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Goodbye Jesus

Committing Forum Suicide, What Is Different This Time?


freeasabird

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I'm not sure how this is going to come out so it's probably going to be a bunch of babbling, please try and stick with me.

 

I've been on a variety of different internet forums. Whenever I get really interested in something I join a forum, maybe last for 3-6 months, devour all the information available, and move on. Wrist watch forums, running forum, flashlights, aquarium forums. They have all come and gone. I got what I needed, participated and contributed for a while, and when it started to get old I left. I know there is value in staying. If everyone did what I do then there'd be no one to welcome and educate the new people, but it's just not who I am. Sorry.

 

It's nothing new, I'm sure it happens all the time with many people. But something here is different. I haven't let go. I've soaked up more info than I can possibly imagine. I've watched literally hundreds of atheist Youtube videos. I can say with all honestly that I think I've seen literally every video featuring any of the four horsemen. In less than a year I have listened to the past 3 years of the Atheist Experience podcast, as well as every episode ever made by The Thinking Atheist, Godless Bitches, Ask an Atheist, and Living After Faith. I have caught up on decades of missed and ignored science education and now also stay up to date on the latest groundbreaking news of human evolution. I still give a fair shot to the criticism by checking out the latest in apologetics. In fact I just got nostalgic this morning and found that my old regular church - the one that really got me hooked around the age of 20 - has a podcast. I started listening to them trying to give it an honest shot and it just sounded like brainwashing. I was even at Catholic service yesterday for my niece's first communion. Every word said or sung just oozed with fear of death, which I am over.

 

I don't want to leave you all, but I feel like I need to let go in order to get closure. I feel the need to purge my youtube and podcast subs, and 'unlike' all these wonderful friends and pages I've found on facebook. But I just can't see doing it yet. I let go so easily at first during my deconversion, maybe it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought.

 

What is going on in my head? Why is this so difficult? Religion simply does not affect my life. I don't deal with anywhere near what you all deal with on facebook or in your personal lives. Nobody I know posts anything more than the occasional random bible verse or 'praise gawd', certainly nothing against gays, abortion, atheism, etc. I'm not going to become some public face of atheism. I don't make videos, I have no media skills. Now while I did make an outline for a book (just to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper), I'm certainly not a writer and that's why it never got further than just an outline. My wife is firmly done with Christianity and not even showing any more inkling of wanting him to go to private school. My half of my family is about as secular as is gets, and my wife's half is pretty good at keeping their religion to themselves. In essence, I have little belief that anything I do in terms of sharing my disbelief will every have any positive impact on anyone. Everyone I know that knows I no longer believe pretty much doesn't care, but taking it any further and going militant will convert no one into anything except my enemy.

 

I know Xianity is false. That much is clear. I am also open to there being a god. My wife thought at one time that atheism meant being closed to god and rebelious, and while that may be true for some, it's not for me. I just follow the evidence and that is in fact what brought me to where I am now. Anyone who reads my extimony knows I am a very dry evidentialist, and it would only be evidence which would lead me elsewhere. I know the Christian would say this is god trying to pull me back, but if I did have any creator who wrote didly squat on my heart, he knows exactly what it would take to convince me of the truth and it ain't anywhere in Xianity or the bible.

 

So why can't I just let go? Am I fucked up or do I just need more time? I am still mad at religion, that is probably true. I have not yet made peace with the fact that it brainwashes people. To loosely quote Hitchens, religion creates people sick and then commands them to be well. I hate that I have loved ones who are brainwashed. But what can I do about it? My answer thus far has been nothing; if people care about answers they have to find them for themselves. "I cannot tell you what the Matrix is...."

 

What else do I need to do in order to be done with this and just move on with my life?

 

ps, I love you all and I don't want to leave, but as explained just feel like I must. Please understand (as I'm sure you do) where I'm coming from.

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Perhaps this forum has become more than just a phase or fad for you? I know that for me, I've become so attached to the people here and the conversations I have that I can't imagine leaving. I'm like you in the sense that I forum surf when I'm into different things. As of the 30th, I will have been here 6 months.

 

I'm a little confused on your feelings about this forum. You sound like you desperately want to break away from it because you don't think you need it anymore, but something inside is just keeping you here. Is it necessary to break away? Do you find comfort knowing that this forum is always here or do you feel like it is a past part of yourself that is preventing you from moving on with life?

 

Sorry to answer questions with questions, I guess I just don't understand the feelings behind wanting to leave as I just can't fathom it.

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Perhaps this forum has become more than just a phase or fad for you? I know that for me, I've become so attached to the people here and the conversations I have that I can't imagine leaving. I'm like you in the sense that I forum surf when I'm into different things. As of the 30th, I will have been here 6 months.

 

I'm a little confused on your feelings about this forum. You sound like you desperately want to break away from it because you don't think you need it anymore, but something inside is just keeping you here. Is it necessary to break away? Do you find comfort knowing that this forum is always here or do you feel like it is a past part of yourself that is preventing you from moving on with life?

 

Sorry to answer questions with questions, I guess I just don't understand the feelings behind wanting to leave as I just can't fathom it.

 

Good questions, and thank you for them. I knew I was going to ramble some and my point might not have quite been explained well, but I like it here. I like the people. I like the conversation and debate. But on some level I feel like it's not healthy for me to continue to be saturated in 'this'. Hmm, now you got me thinking some more. This is my only non-believer forum I'm on. I'm not on Atheist Nexus ot The Thinking Atheist, or any others. So what I'm getting at I guess is that while this forum is not focused so much on the anti-religion negativity as some others, many of my pocasts and FB pages are. Not to say they are really anti religion, just that they expose so much of the negative side of religion that I would otherwise not see. For example the one from the Guardian which I posted on a couple days ago, that news article about the girl being acused of witchcraft - while relavant - was not in mainstream media and which I would have never seen if not for one of my atheist feeds having shared it on FB. And it's that kind of stuff that grinds my gears and gets me all pissed off which is not healthy for me. And then it leads me to go repost it on FB which strains my relationships with real people, when I cannot and never will be able to do jack shit about anything that happens like this on the other side of the world.

 

Does that help to explain what's going on a little better?

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I guess one more point on the last since I probably didn't wrap up that thought, it's not about this board per say, but rather the whole ex-c/non-believer/atheist/agnostic community. I don't know whether I can let go of the bad while keeping the good. Hopefully that helps a little more.

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Hi Free,

 

I honor you with my 300th post Cryotanknotworthy.gif Just kidding :)

 

I understand the urge to move on in general. 2Honest and I are nomads. We never lasted in any church more than three years. We have lived in our current home for 4 years and that is the longest we have lasted in any home. We will move in the next year to a new house/town/state/country. Who knows?

 

Your desire may just be from boredom, but relationships should (in my opinion) be different. Perhaps you first embraced this forum purely for education and intellectual stimulation, and then became emotionally attached? This is not a bad thing but probably something that you did not expect?

 

If so, then perhaps you are experiencing a sort of cognitive dissonance, i.e. your expectation versus the reality of what this board has become for you. The way to resolve it is either to confirm your expectation and leave...or change your expectation and stick around. Personally, I think it's better to stick around when at all possible when it comes to friends, but we will certainly respect your decision whatever it is.

 

I hope that's helpful :shrug:

 

Jason

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So you're tired of beating the dead horse and it's time to move on. Farewell!

 

Religion doesn't bother me in any way (except when they attempt to write it into law), I don't need "closure" and I don't wish to foist my beliefs (correct as they are) on others. I just like some of the people here and I enjoy some of the conversations on various topics so I stay. If I ever happen to contribute anything useful, that's a bonus.

 

Everyone's different, so fly, fly away free bird!

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Everyone's different, so fly, fly away free bird!

 

On a side note: Awhile back, for a moment, I thought of sending Skynyrd's Free Bird to my former pastor wink.png

 

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Hi Free,

 

I honor you with my 300th post Cryotanknotworthy.gif Just kidding smile.png

 

I understand the urge to move on in general. 2Honest and I are nomads. We never lasted in any church more than three years. We have lived in our current home for 4 years and that is the longest we have lasted in any home. We will move in the next year to a new house/town/state/country. Who knows?

 

Your desire may just be from boredom, but relationships should (in my opinion) be different. Perhaps you first embraced this forum purely for education and intellectual stimulation, and then became emotionally attached? This is not a bad thing but probably something that you did not expect?

 

If so, then perhaps you are experiencing a sort of cognitive dissonance, i.e. your expectation versus the reality of what this board has become for you. The way to resolve it is either to confirm your expectation and leave...or change your expectation and stick around. Personally, I think it's better to stick around when at all possible when it comes to friends, but we will certainly respect your decision whatever it is.

 

I hope that's helpful Wendyshrug.gif

 

Jason

 

All good points, thank you. Maybe your family is due for a move to STL?

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Maybe your family is due for a move to STL?

 

We are going next summer to check out most of Europe and especially the Greek islands, so I'm thinking STL won't make the cut ;)

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Thanks again for all the responses so far. Just to recap, this forum is awesome. In fact I'd like to meet a lot of the people here in person and I hope to stay here for the long term (notice how I haven't left yet and keep finding reasons to start threads and participate). I just need to figure out for myself how to move forward without religion and what if any parts of that process I can keep, and which I must abandon to maintain my own sanity.

 

And since my forum writing style is always a little weak on the emoticons, I'll throw in some just for good measure.

 

smileybreasts.gifWendyshrug.gifWendystop.gifWendytwitch.gifWendywhatever.gifyellow.gifzDuivel2.gifzDuivel2.gifzDuivel7.gif10.gifbattle.gifbattle.gifeek.gifGONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gifhappydance.gif

 

ps. I wanted to do more but it wouldn't let meangry.png .

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Free, I'll miss you if you go permanently. I like reading what you post. You've almost been here for a whole year. That's pretty dedicated! I've seen me make long posts to people (which take me an hour to do!!) and hear from them 2 more times. So you've done good to stay for a whole year!

 

Why leave permanently? Live your new life that you gained from EX-c, get some new hobbies, enjoy everything you can, and come back once a month (or whenever you may need us! biggrin.png ) and check out all the different posts, do a little reading and say hi to us! We will be sure to get excited to hear from you!!yellow.gif We'll always be here for for you!!

Another reason to come back and visit is because you like us so much!! happydance.gif

I call EX-c ......'EX-citing' ! Gawd, if you wanna get recipes on this site you can get them!! There's always so much to do on this site....you tubes, documentries, funny stuff, links to great articles......

 

What other site offers a private sex room??firedevil.gif

 

 

Free, ya never stop learning.....Just drop in for a beer every now and again!! 68.gif Hug for you today!!

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Thanks again for all the responses so far. Just to recap, this forum is awesome. In fact I'd like to meet a lot of the people here in person and I hope to stay here for the long term (notice how I haven't left yet and keep finding reasons to start threads and participate). I just need to figure out for myself how to move forward without religion and what if any parts of that process I can keep, and which I must abandon to maintain my own sanity.

 

I left Ex-C for 6 years. It had nothing to do with the forum, the members or religion. I came back because I knew this forum has some good people here, and it attracts some great people as well.

 

Sometimes taking a break from any association with any type of religion can give you a better perspective. Don't think of it as goodbye forever. Maybe just a short break will help, a month, 6 months? Maybe just a week or two. 6 years was a bit too long for me though.

 

There is a great support system here and that is a great reason to stay if you feel like you are not in a place of closure.

 

I actually don't come here for the religion talk. I just like the people. And the fact that no one is constantly saying "god bless you" or their signature is "all things are possible with god" makes me really happy. :):D

 

Personally I would suggest a short break to see how you feel. Then maybe assess your long term feelings on it. Maybe take the middle road? Just a thought. :)

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Over the past 5 years, I've been on and off the forum many times, just because sometimes I needed it and sometimes I didn't. I check in about once a month now. Feel free to come back for a visit anytime!

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Guest Valk0010

I left from about june of 2011 to october of that year. It was good for me to get away from this sort of thing. Your welcome in my book whenever you decide to come back.

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I stay for the people and the intelligent conversation. I am past the Christian thing for the most part. Do whatever you like.

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I thank you all for helping me get some perspective on the issue. I got home from work, pulled up Facebook, removed nearly every atheist/secular page, and unsubscribed from almost all the 'famous' atheist individuals I had friended over the last year.

 

Ahh, that actually feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I think it gives me renewed interest to maintain a presence here. Woo hoo, Jesus dance!!(no emos on iPhone boo hoo)

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I think this site serves different purposes for different people--and that truly is the 'beauty' of it. When I first came to Ex-C this past summer, it was a place to which I crawled on bleeding knees, seeking the company of others who have been shoved off of the cliff of Christianity by reason or experience. I still laugh at some of the crazy things I've read ("Dear Joyce. What happened to your face?" springs to mind...) and it's so refreshing, because my in-laws love Joyce Meyers. I came here for solace. Then, I came here to laugh. But I always come with the view in mind to help another person through this difficult journey.

 

That, and the fact that I am addicted to the site and find such comfort in being with like minded people. Did I mention I have a problem with excess? lol....or not..... blush.png

 

Whatever you decide, it's up to you. But it is nice that you let us know what's up. Sometimes I wonder what happened to people (they didn't get a life did they???? blush.png ). Glad you're well and moving on!

 

Peace!

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I thank you all for helping me get some perspective on the issue. I got home from work, pulled up Facebook, removed nearly every atheist/secular page, and unsubscribed from almost all the 'famous' atheist individuals I had friended over the last year.

Change is good. Sometimes I get the 'urge to purge' too. smile.png

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I thank you all for helping me get some perspective on the issue. I got home from work, pulled up Facebook, removed nearly every atheist/secular page, and unsubscribed from almost all the 'famous' atheist individuals I had friended over the last year.

 

Ahh, that actually feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I think it gives me renewed interest to maintain a presence here. Woo hoo, Jesus dance!!(no emos on iPhone boo hoo)

 

Sounds like you were immersed in the stuff, which perhaps began to feel like a new religion for you. Immersion was probably what you needed for a while, but since you are generally healthy, once you had your needs met, it began to feel weird. Like others, this place is just my hang out. I've visited atheist boards, but for whatever reason, never felt connected. This is the only board I feel connected and since I'm an expat, it serves as a connection to my own culture too.

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When I came here on the 1st of November last year, I was just-deconverted and thinking, "now what?" After sorting out the theological issues I had, this forum became a place to learn- I can't say how much I appreciate the science forum! But there is more to it than that, for me- I am hopelessly fascinated by people, and the people on this forum are hopelessly fascinating. I have never before come across such an interesting and diverse mix of people, and from an academic standpoint this forum has helped me immensely. It is a place where I can discuss what I am learning, ask questions... you might have guessed that my degree has a strong sociological component.

 

I also have a profound respect for some of the very formidable intellects I find on this forum, and the highly original thought processes many people here display. You all have much to teach me, and I am not happy unless I am learning. As a teenager I used to sneak into university lectures. I know I'm weird, but I spent my childhood being not allowed to question or learn, so I cherish it above all else. But the conversations I have on here I don't really get to have in real life. I don't fit in and I don't belong. But I do here. On this forum, my gender, age, and appearance mean nothing- only my thoughts do. So I'll be sticking around for some time yet.

 

As for you, freeasabird, my dad gives me the same advice every time I face a difficult decision; he always tells me that you don't know if the decision you make is the right one until you make it. And he says that, if you then find that you made the wrong decision, most of the time you can go back and change it to the right decision. When you make your decision, you will soon know if it was the right one for you or not. Either way, we'll still be here :)

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I don't fit in and I don't belong.

 

Nope, sorry, wrong answer. NEVER think this again. You DO fit in and you DO belong in the real world. And anyone in the real world (or even online), that wants you to feel that way is someone who does not fit in.

 

Every one of us has something to share with the world. We are all a part of the human race. We all belong to humanity.

 

Don't devalue yourself.

 

And that advice goes to the rest of you lot as well. No one needs to fit in. Just BE. Be you.

 

I personally place extreme value on anyone who are themselves. Be real, be authentic.

 

Ok, off my soap box.

 

<hugs BP> biggrin.png

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I don't fit in and I don't belong.

 

Nope, sorry, wrong answer. NEVER think this again. You DO fit in and you DO belong in the real world. And anyone in the real world (or even online), that wants you to feel that way is someone who does not fit in.

 

Every one of us has something to share with the world. We are all a part of the human race. We all belong to humanity.

 

Don't devalue yourself.

 

And that advice goes to the rest of you lot as well. No one needs to fit in. Just BE. Be you.

 

I personally place extreme value on anyone who are themselves. Be real, be authentic.

 

Ok, off my soap box.

 

<hugs BP> biggrin.png

 

Thanks London kiss.gif

 

I never really had much of a choice in accepting my weirdness. As a teenager I tried to fit in, but eventually I just gave up. I never understood fashion. The only shoes I was interested in were Doc Martens. Finally, a couple of years ago, I got a tattoo going halfway up my right forearm. For me, it is a symbol: accept me as I am, or not at all.

 

The first time I went out with my fiancee, I was trying to work out what to wear. I saw my Docs, and I thought, fuck it, if he doesn't like them, then he's not worth my time. I only wear 14-eyelets, too, these days. I chucked on a black skirt, top, and tied a pink scarf in my hair, and I thought to myself, this is me. Ironically, he thought I looked totally hot lol. I was done with looking pretty that night. "Pretty" just isn't me :)

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Guest Valk0010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glUFjjkYuAk



Ohh and on another point if you need it.

Outside of some of my family, I have never met kinder people in my life, then I had on this forum. Margee vouched for that in another thread.


I think the mods would get a little concerned if any of us started going off the deep end. I mean...look through the posts.....we have almost suicide letters here at EX-c. They are scary.....these are our friends.Wendytwitch.gif

Speaking from experience, being on of those people who wrote one of those letters and by what this forum did for me. I can say that with all honesty this place helped for real save my life.

It is never said enough, thank you, han's, kev, antlerman and dave, for putting up with all the bullshit of this site. It has helped me in ways I could never adequately repay. This place is my second home, and in many ways my mental and intellectual home. I love it here and don't intend to ever leave permanently. Thank you exchristian.net for just being around and so so much more.
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...my dad gives me the same advice every time I face a difficult decision; he always tells me that you don't know if the decision you make is the right one until you make it. And he says that, if you then find that you made the wrong decision, most of the time you can go back and change it to the right decision. When you make your decision, you will soon know if it was the right one for you or not.

 

THAT is some great advice -- advice I need to remember!

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I thank you all for helping me get some perspective on the issue. I got home from work, pulled up Facebook, removed nearly every atheist/secular page, and unsubscribed from almost all the 'famous' atheist individuals I had friended over the last year.

 

Ahh, that actually feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I think it gives me renewed interest to maintain a presence here. Woo hoo, Jesus dance!!(no emos on iPhone boo hoo)

 

Sounds like you were immersed in the stuff, which perhaps began to feel like a new religion for you. Immersion was probably what you needed for a while, but since you are generally healthy, once you had your needs met, it began to feel weird. Like others, this place is just my hang out. I've visited atheist boards, but for whatever reason, never felt connected. This is the only board I feel connected and since I'm an expat, it serves as a connection to my own culture too.

 

Bingo.

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