How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
03-06-2015, 10:56 PM (This post was last modified: 03-06-2015 10:59 PM by Worom.)
How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
The TLDR version is at the bottom of the post, for those who don't want the wall o text Smile

I wanted to post what my mind was like before I became an Atheist and how religion nearly shattered my mind. This won’t be an overly detailed but more of a generalization of how my mind was as I feel the length would be too great for this type of post. However, if anyone has questions or would like to elaborate on any topic further please let me know and I will do so.

When I was indoctrinated into the ideals of Christianity as a child I was taught of course that God loves us and that Jesus saved all of us by being sacrificed on the cross, and that If I believed him I would go to heaven, however if I didn’t I would burn forever in hell. As a child this fear caused me to of course to believe in God/Jesus out of fear of being sent to hell otherwise. I was also taught that anything that goes against the Bible is a work of the devil and to ignore the information and even proclaim to myself that I didn’t believe what was being said.

Those two “teachings” set me up for trouble in the future. My parents did their best to shield me from the outside world of science and knowledge. They did this by homeschooling/private schooling me up until 6th grade with a Christian based education, and very closely regulating what I watched on TV and what computer games I was eventually allowed to have. This was before the internet had become as wide spread as it is now and the most popular way of connecting was AOL.

When I was around the age of 10 or 11 I can’t remember exactly when, my parents allowed me to have a TV in my room for the first time. It was during this time that I was able to watch a few episodes of Star Trek and Bill Nye the science guy before I was caught and told I would be punished if I was caught watching them again. What my parents didn’t realize at the time is that this was enough to at least plant a small seed in my mind that I personally believe is what allowed me to finally break free from religion later on, but is also another source of my internal struggle that nearly shattered my Mind.

The struggle began when I first started taking science classes in a public school environment free of the influence of religion as my parents could no longer afford to keep me home schooled. I began to learn the ideas of science and the scientific method and to me I found it absolutely at least most concepts. The problems began when the age of the Earth and Evolution came into play, my parents of course found out about it because being the kid I was, I said my teachers said the Earth is billions of years old, and that we evolved from a common ancestor with apes. My parents of course immediately told me to not listen to that information and that the earth was only thousands of years old and created by God and Evolution is a lie propagated by the devil.

The effects of being told Evolution is a lie and the Earth is young, pushed me away from biology, geology and astronomy classes because they conflicted with my “belief” because I didn’t want to go to hell by being tricked by the devil. However, my love of science didn’t fade, it instead shifted towards Chemistry and computers, with a little bit of physics in there as well.

This has all set the stage of what began to happen in the last 3-4 years prior to my deconversion from Christianity. What this had setup in my mind is in a sense a split, I had two sides to my personality in a sense. The part of me that wanted to follow God and not go to hell, and the other part that wanted to develop my scientific mind and see where the rabbit hole goes so to speak. My fear of hell and damnation kept me from allowing me to explore the scientific side up until April of 2015.

With type of split in my mind it setup a nasty set of conditions within my mind. What I would end up doing is obsessively repeating in my mind the sentence. I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and body, and I would endless repeat it over and over again until I distracted myself with another task. I would cover my right hand and forehead when I slept with my blankets and couldn’t fall asleep at night unless I did so. The reason for this is because I was taught that the devil will mark those on either their right hand or forehead with the number 666 indicating that person was fallen and doomed to hell and would work as an agent of Satan. I would hallucinate that the devil was in my room watching me and that demons were trying to take me, and think that things were in the shadows that weren't actually there. I'm relieved and overjoyed that these thoughts have now ceased after taking the plunge into reason.

In conclusion, it is my belief that if I had not taken the plunge into the area of reason that what had been happening in the paragraph above would have become worse and worse over time until I was driven quite literally insane. This is why I think if I had not become an Atheist when I did it wouldn't have ended well for me.


TLDR Version: Indoctrinated by fear of hell into Christianity, seed of reason planted to allow break into freedom later. Caused mind split between Science and Religion, caused hallucinations, paranoia, and Obsessive compulsive tendencies due to fear of going to hell.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 15 users Like Worom's post
03-06-2015, 11:20 PM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your upbringing. It takes a lot of courage to express painful events, so I commend you for that. I'm glad you made it out the other side. Though I can't directly relate, I sympathize with your struggles and hope that you continue on a healthy and happy path forward.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Cosmic Discourse's post
04-06-2015, 02:26 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(03-06-2015 11:20 PM)Cosmic Discourse Wrote:  Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your upbringing. It takes a lot of courage to express painful events, so I commend you for that. I'm glad you made it out the other side. Though I can't directly relate, I sympathize with your struggles and hope that you continue on a healthy and happy path forward.

ditto from me
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2015, 03:30 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
Poor sod. Very sorry to read all that. I hope you are able to come to grips with your free life now.
Sadly I cannot relate to being a xian, having never believed in a god. It makes me useless here most of the time. However I do know scripture and wrote for Landover Baptist Church for years. If I can put those skills to use to help you I will.
Good luck.

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Banjo's post
04-06-2015, 07:42 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
Thank you all for your kind words, Things have been much better the last few months. I'm trying to absorb all the information I can, essentially trying to catch up on what I missed Smile

I wanted to show from my experience how damaging religion can be to the mind, my hope is it will convince at least one theist that visits these forums to consider what effect they have on people.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Worom's post
04-06-2015, 08:29 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
Good for you mate. Smile

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Banjo's post
04-06-2015, 08:38 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(03-06-2015 10:56 PM)Worom Wrote:  The TLDR version is at the bottom of the post, for those who don't want the wall o text Smile

I wanted to post what my mind was like before I became an Atheist and how religion nearly shattered my mind. This won’t be an overly detailed but more of a generalization of how my mind was as I feel the length would be too great for this type of post. However, if anyone has questions or would like to elaborate on any topic further please let me know and I will do so.

When I was indoctrinated into the ideals of Christianity as a child I was taught of course that God loves us and that Jesus saved all of us by being sacrificed on the cross, and that If I believed him I would go to heaven, however if I didn’t I would burn forever in hell. As a child this fear caused me to of course to believe in God/Jesus out of fear of being sent to hell otherwise. I was also taught that anything that goes against the Bible is a work of the devil and to ignore the information and even proclaim to myself that I didn’t believe what was being said.

Those two “teachings” set me up for trouble in the future. My parents did their best to shield me from the outside world of science and knowledge. They did this by homeschooling/private schooling me up until 6th grade with a Christian based education, and very closely regulating what I watched on TV and what computer games I was eventually allowed to have. This was before the internet had become as wide spread as it is now and the most popular way of connecting was AOL.

When I was around the age of 10 or 11 I can’t remember exactly when, my parents allowed me to have a TV in my room for the first time. It was during this time that I was able to watch a few episodes of Star Trek and Bill Nye the science guy before I was caught and told I would be punished if I was caught watching them again. What my parents didn’t realize at the time is that this was enough to at least plant a small seed in my mind that I personally believe is what allowed me to finally break free from religion later on, but is also another source of my internal struggle that nearly shattered my Mind.

The struggle began when I first started taking science classes in a public school environment free of the influence of religion as my parents could no longer afford to keep me home schooled. I began to learn the ideas of science and the scientific method and to me I found it absolutely at least most concepts. The problems began when the age of the Earth and Evolution came into play, my parents of course found out about it because being the kid I was, I said my teachers said the Earth is billions of years old, and that we evolved from a common ancestor with apes. My parents of course immediately told me to not listen to that information and that the earth was only thousands of years old and created by God and Evolution is a lie propagated by the devil.

The effects of being told Evolution is a lie and the Earth is young, pushed me away from biology, geology and astronomy classes because they conflicted with my “belief” because I didn’t want to go to hell by being tricked by the devil. However, my love of science didn’t fade, it instead shifted towards Chemistry and computers, with a little bit of physics in there as well.

This has all set the stage of what began to happen in the last 3-4 years prior to my deconversion from Christianity. What this had setup in my mind is in a sense a split, I had two sides to my personality in a sense. The part of me that wanted to follow God and not go to hell, and the other part that wanted to develop my scientific mind and see where the rabbit hole goes so to speak. My fear of hell and damnation kept me from allowing me to explore the scientific side up until April of 2015.

With type of split in my mind it setup a nasty set of conditions within my mind. What I would end up doing is obsessively repeating in my mind the sentence. I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and body, and I would endless repeat it over and over again until I distracted myself with another task. I would cover my right hand and forehead when I slept with my blankets and couldn’t fall asleep at night unless I did so. The reason for this is because I was taught that the devil will mark those on either their right hand or forehead with the number 666 indicating that person was fallen and doomed to hell and would work as an agent of Satan. I would hallucinate that the devil was in my room watching me and that demons were trying to take me, and think that things were in the shadows that weren't actually there. I'm relieved and overjoyed that these thoughts have now ceased after taking the plunge into reason.

In conclusion, it is my belief that if I had not taken the plunge into the area of reason that what had been happening in the paragraph above would have become worse and worse over time until I was driven quite literally insane. This is why I think if I had not become an Atheist when I did it wouldn't have ended well for me.


TLDR Version: Indoctrinated by fear of hell into Christianity, seed of reason planted to allow break into freedom later. Caused mind split between Science and Religion, caused hallucinations, paranoia, and Obsessive compulsive tendencies due to fear of going to hell.

Wow, I'm sorry to hear all this. I think your family has some serious issues, and perhaps their church, too. That's one reason I do what I do as a witnessing Christian. Some of my ministry is with people who grew up in a cult or some messed-up church. I'm glad you are feeling relief from the pain now. I mean that, even though I'd obviously prefer you were in a healthy church then living as a skeptic.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2015, 08:43 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
Child abuse at its finest, and sadly it is legal still to completely destroy a young person with the delusion called religion. Congrats on overcoming the brain washing, welcome to the real world.Thumbsup

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like goodwithoutgod's post
04-06-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(04-06-2015 08:38 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... people who grew up in a cult or some messed-up church ... I'd obviously prefer you were in a healthy church ...

What are some guidelines to help a person distinguish a "messed-up" church from a "healthy" one? In case you find some church attractive enough to get involved in it. What would be "warning" signs that the church is "messed-up"?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Airportkid's post
04-06-2015, 09:08 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(04-06-2015 08:38 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Wow, I'm sorry to hear all this. I think your family has some serious issues, and perhaps their church, too. That's one reason I do what I do as a witnessing Christian. Some of my ministry is with people who grew up in a cult or some messed-up church. I'm glad you are feeling relief from the pain now. I mean that, even though I'd obviously prefer you were in a healthy church then living as a skeptic.

What I didn't post above is that my parents made me follow them into differing Churches throughout the years as we tended to move around the country a lot. I think the longest time we were in a single location was 6 years, with more common being about 2-3 years, and each time we would end up going to a new church, it wasn't one specific church that I had to attend throughout my life. They all tended to be non-denomination churches which is a contradiction in terms in of itself since non-denominational is well a denomination. And besides that most of my guidance as a kid came from my parents, along with sunday school and normal service "teachings".

Based on what I went through, there is no such thing as a healthy Church.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 7 users Like Worom's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: