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traveller2

Re-Examining My Testimony

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In the time since I wrote my testimony on here I have been doing a lot of personal healing work. One of the reasons I went into evangelical Christianity was that I bought into the big lie that I would find healing and also socialisation both in gud and in the church I would find fatherhood that I had missed out on and a sense of family. I was not so foolish to believe that church would be like family for all that such metaphors were used .In actual fact in terms of dysfunction these metaphors were very close to the truth for me but it is my experience of the metaphor of the fatherhood of gud that I want to write this very short testimony about in the main though there are other paralells used.

 

As I alluded my own family was extremely dysfunctional and in gud I sought the healing and fatherly relationship that was promised as being available. Its now been six years or so since I de-converted,I have lost count really. My own father was present in a distal manner. My parents did not separate till I was 10 or 11.When he was home he was either verbally violent to us,screaming into my face or locked away in his study and unavailable. However he made sure that he spent as much time as possible away from the house by leaving for work very early and coming home late or in our school holiday 'having' to go away on work/field trips.It was only recently that i discovered that these were not actually a requirement of his role. He was therefore around,tantalisingly close but uncommunicative or present but full of wrath and to be greatly feared. As my father away from home, I pined for him for week on end  but would never get a phone call or postcard.

 

I discovered gud is an interesting paralell. he is 'in relationship with us' and we assume and are told of his love yet his face is one of anger or just that he simply does not answer. We are expected to love and seek him but there is no communication in return despite our encouraged childlike (uuggggh) expectation. By his physical lack of existence he remains terminally absent from our lives.

 

I became a Christian at 17,a year after I left school. I exchanged one institution for another because of the terror the big bad world held for me and the lack of social skills  and identity within me that was the result of my upbringing. The high school for the church. A dysfunctional human father for an angry god.

 

hope you can all follow my jumbled thoughts but it is very clear to me how this mistake happened for me and how I wasted some 15 yrs or so on it.

 

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This all makes perfect sense to me, angus. Thanks for sharing this painful realization. I hope that writing it out has helped give you some clarity and eventually some peace with it.

 

My dad was emotionally unavailable too, especially to my sister and me. (My brother got to do everything with him, but us girls... nothing.) He worked a lot. He was scary and demanded perfection from us. If I got 99 questions right on a math test, for example (by far the highest in the class), he would grill me mercilessly about the 1 that I got wrong. That kind of shit.

 

He knew our mother was mentally unstable (with extremes of vigor and generosity, and then lows of violent bursts), but he purposely left us alone with her for most of the days and evenings, every day including weekends. He worked a lot, which I can respect. But he hated her and didn't want to be around her. (She hated him too, so it was all ok, huh? lol) Somehow it was ok to leave three children with her. Whatever.

 

Anyway... I could go on an on about him being scary and emotionally detached. I totally know that innate need for a father figure. I also completely get you about family dysfunction (real family and church "family".) I appreciate what you have written, and I hope you find comfort knowing that others feel your pain and disillusion.

 

Peace! Feel better!

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'Father god' is certainly a concept that messes with peoples minds and hearts. To be told that God is the perfect father who loves you yet experience a glaringly obvious lack of love, support and comfort make one question their sanity. I ran to 'daddy god' over and over in desperate need and was met with silence and/or the spiritual abuse shrouded under the mask of christian counselling. I was told often that the reason god isnt helping me is because of an unconfessed sin or unforgiveness so it just tore apart my self-esteem. I am so glad I discovered that there is no father god..I can breathe a sigh of relief and move on with my life. 

 

My real Dad is a good man; Angus and RW I am sorry you both had to endure growing up with such fathers, it must have been really tough to say the least,

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I wonder, wanderinstar, if your need for a daddy god also moved you to make bad decisions about boys and later men in your life? (You don't have to answer, I'm just throwing it out there.) I firmly believe that nothing throws a lonely girl into the arms (and back seats and beds) of males quite like an emotionally absent father. Yep, I was a bit slutty at times, always looking for something. Add to that the christian guilt for doing such things, and that really messes with a young female mind.

 

I hope that's not too far off topic, angus. I'm just trying to point out that an absent real life father and/or an absent sky daddy can make people do crazy things in a search for that kind of all-elusive love. It can really mess you up!

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I hope that's not too far off topic, angus. I'm just trying to point out that an absent real life father and/or an absent sky daddy can make people do crazy things in a search for that kind of all-elusive love. It can really mess you up!

 no of course not.I don't believe the OP in any thread has ownership over how the thread goes.The purpose of this site and this thread is to help people.

Thanks both for your replies.I have been thinking about this area for awhile now.Makes sense as a way to pull people into the cult by appealing to a need so many people lack.

It really struck me how this is personally true as a model for my life as a christian.

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I had an absent father. I think the complete lack of a father figure in my life made it nearly impossible for me to picture god as a daddy. I was constantly told by my pastor that this was how I needed to come to understand god... in a personal way... but I simply lacked the ability to relate. I always saw god as more of the wizard behind the curtain... An angry wizard. This lack really upset my husband, my pastor, my christian friends and anyone else in that world I confessed it to. I always thought maybe that is why god did not hear my prayers...  Nice to know that those who did 'get' the daddy thing didn't have any better results. 

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It was always hard for me to truly believe God loved me when I didn't know what love was from my own parents. I went to God looking for love and yet could never realy get it unless I worked hard and imagined it. It was all imagined. That makes me feel really dumb now.

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I wonder, wanderinstar, if your need for a daddy god also moved you to make bad decisions about boys and later men in your life? (You don't have to answer, I'm just throwing it out there.) I firmly believe that nothing throws a lonely girl into the arms (and back seats and beds) of males quite like an emotionally absent father. Yep, I was a bit slutty at times, always looking for something. Add to that the christian guilt for doing such things, and that really messes with a young female mind.

 

I hope that's not too far off topic, angus. I'm just trying to point out that an absent real life father and/or an absent sky daddy can make people do crazy things in a search for that kind of all-elusive love. It can really mess you up!

 

You may be right. There is nothing like low self-esteem (which can be caused by absent father-figures) to drive women into bad relationships. Christianity in general is both bad for self-esteem and a drawcard for those with low self-esteem. So glad we are all free from it! All the best with your journey Angus!

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Angus, my heart breaks for you, both with your experience with your real father and with your experience with a non-existent and therefore non-responsive god.

 

Just to throw in my two cents:  I grew up with a wonderful father, actually two wonderful parents.  I always felt loved and accepted unconditionally, and I was.  During my xian years, I never had any problem just knowing that god loved and accepted me unconditionally.  I just knew that no matter what I did, that god would look at me and smile and just love on me.  Years later, I realized that I was just putting onto the "god" idea what my real father and mother did for me.  Except my real parents were THERE and talked to me and did stuff with me and taught me how to get through life, AND loved on me IN PERSON with hugs and smiles.  "God" let me talk to him but didn't respond, didn't answer prayers, and gave me a book with lots of inexplicable stories, really boring parts, contradictions, seemingly senseless violence, and stupid advice about things like slavery and rape which seemed wrong and irrelevant to me as a 14-year-old in middle-class America.  Animal sacrifice because the smell of burning flesh is appealing to the lord?  What?  I'm going to the mall with my friends, should I sacrifice the animal before or after I go?

 

Both my parents have been dead for some time now.  However, I do still have beautiful, cherished memories of times we shared, I live my life by the morals they taught me (they were both agnostic, as far as I knew, but had wonderful morals and lived by them), and I raised my kids in a way that would have made them proud.

 

I haven't believed in a god for well over a decade (or two) now.  I look back and there is just nothing to remember.  No messages from god, no answered prayers, just a book that makes less sense to me now than it did when I was 14.

 

The real relationship I had with my parents was awesome.  The pretend or one-sided relationship I had with god was pointless.

 

It's better to deal with reality.

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