Jump to content

Rationalizations and Realizations


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I’ve been thinking and feeling a lot lately and wanted to share some of it. I know a lot of this has probably already been said by others on here and that’s okay, I’m just sharing my experiences and what I’ve realized since leaving Christianity. 
I play piano, and it’s actually been helpful for my deconversion process to just get my thoughts out there with music and singing/yelling sometimes haha. 
   So I think my belief and trust in Jesus was the last to leave. Because that used to be comforting to me and even after I stopped believing in the Bible like I used to and realizing that  hell didn’t exist, etc, I still clung to that. I clung to the idea of a plan for my life and that I could trust in Jesus to be there for me and love me no matter what. I used to to think that feeling everything so much and hurting so much on the inside meant that I was closer to God and I was experiencing what God felt for us, his compassion, his hurt, all his pain for humanity. I thought by feeling that it meant I was becoming like Jesus. All things to all people. I thought I had to be all things to all people and it was really exhausting. Looking back it was a lot of not knowing how to regulate my emotions, trauma, combined with a little bit of undiagnosed ADHD. But I’ve been calling myself an ex Christian for sure all the way since about last October. Almost a year. It’s still raw sometimes and I know it’s a process, but every day I’m so glad I’m not in it anymore. The guilt, the manipulation, the lies, the fear, and so much more. It outweighs all the good I got from it. I miss the community sometimes, the feeling of security from thinking there was a plan for me, the peace I would occasionally get from a “God” feeling, but I don’t miss the devastating shame, the horrifying fear, the pettiness of which sins were worse than others even though they’re all supposed to be the “same”, and the feeling of never being enough. 
   That’s something too I’ve realized. You’re never enough in Christianity. It’s supposed to be fine, because God is enough and he covered you and you shouldn’t feel guilty, at least that’s what you’re told at first. But you can never read your Bible enough. You can never pray enough. You can never “share the gospel” or “witness enough. You can never worship enough. You’re broken and you raise your hands to pray for forgiveness for your sins and you feel so dirty and dark and just wrong. For a moment of peace you feel 100 nights of guilt and shame. God can never have enough glory, he can never have enough lives, enough suffering, enough of you. It’s a cycle of shame that never ends. It just keeps going, and you keep praying, and keep sinning, and asking for forgiveness, and feeling close to God, and feeling far, so far. And over and over and over again. You really don’t see it when you’re in it but it’s so sickening from the outside. 
   The lengths you have to go to to justify so much. I was okay with being killed and tortured for the gospel at 8. I thought I was going to be killed at any time for Jesus. We were taught what to say and do if an armed gunman came into church or anywhere and asked us to deny the gospel. Because that was super likely to happen in the United States, particularly the south, I’m rolling my eyes thinking about it but I was terrified as a kid. I was so okay with dying from such a young age. I read and heard stories of families being tortured and killed in front of a father or mother to try and get them to deny God and Jesus and them refusing, and my father or mother nodding along, sometimes teary eyed, because if that’s what it took, then that’s what it took to be faithful to God. That is so messed up. Years of toxic purity culture and being blamed for the lust of men and teenaged boys. Time after time “should she have been wearing that” and “she was asking for it wasn’t she?” In the same breath as praying for safety and health for their own wives and daughters. 
    Teenage boys were told they shouldn’t marry a woman who was raped because she “wasn’t pure”. Girls and boys were made guilty for assaults that may have happened when they were in diapers, for anything and everything that made them “impure”. I know people are just people, and Christianity is technically no different from other groups in that it can have really good people and really bad people, but Christianity also enables certain things. Certain types of people and certain types of behavior. There’s a reason why abusers, rapists, manipulators, liars, and sociopaths flock to Christianity. Because it so often enables them and lets them get away with so much. Look at the Duggar family. Since I grew up homeschooled they were praised a lot. Look at how they treated the oldest brother who assaulted his sister. Sent him to someone’s house to “get better”. The parents, especially the Dad, were and are so controlling. That’s not good for any child to grow up under. 
  I’ve actually found a lot of helpful people and information to help me with all of this online, here and other places, and through social media. Weirdly enough through Tik Tok. There’s a surprising amount of ex Christians on that app and it’s helped me to process immensely. I stopped caring as much who knew I wasn’t a Christian anymore, and while I’ve had some hard and hurtful conversations, I’ve also received more support and understanding from people I’ve known a while who are in similar places now. It’s caused some great conversations to happen and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there.

   I wish I could get more of my friends and family to leave, to really see the manipulation and the lies, but I know I can’t do that. I can’t make people want to doubt. That’s something they’re going to have to do on their own. It’s hard, like with my parents? I honestly don’t think they would know who they were if not for Christianity. And that makes me so sad. But it’s been their whole lives. Who would they even be without it? What kind of identity would they have? I know it’s possible and I’m not giving up on the hope that maybe one day they’ll realize, but I can’t actively try to convince them to leave, it’s too hard and it doesn’t work. I’m so much more content and even though some things in my life are hard I still feel so much better. So much more free. I’m still learning a lot and researching a lot but it’s at my own pace, I don’t feel like my eternal salvation depends on it. I appreciate you guys a lot and thanks for being here and for listening. 
 

P.S. do you have to have a certain amount of posts to be able to react or like posts? I’m a little confused on that. I want to like so many things on here but I can’t haha. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your post brought back so many memories. I've been out for 14 years, so a lot of the ruts of thinking and feeling have been filled in with new behaviors and patterns. It does get better and more real little by little. The toxic ways of Christianity become more obvious. I've found that people who didn't spend years in it really have no concept of what it teaches outside of the basic salvation story, and no idea what the daily life of a believer is like. I still have Christian songs pop into my head, since I spent 30 years cramming them into it. I am still impressed with a couple of the musicians, and the talent of one clever lyricist though the lyrics are clearly selling the cult. I typically try to consciously change the song in my head to something like an old swing era standard because Christian lyrics are often toxic. 

 

3 hours ago, FairlySunny said:

It’s hard, like with my parents? I honestly don’t think they would know who they were if not for Christianity.

Yeah, it's all consuming and all defining. When I deconverted, I was friends with a few immigrant families, and it became pretty obvious quickly that we had nothing in common outside of belief, other than just being kind and liking music. When people are allowed to become themselves instead of "dying to self", they can blossom into something quite different than the church life would ever have produced. And that can make or break relationships, depending on the people. 

 

And yes, you do have to have a certain number of posts before various parts of the forum become available. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have a lot more wisdom than i did at alomst-year-one!  It took me a lot longer than you to figure out now people won't be convinced until they are on ready their own.

 

Thanks for sharing and welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi and good to see you and hear your expiences.

I also play the piano (though a lot less now due to age and fingers not working) and it helps a lot. I do quite enjoy playing worship songs but am not really aware of the words. I played piano/organ in church for some years after deconversion (the congregation new I no longer believed and welcomed me and the music) but I rarely thought about the words except to try to respond on behalf of the congregation, I didn't (what's the word?) accept them as my own. In the end I could no longer stomach listening to the rubbish spoken at the front and left completely.

I don't attempt to debate the issues, it's a waste of time. But I feel sorry for my friends who are still caught up with their imaginary gods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/31/2021 at 2:47 AM, Insightful said:

... It took me a lot longer than you to figure out now people won't be convinced until they are on ready their own.  ...

 

It truly shames me that it took all my adult life to realize that human beings see what they believe.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

 

It truly shames me that it took all my adult life to realize that human beings see what they believe.

 

Feel not shame, but an unburdening.  Think of everyone you know who are still trapped in that set of beliefs and grow more ossified in it with each passing year.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator
1 hour ago, Krowb said:

ossified

This is a term that doesn't get used often enough in everyday conversation. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@alreadyGone

Yeah, please don’t feel bad, I think for those of us that end up here, we get here when we can, you know? And I’ve found people cling to parts of religion for many different reasons, a sense of comfort is a big one. I still have to remind myself that people will believe what they want, even when confronted with evidence that says otherwise. But it is hard. I still struggle with not laying into my Christian friends and family for the problems with the things they believe. But I have to remind myself it won’t do any good, especially to approach it like that. I’ve talked to many Christians since they found out I’ve left and some admitted they still believe or try to believe because of fear of hell. Some admitted they needed it to believe God had a plan for their life because they needed horrible things that had happened to them to make sense, to believe that maybe the horrible things would equal out to some wonderful plan someday. And I do truly get that because I used to believe it too. In a messed up roundabout way, when bad things happen to you, you can convince yourself it’s all part of some grand plan and that makes it worth the suffering. But good grief there’s so much suffering. All the time. 
Anyway, thanks for all the replies and support! This community has been so helpful to me the past year, especially with Covid and everything else going on. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have expressed here more than once it is so very common for believers to lose patience with an "apostate" after trying to help them regain the faith. And from that point the emphasis for them changes from doing what they believe God wants and expects them to do for a former believer, for "the kingdom of God" and then shifts instead to a matter of the very human personal stance of getting what they want... to be right.

 

Christians are eager to try to help bring home the lost sheep, until they realize that it can require a lot of effort, and require taking part in discussions that often become uncomfortable for them.

At that point, it's common in my experience to see them react with some variation on "well see, the problem here is that you are... you. "

 

"You insist on doubting, when you should just have faith. Don't rely on your own understanding.

I'm not troubled by these questions, so the problem then is that you... are you.

You just have the wrong attitude. Don't be you, be me."

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator
1 hour ago, alreadyGone said:

Don't be you, be me

Damn...

 

You'll never be happy living someone else's version of your life.  And who's going to be you if you ain't?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Damn...

 

You'll never be happy living someone else's version of your life.  And who's going to be you if you ain't?  

 

Amazing how that accompanies the firm belief that God created you to be your unique self.

 

Jeremiah 1 1
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator
1 hour ago, alreadyGone said:

Amazing how that accompanies the firm belief that God created you to be your unique self.

Mental fuckery at its worst.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.