grieving the loss of believing

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arpy1

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grieving the loss of believing
« on: November 01, 2015, 03:23:47 PM »
not sure where to post this so i started a new thread. i don't want to trigger anyone, but this is going to be a bit personal and sore. i want to share becos it engenders such deep sorrow and grief in me - and i am hoping someone will just 'get it'.  i know there is no answer to it, but not to feel so alone in it would be nice.

one of the symptoms people talk about when they write about cptsd is the 'loss of systems of meaning/beliefs'.  i think that's how they express it.  i don't think it specifically or exclusively means religious beliefs but it does include it. 

for me, my faith as a christian was very deep and very real. it was the centre of my life in a way that i find it very difficult to describe.  not just becos of joining the JP - i became a xian a couple of years before that.  i was brought up agnostic and mildly antagonistic to xianity. in my teens i think i was desperate to believe that somebody loved me, and my xian friends at school were convinced that God was that person.  they also wanted me to be their friend, and as a school loner/misfit, i guess that was amazing to me.  when i found an embryonic faith for myself i suddenly found i also had friends, who really genuinely cared about me, and i felt like i had a family for the first time.  i struggled with doubt a lot, but that was ok, i think anyone does at that age.

of course, school ended and we all split up and some of us went off to uni etc. . that was when i got involved with the guy who introduced me to the JP; he was the son of the pastor of the baptist church i went to at the time. he was a 'bad boy' and i was warned against him. in keeping with his reputation, he spent most of the time getting into my knickers, so i can understand why, now.

anyway,long story short, we joined the JP, split up and the rest is history - thereafter followed 15 years of brainwashing, oppression, shame, fear, a sense of belonging, sure but it was kind of a covert captivity, in truth; breakdowns, then escape into my ill-advised marriage to another controller, co-dependency, more breakdowns, hub's disability, raising the kids more or less alone, marriage breakup, return to cult, total betrayal, scapegoating, then sexual abuse in another church.....   and here i am.   

the thing is, after everything that has happened in my life, i feel like the most precious thing in my life, my anchor, or rather, my lifeline, has proved to be false. the faith i had for four decades ultimately has proved itself to be just another means to subjugate and destroy me. just another way for people to control and use and abuse me.  and that, for me, is shattering.  i feel like my spirit and soul have been raped.  no other way to put it.

so now i just don't know what i believe. i think i believe in a god, or the universe, or some benign personality, who still cares about me. i still talk to him/her/whatever. i still feel it inside of me if i listen carefully and don't let myself get too afraid. but i no longer have what i had, a sense of confidence that there was someone who loved me. who ultimately gave a sh.. about what happens in my life and the lives of the people i love. 

i just don't know how to get over this one. even as i write i feel the depth of the pain and the horror of total violation, loss, death, i can't even describe it but it hurts. i can't seem to find a reference point any more and i am lost.

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EmoVulcan

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Re: grieving the loss of believing
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 04:22:23 PM »
I get it somewhat, arpy.  Tried hard to cling to religious themes and promises.  This became problematic when I started treading into 'rules for holy living' that were just not based in concrete terms, but were this fairy tale couched wishful thinking in my (scientist) analytical mind.  I had wanted to discard this man in the sky, along with Santa, the Easter Bunny and the great pumpkin about the age of'5.  So much was just bs, when good God Fearing people are the ones to be feared the most. 
I kept turning back tho, for answers to why would I want to see loved ones in hell, from paradise?
Why does God make people as HE intends, and then punish them for acting as made?
And worst thing for me, was why does treating others as I would want to be treated, make me a doormat, and the scripture continues to say keep behaving the same way, but believe you will get different results...maybe after death. 
All this talk of love being the answer to all things, did nothing to float bills or pay rent.

I did a lot of religion shopping, read the bible cover to cover, then a bit of Buddha and his life of mindful presence.
The only key to living in tune and balance of self, is to not harm another.  That is the true conclusion of philosophy, and human spirit. The way to morals and living actions of meaning is to support life in any ways we can.  We should be able to cultivate empathy, but who wants to feel the pain they caused another, or the guilt earned that often is conveyed with that pain?

Still, a belief in some kind of salvation here and now is almost necessary for hope, but xtians often expect even the hardest struggles can be overcome, or they must be some object lesson...either way it is a dismissal of need, and I (not really very xtian I guess) thought and a handy device to keep arms length distance need present and evident in poverty of life.

I have been, again dabbling with wicca, a celebration of life and natural rythms.  It is simple and nurturing, caring for Gaia, and acknowledgement of sun as energy, earth as womb, and Beloved Goddess, illuminated by God's light, and the dance of the cycles, never ending and always changing.  It is LIFE grateful and fulfilling in itself.

We cannot be love, if we only know fear and loathing.  And few models have ever appeared.  In some aspects, I think The Greatest Story Ever Told, is just that, a story, fairy tale and nightmare, but a definite way to teach slaves how to enjoy being enslaved, and put expectations of life so much better, beyond any verifiable reach.  That might seem a bit jaded, I admit.
But, long ago I noted xtianity is just as pagan as the occult they condemn. 

The church, of course could not stand the central rede of wicca: An' it Harm None, Do what you Will..  Too simple, I guess.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: grieving the loss of believing
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 05:18:25 PM »
This is the right place to post this arpy1.

i feel like my spirit and soul have been raped.  no other way to put it.
It's horrific you were forced to go through this arpy1. :thumbdown:
Through no fault of your own.
May those who forced you burn in hell, is an apt phrase in this context, IMHO.
With as much of secular justice done here on earth added to it. Though probably they are hiding behind 'Plausible Deniability', or the elaborate schemes 'religious institutions' have created to exempt themselves from the rest of the 'mere mortals'.

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one of the symptoms people talk about when they write about cptsd is the 'loss of systems of meaning/beliefs'.  i think that's how they express it.  i don't think it specifically or exclusively means religious beliefs but it does include it.
Yes, and it's so hard.  :bawl:
In other fields it's referred to as "the Concorde Fallacy" a.k.a "sunk costs" (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/concorde-fallacy ) <--- *** trigger warning: It probably won't cheer you up. *** (unless "a shared burden is a lesser burden" (Dutch proverb) appeals to you)

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thereafter followed 15 years of brainwashing, oppression, shame, fear, a sense of belonging, sure but it was kind of a covert captivity, in truth; breakdowns, then escape into my ill-advised marriage to another controller, co-dependency, more breakdowns, hub's disability, raising the kids more or less alone, marriage breakup, return to cult, total betrayal, scapegoating, then sexual abuse in another church.....   and here i am.
Heartbreaking, arpy1. I share your pain.
I'm happy you are here, but I grief for the reasons you have found your way here. :hug:

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so now i just don't know what i believe. i think i believe in a god, or the universe, or some benign personality, who still cares about me. i still talk to him/her/whatever. i still feel it inside of me if i listen carefully and don't let myself get too afraid.
This benign personality exists, dear arpy1. It's you.
And quite a few more on this planet. Or perhaps also beyond it, I don't know. But you first and foremost. I've seen it in your posts.

Many :hug: to you. Brave and kind woman.
With love,
a fellow cPTSD-er.

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Miss C

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Re: grieving the loss of believing
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 05:14:15 AM »
Arpy,
I get it. Exactly. I see myself in your story. I am trying to hang on to some sort of connection with the divine, or I know I will be at risk for suicide.
Trigger warning:::::::::::::::
I was raised in a high control religious group, by parents one side from alcoholic family, the other side religious oppression & abuse. One of my parents was a drug addict and dealer, the other an ACOA of the insensitive /bullying variety using religion as the weapon. Then I experienced sexual abuse in my first romantic relationship  (barely an adult.) In my mid 30's now I see my entire life as a cascade of control. Control by both religion and various abuser personalities. The only way I have been able to avoid being controlled by others is to control myself. I recently got out of eating disorder treatment. I am now in the process of extricating myself from a marriage to a controlling personality who I allowed to abuse me both spiritually and emotionally. Fortunately it was only 2 months until I realized I needed to get out. My faith is shattered, my finances are wrecked, my identity is more lost than ever, and I am losing hope that I will ever recover. Church is triggering, prayer is inaccessible, meditation seems like cheating, no one seems to understand. I have been resorting to some unhealthy behaviors, but I am managing to stay addiction free. I am talking to people but I feel that no one understands. It is a relief to find you. There is a reason we are enduring this. It is not for nothing. There has to be a purpose, even if we never find out what it is. My heart goes out to you.