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ConsiderTheSource

Anxiety and the Ex Fundy Christian, with Agnostic parents.

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For a long time, close to 8 years now, I have been trying to reconcile my personal experience of a complete, and immediately, elimination of an adult life of medically controlled anxiety at deconversion versus the continued anxiety I read from soooo many who have rejected faith.  I think, maybe, I have found a possible explanation.

 

My dad was an agnostic.  He used to tell me he prayed to god everynight "just in case he was there", yet he also railed against the church hypocrites.  Unfortunately, for me, i ended up in Sunday school...."free babysitting", followed by indoctrination by fundys as a young adult.

 

So, today, it occurred to me while reading a parent vs child testimony on another ex-christian site that maybe my anxiety disappeared as I had no family reinforcing the anxiety once I deconverted.....but these others folks, still dealing with anxiety, have actual and/or past programming from being raised in a family fully consumption by the church mindfuck.  It haughts them in ways that do not impact me 

 

Does this sound reasonable?  Is this the explanation I have been seeking for so long?  Your thoughts are greatly valued.  Thank you so much.

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Very much so. Trauma is an emotional reaction to real or perceived threat, and if that keeps getting triggered by people close to you it becomes much more difficult to escape, especially if they are dramatic and controlling personalities, or simply important people to the one in trauma. Even the slight example of anxiety that I had to deal with recently was made easier by my wife who gave me reality checks, and by friends who understood PTSD. When it was finally gone, the triggers no longer had any effect except to annoy instead of making me feel like being hunted. If they had been like my immediate family, they only would have reinforced the kill-or-be-killed response over something that didn't warrant it. I realized that when I was young, that was pretty much the only response they had, so it was ingrained. I learned a lot of maturity through this situation, and having reasonable people around me was key in deprogramming.  

 

The same sort of thing happens in addiction, when a person is surrounded by those that are addicted and who benefit from the person staying addicted. An example was Amy Winehouse, kept addicted by a boyfriend who fed off of her money and popularity, and record promoters that wanted her to function like a machine making money for them, something she was longing to stop. She saw that she was heading towards ruin, and gave a final apology to her closest friends before killing herself with alcohol. 

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18 minutes ago, Fuego said:

Very much so. Trauma is an emotional reaction to real or perceived threat, and if that keeps getting triggered by people close to you it becomes much more difficult to escape, especially if they are dramatic and controlling personalities, or simply important people to the one in trauma. Even the slight example of anxiety that I had to deal with recently was made easier by my wife who gave me reality checks, and by friends who understood PTSD. When it was finally gone, the triggers no longer had any effect except to annoy instead of making me feel like being hunted. If they had been like my immediate family, they only would have reinforced the kill-or-be-killed response over something that didn't warrant it. I realized that when I was young, that was pretty much the only response they had, so it was ingrained. I learned a lot of maturity through this situation, and having reasonable people around me was key in deprogramming.  

 

The same sort of thing happens in addiction, when a person is surrounded by those that are addicted and who benefit from the person staying addicted. An example was Amy Winehouse, kept addicted by a boyfriend who fed off of her money and popularity, and record promoters that wanted her to function like a machine making money for them, something she was longing to stop. She saw that she was heading towards ruin, and gave a final apology to her closest friends before killing herself with alcohol. 

Thanks again for your almost always well thought out and spot on thoughts.  I am quite thrilled that maybe I have this observed quasi contradiction figured out.  

 

I have been bothered for some time why my response to deconstruction was so immediate, and different, than so many others.  What you are saying makes a lot of sense.  It is the trauma, real and remembered, that generates the anxiety.  

 

For me, removing my religious programming was an action that firewalled off most all of the trama.  There is nothing else in my life, sans religious advertising/social media, insisting I relive and reprocess their abusive mental garbage.  Few childhood memories, out side of Sunday School, to reprocess.  And, most importantly, no family interjecting along the way, one of the few bonuses that comes from losing all immediate birth family at only age 45.

It makes sense.   :)

 

I am open to all discussion on this, confirming or noncomfirming.

 

Eight years without anxiety whatsoever.  Life is so much better.

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Well that is not my case. I think these are things which are hard to fully comprehend because many factors chip in and are very dynamic. 

       I would like to say that for people who suffer from physical sexual abuse or any other really traumatasing interpersonal connection within the religious environment things rarely dissapear fast. 

     It also depends on the depth of your devotion ( not to have some match here, i am referring to practical things like did you have a clerical position , time spent praying or preaching, etc) 

    And as was said, on the current environment you are in. A small town in the south where the church is vital and all the folk know each other and you are basically alone is different from downtown New York. Also the type of church - small denomination or worlwide presence and histofical importance like the the Roman Catholics? 

       Maybe even genetics and basic brain wiring.

    And etc.

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Certainly one's environment, previous abusive treatment, and genetics also play into the mix. I've seen several folks on here who have a terrible struggle letting go of fears, and at least one who was very active on the boards go back into Christianity due to mental and emotional pressures. Any mental illness will magnify the difficulty.

 

For CTS above, finding reality was a matter of getting away from the mental programming, so environment was key. He also has a very sharp mind, so was able to review and discard the false information he'd been given. 

 

For me, once I recognized that Christianity wasn't true, the fears disappeared along with the god. It still took a few years to purge some deep fears I'd had since childhood. Breaking the other huge anxiety I faced recently took a combination of other people's help and actively reprogramming my mind over a month or two, as well as recognizing the decades of programming I had as a child for dealing with issues. That took facing the fear on purpose every day and night, and talking to that part of my mind to help it recognize the incorrect programming and accept a new approach. That wasn't something I'd had to do before and was eye-opening on how the brain works. 

 

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