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Goodbye Jesus

How Can I Let Go?


dbiss76

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In order to understand my dilemma, I have to give you some background of my life. It's long and complicated, and I still am not sure what I truly believe. I cannot call myself athiest, but I certainly am no Christian.

 

As a child, my single mother always told me about Jesus. I was brought up as an extreme Christian, by my extremist mother. I remember some of our earliest conversations being about sexual purity and how virginity is a diamond for your husband. Although I am one of 5 children (truly 8 but I don't count her last 3), we are all from different fathers. She used to always say to me "Do as I say and not as I do". I'm so angry even writing this.

She would spend hours about the power of the truth, how important it is, and how God knows everything, including your heart.

 

Condition of your heart. I'll never forget that term.

 

My mother would beat us, badly. I remember at age 3 or 4, she beat me so badly that when we would pick up my brother from kindergarten, she would make me duck in the car so no one would see my face.

Before the rest of my siblings came, my brother and I tried to runaway. We were 3 and 4. Yes, I actually remember this. We lived right on the highway, and a man took us over to the bank to call our "mom", but we called our grandparents in fear. We feared her, and as twisted as it is, our fear gave her ultimate power and control over us. Of course, my grandparents had to call her, and I'll never forget that beating and being sent to bed without dinner.... 3 and 4 years old.

 

By age 9, she got a boyfriend and was having (oooo!) "pre-marital sex"... that's truly when the "do as I say and not as I do" really became her one-liner. In one way, she gave me so much "wisdom" but in reality her life was absolute shit.

 

I began going to God. I would cry to him almost every night. I would tell him how angry I was and how much I wanted to die and be with him. I just wanted to be with God and out of my pain. I wrote down every prayer from this time, and I have them to this day. A fourth grader, begging God to save her.

 

Eventually, my mom beat me right before a visit to Grandma's (her biological mother whom she does not speak with), so when I got there, I confessed the abuse that she, of course, already knew about. She pressured me to tell the school.

 

My grandmother has called Child Protective Services before, but my mother was a great coach. She would say, "You better lie or you will never see your brothers or sisters ever again." That was our biggest fear. My grandma feared that if she reported anything again, my mom would never let us see her.

 

One morning, my brother and I were beaten before school and we decided that was the day. We told the school. Age 10, 5th grade, we told. There were 5 of us at the time, and when we were "taken away" from my mother, we split up due to our different dads. My grandparents took most of us, but my older brother and little sister were split from us.

 

It was during this time that I "lost God". He was no where! Writing did nothing, praying did nothing, singing, reading, you name it... God had disappeared. I became a much happier person and by middle school, I didn't have a "God" telling me what to do. I missed him so much, and would pray to feel him again.. but it never happened.

 

Two and a half years later (almost age 13), my mom regained custody of four of us, and we moved back home. Within the year, she married a co-worker and wanted to move to Texas. Why? She told me "Texas has corpral punishment". Yeah.

 

I went to God, but it wasn't the same. By age 14, I was living with my grandparents again. Stupidly, I didn't go to the police because my mom had brainwashed me into feeling completely bad for her, but I left because of her abuse. That year, she moved to Texas with my two youngest brothers. I will never forgive myself for leaving them, but at the same time, it was the only way to escape her brainwashing. Through middle school, I had been known as "Jesus freak" because of my extreme views. I am so thankful to be a normal person now... can't say so much for my younger brothers.

 

Everything, and I mean everything, she did, she justified with the name of God. "Spare the rod, spoil the child".

 

By 15, I had my first real boyfriend and we had sex. I couldn't have "lost my diamond" like that, so I figured we must be married. That's how crazy I was. I visited my mom in Texas, and she found Cranberry pills in my suitcase. She confronted me by saying "I know. I know everything." She would do things like that. "God told her"... when I confessed, she beat me.

 

That was the last time she would ever touch me, that was the last time she would ever have that much control over my mind. For 15 years, she had brainwashed me. She could have said the sky was red, and I would have looked up at a blue sky, and still, if anyone asked me, that sky was red.

 

Despite all of this, I never gave up on God. I still wanted a "relationship" with him... but living with my grandparents, in a healthy environment, God just never seemed to be there.

 

As I write this, I wonder if perhaps God was always a mental defense mechanism in order to cope with my situation.

 

I never knew God. My mother was God.

 

I now live in Germany, and most of my friends (and boyfriend) are agnostic and/or athiest. They are all working in some field of science and their "facts first" mentality sent my curiosity to look for truth, but all I see is nonsense in the teachings of Christianity.

 

I desperately look for the "real" God, and I can't seem to find him anywhere. Actually, what I seem to find is a Church that used "God" to control other, less intelligent, vulnerable people... the same thing that my mom did to me.

 

This alone should make me reject Christianity.. but recently I had an epiphany where I realized that I would actually die. The thought literally had the walls close in around me and I couldn't walk. I had a full on panic attack, the first in my life. I feel like I lost my sanity when I realized death would come to me too.

When you realize how real your own death is, what else can truly matter other than the Truth?

 

Death is real, but what does it mean? Is it simply over? I can't accept that people will actually eternally burn in hell for their actions within 80 "earthly" years... that punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime. Especially while others live in paradise, most without their loved ones who simultaneously burn in hell.. And it doesn't make you sad. That just feels so wrong.

 

Ironically, Death is why I can't let go of Jesus. Jesus brought hope... and although I hate Christianity and what religion itself has done to mankind, don't believe in the bible or the church, I don't know how to let go and be free... because when it all ends, does it all end?

 

If I'm wrong and Christianity is real, will I burn in Hell? It's one thing to say "Yeah! But fuck it! I don't want to be in Paradise with a God like that anyway!" ... but seriously? BURN. IN. HELL. that sounds absolutely horrible.

 

I just want to be free from these thoughts. I want to live! I am in a mental cage.

 

I thank anyone who took the time to read this. I would appreciate any words.

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Goodbye Jesus

Everything, and I mean everything, she did, she justified with the name of God. "Spare the rod, spoil the child".

 

More like "Spare the mom (the punishment she deserves), spoil the child".

 

Sickening. And all too familiar. Fortunately not from my personal experience, but still...

 

That said, hang on. After brainwashing has gone on for many years it's unlikely to disappear within a short time.

 

But you can make it. :)

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Welcome dbiss! And thank you for sharing that very sad story with us today. You have been through a lot in your life. You now are free to make all your own choices and I would advise you to never allow yourself near abuse again. At the first sign of abuse from anyone (mental or physical)....run like hell. No one needs to abuse you ever again. And you don't need to abuse yourself anymore either with thoughts of hell.!

 

You will need to work on your self-esteem to be able to get to this point. Low self esteem invites abuse. You need to become 'worthy' in your own mind again. When you are afraid of everything - the whole world has power over you. I was this way for many years.

 

This site will help you to reach some of this goal.There are hundreds of posts to read on these very issues. If you feel too overwhelmed......maybe a good councellor in your area..someone to talk to every now and again about the physical, mental and religious abuse you have suffered.

 

It's ok to still believe in god if that is what your heart needs right now. Many on this site have a good spiritual connection to a 'higher power'. But it must be a god of peace....an entity that will help - not hinder you. Pray to that for the time being. If you stay with us long enough and read, read, read all the posts on the fear of hell - your mind will start to relax a little as you learn where the 'myths' all started, etc.... and things will make a little more sense to you. It is hard for some of us to just simply 'let go'. For me it was a process over time. That's what a lot of my friends told me here in the last year on EX-c. It was staying on this forum that was my greatest help and healing.

 

We are here to help you through this. My strongest suggestion right now, would be to read as much as you can.

 

This is a discussion going on right now on the topic of 'hell'.

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/50823-dealing-with-hell-after-deconverting/page__st__20

 

Hug for you today! Sincerely, Margee

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Thanks guys,

 

Although I've been through so much, I'm a relatively happy person and try to live honestly. I guess my main problem right now is, as I go through my "deconversion", I feel like God was fabricated to me. (Obviously, he was). At the same time, I feel that God himself is a fabrication. I don't know... nothing about it makes sense. Maybe there is a God out there, but certainly not the Christian one. A "perfect" God wouldn't contradict himself in his own book, or give ultimatums such as "believe in me or burn in hell"... At the same time, if you give up God, what about death? What do you all think of the afterlife?

I was reading a girl's post about feeling blank, like there's no meaning in life without this "Christian purpose" we are all raised to believe in... I guess that's how I'm feeling too.

How do ex-christians sort out these thoughts?

My experiences and research have shown me the corruption in Christianity, but the message gave hope, and without it, what do we cling to?

I don't want to sound so weak, I just want to think without the influence of Christianity blocking all thought processes.

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I don't think the people that presented Christianity to you did it as a conscious fabrication. All of our parents just absorbed what they were told without asking the hard questions, probably because of the dire consequences that are preseneted if they do not believe. And the fact that it is all around us and not openly questioned.

 

Those who think the christian message is all a bunch of bullshit just politely get on with their own lives and don't spend much time shouting about how much nonsense it all is.

 

Having said that, your childhood experiences were horrific. There are a few other people on these forums that have been beaten black and blue by their mad christian parents, all in the name of religion. I'm sure they will contact you and share their stories and how they have managed to move on and recover.

 

Welcome! Stick around to hear all the stories and slowly straighten out all the horror in your own mind. It will happen in due course.

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Thanks for sharing your story dbiss, i have heard similar stories to yours too many times, thankfully l never experienced it.

 

Maybe this post will help you, http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/21830-phases-of-deconversion/ it just goes through the phases of deconversion, maybe if you understand what you are going through, it might help you a bit and to know you are not the only one to go through it, might give you some comfort.

 

There are also a lot of great people here that can help you.

 

if you give up God, what about death? What do you all think of the afterlife?

 

I find this funny, Christians say if you don't believe in god, we don't believe in an afterlife, why wouldn't there be an afterlife??? why not reincarnation?? there is a lot in the world/universe that we do not understand, and death is a big one, and that's where religion gets to people, they should have a big sign outside their church 'Afraid of death? don't be, join us and experience everlasting life' they might recruit a few more people But in all seriousness, i believe there is some kind of afterlife, i don't believe the Christian one. And hell who wants to spend everlasting life with a a bunch of Christians??? besides i'd rather go to hell, that's where all the hookers and drugs are, sorry i gotta stop with the jokes.

 

My experiences and research have shown me the corruption in Christianity, but the message gave hope, and without it, what do we cling to?

 

In theory, Christianity sounds great, but as you said, it's corrupt, they prey on peoples fears/weaknesses etc, and that's just plain wrong, it does give a message of hope, but it's a false hope.

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Maybe there is a God out there, but certainly not the Christian one. A "perfect" God wouldn't contradict himself in his own book, or give ultimatums such as "believe in me or burn in hell"...

 

Exactly. Is there a Divine force out there? We cannot know. What if one exists but hides from us? Shouldn't be much of a problem for a deity, no?

Heck, there may be thousands of Divine entities, we just don't perceive it. It's certainly possible.

 

The judeochristislamic monster, however, is so clearly bullshit that it shouldn't demand more than a single moment of thought. If there weren't all those believers you have to deal with...

 

At the same time, if you give up God, what about death? What do you all think of the afterlife? I was reading a girl's post about feeling blank, like there's no meaning in life without this "Christian purpose" we are all raised to believe in... I guess that's how I'm feeling too. How do ex-christians sort out these thoughts?

 

Is there a life after this one? How would we know? Well, actually we will know, one day, each of us individually. Until then, I have this life to deal with and try to life it decently. :)

And... fear of death? Why would anyone fear death? If there's something after death, it may well be better than this. If there's nothing, well, then there can't be any pain or suffering either.

Now, being afraid of the process of dying, especially if it should be a slow painful death, that's another thing ;)

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Thanks guys,

 

Although I've been through so much, I'm a relatively happy person and try to live honestly. I guess my main problem right now is, as I go through my "deconversion", I feel like God was fabricated to me. (Obviously, he was). At the same time, I feel that God himself is a fabrication. I don't know... nothing about it makes sense. Maybe there is a God out there, but certainly not the Christian one. A "perfect" God wouldn't contradict himself in his own book, or give ultimatums such as "believe in me or burn in hell"... At the same time, if you give up God, what about death? What do you all think of the afterlife?

I was reading a girl's post about feeling blank, like there's no meaning in life without this "Christian purpose" we are all raised to believe in... I guess that's how I'm feeling too.

How do ex-christians sort out these thoughts?

My experiences and research have shown me the corruption in Christianity, but the message gave hope, and without it, what do we cling to?

I don't want to sound so weak, I just want to think without the influence of Christianity blocking all thought processes.

 

I once heard someone say something along the lines of "The purpose of life is to make your own purpose." Once you lose that Christian purpose, you need to essentially dream up a new purpose. You keep on living and striving for goals. You can make your purpose out of that or out of a belief you fight for.

 

Have you ever listened to some of the lectures given by Neil DeGrasse Tyson? I find that he makes the lifestyle of the non-believer full of wonder and hope with his words. I highly suggest listening to him some time. Also, there's a series called "Why I am No Longer a Christian" that covers the intellectual side of why a former-fundy lost his faith. He explains how he got over some of your fears.

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Might try a google search for "breaking the fear of hell" or "ending the fear of hell". There are a bunch of links.

 

You could also consider fear of hell to be something akin to OCD and seek treatment. You could also look into why a pagan goddess of the underworld named Hel, which comes from Norse mythology was included in a book about and written by a people who lived in the mideast (thanks to someone here at Ex-c who pointed this out to me). http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Hel_(being)

 

Ask one of the bibilical scholars that are on this site about hell.

 

Check out: http://www.tentmaker.../Chapter14.html

 

Try to empower yourself instead of empowering fears. Disown the fear. Divorce the fear. Destroy the fear. The more you read about why Hell is baloney and integrate this understanding into your being the less power the fear has over you. Become your own authority and life guide. Avoid pro-christian writings and avoid christians if possible.

 

And watch this video:

 

:-)

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Hey dbiss,

 

One of the most beautiful discoveries I ever made was that life is empty and meaningless. It was beautiful because it means that it is up to each of us to find our own meaning, our own purpose. And believe it or not, this is not an entirely unbiblical concept. Though I am an atheist, I would recommend that you read the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible. Looking at it with my unbeliever's eyes, it now reads to me like someone who does not believe in an afterlife. It's about one man's quest to find meaning in life, and the author, who claims to be a son of King David, has the resources to explore all that life had to offer him. He ends up coming to the conclusion that "everything is meaningless." The purpose the author finds for his own life is to "fear God and keep his commandments," but that's what worked for him. You go out and find your own.

 

I think this cartoon, which has gone viral in skeptics' circles, also sums it up nicely.

 

http://zenpencils.com/comic/carl-sagan-make-the-most-of-this-life/

 

Take care.

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I guess my main problem right now is, as I go through my "deconversion", I feel like God was fabricated to me. (Obviously, he was). At the same time, I feel that God himself is a fabrication. I don't know... nothing about it makes sense. Maybe there is a God out there, but certainly not the Christian one. A "perfect" God wouldn't contradict himself in his own book, or give ultimatums such as "believe in me or burn in hell"... At the same time, if you give up God, what about death? What do you all think of the afterlife?

I was reading a girl's post about feeling blank, like there's no meaning in life without this "Christian purpose" we are all raised to believe in... I guess that's how I'm feeling too.

How do ex-christians sort out these thoughts?

My experiences and research have shown me the corruption in Christianity, but the message gave hope, and without it, what do we cling to?

I don't want to sound so weak, I just want to think without the influence of Christianity blocking all thought processes.

 

Welcome to you! You don't sound weak at all. You sound very courageous to me. What a sickening, vile, horrible, cruel, evil woman! What a despicable monster! And to justify her abuse as divinely ordained is nothing more than the sheerest depravity. You went through so much that I'm impressed you're even sane still, much less a gentle and loving soul.

 

I don't really think about the afterlife at all. If there is something after this life, then we have no evidence or proof of what it is currently. Perhaps it's a Judeo-Christian "heaven," but I seriously doubt it. Any idea of heaven or hell I rejected many years ago; no good and loving God would send his own children to hell. Your mother did just that every single day she had you to kick, but truly loving parents would never hurt their children. And heaven sounds supremely boring and nonsensical to me--an eternity with the sort of horrible, judgmental people filling church pews today? Count me out! Any time someone tries to tell me they know what heaven is like, I write them off immediately. None of us knows anything about heaven, so if someone's telling you he does, likely he's about to try to sell you something. Be a wise consumer of woo.

 

I'll say this about hell, or indeed any all-or-nothing, utterly unsupportable gamble like it: any time I feel compelled by my lizard brain to act, any time I feel like if I don't do something I'm going to miss out, any time I act from fear or apprehension, that's a good sign I'm not acting rationally and am making a bad choice under self-created duress. But that exact duress is what Christianity depends on. They say they're all about Jesus' love, but it's really about a fear of eternal torment. That fear was created decades after Christianity's founders died, but one must admit it's done a lot to advance the faith. And that's what Christianity is: a business of sorts; every one of its tenets has a reason for existing, and that reason is to keep people coming in and staying in. It was designed from the ground up to be hard to leave.

 

There are a lot of religious faith systems out there to consider besides just Christianity. Right now, though, you need not feel pressured to do anything at all. Be easy on yourself; rest and take care of yourself. Be welcome.

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Wow... first off I want to whole-heartedly thank you all for your responses. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about making my account here, as I've always been a little intimidated by non-believers. You all have been so warm and understanding, and I wish I had done this sooner.

Reading all of this has ignited a small flame of excitement inside of me. I'm still scared, but now there's a slight undertone of optimism. lol I hope that makes sense.

 

@midniterider, your video was unavailable because Germany has strict restrictions on youtube videos - so annoying!

@zaphod, i loved the comic... got a great laugh out of the ending. thank you.

 

to everyone else, I truly cannot express my gratitude for your kind words. Each of your responses give me hope.

 

I am really looking forward to talking to you all and finding my inner peace and greater purpose.

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I'd just like to add most people here won't force you to choose which direction to go (Christian or Atheist), you're a grown up, you can make that decision yourself, but most people are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so don't be afraid to ask, and remember most of us have been in your situation before (questioning your faith).

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Thanks Riddick...

That's why I like this website so much... I know it's not just people who have never "known" Jesus, but people who have walked away from him, just like me.

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