Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-09-2014, 12:06 PM
Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
It just doesn't seem fair.
I left religion for good several years ago, the end of a long deconversion process, but I'm still not free of the hurt and damage. Still not free of the fear. Still not free of the inner voices telling me telling me that I might be wrong and go to Hell. Still not free of the major clinical depression and anxiety disorder I've struggled with since late childhood, despite multiple doctors trying every thing in the book, including loads of therapy, loads of different medications and Electroconvulsive Therapy, attempting to help me. I think the religion I grew up with plays a big role in my disease, but good luck finding a therapist that is both willing and able to deal with that and has any idea what it's like to grow up in a very closed religious community and to fight to extract your mind from it. Who knows what wounds and fears and anger comes with a childhood of original sin, Hell, and knowing your parents would sacrifice your life if god told them to (I asked them when I was a child, after we had been reading about Abraham and Isaac and I was a little confused about why God would tell Abraham to kill his child, even if he did stop him from going through with it. My parents said that even though they'd be very sad, they would do it if god told them to.). Of being told when you are just a child that you truly deserve to be tortured in Hell for eternity, because of all your sin, and that you need to be grateful that Jesus became a human and was tortured and brutally killed in a horrible way because of your sin.
It's not fair that I had to grow up in that! It's not fair that I still have to deal every day with the hurt and the anger and the fear and the deep sense of loss. It's not fair that my two younger sisters, both amazing girls, but both hurting a lot, are still deeply stuck in that religion and I can't save them, can't free them.
It's not fair that my young cousins, who are still only little children, are right now growing up learning that they are sinners who deserve eternal torture in Hell and to gratefully appreciate human sacrifice as atonement. And there's nothing I can do, because the parents have the right to teach their children whatever religious dogma they want, the right to send their children to religious private school, the right to bring them to whatever church they want and have them exposed to religion that strongly targets children.
It's not fair that I don't have it in me to argue and be disrespectful, to yell and slam doors and stomp my feet and tell them clearly that I'm hurt and angry and it's that fricking religious upbringings fault. I'm tired of turning the blame at myself and being sweet and understanding and making excuses for religious fundamentalist fanatics, but I don't know how else to act. I don't know how the hell I'm supposed to deal with all this anger. I never learned. I was always taught that anger is bad and I always had a soft disposition and was always a bit apologetic about my own existence. Heck, I'm the one who the nurses, when I was in the hospital recently, had to remind that it was actually their job and not a bother, when I felt bad about taking their time by needing them to hold my hand whenever I had to get an IV put in (I'm dead scared of needles). So this anger thing.... I'm no good at coping with it. I have no idea what I should do with it. How much of it I should express and how. But I need to get through it somehow, because I can't live with this pain forever.
How did you guys heal?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-09-2014, 03:32 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
Hug

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes evenheathen's post
29-09-2014, 03:45 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
I never had that much healing to do. My family wasn't religious except that they went through the motions...or at least had my brother and I go through the motions. I'll never forget the conversation I had with my dad.

My older brother had been driving me to church on Sundays for a couple of years. Then he went in the Navy. My dad asked me if I wanted to keep going or not? I elected to sleep in. I was 13.

By the time I was 20 and in college I had learned that the whole story was a woeful pile of shit that sleazebags were still making money off.

No guilt at all.


You, I suspect, need to find a way to extricate yourself from the whole situation. As the saying goes, 'you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.' This is true. But you can choose to have nothing to do with them and their shitty little god.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Minimalist's post
30-09-2014, 10:26 AM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
Hug

I have lived in that very situation.

Stop blaming yourself. It is not healthy and it will not help either. I have had to cut large portions of my family out for my own well being. At times it sucks, but then something happens and I am reminded why I cut them out in the first place.

As for the little ones, there is nothing you can do except be honest if you are ever asked any questions, kids are curious and inquisitive and will hear others talking about you, and then ask you questions. However, sometimes you have to answer those questions very gently so you don't cause any issues. I have found that my safe, unconventional answers have caused them to ask other questions when they were older.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like ohio_drg's post
30-09-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
Hi guys.
Thanks for listening and caring. It means a lot to get to talk about all these things and be met with understanding and warmth!
You're pretty awesome people! :-)

As it is right now, I don't feel a need or wish to completely cut all ties to my family. Both because there also still is good things and lots of love between us despite the religion and also because I want to be there as an example for my cousins and sisters of how the sky doesn't actually come falling down on people who leave religion. They are very isolated in these christian communities and I wan't to make sure they have at least one example of a thriving, positive, optimistic, friendly, caring, loving, confident atheist in their lives (I'm working hard on being all those things consistently very soon. At least I'm happy to be free of the religion, that is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Now I just need to get the last emotional wounds to heal. And I'm getting steadily better and better!). I want to make sure I'm there to answer questions they might have.
I have cut down a bit on how much contact I have with my family though, and I've made it clear on several occasions that I do not accept them preaching at me or debating me in their bible study group and forming wrong conclusions about my lack of belief rather than asking questions (They concluded, through discussing me with their bible study group, that I actually still believe in God and am just angry at him! Facepalm Wrong!)

ohio_drg: I'm sorry to hear you also had a hard time with your family when escaping religion. It's really hard to have to cut relationships with your own family to preserve your sanity and happiness! I hope you are okay? Hug
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes LadyDay's post
01-10-2014, 02:21 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
(30-09-2014 12:45 PM)LadyDay Wrote:  Hi guys.
Thanks for listening and caring. It means a lot to get to talk about all these things and be met with understanding and warmth!
You're pretty awesome people! :-)

As it is right now, I don't feel a need or wish to completely cut all ties to my family. Both because there also still is good things and lots of love between us despite the religion and also because I want to be there as an example for my cousins and sisters of how the sky doesn't actually come falling down on people who leave religion. They are very isolated in these christian communities and I wan't to make sure they have at least one example of a thriving, positive, optimistic, friendly, caring, loving, confident atheist in their lives (I'm working hard on being all those things consistently very soon. At least I'm happy to be free of the religion, that is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Now I just need to get the last emotional wounds to heal. And I'm getting steadily better and better!). I want to make sure I'm there to answer questions they might have.
I have cut down a bit on how much contact I have with my family though, and I've made it clear on several occasions that I do not accept them preaching at me or debating me in their bible study group and forming wrong conclusions about my lack of belief rather than asking questions (They concluded, through discussing me with their bible study group, that I actually still believe in God and am just angry at him! Facepalm Wrong!)

ohio_drg: I'm sorry to hear you also had a hard time with your family when escaping religion. It's really hard to have to cut relationships with your own family to preserve your sanity and happiness! I hope you are okay? Hug
No worries on my end. Some members of my family have accepted me for who I am and others have not. Nothing I can do about it really, they are very much set in their ways and nothing is going to change them. When I do bump into them I am always friendly and try to hold a conversation with them because I truly do care about them. However, I know that having them as a part of my regular day to day life would be emotionally and physically draining, perhaps even damaging in the long run.

My younger relatives (nieces and cousins) all look up to me. I am regularly getting phone calls about school projects and college visits. Strangely enough, it is recommended that they contact me by members of my family that have voiced the strongest reaction against my atheism. I guess in spite of it all my opinion on certain matters is still held in a somewhat high regard by some of them.

Some of my family makes many of the same comments about my atheism as yours does. I have just come to accept the fact that thinking this way is how they cope with things they do not like. So I just choose to ignore it.

You are handling yourself very well in dealing with family that does not agree with you and I think you should be commended for that.Thumbsup
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-10-2014, 03:02 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
It's nice you still get to have a relationship with your younger relatives! I find that the older I get, the more it means to me to have a relationship with my family, despite the differences. My grandparents are also getting up there in age and there's no knowing how long they're going to stick around to probe me about my relationship with Jesus! Haha (that's fortunately only one of the three. Silly old man gets all misty eyed and ensures me that Jesus still loves me and they're praying for me and blah blah. Had it been my parents I'd have told them off, but because it's my oooooold grand dad, who I don't see very often, I just tell him "I love you too" and give him a hug.
I'm glad your family at least hasn't decided that you have no redeeming qualities at all despite your being a godless heathen. Haha. That they aren't trying to turn your little nieces and cousins against you and solely painting you in a bad light. It kinda sucks to be labelled the black sheep. My family try very hard to not make me feel like a lesser family member or black sheep. So while they do fail and get preachy or see me as a lost lamb (I'm not a sheep dammit!) on occasion, they're usually respectful and trying to make me feel comfortable and loved. So it could have been worse. And I'm happily spared the doctrine and dogma these days. What I'm struggling with nowadays is fortunately by far mostly baggage from when I was still a christian myself, not recent trauma that there's still being added to.

Thanks for the compliment *blush* :-)

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes LadyDay's post
01-10-2014, 03:20 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
Hello Lady Hug

Been there and done that. My slow deconversion was filled with every emotion you can imagine, and then some. Anxiety and doubt played a fairly big role for a while.

For me the final phase was 100% accepting there is no afterlife of heaven or hell. That's a tough one to shake! I've talked to several newer atheists who told me they still have moments of "what if I'm wrong"?.

Lots of anger too! Which I think is very healthy as long as you don't allow it to consume you. I've caught myself being really hateful to some christians, particularly in the past year. I'm not proud of that at all. I've come to realize it was misplaced anger (most of the time), and still training myself to "pause and think" before I speak or type.

I've kept both an online and handwritten journal for quite a few years, and write in it all the time. You'd be surprised how much that helps. I also lurked on many atheist sites, which taught me so much, and reinforced my new thought process.

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. ~Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-10-2014, 04:17 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
[Image: gigan_hugs_megalon_by_drbuffalo-d6rucwe.jpg]

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Metazoa Zeke's post
01-10-2014, 05:18 PM
RE: Needed to vent the hurt to someone who knows what it's like to be ex religious
(01-10-2014 04:17 PM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  [Image: gigan_hugs_megalon_by_drbuffalo-d6rucwe.jpg]

That pic is amazing.

... this is my signature!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: