Feeling a little guilty
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09-11-2016, 09:54 PM
Feeling a little guilty
Given that I'm still trying to rid my mind of past brainwashing, I'm still struggling a lot. Most of my friends know now that I'm an atheist, but I never told my friend from SC about it because I didn't want to hurt her feelings. She and her family are very religious and the home sermon they had was what ultimately triggered my deconversion and getting sick, and I can't bring myself to tell her that.

That being said, I do feel it was made a little obvious that I was uncomfortable with it all when I was there. I cried during the sermon and ended up leaving halfway through it and crying the rest of the night due to the fear of hell. I stopped eating. I felt sick during the worship songs played in the car. When her dad prayed over me the last day I was there, I was nearly crying all over again. Not to mention that the fear of my damnation essentially plagued me for literally every waking moment of the rest of my "vacation". I refused to join their family prayer meeting.

It's been a few months now and she still doesn't know about my disbelief (or fear-and-guilt-related aversions to Christianity). That being said, I'm still extremely uncomfortable with the subject. I'm still very anxious, I get sick to my stomach whenever the subject of religion is brought up, and all the progress I think I've made getting over it comes toppling back down.

The height of my guilt over this came today, when she sent me gifts from her trip to Italy. Various candies, and a piece of jewelry from the Vatican (I did joke that I was "Pope-approved" with her Tongue ) but it's actually the jewelry that's my problem.

I know I'm being overly sensitive to this and I feel like trash for doing what I did, but I hadn't really examined the jewelry at first. I noticed it was blue and liked that, but then when I took it out a cross with Jesus hanging from it (eeeugh) was there and I immediately felt sick. I knew I wouldn't be able to bring myself to wear it or even look at it without feeling scared.

So I put the jewelry on my sister's desk instead, because she's still Christian and I figured she would like it. ^^;

But I feel extremely guilty about that decision and I just want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong by giving my gift to someone else. Sad
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10-11-2016, 12:17 AM
RE: Feeling a little guilty
Diddlyboop, if the cross made you feel ill then it's not wise for you to keep it and I see no problem with regifting it to someone who might appreciate it. You deserve better emotions in your life, ones that build you up.

There will probably come a time when you have to tell your friend in SC, but I'd advise not doing that until (and unless) you feel ready to do so. E-mail would be the safest way, if you do it at all. Strongly advise not doing it in person, and over the phone isn't a great idea either.

In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. You may find that practicing slow, controlled breathing helps in calming down emotions if they get out of hand. Trauma does take a while to heal, and the most important thing right now is to avoid situations that have the potential to re-trigger painful emotions.
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10-11-2016, 12:30 AM
RE: Feeling a little guilty
(10-11-2016 12:17 AM)Astreja Wrote:  Diddlyboop, if the cross made you feel ill then it's not wise for you to keep it and I see no problem with regifting it to someone who might appreciate it. You deserve better emotions in your life, ones that build you up.

There will probably come a time when you have to tell your friend in SC, but I'd advise not doing that until (and unless) you feel ready to do so. E-mail would be the safest way, if you do it at all. Strongly advise not doing it in person, and over the phone isn't a great idea either.

In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. You may find that practicing slow, controlled breathing helps in calming down emotions if they get out of hand. Trauma does take a while to heal, and the most important thing right now is to avoid situations that have the potential to re-trigger painful emotions.

My sister just got home. She loved it. I warned her not to take any pictures of herself with it (or at least not post it on Facebook or anywhere else said religious friend could see) so that she won't get upset.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep myself calm, reminding myself that there is no evidence for any hell or afterlife or judgment and that I'm not alone in this. No matter what happens, I won't be alone, this isn't my fault, and it's okay to believe (or not believe) what I want.

This whole thing has taken a toll on me. I don't want to spam the "Recovering from Religion" section with too many threads but I know there's still a lot of fighting left to do.

But thank you for reassuring me that there's nothing to be ashamed of in regifting the necklace. Hug
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10-11-2016, 01:02 AM
RE: Feeling a little guilty
Fuck them. Be yourself.

Good luck. The world is a BIG place.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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10-11-2016, 06:55 AM
RE: Feeling a little guilty
You gotta be you. Don't feel guilty for not wanting to keep or wear something that you don't believe in or something that causes you stress and anxiety. Guilt is a Christian/Catholic thing. Wink Don't feel guilty for wanting to think for yourself and live your life the way *you* want to.

Re: Christianity--There were many religions on the planet before Christianity even existed. Christianity is not special Tongue Here's a great lecture from Richard Carrier.





Re: Hell. I think it was Inquisition (?) who posted this great video from Darkmatter.



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10-11-2016, 08:23 AM
RE: Feeling a little guilty
(09-11-2016 09:54 PM)Diddlyboop Wrote:  Given that I'm still trying to rid my mind of past brainwashing, I'm still struggling a lot. [...]

The other guys have already given you some great advice. I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling a bit with your deconversion, but it's definitely a fight worth the effort.

The issue of an alleged "hell" or purgatory was nothing more than a notion dreamed up—literally—by the early Christians as a means of empowering the churches. Religious dogma has always centred on power plays; you be a good little sheep and do what the Church says (and give us money) and you'll go to this beautiful place when you die. If, on the other hand, you're naughty (and don't obey the Church or pay them money) then you'll burn in hell forever. Both concepts of course are pure fantasy fiction—which you'll come to acknowledge in the not-too-distant future.

I'm glad to see you're making progress, even if a bit more slowly than you anticipated, but bear in mind it's somewhat difficult to erase decades of indoctrination—or brainwashing as you aptly call it—overnight. And don't be too overly concerned about friends and family having difficulties with your atheism; these sorts of relationship dramas will work themselves out spontaneously given the passage of time.

Smile

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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10-11-2016, 04:13 PM
RE: Feeling a little guilty
I would think about it like this.
1. If the friendship is so thin. That it could be broken with a single thought. A single event. How strong is that relationship?

2. Putting yourself threw stress is not worth it. Especially when there isn't anything to fear. Had the necklace been a stone, a wiggly line, a crystal. It would have the same "power" that a cross would have. None. I've gotten plenty of stuff that just winds up in a shelf, or a box. that I completely forget about.

3. You don't have to answer for anything. You don't have to tell anyone of your lack of belief, you don't have to diminutive others beliefs, and you don't have to adhere to them. When I have dinner with my in-laws they pray before they eat. I don't. I sit quietly. It's their home and I respect them. So I'm not going to make a scene. That changes completely should I be told I MUST pray, or I MUST show honor to their idea of a god. This I will not do. I respectfully decline. But if pressed further is when I engage.

4. Relapses happen, a fear is a powerful in the hands of the religous.. But is that the life one should lead? Fearing shadows. When I was a boy my Uncle one told me. Fear is your obsessive friend, it can make you think before trying something, that may be dangerous. It may save your life. But let it tell you to do everything, it no longer is your friend it's your boss. It can prevent you from trying new things, thinking new ideas, and taking chances. Keep fear at arms length, not on your back.

5. In my life I have made many friends. I'm 35. Many of which. I no longer see, or talk to anymore. I know that I have many more that I will make. The lasting ones, are the people that have accepted me for who I am. And I have accepted them as who they are. They are but a small handful. But I value them the most. They are the people I would travel thousands of miles for if they needed me. Those are the people you need to worry about. Not the ones that will continue to judge you.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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