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MamaCaz

Is it normal?

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Is it normal to feel anxiety and uncertainty when you first leave Christianity?  I'm certain I can't go back, nor would I want to.  But I go back and forth, sometimes at light speed, between being relieved and uncertain.  The uncertainty is torture...  I feel like I just don't know what to think anymore, and that even if I did it wouldn't matter because there's never really any "knowing." Guess I just need some encouragement that this will pass eventually, and that on the other side of this is some semblance of inner peace.

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Yes, this is very normal. It passes in time. Keep reading,  learning,  and thinking. Eventually the uncertainty will fade. 

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It takes whatever time it takes. For some, transition to a normal and sane world after religious indoctrination is almost instantaneous with the realization the beliefs have no basis in reality. For others, it may take much longer depending on the depth of the brainwashing and the constitution of the individual. Some even need professional secular counseling.

 

All that said, you appear to be capable of a rather quick recovery. All I can guarantee is that every day you come closer to normalcy.

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3 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

Yes, this is very normal. It passes in time. Keep reading,  learning,  and thinking. Eventually the uncertainty will fade. 

Thank you.  I'm sure it's different for everyone, but how long did it take you to feel settled?

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Just now, MamaCaz said:

Thank you.  I'm sure it's different for everyone, but how long did it take you to feel settled?

 

That depends what you mean by settled. I spent a very long time deconverting slowly before I finally realized I didn't believe at all anymore. That process took about 5 years. After I stopped believing,  I struggled for probably about another six months to a year before I really felt secure in my conclusions. It was a couple years after that before I felt comfortable discussing my past with others from outside the faith.

 

Add florduh said, it takes the time it takes.  You will get there.

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1 minute ago, disillusioned said:

 

That depends what you mean by settled. I spent a very long time deconverting slowly before I finally realized I didn't believe at all anymore. That process took about 5 years. After I stopped believing,  I struggled for probably about another six months to a year before I really felt secure in my conclusions. It was a couple years after that before I felt comfortable discussing my past with others from outside the faith.

 

Add florduh said, it takes the time it takes.  You will get there.

My deconversion process started 2 years ago, but at the time I didn't totally expect to find myself here.  I was afraid of losing my faith, but I tried to hang onto it.  This past Sunday I realized it was gone.  Now I'm trying to process everything, and being an existential thinker by nature it's bordering on obsessive, my brain just won't stop.

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20 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

My deconversion process started 2 years ago, but at the time I didn't totally expect to find myself here.  I was afraid of losing my faith, but I tried to hang onto it.  This past Sunday I realized it was gone.  Now I'm trying to process everything, and being an existential thinker by nature it's bordering on obsessive, my brain just won't stop.

 

This sounds similar to my story. I'm obsessive as well,  which drove me to consider everything I could think of, from every angle I could think of,  and then consider it all again. Reading and writing were both helpful to me throughout this process. Then,  one day, it just didn't seem as urgent anymore.

 

It's really good that you're here. There are lots of people here who have had similar experiences. Please let me know if I can help.

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Just talking to you all and reading these forums is helping.  I'm so glad for the internet, I can only imagine how lonely and lost people felt when going through this without the Internet.  

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@MamaCaz

 

You know my history is similar to yours in terms of the Mormon thing, then Xanity, then ... well... nothing I guess. 

 

It took me about two years from the time I said out loud that I am not a Christian to the time I felt "settled".

Each day during that two years it got better.

 

I consider myself settled because the concept of Hell no longer bothers me as I know is is superstition and a mind control tool. 

I consider myself settled because I don't need to belong to a religion, belief system, cult, church, or group of dickheads. (Except YOU guys!) :lmao:

 

I had to apologize to Mrs. MOHO this week because at din din I muttered "STUPID" under my breath when she began her prayer that she says which each and every meal. Superstitious behavior still bothers me and, perhaps it always will, but I can live with that. 

 

So, yes, your feelings of unsettledness are normal. They indicate that you are well on your way...

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Thanks MOHO.  It's not hell that bothers me, I let that belief go several months back, but I can't put my finger on it exactly.  Maybe it's the idea of Jesus, and being afraid to audibly say "I don't believe in Jesus" because "that's blasphemy", even though I really just don't believe.  I don't know, it's just all so new and I never saw myself sitting here.

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2 hours ago, MamaCaz said:

Just talking to you all and reading these forums is helping.  I'm so glad for the internet, I can only imagine how lonely and lost people felt when going through this without the Internet.  

 

I think it is vitally important to continue to read and study scholars like Ehrman, Robert M. Price, Richard Carrier and other similar scholars to re-enforce the reasons you left religion.

 

Sites like this one are very helpful too. I was a long time member of the Church of Christ, so when I left in 2005 all of my former friends dis-fellowshipped me and none of them have spoken to me since then and they never will.

 

I look at leaving a fundamentalist version of Christianity like moving to a new city and starting over. If you had to move to a new home, a thousand miles away, how would you go about creating new friends? Mainline and liberal Christians don't generally require their friends to be Christians, so you don't have to limit your search for new friends to the atheists community, but that is obviously an option.

 

Setting aside the "correct" definition of a cult.My experience tells me all fundamentalist versions of Christianity  have enough cult like traits to qualify as cults. So, leaving religion means you have to learn how to live and form social bonds outside that cultish environment. 

 

True freedom, as far as I am concerned, is freedom from religion.

 

 

 

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Mine was almost instantaneous. But it could have been a long tortuous process if I hadn't read so much. I read Dawkins, Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, and a whole bunch of others on their journeys out of religion. But Ehrman was the one that really clued me in to all the biblical inconsistencies, and the case for and against Jesus. Maybe my education helped me too. But when the Bible loses its power for you, the indoctrination is at an end. 

The intellectual part was easiest for me. The social aspects were and are the most difficult. I would recommend just keep reading, keep learning, it all helps. 

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5 hours ago, MamaCaz said:

Is it normal to feel anxiety and uncertainty when you first leave Christianity?  I'm certain I can't go back, nor would I want to.  But I go back and forth, sometimes at light speed, between being relieved and uncertain.  The uncertainty is torture...  I feel like I just don't know what to think anymore, and that even if I did it wouldn't matter because there's never really any "knowing." Guess I just need some encouragement that this will pass eventually, and that on the other side of this is some semblance of inner peace.

 

Doesn't sound much different than a train wrecking marriage, and divorce. Same mentality. Back and forth, anxiety, uncertainty. You've divorced christianity, basically. I've done both and I'll say that in both cases, yes, it all passes with time and growth thereafter. 

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I don't know why I can't "like" all your comments, I don't have that option, but I really appreciate each one.  Thank you!

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22 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

I don't know why I can't "like" all your comments, I don't have that option, but I really appreciate each one.  Thank you!

 

You have to have 25 posts before you can edit your posts or "like" other post.

 

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6 hours ago, MamaCaz said:

My deconversion process started 2 years ago, but at the time I didn't totally expect to find myself here.  I was afraid of losing my faith, but I tried to hang onto it.  This past Sunday I realized it was gone.  Now I'm trying to process everything, and being an existential thinker by nature it's bordering on obsessive, my brain just won't stop.

 

At some point in your journey, it will be helpful if you replace the intellectual and emotional time you spend with your particular religion, related dogma, emotional trauma, etc. with different intellectual and emotional pursuits.  I believe the old adage is, "Replace bad habits with good habits".  So, for example, you might spend time studying and researching one or two scientific disciplines or reading about a few historical/geographic times and locations.  As far as new emotional satisfaction, and the related endorphin creation and release in your brain, perhaps volunteering at a homeless shelter,  learning to play a musical instrument, or good sex could work.

 

Eventually, you will tend to enjoy the present, look ahead and not look behind.

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31 minutes ago, Geezer said:

 

You have to have 25 posts before you can edit your posts or "like" other post.

 

I thought it might be something like that 👍

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7 minutes ago, sdelsolray said:

 

At some point in your journey, it will be helpful if you replace the intellectual and emotional time you spend with your particular religion, related dogma, emotional trauma, etc. with different intellectual and emotional pursuits.  I believe the old adage is, "Replace bad habits with good habits".  So, for example, you might spend time studying and researching one or two scientific disciplines or reading about a few historical/geographic times and locations.  As far as new emotional satisfaction, and the related endorphin creation and release in your brain, perhaps volunteering at a homeless shelter,  learning to play a musical instrument, or good sex could work.

 

Eventually, you will tend to enjoy the present, look ahead and not look behind.

Haha!  Good suggestions ;)

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My deconversion took place when I attended my last Easter service 4 years ago when I could no longer stand the abuse of the pastor telling the congregation how wicked, sinful and disobedient we collectively were, falling short of god's grace and favour. I came away from church feeling shitty about myself every Sunday. That Easter, I had simply had enough.

Also Christopher Hitchens' quote about God CREATING us sick and DEMANDING us to get well, was the proverbial nail in the coffin. I read Hitchens, Dawkins, Barker, Ehrman, Richard Carrier, Valerie Tarico and Marlene Winnell. After that Sunday I declared myself an atheist and I felt really free and relieved that I didn't have to pray, say grace before a meal, read the bible or go to church ever again!  Check out Marlene's website:

http://marlenewinell.net/recovery-religion

 

I also highly recommend Marlene Winnell's book, Leaving the Fold https://amzn.to/2wg1aO4

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7 hours ago, MamaCaz said:

My deconversion process started 2 years ago, but at the time I didn't totally expect to find myself here.  I was afraid of losing my faith, but I tried to hang onto it.  This past Sunday I realized it was gone.  Now I'm trying to process everything, and being an existential thinker by nature it's bordering on obsessive, my brain just won't stop.

I can assure you that if you're an existential thinker the brain won't stop for awhile, if even then...it just moves on to other topics. But you likely already know that. 😉 I don't know why it is that some of us have to pick apart everything. The one thing most people here seem to have in common, is that they had examine their faith upside down and inside out before leaving it. Which is why it greatly annoys a good percentage of us when we get Christians on here claiming that we are acting on bias etc.

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I definitely relate to the picking of everything apart. For me, part of it is just who I am, but also because religious people pick apart at everything you believe you start to think now how will they pick this apart. This kind of like internalizing the feelings of your former religious friends/family. You really do open up to people broadly in religion. (Curious to know what other people think about the effect of opening up over broadly in religion versus realistic expectations for how secular people handle relationships. I’m starting to think there is a new normal to be found, but I don’t know.)

 

Anyway, in my mind I’m on the defensive. But it’s hard to be on the defensive and grow as a person at the same time. I can usually focus only on growing or defending. It’s bad enough when you have internalized religious people’s feelings. But worse when there are external factors. It’s like you can’t build while someone is taking away your blocks. That’s been the hardest part of deconverting and also why I’ve appreciated this forum. It’s nice to have people who have your back when people try to take your building blocks away. It took me a long time to realize that the parents/family who raised me weren’t on my side. Boundaries and building space even harder. I’ve felt like the bad guy for so long it sucks. I hate it. (I should make a rant about that) If I’m too focus on protecting my beliefs I just get trapped like religious people and so much of my deconversion depends on being able to consider and experience and grow in ways I wasn’t allowed or able before. And the whole joy of deconversion is being able to experience the world, life, choice, truth... more. 

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Its the remnants of the toxic stupidity of xtianity mate, it should pass in time. It takes time to cleanse the mind of it. 

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Thanks everyone!  I told my husband Friday night that I no longer believe in Jesus.  It was such a hard thing to do, but I feel better with that out of the way and it has relieved so much anxiety over this.  I have his support, and that's what I needed.

On 8/22/2018 at 11:42 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

 

😉

 

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I don't know why it quoted TruthSeeker, I'm still getting used to the formatting thing :P

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1 hour ago, MamaCaz said:

I don't know why it quoted TruthSeeker, I'm still getting used to the formatting thing :P

 

I'm sorry, but this will have to become part of your permanent record. If these type of errors and mistakes persist you should expect some form of disciplinary action to be taken by the high potentate, or at least by somebody that has some sort of title that makes it appear they have some kind of authority whether perceived or actual. :wacko:

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