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What's the deprogramming process like for you?


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Since I have become an ex-christian I have noticed that as I am researching things like evolution and the big bang that I am having to do what I can only assume is repaving neural pathways in my brain. At least that's what it feels like. I have to stop certain thought processes and decide to go in another direction and I find myself coming back to thoughts and ways of thinking that I was taught in Bible College and before in church. I know intellectually that they are incorrect, but my deconverted mind has not broken the habits it's used to yet in order to form new ones. Does anyone else feel like this? What did it feel like? How long did it last for you? I have always thought of myself as a skeptical person who thinks for herself and questions everything and so becoming an atheist I think is a natural evolution of myself, I was just raised in a Christian home and so even though this process feels natural it is strange at the same time; feeling like you are rejecting a piece of programming that you were never aware was being inputted in the first place. Like I knew I was being taught, its just didn't feel like programming. I hope that makes sense.

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  • buffettphan changed the title to What's the deprogramming process like for you?

I know, that's how I got to be where I am now. I just thought it was an interesting phenomenon and wondered if other people went through the same thing. 

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Hey Tyler J !

 

Good that You wrote this post. I experience the same. 

 

For me personally God was like a protector and a parent after my mum's death, so getting rid of the idea of Jesus Christ as a saviour from all troubles was difficult and still is. I'm still in church, but in the closet...hope I will come out in Summer 2018.

 

Anyway, Darwin's evolution is still kind of hard for my brain, I'm fascinated by it, but there are days when my brain, heart and memories go into back to Christianity.

 

I know that in my case, there will be more sadness and struggles in life than happiness or joy, so I guess I will be missing a concept of loving God, especially in terms of my childhood's trauma.

 

I like to develop intelectually and learn new things and question everything, but sometimes when something really hard and illogical happens in our lives it's really difficult to just stay unshakeable in skepticism. During tough times in life it's difficult to just be satisfied with evolution and wonders of nature.

 

Wish You ALL the best in Your journey Tyler J :)

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15 hours ago, TylerJ said:

Since I have become an ex-christian I have noticed that as I am researching things like evolution and the big bang that I am having to do what I can only assume is repaving neural pathways in my brain. At least that's what it feels like. I have to stop certain thought processes and decide to go in another direction and I find myself coming back to thoughts and ways of thinking that I was taught in Bible College and before in church. I know intellectually that they are incorrect, but my deconverted mind has not broken the habits it's used to yet in order to form new ones. Does anyone else feel like this? What did it feel like? How long did it last for you? I have always thought of myself as a skeptical person who thinks for herself and questions everything and so becoming an atheist I think is a natural evolution of myself, I was just raised in a Christian home and so even though this process feels natural it is strange at the same time; feeling like you are rejecting a piece of programming that you were never aware was being inputted in the first place. Like I knew I was being taught, its just didn't feel like programming. I hope that makes sense.

 

Yes, I felt like this for quite a while. It did go away eventually though.

 

Keep learning, keep reading, keep researching. The habits will go away in time.

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@TylerJ  You are not alone. It took me years to "deprogram" the illogical feelings and thoughts. One example, I knew logically that god did not exist, but couldn't shake the feeling that I was going to hell or even drop dead immediately if I denied god.  For me, when those illogical thoughts and feelings crept in, I would have to remind myself why those thoughts or feelings were illogical and use reason.  I also looked into behavioral therapy (specifically CBT) to help with the anxiety that accompanied the feelings. Confronting the illogical fears, thoughts, and feelings...like saying god didn't exist out loud until the fear response was gone. That is one of the tactics I used and needed help with because the anxiety was fierce after leaving religion. Also, like Burnedout's advice....keeping an open, skeptical mind and allowing myself to be open to new ideas and pathways (what I was comfortable with) helped as well.

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It's a good thing to doubt and question, that is how mankind has advanced. Question everything and ask for proof. And then question the proof and evidence to insure it's accurate. That is why I'm not a Christian anymore. The time came when I began to ask questions and that led to asking for evidence and that led to me leaving my faith when the answers to my questions made no sense and there was no evidence to support the answers I was given. 

 

Believer's tend to accept what they're told, and that is dangerous. That leads to indoctrination and that leads to essentially becoming a slave to your religion and your religious beliefs. Anxiety comes from fear and fear is often fueled by ignorance. Ask questions and seek authenticated evidence that answers your questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions and demand answers that are logical, rational, and supported by evidence. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know, didn't feel much like de-programming to me. I suppose that's a popular word to use but it doesn't resonate with me. Maybe because I've studied some programming.

Iterative progress, on the other hand, would describe it aptly, if we're going to use IT words. Thoughts and ideas come and go in cycles, only to evolve slightly at a time. Even better fitting, thinking of my brain as a neural network also helps deal with some frustration as well as causes some. Can't really program those, especially if it's in your head. Just gotta let em learn and trust the process.

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On 9/23/2017 at 11:17 PM, TylerJ said:

Since I have become an ex-christian I have noticed that as I am researching things like evolution and the big bang that I am having to do what I can only assume is repaving neural pathways in my brain. At least that's what it feels like. I have to stop certain thought processes and decide to go in another direction and I find myself coming back to thoughts and ways of thinking that I was taught in Bible College and before in church. I know intellectually that they are incorrect, but my deconverted mind has not broken the habits it's used to yet in order to form new ones. Does anyone else feel like this? What did it feel like? How long did it last for you? I have always thought of myself as a skeptical person who thinks for herself and questions everything and so becoming an atheist I think is a natural evolution of myself, I was just raised in a Christian home and so even though this process feels natural it is strange at the same time; feeling like you are rejecting a piece of programming that you were never aware was being inputted in the first place. Like I knew I was being taught, its just didn't feel like programming. I hope that makes sense.

 

Yes it makes sense.  Memories are an integral part of our consciousness.  A simple way to look at it is that you have to create new memories to populate your consciousness.

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My experience is not typical.  Most folks go through more of a process until they concede their is no god/hell/heaven/spaghetti monster.  Mine was a bit more immediate.

 

After a couple decades under church programming, and processing reality "on a separate channel" in my mind  I found myself looking over beautiful scenery surrounding Mt. Hood.  At that moment I thought "What if god is imaginary?  What would that mean?  Does it explain why people behave and act they way they do"?

 

Almost immediately it became soooo clear:  This explains everything!!!  Over the next 20 to 30 minutes I sware  I could physical feel my mind's operating system reprogramming itself.  I no longer believed any of it.  No fear of hell.  Just a mind now living in reality.

 

For a few years bad memory of church abuse were easily triggered by church speech/buildings/symbols/bumper stickers/billboards/social media etc.... but it does fade away.  But, for me, in reality, life, and peace of mind, has never been this good.  

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  • 1 month later...

There are already lots of good comments, so I'm not going to repeat what they've said.  Overall, TylerJ, it sounds like you are on the right track.

 

The only thing that I would add is that the process of re-programming your emotions is not uniform or steady. There will be ups and downs. There will be progress and regress. Counselors who work with people recovering from chemical dependency use the phrase "two steps forward, one step back".

 

The important thing is not to get discouraged when you feel yourself slipping back into your old habits. Just take a little time to look at your slip(s), try to figure out why you're slipping and what you can do about it (sometimes there is something you'll figure it out, sometimes not).

 

Then keep on trying.

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