The Pain Of Deconversion
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26-11-2012, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2012 04:34 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
The funny thing is how we view death.

Native americans are often portrayed saying we come from mother earth to return to her later.

After doing a study on decomposition and how nutrients are recycled I realize that what is me now will simply become apart of the world later. That's a wonderful thing!








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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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26-11-2012, 04:58 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
It does hurt to lose something you've held so dear.

I struggled with that for a long while and kept thinking it was dumb for me to miss something that never existed. Several people here got me on the right track, though, by pointing out that it's still a major Loss, no matter how you view it. And if your relationship with Jesus was as real as mine was, it's not an easy thing to let go without it affecting you. You'll no longer have a "best friend" to talk to about your inner life. Well, you can either continue talking to yourself, since that's all you were doing anyway when you prayed, or you'll learn to express your thoughts with others. Maybe here. Maybe in a blog. Maybe in therapy. Maybe with a trusted friend. Maybe all the above.

You'll also have the opportunity to re-evaluate your personal achievements. I used to have the belief that God would supply all my needs according to his will. So everything that I did was based on believing that God helped me do it, or even did it for me. Graduating from school? Thank God! No, thank Me for getting me through all those courses and papers and tests and lectures! Landed that job? Thank God! no, thank Me for interviewing well and showing what kind of employee I can be. I think you get the point.

As several others have pointed out above, just like any other loss, the pain lessens with time. It also gets replaced with the more positive stuff that you are learning as a Free-Thinker. It's not a happy answer that cures all, but it is true that if you hang in there, you will get through this. And having a forum like this helps to vent and rant and rage and laugh and cry. You're doing great so far. Just keep on keeping on!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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26-11-2012, 05:10 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
First and foremost, you are not alone. The high holiday time of year can be isolating at times. A dose of wonder could help; try a planetarium. Smile. Sorry, no great advice, but have certainly been there. I emerged. I have meaning, happiness, joy and delight in life. Thanks for the post. I look forward to reading more as you find your own comfort zone.

Former Protestant, self-inflicted Pentecostal, Jesus Freak,
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26-11-2012, 05:15 PM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2012 05:23 PM by Free Thought.)
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.


Hey Onedream.


Considering the feelings you are describing; I say good on ya.
I never went through this myself, so I might not be of much help but I think I've got an idea about what is going on. To me, in my totally unprofessional opinion, thee feeling you are getting are a resurgence of sorts. Indoctrination has that sort of effect on the brain; it colours everything inside with itself and the mind does not let the training go easily and inadvertently set upon itself this kind of mental torture while attempting to reassert itself as dominant.


I wonder, have you watched any of Evid3nc3's videos? during his Deconversion series, he lightly touches upon what (I think) you are feeling near the end, they are a good resource for learning anyway.


Makes me somewhat sad that I cannot really do, say or recommend anything for you. All I can do is offer my basic explanation, and give somewhat synthetic sympathies.


Though there is a great quote from Christopher Hitchens (probably one of my favorites from him) regarding you comment about the party being over:


Quote: It will happen to all of us, that at some point you get tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party’s over, but slightly worse: the party’s going on — but you have to leave. And it’s going on without you. That’s the reflection that I think most upsets people about their demise. All right, then, because it might make us feel better, let’s pretend the opposite. Instead, you’ll get tapped on the shoulder and told, Great news: this party’s going on forever – and you can’t leave. You’ve got to stay; the boss says so. And he also insists that you have a good time.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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26-11-2012, 06:27 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
How did your deconversion come about?

By the way...you're right. It DOES feel like someone I love died. I hate it.

(26-11-2012 04:16 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.
In many ways, I think it's not all that different from the death of a relative or close friend. It's every bit as much an emotional and psychological loss. Similarly, it takes time to heal and, even with that time, may not go away 100%. Eventually, you'll learn to adjust and go on with your life just as with the loss of someone close, but you probably won't completely forget. It has been over 20 years for me and I still occasionally find myself wanting to talk to God as a source of hope and then have to remind myself how silly it is. Then I feel a mixture of sadness and disgust. A moment later I usually feel a bit angry because I am again reminded of the deepness of indoctrination.

But I do not fear death. Before I was born, I knew nothing and knew of nothing because I didn't exist. I believe death will be the same as before I was born. So there is nothing to fear. It saddens me that there will some day be a parting with those I love and then all that beauty will end, but it's also reality. So then I focus on the realization that I can spend the rest of my short life dwelling on that sadness or I can make the most of this life while I still have that opportunity. Then I look at my family, friends (or pictures or a mental image if they aren't directly with me) and I realize life is really good. There is nothing to be sad about except about those for whom life really isn't very good. It's also a bit comforting to know that there isn't some being up there who allows or causes those people to suffer so much. If there was, that would be something to really fear.
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26-11-2012, 11:18 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 06:27 PM)onedream Wrote:  How did your deconversion come about?

By the way...you're right. It DOES feel like someone I love died. I hate it.

You're an older person than me, so someone you love probably has died. I find it difficult to relate though. The pain of losing Jesus is this bad ? I don't recall ever feeling love for God that deep.
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27-11-2012, 01:02 AM
The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 11:18 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 06:27 PM)onedream Wrote:  How did your deconversion come about?

By the way...you're right. It DOES feel like someone I love died. I hate it.

You're an older person than me, so someone you love probably has died. I find it difficult to relate though. The pain of losing Jesus is this bad ? I don't recall ever feeling love for God that deep.

Cuz you were just fakin it, loser.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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27-11-2012, 02:16 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(27-11-2012 01:02 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  Cuz you were just fakin it, loser.
Sadcryface I wish. Just didn't love him.
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27-11-2012, 05:53 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
Yeah, I can't say I was too big on the love for god, either... The pain, for me, came from the realisation that I was alone, that after death, there was nothing (even though the thought if there being something after death used to scare the bejesus out of me while I was religious) and that there was no 'deeper meaning' so to speak.

And as horrible as I felt then, I think it'd be a hundredfold worse if I were to become religious again and lose what I have now. It's also weird, because trying to remember how I used to feel when I was a kid, a teen or what have you, is pretty easy. Trying to think the way I used to when I was religious, trying to put myself into that same frame of mind and see things from that perspective, is downright impossible. It's like amnesia or something; my mind just refuses to do it.

So, just as everyone else said, it does get better with time. Actually, in my experience at least, it gets great. Hope you get to reach that place, too.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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27-11-2012, 11:15 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 06:27 PM)onedream Wrote:  How did your deconversion come about?

By the way...you're right. It DOES feel like someone I love died. I hate it.

(26-11-2012 04:16 PM)Impulse Wrote:  In many ways, I think it's not all that different from the death of a relative or close friend. It's every bit as much an emotional and psychological loss. Similarly, it takes time to heal and, even with that time, may not go away 100%. Eventually, you'll learn to adjust and go on with your life just as with the loss of someone close, but you probably won't completely forget. It has been over 20 years for me and I still occasionally find myself wanting to talk to God as a source of hope and then have to remind myself how silly it is. Then I feel a mixture of sadness and disgust. A moment later I usually feel a bit angry because I am again reminded of the deepness of indoctrination.

But I do not fear death. Before I was born, I knew nothing and knew of nothing because I didn't exist. I believe death will be the same as before I was born. So there is nothing to fear. It saddens me that there will some day be a parting with those I love and then all that beauty will end, but it's also reality. So then I focus on the realization that I can spend the rest of my short life dwelling on that sadness or I can make the most of this life while I still have that opportunity. Then I look at my family, friends (or pictures or a mental image if they aren't directly with me) and I realize life is really good. There is nothing to be sad about except about those for whom life really isn't very good. It's also a bit comforting to know that there isn't some being up there who allows or causes those people to suffer so much. If there was, that would be something to really fear.
Here is my introductory post which explains how my deconversion came about.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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