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It's Official, Christianity Screwed Me Up


wanderinstar
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Sorry if I seem to keep repeating this issue but it has hit me fresh today. My therapist said to me that he believes the reason I never recovered from my breakdown in 1998 is because the church both prevented me from receiving proper professional treatment and also severely re-traumatized me while trying to 'heal' me of years of sexual abuse as a child. Here I am, in my late 30's, still experiencing PTSD from my childhood and suffering from Fibromyalgia. In the last three years of receiving proper treatment I have made a lot of progress and have also seen many people in their teens or twenties make a huge amount of progress. While I am extremely grateful for my current treatment and progress it really burns me that I have wasted 15 years of my life. Not only wasted it but come out much worse off for it. During that time I sincerely followed my faith as best I could, sought help from pastors & elders and followed what they taught me. It was all in vain.

 

I know many of you will say (in effect) put the past behind you, work with what you have and move on. This is what I am trying to do but it really seems like I am f*cked up for good. Every day I give 100% to move forwards with my life by building a future. I am a fighter, always have been. With my physical health really poor at times I am trying to set up a career that will work around the days I am unable to work. Some days, like today, I just feel so damn broken I doubt I will find a life worth living.  I don't want pity, just room to vent. Seeing what religion has done to my life and the lives of others around me almost turns me into an anti-theist. A little hard to be that when most of your friends are christians. My therapist was lamenting the fact that it is impossible to prosecute the church for what they did to me due to 'freedom of religion' laws. He said anyone else offering 'counselling' without proper qualifications would be shut down but the church is allowed to freely emotionally abuse people while also preventing them from seeking proper treatment. It is sickening. I want to punch the christians who 'counselled' me. Instead I am getting drunk. 

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Guest r3alchild

Who says you have to put your past behind you, maybe you heal by moving backwards. Who knows? Its only scary when you don't know yourself.

 

So,

 

Fuck god

Fuck the world

But don't fuck yourself

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I don't know you so it might not be my place to say this, I know you came to vent and not for reassurance but - maybe you won't ever completely 100% mentally perfect, and getting through life with all your issues will require great strength and resilience, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to make great things of it, none of us get through life unscathed, I know your scars probably run deeper than any others, but while they might hurt you they're testament to what you've managed to endure. Someone who's lost an arm isn't any less of a person, much like the things in your past that you feel have damaged you don't make you any less of who you are! You are a fighter and you've come this far and that's something to be proud about!

I know me telling you all this probably won't make much difference, but I've seen so much stupid, careless mishandling of mental problems and (especially sexual) abuse within the church that it makes me angrrrryyyy and want to shout over it, I've seen pastors telling people that God's reaction to past abuse is to 'wash them clean', when it never made them sinful in the first place, what so God just puts his fingers in his ears and goes 'lalallaaa that terrible thing didn't happennn'?. And congregation's passive acceptance of their churches proliferating myths about mental illness because if they have a bible it's a valid replacement for a simple psychology textbook (You can think your way out of depression by focusing on Jesus's love!).

It's a wonder this religion hasn't turned you into a gibbering mess.

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Sorry if I seem to keep repeating this issue but it has hit me fresh today. My therapist said to me that he believes the reason I never recovered from my breakdown in 1998 is because the church both prevented me from receiving proper professional treatment and also severely re-traumatized me while trying to 'heal' me of years of sexual abuse as a child. Here I am, in my late 30's, still experiencing PTSD from my childhood and suffering from Fibromyalgia. In the last three years of receiving proper treatment I have made a lot of progress and have also seen many people in their teens or twenties make a huge amount of progress. While I am extremely grateful for my current treatment and progress it really burns me that I have wasted 15 years of my life. Not only wasted it but come out much worse off for it. During that time I sincerely followed my faith as best I could, sought help from pastors & elders and followed what they taught me. It was all in vain.

 

I know many of you will say (in effect) put the past behind you, work with what you have and move on. This is what I am trying to do but it really seems like I am f*cked up for good. Every day I give 100% to move forwards with my life by building a future. I am a fighter, always have been. With my physical health really poor at times I am trying to set up a career that will work around the days I am unable to work. Some days, like today, I just feel so damn broken I doubt I will find a life worth living.  I don't want pity, just room to vent. Seeing what religion has done to my life and the lives of others around me almost turns me into an anti-theist. A little hard to be that when most of your friends are christians. My therapist was lamenting the fact that it is impossible to prosecute the church for what they did to me due to 'freedom of religion' laws. He said anyone else offering 'counselling' without proper qualifications would be shut down but the church is allowed to freely emotionally abuse people while also preventing them from seeking proper treatment. It is sickening. I want to punch the christians who 'counselled' me. Instead I am getting drunk. 

My heart goes out to you. I am 're-experiencing' trauma I went through 14 years ago - that I thought I had 'gotten through and out behind me'. You are NOT fucked up for good... those of us who've been through hell have so much to give others.. compassion for one. We KNOW not to be judgmental, and we know to listen and VALIDATE others, and that is a very rare and precious gift we can give.

 

I am unable to work at the moment too... though I'm moving towards getting back. I have to modify my expectations of myself though - because there are things I can no longer do, because of anxiety (unless I want to drug myself into zombie-land)

 

Religious people without credentials have NO business counselling anyone.. and they should be held accountable! Fuckers! Anger is empowering and cleansing.. you have a right to be as angry as you want and need to be.. use that for motivation and energy.

 

I'm 47 now.. and I grieve the time lost because there are opportunities and things I no longer have the time to do.. I get it wanderingstar... and I cry for you too as well as myself.

 

BUT! As long as we are alive there is hope... and we can still have a good life - I'm finding the secret is this (I took out the 'god' word, but the sentiment is still good)

 

"Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I Cannot Change,

The Courage to Change the things I Can,

and the Wisdom to Know the Difference."

 

The grant me part is to myself - because I know it's within me to develop the skills and wisdom I need to navigate this world.. and help is out there.

 

Huge hugs to you... there will be healing!  :)

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Stop reading my posts and telling my parents. This site is supposed to be confidential. You're a jerk and a jack ass whoever you are. Thanks also for hurting my folks. Good Christian actions. NOT.

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You tell us about it as often as you need.  Yes, that sounds like Christian church.  Fibromyalgia sucks.  

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Ugh. Fibromyalgia sucks. I have several friends with this diagnosis. Recovering from religion is hard, too.

 

I too have been ill for the past 8-10 years, but have found (without God--no help there) the major root cause (which is physiological, not psychological/spiritual like the church told me) so I am feeling way better--110% even!

 

Keep walking, sister. It gets better. It sounds like you are receiving good therapy. Be kind to yourself. Please keep us posted--we care!

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Wow. thanks so much for your support. It is truly wonderful, the support we can find on this site. A testament to the christian gods total absence in this world as this kind of acceptance was impossible to find when christian. This morning I still feel the urge to call for a tactical nuclear strike against christianity but I will restrain myself and try to direct my anger more positively. I have just over two weeks left until I finish the semester at university (p/t) and have two assignments and two exams to complete. It has been a tough semester as I had to end my marriage (we were already separated) and deal with my ex's reaction, which was incredibly painful (he is very unwell mentally but has little insight into how his behavior effects others). And now my physical health has crashed due to the extra physical & mental exertion. Yes, Fibromyalgia sucks. Just when you think you might be getting better you crash and feel like hell again. It is very discouraging when I am only doing half time at university and not working. My body really cannot handle much anymore. Still, I now have to pull myself together and get through the next few weeks. Even though I feel like hiding in my bed. To all above who also suffer from a physical and/or mental illness, my heart goes out to you.

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A testament to the christian gods total absence in this world as this kind of acceptance was impossible to find when christian.

I agree so much!

It's funny, if I was still a Christian I'd say God had bought me and others going through similar things to me together in this forum so we could support each other, I haven't been here long but long enough to see how much help it is to people hurt from their brushes with religion.

Which pretty much says it all really.

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Yeah, trying to find this kind of support and affirmation in xtianity is like finding a needle in a dozen haystacks only to find out later the needle was never there to begin with. Any "help" (and i use that word VERY loosely in this case) from a church amounts to using a band aid for a gaping wound  b/c they're almost never qualified. In other words, their help is worthless, and that's assuming you can get anyone to validate what you're describing instead of blaming you and being dismissive about it. It's also a testament to how much of a sham xtianity really is, nothing but selfishness, empty promises and lifelong empty threats.

 

Health problems suck, big time. So does PTSD. The therapist i saw during my senior year of high school gave me an informal diagnosis as she wasn't a doctor, and that was 9 years ago, and we never really pursued it after that as other things came up at the time. It's like a two steps forward, one step back kind of deal the way i figure it. Eventually you figure out a way to live with it. You do what you can in order to get through the day.

 

I'm not gonna tell you to put the past behind you and move on, or anything of the kind. It's not that easy, and it's a million times easier said than done.

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Yeah, trying to find this kind of support and affirmation in xtianity is like finding a needle in a dozen haystacks only to find out later the needle was never there to begin with. Any "help" (and i use that word VERY loosely in this case) from a church amounts to using a band aid for a gaping wound  b/c they're almost never qualified. In other words, their help is worthless, and that's assuming you can get anyone to validate what you're describing instead of blaming you and being dismissive about it. It's also a testament to how much of a sham xtianity really is, nothing but selfishness, empty promises and lifelong empty threats.

 

When I was a Christian my first duty was to determine if somebody else had the right beliefs.  So I had to get all caught up in that before I could help them or be friends with them.  Of course I told myself that I wasn't judging them but it really is judging.  There were a number of people who needed me and I was obsessed with the fact that they went to the "wrong" church.

 

Then if they happened to have all the right beliefs and went to the right church then I had to run my support and concern through the filter of dogma.  I can totally relate to what wanderinstar says about Christian theology making real problems worse.  If you need to let some emotional hang up go that is just too bad because the pastor needs you to keep that baggage so you will give him more money every week.

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I noticed that you mentioned that many of your friends are christian. you may want to get out and try to broaden your circle. I know how xtians talk and try to bring us back into the madness or make you feel like you are wrong. so that may be part of what is keeping you back. if you cant vent in a safe place to people that know you and are close to you that can also be a problem. just stay strong and know that you are doing the best you can. you have your life to live and to try and be happy! 

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I noticed that you mentioned that many of your friends are christian. you may want to get out and try to broaden your circle. I know how xtians talk and try to bring us back into the madness or make you feel like you are wrong. so that may be part of what is keeping you back. if you cant vent in a safe place to people that know you and are close to you that can also be a problem. just stay strong and know that you are doing the best you can. you have your life to live and to try and be happy! 

 

This. Are your xtian friends aware of what you're dealing with? If so, are they willing to stand by you? Have they been there for you in the past? If not, then maybe some new friends are in order. See if there are any atheists or freethinkers groups on campus, and give them a try. Quality friendships are some of the best things in life, and there's no sense wasting your time and energy investing in so-called "friends" who only waltz into your life when it's convenient for them.

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'When I was a Christian my first duty was to determine if somebody else had the right beliefs.  So I had to get all caught up in that before I could help them or be friends with them.  Of course I told myself that I wasn't judging them but it really is judging.  There were a number of people who needed me and I was obsessed with the fact that they went to the "wrong" church.'

 

This. It is with deep regret I remember the people I didn't help, or simply accept, due to to  the fact that my vision was clouded by dogma. Looking back I can see so clearly how christianity isolates people, rather than connecting them (which is what it boasts).

 

As for new friends, I must say I agree I do need some. I have one non-christian friend I am close too, and have been for almost twenty years. Recently I have made a new acquaintance who lives in the flats I live at. He is a non-christian but he is not someone who I can imagine would understand religion as he has never had any spirituality as he never really thought about it. He is a kind a friend you simply have fun with over a few drinks, and I am glad I have him. Making friends I can be real with is something I have not had the energy for. It takes all of my being to get through each day without becoming dangerously depressed. I have major trust issues too related to friends and intimate relationships. I can be a fun person in a group, very engaging and easy to talk to but I am not in the place where I can get closer to people. My close christian friends all know what I have been through and are supportive - but of course it was that 'other' christianity that hurt me. They are very angry at those churches on my behalf but of course have to shelter themselves from the reality that ALL churches are responsible. To their credit they do not try to woo me back to christ and out of respect I have not hit them with facts that could destroy their faith. Still, it is very tough because I can't really talk much about it with them so they honestly don't know just how badly their religion screwed me up. Going through a divorce on top of all this is crushing. I feel like I have lost almost all that I used to hold so dearly. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be free of christianity and I know that despite our love my husband was someone I could not live with without losing myself. I guess I just haven't replaced these relationships or properly grieved their loss yet.

 

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'When I was a Christian my first duty was to determine if somebody else had the right beliefs.  So I had to get all caught up in that before I could help them or be friends with them.  Of course I told myself that I wasn't judging them but it really is judging.  There were a number of people who needed me and I was obsessed with the fact that they went to the "wrong" church.'

 

This. It is with deep regret I remember the people I didn't help, or simply accept, due to to  the fact that my vision was clouded by dogma. Looking back I can see so clearly how christianity isolates people, rather than connecting them (which is what it boasts).

 

As for new friends, I must say I agree I do need some. I have one non-christian friend I am close too, and have been for almost twenty years. Recently I have made a new acquaintance who lives in the flats I live at. He is a non-christian but he is not someone who I can imagine would understand religion as he has never had any spirituality as he never really thought about it. He is a kind a friend you simply have fun with over a few drinks, and I am glad I have him. Making friends I can be real with is something I have not had the energy for. It takes all of my being to get through each day without becoming dangerously depressed. I have major trust issues too related to friends and intimate relationships. I can be a fun person in a group, very engaging and easy to talk to but I am not in the place where I can get closer to people. My close christian friends all know what I have been through and are supportive - but of course it was that 'other' christianity that hurt me. They are very angry at those churches on my behalf but of course have to shelter themselves from the reality that ALL churches are responsible. To their credit they do not try to woo me back to christ and out of respect I have not hit them with facts that could destroy their faith. Still, it is very tough because I can't really talk much about it with them so they honestly don't know just how badly their religion screwed me up. Going through a divorce on top of all this is crushing. I feel like I have lost almost all that I used to hold so dearly. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be free of christianity and I know that despite our love my husband was someone I could not live with without losing myself. I guess I just haven't replaced these relationships or properly grieved their loss yet.

 

This is one destructive religion. I've never felt more alone and isolated in my life than in my short time in xtianity. It's pretty telling when a group has to resort to bait and switch tactics to get anyone to give them the time of day.

 

I'm glad you have those two guys in your life. Maybe you could spend more time with them, since you don't need the reminders of xtianity hovering over you right now. You've gotta take care of yourself right now before you do anything else. Grieve those losses. Let yourself feel whatever you need to. I'm glad those xtian friends are supportive. I'm glad they don't try to proselytize you. And i'm glad they're angry with those churches. Your friends saw firsthand how vile their religion really is towards others, so they know how badly it screwed you over, at least deep down even if they don't wanna admit it. They're seeing the backlash of what their religion caused.  Maybe it's best not to talk about this with them in depth until they're ready to hear it.

 

If nothing else, we're here.

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