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xphish

Destoryed By Faith

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Welcome!  Good to have you both here  :D

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I just want to thank everyone for your encouraging words, I can’t tell you what this means to me.  I don’t feel so alone, and I realize now that these things I’m feeling and am going through are normal.   I look forward to future discussions as I re-educate myself and break free from the brainwashing of the cult of Christianity.

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Hello to both of you. Isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to come to EX-C and read about everyone's doubt? It's so marvellous (along with empathy) to identify with all the letters and know that we are not alone. My wishes for all of us here on the forums, is to heal from religious indoctrination. I am happy you are both here.

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Welcome to our newest Ex-C couple!  Although I am jealous  GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif , it always gives me encouragement and great hope when a couple deconverts together!  Good on you both!  You've found a great website, full of supportive people!

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I just want to thank everyone for your encouraging words, I can’t tell you what this means to me.  I don’t feel so alone, and I realize now that these things I’m feeling and am going through are normal.   I look forward to future discussions as I re-educate myself and break free from the brainwashing of the cult of Christianity.

You seem quite intelligent, curious and honest.  Those are three great tools.  

 

Many folks here can help.  Correcting religious indoctrination is usually a labor-intensive process.  You will have to do the heavy lifting.

 

Good luck on your journey.  

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Welcome xphish :)

Guilt is normal, aldo unnecessary (having the guilt just shows you that you are moral).
Just understand that you are not your past self. The past only serves as lessons and information.
From your current point of view you would not do what you did in the past. Thus your past self doesn't exist anymore.

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I just want to say welcome to both of you. You are here among people who have struggled many years to free themselves of religious indoctrination. It is a tough road, but you are not alone.

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You're totally normal, dude :)

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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. 

 

My Mom died last March and just a few weeks later Dad started looking for a new sweetheart. They had been together for 53 years and had dated for 3 years before they married. At first, I was like, "What?" but then I came to realize that Dad is really old and doesn't have a lot of time and I also learned that he and Mom had talked about this many times and that she gave her blessing for him to marry again. Dad doesn't do well alone. (He's also a twin so he has never not been part of a pair.)

 

Fortunately, after a couple false-starts with dating, he has found a woman who adores him and they are very happy. My sisters had a lot of trouble with this but have since met the new lady and like her. 

 

I also learned that it's no uncommon for people who have been married for a long time to jump into a new relationship shortly after being widowed. 

 

That said, I have found that women in particular need to go through the grieving process before they are ready for a new relationship. And, in my experience, those who are Christians tend to have a strong denial-of-reality capacity. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in your Mom-in-law's case?

 

Do you find that she was unprepared for her husband's death? Should she still be working through the grieving process do you think? Have you voiced your concerns to her?

 

It's always such a hard thing with parents. We have a tendency to treat them like our kids in these situations. It's so hard to strike a balance between lovingly communicating your perspective and respecting their wishes, isn't it? But if the dude is hurting her, you and a couple other guys ought to go over and give him a thrashing. I know I would if it was my mom.

 

Thanks for posting this very personal extimony. I am so pleased to know that both you and Rosebud are on this journey together. It makes all the difference in the world. My wife and I are as well, which makes it somewhat easier to bear the isolation that we experience. It's so weird to be in such a foreign place in our lives after years of being so involved in church. But I would still make the same choices if I had it to do all over again.

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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. 

 

My Mom died last March and just a few weeks later Dad started looking for a new sweetheart. They had been together for 53 years and had dated for 3 years before they married. At first, I was like, "What?" but then I came to realize that Dad is really old and doesn't have a lot of time and I also learned that he and Mom had talked about this many times and that she gave her blessing for him to marry again. Dad doesn't do well alone. (He's also a twin so he has never not been part of a pair.)

 

Fortunately, after a couple false-starts with dating, he has found a woman who adores him and they are very happy. My sisters had a lot of trouble with this but have since met the new lady and like her. 

 

I also learned that it's no uncommon for people who have been married for a long time to jump into a new relationship shortly after being widowed. 

 

That said, I have found that women in particular need to go through the grieving process before they are ready for a new relationship. And, in my experience, those who are Christians tend to have a strong denial-of-reality capacity. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in your Mom-in-law's case?

 

Do you find that she was unprepared for her husband's death? Should she still be working through the grieving process do you think? Have you voiced your concerns to her?

 

It's always such a hard thing with parents. We have a tendency to treat them like our kids in these situations. It's so hard to strike a balance between lovingly communicating your perspective and respecting their wishes, isn't it? But if the dude is hurting her, you and a couple other guys ought to go over and give him a thrashing. I know I would if it was my mom.

 

Thanks for posting this very personal extimony. I am so pleased to know that both you and Rosebud are on this journey together. It makes all the difference in the world. My wife and I are as well, which makes it somewhat easier to bear the isolation that we experience. It's so weird to be in such a foreign place in our lives after years of being so involved in church. But I would still make the same choices if I had it to do all over again.

 

 

 

I suspect she was totally unprepared; it was a sudden heart attack out of the blue.   She also doesn't do well alone, she has trouble making decisions on her own, and relies on "voices from god" to make any decision at all.  We had made our concerns known, but her "voices from god" were all she listened to.   My wife told her that if she kept the con artist around (who was convicted, by the way) that she would be disowned and will have no contact with her grandchildren as long as he was in her life.   The most important thing to us was to keep our kids safe.  She went through with it anyway, because even though a few weeks beforehand "god" had told her to end it when the police forced entry in to the house at 3am to get him, she had another "voice from god" say that "jesus" changed his mind and she should do it anyway.   Her pastor even told her to stay away, so she found another pastor that told her she should forgive him and go through with it so she felt like she was doing the right thing.  Fucking nuts, if you ask me.   Even though I've had doubts in christianity my whole life, this is what really made me begin my journey back in to reality.

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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. 

 

My Mom died last March and just a few weeks later Dad started looking for a new sweetheart.

 

I'm very sorry for your loss.   My father passwed away before my son was born, and my mother passed a few months before my father-in-law died. 

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Thank you for sharing your story!

 

Oh my, depression...and how they make you feel guilty for having it...getting even more depressed.

It was one of the things I permitted myself when I finally left that club. To feel the way I feel, to not have to try and change myself.

 

How they make you feel ashamed about yourself and at the same time use your depression to manipulate. Like maybe you just need to go to one more conference, one more prayer, meet one more anointed person...to get God to take your depression away...or maybe there is one more sin you need to get rid of, one more person to forgive, one more good deed to do...or one more demon to cast out.

Once you get out of that crap you realize that a huge part of your depression has to do with that constant quest for change and never being happy with who you are right now. At least it was like that for me. As I told myself that I was exactly at the point I had to be and did not have to change one more bit of me I instantly felt better.

Then there was that searching for the meaning of life. I really struggled and sometimes still do with that one. Then one day I remembered how in ecclesiastes it says: Meaningless, everything is meaningless. Yes, it was the bible that helped me to get away from that thinking of everything has a purpose and that it was my job to find that purpose and when I finally had found it, everything would fall in place. Bullshit. Haha. This "Meaningless, everything is meaningless" was like a release, like someone would tell me: Hey, it is you who decides what to do with your life and there is no higher purpose than that. That was when another big junk of that depression left me.

 

At the moment I feel depressed on and off, but its never the same. I think part of it has to do with my early childhood, and another part has to do with chemical imbalances. I have been considering going on meds, but I am too scared about the side effects and the long term effects of those drugs. Since its on and off I am in the off times like: Ah, I don't need that crap...and in the on times like: Maybe I should consider it for real. Whatever. Right now I deal with it just by being real, letting the bad and the good feelings be and accept them as parts of me.

 

So don't beat yourself up because of depression. Its not a sin and no demon for sure!

Cheers! Mo

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It should be noted that at the time of my father's death my mother was set to begin chemotherapy for breast cancer. When she met the con artist, she was in full-on "chemo brain", so of course that contributed to her decision to see him. Later on, it was pointed out to her that she wasn't in her right mind, but she ignored it.

 

In short, she had every logical, reasonable reason to divorce him, even under "god's law", but she stayed anyway.

 

This lack of basic reasoning in favor of religion and schizophrenic-style talking from God made us both realize what kind of damage religion can do. It forces you to ignore your own intellect, ignore your own emotions so they seep out in what feels like divine revalation, and generally makes you feel like shit otherwise. I was never taught to make my own decisions, but instead to wait for god to tell me what to do.

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Another person who is glad that the two of you can deconvert together. While it will still be tough, with the mutual support, when either of you may want to go back, the other can help. I know that I am on the border between progressive x-tianity and non theism, but hope to be able to cross the boundary again, and regain the atheism that my head wants. Again, good luck on your deconversion.

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I am so happy you are both out of Christianity together! That will help you both so much to be on the same page in support of each other. 

 

My depression also lifted when I left behind my wrong beliefs and accepted the truth at last. (You know, facts, evidence, and logic.) I had been trying to hold two realities in my head at the same time and making them fit together: Creationism / evolution... maybe theistic evolution? Obvious it was mythology in the bible that Xtians were trying to pressure me into taking literally: Noah's ark, story of Joseph, etc. that history called b.s. on. Scientifically incorrect information (as someone mentioned on the forums today, when God made the sun stand still in the sky) and it went against everything I was learning about science and geography and the world. Add on top of that pressure from my family and church and life-long friends to keep believing. 

 

But once I had to finally throw in the towel... I knew I couldn't get it back again. My brain had struggled for years to try to keep it all in there together (facts and Christian mythology), but finally after things weren't sitting right and my brain spewed it out, and all that stuff that was making me sick, I couldn't ever again swallow that nonsense or choke it back down. (Sorry to mix the metaphors.) 

 

Once my brain was free of all that clashing information, I had logical peace of mind finally. All those clashing things... they were gone and replaced with TRUE reality at last. Rejecting all those untrue beliefs that were warring with facts gave me this kind of calm after so much turmoil. 

 

My brain was finally at peace, but my emotions took a long time to sort out afterwards. I too had witnessed and tithed and said things I now find so ignorant and awful I cringe when I think about it. But what did I know at that time? I believed and I had been taught that stuff since birth. They pull you in with emotion, so much emotion: hymns and songs and preaching and stories... so much emotional manipulation that it over-rides your emerging logic. It's a terrible thing. Of COURSE you were depressed. And of course your emotions will take a long time to sort out in the aftermath. 

 

I'm not saying that depression is only caused by such a situation, but it sure doesn't help. I'd like to point out that in this information age, if you have an inquisitive mind, you're going to feel sad and empathetic at the suffering in the world sometimes. Also, life is no picnic every day with sunshine and rainbows, and daily life can be a hard struggle in your own life, family, finances, job situation, and social situations. Of course those things affect you emotionally. Of course they do. 

 

But one of our gravest ills in society is trying to say it's a bad thing if you ever feel sad. They say if you feel sad, that's an illness, and you should treat it and make all bad feelings just go away. Nonsense, I say: Emotions alert us when something is wrong. They tell us we need to try to help or fix a situation that's causing the sadness, not take a pill and pretend the underlying situation doesn't exist, and we should numb away the negative feelings that are in response to that issue. 

 

For me, this helped:

 

Knowing there are some things I can take charge of and fix: get a different job when I was able, assist a friend, cut out a toxic person from my life, apologize to someone I hurt, figure out the truth in areas I'm not sure about, etc. And knowing there are some things I can't do much about: War in another country, military spending in my own (except I can vote, but that's limited), and hunger in other countries (I can give to charity, but I can't solve everything).... this has helped, knowing I do what I can when I can, do a little when that's all I can do and accept that's the limit of my ability, and accepting there are some things that are 100% out of my control even when I don't like them

 

In your case, you tried to intervene with a MIL who is determined to be with a charismatic man who is a con artist despite your best advice and care. That is out of your control, because she is her own person. You can keep trying to reach out to her, but ultimately have to accept that she's an adult who is going to make her own decisions, even if they are awful decisions, swayed by emotions and false beliefs. But you can decide exactly what you will do: If she calls you years from now, crying and destitute, will you take her in, give her a bit of money to get back on her feet, be a sympathetic listener, or tell her there's nothing you can offer her? If she dies destitute, will you cover funeral expenses and / or honor her burial / cremation wishes? Deciding what you will do gives you control of your life, your choices, and your responses; and you can revise these decisions as necessary. But knowing there is only so much you can offer someone who makes a poor decision (even if it isn't their fault--they are lonely, gullible, indoctrinated, etc.) still allows you to stay in the driver's seat of your own life. 

 

I only mention this, because as Christians we are taught to give people the shirt off our backs, to turn the other cheek, to say if someone asks you for forgiveness after hurting you repeatedly (remember 70 x 7?) you should just suck it up and keep on forgiving, loving, offering... letting yourself be the doormat anyone else wants to wipe their feet on. 

 

However, as a healthy adult human, it's wiser to protect yourself and your loved ones with healthy boundaries (which is exactly what you are doing, and I applaud you both.) This is a new concept for a lot of ex-Cs. I'm glad to see you've taken steps to protect your children from a destructive influence, and I firmly think you did the right thing. 

 

I think your depression will continue to lift, and I think you'll find it manageable and not even something to be ashamed about the next time it hits: I think of depression as your brain and body trying to warn you something isn't right that you need to pay attention to. Maybe you're working too many hours or not getting enough sleep or eating well, and you need to slow it down and take care of yourself if that's at all possible. Maybe you're upset about something traumatic in your life that you need to pay attention to, confront, deal with, and work through. I know there are wacky chemical-in-the-brain-run-amok exceptions, but mostly depression is a symptom, not a problem in-and-of itself. 

 

But in our culture, I won't be at all surprised if the next prescription drug is to control anger: "Do you have sudden bursts of uncontrollable rage? Calmestra can help." Or fear: "Do you feel nervous walking home alone at night through a dark alley? Soothignora is right for you!" Or even nervousness: "When you have to give that presentation at work... or fly on a plane through turbulence... or about to go on stage for your big debut? Try antistagefrightia, and feel your worries melt away!" I mean, why not? They offer medication for not being able to focus and concentrate enough. I mean... medication to stop daydreaming?? 

 

So look... feelings aren't a problem (even persistent feelings) until someone tells you they are bad and wrong and you're broken for feeling them instead of asking WHY you're feeling them. And hey, we already medicate too many kids for being.... kids:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/health/the-selling-of-attention-deficit-disorder.html?src=me

 

Here's my take on the whole pharmaceutical industry scam of marketing for mood altering drugs: "Are you feeling something mildly to severely unpleasant? Don't face it! Drug it away!" 

 

(Again, disclaimer: Some people do have real medical needs that only drugs can address; my point is that we have way to much emphasis on drugs as a problem-solver for everyone rather than a specific treatment for the few who actually benefit from them and need them. There is big money in drugs, and no disincentive for trying to get more people on them.)

 

However, I think both of you together are going to find your lives very much improved by escaping a bad and abusive belief system. (Sorry if I discussed the other stuff too much.) I'm glad that you're both here together, and hope you both read a lot of this site and discuss together. Finding this site and reading through it was very therapeutic for me!

 

Welcome!

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I stayed in a bad marriage, physical abuse and cheating for several years because as you know RC's can't get divorced. Glad I came to my senses.

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Welcome xphish.   Can't tell you how much I wish I had your situation.   I am a member of the unequally yoked club here.

Your stories have been fantastic to read.   Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all down.   Years from now you will be glad you can go back and read them yourself.   

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Welcome xphish smile.png

 

Guilt is normal, aldo unnecessary (having the guilt just shows you that you are moral).

Just understand that you are not your past self. The past only serves as lessons and information.

From your current point of view you would not do what you did in the past. Thus your past self doesn't exist anymore.

 

Thanks for that Monty Python video! Made my evening!

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I suspect she was totally unprepared; it was a sudden heart attack out of the blue.   She also doesn't do well alone, she has trouble making decisions on her own, and relies on "voices from god" to make any decision at all.  We had made our concerns known, but her "voices from god" were all she listened to.   My wife told her that if she kept the con artist around (who was convicted, by the way) that she would be disowned and will have no contact with her grandchildren as long as he was in her life.   The most important thing to us was to keep our kids safe.  She went through with it anyway, because even though a few weeks beforehand "god" had told her to end it when the police forced entry in to the house at 3am to get him, she had another "voice from god" say that "jesus" changed his mind and she should do it anyway.   Her pastor even told her to stay away, so she found another pastor that told her she should forgive him and go through with it so she felt like she was doing the right thing.  Fucking nuts, if you ask me.   Even though I've had doubts in christianity my whole life, this is what really made me begin my journey back in to reality.

 

I think you did the right thing. You can't do anything for someone who will not listen to reason. So sorry though. It's a sucky situation all the way around.

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Thank you, everone, for your kind words and encouragement!

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Welcome from one who has just joined this week. Glad you are both here and looking forward to a brighter future for all of us.  I was a Christian for 60 years and the deconversion process is difficult right now.  But, I remember a little ditty that my husband sometimes says while we get into the car (applies here):  "Get in, sit down,  shut up, and hold on!"  

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I am glad to hear that you guys have made it through some difficult and confusing times. My own prior Christian experience is not as entrenched as most people on here, but have known and cared about a lot of people who beat themselves up over doctrines like total depravity and original sin. It is hard to blame a child who did not ask to be born for the sins of Adam, but that's what a lot of versions of Christianity teach, sadly.

 

Anyway, welcome and I look forward to more of your posts.

Josh

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