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Hi everyone!

 

My name is Amy. I did not grow up in a Christian family. My family involves two loving and kind parents, but my dad is a non-practicing Mormon and my mom is an agnostic. Religion was not something that I thought of very much and neither did my parents. My extent of church going was Sunday school a couple times when I was little. In sixth grade, I made up my own mind to be atheist. I learned that there were a bunch of religions in the world, and there was no way any particular one could be correct. Then, I went on with my life.

 

That was about the extent of my religious background.

 

My life was filled with all sorts of other stuff. I loved swimming and still do. I was on summer swim team in middle school. Later, I was on high school swim team and did year round club swimming. My passion for fitness also lead me to finish six triathlons.

 

My family went on lots of fun vacations. We went on cruises to Europe and Alaska. I grew up in Florida and moved to a different state when I was 11. My parents and I traveled back during school breaks, however, to visit my grandparents and stay in our vacation condo.

 

During senior year of high school, I started working at a grocery store. That was the first time I was exposed to religion in any significant way. A friend at work who I later dated for 10 months told me about Jesus. He, like me, grew up in a nonreligious family. He became a Christian at the same age I currently was:18. He struggled with lifelong depression and before he came to Christ. He wanted to take his life. Once he became a Christian, however, he had a newfound hope and did not want to take his life anymore.

 

I had no idea religion could have such an impact on people. Like him, I also struggled with lifelong depression and had thoughts of taking my life. I never felt like I was good enough. I was also really shy which caused everyone at school to pretty much ignore me, making me further feel that I wasn't worth anything.

 

I decided to go to church with him. On Easter Sunday 2010. I "prayed the prayer" and "gave my life to Christ". This was at a Pentecostal church. I did not feel any different but I still kept searching desperately for this hope he had. I read the Bible, listened to Christian speakers on the Internet, and went to as many different churches as I could ( his was pretty far from where I lived).

 

In college, the search did not drop. In fact, it increased exponentially. I moved an hour and a half driving instance from him to go to college. He did not like being that far from me. He was afraid I would cheat on him, even though I told him that I loved him with my whole heart and would never do that. I meant it too. He did not believe me though. 6 weeks into college, even with visits home on the weekend, he broke up with me. On all places, he did it on Facebook.

 

This completely crused me. I struggled with anorexia since I was 9 years old. When he left, I lost 20 pounds. At the end of the year, I could barely walk and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. My depression over the breakup and losing my health led me even deeper to religion. I regained the weight over the summer but the search did not stop.

 

During the total of my college years, I attended about a dozen different churches and was a member of 5 different religious organizations. Something about each one would just feel wrong to me. Instead of realizing religion was not for me, however, I would just try a different religious club. My school is huge, so there were plenty to try. Pentecostal, baptist, non denominational, church of Christ, catholic,etc.

 

Last year about this time, I also begin to read a bunch of religious books. Everything from Joyce Meyer to Systematc Theology textbooks. I also got baptized September of last year. I developed an intense desire to know everything I could about Christianity. In less than a year I had two suitcases full of purchased Christan books. I also had countless others I checked out from the library.

 

No religious group, church, pastor, or book however could really reassure me. About a month and a half ago, I made the mistake of reading a book about Human Trafficking while at the same time, listening to Praise and worship music. " oh, how He loves us...." was playing in my ear while I was reading about current day sex slavery in America. I was reading about people being brutally abused by their pimps while being forced to do things that no human being should ever have to do.

 

I bean to wonder: if God could not answer the prayers of 27 million current day slaves, either forced into labor or sex trafficking, if God could not answer the prayers of those starving to death in Africa or dying of preventable diseases each day, why would he care about, say, my grade on an exam? It just seemed like a narcassistic lie to me.

 

I also wondered about Hell. I don't see how a loving God could send even one person there that He created in His own image; even if they "sinned", which God knew everyone would do before He even created us. I wondered what loving God would send one group of people to heaven and the other to hell, just for believing different things.

 

I also begin to realize Christans were just like everyone else. There are some good people, some not so good people and others that are a mixture of good and bad. Christians do not become "born again' and exhibit special fruits of the holy spirit such as "love, patience, kindness.." that the bile promises.

 

I also have lived this year with three evangelical Christan roommates who are some of the meanest, most judgemental people I have ever met. In January they told me that they did not want me living there next year because I did not do some chores properly and brought my boyfriend over too much ( different guy, I met him last year at church).

 

I have since corrected the chores but still bring my boyfriend over. He comes over a couple times a week. On weekdays he never stays later than 10 and on weekends he is always out by 2:30. He never spends the night.

 

They also don't believe in kissing before marriage. Me and my boyfriend kiss a lot. We always do it in the privacy of my room. We never bother anyone. They have since stopped talking to me. They treat me like I am invisible. It makes me feel like I have been punched in the gut. I am so glad there are only three months left on the lease. I have also heard them say nasty judgemental things about other people too. They said one girl was "not a real Christian" since she has pictures of herself in a bikini on Facebook.

 

Anyways, I am not a Christian anymore. Sorry. That was kind of long. It is time to move on with my life now. I have enjoyed so much freedom not having to force myself to believe something that makes no sense at all. I also feel less numb to life. I m experiencing both more pain and more pleasure since losing my faith.

 

I feel the freedom to sing at the top of my lungs when no one is home. I feel the freedom to dance. I feel the freedom to take in the beauty of the world. I have even got drunk a couple times ;)

 

I also feel so much sadness at the years I have wasted. College is supposed to be some of the greatest times of your life. I have been robbed of three years of it. At least I have learned a lot though. I am going to take advantage of every opportunity next year.

 

I also have made no close friends. All I have done outside of school is church and I have never stayed in one church long enough to relly get to know anyone. I still have tons of health issues too, that need to be taken care of.

 

My greatest challenges for the next year are where I am living: a Campus Crusade for Christ house with nine other girls. That should be interesting! I already signed the lease.

 

I also am trying to hide this newfound lack of faith from my devout Catholic boyfriend. It is just not worth risking the relationship to me. That means I still get to go to mass every week. Yeah...

 

My biggest hopes for the next year are to make friends outside of church, improve my health, and do something to help aleviate world suffering. There are two local organizations which do stuff to help victims of Human Trafficking.

 

It is so nice to have my messy, beautiful life back. It is also such a gift to not have it numbed by the false hope, fears, and lies of Christianity.

 

Best of luck to everyone on this site. I admire all your courage and strength to question your strongly held beliefs.

 

-FloridaGirl

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Welcome to ex-C, FloridaGirl.  Sorry to hear that your S.O. is a devout Catholic.  Hopefully he will change into a mellow Catholic over time.  That is what happened with my wife.  Many Catholics keep their religion just for the culture.  I hope things work out your way.  But if he starts abusing you for your religion then do what you have to in order to protect and respect yourself.

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Hi, FloridaGirl. smile.png I can definitely relate to several aspects of your story. I wasn't brought up in any denomination either, and when the shit would hit the fan at one church, i'd try another one in the three years i spent church hopping. I wasn't ever baptized at any of the churches i sat in on, but i still feel like the past three years were completely wasted on ancient superstition based on a bunch of sick fairy tales.

 

If your experiences in church were anything like mine, you probably dodged a bullet by not sticking around in any one place long enough to try to make friends. I made that mistake at the last one i attended, and the "friends" i thought i made turned out to be some of the worst i've ever had in my whole life. I've written about them in my story. As far as making new friends, you might have some luck if there's an atheists and freethinkers group in your area. I went to a couple of their get-togethers, and i had a great time. In fact, i'm thinking of bringing my old friend with me sometime. It's never been easy for me to make friends either, so i can understand where you're coming from.

 

If your boyfriend is worth his salt, then it won't matter to him whether or not you're religious. If he tells you the relationship is over unless you convert, then you know what you have to do. Any relationship that requires an ultimatum to stay afloat is not worth your time.

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Clinical depression is a medical condition and often responds to medical treatment.  Perhaps seeking appropriate medical treatment will help you.

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Welcome to ExC, FloridaGirl.  I like your reasoning for questioning and ultimately leaving the faith.  They show you have a good thinking and questioning mind.  I am sure it will serve you well.

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Welcome FloridaGirl!

 

I can understand how you feel that Christianity robbed you of three years of your college experience.  However, at least you have one left!  In addition, you have the rest of your youth to enjoy without the chains of religion.

 

If your boyfriend is worth his salt, then it won't matter to him whether or not you're religious. If he tells you the relationship is over unless you convert, then you know what you have to do. Any relationship that requires an ultimatum to stay afloat is not worth your time.

I have to agree with this 10000%.  Hiding your true self from your boyfriend is not a way to make a healthy relationship.  Read what some people here have written about being in marriages with believers.  Please avoid this horror for yourself if possible.

 

Mostly, keep singing and dancing!  yellow.gif  Life is short, but it can be so, so beautiful.

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Guest r3alchild

Amy, I wonder if you posted this thread on a christian forum, what kind of welcome could you expect, would they be as real as the people here?

 

Welcome!

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Hi everyone! :)

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my (long) story of how I became a Christian and then left. You also all brought up really insightful points which I would like to respond to:

 

If your experiences in church were anything like mine, you probably dodged a bullet by not sticking around in any one place long enough to try to make friends. I made that mistake at the last one i attended, and the "friends" i thought i made turned out to be some of the worst i've ever had in my whole life. I've written about them in my story. As far as making new friends, you might have some luck if there's an atheists and freethinkers group in your area. I went to a couple of their get-togethers, and i had a great time. In fact, i'm thinking of bringing my old friend with me sometime. It's never been easy for me to make friends either, so i can understand where you're coming from.

 

If your boyfriend is worth his salt, then it won't matter to him whether or not you're religious. If he tells you the relationship is over unless you convert, then you know what you have to do. Any relationship that requires an ultimatum to stay afloat is not worth your time.

I am so sorry you had such bad experiences in church and am so glad you had a better experience at the freethinkers group. Some church people can be really sweet, but others can be really rude and judgemental. I hope you continue to have lots of fun at the freethinkers club!

 

As for me, I am going to join the swim club at my school next year. I love swimming and the people at the club not only swim, but travel together to meets, and have dinners and parties. It sounds so fun! I only regret that I did not find this group sooner. I am looking forward to doing something I am genuilly interested in, rather than forcing myself to believe in something that makes absolutely no sense to me :)

 

As for my boyfriend, I know I will eventually tell him the truth about what I now believe( simply for the fact that I am a terrible liar) but I am just not ready right now. He is my best friend and so wonderful. I value relationships as much as I value truth and I don't want to lose him. I even asked my agnostic mom for advice on this and she told me to keep quiet so that I don't lose him. My lack of belief in a God is such a small part of who I am. It is strange though how it has almost as much power to destroy a relationship as having an affair would.

 

Clinical depression is a medical condition and often responds to medical treatment.  Perhaps seeking appropriate medical treatment will help you.

I have seen multiple therapists throughout my life. It always makes me feel worse when I talk about my problems, especially when the therapist offers no real solutions that I could not have thought up myself. I don't know. Maybe I have just seen some bad therapists. I can see some situations where it could help people but as for me, it has had no effect and I don't want to spend any more time or money on it. They did give me some medicine that helped me though.

 

Some things that help me feel better , however, are exercise, spending time with people I care about, and helping others. I wish I realized that before I became involved with Christianity. There is no such thing as "God shaped holes" in people's hearts. Religion is really just a placebo that drains you of the energy to enjoy things in life that really matter, and solve real problems which have real solutions.

 

Amy, I wonder if you posted this thread on a christian forum, what kind of welcome could you expect, would they be as real as the people here?

Welcome!

They would most likely try and evangelize me, like any "good Christian" would do. Then when they saw I was not converting, they would get super annoyed :)

 

Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses everyone! If you have other suggestions too, I would love to hear them. I know that by no means, do I have this thing called life figured out :)

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No biggie. My story turned out to be longer than i expected it would be. Anyways, i figure that those awful experiences were probably for the best, otherwise who knows where i'd be right now? They were all proof that the xtian god isn't real, just like all the other gods out there that nobody worships anymore. The good news is that everyone from my short time in xtianity is out of my life. Granted there are decent people in xtianity, unfortunately it's been my experience that they seem to be few and far between. I'm guessing the reason i got more out of the atheists group gatherings is b/c most of them have been there, done that as well. That might be an avenue worth looking into at some point, idk.

Definitely join the swim club! Now that you're out of the toxic and unhealthy environment that are all too often found in church settings, you can fill that time with things that are worthwhile and things you love doing. smile.png

 

Good idea to worry about religion coming up with your boyfriend when the time comes. You've gotta be ready before anything else. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Christopher Hitchens was right, religion poisons everything. It's pretty pathetic how ancient superstition can destroy relationships the way it does, isn't it?

 

Focusing on what really matters in life really puts things in perspective, doesn't it? Will any church be there for you when you're in need? Will they offer any help out of the goodness of their hearts instead of obligation? Nope. Your family and your friends will be there for you, and those relationships are unconditional. I found that getting back in touch with an old friend after life took us in different directions helped immensely, and hanging out with like minded people helped as well. You're right about religion being a total drain on energy that would otherwise be spent with friends and family. I'd come home from church so drained emotionally and mentally destroyed that i wanted to do nothing for the rest of the day.

 

I agree with what might happen if you were to post this on an xtian forum. Either that, or they'll flat out ignore you after attacking you. Saw all those scenarios happen periodically on the xtian forum i used to post at, and when word got around that i was done with xtianity and religion as a whole, the ones i'd message regularly couldn't get away from me fast enough. No loss in the grand scheme of things, i'd say.

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Hi floridagirl

 

welcome to the site I am a newbie as well. while I understand your hesitation to tell your boyfriend a lot of us have had an experience with a loved one being a believer and the other was not. Honesty is the most important thing you can have in a relationship at some point you are going to have to approach him with your feelings. what happens if he wants to marry you? what will you do then of course there is always a rightway and a wrong way to approach the subject so take your time. Also don't get psychiatrist and a therapist confused depression is sometimes a physical disorder of the brain and therapy does not always help with that type of ailment. Its sort of like seeing a therapist for ADHD they can give you game plans to help your day to day life but they are not going to cure the symptoms. Anyways Congratulations on finding this site good luck with your next year of college and make sure to seize the day =Djesus.gif

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Guest r3alchild

Hi everyone! :)

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my (long) story of how I became a Christian and then left. You also all brought up really insightful points which I would like to respond to:

 

 

If your experiences in church were anything like mine, you probably dodged a bullet by not sticking around in any one place long enough to try to make friends. I made that mistake at the last one i attended, and the "friends" i thought i made turned out to be some of the worst i've ever had in my whole life. I've written about them in my story. As far as making new friends, you might have some luck if there's an atheists and freethinkers group in your area. I went to a couple of their get-togethers, and i had a great time. In fact, i'm thinking of bringing my old friend with me sometime. It's never been easy for me to make friends either, so i can understand where you're coming from.

 

If your boyfriend is worth his salt, then it won't matter to him whether or not you're religious. If he tells you the relationship is over unless you convert, then you know what you have to do. Any relationship that requires an ultimatum to stay afloat is not worth your time.

I am so sorry you had such bad experiences in church and am so glad you had a better experience at the freethinkers group. Some church people can be really sweet, but others can be really rude and judgemental. I hope you continue to have lots of fun at the freethinkers club!

 

As for me, I am going to join the swim club at my school next year. I love swimming and the people at the club not only swim, but travel together to meets, and have dinners and parties. It sounds so fun! I only regret that I did not find this group sooner. I am looking forward to doing something I am genuilly interested in, rather than forcing myself to believe in something that makes absolutely no sense to me :)

 

As for my boyfriend, I know I will eventually tell him the truth about what I now believe( simply for the fact that I am a terrible liar) but I am just not ready right now. He is my best friend and so wonderful. I value relationships as much as I value truth and I don't want to lose him. I even asked my agnostic mom for advice on this and she told me to keep quiet so that I don't lose him. My lack of belief in a God is such a small part of who I am. It is strange though how it has almost as much power to destroy a relationship as having an affair would.

 

Clinical depression is a medical condition and often responds to medical treatment. Perhaps seeking appropriate medical treatment will help you.

I have seen multiple therapists throughout my life. It always makes me feel worse when I talk about my problems, especially when the therapist offers no real solutions that I could not have thought up myself. I don't know. Maybe I have just seen some bad therapists. I can see some situations where it could help people but as for me, it has had no effect and I don't want to spend any more time or money on it. They did give me some medicine that helped me though.

 

Some things that help me feel better , however, are exercise, spending time with people I care about, and helping others. I wish I realized that before I became involved with Christianity. There is no such thing as "God shaped holes" in people's hearts. Religion is really just a placebo that drains you of the energy to enjoy things in life that really matter, and solve real problems which have real solutions.

 

Amy, I wonder if you posted this thread on a christian forum, what kind of welcome could you expect, would they be as real as the people here?

Welcome!

They would most likely try and evangelize me, like any "good Christian" would do. Then when they saw I was not converting, they would get super annoyed :)

 

Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses everyone! If you have other suggestions too, I would love to hear them. I know that by no means, do I have this thing called life figured out :)

Yes they would try to convert you and then most would get super upset when you just wanted to be you. It a very sad affair and heart breaking to see people like that afraid of being there raw and faulty selfs. Don't be afraid of yourself because what more can you be in this world.
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Are you sure you want to live in a Campus Crusade house? Having once been in Crusade (or "Cru" as they are now calling it) I can't imagine living with the members without sharing their beliefs. They might let you break the lease if you tell them you're no longer a Christian. Good luck to you and may you have a happy and free senior year!

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Welcome to the forums, FloridaGirl. I have also met a lot of the condescending Christian types. Most of which are within my own family, lol.

 

I know you'll find your browsing experience very fulfilling here. It helps a lot to have a network and community of people who not only won't throw you to the wolves for what you believe (or what you don't) -- but will also encourage you and have your back.

 

I'm glad you've found yourself. Don't let any of those holier-than-thou's rob you of your self-worth. It's not worth getting upset over. I feel more sorry for those types than I do anything... their ego is so threatened by the idea of someone living contrary to their faith that they have to over-zealously defend it. If God is real, he/she/it doesn't need defended, and certainly not by some judgmental college girls.

 

Wish you the best.

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Hi Amy, good to meet you.  No worries about the length of your first post.  Just speaking for myself here, but I joined this forum to learn about fellow ex-Christians' deconversion experiences, and it's always helpful to get as much information as possible.  My own first post the other month was pretty long, if I recall.

 

For the most part our experiences are pretty unique from one another, but there are two areas of similarity.  First, like you I didn't grow up in a Christian home.  I was raised Hindu (and have since returned to this religion).  Secondly, much like you the final stages of my departure from Christianity involved awful Christian roommates.  In my last few months as a Christian, I lived with several other evangelicals who were judgmental in the extreme.  And it wasn't even me they were usually judging!  Ultimately, it wasn't any doctrine or logical fallacy that caused me to leave Christianity, but practicality.  I was sufficiently educated that I knew all about the disparity between the Bible and biology, cosmology, history, etc.  None of that drove me away from Christianity.  Fundamentally, I simply didn't want to live the kind of lifestyle that required me to obey arbitrary rules and judge others on this basis.

 

Incidentally, I hope you don't mind if I, as someone a few years older than you, offer an unsolicited suggestion.  Living with Christians taught me that Christianity is a false religion.  Once you know how truly evil this religion is, living with Christians and obeying their arbitrary rules becomes untenable.  If there's any way you can get out of your lease for next year, I'd strongly recommend you do so.  When I decided that I couldn't be a Christian any longer, I realized that living with those people essentially meant the loss of my freedom.  I couldn't invite non-Christian friends over, I couldn't have my "heathen" family visit, I couldn't easily get out of going to church, etc.  Save yourself some mental anguish and find a way to break the lease.  If I were in this position and had no other option, I'd go so far as to take out a loan to pay them a year's worth of rent, and live alone.  But maybe I'm a bit extreme that way.

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Incidentally, I hope you don't mind if I, as someone a few years older than you, offer an unsolicited suggestion.  Living with Christians taught me that Christianity is a false religion.  Once you know how truly evil this religion is, living with Christians and obeying their arbitrary rules becomes untenable.  If there's any way you can get out of your lease for next year, I'd strongly recommend you do so.  When I decided that I couldn't be a Christian any longer, I realized that living with those people essentially meant the loss of my freedom.  I couldn't invite non-Christian friends over, I couldn't have my "heathen" family visit, I couldn't easily get out of going to church, etc.  Save yourself some mental anguish and find a way to break the lease.  If I were in this position and had no other option, I'd go so far as to take out a loan to pay them a year's worth of rent, and live alone.  But maybe I'm a bit extreme that way.

 

This. If i were you, i'd do whatever it takes to break that lease and be done with them. If they want a reason why, tell them whatever you feel the need to, whether it's that you're no longer xtian or that you found other living arrangements. What Bhim described is probably what's in store for you if you try to duke it out with the Campus Crusade for the school year. Your sanity, well being and your peace of mind are at stake here, and so is what's left of your college years.

 

Could you live in the dorms if they still have something available? Do you have relatives nearby? If so, could that be an option? Could you find a cheap apartment off campus that's close to your classes? The sooner you close the book on the chapter of xtianity in your life, the sooner you can move on with your life.

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This. If i were you, i'd do whatever it takes to break that lease and be done with them. If they want a reason why, tell them whatever you feel the need to, whether it's that you're no longer xtian or that you found other living arrangements. What Bhim described is probably what's in store for you if you try to duke it out with the Campus Crusade for the school year. Your sanity, well being and your peace of mind are at stake here, and so is what's left of your college years.

 

Could you live in the dorms if they still have something available? Do you have relatives nearby? If so, could that be an option? Could you find a cheap apartment off campus that's close to your classes? The sooner you close the book on the chapter of xtianity in your life, the sooner you can move on with your life.

 

What Milesaway mentioned here is extremely important as well.  College is meant to be the best years of a person's life.  One of my deep regrets is that due to being a Christian, I didn't get nearly as much out of these years as I could have.  And I'm not even referring to partying, hooking up, etc. (though that's certainly a good thing too, for those who are into that sort of thing).  College is a great time to meet different types of people, join new activities, advance your future career, maybe even spend a semester abroad.  If you're a Christian, you can forget all of that.

 

Meeting different types of people is out the door since Christians will only allow you to become close friends with other Christians.  They will likely cite the 2 Corinthians passage about being "unequally yoked."  Campus Crusade obligations will take up enough of your time that you won't be able to participate in other, more worthwhile activities (and if you live with Christians, you will be expected to participate in ministry).  As for advancing your career...the way someone in my old church's college ministry put it, "if you're getting all A's in school, you're not witnessing enough."  Evangelical Christianity will take everything from you, drain your resources, and leave you with nothing.

 

I'm not trying to scare you out of your mind, here.  If it's any consolation, it's not like your life will be utterly destroyed.  After all, I wasted my sophomore through senior years (and two years of grad school) on it, and I'm still mentally stable.  But this is time you'll never get back.  I would do almost anything to go back and not waste my college years on Jesus.  He is no savior at all, and isn't worth your time.  Neither are these people from Campus Crusade.

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This. If i were you, i'd do whatever it takes to break that lease and be done with them. If they want a reason why, tell them whatever you feel the need to, whether it's that you're no longer xtian or that you found other living arrangements. What Bhim described is probably what's in store for you if you try to duke it out with the Campus Crusade for the school year. Your sanity, well being and your peace of mind are at stake here, and so is what's left of your college years.

 

Could you live in the dorms if they still have something available? Do you have relatives nearby? If so, could that be an option? Could you find a cheap apartment off campus that's close to your classes? The sooner you close the book on the chapter of xtianity in your life, the sooner you can move on with your life.

 

 

What Milesaway mentioned here is extremely important as well.  College is meant to be the best years of a person's life.  One of my deep regrets is that due to being a Christian, I didn't get nearly as much out of these years as I could have.  And I'm not even referring to partying, hooking up, etc. (though that's certainly a good thing too, for those who are into that sort of thing).  College is a great time to meet different types of people, join new activities, advance your future career, maybe even spend a semester abroad.  If you're a Christian, you can forget all of that.

 

Meeting different types of people is out the door since Christians will only allow you to become close friends with other Christians.  They will likely cite the 2 Corinthians passage about being "unequally yoked."  Campus Crusade obligations will take up enough of your time that you won't be able to participate in other, more worthwhile activities (and if you live with Christians, you will be expected to participate in ministry).  As for advancing your career...the way someone in my old church's college ministry put it, "if you're getting all A's in school, you're not witnessing enough."  Evangelical Christianity will take everything from you, drain your resources, and leave you

 

I'm not trying to scare you out of your mind, here.  If it's any consolation, it's not like your life will be utterly destroyed.  After all, I wasted my sophomore through senior years (and two years of grad school) on it, and I'm still mentally stable.  But this is time you'll never get back.  I would do almost anything to go back and not waste my college years on Jesus.  He is no savior at all, and isn't worth your time.  Neither are these people from Campus Crusade.

Hi again everyone!

 

Thanks for all the advice. I am so sorry for everyone who had to go through difficult situations. Being judged by others is not a good experience for anyone.

 

One thing I forgot to mention about this house is that although it is an evangelical Christian house, not everyone is in Cru, so I do not think they are going to force me to do anything. The others are in other evangelical Christian clubs. I think I am going to go to church on Sundays and not say anything to anyone about my unbeliefnto keep up appearances. The rest of the week, however, I will probably just do swim team.

 

I want to let them think I am a Christian because if I don't, I will never truly get to know anyone. They will all think of me as a sinner wo needs to be converted, and nothing else. That is not anything I want to live with.

 

One of the girls in that house witnessed my baptism. Breaking a lease and /or telling them I am not a Christian just seems like a really jerk thing to do to them.

 

I asked my agnostic mom again for advice on these points you all brought up here. I am more worried about people being judgemental towards me than I am about their religious beliefs. I don't care what a person believes as long as they do not use it as an excuse to be rude to me.

 

My mom said people are judgemental no matter where you go. If I hung out with partiers for instance,they would judge me for not smoking the right amount of weed, I have found the issue of judgemental people no matter where you go to be true in my own experience.

 

My sophomore year of college, I had eight suitemates, all non Christians or non practicing Christians. They were all best friends with each other and pretty much ignored me. I was really sick that year and had to spend a lot of time in bed. I was just recently diagnosed with osteoporosis and had a lot of bone and joint problems. When I was feeling better at the end of the year and wanted to hang out, they did not care at all. I found out they would go to parties all the time with each other and just not invite me.

 

The best thing to do is just not care what people think of you.

 

On a separate note, the part about Jesus not being a savior or worth your time, I totally agree with. I have wasted way too much of my life trying to make nonsensical things make sense in my mind.

 

It is really lonely though knowing that if somebody knew just one thing about you, that would change the entire way they think about you. My boyfriend, my friends. I am just lucky I don't have to worry about family, and that my campus is large enough where I can join clubs not based upon religion. I found that outside of religious groups, the topic of religion comes up very little, if at all.

 

I am also really greatful for this website. Thank you so much for the support everyone!

 

You all are so coregeous and I really admire that.

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True, there's a possibility that not everyone in the Campus Crusade house will be xtian. But is that a risk you're willing to take? It sounds like those who aren't in this particular housing arrangement are in other evangelical clubs, so in other words, their lives still revolve around religion. If you decide to deal with the Campus Crusade house for the school year, word will get out one way or another. Only time will tell how they'll react to your nonbelief, but if they're anything like i'm thinking they are, then they won't react well. 

 

Is keeping up appearances to random strangers really worth your peace of mind? They're gonna notice you not taking part in their activities during the week, and they'll more than likely ask you about it by putting you on the spot. Furthermore, who gives a shit what they think? You can't win with them, and even if you try to, they'll find something to say about it and move the goalposts. You are NOT responsible for them or their behavior after they find out you're no longer identifying as religious. That's all on them. I get that you feel a connection with the one who witnessed your baptism. I get that you feel beholden to her for it. But you're not beholden to her or anyone else in that house. You aren't her gatekeeper, or anyone else's for that matter. Keeping her happy is not your job. You've done nothing wrong. You're not betraying them by breaking that lease, if anything, they betrayed you by selling you a pack of ancient superstitions disguised as "truth," especially if you were at a low point in your life when you got involved with them.

 

You can meet and get to know others without religion. It's not the be-all end-all of finding worthwhile relationships. You did it before xtianity came into your life, and you can do it now through the swim team. Judgmental assholes come from all walks of life, and they don't deserve the time of day from you. You said it yourself, it's best not to care what others think of you. Easier said than done, i know. sad.png

 

I hope those crappy suitemates from sophomore year are out of your life now. I've been around people like that, and it was so miserable! They couldn't be bothered to be there for you when you needed them, and when your health was at a point where you could get out more, they didn't care. How asinine of them. If they're gonna be that selfish, then good riddance to them.

 

My immediate family isn't an issue either. Religious groups weren't even on my radar screen when i went to community college, and the 4 year college i transferred into was big enough that religion wasn't the only game in town, so i can relate. You mentioned that religion hardly ever comes up in the groups that aren't religious based. Stick with those and see what comes of it.

 

Regardless of what living arrangements for next year you go with, we're here. smile.png

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Guest ThereIsNoGod

Hi Florida Girl...I myself have struggled with depression. Like your ex-boyfriend I turned to the christian faith when i got really down, which gave  me some renewment. The christian faith pulled me deeper and deeper into it which led to all sorts of problems, until I broke away from it and tried to get back to where I was just before I entered it. There are thousands of explanations for why religion helps us when we're down, reasons other than "Cause it's all true!!!". I don't necessarily think believing in a God has to be a bad thing. I think the worst thing about all religions is placing utter faith in divine, sacred books like the Bible or the Koran. I think people really have to get over that habit.

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Welcome, Amy! You're a very good writer and I enjoyed reading your story.

 

The others have had some very good advice. The only thing that I would add is to please consider carefully that pretending to be someone you are not can be very damaging to your self-esteem. That's not something you need right now.

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It's interesting to hear from someone who got 'sucked in' to the church during periods of depression! I used to think my belief in God was all that got me through my depression and so he must exist as it had helped me. But when my faith fell away over the last few months and I continued to manage my depression I realised the strength came from within me - I didn't have to stick around because suicides are sinful or from obligation to god - I stuck around because I could, the hope that came when I realised there wasn't an omnipotent being holding my hands during the times I'd struggled on was very empowering as there's always the spectre of it reoccurring hanging over me.

Also the constant churchly haranguing of 'everyone should be happy all the time because we have hope about heaven' probably pushed me down a bit as I felt incapable of hope or happiness and therefore BAD.

Anyway, what I was going to get at is - you've gone through a lot and you're still here and there's your hope, you've proven you don't need a hope in a heaven that may or may not exist. Go you!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Amy, just reading all you have written so far, I love you, girl! I hope you don't mind two pieces of advice from an older lady who has been there, done that.

 

It sounds like you are in a good sized college, probably with a diverse surrounding community. My advice would be to look on meetups.com to find a group of people in your town who will take you in, love you, understand your situation, and give you lots of self worth. (Search for free thinkers, atheists, recovering from religion.) Many of them are been-there-done-that types just like us here, but they will give you face-to-face interaction that you probably crave right now.

 

If I may be so bold... now on to a much touchier (literally) topic. No kissing before marriage -- all I can say is, OMG!  Wendytwitch.gif   Honey, let me tell you... if you wait until marriage to find out that your mate does not fulfill you sexually, you are screwed. (That might be a poor choice of word, lol.) I have been around the block (and the world) many times, and I can tell you that I have had lots of shitty sex.

 

Prepare yourself for some serious TMI... I can tell exciting stories: The Italian movie star in the watery grotto in Capri -- but the sex was just so-so. The bartender in Paris who hooked up with me on the bar after hours -- but the sex was painful (too big). The hotel owner in Naples with the gorgeous villa overlooking the city and whose servants took great care of me -- but the sex was slightly degrading (mild fetishes). The leather store owner in Florence who cooked amazing Italian food for me -- but the sex was painful (young man + viagra = just make it stop already!). The gorgeous model-turned-photographer with the tiny (oh never mind). The drummer in my church praise band who "gets me" but has the worst sex ever (too excited to finish the job before it even starts). Oh my -- yes, I am quite the slut! My former boss with lots of spare cash and a wealthy, powerful wife -- and the sex was fantastic (but, oops... married).

 

My point is that my current husband, after 19 years, still is the only one of my many adventures who gets me going, feels amazing, and gets me to the point where I literally see stars. Every single time, he makes me feel like the Queen Goddess of Love. And yes, I lived with him for 6.5 years before marrying him. Fuck that Christian premarital sex shit.

 

I'm not suggesting you become a floozy like me. (I crack myself up.) But I am suggesting that part of knowing yourself is knowing what satisfies you. Amazing sex is vital to a healthy female body: hormones get flowing, endorphins kick in, stress is relieved, etc. etc. In my opinion, shopping around a bit and "test driving a few cars" to find that perfect compatibility is the healthy way to go. (Assuming you are properly protecting yourself on the obvious health risks, of course. Duh.)

 

I'm going to assume that right now this rambling of mine may be "a bridge too far" for you. No worries. One day your situation may be such that you think back to this crazy lady talking about seeing stars and test driving cars. You don't need anyone's permission to discover your body and your needs, but I will officially give it to you now, if that helps. Be safe (physically, situationally, and emotionally) and be free!

 

You are a beautiful person, and you deserve to be loved and fulfilled in this life.

 

OK, enough of that smutty talk. Are you disgusted or amused at this point?  eek.gif

 

I look forward to hearing how this next year plays out for you. The others above have given you some great points to ponder. I wish you all the best.

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P.S. OK, you might be wondering how I could have been a Christian and had all that sex. Well... It was my release, my rebellion, my naughty adventure, my search for acceptance and attention (yeah, I know).

 

I always imagined that if I were God, I would be offended when the "saving my hoo-hoo for Jesus" types arrive in heaven. "I gave you the greatest physical gift ever... For emotional connection, physical release, and pure enjoyment -- and you ignored and demonized this gift? Are you crazy?!"

 

Hey, we all had to rationalize science with creationism and all kinds of other stuff, so why not sex too?

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... Save yourself some mental anguish and find a way to break the lease.  If I were in this position and had no other option, I'd go so far as to take out a loan to pay them a year's worth of rent, and live alone.  But maybe I'm a bit extreme that way.

 

I'm a bit extreme that way, too. I think living in a Campus Crusade house with fundigelicals would be hell.

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