but also for the resulting drugs and alcohol abuse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Man, chosen you hit dead on with this whole paragraph!!

Thanks. It's a normal reaction to turn to drugs and alcohol. The bat shit crazy religion was not normal. There's probably others like me who need recovery and treatment not only for the fundamentalism, but also for the resulting drugs and alcohol abuse.

 

Chosen, I practically lived at the church for my first 8 years when I got 'saved'...........Left because I did not think I was good enough for god or these born again christians. I was not allowed to teach sunday school or sing in the choir because I remained a smoker.

 

I left the church and went to the liquor store. I spent the next 7-8 years of my life drunk. I had never drank alcohol before this. I do not remember the age 28 -35. When I sobered up, I lost everything including a business and a wonderful husband. I went back to the church to repent. Even though I have not drank through the years...... I continued to go back to the church over and over until just 2 1/2 years ago.

 

Today, I do not drink and I do not go to church. I am kind of hoping that whatever remaining time I have on this earth...... good things might happen now that I am beginning to know me and what I want from life.....My whole life has been a fucking drama and I hated it! I want to make up for lost time......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, chosen you hit dead on with this whole paragraph!!

Thanks. It's a normal reaction to turn to drugs and alcohol. The bat shit crazy religion was not normal. There's probably others like me who need recovery and treatment not only for the fundamentalism, but also for the resulting drugs and alcohol abuse.

 

Chosen, I practically lived at the church for my first 8 years when I got 'saved'...........Left because I did not think I was good enough for god or these born again christians. I was not allowed to teach sunday school or sing in the choir because I remained a smoker.

 

I left the church and went to the liquor store. I spent the next 7-8 years of my life drunk. I had never drank alcohol before this. I do not remember the age 28 -35. When I sobered up, I lost everything including a business and a wonderful husband. I went back to the church to repent. Even though I have not drank through the years...... I continued to go back to the church over and over until just 2 1/2 years ago.

 

Today, I do not drink and I do not go to church. I am kind of hoping that whatever remaining time I have on this earth...... good things might happen now that I am beginning to know me and what I want from life.....My whole life has been a fucking drama and I hated it! I want to make up for lost time......

 

That great Margee! You're doing really good and are an inspiration to others.

 

It's not an easy road to escape fundamentalism, you can't just 'quit' like it's that easy. Not if you were very deeply into it. Both you and I were pretty heavy into it and it took a long time to deconvert. Although, I believe groups like this helps the process go quicker.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.