Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
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20-10-2013, 02:27 AM
Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
Let me give a little background information before I get into questions that many here may find ridiculous.
I guess a brief history of my childhood religion. I started out in a strictly conservative baptist church. When I was in the fourth grade my mother decided to introduce a friend of hers to the church. Her friend was a single mother who was known for dating. I don't know the exact rumors that must have gone around or exactly what happened that day, but I remember when we leave church my mother's friend was in tears. I also remember the following Wednesday sitting on a bench outside a church office while my parents had some sort of meeting. When we left church that night we never went back there. We had a family meeting that night and my parents have a long speech about how the rules in the bible were very important and to be a good person we must follow those rules, but a church should be a safe place for everyone. Anyone who wishes to repent their sins should be accepted into church blah blah sorry I'm rambling. So we switched to First United Methodist Church after that. In the church there was a lot more love and a lot less fire and brimstone. In our home it was still mostly fire and brimstone. I am including this because I truly believe my Christian upbringing had a lot to do with where I ended up next, and at the same time switching churches I think had something to do with where I am now. So I learned at a young age that women were supposed to be subservient to men. I was also taught by my mother that divorce is only acceptable if the woman commits adultery. It is okay for a man to beat his wife into submission because he loves her and wants to make her a more "godly" woman. It is not okay for a man to commit adultery but if he does it is usually his wife's fault for some reason that was never explained to me, and so she should forgive him and try to be better so it doesn't happen again. So there's my childhood. I'm sorry if this is probably to long.
I secretly struggled a lot with my identity as Christian and a woman as a teenager, but I ultimately married a 25 year old devout Catholic when I was 17 anyways. I was in a severely abusive relationship physically, emotionally, and sexually for six years. I generally blamed my problems on the fact that though I believed, I wasn't an uber religious person and I still had all these secret doubts about Christianity. I knew if I could just be a better Christian things would change. I knew I had no right to blame my husband for my own failures as a Christian, a wife, and a woman. As the years went by an the abuse progressed into unmentionable unthinkable things my doubts grew more and more. With the growth of my doubts came fear and self-hatred. No wonder my life was so bad, I was a terrible Christian and a bad person! Even though I was secretly questioning my faith I still knew in the back of my mind that it was all real. I still believed that god would save me. I always told myself god will never give me anything I cannot handle and if I am ever truly broken he will save me. Well fast forward to the last few months of my marriage. My husband's friend had moved in, I was 9 months pregnant with some semi serious complications. (My doctor kept telling me I really needed to get my stress levels down HA). By this time my husband was fearless in his abuse. He would openly abuse me in front of our children and our house guest and one very terrifying night after his friend dragged him off of me and convinced him to go for a drive, I was alone in my room. I was completely shattered. In those moments my world fell apart. I was a broken woman on my knees begging god to save me. Tell me what to do, give me piece, show me the way, save me please god wont you save me. What I got back was a resounding silence. Absolutely nothing. There was no one to hear my prayers but myself. My divorce followed shortly afterward. I moved over 800 miles away from my now ex-husband. I started studying the bible, and I mean actually reading it. I was disgusted by what I found. Horrified.
I wish I could just jump out now and say woohoo I am now an Atheist, I win, go me! But I cannot. For whatever reason it is just not that easy for me. I don't know if anyone else can understand where I am coming from. I want to be an Atheist and want to say it is all lies, but there is still that part of me that believes. I am having a hard time letting go of my belief in god, although I certainly feel plenty of dislike for him. I feel like I am stuck with a choice of either living my life in my own self inflicted hell serving a god who hates women, or being faced with the possibility of burning for an eternity in an actual hell. I don't believe that god is good. After everything I have been through and everything I have learned from reading the bible, I am left with a hateful cruel god who wishes his followers (especially the women) to suffer in order to prove their loyalty to him. But if he is god then does it matter if he is actually good or not am I not expected til ive for him even though he seems wrong. For who am I but a woman to question him?
Ok so maybe all that last part just sounds like silliness (if you have made it this far). How do I let go of god. How do I convince myself that he is not real? How can I be free?
**I know this was really long, I'm sorry, but if you got through the whole thing and you have any sort of advice for me I would really appreciate it. If you think I might be a little (or maybe a lot) crazy, don't feel bad. Most days I think so too.
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20-10-2013, 03:24 AM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 03:28 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
Assuming your story is genuine. Its likely brought many of us to tears.(except the theist who are likely cherry picking your post to berate your lapse of faith)

Its more of a criminal issue than religious abuse in your case,
I liken it to Stephen Fry's comparison of depression and bad weather.
Go outside with renewed faith and be drenched
Dismiss the rain as not there but still hear it.

Education is key to deconverting yourself not preaching of any type, start with the arguments of the new earth creationists , they highlight the incredulousness of the bible more than any other organisation in history

Years of Indoctrination, social emotional blackmail and an unassailable collection of thousand year old oral misogynistic tales add up to a Christian.
Just two words create Atheists : Question Everything.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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20-10-2013, 03:31 AM
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
(20-10-2013 02:27 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  I wish I could just jump out now and say woohoo I am now an Atheist, I win, go me! But I cannot. For whatever reason it is just not that easy for me. I don't know if anyone else can understand where I am coming from. I want to be an Atheist and want to say it is all lies, but there is still that part of me that believes. I am having a hard time letting go of my belief in god, although I certainly feel plenty of dislike for him. I feel like I am stuck with a choice of either living my life in my own self inflicted hell serving a god who hates women, or being faced with the possibility of burning for an eternity in an actual hell. I don't believe that god is good. After everything I have been through and everything I have learned from reading the bible, I am left with a hateful cruel god who wishes his followers (especially the women) to suffer in order to prove their loyalty to him. But if he is god then does it matter if he is actually good or not am I not expected til ive for him even though he seems wrong. For who am I but a woman to question him?
Ok so maybe all that last part just sounds like silliness (if you have made it this far). How do I let go of god. How do I convince myself that he is not real? How can I be free?
**I know this was really long, I'm sorry, but if you got through the whole thing and you have any sort of advice for me I would really appreciate it. If you think I might be a little (or maybe a lot) crazy, don't feel bad. Most days I think so too.

I think I see your problem, you want to be an Atheist, but it doesn't work that way. Being an atheist is not about wanting to be one, it is about realizing that there is no evidence that god exists. That's it, it's that simple.
Being an atheist is not a belief system, there is no need to write "atheist" with a capital letter A.
Not believing in god because "he is bad" is silly. You still believe in him you just don't want to follow him, that's not what being an atheist is.
It seems that you are looking to change one belief system for another, atheism can't do that for you.

But, here's what you can do. Write down why you believe god exists , i.e "I believe god exist because life couldn't create itself on it's own " or "because all of the miracles" or whatever are the reasons you still believe.
Then go trough this forum, trough youtube .... you will find every possible reason for believing in god thoroughly debunked, destroyed by rational thinking about it.
You can start here if you want, give us your reasons for still believing in god , we'll show you that they are no reasons at all.

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
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20-10-2013, 03:34 AM
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
Hi Lostandinsecure,
Firstly, I don't think you are crazy but if you were, who would be surprised given what you have been through.
Secondly, I don't think you necessarily need to 'come out' as an atheist, especially as you are not (or do not feel you are) quite there yet.
I am from the UK where religious fervour doesn't seem to be quite as potty as it is in the US so it is hard for me to imagine the fear you have of letting go completely but I appreciate that it is real. My advice, for what it's worth, which may be nothing, is to continue your research until you eventually come to the conclusion that you have no reason to believe in a god, much less a cruel, vindictive, misogynistic one who not only allows but seemingly encourages men to treat women badly. You don't need to tell the world of your discovery, you can keep it to yourself and just follow a life YOU believe is best for YOU without fear of eternal damnation from something which doesn't exist.
You will find that there are many on here who have experienced much of what you have who will be better able to help you but I just wanted to stick my two pennyworth in.
I wish you the very best of everything so that you can escape from the madness that is organised religion and live a happier life.
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20-10-2013, 10:26 AM
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
We don't need to convince ourselves that god isn't real... Only realize that everything still works without god, and the lack of evidence will speak for itself.
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20-10-2013, 11:33 AM
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
These abuses that you suffered seem typical of a muslim woman in saudi arabia, you are the cause of the abuse, you must be subservient to man and the option of divorce is almost non-existent. Listen, you must seek out those who suffered such abuses, how they found out it was not their fault but ultimately a product of an abusive religion. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the things she has been through and the many observations of how religion can corrupt. It is mostly the story of how she and her sister suffered from Islam which women are considered little more than property. Ayaan escaped from an arrange marriage and continued to question her faith and ultimately became a critic of Islam and an atheist. Despite the many threats against her even to this day she now runs a foundation promoting the rights of women and saving such tragic households who still subscribe to honor abuse and honor killings. I strongly encourage you to read her biography, Infidel. Or better yet get an audio book, it is something powerful to hear in her own words. I'd also encourage to look up some Christopher Hitchens videos, he's brash but damn does he ever get straight to the point. Such a fiery eloquence.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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20-10-2013, 11:49 AM
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
I get it. It's about loss and grieving.

You first lost your own self in an abusive marriage. Then you lost the family. Then you lost the crutch that had propped you up for so long - religion.

Now you have nothing left, nothing to hold on to. So you still reach for the old crutch, even though you know it cannot hold your weight.

That's ok. The reflex to reach for it will go away soon enough.

Like wearethecosmos said, you will realize that everything works just as well without the crutch, and hopefully a whole lot better now that you have removed yourself from abuse, both emotional and physical.

Give yourself some time to heal. Do nice things for yourself. And allow time for adjustment.

Welcome to TTA! Smile You will find a lot of people here who understand.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-10-2013, 12:14 PM
Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
(20-10-2013 11:49 AM)Dom Wrote:  I get it. It's about loss and grieving.

You first lost your own self in an abusive marriage. Then you lost the family. Then you lost the crutch that had propped you up for so long - religion.

Now you have nothing left, nothing to hold on to. So you still reach for the old crutch, even though you know it cannot hold your weight.

That's ok. The reflex to reach for it will go away soon enough.

Like wearethecosmos said, you will realize that everything works just as well without the crutch, and hopefully a whole lot better now that you have removed yourself from abuse, both emotional and physical.

Give yourself some time to heal. Do nice things for yourself. And allow time for adjustment.

Welcome to TTA! Smile You will find a lot of people here who understand.

@lost and insecure
I am sorry that you had to go through all that bad stuff. I agree with everything Dom said.
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20-10-2013, 01:19 PM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 01:24 PM by LostandInsecure.)
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
I think I see your problem, you want to be an Atheist, but it doesn't work that way. Being an atheist is not about wanting to be one, it is about realizing that there is no evidence that god exists. That's it, it's that simple.
Being an atheist is not a belief system, there is no need to write "atheist" with a capital letter A.
Not believing in god because "he is bad" is silly. You still believe in him you just don't want to follow him, that's not what being an atheist is.
It seems that you are looking to change one belief system for another, atheism can't do that for you.

But, here's what you can do. Write down why you believe god exists , i.e "I believe god exist because life couldn't create itself on it's own " or "because all of the miracles" or whatever are the reasons you still believe.
Then go trough this forum, trough youtube .... you will find every possible reason for believing in god thoroughly debunked, destroyed by rational thinking about it.
You can start here if you want, give us your reasons for still believing in god , we'll show you that they are no reasons at all.
[/quote]

Hello Smile
Let me say first that my capitalizing atheist is not because I think it is a religion. It was because it was after 4am and I couldn't remember if atheist was a proper noun and I didn't feel like looking it up lol. I am not looking for a new belief system. I am just struggling with letting god go I guess. I don't know if you've every been religious, but I know I was raised never to let facts influence my faith. Which is ridiculous. I'm an intelligent person. I know how to think on my own and make educated decisions. What I don't know is how to squander that tiny voice in the back of my mind that is always saying, what if you're wrong? Facts are not enough sometimes, truth is not enough either. The more I think about it I think time is the only thing that will be enough.
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20-10-2013, 02:17 PM
RE: Just like my name says I am lost and insecure
So sorry you've had to go through all of this. My thoughts go out to you and your children, and I hope you're doing well now that you've removed yourself from that situation. It's not an easy thing to do, and I commend you.

Many people who started out as theists and ended up atheists had a lot of grey, questioning areas in between. What you're experiencing is normal and expected. If you think of it as the loss of a relationship (your relationship with God) you may well go through all of the stages of greif that anyone may go through after losing a loved one. Bargaining, anger, denial... it sounds like you're experiencing denial. You know what your head tells you but it's just so difficult to let go of what's been in your heart for so long. This is not crazy at all. It takes time. Give yourself that time, and let your emotions cool for a bit so that you can reevaluate your thoughts on the matter without the emotional noise. You may go through several stages of anger or denial before you finally come to terms with everything that's happened and with the new reality facing you. That's OK too. Don't beat yourself up over it.

It may be helpful to you to do a little bit of reading and research on other atheists and their experiences with this sort of thing. There are some truly inspirational stories out there that may help you feel better and make sense of what you're feeling. I come close to tears watching documentaries about star formation and the big bang... that's the closest I've ever come to experiencing faith or god. It fills these voids nicely for me.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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