Blackleo85

The black sheep of a homeschooling evangelical christian family

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Before I get into my story, I just want to send a warm hug to all of you brave and wonderful people here. I consider you all dear friends who have been through much to leave Christianity. I have been reading a few stories today and my heart goes out to you. 

 

 

 

Yes, that is me. I am the 2nd oldest of 7 kids. My name is Jonathan and I have 5 sisters and one brother. As of this writing I am 33 years old. My childhood is a mixed bag. I do have early memories of being close to my siblings and playing games and just being normal kids who played and were human. Those were when I was like 5 or 6. All of us were homewchooled by our mom, and as the years passed and more kids were born, gradually mom found teachers who tought other homeschoolers. 

 

My siblings have only ever known the church for social interaction and friendships. From the time we were little kids to even today, church is their entire social life and all they know. Our parents started the religious indoctrination early, they had us reading the bible and going to AWANA as kids, memorizing verses, singing Christian songs and so on. I just went along with it without ever really believing in it despite hundreds of times being pressured by friends and family to accept Jesus as my savior. I just never felt anything, and I sure never felt safe from hell. I played along tho, raising my hands and closing my eyes during worship at church and saying all the christian things. Several times during childhood and when I was a teen, after "getting saved" again my parents showed me a love I longed for, but I had to act as a Christian to get it. My siblings lost who they were to become the Christian my parents forced on them, and I am still angry about that. I have lost all real connections with my siblings they only care about their religion and winning souls to Christ....I do wonder who they could have been if they had been able to be themselves. 

 

I kept my personality intact, but it came at a high price. I was abused daily for almost a decade by my dad, in the form of verbal and physical abuse. Spankings which left my ass bruised and bleeding, and he would beat me for half an hour or more at a time after he got home from work. He would then lecture me for another hour and that was telling me how ashamed of me he was, what a sinful son I was, how God was upset I wont just obey my parents...etc...then he would end it all by telling me he loved me and he would want a fucking hug. 

 

As I become a teenager I cared less and less about church and God and more about drinking, sex and exploring what else was outside of Christianity. That was just the opposite of my siblings by this point were strongly glued to church and had only church friends. I always felt like a fraud in church acting like I was saved, and I was glad to join the Navy and leave so I didnt have to keep pretending. Its been 10 years since I was in the military and I havent been to church much since. I see myself as apatheist now, i want to focus on forming relationships with the people around me, not on imaginary shit that sounds nice but there is no evidence for. 

 

I am the only one in my family who has anything but 100% interest in evangelical Christianity. I have 0% interest and its very lonely for me especially since I am single and dont have my own family. I just want to buy a bunch of land and live on it, thats what I am working towards now. I am a seeker so I am not closed off to spiritual experiences. I have been researching Gnostic Christianity and in my view, its likely the correct version of what happened and the Christian bible is a collection of lies. As I have no way to know either way I spend most of my energy on my life and making friends. 

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Hello Jonathan, and welcome to ex-c!

You've had quite a time of it, but you persevered in spite of it all....with all that abuse. Reading your story, I got the sense your dad likely was aware on some level of your reluctant acting as you put it, and was likely trying to "discipline" ie abuse you, to somehow see the right path, which obviously backfired, as it usually does.

Unfortunately, losing connections with family is often the high price a lot of us pay to be able to truly be ourselves. It can be a really difficult thing to deal with, feeling like the black sheep. I'm a bit of that myself in my family. Even though I was the third in the family to leave the church, I'm the only one who has come out as agnostic, and I've paid the price in some ways, and am definitely treated a little differently as a result. However, it was important to me to be honest about who I am.

Good luck with finding new relationships, they're important. Not easy to do when you start over in your 30s, I know, but it's possible. And you definitely have a support network here, this place is a great help. We also have a chat room on Discord if you're interested.

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Welcome Jonathan!  Wow, I'm so sorry for all that you endured at the hands of your father.

 

Thanks for sharing your story,

Insightful 

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Welcome to the forums,  @Blackleo85

 

I'm glad you found us and hope that we can fill a portion of the void left by your family's disrespecting your beliefs. I know it has for me.

 

Regarding the abuse thing. For some the abuse seems to be a reflection of the teachings of a cult that worships a non-existent abusive being but, for others, it seems to act as a sort of conduit for their natural proclivity for violence and control. 

13 hours ago, Blackleo85 said:

I see myself as apatheist now, i want to focus on forming relationships with the people around me, not on imaginary shit that sounds nice but there is no evidence for. 

I hear 'ya. That is a sound life philosophy.

 

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

 

 

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Welcome J. I’m certain you’ll find this site helpful. A lot of likeminded folks and shared experiences here. In other words, we get it. We’ve been there, done that, and got the tee shirt. :goodjob: 

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20 hours ago, Blackleo85 said:

I am the only one in my family who has anything but 100% interest in evangelical Christianity. I have 0% interest and its very lonely for me especially since I am single and dont have my own family. I just want to buy a bunch of land and live on it, thats what I am working towards now. I am a seeker so I am not closed off to spiritual experiences. I have been researching Gnostic Christianity and in my view, its likely the correct version of what happened and the Christian bible is a collection of lies. As I have no way to know either way I spend most of my energy on my life and making friends. 

 

I think Gnosticism's pretty interesting, too. The historical/social context of all this is highly elusive, but I think early Christianity was basically a pop culture trend in the first century, not too different than the Egyptomania fad in 19th century Europe, or the spiritualism fad later in the same century. The early ekklesia were philosophy clubs where the Greek Bible was discussed along with philosophy and literature. The Gnostics were on the philosophical side of things and took a cynical view of the world. The people who made up the Latin church were not philosophical; they were lawyers (like Tertullian) interested in establishing a hierarchal chain-of-command in which a Bishop held ultimate authority. The Gnostics were anti-authoritarians. 

 

A modern analogy would be Southern Baptists vs. the Quakers. The Southern Baptist theology is based on strict rules, fear, fundamentalism, fear of non-Baptists, obedience, and so on. The Quaker theology is based on a Gnostic-like "inner light" theology, freedom of will, freedom of choice, acceptance of different religions and races, and so on. 

 

 

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Your experience echoes mine in so many ways. I also went to Awana, have multiple younger siblings who are still 100% fundamentalists, was severely punished by my father for the slightest infraction, etc. I'm also the ONLY one of 4 children and over 50 cousins who is not 100% committed to Das Religion. I turn 32 in January.

 

I'm sorry for your experience up through adolescence.

But what's even worse, I know, is seeing all of your immediate (and likely extended) family still engaged in the same ignorance that you escaped, and therefore to feel so alone. I'm with ya.

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Welcome to X-Xian, @Blackleo85! Also, hello from another black sheep of an evangelical family! :) We pay a high price, but did you know that research typically show that the black sheep of narcissist families are actually the ones that turn out healthier and recover the most in the long run? 

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3 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

Welcome to X-Xian, @Blackleo85! Also, hello from another black sheep of an evangelical family! :) We pay a high price, but did you know that research typically show that the black sheep of narcissist families are actually the ones that turn out healthier and recover the most in the long run? 

Oh that is so good to hear!! 

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1 hour ago, Blackleo85 said:

Oh that is so good to hear!! 

It's true. You're likely the strong one who survived intact in spite of this dysfunctional parenting. Read the discussion below if you're interested.

 

 

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