New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
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05-01-2018, 01:15 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
I'll add too that facebook can, in a way, ease the transition of us moving and everything, to keep those ties at least digitally. However, ALL my fb friends are from the 3 churches we've attended over the years and coworkers/connections from 14 years in Christian radio. So, obviously, my facebook is a deluge of religious snippets that I find mostly annoying right now. So I avoid it..

This has added to the isolation.

I wouldn't say I'm necessarily "lonely" in like an emotional or needy sense, more like isolated. In a really tangible way. This has been a very isolated journey. Feeling alone, but not necessarily lonely. If that makes sense.
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05-01-2018, 01:38 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
(05-01-2018 01:15 PM)tjo252810 Wrote:  I'll add too that facebook can, in a way, ease the transition of us moving and everything, to keep those ties at least digitally. However, ALL my fb friends are from the 3 churches we've attended over the years and coworkers/connections from 14 years in Christian radio. So, obviously, my facebook is a deluge of religious snippets that I find mostly annoying right now. So I avoid it..

This has added to the isolation.

I wouldn't say I'm necessarily "lonely" in like an emotional or needy sense, more like isolated. In a really tangible way. This has been a very isolated journey. Feeling alone, but not necessarily lonely. If that makes sense.

Lots of humans, be they still in religion as minorities, even many of them feel isolated because they don't fit in with their family or the societies they live in. For example, Koptic and Kurdish Christians have a hard time under Muslim majorities. But so do LGBT here in America, even if they are believers.

I have no in person local atheist friends myself. But I don't let that get me down because I DO have my cell phone, I do have my skype and the internet and I hang out on several social media pages specific to atheists, so while it would be nice to have a local group, I am never alone regardless.

Being alone does not have to mean you have to be lonely. I think the most important thing to keep yourself happy is to NOT look for others to make you happy, but look within yourself to find what you like doing.

I am not saying you have to get rich or famous. I am saying find something you like doing, when you share the things you like with others, even if it is only online, the mundane work world every day life can be easier to cope with.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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05-01-2018, 01:47 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
Hi friend, welcome to these forums! Hopefully you'll stick around here and make some friends. Smile

Others have already given all the advice that I would have to offer.

You're not alone in sadness or frustration at your religious days. I'm still rather bitter about my wasted years, and the years of repression it caused. But it doesn't get me down anymore. My good memories are still valuable to me, even if their context is changed a bit for me. Thumbsup
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05-01-2018, 02:11 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
(05-01-2018 01:15 PM)tjo252810 Wrote:  I'll add too that facebook can, in a way, ease the transition of us moving and everything, to keep those ties at least digitally. However, ALL my fb friends are from the 3 churches we've attended over the years and coworkers/connections from 14 years in Christian radio. So, obviously, my facebook is a deluge of religious snippets that I find mostly annoying right now. So I avoid it..

This has added to the isolation.

I wouldn't say I'm necessarily "lonely" in like an emotional or needy sense, more like isolated. In a really tangible way. This has been a very isolated journey. Feeling alone, but not necessarily lonely. If that makes sense.

You can unfollow people or those churchy religious groups (I blocked all people who shared shit from "god wants you to know" so I don't see it that in my feed. That way they still think you're friends with them...

Or you could also just say you're taking a FB break, start a new profile and add all the atheist stuff...Sometimes its liberating to be able to comment on something without risking your family seeing it.

A final option is to just drop social media -- I mean it's kinda useless. I find myself no commenting much on anything anymore -- especially on anything public (unless it's space or science related).

I do get a lot of cooking ideas or decorating stuff...No one notices that I'm also following secular humanists...Smile

Just a couple thoughts.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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05-01-2018, 02:40 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
What have ya'll found to meet / connect in your community?? Church is kind of a "one stop shop" with weekly gatherings / studies / breakfasts / coffees.... It's a pretty good niche.
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05-01-2018, 02:46 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
G'day mate, and welcome to the forums. Smile

(05-01-2018 10:43 AM)tjo252810 Wrote:  Hello. So, quick backstory.. I've been a Christian my whole life, and the last couple years have really been struggling with making sense of all of it. Just felt conflicted. (I'll spare the long story..) I have some problems though and could really use some advice please:

I'm sad. I feel like so much of my life has been wasted pursuing my faith...

No, your life wasn't wasted during the time you were devout. You had fun, enjoyed genuine friendships, had an active social life, followed (at the least) a positive pathway in your life at the time, brought up a young family... all those things that satisfy the human psyche. And despite the religious overtones. Don't effectively throw those things away simply because you're doubting your current state of thinking, regarding an approaching lack of religion in you life. Rather than seeing those years as a "loss", you need to refocus on the memories of the good times.

Quote:I'm sad about many childhood memories that were so special to me. Special moments by myself with christian music, times at youth group or with my youth pastor, going to church every Sunday with my mom and dad.

As I suggested above, there's no need at all to discard those special memories. Atheism doesn't necessitate one suddenly rewriting one's previous life experiences. They don't change just because you no longer have faith in a supernatural entity of some sort.

Quote:I don't know how to make friends.

I'm sorry, but I can't really help you with this as I'm a lifelong atheist. I'm not quite sure what religion, per se has to do specifically with making friends? You're still the same person today you were when you were a theist; the same interests, personal needs, hopes and plans for the future. You still have a loving wife and children. I know when I was in the workforce, I enjoyed the company of many co-workers, as personal friends, outside of the workplace—some for many years. Another possibility is joining a local club or association; golf, photography, fishing, 4x4 driving, Lions etc, or volunteer with a local charity such as the Red Cross or World Vision, or your local town fire brigade.

Quote:I don't want to tell anybody.

I'll let others here answer that, as many of our members have been in exactly that situation; how do you tell family and friends without alienating them? It must be done sooner rather than later IMO, as it's awkwardly stressful for you to "live a lie" and unfair on them—believing that you're still a practising Christian and share identical religion-based ethics and morals.

Quote:My wife and whole family are Christians. I don't feel the desire to try to destroy something they're so convinced of and that brings them comfort.

I agree. There's no need at all to destroy anything within your family unit. The one thing you must avoid is attempting to "preach" from an atheist pulpit, and/or try and convince them that their religion is suspect or ill-founded, or of lesser value than other worldviews. Discretion is the better part of valour in these situations IMO.

Quote:I don't want to brainwash my kids. They're 12, 11, and 4. I'd like to teach them to question everything, not just trust what they're told, think for themselves.

At ages 11 and 12 I'm thinking that a gradual, non-confrontational progression towards an atheistic viewpoint will probably work, but be prepared for it to take another couple of years; it ain't gonna happen overnight. It's also important to pique their interest in the natural sciences, with easily accessible stuff that connects their daily lives to physics and biology and astronomy etc.

Your 4-year-old is a different case altogether, as he/she doesn't yet have a well-developed sense of self, their place in the world, or what exactly makes it tick. At that age, they probably believe in Santa Claus—and because of a similar status in their non-critical mindset—God or Jesus Christ. This more so particularly if mummy is repeatedly telling them about a wise old man up in the sky watching over them and keeping them safe, or soothing their fears.

Quote:Sorry, this is my first post and it's a lot longer than I intended. Any advice would be really appreciated.

Please don't be concerned about the length of your post. I for one appreciate the trouble you've gone to in order to get your feeling across so succinctly. Thumbsup

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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05-01-2018, 03:01 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2018 05:07 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
I was never as much a part of it as you were, but I liked the art and music ... and a few other things that are too complicated to explain here.

1. So first of all, you are who you are today, because of what you did and came through. You wouldn't really want to be someone else, now ... would you ?
It wasn't "all a waste" .. it's still a part of who you are, even if your view of it has shifted. Value it, don't reject your past.
2. If you were doing what you thought was "good", just because you changed you views on a few things, doesn't mean anything's "lost". the good you did is still *there*.
3. I came to realize nothing was "lost" ... the cultural things I valued belong to mankind, not the "church" and as such are still available to me.

So maybe find a way to look more positively ... nothing is really "lost", (to grieve over) just looked at differently. Celebrate your being sprung from the old confines, with your new point of view. You can still participate (maybe not right now) if you really want to, with a different vantage point, and some distance.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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05-01-2018, 03:49 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
Can you transfer your radio talents to a secular station? Join a softball team, join a bowling league, hit a karaoke bar, run for office ... there are literally thousands of secular clubs, from chess to Bonsai trees.

I know how you feel about the past, but the truth is, there is NOTHING you can do about that now, so why dwell? You are now free and be happy that you figured this all out while in your 30s.

Not sure what to say about your wife and family situation. Many people just live with that secret, others have a strong enough marriage that their spouse can forgive them anything. If it were me, I would say something, but gradually.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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05-01-2018, 03:50 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
(05-01-2018 02:40 PM)tjo252810 Wrote:  What have ya'll found to meet / connect in your community?? Church is kind of a "one stop shop" with weekly gatherings / studies / breakfasts / coffees.... It's a pretty good niche.

First, welcome to the forum family.

Second, explore other interests that you may have had along the way. Ever thought it might be fun to learn to play an instrument (or another instrument if you already play one)? Sometimes I think I owe my sanity to my ukulele and I've only been playing since November 2016. And have been enjoying a twice monthly jam group for the past few months too.

Have you ever thought swing dancing may be fun? It's a hellofalot cheaper than marriage counseling and has taught us to work together as a couple toward a common goal, in a very give and take, lead and follow kind of way, and there are swing dance places all over the world.

These things get us out into the world and into ourselves. They are, obviously, only suggestions.

Volunteering for a cause that is non-religious offers a chance to make friends too.

Baby steps. You don't have to take all plunges at once.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams

"You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams
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05-01-2018, 06:54 PM
RE: New to this, really need some help and advice!?!?
Howdy Tjo.

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