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Poll: How Difficult Was Your Deconversion On You?


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Here's a poll that I am curious about and that may be helpful to others.  After you choose your poll response, any explanation of why you answered the way you did, would be welcomed and encouraged.

 

I responded that it was extremely difficult on me.  I think one of the main reasons it was so difficult is because I had no real issues with pastors, the church, or other Christians.  I have no horror stories to tell about abuse and mean Christians.  I found them to be good people.  That made it difficult because I had no one to blame for my loss of faith and because Christianity was, for me, a very pleasant experience and that meant I was leaving something that I truly loved (while I was in it).

 

It was also difficult once I came to see that the religion is a lie because I felt so gullible and stupid.  I had to come to terms with having been fooled for so many years and not having been able to see what was right there on the pages of the Bible (contradictions, etc.).

 

There were also the issues of having to re-think all sorts of issues like morality on my own knowing that I could not count on the Bible for answers to questions of morality.

 

Finally, it was not leaving Jesus that bothered me so much as realizing that the God of the Bible, or to put it in Christian terms, The Father was not real.  That left me feeling so alone.

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I lost everyone in the space of a week and was reduced to homelessness.  It sucked.  The good part was that I knew I was right, and that what ever animal I had to become was a step up from being a heartless, religious knot job like them.

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Hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  The weird part was that it shouldn't have been hard at all because it was just working through all the indoctrination.  If there had been no Christianity in the first place then I wouldn't have suffered any of that.

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I was extremely difficult for me. Though I tried to warm her up to the idea for several months, it may have still been even more difficult for my wife. That paradigm is a minefield for heartbreak. 5 or so years in I'm still not completely over it.

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I had it fairly easy. The church I was raised in was so bat shit crazy (church of god) that I sensed it early, and never looked back.

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It's been moderately painful and as I continue to talk with close family members about it, I am cautiously optimistic it won't be a complete disaster. Time will tell however.

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When I finally accepted that christianity was a lie, I also realized that the whole world was a lie. I had been fed everyone else's beliefs since childhood and it has taken me a long time to figure out who I really am and what I believe is true for me. It's been a difficult journey but getting much better.

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It wasn't very difficult for me.  There were too many things that didn't make sense to me and too many unanswered questions.  By the time I was out of high school, I was out of christianity (and I'm pushing 60, so that was a LONNNNNG time ago - lol!)    What IS difficult for me is being surrounded by buybull-believers in every friggen aspect of my life, but most particularly my husband and my daughter - who is raising another generation of robots for jesus.   

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Not difficult at all. I wasn't involved in the church and was in a position where it had no practical outside effect on my life. There was some culture shock as I listened to people say things that once sounded perfectly reasonable but now suddenly sounded batshit insane, and I was uncomfortable knowing that that's what I'd been saying to people, but I was just fascinated by the experience.

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I would assume the difficulty in leaving Christianity is directly proportionate to the length of time and level of commitment a person invested in it. Some Christian groups shun those that leave including close family members. Depending on circumstances loss of job and income is also possible. The longer the association with Christianity the deeper the roots and the deeper the roots the more difficult it is to extricate them.

 

 

Based on my experience I think it's helpful when the person see the problems, inconsistencies and contradictions in the teaching and beliefs on their own and is then motivated to find answers for these anomalies. Experience and testimony of others seems to indicate the de-conversion process for deeply committed Christians will likely take years to sort out and deal with all the accompanying baggage that comes with it.

 

Christianity is a cult, even though practicing Christians vehemently deny it. Indoctrination/brainwashing in all of its many forms requires de-programming and that process requires education and that is often somewhat expensive and usually time consuming. Basically, it requires re-education to satisfactorily debunk the indoctrination. De-programming often requires a significant level of commitment to fully shed the false teaching and beliefs that were programmed into the person by the cult.

 

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I would assume the difficulty in leaving Christianity is directly proportionate to the length of time and level of commitment a person invested in it. Some Christian groups shun those that leave including close family members. Depending on circumstances loss of job and income is also possible. The longer the association with Christianity the deeper the roots and the deeper the roots the more difficult it is to extricate them.

 

 

 

Based on my experience I think it's helpful when the person see the problems, inconsistencies and contradictions in the teaching and beliefs on their own and is then motivated to find answers for these anomalies. Experience and testimony of others seems to indicate the de-conversion process for deeply committed Christians will likely take years to sort out and deal with all the accompanying baggage that comes with it.

 

 

Christianity is a cult, even though practicing Christians vehemently deny it. Indoctrination/brainwashing in all of its many forms requires de-programming and that process requires education and that is often somewhat expensive and usually time consuming. Basically, it requires re-education to satisfactorily debunk the indoctrination. De-programming often requires a significant level of commitment to fully shed the false teaching and beliefs that were programmed into the person by the cult.

 

I agree with you.  When I was trying to be a Christian my mother commented that I seemed to be treating Christianity like a cult. :)

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Extremely difficult.  In fact, I would say that I still struggle sometimes although I know I don't believe any of it. My whole family is fundy Baptist. Enough said.

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Extremely difficult for me, and it was a long, slow process.

 

I was a little boy when I said the sinner's prayer, I was terrified of going to Hell. The evangelical christianity I was raised with told me I had one duty in life: don't ever lose faith in Jesus. Nothing else mattered - not my happiness, my security, my relationships with others, my intellect, none of that mattered in the long run, all that mattered was making sure that I remained a believer unti lthe day I died.

 

This is one reason it took me so long to leave, because obstinacy and limiting the ideas you are exposed to are considered virtues.

 

I believed I was open minded, and compared to many Christians, I was. I had some cousins who weren't allowed to listen to rock music, whereas I could listen to whatever I wanted. I was  christian, but I wasn't a totally cloistered, living-in-a bubble type of Christian. On a scale of 1 -10, 10 being an ultra fundamentalist family like the Duggars and 1 being a family with no religion whatsoever, my family was probably a 4.

 

But I was the most religious member of my family, more so than my parents. My parents introduced me to Christianity, but after that I read the bible and prayed without anyone having to tell me to, I did it all on my own, because I realy believed it and I wanted God to manifest in my life. I think because my faith was so personal and so my own, I prized it and was careful to avoid anything that could damage it.

 

I was a big reader, which made me think that I was open minded, but I realize now that I avoided for many years reading any direct critiques of Christianity. There were a lot of things I avoided reading, now that I look back on it. I would have deconverted so much sooner if I had. Which goes back to what I said about my only duty in life being the need to make sure I never lost my faith.

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After divorcing the primary reason I went to church, the programming just fell away. There was some residual sense of thought crime that I had to consciously kick to the curb and that ended it. So pretty easy really. But I was only in the cult during my 30s. I had a good agnostic upbringing before that. :-)

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The poll isn't really sufficient for me.  Deconverting, as a process, was not easy, but I'd say that xianity was difficult for me.  Deconversion was freeing.  I felt like MLK 'thank god almighty! I'm free at last!' when I came to grips with it. 

 

Personally, I think the best analogy for deconversion is the image of one simply stepping off the hamster wheel that represents an effort to avoid sin and find forgiveness. 

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I would assume the difficulty in leaving Christianity is directly proportionate to the length of time and level of commitment a person invested in it. Some Christian groups shun those that leave including close family members. Depending on circumstances loss of job and income is also possible. The longer the association with Christianity the deeper the roots and the deeper the roots the more difficult it is to extricate them.

 

 

 

Based on my experience I think it's helpful when the person see the problems, inconsistencies and contradictions in the teaching and beliefs on their own and is then motivated to find answers for these anomalies. Experience and testimony of others seems to indicate the de-conversion process for deeply committed Christians will likely take years to sort out and deal with all the accompanying baggage that comes with it.

 

 

Christianity is a cult, even though practicing Christians vehemently deny it. Indoctrination/brainwashing in all of its many forms requires de-programming and that process requires education and that is often somewhat expensive and usually time consuming. Basically, it requires re-education to satisfactorily debunk the indoctrination. De-programming often requires a significant level of commitment to fully shed the false teaching and beliefs that were programmed into the person by the cult.

 

I agree. I found it super difficult and still am. Letting go of those beliefs that I truly believed and was dedicated to and thought would always be with me til the day I died-- it's hard. It really had quite an influence on me, too. I'm glad I'm out but it's hard. I was super committed. I rarely questioned if God was real and took it on faith. I never thought it was wrong for others to question, but I just never really questioned it and was just grateful I'd been given parents to show me the "right" way. 

 

It was/is difficult. 

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It was brutal, but also an inevitability. It's like going through a wringer washer feet first.....feet first so you can be like "Oh shit, this is really happening!" the whole time you're going through it. It cannot be stopped, only accepted.

 

Brutal.

 

But now that I'm out the other side, I am recovering! 

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At first I started to doubt my church's particular teachings, but still believed in god and felt I was a christian. My total loss of faith took many years and there were times it was upsetting, not knowing what I believed and worrying I would go to hell. But as deconversions go, it was relatively painless.

 

What was difficult was the way I left the church. I began to question and was eventually asked to step down as a youth leader due to being a negative influence on the young people. This was a painful accusation and I took a few weeks away from church altogether as I was ashamed. During this period my friends invited me out for a meal, and I thought I would be able to retain my friendships without attending church. The meal turned out to be several hours of them begging me to come back to church, and afterwards I realised I could not stay friends with them and attempted to cut off contact.

 

After a short period of harrassment, people coming to my house asking to see me, etc, I was excommunicated by the church. My friends stopped all contact as they were instructed, but some of the leaders continued with the harrassment. I became afraid to go out in my own village in case I saw them. My friends were told that the reason for my excommunication was that I had sexually abused a child, which was completely untrue.

 

My mum was not a christian, and had some reservations about the church, but she was livid that I had walked away from (what she saw as) good friendships. I think she was also relieved that I spent my teenage years with the church instead of drinking alcohol and having sex. But because of the isolating influence of the church, I had not told her what had been going on, and she didn't understand why it was so upsetting that they kept coming round and asking to see me - she just thought they were being nice. This was extremely difficult and ultimately resulted in a total breakdown of my relationship with my parents and I left home.

 

I was lucky in many ways, as during my final year in the church they were trying to persuade me to move out of my parents' home to live with a family from the church, to leave my job and work in a business run by someone in the church, and build up my responsibilities as a youth leader so I simply had to time to socialise with anyone outside of the church. I was 19 and hints were being dropped that it was about time I married too. I could have ended up losing everything when I left, but narrowly managed to avoid that.

 

This all happened 12 years ago, and now the church meets in the school nextdoor to my parents' house, I am still afraid to visit my parents on Sundays. Still from time to time one of them attempts to add me on Facebook. I just block them one by one, but it still gets to me every time. A few months ago one of the leaders by chance came into the shop where I work. He seemed quite pleasant, but asked a lot of probing questions about precisely where I live and what car I drive. Being socially inept, I just answered them all and then panicked later. I was a little concerned about what he had in mind, but this was quite a few months ago and nothing has happened. Fortunatley I have repaired my relationship with my parents, although they still don't get why the whole experience was so painful. I'm not sure they believe the extent to which the church isolated me, including from them.

 

It could have been a lot worse, and is for many people. It was tough though, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody. Which is why I've gone for "moderately difficult" on the poll.

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I put not difficult. I have always been able to eat my words and be corrected this was no different. I dropped it quickly. however the family part keeps me around it more than I would like which it's not easy by any stretch since my unbelief is always on the table.

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Can't answer in just one way. Theologically, it was easy. I had a few realizations when I was in my pre-teens and could never believe again. But in my social and family life it was extremely difficult. At 12, I couldn't really absorb the idea of waiting it out for six years - at that age it's like asking an adult to do something repugnant for 30-40 years. Not believing was easy, so easy, but shaking off the environment was hard even though I wanted to get out of there.

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My deconversion was extremely difficult because my concepts of justice, love and spirituality collapsed and I was left with no hope and no reason to live.  I became severely depressed and confused.  I'm still trying to piece things together and figure out was is true and was is not.

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Although it took a while for everything to happen, the sum total of all the cost of deconversion for me was that I lost my marriage, my family, my home, my job, most of my friends, got saddled with a criminal charge, and spent a couple years just trying to put some semblance of order back to my life.

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Although it took a while for everything to happen, the sum total of all the cost of deconversion for me was that I lost my marriage, my family, my home, my job, most of my friends, got saddled with a criminal charge, and spent a couple years just trying to put some semblance of order back to my life.

 

Damn, leopardus!  Have you told that story here?

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Although it took a while for everything to happen, the sum total of all the cost of deconversion for me was that I lost my marriage, my family, my home, my job, most of my friends, got saddled with a criminal charge, and spent a couple years just trying to put some semblance of order back to my life.

 

Damn, leopardus!  Have you told that story here?

 

No TF, I've never told the whole story online anywhere. A few close friends know it all but that's about it.

 

And I neglected to include above that I also had a major health decline. :(

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Mine was rough. I've been through some pretty rough shit (losing vision and other medical problems, abuse) and losing my faith was definitely up there among the hardest things I've ever gone through. I'm glad it happened, though. 

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