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Shinobi

My Father was a Child Molester

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Oh wow, that sounds like an awful ordeal, Shinobi.

The hierarchical nature, unquestioning belief in authority, and suppression of critical thought found in many churches seem like a dangerous mix that could worsen exactly this kind of problems.

If we accept that we should worship a nonexistent being threatening to torture us forever and live according to his cryptic and nonsensical commands, what else are we opening the door to? A whole lot, and far from all of it good, it seems.

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Wow. After all that, all I can say is I'm glad you have seen the reality for what it is and it's terrible that you have had to suffer like that. For many of us who have woken up, it appears that suffering in some form or other is what has led us to where we are today. It's no coincidence that Christianity has this dark side where those in power are able to abuse and cover up even the darkest of evils. Thanks for telling your story, I hope you have gained some peace after these experiences.

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Shinobi, Thank you for sharing an extremely  hard family secret and trusting us with it. You are very brave. I am so incredibly sorry that you were exposed to this. It must be so hard when it is a parent whom we look up to let's us down so badly. You have been so let down and my heart bleeds  for  all of the innocent family members. Ì sincerely hope you are making your way with this very hard issue. I give you the biggest hug tonight. Just let us know what you need from us. (((Hug)))

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Oh wow, that sounds like an awful ordeal, Shinobi.

The hierarchical nature, unquestioning belief in authority, and suppression of critical thought found in many churches seem like a dangerous mix that could worsen exactly this kind of problems.

If we accept that we should worship a nonexistent being threatening to torture us forever and live according to his cryptic and nonsensical commands, what else are we opening the door to? A whole lot, and far from all of it good, it seems.

 

Hi, Rounin.  Yes it was awful, to put it lightly.  It would be really hard for me to describe the amount of heartache and pain that my family and I suffered... Of course, my little sister suffered the worst.  She is still in the process of recovery to this day...  You are absolutely right about the danger of embracing the ideals of unquestioning belief and suppressing critical thought.  For many years before I found out about my father I had doubts as they concerned my Christian faith.  Every time I would ask questions I was just told that I needed to have more faith.  Living a life like that can really screw a person up.  But, when you are taught that hell fire awaits you if you don't fully commit your life to Jesus, you end up swallowing your pride and doing your best to make sense of the nonsensical.  I really don't know how else to put it.  And, yes, by doing that we are opening up the door for a lot of horrible things that could have otherwise been avoided.

 

 

Wow. After all that, all I can say is I'm glad you have seen the reality for what it is and it's terrible that you have had to suffer like that. For many of us who have woken up, it appears that suffering in some form or other is what has led us to where we are today. It's no coincidence that Christianity has this dark side where those in power are able to abuse and cover up even the darkest of evils. Thanks for telling your story, I hope you have gained some peace after these experiences.

 

Thank you for taking the time to comment TruthSeeker.  The funny and sad thing about the whole ordeal is that somewhere deep inside of myself I always had a quiet yet strong feeling that something wasn't quite right with my father, the church, and Christianity in general even before my dad was exposed.  Looking back, I think my intuition was picking up on bad signals long before I was, if that makes sense.  However, I was always told that I needed to fight those feelings, doubts, and fears because they were nothing more than the "fiery darts" of the devil that he was launching at me to destroy my faith.  The amount of psychological damage that was inflicted upon me by my father and his hard approach to Biblical parenting nearly destroyed me.  When I finally found out about what he had been doing, the first thought I had was, "I knew it.  This whole thing has been nothing but a huge lie."  That may sound terrible to say, but it's the truth.  Immediately after that I freaked out and started worrying about my sister and the future of my family.  My sister is still struggling with issues that relate to what my dad did to her even to this day...

 

Anyway, believe it or not, my story is not unique.  I've lost count of the amount of news stories I've read since that day in which a pastor, a priest, or some other respected leader was caught doing the exact same thing.  It really makes you wonder, doesn't it?

 

 

Shinobi, Thank you for sharing an extremely  hard family secret and trusting us with it. You are very brave. I am so incredibly sorry that you were exposed to this. It must be so hard when it is a parent whom we look up to let's us down so badly. You have been so let down and my heart bleeds  for  all of the innocent family members. Ì sincerely hope you are making your way with this very hard issue. I give you the biggest hug tonight. Just let us know what you need from us. (((Hug)))

 

Hi, Margee.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.  My family and I are doing much better now.  Although it goes without saying that all of us are still messed up from it in one way or another...  My sister obviously suffered the most through all of this, and I honestly wonder if she'll ever be 100% better again.  I really think that my father damaged her in ways that are permanent....  All in all, there are issues that we will all probably deal with for many more years to come.  You don't just walk away from an ordeal like that unchanged.

 

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to reach out and show that you care.  I realize that I don't know you on a personal level, but I can tell from your comments and posts that you truly have a heart of gold.  Don't tell Florduh or anyone else this, but you are definitely my favorite moderator here on ex-c. :)  

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Shinobi, I'll repeat what I said in the "Jesus Did It!" thread:

 

Oh, my, that is awful! I'm so sorry to hear what your family had to endure, especially your sister. Hopefully that creep is locked away for a very long time. I wish your family the best as you move on from such a terrible thing.

 

I still can't imagine how extremely difficult it must have been. Also, for the life of me, I don't see how any father could do something like that to his own child. It's both mind-boggling and infuriating. Is he in prison? If so, how long?

 

I am glad to see that your family is "doing much better now." Hopefully you all (especially your sister) continue to mend and move on.

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Shinobi, I'll repeat what I said in the "Jesus Did It!" thread:

 

Oh, my, that is awful! I'm so sorry to hear what your family had to endure, especially your sister. Hopefully that creep is locked away for a very long time. I wish your family the best as you move on from such a terrible thing.

 

I still can't imagine how extremely difficult it must have been. Also, for the life of me, I don't see how any father could do something like that to his own child. It's both mind-boggling and infuriating. Is he in prison? If so, how long?

 

I am glad to see that your family is "doing much better now." Hopefully you all (especially your sister) continue to mend and move on.

 

Citsonga, I'm going to be up front with you and tell you right now that this subject is still really hard for me to talk about...  Things surrounding the incident with my father were not handled properly at all.  Allow me to explain.

 

First, my dad is a really good looking, charming, and smart person.  He does not fit the child rapist stereotype at all.  In other words, if a person met him on the street, he or she probably wouldn't immediately get any bad vibes from him.  Second, he had a lot of close and trusted friends within the church community who would follow him to hell and back.  When he was exposed, a number of ministers who personally knew him immediately took the stance that my sister was lying and that he would never do something like that.  Disgusting, right?  Keep in mind that he admitted to my whole family that my sister was telling the truth.  We all heard it from his own mouth.  That is why my mom divorced him.

 

So, here's what happened.  When the news first hit, the people who attended the church he was preaching at all boycotted him, asked him to resign, and went on with their lives.  My mom immediately divorced him and took us kids back to her hometown to stay with her mom.  My dad fled the state in which the incident happened and moved in with some relatives.  He stayed pretty well hidden for a few years.  While we were all trying to get our lives back together, my very very Christian grandmother convinced my mom not to pursue the matter any further because she was worried that my whole family would be on the news and our reputations would be ruined forever.  My mom took her terrible advice and somehow coerced my sister into lying low and not pressing charges.  My sister was an unstable mess at the time, so the fear tactics that my grandma used really worked on her.

 

However, eventually, after spending a few years in counseling, my sister finally told my mom and grandma to butt out and attempted to press charges against my dad anyway.  This is where the justice system completely fell apart.  Since both my dad and my sister were no longer living in the same state in which the incident took place, and my sister had waited too long to prosecute, nothing ended up happening...  Apparently, there were some kinks in the legal system regarding crossing state lines, etc. that prevented my sister from doing what needed to be done.  At least that's what I was told.

 

I know this sounds ridiculous, but you have to understand the situation my family was in at the time.  My mom is still a hardcore believer to this day, and to some extent, she has never really allowed herself to fully let what happened to my sister sink in.  My grandma is the one who told my dad that he was called to be a minister when he was younger, and for the longest time, she worshiped the ground he walked on.  Between their unwavering faith in Jesus and their foolish pride, the situation was not handled properly at all...  Even to this day, my grandma tries to tell my sister and I that we need to learn to forgive.  It's infuriating!!!!  She says that regardless of what my father did he always preached the truth.  I know... It's completely fucked up beyond all recognition.  My grandma is a very stately and prideful Southern Christian woman, and apart from that, I have no good explanation for her behavior or her warped sense of reasoning. Throughout her life, she was married to a very successful and popular businessman. So, to her, keeping up appearances means everything.  I guess she comes from a time period when people swept embarrassing and shameful family matters, like the one I'm discussing, under the rug and never brought them up openly again.  I'm getting really angry just writing about it.

 

I honestly wish I could tell you that my dad is sitting in prison rotting, but he's not.  He's a free man.  Just talking about this makes me want to punch a hole in my monitor. :(

 

 

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Oh dog, this makes me so angry. And you know why? Because I have heard of cases like this, where the guilty party walks away a free person, in the very worst case scenario, because Christianity is about love and forgiveness. There is too little attention given to the healing process for the victim, which yes, requires that those responsible be brought to justice. Otherwise, the victim is made to feel that the pride and reputation of the family is more important than what they have endured. It sounds like the legal system really failed her. I hope she and you all have been able to recover to some extent, and it sounds like she has the full support of the family. She sounds like a strong person who has been able to stand up to your mom and grandma, and that's important since they haven't dealt with the situation properly.

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Oh dog, this makes me so angry. And you know why? Because I have heard of cases like this, where the guilty party walks away a free person, in the very worst case scenario, because Christianity is about love and forgiveness. There is too little attention given to the healing process for the victim, which yes, requires that those responsible be brought to justice. Otherwise, the victim is made to feel that the pride and reputation of the family is more important than what they have endured. It sounds like the legal system really failed her. I hope she and you all have been able to recover to some extent, and it sounds like she has the full support of the family. She sounds like a strong person who has been able to stand up to your mom and grandma, and that's important since they haven't dealt with the situation properly.

 

Thank you for being so understanding, TruthSeeker.  I rarely ever talk about this incident with people because I am so embarrassed and angry over the way it was handled.  This is the first time I've ever brought it up publicly.  Most people don't seem to understand how my dad could get away with what he did, but apparently you do.  I want you to know that I really appreciate you for that.  At this point, all I can hope for is that my story will help someone else out there who might be going through the same thing or something similar.

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What happened to your sister happened to my child.  The main difference is that is was at a young enough age where he was able to make it to adulthood without retaining the memory.  

 

My brother, my only sibling, was on the elder board at the time, and he refused to stand up for my son.  So, you can imagine the family stress, given it was all kept secret to hopefully protect my son's memories from becoming permanent.  I have zero extended family as a result.

 

Bastards.  Church bastards.  They are all total bastards.

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Im sorry your family suffered such a terrible thing. 

 

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Citsonga, I'm going to be up front with you and tell you right now that this subject is still really hard for me to talk about...  Things surrounding the incident with my father were not handled properly at all.  Allow me to explain.

 

First, my dad is a really good looking, charming, and smart person.  He does not fit the child rapist stereotype at all.  In other words, if a person met him on the street, he or she probably wouldn't immediately get any bad vibes from him.  Second, he had a lot of close and trusted friends within the church community who would follow him to hell and back.  When he was exposed, a number of ministers who personally knew him immediately took the stance that my sister was lying and that he would never do something like that.  Disgusting, right?  Keep in mind that he admitted to my whole family that my sister was telling the truth.  We all heard it from his own mouth.  That is why my mom divorced him.

 

So, here's what happened.  When the news first hit, the people who attended the church he was preaching at all boycotted him, asked him to resign, and went on with their lives.  My mom immediately divorced him and took us kids back to her hometown to stay with her mom.  My dad fled the state in which the incident happened and moved in with some relatives.  He stayed pretty well hidden for a few years.  While we were all trying to get our lives back together, my very very Christian grandmother convinced my mom not to pursue the matter any further because she was worried that my whole family would be on the news and our reputations would be ruined forever.  My mom took her terrible advice and somehow coerced my sister into lying low and not pressing charges.  My sister was an unstable mess at the time, so the fear tactics that my grandma used really worked on her.

 

However, eventually, after spending a few years in counseling, my sister finally told my mom and grandma to butt out and attempted to press charges against my dad anyway.  This is where the justice system completely fell apart.  Since both my dad and my sister were no longer living in the same state in which the incident took place, and my sister had waited too long to prosecute, nothing ended up happening...  Apparently, there were some kinks in the legal system regarding crossing state lines, etc. that prevented my sister from doing what needed to be done.  At least that's what I was told.

 

I know this sounds ridiculous, but you have to understand the situation my family was in at the time.  My mom is still a hardcore believer to this day, and to some extent, she has never really allowed herself to fully let what happened to my sister sink in.  My grandma is the one who told my dad that he was called to be a minister when he was younger, and for the longest time, she worshiped the ground he walked on.  Between their unwavering faith in Jesus and their foolish pride, the situation was not handled properly at all...  Even to this day, my grandma tries to tell my sister and I that we need to learn to forgive.  It's infuriating!!!!  She says that regardless of what my father did he always preached the truth.  I know... It's completely fucked up beyond all recognition.  My grandma is a very stately and prideful Southern Christian woman, and apart from that, I have no good explanation for her behavior or her warped sense of reasoning. Throughout her life, she was married to a very successful and popular businessman. So, to her, keeping up appearances means everything.  I guess she comes from a time period when people swept embarrassing and shameful family matters, like the one I'm discussing, under the rug and never brought them up openly again.  I'm getting really angry just writing about it.

 

I honestly wish I could tell you that my dad is sitting in prison rotting, but he's not.  He's a free man.  Just talking about this makes me want to punch a hole in my monitor. :(

 

 

Wow there are not strong enough words to accurately describe how FUCKED up this is. I'm sorry for your families troubles and am most sorry for your sister who has to live with this knowing her attacker (her father who she should have been able to trust) has gotten away with it. There should be no statute of limitation for this type of crime and living in another state shouldn't equal a get out of jail free card. This is the type of case that should make congressmen adjust laws to eliminate this type of loophole so that justice can be served.

 

DB

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What happened to your sister happened to my child.  The main difference is that is was at a young enough age where he was able to make it to adulthood without retaining the memory.  

 

My brother, my only sibling, was on the elder board at the time, and he refused to stand up for my son.  So, you can imagine the family stress, given it was all kept secret to hopefully protect my son's memories from becoming permanent.  I have zero extended family as a result.

 

Bastards.  Church bastards.  They are all total bastards.

 

Hi, ConsiderTheSource.  I'm so sorry to hear that you had to deal with a similar experience regarding your child.  I think you'll know what I mean when I tell you that nobody really understands how hard it is deal with molestation and rape until they've actually had to go through it themselves.  The way the people in the church handled my father was sickening and disappointing to say the least - I'm sure you can relate.  On the one hand, I'll admit that there were a few people who tried their best to be understanding and helpful, but I think that the shock of it all was almost too much for them to bear, and it left them more or less helpless.  On the other hand, there were people who refused to even believe it, like the ministers I mentioned above.  I think their disbelief or rather denial stemmed from the fact that what my dad did shattered their fragile worldview, and it threatened to undermine the various power structures within the church that they had built their lives and reputations around.

 

I lost so much respect for so many people I knew who were in leadership within the church community that I was involved with at the time that all of this happened.  You never really get to see a person's true colors until he or she goes through a life experience that truly tests every aspect of his or her character...
 

 

Im sorry your family suffered such a terrible thing. 

 

 

Thanks, Jeff. I really appreciate that. We all managed to survive... somehow, and I'm really not trying be overly dramatic when I say that. I'm honestly surprised that my sister didn't take her own life. She told me that suicidal thoughts used to cross her mind all of the time. What my dad did to her screwed her up in ways that I'm not even going to try to describe in this thread.  And, honestly, I don't think I should be the one who tries to speak for her.  There is no way that I could ever fully understand her pain...

 

 

Wow there are not strong enough words to accurately describe how FUCKED up this is. I'm sorry for your families troubles and am most sorry for your sister who has to live with this knowing her attacker (her father who she should have been able to trust) has gotten away with it. There should be no statute of limitation for this type of crime and living in another state shouldn't equal a get out of jail free card. This is the type of case that should make congressmen adjust laws to eliminate this type of loophole so that justice can be served.

 

DB

 

DB, I couldn't agree more...  I know that you used to be a minister, so I'm sure that you probably have a pretty good idea of how all of this went down.  Like I said to ConsiderTheSource above, I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people when all of this was taking place.  Outside of my family there were people involved within the church who should have stood up to do the right thing, but they didn't...

 

By the way, when her counselor and social worker found out that there were loopholes in the legal system that prevented my sister from getting the justice she deserved, they were completely furious.  It's not like my sister and the people involved with her case didn't try to pursue justice.  They just got to a point where their hands were tied, and they couldn't do anything more about it.  However, for what it's worth, the social services and child protection agencies in the area where my dad resides were notified about all of this, and supposedly, he is on a private watch list that they keep.

 

I really don't know what else to say about the matter.  I think you said it best - it's fucked up.

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On the one hand, I'll admit that there were a few people who tried their best to be understanding and helpful, but I think that the shock of it all was almost too much for them to bear, and it left them more or less helpless.......   

 

.....and it threatened to undermine the various power structures within the church that they had built their lives and reputations around.

 

 

 

In this small way you were a bit more foutunate than us.  The only outlet for us and the other family impacted was our "loving care group" a.k.a. mid week bible study.  But, they "made" the lay leader shut down any communication there too.

 

And, yes, despite all they said, there only real goal was church structure preservation.  Of course if I had to do to over again I would of stood up in the service of 600 attendees and expressed our experience right than and there, hoping taking the church down in the process.  I am so disappointed in myself, and pissed at all of the mental programming they subjected me to, and how it wasted so many years of my life, and threatened my child.

 

Bastards.  They are all bastards.  It is always about them.  Always.

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Shinobi- what a horrible story. I'm glad that you and your sister have been able to start the healing process. 

 

I think that I would never be able to attend church again simply because Christianity makes its followers either victims or unwitting accomplices to abusers. The respect for the higher levels coupled with all the forgiveness talk creates a safe haven for abusers. And Christians are simply unwilling to educate themselves on abuse prevention or healing. I think because it's seen as secular knowledge.  And god and prayer and forgiveness solves everything. Church unity and keeping up appearances is paramount. Ridiculous because those outside the church see how things are swept under the rug. Inside the church, though, they think about how it would ruin reputations and people won't want to come to church. Nope- people don't want to come to your church because you are a bunch of dishonest, hypocritical fucks. How it all played out in your family's situation doesn't surprise me at all. 

  I was molested as a child at a home group bible study. Luckily I don't retain much of the memory and I told my parents immediately. But, they didn't press charges because they didn't want to put me through that. And they had this teen write apology letters to us. Which was super lame- about how sorry he was and how he tries so hard but the devil keeps making him slip up. And the letter my mom wrote back was filled with, we are trying to forgive you and know you have repented...  

 

anyways, all that to say how it is so very believable that your church and family didn't handle it perfectly at the time. And that the Christian programming is just awful in that regard. (Honestly, I am glad to hear your mom did divorce immediately and move out. I've heard terrible stories of the mom not being able to do that because of the controlling dynamics in the family).

 

best wishes for the future and for the healing process. I'm sure that your sister is thankful to have you. You understand some of what she has one through and you are obviously supportive of her. 

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Shinobi- what a horrible story. I'm glad that you and your sister have been able to start the healing process. 

 

I think that I would never be able to attend church again simply because Christianity makes its followers either victims or unwitting accomplices to abusers. The respect for the higher levels coupled with all the forgiveness talk creates a safe haven for abusers. And Christians are simply unwilling to educate themselves on abuse prevention or healing. I think because it's seen as secular knowledge.  And god and prayer and forgiveness solves everything. Church unity and keeping up appearances is paramount. Ridiculous because those outside the church see how things are swept under the rug. Inside the church, though, they think about how it would ruin reputations and people won't want to come to church. Nope- people don't want to come to your church because you are a bunch of dishonest, hypocritical fucks. How it all played out in your family's situation doesn't surprise me at all. 

  I was molested as a child at a home group bible study. Luckily I don't retain much of the memory and I told my parents immediately. But, they didn't press charges because they didn't want to put me through that. And they had this teen write apology letters to us. Which was super lame- about how sorry he was and how he tries so hard but the devil keeps making him slip up. And the letter my mom wrote back was filled with, we are trying to forgive you and know you have repented...  

 

anyways, all that to say how it is so very believable that your church and family didn't handle it perfectly at the time. And that the Christian programming is just awful in that regard. (Honestly, I am glad to hear your mom did divorce immediately and move out. I've heard terrible stories of the mom not being able to do that because of the controlling dynamics in the family).

 

best wishes for the future and for the healing process. I'm sure that your sister is thankful to have you. You understand some of what she has one through and you are obviously supportive of her. 

 

Thanks for the encouragement, Riversong.  I'm really sorry to hear about what happened to you...  Everything you have described is exactly what my family went through.  What freaked me out the most was how people within the church community were so quick to tell me and my sister that we needed to "learn to forgive."  I realize that at some point we all have to try to find some understanding as it regards even the most horrendous of situations, but there are some things that happen in this life that never need to be forgotten or written off so easily.  I mean, imagine going up to a Jew and telling him or her that that he or she needs to forgive Hitler for killing off his or her family.  It sounds almost absurd, right?  I honestly don't even know what these people are thinking?!

 

Anyway, I'm really sorry that your mother didn't do more to protect you from the creep you were forced to go to church with, and I mean that sincerely.  I can totally relate because my mom didn't do much either.  Even though she left my father over the matter, I think she immediately put up a wall to block it all out, and as a result, she never fully allowed herself to come to terms with what actually happened.  To this day, she gets weird and flaky if the subject is brought up... 

 

By the way, the story you related to me about the guy writing a letter to you in which he blames the devil for his repulsive actions is beyond ridiculous.  I honestly don't even have words for it...  How does someone like that wake up and look at himself in the mirror with a straight face?  How could your mom think that his letters were enough to make up for the pain he caused you? The whole situation is sickening..

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Wow! That's a horrible situation. I'm glad that you survived. Glad to have you with us!

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"Don't tell Florduh or anyone else this, but you are definitely my favorite moderator here on ex-c. :) "

 

Your insolence has been noted. :P

 

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"Don't tell Florduh or anyone else this, but you are definitely my favorite moderator here on ex-c. :) "

 

Your insolence has been noted. :P

 

 

Ha ha ha! I was wondering if you'd read that! :D

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Ha ha ha! I was wondering if you'd read that! :D

I read all your crap. That's why I get paid the big bucks.

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I know I'm a bit delayed in reading this, but I am absolutely heartbroken for you, your sister, and all those that this has affected. This is so many different levels of fucked up too, like it's preacher man/congregation fucked up, it's husband/wife fucked up, it's parent/kid fucked up...it's fucked up that justice can't be served, it's fucked up the that other men accused your sister of lying, it's fucked up that your dad's relatives would shelter him from his own consequences....I cannot imagine this, a father is supposed to be the one guaranteed man to love and protect his daughter. 

 

This infuriates me, fills me grief, overwhelms me with compassion, and makes me want to march down to any generic city hall and have a bitch fit. I am so very sorry you've had to go through this and I hope you are finding healing.

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I know I'm a bit delayed in reading this, but I am absolutely heartbroken for you, your sister, and all those that this has affected. This is so many different levels of fucked up too, like it's preacher man/congregation fucked up, it's husband/wife fucked up, it's parent/kid fucked up...it's fucked up that justice can't be served, it's fucked up the that other men accused your sister of lying, it's fucked up that your dad's relatives would shelter him from his own consequences....I cannot imagine this, a father is supposed to be the one guaranteed man to love and protect his daughter. 

 

This infuriates me, fills me grief, overwhelms me with compassion, and makes me want to march down to any generic city hall and have a bitch fit. I am so very sorry you've had to go through this and I hope you are finding healing.

 

Agnostic, you are right on so many different levels. I could probably write ten pages about the different feelings and thoughts I've had as they regard this whole situation. There were times after the bottom fell out when I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I can only imagine that my sister felt the pain tenfold. My eyes were opened up to so many different hypocritical and painful things regarding church, religion, family, community, and society in general that it was almost too much for me to take. Even though I didn't immediately lose what little faith I had in God, I was never able to look at anything that was connected to the church in quite the same way again. Eventually, I lost my faith completely, and it's safe to say that between all the pain, confusion, and anger that I experienced as it concerns my father and the church's actions as well as the many personal, emotional, and intellectual breakthroughs I made after leaving Christianity behind, I could never go back to being a Christian again even if someone held a gun to my head and told me to convert or die.

 

I am doing a whole lot better now. Believe it or not, this site has played a huge role in the healing process for me. Even when I wasn't actively posting on here, I could come here and read the different stories that other people had posted as they concerned leaving Christianity behind. Just knowing that there were other people out in the world who understood some of the pain I had been put through really helped me to cope. It helped me to not feel so alone...

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Agnostic, you are right on so many different levels. I could probably write ten pages about the different feelings and thoughts I've had as they regard this whole situation. There were times after the bottom fell out when I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I can only imagine that my sister felt the pain tenfold. My eyes were opened up to so many different hypocritical and painful things regarding church, religion, family, community, and society in general that it was almost too much for me to take. Even though I didn't immediately lose what little faith I had in God, I was never able to look at anything that was connected to the church in quite the same way again. Eventually, I lost my faith completely, and it's safe to say that between all the pain, confusion, and anger that I experienced as it concerns my father and the church's actions as well as the many personal, emotional, and intellectual breakthroughs I made after leaving Christianity behind, I could never go back to being a Christian again even if someone held a gun to my head and told me to convert or die.

 

I am doing a whole lot better now. Believe it or not, this site has played a huge role in the healing process for me. Even when I wasn't actively posting on here, I could come here and read the different stories that other people had posted as they concerned leaving Christianity behind. Just knowing that there were other people out in the world who understood some of the pain I had been put through really helped me to cope. It helped me to not feel so alone...

 

I feel the same way! When I feel a bit ostracized from my overly christian city/social circle, it is so helpful to come on here and remind myself I'm not alone. I'm so glad to hear you're doing better, I can empathize with the role of this site. To copy @Margee because it's so comforting to get them from her, (((HUGS))) <3

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This reminds me along time ago of a chat friend I had he was a good friend that i lost contact with. one night he was depressed and did not want to say anything at first. He started to come out and he was raped as a kid repeatedly by a decon who his mom made him live with. I was angry this could happen to him and Shit he was a christian kid...Why wont God even protect his own children. He decided to write about it too his friends on the group at the time and We decided to go to Christian debate group and ask why God let him go through this. I am glad you had this place and could write it...I think it was therapy for him and He needed to release his hurt and anger. I wish I knew what to say...I did not really know what to say to him and remembering it I told him...He said"You are helping alot by just listening to me.." Thing is no one he knew in town  would listen so, he never got to release his feelings. My friend was the turning point for me in my deconversion. Imagine believing so strongly in a helpful God and Having such a good friend say that. I have read news articles, met people in these situations, and Now, I think were the hell is God....I am glad you are here I know it will help you. 

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9 hours ago, willybilly30 said:

I am glad you had this place and could write it...I think it was therapy for him and He needed to release his hurt and anger. I wish I knew what to say...I did not really know what to say to him and remembering it I told him...He said"You are helping alot by just listening to me.." Thing is no one he knew in town  would listen so, he never got to release his feelings. My friend was the turning point for me in my deconversion. Imagine believing so strongly in a helpful God and Having such a good friend say that. I have read news articles, met people in these situations, and Now, I think were the hell is God....I am glad you are here I know it will help you. 

 

Hi, willybilly30.  Your friend was absolutely right.  Just having someone who will take the time to listen to you can make all the difference in the world.  I've never really met anyone who fully understands what my family and I have been through - it's one of those things you almost have to go through yourself to be able to relate to...  However, the few people I knew who just took the time to listen and offer their friendship and support during my time of need really helped me more than they'll probably ever realize.

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