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Questions About People's Perception Of Me


Falloutdude
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Do you essentially think i'm just not trying to get better/think i'm not worth it? I've bee pondering this for a long time, and have had many thoughts about it.

 

Not that I don't understand frustration, and irritation at my compulsive fixations on what most would consider minor, insignificant details, I do, which is why I normally avoid such disclosures of my fears to friends unless we're very close, even then i realize this kind of thing could wear on anyone's nerves.

 

What I am kind of unsure about, and would appreciate thoughts about (sincerely), is why a lot of the more established ex-christians (ones who have been out for awhile, and are confident) find it difficult understand why some people are so disturbed by details that normal, and confident people would consider trivial. Like i said, i get it's taxing on the patience, especially with someone like me, who sometimes appears to merely be searching.

 

I guess my fear, is different, I fear that christianity might be the ugly reality of our existence, and that i am glossing over evidence which is contrary to my materialist perspective (even naturalist), even in my most confident state i have this fear in the back of my mind (which isn't that secure). I think some of those who have talked with me more about it, understand that i'm not really looking for things to validate christianity, as i find any interpretation of christianity to be a sick joke, torture by any perception of it's tenants and assertions about existence. My brain picks out things which seem to give credence to my fear, at least this is the explanation i find to make the most sense.

 

The perception that i haven't any knowledge about science is understandable, after all, how could you know what i've learned/what classes i've taken, and it's only natural to assume that my fear is based on ignorance of academic sources, especially when my fears deal with seemingly minute compared to vast amounts of data supporting things, such as evolution, or historical inaccuracy in biblical accounts, especially in regards to jesus' life. However, often, this is not the case.

 

I guess i ask this because the only place i have is the EX-c forums. The only people who i "know" whom would understand why i'm stricken with such seemingly trivial things as "evidence for christianity", which wouldn't phase someone with little religious background. Also, therapists and family, or friends, are either christians, or have no understanding why these fears plague me so, and why i don't just "get over it". I hope that somehow i can mend some fences here, as, like i have said, i don't really have anyone else who can comprehend what i'm going through to any substantial extent.

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I guess i ask this because the only place i have is the EX-c forums. The only people who i "know" whom would understand why i'm stricken with such seemingly trivial things as "evidence for christianity", which wouldn't phase someone with little religious background. Also, therapists and family, or friends, are either christians, or have no understanding why these fears plague me so, and why i don't just "get over it". I hope that somehow i can mend some fences here, as, like i have said, i don't really have anyone else who can comprehend what i'm going through to any substantial extent.

 

I don't know about who you are having conflict with. I've been out of Christianity for about 11 months. I've been part of ex-C for about one month. My only perception about you is that you like a great video game series. (Fallout 3 rocks) I myself am a great ball of fear. I loved science growing up but I was a fundamentalist at the time so my perspective on science was skewed. Even when I was earning A's in astronomy and tutoring other students in it I kept in my mind a list of things "Scientists say" and what "I know to be true because I know Jesus". That arrogance messed up my perception. But you are not me so I can't project my limitations on you. Only you can tell me about what you are going through. I got all kinds of fear about Christianity and God punishing me. Right now I am going through the hardest point in my life (can't say why) and if this is God punishing me then God knows it's pushing me to be atheist. It doesn't make any sense but I feel the raw emotions. I can imagine that others might be facing similar problems but they are individuals so their problems will also be different.

 

So you are not alone. Please don't feel alone. Talk some more about whatever is on your mind. Whatever you need, man.

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As I have said before, I don't think your problem is with religion. That is merely the focus of an unreasonable fear, which is something many suffer from. It's the same as knowing intellectually that a foot long garden snake won't hurt you, yet you are still terrified of it. One doesn't encounter snakes every day, but the religious fear gets triggered with every mention of an apologetic argument or so-called "spiritual" experience someone may have. You have already grasped the absurdity of the Biblical stories, but unfounded emotional fears are overcome with therapy.

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Thank you mymistake, i appreciate your hospitality, and it's more people whom i've been on here awhile with whom i'm addressing this to, as i have gotten on a few people's nerves in the past...

 

I don't know if it's the same Florduh, because at times, i'm not completely convinced of the complete absurdity of christian concepts, which in turn are what i obsess about. The things i obsess about are things that i can't really debunk or refute, with any amount of research or speculation, i can't seem to think of a scenario which would produce the "proof" that is presented. Obviously i discard any idea that comes and is obviously a tall-tale. However, if there is a basis for it, i find myself unable to stop researching and trying to find alternative explanations until i find one that really strikes a cord as possible, and probable (at least in my perception). If there isn't one presented or i don't figure it out, i won't be able to stop thinking about it completely, because i know it's not explained by natural means, and it serves as something i am not addressing. If i dismiss something without basis i can't help but think that i am just ignoring things that don't agree with my position.

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Do you essentially think i'm just not trying to get better/think i'm not worth it? I've bee pondering this for a long time, and have had many thoughts about it.

 

Not that I don't understand frustration, and irritation at my compulsive fixations on what most would consider minor, insignificant details, I do, which is why I normally avoid such disclosures of my fears to friends unless we're very close, even then i realize this kind of thing could wear on anyone's nerves.

 

What kind of answer are you wanting when you ask the same question 50 times? A different one?

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However, if there is a basis for it, i find myself unable to stop researching and trying to find alternative explanations until i find one that really strikes a cord as possible, and probable (at least in my perception). If there isn't one presented or i don't figure it out, i won't be able to stop thinking about it completely

dude, I think you just answered your own question about a lot of things. Many times, things that others speak of, ( as much as it may make sense) - if it does not resonate with you...we go away unsatsfied. I am very much like you - I need my answers to 'sit good' inside of me. I had enough knowedge and help from many here and my own research, that when the pastor's wife asked me yesterday, '' Do you reject jesus as the savior? ''......... I stood there and said, ''yes''. I knew I was ready at this point to take a chance on hell and also lose this friendship.

 

Keep searching for your answers that feel good to you. I KNOW you are well on your way!! You know I wish you well!

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As I have said before, I don't think your problem is with religion. That is merely the focus of an unreasonable fear, which is something many suffer from. It's the same as knowing intellectually that a foot long garden snake won't hurt you, yet you are still terrified of it. One doesn't encounter snakes every day, but the religious fear gets triggered with every mention of an apologetic argument or so-called "spiritual" experience someone may have. You have already grasped the absurdity of the Biblical stories, but unfounded emotional fears are overcome with therapy.

 

I think what Florduh said makes a lot of sense. I can't remember much of what your situation in life is, but if you are surrounded by Christian nutters and have a bit of OCD (which seems to be really common for those on the Ex-C boards) you are going to have a hard time. Therapy and changing your environment so you are not reminded of the Christian twaddle at frequent intervals would be good. Medication is also good to get over the OCD hump as far as I can work out.

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Why should you care about other people's perception of you?

 

I guess my fear, is different, I fear that christianity might be the ugly reality of our existence, and that i am glossing over evidence which is contrary to my materialist perspective (even naturalist), even in my most confident state i have this fear in the back of my mind (which isn't that secure).

 

Ex-Christian does not automatically equal materialist.

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Do you essentially think i'm just not trying to get better/think i'm not worth it?

 

I do not think that.

 

What I am kind of unsure about, and would appreciate thoughts about (sincerely), is why a lot of the more established ex-christians (ones who have been out for awhile, and are confident) find it difficult understand why some people are so disturbed by details that normal, and confident people would consider trivial.

 

I guess my fear, is different, I fear that christianity might be the ugly reality of our existence, and that i am glossing over evidence which is contrary to my materialist perspective (even naturalist), even in my most confident state i have this fear in the back of my mind (which isn't that secure). I think some of those who have talked with me more about it, understand that i'm not really looking for things to validate christianity {...}

 

I find it difficult to understand, I suppose, because the evidence against Christianity being reality is so great that it vastly outweighs any lingering fear that I might have from all the years of being told that it was truth. I simply don't believe it anymore, not a bit of it! Now I know you have seen that evidence, too - only it seems you obsess over the fear of being wrong more than anything else. That fear overrides your rationality.

 

We are not professionals (at least, I'm not). I can only speak to you from my experience. I've dealt with OCD before, and I gave my advice to you about how I learned to overcome it. I also told you that it will take time, along with the proper treatment. There is only so much that I can do here, it's not that I think you're not worth it or that you're just not trying hard enough. I can offer support, but there comes a point where it seems as though you pose questions of a similar nature over and over again, and then jump to conclusions about what I think of you when I don't respond. It's just that I don't know what else to say!

 

I don't know of anything new that I can say to you right now about what you're dealing with, other than I hope you get through it.

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What kind of answer are you wanting when you ask the same question 50 times? A different one?

 

I have not asked this question "50 times" i doubt i have asked this specific question, even 10 times, and that's being fairly liberal with my estimation (at least in my perception, i might have asked and forgotten). Definitely not this specific question, if i asked it before, i asked it to specific people, in the comments on posts, not expressly as the sole question of a post. Even then, i was asking this to everyone, not just people to whom i've asked this to before, but to generally anyone whom i've maybe have come to bad terms with....

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However, if there is a basis for it, i find myself unable to stop researching and trying to find alternative explanations until i find one that really strikes a cord as possible, and probable (at least in my perception). If there isn't one presented or i don't figure it out, i won't be able to stop thinking about it completely

dude, I think you just answered your own question about a lot of things. Many times, things that others speak of, ( as much as it may make sense) - if it does not resonate with you...we go away unsatsfied. I am very much like you - I need my answers to 'sit good' inside of me. I had enough knowedge and help from many here and my own research, that when the pastor's wife asked me yesterday, '' Do you reject jesus as the savior? ''......... I stood there and said, ''yes''. I knew I was ready at this point to take a chance on hell and also lose this friendship.

 

Keep searching for your answers that feel good to you. I KNOW you are well on your way!! You know I wish you well!

 

That's the thing Margee....i look for answers which make sense to me, and people think i'm just ignoring their answers, when in reality i see things which don't answer certain problems set forth (at least from my perspective), even if they are good and thoughtful answers. This doesn't mean i haven't considered answers put forth which i don't see as explaining everything based on my perception. This doesn't mean i don't appreciate the answers given, which i think it might comes across sometimes, or that i don't consider them. This also kind of answers noggy's question simultaneously, although i am guessing the question was rhetorical and he didn't really intend to listen to what i have to say anyways.... Which is his right, and is understandable, especially since i'm very emotional, which i am guessing he sees as an annoyance. That's just my thoughts though, may be completely off

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However, if there is a basis for it, i find myself unable to stop researching and trying to find alternative explanations until i find one that really strikes a cord as possible, and probable (at least in my perception). If there isn't one presented or i don't figure it out, i won't be able to stop thinking about it completely

dude, I think you just answered your own question about a lot of things. Many times, things that others speak of, ( as much as it may make sense) - if it does not resonate with you...we go away unsatsfied. I am very much like you - I need my answers to 'sit good' inside of me. I had enough knowedge and help from many here and my own research, that when the pastor's wife asked me yesterday, '' Do you reject jesus as the savior? ''......... I stood there and said, ''yes''. I knew I was ready at this point to take a chance on hell and also lose this friendship.

 

Keep searching for your answers that feel good to you. I KNOW you are well on your way!! You know I wish you well!

 

That's the thing Margee....i look for answers which make sense to me, and people think i'm just ignoring their answers, when in reality i see things which don't answer certain problems set forth (at least from my perspective), even if they are good and thoughtful answers. This doesn't mean i haven't considered answers put forth which i don't see as explaining everything based on my perception. This doesn't mean i don't appreciate the answers given, which i think it might comes across sometimes, or that i don't consider them. This also kind of answers noggy's question simultaneously, although i am guessing the question was rhetorical and he didn't really intend to listen to what i have to say anyways.... Which is his right, and is understandable, especially since i'm very emotional, which i am guessing he sees as an annoyance. That's just my thoughts though, may be completely off

dude.............follow your gut and what feels right to you...... you ARE very intuitive and smart!!

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@ Blue Elephant Yeah, Blue Elephant, doctors tell me my problem is not letting go of things i don't know the answer to, and that medication really isn't the issue as much as me not letting go of things i want an explanation to.

 

@ Deva I care Deva, because i need scientific and knowledgeable friends who can help me come up with more rational explanations and are smart enough to help me see scenarios/answers, which i need to logically not be afraid of what i'm afraid of/"talk myself down". Without these evidence-based scenarios/explanations, i can't stop being concerned. So i fester until i break down, because i have no one to talk to about this.

 

I care because, like i said, i have absolutely no one else who remotely understands, or shares my desire to deny christianity through evidence based means, so without the intellectuals of ex-C, i am left to dwell on what i can't explain, not able to function as it sucks in more and more of my mind to try and "solve" my problem.

 

@ Beth MI guess my problem, Beth M, is that i don't express the places in time when i'm ok (which have become a lot more frequent recently), but express concerns based on new things that seem to conflict with my anti-christian perspective. Not just that, but i'm pretty materialistic. I have no problem with a soul or whatever, but only if all animals have it. Some things i'm "on" recently are what challenge this. Mostly though, i have in the past, focused on what ifs of stuff no one could really answer, nor could they ever really be answered. Which is why the incessant re-questioning, trying to find an answer that i am confident in to explain the phenomenon or "evidence" that bothers me, in giving perceived credence to christianity.

 

The thing is a lot of evidence or arguments are based on emotional perspectives, and although affirming, it doesn't really stand up to fear, like logical evidence does.

 

The kinds of logical evidence that are factual, against christianity, are things like evolution and such (Which i understand pretty damn well, and find fascinating), that have inferences intertwined with them that i sometimes see as being a little too speculative for me. Things like the flood, i concede, and understand.

 

The thing that gets me is evidence that seems to not fit in with theories that go without being addressed. These things go dismissed out of hand, and sometimes not very well, Or else they are dismissed by people that understand the answer, and aren't explained to people who don't have such an in-depth knowledge. Often i see people just saying something is BS without really explaining why it is, only that "of course it is, because it doesn't fit with my perceptual framework". When i ask for help and answers that explain what i am asking thoroughly and/or well enough for me to be able to logically say why it's bullshit, sometimes i am given answers that aren't possible or arguments about how i'm stupid for even bothering. This is disconcerting, because i'm on their "side", but it shows that sometimes people are glossing over evidence which contradicts their views, which is disconcerting because i am trying to share these same views, however i can't rationally defend them without logical help and rational evaluation/explanations.

 

I have always just been someone who believes that if someone isn't answering, it's because they are annoyed with me, or ignoring me. As without confirmation, i am left to analyze and speculate until i fry my brain (which is what happens with most of things i post, only it has to do with arguments for christianity, instead of people). I try to not think this, but sometimes i can't escape this option as being most probable, as i'm inclined to believe i'm annoying, especially when a people ostracize me for being irrational or emotional.

 

The thing is i don't have a professional, and according to doctors and such, what i'm questioning is normal, what isn't normal, is not being able to move one. I have methods for avoiding this, but they don't work, and don't solve my problem, only make them less of a focus. To my mind this is unacceptable, i can't just "not think about it" i need an answer as soon as possible, or else i won't be able to move on. That's just how i am, if something doesn't fit with my anti-christian views, i need to "explain it away" in order to have any peace (which i've had some of until a few days ago)

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None of us will ever have everything fully explained. You weigh evidence, make rational judgments based on the preponderance of evidence or lack thereof, use logic, and live with the fact that your information will always be incomplete in some way. You move on, accepting the best evidence you have to work with.

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@ Deva I care Deva, because i need scientific and knowledgeable friends who can help me come up with more rational explanations and are smart enough to help me see scenarios/answers, which i need to logically not be afraid of what i'm afraid of/"talk myself down". Without these evidence-based scenarios/explanations, i can't stop being concerned. So i fester until i break down, because i have no one to talk to about this.

 

I care because, like i said, i have absolutely no one else who remotely understands, or shares my desire to deny christianity through evidence based means, so without the intellectuals of ex-C, i am left to dwell on what i can't explain, not able to function as it sucks in more and more of my mind to try and "solve" my problem.

 

I realize you were addressing Deva here, but if you don't mind I would like to know what specific fears you want help on. If you like you can post it here or start a new thread. I can't promise that I can help but I will try.

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None of us will ever have everything fully explained. You weigh evidence, make rational judgments based on the preponderance of evidence or lack thereof, use logic, and live with the fact that your information will always be incomplete in some way. You move on, accepting the best evidence you have to work with.

This. There's no way of knowing that we're more right than the WBC. But you can do your own research, ask your own questions, and come to your own conclusions. Personally I like the definitive answer to life they provided on South Park: "the answer is that there is no answer!"

 

I know this is cynical of me, but I'm assuming that I'm hellbound if I'm wrong, and while that may be true at least I won't have to be with its creator when I'm there. Fun fact, when talking about "eternity" the hebrew word was "kolasis", which actually means "for a time." Eternal damnation my ass.

 

Personally, I think that if he exists God must hate people like me more than almost anyone, because I made the decision to deconvert based purely on logic as opposed to anything big happening in my life that caused me to question. If, say, a person was molested by a priest and turned from the faith because of that, even God must have an understanding that something outside their control caused them to stray. But someone like me became an unbeliever because of asking the right/wrong questions when everything was going well.

 

At the end of the day, there's nothing I can do about the objective reality, but there's just as much chance that my parents were wrong when they told me God exists and will send us all to heaven when we die hallelujah amen. But at some stage, you and I were told God exists, so it really falls to the person telling you to draw the proofs, and while we can't prove they're wrong, they can't prove they're right.

 

And I think I'll stop rambling here. Hopefully this helps you in some way.

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Hey FallOutDude,

 

I don't think I've actually had any dealings with you before, I'm pretty new here.

 

From what I'm seeing here, I don't think you have OCD, you're just obsessive. I only say that because I am also obsessive. I need to know everything and I need to know it now. I worry constantly that I have accidentally upset someone. I worry and obsess about just about everything. But the thing that has helped me the most was learning the term AGNOSTIC. In short, I don't know, because it is humanly IMPOSSIBLE for me to know/find out the answer to everything. I could spend the next 80 years reading and researching and studying and asking and I would still die with many, many more questions than answers. There is SO much information out there, and every day so much more is added to what we already know, that I could never possibly sift through it all and find the answer. I only have so long to live, and my mind is only capable of so much, that it is just not feasible to find out ALL of the answers. And you know what? That is okay. It is okay to say, I don't know. Because ultimately there will be so many topics that I won't have the answer to and you won't have the answer to, and Science and god and christianity are such big topics that we learn more about every day, it's just not possible to work it all out.

 

I don't know if that will help you, but it's what helped me stop obsessing so much. You are a human with limitations. You won't ever have the answer to everything, so you are only setting yourself up for a lifetime of heartache, misery, loneliness, and failure by obsessing about stuff you can never have all the answers to in the first place.

 

*hugs*

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@ Deva I care Deva, because i need scientific and knowledgeable friends who can help me come up with more rational explanations and are smart enough to help me see scenarios/answers, which i need to logically not be afraid of what i'm afraid of/"talk myself down". Without these evidence-based scenarios/explanations, i can't stop being concerned. So i fester until i break down, because i have no one to talk to about this.

 

I care because, like i said, i have absolutely no one else who remotely understands, or shares my desire to deny christianity through evidence based means, so without the intellectuals of ex-C, i am left to dwell on what i can't explain, not able to function as it sucks in more and more of my mind to try and "solve" my problem.

 

Give us specific things you don't understand, and then listen to the answers we give, do your own research, and then get over it!

Actually I don't think I would be able to help you, because I don't live my life by science or solely by intellect.

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I would recommend a little comparative religious and philosophical study so you don't get stuck in the Christian mindset (which is grounded in fear and is based on circular reasoning and double binds).

 

I would also take a comprehensive look at logical fallacies so you can catch yourself if you fall into one of these traps.

 

Good Luck and Be Careful Out There

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From what I'm seeing here, I don't think you have OCD, you're just obsessive.

 

Being obsessive to the point of it bothering your daily life at all, pretty much is OCD by definition. It isn't always severe, disabling or physically obvious with rituals and such.

 

No, there is a difference between a person who is obsessive and someone who has OCD. An obsessive person obsesses over everything, but the rituals, ie. compulsions are minute in comparison to someone actually suffering from OCD. I'm only speaking from what I know here, because I have bipolar, I am obsessive as well, but I don't have OCD. I don't know FallOutDude personally, and I'm no doctor, but I know how I obsessed and continue to do over everything. Hell, I even obsessed about whether I had OCD, but the doctor, psych nurse, and psychologist all said the same thing: not OCD, just obsessive. It's still a bitch to live with an obsessive mind, though, and I do agree with you when you say some time away from the forum might be good for him, as when you're obsessing about religion and science, the forum would only add fuel to the fire. I've had to learn to ground myself in reality, not my head, and if that's not possible, to distract myself with something else. I can see the value of relaxation, but it's never really worked for me- I'm obsessive enough to obsess over a relaxation exercise and get stressed out. What does work is the massaging mat my fiancee bought me as an early christmas present. I just put it on my bed, plug it in, and lie on it, and it just gently vibrates from my shoulders down to my calves. I've never been so relaxed since I got that thing.

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Hey you! I believe you genuinely want to feel better, and are trying, with some success and some continued struggle. I agree with what Florduh said.

 

Phanta

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From what I'm seeing here, I don't think you have OCD, you're just obsessive.

 

Being obsessive to the point of it bothering your daily life at all, pretty much is OCD by definition. It isn't always severe, disabling or physically obvious with rituals and such.

 

No, there is a difference between a person who is obsessive and someone who has OCD. An obsessive person obsesses over everything, but the rituals, ie. compulsions are minute in comparison to someone actually suffering from OCD. I'm only speaking from what I know here, because I have bipolar, I am obsessive as well, but I don't have OCD. I don't know FallOutDude personally, and I'm no doctor, but I know how I obsessed and continue to do over everything. Hell, I even obsessed about whether I had OCD, but the doctor, psych nurse, and psychologist all said the same thing: not OCD, just obsessive. It's still a bitch to live with an obsessive mind, though, and I do agree with you when you say some time away from the forum might be good for him, as when you're obsessing about religion and science, the forum would only add fuel to the fire. I've had to learn to ground myself in reality, not my head, and if that's not possible, to distract myself with something else. I can see the value of relaxation, but it's never really worked for me- I'm obsessive enough to obsess over a relaxation exercise and get stressed out. What does work is the massaging mat my fiancee bought me as an early christmas present. I just put it on my bed, plug it in, and lie on it, and it just gently vibrates from my shoulders down to my calves. I've never been so relaxed since I got that thing.

 

 

OK, then, you win. I'm seriously not interested in getting into some hair-splitting argument over this stuff.

 

I'm not trying to have an argument with you, and I did, in fact agree with what you said re: FallOutDude having some time out from the forum. I'm sorry if I came across as antagonistic or belligerent, it wasn't my intention. For what it's worth, I'd had a rough night and three hour's sleep when I wrote that. I'm a big believer in education regarding mental health conditions, and the only reason I talked about my own obsessiveness was because until it was clarified to me, I didn't understand that obsessiveness didn't necessarily mean OCD myself. I guess, in my sleep-deprived state, it all came out wrong, and I am genuinely sorry for that. It was never my intention to start an argument with you, I was just trying to clarify why I felt there was a difference between obsessiveness and OCD in the first place :)

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Thank you guys.

 

Jesus, i didn't check this for a little because i thought no one would respond anymore...ha ha. Anyways, i've been told by doctor that more than anything my problem isn't severe OCD, perhaps just the emotional burden from focusing on questions, that while healthy to ask, are draining when you can't stop focusing on them until you get an answer (often since you can't get an answer to certain question)

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I just want to give my 2 cents here. and even though i haven't been on the forums

for so long and was never even in the church for that long. But i get what you're going

through. I was actually diagnosed with OCD. well when i was in 6th grade i was diagnosed with

BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) which is closely related to ocd(rituals about rubbing face, mirrors etc..)

But when I started going to church and what not, my bdd quickly manifested itself in "the faith". Became

obsessive about everything that involved christianity. and 8 months after being "saved" it had already torn my life

apart. I became so obsessed i lost my job, the apartment. and now im back in my parents basement (Im only 20 but still)

 

I'm now back home I started taking medication which has helped a ton. Even if you havent been "diagnosed" with anything, doesn't mean

you don't deal with very similar things. OCD is just a label and theres plenty of other mental illnesses related to it, tourette syndrom is also related to

it. so i mean, definately check that out if you already haven't.

 

Have you read the book "leaving the fold". I know its a popular book among ex christians and you may have already read it. or even if you have, have

you tried any of the exercises in your life from the book? I have been in therapy for so long and her approach is the only thing in this past year that has helped me take huge steps in overcoming this obsessive fear.

 

anyway, message me if you wanna talk. hell, i know i could use someone to talk about this a lot of times still. its hard, not many people understand

how debilitating this can be.

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