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Riven

Long overdue hello to all!

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58 minutes ago, Riven said:

I was also a professional (blues) musician prior to my conversion

 

Now we're talkin...

 

58 minutes ago, Riven said:

It's been a long, hard road, but I think I'm going to make it. I look forward to sharing my ex-timonial at some point soon, and thank you for being here for those of us who arrive as walking wounded.

 

Good blues inspiration, perhaps? 

 

The first sentence sounds like an intro to me: "It's been a long, hard road." 

 

It's been a long, hard road.

But I think I'm gonna make it. 

 

It's been a long, hard road. 

And I've had to fake it. 

 

When I left the fold,

None of my friends could take it. 

 

I imagine a strong solo starting with dramatic SRV, American strat style string bends, mid to forward pickup range with light distortion. Pouring out your soul into those bends. Maybe start working into the up side of the situation coming back in from the first solo. End with a strong positive outlook going forward. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel....

 

 

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@Joshpantera thanks for giving me the best laugh I've had in a while! Completely epic reply! 🤣

 

I appreciate your observation! I guess I've still got dem blues in me!

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2 hours ago, Riven said:

Hi everyone.

 

Hi Riven!

 

2 hours ago, Riven said:

I actually signed up here in December, 2016, but haven't felt ready to start sharing.

 

Oh that's just a few months after I signed up. Glad you have come out of the closet :) 

 

2 hours ago, Riven said:

Hopefully this isn't as tough a crowd as where I came from. 😉

 

With most of us having been though something like you have I'm sure you'll find a lot of understanding here. However we are all questioners and not afraid to challenge what we hear - that's how we got here. So in some sections there is hearty discussion over ideas. You only need to join those if you feel ready for it and don't mind your ideas being challenged and dissected. 

2 hours ago, Riven said:

As for me: I spent 25 years of my life in evangelical Christianity. I wasn't fundamentalist, but the denomination (Baptist) was pretty conservative. 

 

Similar to me - I was 32 years. Pretty hardcore fundie though :D  

 

2 hours ago, Riven said:

During my time in the church, I "filed away" many things that either were "not OK to ask" or were "just the way things are." But cognitive dissonance as a coping strategy can only get you so far. Looking back, I'm amazed that I lasted as long as I did.

 

Completely agree with you, and again here we have had similar experiences. It seems for a curious mind prone to questioning and seeking answers, filing stuff away only seems to work to a point. At some point you file away one too many things and the dam bursts, the cupboard springs open, the free thinker is unleashed. 

 

2 hours ago, Riven said:

My husband and son and I had moved up to the Pacific Northwest from California, and our entire social life was wrapped up in this church. When we left, I lost every friend I had. Worse, after 25 years, I literally had no idea how to make friends outside of belonging to a church.

 

It's been a long, hard road, but I think I'm going to make it. I look forward to sharing my ex-timonial at some point soon, and thank you for being here for those of us who arrive as walking wounded.

 

Aye, it can be very hard. I still don't have any friends outside my old Christian friends (Who have remained friends) except the Ex C members here. But like you making friends in RL outside my existing circle is not easy. 

 

I think you will make it too, and best of all you have others who can help you.

 

Welcome to Ex-C!

 

LF

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Welcome @Riven!

 

I understand about not having friends outside of the faith. I'm fairly lucky in that a number of my colleagues and I are quite friendly, but I don't make friends easily, and I find that, as I get older, I don't really care as much. One of the benefits of being an introvert, I guess.

 

If I can ask, is your family out as well? That makes things easier.

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Hi Riven. Im a hit and run poster lately so ill just say welcome for now. 

Youve been around for a bit it sounds like, so maybe you know us all already lol. 

Hell I only joined in 2014 I think...

welcome :)

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Glad you made it out Riven. This is a great place to find support & likeminded folk. We've all been there and done that....& got the tee shirt too. Leaving religion is difficult and the journey often gets bumpy but in the end it's worth it. :3:

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Hi Riven,

I was going to say I joined ExXtian the same time as you, but then I double-checked. I joined November 2015. I am a "hit and miss" poster too as Jeff said, or did he say "hit and run"? 😀 pleased to make your acquaintance .

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Thanks for the warm welcomes all around!

 

@LogicalFallacy - 32 years as a hard-core fundie.... I can imagine you are well-qualified to help those of us who are so much newer to this. My healing has come a long way. Most of the time I'm OK. I experience joy and freedom I never knew (that's pretty ironic, as that's the calling-card promise of most evangelicals), but occasionally when I least expect it, I get triggered to the point of needing to coil up somewhere in a ball and fight my way out of a massive emotional upset. Luckily, it's less and less.

 

P.S. My aunt (now deceased) is from New Zealand! It's on my bucket list to get there one day!

 

On 5/26/2018 at 2:40 AM, disillusioned said:

If I can ask, is your family out as well? That makes things easier.

 

@disillusioned my son and husband left with me. Actually, my son was 12, and he was one of the catalysts that led us out. (There were other "done" moments too, but that was a big one.) I told my husband that I didn't know what upset me more: That he (my son) was starting to be picked on in youth group for having the "nerve" to be neutral politically, OR that he might eventually cave to peer pressure and turn out with attitudes about others that that I couldn't stomach. Kids that age tend to repeat what they hear at home, and it was pretty ugly.  We needed to get him out of there.

 

The rest of my family (extended) however, doesn't know. We moved, and they think we're "church shopping" (for almost two years now!)  Honestly, I stopped talking politics or religion with my family long ago. They have one truth, and everyone else's opinions are wrong. It helps they live in another state.

 

@Jeff, @Geezer and @JenniferG - thank you for the welcome! It's been a long road out, but I guess it took what it took. I'm just glad I don't have to live up to anyone's impossible standards anymore. I'm free to figure out who I am, after so many years inside the crazy world of evangelical Christianity!

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1 hour ago, Riven said:

 

my son and husband left with me. Actually, my son was 12, and he was one of the catalysts that led us out. (There were other "done" moments too, but that was a big one.) I told my husband that I didn't know what upset me more: That he (my son) was starting to be picked on in youth group for having the "nerve" to be neutral politically, OR that he might eventually cave to peer pressure and turn out with attitudes about others that that I couldn't stomach. Kids that age tend to repeat what they hear at home, and it was pretty ugly.  We needed to get him out of there.

 

The rest of my family (extended) however, doesn't know. We moved, and they think we're "church shopping" (for almost two years now!)  Honestly, I stopped talking politics or religion with my family long ago. They have one truth, and everyone else's opinions are wrong. It helps they live in another state.

 

 

I'm very happy to hear this. It makes it much easier when one's immediate family is on board.

 

As for the extended family, if you don't talk to them that often, then it isn't really a problem. If you keep "church shopping" for long enough, they'll catch on.

 

Glad you're out, and glad you're here.

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Hi Riven,

 

Wow, so much of our stories are near matches.  25 years.  Ditto here (I broke free 8 years ago).  I was heavily involved with actual home visitations, sharing the "word", and dozens of "conversations".  

"Especially since I didn't come from a religious family upbringing. "

Same here!  Except. my agnostic parents did utilize Sunday School at a church for free babysitting.

Based on your profile picture it is very likely we are in the same general area.  My spouse and I are looking to make new friendships to replace our legacy religious relationships.   I will PM you via this cite our contact info if you have an interest.

Hang in there.  Life with one's one personal morality/value set is sooooo much better then anything I experienced under my 25 years under indoctrination.

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Welcome! and cudos for making it out... it's hard adjusting to the non-christian life (and the social life, and friends), but it certainly is doable and it's so much better in the long run~ I'm sorry to hear you've had to sacrifice so much.

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18 minutes ago, DestinyTurtle said:

Welcome! and cudos for making it out... it's hard adjusting to the non-christian life (and the social life, and friends), but it certainly is doable and it's so much better in the long run~ I'm sorry to hear you've had to sacrifice so much.

 

Thank you, @DestinyTurtle! I'd say the first year was almost unbearable. Plus, I felt so stuck. I knew I could never go back to how it was before, but I didn't know how to live in the actual world, either. Slowly, things have opened up, and feelings of freedom began to take root. Some days I still struggle, but I would never turn back.

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On 5/25/2018 at 11:53 PM, Riven said:

 

@Joshpantera thanks for giving me the best laugh I've had in a while! Completely epic reply! 🤣

 

I appreciate your observation! I guess I've still got dem blues in me!

 

Is this you? 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

Is this you?

 

Pretty damn close. About 25 years ago. 😉

 

I left all that behind for worship teams and choirs. I could play or sing pretty much anything getting airplay on Christian radio right up until I walked out of two bands (and both churches) in late 2015.

 

I've not picked up my guitar since then. It's an area where I've still got to do a lot of healing.

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2 hours ago, Riven said:

I've not picked up my guitar since then. It's an area where I've still got to do a lot of healing.

 

That's sad. I've been playing guitar for about 30 years. I played up front in church for a while, but not to the extent you have. Guitar for me was playing metal in the late 80's, jumping right on the grunge era in the early 90's and playing in fusion based, rap/rock, punk/ska/reggae, jazz and blues in the secular world. I would absolutely hate it if anyone or anything some how ruined the guitar for me. I can't imagine. 

 

But I can see how if your guitar life hinged around the church, this could happen. 

 

All I can say is that I'm invested in the idea of you being able to pick up the guitar again someday. 

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On 6/4/2018 at 7:34 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

That's sad. I've been playing guitar for about 30 years. I played up front in church for a while, but not to the extent you have. Guitar for me was playing metal in the late 80's, jumping right on the grunge era in the early 90's and playing in fusion based, rap/rock, punk/ska/reggae, jazz and blues in the secular world. I would absolutely hate it if anyone or anything some how ruined the guitar for me. I can't imagine. 

 

But I can see how if your guitar life hinged around the church, this could happen. 

 

All I can say is that I'm invested in the idea of you being able to pick up the guitar again someday. 

 

 It is sad, @Joshpantera I haven't given a lot of time and attention to this, but I know it needs to come off the back burner at some point. I pretty sure I'm through the worst of the deconversion adjustment, although I know it's a process and journey too. But the traumatic feelings are just about gone. I can't ever go back to worship music, but it's been so many years since I've played any other type of music.... I did play professionally before my conversion. I started in a country band, moved to blues/60s-80s rock, and then finally progressive rock (I was in a Yes cover band).  Hopefully, I'll find my way back to my happy place, soon.

 

Thank you so much for what you said about being invested in my playing again. No one has said that to me. It means more than you can imagine.

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23 hours ago, Riven said:

Thank you so much for what you said about being invested in my playing again. No one has said that to me. It means more than you can imagine.

 

You're welcome. 

 

I haven't played up front in a band for a long time, since the late 90's. When I quit the rap/rock band (I was writing songs like 311, Rage Against the Machine, Ice-'T's Body Count, and the Henry Rollins Band) because I was just over it. Tired of the punk clubs, tired of waiting through metal band after metal band. I got tired of rock in general, for a while and sort of burned out on all of it by the late 90's. All of the challenge had faded and it was getting boring. 

 

I wondered whether I was going to keep playing at all? And so I just played my acoustic here and there whenever I felt like it. Then I started exploring other areas I wanted to focus on, just for my own sake. And started playing a lot more jazz and adding more and more complex chord changes to my playing. I went deep into Bossa Nova style chords. This led into playing reggae with a lot of Bossa chord changes and then into picking up on, by ear, a lot of late 70's music that I remembered from childhood - like Bobby Caldwell, Little River Band, and others. I then found entertainment making acoustic renditions of old motown and 60's songs, which, come out sounding good done acoustic. All the while, I was entertaining myself and keeping the guitar playing alive in the absence of a band and a rigid reason to keep playing. I've also gone off into Barney Kessell and Django Reinhardt. 

 

And that's sustained me for years. I've stepped on stage a few times at a biker bar and played a few songs here and there a couple times over the last two years. This guy asked me to come up impromptu so I grabbed an acoustic and did Hotel California with the band. Stayed around for Knocking on Heaven's Door. The crowd seemed to like it. They asked me to come watch a oldie's set at the local Moose, and I wound up going up on stage and doing Johnny B Good. It was fun both times. Just to go up and play in front of everyone. 

 

But playing in front of people isn't what it's about anymore. It's about playing for my own amusement, Audiences don't make or break it. And really that seems to be the recipe for going the duration of life, at least in my case, and enjoying every minute of doing it. 

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On 6/4/2018 at 9:34 PM, Joshpantera said:

I played up front in church for a while

 

Instrumental music in church!? Buncha liberals! 😉

 

(Just one of the many reasons people in my denomination (which claims not to be a denomination) think they're they only ones going to Heaven.)

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