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Deconverted Last Year, But Sometimes Fearful


Dory
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I haven't really been on here for a year or so, because I haven't really felt the need to after I de-converted from Christianity.

 

I basically went through years of hell with my mental health due to severe OCD and struggling to accept my lesbian sexuality under a very strict self-imposed 'I must be a good straight christian girl' mindset.  Suffice to say I pretty much broke after 8 years of that, and ONLY started to improve after I threw my bible out.  I just couldn't do it any more, my mindset was killing me and I wanted out.

 

I grieved a god that I truly loved, but hated at the same time.  Looking back, I felt like I'd been mentally abused by a trusted parent and the sadness still kicks me in the gut when confronted with the happy clappy 'jesus loves you' stuff.  I wanted to be good, I wanted to be loved by god and do the right thing, but to my OCD mind, doing the right thing was mental torture.  There's lots of versions of how to interpret homosexuality now, which I'm thankful for for all the kids growing up in religious homes.  But I didn't really see that, all I saw was how trapped I felt by my mental illness and how god didn't do a damn thing throughout it all.

 

I find it ironic that I started to find peace after I'd left religion/biblegod behind. 

 

18 months later, I'm in therapy, and things are looking up (ish).  But I still doubt about god, hell, free will, etc, and get scared that now I've turned my whole back on it, I've done wrong to god/biblegod.  If something causes me fear, I refuse to let it be part of my life, but I don't think I can switch off belief, however much I ply myself with testimonies.

 

I guess the only thing that really helps is looking BEYOND this tiny planet and it's religions.  If there's a god, I think he/she/it is bigger than the gods we've been lumped with throughout the entirety of the human consciousness.  But, what if I'm wrong.. what if, what if.. I just wish I could feel solid on it one way or another.  I guess I wish I could be atheist... I think I'm still on agnostic atm.

 

Thoughts, experiences, etc, would be so much help right now.  For all I know, it's an OCD thing coming back around, but talking through stuff helps.

 

thanks

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You've been out a year, I've only been officially deconverted for a few months, since April-ish. So you have more experience than I do with a lot of these things. But I think it's common to second-guess where we are. My personal problem with testimonies is, they provide a fleeting good feeling but no real substance. I think the Extimonies on here are instructive, I read them so I understand the people who write on here, and if I can I lend my support. But instead of reading testimonies, perhaps it's time to let your OCD mind do something for you: Read a few books. Read the Karen Armstrong series "The History of God" and "A Battle for God." This will introduce you to the Yahweh cult's beginnings and growth, and in particular the fundamentalist interpretation of the Abrahamic religions when you look at "A Battle for God". Whenever I wonder the "What if I'm wrong" question, I remind myself just how many gods and goddesses there have been. We all could have been wrong as Christians too. According to any Muslim friends we had, we were headed for Hell as Christians. We were idolatrous, polytheistic perverts of the truth because of this alleged virgin birth, and praying to something other than the True God. Muslims acknowledge Jesus also: As a prophet. Or, inside of Christianity: If you're a ptentecostal, everyone who denies modern miracles is in danger of blaspheming the work of the holy spirit. If you're not a Pentecostal, people who associate with modern miracles, "open themselves up" to works of the devil, or John T. McArthur's belief that you're playing with "Strange fire," as Aaron's sons did in the Old Testament. It gets thicker and muddier and more muddled the more you look at it. You've got all these damnable heresies, you have real danger that you're not judgmental enough, not loving enough, not true to the faith, aren't holding on to the right faith until the end. And Christianity, after the Protestant Reformation, developed 40,000 or so different sects. Christians often say these are minor issues, but that is only to outsiders. Once you're in, they become major. Not just picking a fight on the playground: they believe it's the difference between truth and deception. Every single one of them does.

I admit it, I never really paid much attention to religion as a system, or religions in particular, before deconverting. Either as a fiery Christian for a few years in my early 20s, or as a backslidden one for a few years, or as a "reasonable" one for the past 15 or so. So I just bought what was handed out by American culture as Christianity, with a few diversions here and there. But once you start looking at the claims they all make, and how dedicated people were to past sects of various religions, you see patterns. You are a pattern-recognizing machine, as a human being. At times we recognize patterns where they don't exist. But here you can see religions rise to power, be the property of the state, and ultimately Wane. Pascal, when he made the "What if you're wrong" wager, was not a Protestant, would have viewed many Evangelical ideas as damnable heresies. He was a Catholic. If you die outside the Catholic faith, you have no hope of heaven, no matter how many times you have named the name of Christ. And if you're a Protestant, you always hear where Jesus says, "Many will say to me "Lord Lord " ..." and they won't get in. Even those who have done great things in His name. Including things that modern Christians believe are only the work of the Holy Spirit.

If you start to see religion as a club instead of a way of life, it will start to make a lot more sense to you. It's a private club, you get in by certain things, and you stay in by doing / believing certain things.

I know thi s doesn't alleviate your fears directly. But looking at the situation pragmatically is how I try and deal with the dreams of Hell, the fears of disappointing the family, and other things I've dealt with.

Hope this helps some,

Leo

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