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strongspaghettiodor

Current Fear Could Come From Christianity

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Hello guys. I just wanna say hi and happy new Year. 

I wanna talk about my current fear. I believe it's a connection from Christianity. Ya see, I had a fear of hell like most Ex Christians & those who are afraid. It's kinda silly.. I have a strong fear of burning alive. I had a dream last month that my parents died in a burning house and it bothered me thus creating the fear. I know dreams aren't real and a lot don't come true, but if they do, they are coincidences and dreams come from your subconscious. That dream scared the shit out of me though. Struggling with anxiety makes it alot worse. I was thinking of Hell before that dream happened so thats probably why the dream occurred, e.g flames, etc. I should be more afraid of spending an eternity in flames more than burning alive a short time. I accepted that if anything happens, it happens, but my fear stll comes back. Wendytwitch.gif  Do you guys think I should spend time reading about fires so my fear could go away? It seems that if someone talks about fire, I just calm down for some reason. Maybe I just accept fires happen? Idk. I know my fear is irrational and it is very unlikely but still my anxiety gets me a lot. 

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I don't know it this will help or not, but I was always terrified of heights.  I never climbed trees or did anything like that as a kid.  A few years after my deconversion, I found myself squatting on a 2x16 board laid out over a set of louvers at the very top of a duct shaft that went down 8 stories.  I was there to wire up the louver motors.  It suddenly occurred to me that I was no longer afraid of heights and hadn't been for quite some time.  I've come to think that most of my childhood fears were tied back to religion, as nearly all of them have left me now.

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This would be a terrible fear SSo. I think the best any of us can do is to do everything possible to protect one's self. The drop from my bedroom to my concrete driveway is at least 20 feet and I have a ladder, rubber gloves and  rubber shoes under my bed all ready in case I have to escape quickly if a fire ever broke out in my home. I know how to climb down the side of my house.

 

 I don't think it's a horribly irrational fear, but if we concentrate on any horrible event - it will drive you crazy. When my thoughts get 'stuck' like this, I do everything in my power now to distract my mind. I do think the fear of hell is part of this and also the horrible dream you had. I go back and 'fix' my nightmares now. I change the ending.  Do you remember how we could do this with movies? So take a water hose and put that fire out in your dream before it even touches your parents and rejoice that you were there to help them. Concentrate on this 'new' dream.

 

These are some of the foolish things I do to cope when my brain wants to take over and scare me.

 

Keep posting and a *hug* to comfort you in this.

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Welcome to the forum.  I get a similar fear from time to time.  Emotions are not rational.  But they can be useful.  Invest in good smoke detectors and keep them working.  I've found my religious based fears improve over time.  Hopefully yours will too.

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

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Hello guys. I just wanna say hi and happy new Year. 

I wanna talk about my current fear. I believe it's a connection from Christianity. Ya see, I had a fear of hell like most Ex Christians & those who are afraid. It's kinda silly.. I have a strong fear of burning alive. I had a dream last month that my parents died in a burning house and it bothered me thus creating the fear. I know dreams aren't real and a lot don't come true, but if they do, they are coincidences and dreams come from your subconscious. That dream scared the shit out of me though. Struggling with anxiety makes it alot worse. I was thinking of Hell before that dream happened so thats probably why the dream occurred, e.g flames, etc. I should be more afraid of spending an eternity in flames more than burning alive a short time. I accepted that if anything happens, it happens, but my fear stll comes back. Wendytwitch.gif  Do you guys think I should spend time reading about fires so my fear could go away? It seems that if someone talks about fire, I just calm down for some reason. Maybe I just accept fires happen? Idk. I know my fear is irrational and it is very unlikely but still my anxiety gets me a lot. 

 

I used to have occasional fears like this. One was that evil was in the backseat of my car and of course I didn't want to look in the rear view mirrow or it would 'get me' The other one was in the shower when your hair is all soapy and evil gets you cuz you're really vulnerable then.

 

I had to tell myself that none of that stuff ever happens because it never has. :-) Evil beings are not in my car nor are they going to attack me in the shower. I also had to believe that I was more powerful than these supposed evil things and that I would kick their butts if they tried attacking me. I don't have these fears anymore.

 

Don't settle for the idea that you are a helpless person and that God or Satan are going to burn you. Imagine yourself burning both of them in your eternal flames. Imagine them screaming in pain and in fear of YOU. Reprogram yourself with the idea that you will destroy any supernatural beings that threaten you. Throw these objects of fear into YOUR imaginary fire until the fear dissolves.

 

Good luck. See a trained mental health technician if needed. :-)

 

God is only a thought. Satan is only a thought. Hell is only a thought. Destroy those thoughts with your more powerful thoughts.

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

 

I fear cupcakes and Jennifer Lopez. Naked Jennifer Lopez. I surely would not want them all over me. :-)

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Hello guys. I just wanna say hi and happy new Year. 

I wanna talk about my current fear. I believe it's a connection from Christianity. Ya see, I had a fear of hell like most Ex Christians & those who are afraid. It's kinda silly.. I have a strong fear of burning alive. I had a dream last month that my parents died in a burning house and it bothered me thus creating the fear. I know dreams aren't real and a lot don't come true, but if they do, they are coincidences and dreams come from your subconscious. That dream scared the shit out of me though. Struggling with anxiety makes it alot worse. I was thinking of Hell before that dream happened so thats probably why the dream occurred, e.g flames, etc. I should be more afraid of spending an eternity in flames more than burning alive a short time. I accepted that if anything happens, it happens, but my fear stll comes back. Wendytwitch.gif  Do you guys think I should spend time reading about fires so my fear could go away? It seems that if someone talks about fire, I just calm down for some reason. Maybe I just accept fires happen? Idk. I know my fear is irrational and it is very unlikely but still my anxiety gets me a lot. 

Perhaps you could study the limbic system of the human brain.  All fear comes from there.

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

 

And some believers wonder why people are turned off by their religion and want nothing to do with them or their god. If they would open their eyes and see that their whole religion is nothing but sadistic scare tactics and making people feel ashamed for natural human urges, they'd deconvert like we did, after enough time.

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

So, what happens if somebody really fears the lord (which is "the beginning of wisdom")?  Would that person's hell be eternity in the presence of god?  What a brain-fuck.

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

So, what happens if somebody really fears the lord (which is "the beginning of wisdom")?  Would that person's hell be eternity in the presence of god?  What a brain-fuck.

 

They obviously never think that far ahead. 

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"I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.


 


Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified."


 


 


That son of a bitch, telling something like that to a school boy. Then there are the Xtians who will claim the bible doesn't say people will "burn" in hell. They make up some benign punishment instead. This is so they can sell Xtian bullshit with a better ending. It's really funny that some Xtians believe in the bible literally, but also make their own changes in it so it would be more acceptable.. " The bible is true, so long as you substitute my changes in it."


Brilliant.    bill


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Have you had this dream since? It may have been your brain's last ditch effort to work through your new idea that hell is not real, and those flames are just a scare tactic myth. You still had remnants of these ideas embedded in your brain/psyche, so maybe the dream was just the wires getting crossed or uncrossed as you dislodge this tiny tidbit. If your parents were part of your Christan upbringing, it would make sense for them to get mixed up in that kind of dream, since they were part of embedding that fear in you in the first place. Maybe, just maybe, this was a final clearing stage. Let's hope!

 

I'm not an expert, just speaking from recent experience. Last month I was working with a professional to clear some junk... fears of not being accepted, and never feeling good enough. (In general, I am likeable and well-loved by the good people I have surrounded myself with, and everything I attempt I tend to be overly successful at -- so my fears are obviously unfounded. But thanks to my former church experience, these fears have reared their ugly heads.) My therapist got to the heart of the matter: I was "the smart kid" in school, with constant fears of being considered nerdy or not popular because of it, not to mention fear of not being the smartest kid... because then who would I be? When the recent church events revealed that people were rejecting me (for calling them on their mean-spirited shit), despite my obvious love for and commitment to them and my gigantic contributions of time and talent, my old fears of acceptance and not being good enough resurfaced. Assholes.

 

For several nights in a row after that, I had uncomfortable dreams with a mish-mash of teachers from junior high and high school, some of the other smart kids (my competition), and my old school buildings. I was trying to take tests that were jibberish, couldn't remember my locker combination, forgot to go to school for a big test, and stuff like that. Man, those dreams sucked. But then they stopped. I chalk it up to my mind finally getting down to the root of the issue and clearing away all that old junk. I was uncrossing old wires, and building new connections. I saw my therapist last week and told her how excited I was about this, because I felt like "stuff was moving."

 

Anyway... I hope this is what's happening for you. Dreams and the mind are mysterious things. You have layers of this onion to peel back, and it sounds like maybe that is what's happening in your head. Keeping working on it -- it will get better!

 

P.S. I like Margee's idea of planning for a fire, to allay your fears of it happening in real life. Buy a fire extinguisher and a rope ladder, think about an escape plan. Do the same for your parents if that seems to help. Soon enough you will be able to check this fear off your list.

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Hello guys. I just wanna say hi and happy new Year. 

I wanna talk about my current fear. I believe it's a connection from Christianity. Ya see, I had a fear of hell like most Ex Christians & those who are afraid. It's kinda silly.. I have a strong fear of burning alive. I had a dream last month that my parents died in a burning house and it bothered me thus creating the fear. I know dreams aren't real and a lot don't come true, but if they do, they are coincidences and dreams come from your subconscious. That dream scared the shit out of me though. Struggling with anxiety makes it alot worse. I was thinking of Hell before that dream happened so thats probably why the dream occurred, e.g flames, etc. I should be more afraid of spending an eternity in flames more than burning alive a short time. I accepted that if anything happens, it happens, but my fear stll comes back. Wendytwitch.gif  Do you guys think I should spend time reading about fires so my fear could go away? It seems that if someone talks about fire, I just calm down for some reason. Maybe I just accept fires happen? Idk. I know my fear is irrational and it is very unlikely but still my anxiety gets me a lot. 

 

I actually used to have a similar issue. I still hate the thought of burning alive more than anything else. I have no doubt that this is due to my childhood indoctrination. For me, the way I got over this was to remind myself that there is actually nothing wrong with being afraid. We just have to be careful not to let our fears control us. In particular, there's nothing irrational about having a healthy respect for fire. It actually makes very good sense. I think that learning about fire is a very good option. Personally, I really enjoy building and playing with fire in a controlled setting. But I always take the necessary precautions, because I am afraid of burning myself. So I would suggest that you focus on what you can control. Take precautions, and try to learn as much as you can. Often, it's what we don't understand that we fear the most.

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Sounds like OCD. People with OCD, when something is making them anxious (such as an upcoming exam, house guests, etc.), have an exacerbation in irrational fears. I too have irrational fears that are classic OCD. When I have these fears, I stop and ask myself, "What is making me anxious right now?" Once I figure that out and have a strategy/good self talk, the irrational fears stop bugging me.

 

Just a thought.

 

As for dreams, I have recurrent dreams in which I am being shot at close range. I have been shot by machine guns and handguns. I have even died in my dreams. Not sure what that's about!

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For what it's worth... people who die in a fire die from smoke inhalation mostly, not conscious of being "burned alive" so it's an extremely rare and unlikely way for people to die. Also, of 484,367 total deaths in 2011, only 242 were do to fire, smoke, or flames. (It's safe to assume firemen are in that number.) So it's like, far less than a .1% chance of dying in this manner. 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/06/deaths-mortality-rates-cause-death-2011#zoomed-picture

 

But I suspect your own suspicions are correct: you fear fire because of the brainwashing fear of hell. It isn't rational, and you know this. Your brain knows this. Your emotions haven't caught up with it yet. Your dreams are emotions trying to work themselves out with your brain. Don't give any extra anxious thoughts to this. Just be patient with your brain to work on your emotions and catch them up. Our superstitions take a while to work themselves out, but our brains and our logical, rational minds are very brilliant and resilient. You're going to come through this just fine. 

 

I know, it's scary. But fears don't kill us. They just scare us. Wait it out. Give yourself time to process everything. Be nice to yourself, but when your emotions pull up an irrational fear, don't avoid it. Analyze it. It pops up... name it out loud, and then laugh at it and mock it with logic. Then set it aside as the powerless illogical feeling that it is. Then think about something else you like that makes you happy. Look at pictures of puppies and kittens or think about something happy in your life or career. Gently set aside the thought. It will fade away and come back less and less frequently until it stops coming back at all. 

 

You can do it. Ultimately, you are in charge of your own mind and thoughts. Your brain filters through all kinds of stuff from outside of you, and you get to decide whether it's legitimate or real or worthwhile to spend your time on. Let these old ways of thinking pass away. They will. And by doing this, you'll learn mental discipline that will serve you in every area of your life for the rest of your life. 

 

Good luck. This is a tough thing to learn, and I wish they taught it in schools so people would have it in their mental toolbox for the whole rest of their lives. But you can teach it to yourself at any time at any age. (And I think anti-depressant drugs sales would drop considerably.) 

 

But you're well on your way. Stay the course. You can do it!!

 

Love and hugs,

 

RaLeah

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I have a strong fear of burning alive. I had a dream last month that my parents died in a burning house and it bothered me thus creating the fear. I know dreams aren't real and a lot don't come true, but if they do, they are coincidences and dreams come from your subconscious. That dream scared the shit out of me though. Struggling with anxiety makes it alot worse.

I also have a fear of burning alive....it seems like that would hurt and I don't do well with pain. I am also agoraphobic, I hate crowds, and I have severe anxiety. I don't believe any of this has any effect from my religion or lack there-of. Most of it comes from my childhood and the abuse and being handed around to all my aunts and uncles (9 of them) until my pre-teens. My self esteem is about "o". Once I get in my little apartment all by myself, I am safe and I am with the only person in my life that ever gave a crap about me. Now THAT I can say is a result of becoming an Atheist. Christianity always made me feel stupid, unworthy, and unable to use my own mind. My suggestion to you is to go with the flow. Don't that yourself too seriously.

I am 73, I was a Christian for almost 50 years and the transition to Atheism took about12 years. It was not easy, it was terrible, but, well worth it.

FYI...when I type Christian the spell checker automatically capitalizes it, but not Atheism. Wendyshrug.gif

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Strongspaghettiodor, I am so sorry you have this fear.  It would be terrible to have dreams like that.  I can't add to the already great advice and ideas everyone had for you, but just wanted to say I was sorry.  My guess is that it does indeed come from the abusive nature of Christian teaching.  And darn it, I hate that when I type "Christian" it capitalizes it for me, even if I didn't do it myself.  It bothers me too....every time.

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

So, what happens if somebody really fears the lord (which is "the beginning of wisdom")?  Would that person's hell be eternity in the presence of god?  What a brain-fuck.

 

 

Oh, but that's a DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION of "fear," depending on which Fundie control-freak you ask. 

 

Actually, the biblical "fear" (to "fear and love God") is translated from words that meant something more like "awe" or "reverence," but you'd never know it from some of the misappropriations of it. I've heard plenty of interpretations that insist we should be in total terror of God and what he can do to punish us. Because that's totally a beautiful relationship with a loving God, isn't it? 

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I once had a pastor in school tell us that hell wouldn't be flames, it would be whatever we feared most: so if we were afraid of spiders, we'd be covered with them, etc.

 

Now. Try to tell me that Christianity isn't a fucking sadistic scare tactic to keep people all riled up and terrified.

 

strongspaghettiodor, having an irrational fear is normal (ironically enough). I really like Margee's idea of changing the ending of the dream as a healthy exercise. 

So, what happens if somebody really fears the lord (which is "the beginning of wisdom")?  Would that person's hell be eternity in the presence of god?  What a brain-fuck.

 

 

Oh, but that's a DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION of "fear," depending on which Fundie control-freak you ask. 

 

Actually, the biblical "fear" (to "fear and love God") is translated from words that meant something more like "awe" or "reverence," but you'd never know it from some of the misappropriations of it. I've heard plenty of interpretations that insist we should be in total terror of God and what he can do to punish us. Because that's totally a beautiful relationship with a loving God, isn't it? 

 

Spending eternity with someone who completely terrifies me would be just as hellish as hell, I would think.  Yeah, totally a beautiful relationship with a loving god indeed.

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The scene in the movie "Diamonds Are Forever," where James Bond is locked in a coffin and is about to be cremated, scared me as a kid. 

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FYI...when I type Christian the spell checker automatically capitalizes it, but not Atheism. Wendyshrug.gif

 

 

 

That’s because Christian, being the name of a religion or family of religions, is a proper noun. Atheism, being simply a single position on a single question, is not.

 

What bothers me is when the spell checker flags uncapitalized “christ” as an error. “Christ” is a title, not a name, and should not be capitalized when used generically. But as was mentioned in the Christianese thread, many people who speak the jargon (probably including the ones who populated the spell checker) don’t know what they’re talking about.

 

P.S. I don’t do autocorrect. It’s analogous to a newspaper editor hovering over a reporter’s shoulders and marking corrections while the reporter is still writing the draft! Really annoying and tends to break the train of thought. More seriously, newpaper editors know how to think, but autocorrection tools don’t.

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