Unaddressed issues

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songbirdrosa

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Unaddressed issues
« on: July 30, 2017, 01:22:12 PM »
I'll just open this by saying that I'm not religious. I haven't been to church in many years, I don't believe in a deity, and I don't worship anything. But that hasn't always been the case. I was raised as a Presbyterian, and for the better part of my life, I was a very good little girl. I thought I'd gotten some way to addressing all the aspects of my trauma. But it would seem that's not the case.

Tonight I was talking with my mother and her husband, both of whom are very religious. And as he does on occasion, her husband once again tried to convince me to read the Bible and give myself to God and, well, didn't that hit a nerve! I immediately tensed up, got very agitated and started ranting. And I mean REALLY ranting. My voice choked up, I couldn't look at them, I was having visual flashbacks and getting very upset. It took me a good ten minutes to calm myself back down again.

You see, all I ever found in my religion was guilt and pain. Always being told that I was flawed, impure, weak, and that simple human nature is a terrible, sinful, bad thing. When my scripture teachers would say that "sexual immorality" was so vile I felt so dirty and ashamed and responsible for what had happened to me. They told me that God would take away all my suffering and I prayed and prayed but I still felt as empty as ever before. They said that I'd find fulfillment in worship and obeying. All I felt was abandoned. They said that if I gave everything to God, my life would get better and I'd be happier. I only got worse.

Was my religion to blame for my troubles? No. But I do think that the environment certainly exacerbated the problems that were already there. And now, I guess there's a whole other side to this that I have to untangle.


*Disclaimer*
My primary reason for leaving the church was based on research and evidence, not my personal feeling. Though, that definitely didn't help the matter.

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Dee

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Re: Unaddressed issues
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 02:34:57 PM »

It isn't uncommon for survivors to struggle spiritually.  I also am not religious.  Unfortunately, I live in a society that pushes religion.  It is so hard.  I often feel like it is another thing wrong with me.  I have lied about my faith.  I have tried to explain myself.  I feel like people won't like me if they know the truth.  Most of all, I try to avoid the subject.  I have even tried to believe, but I just can't.  I have gone to church only to find that I get very cynical.  I am glad for people who have that in their life.  For many it brings great comfort.  I am not one of them, nor do I want it pushed on me.

I once quit a group (the only one I was ever in) because it was too religious.  I am truly happy for people who have religion to help them in life.  However, some people are so stuck with their own convictions that they cannot consider another's opinion.  The group would turn to how god has saved them.  The T running it should of steered it away from that.  I felt alienated and different among a group of women I was suppose to be able to connect to.

I would find your situation very difficult.  It really is a person who feels their opinion is the only right one.  Also, in a way that only religion can do, he pushes his beliefs on you.  I too feel that society in terms of religion exacerbates my problems.  I feel alienated and judged.  It is another thing for me to feel ashamed of.  If it were anything but religion, it would not be tolerated in our society.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Unaddressed issues
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 03:23:41 PM »
i can remember from adolescence already disagreeing with the notion that humans are 'born from sin because of adam and eve'.  no, i never believed that, never believed that a baby was already a sinner.  that religious putdown simmered negatively within me until i finally left.

i am very spiritual, but it has nothing to do with the trinity i was taught.  i've read a lot of the bible (i used to teach sunday school, served on the church council, ran the youth group - very involved) but it has never comforted or soothed me, either. 

now i'm finally able to say that i'm not a christian, which pretty much puts me into the role of heathen in our society.   i think jesus was a cool dude, a real rebel, and did and said some pretty neat stuff, but he's very different from the jesus that my very religious cousins know and worship.

after being brainwashed by this 'sinner' stuff and having someone else's god pushed on us over and over, i think it can be a daunting task to define your beliefs for yourself.  after all, we've been taught that if we don't believe we will spend all eternity in a terrible place.

that fear and guilt that was used on us just stinks, and lets me know that i made the right decision.   i believe in love as the best of anything.  that's my spiritual basis.  that was the greatest thing i was taught, was that god is love, and that's the foundation of spirituality for me now.   it wasn't easy to come to this, either, but i'm glad i did.  those other teachings are really difficult to overcome - they were so good at controlling and manipulating us.