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Aiyana

Religion, Anxiety, and LARPing

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I'm spending a lot of thought lately on WHY I was attracted to religion in the first place. I was raised Catholic, but only in a "meh" kind of way. I quit going to Mass around 14 and no one really cared too much. It wasn't until my mid-teens when I learned of evangelical Christianity, and my early 20's when I dove in. My own choice. Not parents, not spouse, not friends. 

 

Deconversion came in my mid-30's, and it was full and complete. Or so I thought. I really struggled to stay atheist. I gradually made my way back into the circle... first via personal "searching", then via Episcopalianism, then via a return to Catholicism, and finally a full revert to evangelicalism. Now I'm in my late 30's and while I know none of it is real, I find myself at the point of "if you can't beat em, join em." Husband is Christian, that has a lot to do with it. If only he could deconvert... sigh...

 

I've learned two things about myself just in the last six months or so. One is a deeper insight into my anxiety issues. The other is that I LARP all day long. LARP, if you don't know, originally meant "live-action role playing" and was used to refer to dressing up and playing Medieval battles or whatever shit you like. Now the term is sometimes used online to refer in a derogative manner to someone who is what we used to call a "poser" i.e. "quit LARPing as a ______, you know you ain't no ______"

 

I've come to realize that all of my phases I've gone through (my Catholic phase, complete with veiling at Mass; my skirts-only phase; my submissive wife phase) were nothing but LARPing. I was never actually any of those people. I was skirts-only for seven months but dropped it as soon as the summer hit and I wanted to wear tank tops and capris. I dropped Catholicism when I realized I'm not ACTUALLY going to go to Mass every week. I dropped the submissive wife shit the first time my husband wanted me to do something I, well, didn't want to do.

 

I spent a long time in the years just prior to deconversion getting really into fundamentalist blogs. I absolutely loved the Duggar family and things like Vision Forum. You know, the most conservative of the conservative. In 2016 I got super into right-wing politics and started identifying as "alt-right". Another LARP. What is it about these hyper-conservative mentalities combined with anxiety disorder that creates these perfect storm recipes? 

 

Well, I'm just glad I'm finally figuring it out. Because even as I type this, I feel a desire to rejoin one or more of these types of groups. It's like a fucking drug man. Thanks for listening and please add any comments or ability to relate.

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I'm LARPing as an old retired fart.

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Hi Aiyana! 

 

Great observations.  Because anxiety is intolerance to uncertainty, it makes us attracted to worldviews that seem certain - like evangelicalism.  

 

Any system than answers all of the nagging, anxiety-provoking questions will tempt us because that CERTAINTY looks really good...  But then we realize in our quest for certainty, we have settled for answers that don't satisfy...  So we become anxious again!

 

I also have an anxiety disorder and I think this process I just described is what drew me into a pretty rigid fundamentalism....

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Anxiety drove me fully into religion as well, not to mention conservative opinions.  My therapist at the time told me most people with my disorder lean toward conservatism.  I guess it's a "law and order" mentality that makes us feel safe.  Of course, religion didn't help, it just amplified my psychosis and paranoia.  Fortunately there exist powerful psychiatric medicines that brought me back to Earth, such as it is.

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Thanks everyone. I love the phrase "anxiety is intolerance to uncertainly". Super good definition.

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Hey, @Aiyana,

 

I empathise with the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" desire. My fams are all scream'n fundies and there are times when I feel totally alone (introvert, not motivated to make friends). I headed down that join 'em path a couple years ago but just could not sit through the bullshit and could not be quiet when observing someone being negatively impacted by such. 

 

Despite the occasional loneliness I frequently relish in my peaceful Sunday mornings. 

"You shitheads are sitting on a hard pew listening to Pastor Asshat blow smoke up your collective backsides while I'm relaxing with my Kindle and enjoying my THIRD cup of Joe!"

 

"Neener neener neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeener!"  :moon:

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I'm a massive introvert as well, MOHO. (I don't remember how to tag you... hopefully you see this!)

 

I think the ages of my kiddos have a lot to do with it. If I were single, or an empty nester, it would probably be different. But I'm at a point where community and family are so important. 

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43 minutes ago, Aiyana said:

I'm a massive introvert as well, MOHO. (I don't remember how to tag you... hopefully you see this!)

 

I think the ages of my kiddos have a lot to do with it. If I were single, or an empty nester, it would probably be different. But I'm at a point where community and family are so important. 

 

TAG = "@<MeberID>"

like this @Aiyana

 

Yup. It's a real bugger when kin are involved. The constant impact of the fundyness is unbearable to the point where I leave the house for hours at a stretch just to escape. At the same time leaving Mrs. MOHO after 20+ years is unthinkable. (OK. I THINK about it :glare:)

 

I think the process of excusing myself when the Critty Bitties come for din din or when pastor Asshat comes for an "unexpected" visit has had a positive result. The fundyspeak and interactions with other cult members has toned down. I just get to relaxing though and I'll hear "so and so is not walking with the lawd!" and I cringe. The amount of cringe depends on my mood at the time but it's always there. It might be the way the fundyspeak is delivered. I've never heard anyone spew it forth with such a self-righteous tone.

 

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@<MOHO>

 

That sucks. Lucky for me, my family of origin are mostly non-religious (the immediate fam anyway). My mom still probably considers herself Catholic to some degree but she never goes to church. Dad, sister, and brother all along the agnostic/atheist spectrum. DH, however, is Christian, and desires to raise the kids Christian.

 

IKWYM about the cringe. I was talking recently to a brand-new acquaintance who was telling me about her decision to not homeschool her son next year (we are both homeschoolers). She was saying how she didn't WANT to send him to public school, but God had told her that's what she needs to do, and sometimes we just don't know the Lord's plans! By golly! (OK I added the "by golly", lol). But I was just thinking, "You're so full of shit. You obviously can't handle homeschooling him (and I would not even judge you for that if you'd just be HONEST!) Just say the truth, woman!

 

Fuck. Still can't tag. I tried it both with quotation marks and without. I'm so un-techy, lol.

 

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On 7/13/2018 at 6:19 AM, Insightful said:

Hi Aiyana! 

 

Great observations.  Because anxiety is intolerance to uncertainty, it makes us attracted to worldviews that seem certain - like evangelicalism.  

 

Any system than answers all of the nagging, anxiety-provoking questions will tempt us because that CERTAINTY looks really good...  But then we realize in our quest for certainty, we have settled for answers that don't satisfy...  So we become anxious again!

 

I also have an anxiety disorder and I think this process I just described is what drew me into a pretty rigid fundamentalism....

 

On 7/14/2018 at 7:55 PM, Aiyana said:

Thanks everyone. I love the phrase "anxiety is intolerance to uncertainly". Super good definition.

 

I don't know if this will help or not, but I have a suggestion to try out for size. 

 

How about focusing your certainty needs, on uncertainty. Because uncertainty, in and of itself, is the most certain thing we have to go on. The entire universe extends from an underlying uncertainty. It's the actual "rock of ages" so to speak. So in accepting uncertainty for what it is, and being very certain about this fact of reality, you may be able to satisfy you needs for certainty in an intellectually honest and healthy way. It could work, possibly. 

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51 minutes ago, Aiyana said:

Fuck. Still can't tag. I tried it both with quotation marks and without. I'm so un-techy, lol.

 

My fault. I was not clear.

 

the "<" and ">" are not typed. That's a techy-geeky documentation element that means "put your stuff here".

So, just the At symbol followed by the screen name. You'll know when it's correct because the directive will be highlighted in blue.

Also the intellisense will find the name for you as you type. 

 

I hope I'm not confusing you more.

 

@Aiyana

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57 minutes ago, Aiyana said:

She was saying how she didn't WANT to send him to public school, but God had told her that's what she needs to do

 

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!

 

That's my single biggest pet peeve from the fundyass crowd.  (Most of us were there once so I don't feel the need to apologize to anyone here).

 

Yes, Mr/Mrs fundy, if you lead in with "God told me" you can say, do, command anything to anyone and we are supposed to believe/obey your every utterance thereafter. 

 

Now I'm torquing. I'll have to mosey over the to Check 'N Puke for my RDA of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. 

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@MOHO All right, got it now. That was easy!

 

@Joshpantera Honestly, that isn't a bad idea. It may be a good tool to add to my bag. 

 

ETA: Wait... still doesn't look like tagging is working. Gah. 

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