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I Am Living A Lie


ConureDelSol
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First off, I want to say that I am writing this before bed and I will likely read this tomorrow morning wondering why I sounded so depressed and possibly wondering why I didn't spellcheck and if perhaps I had unknowingly become drunk. Also, hello to the forums, I'm a ex-lurker who just graduated to a poster. Yay!

 

I am a 20-something year old gal in college. Although since I am broke like most college students, I still live with my parents. Mom has been a nurse for 30 or so years and dad is pretty much a hybrid of every IT job thrown into one big mess of a job. Dad, however, works for our church. Actually, I work for our church too. Under dad. Fixing computers. As a result, I am expected to be at every service, every outreach, every staff meeting that actually involves me, etc. Dad also teaches at our church's "School of Ministry" and teaches "soulwinning" and Apologetics since he was literally months from getting a degree from Moody Bible Institute before he had to drop out. So naturally, I'm expected to be a role model. I'm supposed to love Jesus, pray, read the Bible and believe everything it says etc. Only one problem: I'm a Deist.

 

For those who aren't in the know about Deism, the basics are that I believe there's a God, but only because I can't figure out the universe without one. The analogy Deists often use is that God is like a watchmaker. He makes the watch, winds it up, makes it start ticking and then leaves the watch alone. In other words I don't deceive myself into believing that God cares about the affairs of mortals. They always say to set your expectations low, right?

 

Back to the main problem though. I only became a Deist months ago. This was after attempting to actually make sense of the Bible. Long-story short, my search went from Christianity to Liberal Christianity to Ba'hai, to Islam, to Deist. Listening to my pastor preach actually makes me want to cry with frustration. The way they replace "God" with "Jesus" so freely, the general attitude of "well we're right and that gives us a reason to heckle everyone who isn't a Christian with useless nonsense (aka The Bible)." My preacher's messages are mostly geared towards former gang members, drug users, prostitutes, etc. and so many of them are accusing. I hate it when people talk about how God has touched them and all these wonderful things happened to them. These people are drug addicts and crap. Christianity teaches morals so OF COURSE your life will get better when you start doing GOOD things instead of cocaine and shit.

 

I'm not going to get into my whole story since that would be more for the testimonial page, but I hate what my job is associated with. However, my job is also very important. Only because it has a consistent schedule and I have time to actually do homework while computers I work on run scans and updates. I haven't even been accepted into the nursing program at my college yet and I know I won't be able to find a job like this anywhere else. I cannot afford to leave, but I cannot afford to stay either. Mom and Dad deny the fact that I have told them I don't believe in Jesus and all that and simply label me as a "struggling Christian" because my mind and heart aren't in sync or whatever. I started out in the job thinking I was Christian and now, not even a year after getting the job, I feel trapped. It's like being a democrat who works in a political office with nothing but republicans. I'm surrounded by all these brainwashed people who sound like a broken record. I hate every minute of it, but I can't leave.

 

I feel I'll never be able to live as an ex-Christian until I can move out. That is a good two or three years away. For now I'm trapped working at a place I can't stand, under my conservative brainwashed Dad who has, in turn, brainwashed Mom. They're not the type of parents that would disown me if I didn't go to church. They are the kind that would pester me beyond belief and try to "Jesus loves you" me into going. I honestly don't think I can do this for another three years. I don't know what to do.

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Ugh. Three years is a long time to fake it.

 

My advice for these situations is always to treat the experience as if you were an anthropologist living among the natives in order to study them better. Consider yourself a double agent or undercover op. You could even keep a (secret) journal of their behaviors and customs. It could become a book eventually. However you have to handle it, I wish you luck. You'll always have this place to vent.

 

And welcome!

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I feel I'll never be able to live as an ex-Christian until I can move out. That is a good two or three years away. For now I'm trapped working at a place I can't stand, under my conservative brainwashed Dad who has, in turn, brainwashed Mom. They're not the type of parents that would disown me if I didn't go to church. They are the kind that would pester me beyond belief and try to "Jesus loves you" me into going. I honestly don't think I can do this for another three years. I don't know what to do.

 

Welcome! I feel for you. Maybe you need to find a way to feel in control of your secret. I'm going through the motions of a Christian life. I go to Bible study. I even did the closing prayer today. I don't need to believe it in order to give a good prayer. I enjoy practicing my "poker face". I feel like I am in control because I choose to not be on everybody's prayer list. You know the "Pray for my son/brother/grandson/cousin/friend to come back to the Lord" list. I've planed out what I feel comfortable doing and how long I want to keep my secret. I hope you don't feel trapped. Vent here if you need to. We will listen.

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Don't feel like too much of an outcast, there are other Deists among you. Some folks would tell you that by pretending to be something you're not, that you are being deceitful to yourself and others. I however believe that tact and a pragmatic approach is favorable until you feel the conditions are right to drop the news. You're going to have to trust your own instincts on when the time is proper. It's going to be uncomfortable even under the best conditions and again, only you know how your parents might react. Be ready for any contingency or argument because if they're pious, they won't let you think for yourself without a fight. You know how much emotional stock church goers put into this stuff so don't be surprised by anything. Most of all, don't be afraid to ask anyone here for advice. These are some of the kindest, most decent people I have had the pleasure of lurking around myself.

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I lived the lie for several years as well, although I didn't have to live with my family while doing it or go to church with them. I'm not sure I could bear that. I really feel your pain.

 

I think there is something to be said for compassionate deception. Honesty is not always the best policy. The truth of de-conversion can be VERY hurtful for close family members, who will genuinely fear that you will not be with them in heaven. I have seen this with my own mother. She is so entrenched in her beliefs and worldview that I cannot convince her otherwise. First it was denial, like with your parents believing i was just "struggling," and my family was convinced I would be ok and Jesus would pull me back. It was crushing for my mom when she finally learned that I don't believe in Jesus at all anymore- and never will again. My father told me she spends many a night crying and praying that I will "come back." (My parents also went to Moody!)

 

As much as I would like to see religion removed from the earth as the influence it is, I am not an evangelist for my lack of belief. I think on an individual level religion can be good for people. It is an illusion, but it gives them comfort and way to deal with the many shitty and unfair things the world throws at them. Sometimes fantasy can be a helluvalot better than reality. I don't think people always need to know the hard truth, and damn the consequences. I left that thinking behind when I walked away from Christianity.

 

If i were you, I would be looking for another job...every day! You cannot stay in that situation for a few more years. In that atmosphere, at some point you will explode, the secret will be out, and you'll probably be looking for another job anyway. (Lest your ideas influence others!) Best to plan and choose your exit, in my opinion. I know that sometimes financial situations make any sort of move seem impossible, but having lived and worked with very poor people in the past, I have discovered that there are often alternative options to living with the fam or staying in a dead-end job. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open and think outside your box. I really, really wish you the best. It's a bad situation.

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Thank you all for the responses. I am very grateful I found this forum since I've seen so many people I can relate with. I actually like the studying idea in all honesty. I'm taking sociology right now and sometimes like to imagine myself being an amateur sociologist. Maybe I can make my start by taking notes on the Christian community! I'm going to have to set up a blog or something to report my findings...yellow.gif

 

Yeah, three years is a long time and I am constantly checking the wanted ads for any appetizing jobs for EMTs or pharmacy techs (I am both) so I can get my foot in the door in the health world. I'm definitely not in a financial situation where I can move out right now though and it sucks big time. Worse even is that I am actually forced to tithe. $80 per month is a big deal for me and giving it to the church just bugs me. It's as if I'm paying to work here.

 

I have to say though, when I don't have homework to do, I enjoy being able to secretly play Rift at work. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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Welcome to Ex-C!

 

You are in a tough spot but you are young and have great abilities as well as a really good head on your shoulders. I agree with the others here who said you need to find the right time to break the news. That others believe you are currently as "struggling Christian" is a good grace zone to be in. I think the last thing you want to do is make some knee jerk declaration. Only tell people what is needed and/or what they can handle, IMO.

 

I like your idea of conducting an ethnography while at your church job. wicked.gif The latest thing seems to be an institutional ethnography.... Hmmmm. An undergraduate thesis perhaps?smile.png

 

Also, it sounds like you're choosing nursing as a career, if I understood you correctly. Just make sure you're not doing it for your old reasons, one of which may be faith. It sounds like you are very capable in multiple areas. Whatever your choices, I think it's great you're working on your education.

 

Keep us posted on how things are rolling out. We're all rooting for you!

Peace.

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Forced to tithe??? WTH? Is that just deducted from your paycheck as you are working for the church? You have a much greater tolerance for bullshit than me....kudos!

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Welcome my friend!

 

Pay attention to this scripture - It actually has wisdom in it!!eek.gif

 

 

Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. jesus.gif Keep the peace.........Just abide for a little while.......

Then get out as soon as you get a job!! happydance.gif Hang in there....keep posting. We are here for you!

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i feel you i am traped as well and it is not fun. just try to stick it through and learn to laugh at christianity its the best policy.

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Deism, without question, is the most patriotic religious philosophy in the history of the USA. Check all the old guys from way back and they're diests - straight down the line. You can always have courage because Jefferson, Washington and Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, etc... are walking right behind you. You should eventually see your way to the light by trusting yourself and your instincts. And on a good day you can either litteraly or figuratively question exactly how committed are those who disagree with you to fostering a truly sustainable and productive America. Chin up. Long live the revolution.

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  • 1 month later...

Well here I am after a long break from this site going through testimonies and I see THIS. Damn, I feel for you. I've been through almost exactly the same thing throughout most of my life. In my case I even created a split personality ( One fake christian one ) with it's own different mood swings and everything just to deal with all the Church folk...and my parents...and everyone else. It's sad when I think about it because I realize that those I grew up around all my life have absolutely no idea who I am.

 

If you still check this thread from time to time, may I ask if you are in the Bible belt or not? If you aren't you may be able to find some non christian friends to hang out with. That's what I did when growing up. I had friends who where nerds/otaku/gamers outside of the social circle of the church and getting to be with them allowed me to act like myself for once and a while. Kept whatever sanity I had left intact.

 

You are for the most part correct in your belief that once you move out you will be able to live true to yourself. Once I moved out my split personality started to fade. The freedom that comes with living alone is worth working towards if you can.

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Welcome! You have so much fun times and so happiness ahead of you. Hold on for a while, look for a job, socialize with non-christian friends. I have had almost the same situation as you (without working for the church) from when i was 20 till 22 years old. The only good thing was hanging out with secular friends from college. Those two years consisted of hiding drunk and stoned from my parents and getting as much seperate time away from home and church as possible. But after that I found a girlfriend at 22, she took away all my bad thoughts. :) I graduated when I was 23, got a job, and aparrtment, and since then: YIPEEEE! :D

There are much wiser folks than me here, so just ask and they will console you. All the best!

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Uhhg, I would have a hard time with that. Maybe in earlier years I could have pulled it off but I speak my mind too easily now. My wife is finishing her Bachelors in nursing and has had to endure 3 semesters with one to go of christian nursing college. She comes home and tells me about how they pray before and after classes and talk about the strength of god in healing. She's having a hard time dealing with just that without screaming I can't imagine the frustration of working in a church, living with conservative x-tians all the time trying to get through school.

 

Stick with school, don't give up! My wife is doing wonderful in her job and is continuing school to better herself and our family. Nursing is a rewarding career and it pays well too :)

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Civility is better than open hostility. You have a job. That's good. It seems like a secure job. That's good, too. Just because they haven't accepted you into nursing school doesn't mean they won't. You can also use whatever degree you can get to get work in other fields. You must have had science to be interested in nursing. I can tell you there are many, many jobs in fields related to science.....just hit the state government's job sites. WV is hiring bigtime! So is the federal government. Go to USAJOBS !!!

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