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Kurari

Running Backwards

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I think my testimonial is kind of backwards from most. I grew up in a family of agnostics. I didn't find out my father was Lutheran until I happened to ask my mother about it in my mid-20's. I don't know why he stopped practicing. He's never felt the need to talk about it, and I've never asked him. My mother was raised strict Southern Presbyterian and it was a miserable experience for her. Her deconversion was a shitstorm that is never spoken about, but she managed to tell my grandparents to keep their beliefs to themselves if they wanted us grandchildren in their lives. I don't know how she did it or why, but my grandparents in spite of being very cavalier fundamentalists, never once tried to impress me or my brother about god and the church. We were baptized, and that was the extent of it. Easter and Christmas were about gifts and chocolate besides my mother's old college religious study texts and old heirloom family Bibles, we never had any iconography in the house.

 

Church and God was never part of our lives. In fact, my mother told me once, "People who go to church and pray are too personally weak to deal with real life."

 

The thing was, I was personally weak growing up. Long story short, I was the "weird one" wherever I went. It wasn't that I was radically different from anyone else. I didn't stick out much, but somehow, everyone just "knew" I didn't belong anywhere. Long story short, I was picked on and abused a lot growing up, and generally made to feel like I was worthless and should be ashamed of myself for existing. I think that's why I turned to Christianity in the first place. I was lonely and wanted acceptance. I wanted to know the kind of unconditional love that God could give because it was missing so badly from the people in my life. I looked at Christians and their community (the happy face of it) and wanted to be part of it. Maybe I could find some acceptance there for who I was.

 

I converted in secret when I was 15; too ashamed to tell my parents. I couldn't really go to church without being found out, so I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart on my own and started reading the Bible. Some lady out in the park gave me her very nice personal Bible because somehow we had ended up in a religious discussion and she felt I needed it more than she did. I wondered if that was a "sign."

 

I ended up trying to teach myself the faith and I discovered pretty quickly I was really pretty bad at it. The Bible didn't make any sense to me. Not even the Cliff Notes. I found the book horrendously boring to read, which I felt guilty about. I never finished it. I couldn't even memorize key passages, it was so boring. I wondered if I could just fake it a little and maybe nobody would notice.

 

I tried researching the history next. I was horrified reading about some of the atrocities that people had committed in Jesus' name. I was baffled that a religion so focused on the love of God could do things like that to other people. Destroying their lives, their families, their cultures and stealing their money, their land, and their faith. Torture, death, disease, havoc, disruption, descruction, it just went on and on. I couldn't fathom how any of these people could possibly believe that God was telling them to do these things.

 

Still, I pressed on. I puzzled over the constant inconsistencies in what was being taught...love thy neighbor but hate homosexuals. Sex is only for procreation, yet read the Psalms. Women should be held in reverence until they step out of line and then they should be stoned. And being a woman, I realized that I wasn't going to get out of under anyone's thumb. I was a sub-class because of my gender, but then again, I believed I was sub-class just by accident of birth.

 

Still, even though my mind knew almost from the beginning this was all ludicrous, I stayed a Christian for ten years because I bought hook, line, and sinker that I must be doing something wrong if it wasn't enriching my life. The people I did talk to said so. I tried to pray, but I felt nothing, heard nothing, and my prayers were hit or miss. If I didn't get what I wanted, or something bad happened, I thought I had done something bad or I was being "tested." That's what I was told anyway. But I was a fool and kept swallowing the bait of "you're not trying hard enough, being faithful enough, or doing it right."

 

I couldn't seem to do anything right. I couldn't even follow the basic rules of the Ten Commandments. I was going to wait until marriage to have sex the first time until I realized I didn't date often enough for that to appear even likely. Especially since my previous dating experiances were with girls. I wouldn't have minded a guy, but none of them seemed interested in me. I still had that "weird" aura about me. I tried to honor my mother and father and held my family above all else during some really tough times. What happened? I held the family together at my own sacrifice, and they decided I was a very convenient doormat and used me to wipe their feet on. They wore me out until I left in desperation for my own life.

 

Worst of all, I tried to fit in by holding the same prejudices about gays, people who engaged in pre-marital sex, anti-choice, and all that other self-righteous garbage. I treated some other people very badly because of it. And the worst part, in the back of my mind, I knew how very, very, wrong that was. I was harrassing people that weren't any different than me, and I didn't feel very good about myself. Yes, it did come back to bite me on the ass. Learned some very painful lessons there.

 

In a last ditch effort, I tried going to church, and finally "came out" to my parents that I was a Christian. You can imagine their disappointment, but they kept that to themselves. If I wanted to be a Christian, they weren't going to interfere or give me crap about it.

 

Except that every time I went to church, I got the heebie jeebies because I felt like I was in the wrong place. All those old familial prejudices kept rearing their heads. I didn't get off on the right foot with the congregation. My first day there, I practically got pounced on by the welcome wagon with a savage glee to have a new convert. Everyone tried to make me feel s'darned welcome and "one of the fold," they got WAY too overly friendly for comfort, and I balked and was extremely standoffish. I don't think they took that well. From then on, they were polite, but it was clear I was never "one of the fold" and never would be.

 

I finally started opening my eyes. I couldn't fit in. I would never fit in. And I wondered, why would God make us all different if he wanted us all to be the same anyway? If God is omnipotent and unconditionally loving, why did I have to do these certain things a certain way or I was going to go to Hell?

 

Maybe...just maybe...things were just fine the way they are. I was fine as I was, weird as I was, and God didn't care one way or another what faith I was.

 

So I deconverted. It was scary, but I did it. I tried on some other kinds of religions from Wicca to Zen, but mostly looking into religions that promoted you being yourself. I calmed down a lot during that. I did almost a complete turn around personality wise. I went from introverted and shy to extroverted and outgoing. I found and made friends as weird as I was, starting living life the way I wanted, and doing the things I wanted to do with my life. I've never been happier.

 

But I still never quite fit into any religion.

 

Then one day a couple of years ago, I picked up some books on learning to talk to angels. The books offered a more general, non-specific advice for connecting to the Divine, praying, and learning to interpret prayers that didn't cater to any particular religion. It was only then that I had some pretty profound spiritual changes.

 

I won't go into that. It's personal, but it was the last peice of the jigsaw puzzle that I needed. I know for certain now that what I believe and how I believe has absolutely no impact on my soul's ultimate destination or the universe. I feel spiritually at ease and like I belong in life. Weirdness and all.

 

And what I find most amusingly ironic about it all is that in order to gain acceptance and spiritual peace I had to drop out of all religions to do it all by myself.

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kudos to you and welcome to the site.

 

just remember the first step to acceptance, is to accept yourself. be comfortable and confident with who you are.

 

trust me. youre not weird. fweethawt is weird... but youre not :grin: jk... being weird just means we're individuals.

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fweethawt is weird... but youre not :grin:
You know, I was just thinking... :scratch:

 

how completely and utterly uncalled for that comment was. :mellow:

 

I think I shall cry. :HappyCry:

 

 

 

 

 

 

:HaHa:

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Kurari:

 

I'm new here as well.

 

Like you, I was picked on as a kid and never quite fit in. What seemed to work for other's never did for me.

 

It took a lot of courage to go through the self-examination to bring you where you are, and you should be proud of that.

 

You mentioned you had a change of personality after your deconversion, that you made friends even though you were "wierd". I believe you are an individual and different and that most folks will see that as "wierd".

 

Big difference.

 

Welcome to the site.

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Kurari:

 

I'm new here as well.

 

Like you, I was picked on as a kid and never quite fit in. What seemed to work for other's never did for me.

 

It took a lot of courage to go through the self-examination to bring you where you are, and you should be proud of that.

 

You mentioned you had a change of personality after your deconversion, that you made friends even though you were "wierd". I believe you are an individual and different and that most folks will see that as "wierd".

 

Big difference.

 

Welcome to the site.

 

Thank you very much Vortex! I still get called "wierd" regularly, but I take it as a compliment now. :HaHa:

 

Looks like I'm in good company here on this board. *G*

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And what I find most amusingly ironic about it all is that in order to gain acceptance and spiritual peace I had to drop out of all religions to do it all by myself.

 

That's one of the best things in my opinion! I for one am glad when people find themselves a positive spiritual path for themselves that doesn't require them to be badgered into it.

 

One where shame and the like isn't drilled into you!

 

And I must agree, this does look like a very supportive group here!

 

-Seth

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Kurari,

 

Cheers from another weirdo. I was one since kindergarden. Picked on, abused, and everything else.

 

I deconverted about a year ago, and reading your story gives me hope, because I still can't fit in anywhere.

 

The other thing I have in common with you is my need for something spiritual, but I could never get it from religion, because I can now see through all their gimmicks. I need something entirely of my own, but I haven't found anything. Anything that even remotely sounds like "god" scares me to death. I am afraid that I am going to give my soul away to another cultic practice.

 

I wonder if you could, perhaps through a private e-mail, recommend the books you read.

 

Thank you for sharing your story.

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Hi Kurari.

 

Thanks for posting your story. I too do feel weird sometimes armong people (especially strangers). I never really could fit in in church as much as I could with this group of friends from school even though they were quite friendly and stuff. Maybe it's because of my upbringing?

 

I didn't have a partciularly happy childhood. My father would always grumble about our relatives. He wasn't very kind with his words about us (me and my mum) too. Sometimes I feel that has hindered my social life. I guess the most important thing to being accepted is to first accept yourself. I do struggle with low self esteem and at times it really sucks. But having my mum around really helps. I think we also need friends/family who we can talk about our problems and struggles freely without the fear of being looked down on. It really helps you accept yourself when you know that the people closest to you have already accepted you for who you are.

 

Hi Kurari.

 

Thanks for posting your story. I too do feel weird sometimes armong people (especially strangers). I never really could fit in in church as much as I could with this group of friends from school even though they were quite friendly and stuff. Maybe it's because of my upbringing?

 

I didn't have a partciularly happy childhood. My father would always grumble about our relatives. He wasn't very kind with his words about us (me and my mum) too. Sometimes I feel that has hindered my social life. I guess the most important thing to being accepted is to first accept yourself. I do struggle with low self esteem and at times it really sucks. But having my mum around really helps. I think we also need friends/family who we can talk about our problems and struggles freely without the fear of being looked down on. It really helps you accept yourself when you know that the people closest to you have already accepted you for who you are.

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Welcome, Kurari, from another "weirdo". I was picked on a lot from sixth grade through high school. I also went from introverted to extraverted once I accepted that I was okay as I am and wanted to try to be more outgoing.

 

You're in good company here, as most of us a little bit strange :lmao:

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