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xphish

Destoryed By Faith

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New member here.  Only recently have I confessed by unbelief, although I have doubted for much of my life.  I've thought about some time what I would write here as a testimonial, and I've struggled with how to explain my life as a so-called believer.  I just don't think I can.   I've lost so many friends, isolated myself from the "evil" world, hurt so many people by my belief in this mystical notion of god that I'm still coming to terms with it, and still struggling to find out what it is I truly believe in, if anything.

 

I'll start with who I am now.   I'm a 37 year old dad and husband.  I struggle with what I have done with my life, and feel like I have wasted almost 30 years of it as a believer.  Other than that.... well... I'm still trying to figure that out.

 

As for who I was.... I'll give you the condensed version.  I was brought up Presbyterian, where I learned to hate myself and how I could never be happy because I was a sinner.  I don't know that I truly believed growing up, but all through high school dated a fundie and went to youth group and such at a Baptist church.  This is where I learned to hate everyone that didn't believe what I did.  Around 16 years old I was diagnosed with depression, something I struggle with even now (although strangely enough, I have found some relief as I acknowledged my disbelief recently).  I believe now the hatred and self-loathing the Christian church made be feel was the cause of.

 

But I digress.... During this time I went to an event called "Creation" with my high school girlfriend - a Christian music festival - and was fundamentalized (completely brainwashed).   Imagine the horror on my older sister's face when I came home from that with a horrific anti-abortion t-shirt and tried to tell her the evils caused by women.  I can't tell you how many friends in high school I pushed away, how many people I hurt, how much of a douchebag I was all in the name of "going forth and spreading the word of Christ." I followed my high school girlfriend to a "Christian" college, and was further indoctrinated of radical interpretations of theology by being forced to attend chapel three times a week and force fed this crap in every class.   When I started to have doubts, swarms of Christian "friends" would try to "help" by making be feel guilty and fear eternal damnation to sway me back into the fold.   Eventually I was kicked out of the college - my depression had gotten so bad I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed to go to classes, study, or do homework. 

 

My life since then had been a struggle, although I did eventually meet my wife and in her found someone who would love me and have the same struggles I have had with trying to believe.   Of course, she was a Christian, and her fundie parents would guilt us in to trying to find a church for years.  My mother-in-law would control her with fear and guilt trips, we went from church to church trying to find some palce that didn't make us feel shamed and depressed after every Sunday service.

 

It wasn't until both my parents had died, and my wife's father died that we were able to start our journey in to reality.  Soon after my wife's father did, apparently Jesus told her to find another man on the internet and marry him.   It turns out this man was a con-artist who physically abused his own child, and long story short, she found out about it, left him because she prayed and herd the voice of Jesus told her to.  She then prayed harder, and apparently heard Jesus tell her that no, really, she should take him back and win him for Christ or some bullshit.   This was the end of it for my wife and I, and my wife disowned her.  We wanted our kids to have no part in it.

 

We stopped trying to find a church - after 15 years we never did find one we could stomach - and 3 years later here we are, trying to reconcile years of struggles with a god that isn't there in to first place.

 

This is barely the tip of the iceberg of everything I wanted to say, there is so much I want to get off my chest, but wanted to try to keep this fairly short.   To all those out there that are confused and struggling - you're not alone.  For me, it's a daily struggle.  I've had some days where I just have felt such relief and freedom having given up a futile struggle to believe in a god, but days like today, I have been confused about the decision I made to move on with my life.  There are days guilt overcomes me, of all the horrible things I said and did to people in the name of "Christ".   I hope in the coming weeks to share more, to contribute to the excellent discussions, and hopefully be able to forgive myself for wasting so much my life on a god who isn't there.

 

Thanks for letting me write and get some things out, and thanks for taking the time to read.

 

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Welcome xphish.

 

We've all gone through struggles like that, but it most definitely gets better.

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Sexiest ex-Christian ever! I should know... I married him. :P

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Welcome xphish!  I too struggled with depression and mine improved significantly after leaving Christianity.  I hope yours does as well.

 

Point of clarification.  In your 6th paragraph you mean your mother in law was doing that internet dating?  You won't get a chance to edit posts for a few more weeks.  That feature isn't available to new members.

 

Good to have you with us.  Share anytime you want.

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Yes, it was my mother (his Mother in law).

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Glad you're here. I feel much, much better since deconverting. A lot of confusion, delusion and depression has lifted since I became an unbeliever. I already made a bunch of friends here on the forum, and I consider it a healthy place for "fellowship" (yucky Christian word, but you know what I mean)

 

Anyway, I hope joining this place helps you as much as it has helped me. I look forward to getting to know you. You are not just a deconversion story, you are a unique human being and I bet you are a very interesting person.

 

Welcome.

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Sexiest ex-Christian ever! I should know... I married him. tongue.png

 

Oh cool, we have another ex-C couple.  There are several others.  That's great.  I wish my S.O. would deconvert.  I'm jealous.  :)

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Yeah, she was doing the internet dating thing just months after her husband of 30 years died of a heart attack. 

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Sexiest ex-Christian ever! I should know... I married him. :P

 

 

Oh cool, we have another ex-C couple.  There are several others.  That's great.  I wish my S.O. would deconvert.  I'm jealous.  :)

Believe me, I am unbelievably thankful that we are going this together. I know religion can tear a couple apart very easily.

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Welcome aboard guys.

 

Just remember de-converting is a process not an event. It takes time.....lots of time as in years to shed all the b.s. that has been programmed into your brain. All religions are cults and getting away from them requires being deprogrammed. I was a Christian for more than 40 years. Trust me you just don't wake up one day and decide you don't believe in Jesus anymore. Expect doubts to enter your mind from time to time.

 

De-conversion is very much like being born again only this time you're being reborn and reintroduced into reality where logic, reason, and the laws of science apply. Crap happens in the real world but God and/or the Devil don't have anything to do with it. Good things happen too and God doesn't have anything to do with that either.

 

Welcome back to reality. Buckle up and hang on tight because the ride sometimes gets a little bumpy.

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Welcome aboard guys.

 

Just remember de-converting is a process not an event. It takes time.....lots of time as in years to shed all the b.s. that has been programmed into your brain. All religions are cults and getting away from them requires being deprogrammed. I was a Christian for more than 40 years. Trust me you just don't wake up one day and decide you don't believe in Jesus anymore. Expect doubts to enter your mind from time to time.

 

De-conversion is very much like being born again only this time you're being reborn and reintroduced into reality where logic, reason, and the laws of science apply. Crap happens in the real world but God and/or the Devil don't have anything to do with it. Good things happen too and God doesn't have anything to do with that either.

 

Welcome back to reality. Buckle up and hang on tight because the ride sometimes gets a little bumpy.

 

 

 

Thank you, this helps fore than you may know...  I need to remember it's a process.   Christians force you to believe on the spot - say your prayer, dunk yourself in a pool of water, and magically you're a new person.   Sheading those lies, well, I had hoped it would be that quick, but the deprogramming is going to take a lot longer than I thought.

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It doesn't help that we are both beating ourselves up for decisions we've made in the name of Christ. I know we need to forgive ourselves, but it is very, very difficult.

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It doesn't help that we are both beating ourselves up for decisions we've made in the name of Christ. I know we need to forgive ourselves, but it is very, very difficult.

 

 

Yeah, you really, really, really need to get over that kind of thinking. Believers are the ones that owe you an apology for stealing your mind and turning your life into a living hell filled with doubt and torment. You guys owe them nothing. Be greatful they are no longer part of your lives and make sure you keep it that way. Stay away from them. You need time to heal and also time to re-educate your mind and throw the garbage out the believers dumped in there.

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First of all, welcome to both of you!

 

I've suffered with depression myself. Dumping Christianity definitely helped. Things will get better. And the fact that you've got a supportive spouse gives you a huge advantage. A lot of people I know who are ex-Christians have nightmare stories about marriages falling apart when they told their spouse they no longer believed.

 

No regrets, my friends! You're in a better place now. :)

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So much has changed, and it's only been a week since we were able to say it out loud "I'm not a Christian. It was all a lie."

 

We both feel as if a huge weight has been lifted, the pressure to be a perfect Christian, perfect spouse and parent, the constant fear of displeasing god, all dissipated. Sometimes they still creep up, but having a valid reason, scientific and historic proof behind disbelief helps us to beat it back.

 

To be honest, and I don't want to offend or upset any of those whose spouse isn't in agreement, our marriage has done better without god than it ever did with god.

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To be honest, and I don't want to offend or upset any of those whose spouse isn't in agreement, our marriage has done better without god than it ever did with god.

 

No worries.  You guys are great.  Succeed and thrive!

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Xphish Welcome! It is a very rough journey out of the insanity of bible religion. Like yourself, one of the hardest things for me to deal with was knowing i had some good people in my life who i phased out because i was told to focus my energies on "the brethren" and let go of my flesh family and friends. I regret that every single day. I've tried to apologize to people i hurt or may have hurt...still, the lost year can't be gotten back. So i feel your and RosebudMarie's pain!

 

Fortunately my husband and i left the church at the same time after almost 20 years of my life had been sucked away. the first 20 yrs were w/ the Catholics...not so bad, but the 20 years in the bible cult were HELL and made my Catholic upbringing look like a cake walk. I realized i was no longer a christian and it was hard to hide some things. my husband still prayed and i didn't like his praying in jesus name, though i did nothing except roll my eyes and smile at my daughter. She is not a believer in bible god, yay for that! But my point is that i'm glad that both of us are not fundamentalists anymore, that much we agree on. Though he does get upset when I play the song Hasa Diga Ebowai from my "Book of Mormon" on Broadway music CD...I guess it's tough to take.

 

Anyhow as others have said, it truly does get easier with time. Just keep questioning and keep reassuring yourself by reading here and helpful information to get the toxic stuff out and the good and logic stuff IN. ;) Oh, I know the layers too, it sure goes deep doesn't it? I'll just say that probably 2 years before actually walking away from the bible cult I cried every single day. I KNEW something was very wrong but i didn't want to admit it could possibly be the "true church"...could it? I also cried every day AFTER we left the cult for about 1-2 years. Crazy shit it puts you through. When I realized I did not want my children being under the "authority" of that supposed "man of gawd"...it freaked me and I did a whole lot of soul searching. If what I was in was so awesome and the TRUTH, why would i NOT want my children to join? That stuff gets you to soul search and it is painful.

 

You are now starting your journey and I hope that every day gets just a little easier and less painful. You are not alone and I'm glad you both have each other. Not everybody as that as you already know.

 

Take care!

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Welcome, xphish! Your story sounds so familiar -- part of it is me, part is what I have read from others here. You are sooooo not alone, my friend!

 

Add me to the list of people whose depression and self-doubt and self-loathing and etc. etc. etc. all got better after the huge weight of religious oppression was lifted. I am now beginning to feel that "peace that passes all understanding" that Christians are always talking about (but never seem to find). Ironic.

 

You are only 37, and yes, you feel like you have wasted many years of your life. I am 42 and have been solidly out for about a year now, and for me... I feel as if I now have my whole life ahead of me. A whole new outlook, and whole new world. Statistically, your life has not even reached the half way mark (and your really young/child years don't really count since you were not self-aware and all that), so really... your life has just begun. You have graduated, and now the adventure of living free can begin.

 

It is definitely a process. You may have times when old patterns of thought creep up. All those years of indoctrination are deeply embedded, and it will take some time and new thought processes to undo that damage. But you will always figure it out.

 

Just remember that this is a safe place for you and RosebudMarie. No question is too silly, no rant is too shocking. We will always hear you and try to offer support if we can. Please let us help -- you do not have to suffer this journey alone. I have found more compassion, solid advice, wisdom, acceptance, and dare I say -- love -- here than in all my years in the Christian world.

 

We all know what it's like, and we all want to help each other. I am so glad that both of you have decided to allow us to join you on your journey.

 

Peace to you both!

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Ah yes, Creation. It was not long after Creation '88 at the age of 14 that I started calling myself "born again." Good times. Good times.

 

Welcome to Ex-C, xphish and RosebudMarie! It's good to see another couple here that was able to deconvert together.

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Welcome xphish (and Rosebud) Thanks for sharing part of your story. Good to have both of you here. You're home guys. You're not alone. We know exactly  what you are going through. Most of us here at Ex-c have been through the exact process. It can be a 'bumpy' ride. I wouldn't have made it without this web-site and the supportive friends here. I for one, am glad that both of you are here!! Hang in there! Give each other a big hug today.

 

And one from me for both of you! *hug*

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I'm glad you guys are "equally yoked" in this right now. And yes, co-signing the "it's a journey" and "it gets better." 

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Guest MadameX

Props to you both for seeing your way clear of the pretty lies and emotional manipulation.

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Welcome xphish!  It's nice being on this side of religion -- I'm finally getting logical answers to my questions and life makes so much more sense.

 

I understand about having so much more to say than what you could put in your original post!  Keep posting, and everything in your head will slowly get out and you'll feel clear about where you've been and where you are now. 

 

Congrats to you both!

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You are both in the right place and surrounded by friends.  While I've never been clinically diagnosed with depression, I've known since 9th grade that I was not as content or comfortable with life as other people.  My parent's never would take me for counselling or help because they didn't believe in all that psycho-babble.  So, I just learned to live with it.  Most of the time I would just ignore how I was feeling and get on about my business because "that's just what men do."

 

I've often thought that I should have gone for some counselling as an adult and perhaps someday I will.  But so much of the guilt, anger, fear, and other negative emotions left me during my deconversion that I've started to think maybe someday I'll just be a normal guy without getting help.

 

Anyway, enough of my story; this is your time.  Welcome, and if either of you need anything, just hollar.

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Congrats, guys :) So good that you can take this step together.

 

Welcome from a newbie :)

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