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Bug

Finding Hope

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Hello everyone. I've been lurking the site for a couple of months as a guest and finally decided it is time to join.  I will give a full testimonial at some point in the near future, but for now I feel I should just introduce myself.
 
I'm a 27 year old woman from Texas, trying desperately to find my way in this world after being Pentecostal up until the last few months of my life. I guess it would be more accurate to say that I was calling myself Pentecostal, as my deconversion has actually been a very gradual process that has just been sped up immensely in recent months. My Granny, who was the light of my life and had a huge hand in raising (and, unfortunately, indoctrinating) me passed away in August of 2018. It feels as though I went from crying at her funeral and being certain that she was in heaven to believing heaven doesn't exist at all overnight. Needless to say, this has been a great and devastating challenge to accept.
 
I tried to call myself Agnostic for a minute, but I'm becoming less afraid to say the word Atheist and I know it suites me better. I hope that someday I will be able to say that loud and proud in public, no longer afraid of eternal damnation and the judgement of others. I hope that I can make friends who understand where I'm coming from and won't disown me overnight for what they call sins.  I hope that I can help others like myself feel better when they're struggling. So far my journey is difficult, but full of hope... Which, ironically, is more than I ever had as a Christian. 
 
While my past is full of pain, things really are looking up. I managed to escape the small. toxic town I was raised in and I now live my with my very loving and Atheist (I know, scandalous 😋) partner of 3 years in Pennsylvania. I've been reading Dawkins and Hitchens and listening to Sam Harris and Bart Ehrman, as well as scouring these forums and listening to various testimonies on YouTube for months because I'm finally free to do so. It has brought a great sense of relief and I'm excited to meet others who have also felt that weight lifted from their shoulders!
 
Thanks for listening and I look forward to talking with you!
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Hi Bug!

 

I’m happy to be one of the first to welcome you to our community!  It’s always nice when a lurker ‘decloaks’ and introduces themself.  No doubt you’ve already seen that there are all types of people here.  I trust you will quickly come to feel at home here.  

 

People come here in various states of mind. It’s nice to see that you are already becoming comfortable with your non-belief and that you are feeling the benefits and relief that usually comes from letting go of religious faith.

 

I’m in my fifties but only deconverted in the past five years.  Went through the usual progression from Christian to Theist to Deist to atheist - that’s pretty typical.

 

Anyway, glad you’ve joined us. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!

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32 minutes ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

I’m in my fifties but only deconverted in the past five years.  Went through the usual progression from Christian to Theist to Deist to atheist - that’s pretty typical.

 

Thanks for the warm welcome! 

 

It has been comforting for me to see others going through that progression and realize that it's pretty normal. Even while I was lurking in the shadows, this site helped me stifle some of the loneliness that comes with deconversion. When I was living in my small hometown there really wasn't anyone to turn to or even discuss ideas with. It's nice to just be able to say what is on my mind without fear of judgment. 

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Hi, Bug!! We have a few things in common, besides navigating our relatively new faithless lives, I too am a 27 year old (well, in several months anyway) female and I grew up in a "Bible belt" type city, not unlike Texas I'm sure! I'm glad you decided to join our humble forum and contribute, I'm sure you will find healing here and will be able to help future deconverts!

 

I look forward to your posting here, jump in and let us get to know you! ❤️

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Hey @Bug!

 

Welcome to exC! I'm glad you found your way out,  and that you've got a non- fundy partner. It makes abig difference. 

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4 hours ago, Bug said:

So far my journey is difficult, but full of hope... Which, ironically, is more than I ever had as a Christian. 

Welcome, @Bug! I feel the same way... The baggage of horror and despair that comes with many forms of "Good News!" Xianity and evangelicalism is just poisonous. Sounds like you're on the right path and I hope those of us here can help :) Deconversion can be a long and difficult process and it helps to have support from people who understand.

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55 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Hi, Bug!! We have a few things in common, besides navigating our relatively new faithless lives, I too am a 27 year old (well, in several months anyway) female and I grew up in a "Bible belt" type city, not unlike Texas I'm sure! I'm glad you decided to join our humble forum and contribute, I'm sure you will find healing here and will be able to help future deconverts!

 

Thank you!

 

It's really weird living in that type of city after you stop sharing beliefs with everyone else. I sometimes wonder how different life might be if I had grown up somewhere more tolerant of different beliefs, but I try not to dwell too much on my past and enjoy the moment more these days. One thing I am certain of though: I never want to live there again lol. 

 

19 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

Hey @Bug!

 

Welcome to exC! I'm glad you found your way out,  and that you've got a non- fundy partner. It makes abig difference. 

 

Hello and thanks!

 

Yes, I am so grateful that my partner was not raised in any sort of religion. He has been nothing but respectful and kind to me throughout this entire journey, but has also given me some fair questions to consider that have helped me along. I think some part of him probably always figured I was heading in this direction because I had so many questions and was so disheartened by my beliefs as a Christian, but he never pushed or suggested anything because he wanted me to find my own way. It's fun now because we can joke and make light of some of the more ridiculous things I believed without feeling weird about it. 

 

11 minutes ago, DestinyTurtle said:

Welcome, @Bug! I feel the same way... The baggage of horror and despair that comes with many forms of "Good News!" Xianity and evangelicalism is just poisonous. Sounds like you're on the right path and I hope those of us here can help :) Deconversion can be a long and difficult process and it helps to have support from people who understand.

 

Thank you. 

 

I think this will be an excellent place to learn and grow and I really appreciate your warm welcome. 😊

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Welcome to Ex-C, @Bug.

 

Kudos to you for finding your way out of the cult.

 

Atheist, eh? Me too but isn't that ILLEGAL in Texas? :HaHa:

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Welcome! Glad to have you with us. 

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Welcome Bug. I know you will find this site helpful and encouraging as you journey out of your religious indoctrination into true freedom. 

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1 hour ago, MOHO said:

Atheist, eh? Me too but isn't that ILLEGAL in Texas? :HaHa:

 

Haha, close to it! I still have family members down there who would much rather hear me say I'm going to prison than hear me say I'm Atheist. 

 

1 hour ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Welcome! Glad to have you with us. 

 

Thank you, glad to be here! 😊

 

27 minutes ago, Geezer said:

Welcome Bug. I know you will find this site helpful and encouraging as you journey out of your religious indoctrination into true freedom. 

 

Freedom and truth are my biggest pursuits right now, so that's very reassuring to hear. 

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Welcome, Bug :) You've just started a journey on a road that I have been on for 30+ years. The longer I stay away from the church, the more bullshit I see in religion. You will come to know a peace that you never had in the cult. Have fun here! :)

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5 hours ago, Derek said:

Welcome, Bug :) You've just started a journey on a road that I have been on for 30+ years. The longer I stay away from the church, the more bullshit I see in religion. You will come to know a peace that you never had in the cult. Have fun here! :)

 

Haha, thanks!

 

It's just a bit ironic that I developed a fascination with cults when I was younger and then later realized that I was, in fact, a part of one all along. 

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5 minutes ago, Bug said:

 

Haha, thanks!

 

It's just a bit ironic that I developed a fascination with cults when I was younger and then later realized that I was, in fact, a part of one all along. 

 

Yep, you speak for many on this site. Many of us have been there and done that.

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Wow,I selfishly wish you were still in TX,I would love to hang out with you. 

I too had a slow deconversion and shed pentecostal xianity last year. 

I hope you post more often.

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2 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

Wow,I selfishly wish you were still in TX,I would love to hang out with you. 

I too had a slow deconversion and shed pentecostal xianity last year. 

I hope you post more often.

 

It's funny, I spent all those years in Texas only meeting about 2 people who weren't Christian that became good friends of mine.

 

Now that I'm gone, I keep seeing and hearing about all these non-believers in the south. Where have you been? 😋

 

I imagine part of the issue is that I wasn't exactly looking for non-believers as  a Christian and they, understandably, weren't looking for me too often either.  

 

Looking back, I believe many non-believers in my hometown were probably also afraid to come out of the shadows because if they did they were in for an exhausting time. 

Back in my early 20s there was an Atheist family that moved into the "city" portion of our town. If you listened to the incessant chattering of the local Christians you would have thought that the Antichrist himself had rolled in with a captive wife and children. 

 

Can't say I blame them for eventually leaving, as I did the exact same thing! 

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55 minutes ago, Bug said:

 

It's funny, I spent all those years in Texas only meeting about 2 people who weren't Christian that became good friends of mine.

 

Now that I'm gone, I keep seeing and hearing about all these non-believers in the south. Where have you been? 😋

 

 

Hiding in plain sight. :D

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You are absolutely on your way out and carefully and thoroughly reasearching the topic as you're doing is the quickest way to distance yourself from all the fear christianity implanted in you to keep you from leaving. The very most shocking realization you are likely to uncover is that there is absolutely nothing about christianity that is compelling. It looks from every angle to be the man made fairytail that it is (along with bits and pieces of ignorance, wisdom, disgusting advice, beautiful poetry, you name it all thrown together pell-mell). If there's any chance the awful creature they came up with in the bible is a personal god then every human being aught to be very afraid irregardless of what they believe in. The life that we apparently have is so much better and simpler so really good for you Bug! You're young with a nice athiest partner and just starting the best part of your life. It is so very nice to have you with us.

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Welcome Bug, glad you have joined us.

 

You mentioned some great resources that helps deconversion. Fear is one of the greatest things to overcome. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. 

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3 hours ago, Geezer said:

 

Hiding in plain sight. :D

 

Haha, it's sometimes said that is the best hiding place of all! 👀

 

3 hours ago, DanForsman said:

The life that we apparently have is so much better and simpler so really good for you Bug! You're young with a nice athiest partner and just starting the best part of your life. It is so very nice to have you with us.

 

Thank you. It has been surprising to me how much simpler certain aspects of my life have already become. Personally, it is a huge relief for me to not have to worry that God and all of my deceased loved ones are watching my every move, measuring my mistakes. I'm very slowly but surely trying to become less self critical and realize it's okay to just be human. I used to spend hours wrapped up in anxiety and depression solely because I feared I was disappointing God. It feels good to live for myself and those I love instead.

 

3 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Welcome Bug, glad you have joined us.

 

You mentioned some great resources that helps deconversion. Fear is one of the greatest things to overcome. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. 

 

Thank you for this! As a social worker, I have to constantly remind myself that sometimes the helpers need help too and it's okay to reach out to others.  It's easy to get super caught up in helping everyone else and forget all about your own needs, but I'm trying really hard to make time for both now. Ultimately, I believe I will actually be able to help clients more in the long-run if I take time to do research now while I don't have children, animals, or other things (aside from relationships) that would demand a lot of attention and care.

 

I've always been good about separating religion from work in a professional setting, but it will probably benefit me to go home and think of solutions that might actually help rather than pray all of my time away. 

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Welcome, from a retired social worker.  Yes, we also need help and support from time to time, and you can find it here.

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Thank you again!

 

So far everyone has been very welcoming and kind to me, which is always such a nice feeling.

It's good to be reminded that community can always be found outside of church, especially if you're willing to look for it.

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This thread "bugs" me.  😁

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26 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

This thread "bugs" me.  😁

 

Sorry, I mite have taken it too far again.

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3 minutes ago, Bug said:

 

Sorry, I mite have taken it too far again.

I'm sure that wasp't your intent.

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