Songbirds Story
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
20-09-2015, 02:09 PM
Songbirds Story
I have only recently been introduced to TTA podcasts and this forum from a dear atheist friend of mine. I am going to do my best to share my story with you. I originally wrote this and sent it to the podcast at TTA but decided to also post it to the forum as my introduction and the hopes that it may in some small way help another.

I was raised and indoctrinated in the Catholic faith. I attended a Catholic high school, was encouraged/forced to attended Sunday church. Now bear in mind at this time my parents have been divorced for many years. My mother living out of state was still very devout to her faith. My father and his wife tried but it never really stuck. It seemed more important that they "save the children" by having us attend church then to deal with their own abusive demons towards themselves and one another. But yet through that I was taught to believe, obey, and have faith.
Yet I questioned in my mind everything about my faith, but never dared utter a word of it.

I married a Christian we were married for six years, big church wedding, and church every Sunday. But I still questioned in my mind so much. As time went on the marriage went bad, he became emotionally and sexually abusive. I finally gained the courage to leave.

Struggling now with a divorce, facing my ex husband every day since we worked at the same company, supporting myself, learning to be alone, facing my disappointed parents, allowing the sexual abuse I experienced as a child to surface. I was now desperate, I called out to this god that I was taught to always be there and to hold you in his arms during difficult times, yet I received no response. Now more questions arising again.

In 2002, at the age of 34 I married again. My husband and I “Christian” now, married one another and Jesus Christ. My husband was raised in a southern Baptist environment and to me was fluent faith and in the bible. I am sure he read the bible cover to cover at least 100 times while we were married. I however could barely get through a few pages without questions and a headache. We went to church regularly, tithed as required, were part of the financial advisory of the church. Well more my husband than me I participated but he was the one the church wanted. I went along I obeyed. I still had so many questions and felt fallacies but I utter nothing. I just go through the motions. All the questions aside my husband and I remained married for 12 years.

In November of 2013 my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Of course the news took both of us by surprise. After many exams and doctors visits chemotherapy started in December. We went through two rounds only to learn that the chemotherapy was not working. The tumor had grown, from what the scan showed, you may as well say that the tumor had now replaced his left lung. After doctor consultations our next step was palliative care, which consisted of radiation merely to try and keep him comfortable and alleviate the pressure. It did not help. My husband died in March of 2014. The entire process was as many have experienced difficult, draining, and emotional. During the last few months of my husband’s life our "church family" prayed, laid hands, gave us tips on alternate healing methods. I was numb, I was angry. I felt no presence of god during this time. I can't describe it but, maybe others that have been through this know, I knew and felt that no matter what we did my husband would not survive beyond a few months. Yet all these prayers etc continued. That made me angry. How could a loving healing God allow this to happen? And at a minimum do nothing to ease the intense pain he was in. Now it begins....the eradication of faith.

It was a Christian burial that were his wishes. I was numb really, not remembering a lot. There were lots of people there. Oh he looks good, oh he is in the arms of God, and oh he is not in pain anymore. I wanted to scream no shit you assholes he just died of cancer! He doesn't look good; he looks thin, pale, not like he is at peace, not at all like my husband! Please don't miss understand there were key people there that helped and supported me. I just wanted everyone else gone and to stop talking about all the religious babble. I am sad, I am angry, faith continues to dissolve.

Life continues, I try to find routine it is hard as many can understand. It feels everything is off balance. But I continue and each day is better. However as I take steps to move through the grief, I find I am also on a new discovery. I spent a great deal of time during this first year really thinking about "Christianity, Jesus, and God". Questioning why I believed what I did was I doing something wrong that my faith was not there, was it merely all because of what I was taught? No I am discovering it is because it is a fallacy.

I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, reflecting, and writing. Some days were good some bad. However during all of this I had a choice. The choice was mine; I could choose to be happy and move on or I could crawl in a hole and give up. I chose to be happy. Any time someone would ask me “how are you doing”. I would always respond; I choose to be happy. One of the last conversations that my husband and I had was him telling me “When this is all over, I want you to grieve, move on, and be happy”. As difficult as this entire experience was, I was thankful for those words. No one wants to talk about death but the reality is death is part of life.

During my journey I found it so very interesting that this “Church Family” who so profoundly prayed and laid hands, etc. is no longer around. After about a month there was really no interaction or contact from them. I had a small circle of family and friends that were there when I needed them. They allowed me my time, my space, supported me, let me be or feel however I wanted at the time and for that I will be forever grateful.

I have survived the first year after my husband’s death. I have experienced all the firsts that everyone must go through with grace and strength that I discovered was inside of me. I did not survive this due to this illusion of a mysterious being that I was taught existed. I discovered during this year journey that I do not believe in god, a higher being, heaven, hell. I am an atheist! I admitted that to myself and during a conversation with a very dear friend of mind. It felt wonderful to do that. It may sound strange but I feel a great sense of serenity and peace from that. I feel a sense of freedom!

I am now not just surviving each day but beginning to live them again happily. My journey is far from over but I have gained an internal strength that I did not have before and I will live life to the fullest capacity that I am capable of.

I wanted to share these words and this experience so that perhaps someone may find something in here that will help them, inspire them, give them the strength that they know is within them, or just make someone else not fear the questions they may have.

I will close with a quote I found and adore:

I guess the real fact of the of the matter is we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. So, don’t stay angry for too long and learn to forgive. Love your friends and family with all your heart. Have fun and live your life the way you want to live it. Most of all don’t worry about people that don’t like you and enjoy the ones who do.


Sincerely,
Songbird
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like Songbird's post
20-09-2015, 02:55 PM
RE: Songbirds Story
Welcome.

You've found one of the big hidden truths.

Strength comes from within - not from some fictional bad tempered deity with questionable motives.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like onlinebiker's post
20-09-2015, 02:56 PM
RE: Songbirds Story
Welcome!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes jennybee's post
20-09-2015, 03:55 PM
RE: Songbirds Story
(20-09-2015 02:09 PM)Songbird Wrote:  I have only recently been introduced to TTA podcasts and this forum from a dear atheist friend of mine. I am going to do my best to share my story with you. I originally wrote this and sent it to the podcast at TTA but decided to also post it to the forum as my introduction and the hopes that it may in some small way help another.

I was raised and indoctrinated in the Catholic faith. I attended a Catholic high school, was encouraged/forced to attended Sunday church. Now bear in mind at this time my parents have been divorced for many years. My mother living out of state was still very devout to her faith. My father and his wife tried but it never really stuck. It seemed more important that they "save the children" by having us attend church then to deal with their own abusive demons towards themselves and one another. But yet through that I was taught to believe, obey, and have faith.
Yet I questioned in my mind everything about my faith, but never dared utter a word of it.

I married a Christian we were married for six years, big church wedding, and church every Sunday. But I still questioned in my mind so much. As time went on the marriage went bad, he became emotionally and sexually abusive. I finally gained the courage to leave.

Struggling now with a divorce, facing my ex husband every day since we worked at the same company, supporting myself, learning to be alone, facing my disappointed parents, allowing the sexual abuse I experienced as a child to surface. I was now desperate, I called out to this god that I was taught to always be there and to hold you in his arms during difficult times, yet I received no response. Now more questions arising again.

In 2002, at the age of 34 I married again. My husband and I “Christian” now, married one another and Jesus Christ. My husband was raised in a southern Baptist environment and to me was fluent faith and in the bible. I am sure he read the bible cover to cover at least 100 times while we were married. I however could barely get through a few pages without questions and a headache. We went to church regularly, tithed as required, were part of the financial advisory of the church. Well more my husband than me I participated but he was the one the church wanted. I went along I obeyed. I still had so many questions and felt fallacies but I utter nothing. I just go through the motions. All the questions aside my husband and I remained married for 12 years.

In November of 2013 my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Of course the news took both of us by surprise. After many exams and doctors visits chemotherapy started in December. We went through two rounds only to learn that the chemotherapy was not working. The tumor had grown, from what the scan showed, you may as well say that the tumor had now replaced his left lung. After doctor consultations our next step was palliative care, which consisted of radiation merely to try and keep him comfortable and alleviate the pressure. It did not help. My husband died in March of 2014. The entire process was as many have experienced difficult, draining, and emotional. During the last few months of my husband’s life our "church family" prayed, laid hands, gave us tips on alternate healing methods. I was numb, I was angry. I felt no presence of god during this time. I can't describe it but, maybe others that have been through this know, I knew and felt that no matter what we did my husband would not survive beyond a few months. Yet all these prayers etc continued. That made me angry. How could a loving healing God allow this to happen? And at a minimum do nothing to ease the intense pain he was in. Now it begins....the eradication of faith.

It was a Christian burial that were his wishes. I was numb really, not remembering a lot. There were lots of people there. Oh he looks good, oh he is in the arms of God, and oh he is not in pain anymore. I wanted to scream no shit you assholes he just died of cancer! He doesn't look good; he looks thin, pale, not like he is at peace, not at all like my husband! Please don't miss understand there were key people there that helped and supported me. I just wanted everyone else gone and to stop talking about all the religious babble. I am sad, I am angry, faith continues to dissolve.

Life continues, I try to find routine it is hard as many can understand. It feels everything is off balance. But I continue and each day is better. However as I take steps to move through the grief, I find I am also on a new discovery. I spent a great deal of time during this first year really thinking about "Christianity, Jesus, and God". Questioning why I believed what I did was I doing something wrong that my faith was not there, was it merely all because of what I was taught? No I am discovering it is because it is a fallacy.

I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, reflecting, and writing. Some days were good some bad. However during all of this I had a choice. The choice was mine; I could choose to be happy and move on or I could crawl in a hole and give up. I chose to be happy. Any time someone would ask me “how are you doing”. I would always respond; I choose to be happy. One of the last conversations that my husband and I had was him telling me “When this is all over, I want you to grieve, move on, and be happy”. As difficult as this entire experience was, I was thankful for those words. No one wants to talk about death but the reality is death is part of life.

During my journey I found it so very interesting that this “Church Family” who so profoundly prayed and laid hands, etc. is no longer around. After about a month there was really no interaction or contact from them. I had a small circle of family and friends that were there when I needed them. They allowed me my time, my space, supported me, let me be or feel however I wanted at the time and for that I will be forever grateful.

I have survived the first year after my husband’s death. I have experienced all the firsts that everyone must go through with grace and strength that I discovered was inside of me. I did not survive this due to this illusion of a mysterious being that I was taught existed. I discovered during this year journey that I do not believe in god, a higher being, heaven, hell. I am an atheist! I admitted that to myself and during a conversation with a very dear friend of mind. It felt wonderful to do that. It may sound strange but I feel a great sense of serenity and peace from that. I feel a sense of freedom!

I am now not just surviving each day but beginning to live them again happily. My journey is far from over but I have gained an internal strength that I did not have before and I will live life to the fullest capacity that I am capable of.

I wanted to share these words and this experience so that perhaps someone may find something in here that will help them, inspire them, give them the strength that they know is within them, or just make someone else not fear the questions they may have.

I will close with a quote I found and adore:

I guess the real fact of the of the matter is we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. So, don’t stay angry for too long and learn to forgive. Love your friends and family with all your heart. Have fun and live your life the way you want to live it. Most of all don’t worry about people that don’t like you and enjoy the ones who do.


Sincerely,
Songbird

Welcome,
I am terribly sorry for the loss of your husband. That's a rough one to deal with. You will find others here who were pushed out of their faith cocoon by unfortunate events that 'cause god' just doesn't explain away.

It is often true that the religious community comes together in a strong show of their faith at critical times...lots of prayers and dinners cooked and presence. Then they seem to move on to the next most pressing matter. The faithful (unless they are close friends or family beyond church) seem to forget about that first birthday after a death, or the first wedding anniversary, or major holiday.

There seems to be a need to be able to show that they are there for you when things are really tough. They don't seem to be around when you are trying to get used to the noises of an emptier home or figuring out how to cook a meal for one less person...those are the times you find you are alone in figuring it out.

Not only are the faithful quick to come and quick to leave, but it seems that god doesn't show up at all.

Many hugs to you. Excellent post and manner of explaining what you have been through to bring you here.
A

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Anjele's post
20-09-2015, 04:50 PM
RE: Songbirds Story
(20-09-2015 02:09 PM)Songbird Wrote:  I have only recently been introduced to TTA podcasts and this forum from a dear atheist friend of mine. I am going to do my best to share my story with you. I originally wrote this and sent it to the podcast at TTA but decided to also post it to the forum as my introduction and the hopes that it may in some small way help another.

I was raised and indoctrinated in the Catholic faith. I attended a Catholic high school, was encouraged/forced to attended Sunday church. Now bear in mind at this time my parents have been divorced for many years. My mother living out of state was still very devout to her faith. My father and his wife tried but it never really stuck. It seemed more important that they "save the children" by having us attend church then to deal with their own abusive demons towards themselves and one another. But yet through that I was taught to believe, obey, and have faith.
Yet I questioned in my mind everything about my faith, but never dared utter a word of it.

I married a Christian we were married for six years, big church wedding, and church every Sunday. But I still questioned in my mind so much. As time went on the marriage went bad, he became emotionally and sexually abusive. I finally gained the courage to leave.

Struggling now with a divorce, facing my ex husband every day since we worked at the same company, supporting myself, learning to be alone, facing my disappointed parents, allowing the sexual abuse I experienced as a child to surface. I was now desperate, I called out to this god that I was taught to always be there and to hold you in his arms during difficult times, yet I received no response. Now more questions arising again.

In 2002, at the age of 34 I married again. My husband and I “Christian” now, married one another and Jesus Christ. My husband was raised in a southern Baptist environment and to me was fluent faith and in the bible. I am sure he read the bible cover to cover at least 100 times while we were married. I however could barely get through a few pages without questions and a headache. We went to church regularly, tithed as required, were part of the financial advisory of the church. Well more my husband than me I participated but he was the one the church wanted. I went along I obeyed. I still had so many questions and felt fallacies but I utter nothing. I just go through the motions. All the questions aside my husband and I remained married for 12 years.

In November of 2013 my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Of course the news took both of us by surprise. After many exams and doctors visits chemotherapy started in December. We went through two rounds only to learn that the chemotherapy was not working. The tumor had grown, from what the scan showed, you may as well say that the tumor had now replaced his left lung. After doctor consultations our next step was palliative care, which consisted of radiation merely to try and keep him comfortable and alleviate the pressure. It did not help. My husband died in March of 2014. The entire process was as many have experienced difficult, draining, and emotional. During the last few months of my husband’s life our "church family" prayed, laid hands, gave us tips on alternate healing methods. I was numb, I was angry. I felt no presence of god during this time. I can't describe it but, maybe others that have been through this know, I knew and felt that no matter what we did my husband would not survive beyond a few months. Yet all these prayers etc continued. That made me angry. How could a loving healing God allow this to happen? And at a minimum do nothing to ease the intense pain he was in. Now it begins....the eradication of faith.

It was a Christian burial that were his wishes. I was numb really, not remembering a lot. There were lots of people there. Oh he looks good, oh he is in the arms of God, and oh he is not in pain anymore. I wanted to scream no shit you assholes he just died of cancer! He doesn't look good; he looks thin, pale, not like he is at peace, not at all like my husband! Please don't miss understand there were key people there that helped and supported me. I just wanted everyone else gone and to stop talking about all the religious babble. I am sad, I am angry, faith continues to dissolve.

Life continues, I try to find routine it is hard as many can understand. It feels everything is off balance. But I continue and each day is better. However as I take steps to move through the grief, I find I am also on a new discovery. I spent a great deal of time during this first year really thinking about "Christianity, Jesus, and God". Questioning why I believed what I did was I doing something wrong that my faith was not there, was it merely all because of what I was taught? No I am discovering it is because it is a fallacy.

I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, reflecting, and writing. Some days were good some bad. However during all of this I had a choice. The choice was mine; I could choose to be happy and move on or I could crawl in a hole and give up. I chose to be happy. Any time someone would ask me “how are you doing”. I would always respond; I choose to be happy. One of the last conversations that my husband and I had was him telling me “When this is all over, I want you to grieve, move on, and be happy”. As difficult as this entire experience was, I was thankful for those words. No one wants to talk about death but the reality is death is part of life.

During my journey I found it so very interesting that this “Church Family” who so profoundly prayed and laid hands, etc. is no longer around. After about a month there was really no interaction or contact from them. I had a small circle of family and friends that were there when I needed them. They allowed me my time, my space, supported me, let me be or feel however I wanted at the time and for that I will be forever grateful.

I have survived the first year after my husband’s death. I have experienced all the firsts that everyone must go through with grace and strength that I discovered was inside of me. I did not survive this due to this illusion of a mysterious being that I was taught existed. I discovered during this year journey that I do not believe in god, a higher being, heaven, hell. I am an atheist! I admitted that to myself and during a conversation with a very dear friend of mind. It felt wonderful to do that. It may sound strange but I feel a great sense of serenity and peace from that. I feel a sense of freedom!

I am now not just surviving each day but beginning to live them again happily. My journey is far from over but I have gained an internal strength that I did not have before and I will live life to the fullest capacity that I am capable of.

I wanted to share these words and this experience so that perhaps someone may find something in here that will help them, inspire them, give them the strength that they know is within them, or just make someone else not fear the questions they may have.

I will close with a quote I found and adore:

I guess the real fact of the of the matter is we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. So, don’t stay angry for too long and learn to forgive. Love your friends and family with all your heart. Have fun and live your life the way you want to live it. Most of all don’t worry about people that don’t like you and enjoy the ones who do.


Sincerely,
Songbird

HugHug

Your post has much in common with the first one I made here. My husband also died of cancer and all the platitudes people said annoyed me to no end. I had been atheist though for a very long time, as was my husband.

Your approach to grieving is refreshing, yes, everyone has to do this at their own pace.

We have a support section here, and when you feel badly, feel free to post there, lots of wonderful people here will chime in to help you. Grief comes in waves, you have made it through the first year so you are doing great.

Hope to hear much more from you! Welcome to TTA!

[Image: dobie.png]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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Dom's post
21-09-2015, 04:07 AM
RE: Songbirds Story
Thank you for the welcome. I look forward to exploring the forum more and getting involved in some discussions. I am sure that I will get some good knowledge from here.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-09-2015, 06:54 AM
RE: Songbirds Story
Welcome Smile Sorry for your loss...

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-09-2015, 08:18 AM
RE: Songbirds Story
Hug

Hello!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-09-2015, 08:32 AM
RE: Songbirds Story
Welcome!

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-09-2015, 01:55 PM
RE: Songbirds Story
Welcome - glad to see you found your strength back after the loss of your husband. Plenty of support around here, and some really intelligent folks - so dive right in and let the group help you feel comfortable while navigating the loss of a loved one, and your faith.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Timber1025's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: