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3/20/06                                                                                       View Comments

Gave up the guilt

sent in by Bill

It took my wife leaving me to realize this. For years, I struggled with guilt. I was not what you could call an "active" Catholic, however, my upbringing was such that to not consider myself a Catholic was wrong, and to not follow the basic tenets of the Catholic church was a sin.

When she left, I was completely devastated. I felt betrayed, and was putting my faith to the test. I thought that God would help me save my marriage. That was 25 pounds and several months of antidepressants ago. To make a long story short, she never came back, and I was left dealing with the guilt and shame of divorce, and with the idea that I couldn't be remarried in the church unless this marriage was annulled.

Annulment! The definition of that is:The invalidation of a marriage, effected by means of a declaration stating that the marriage was never valid.

To move on I would have to declare that my marriage was never real in the first place. How could I do that? It did happen, and it was very real! And for me to say that it wasn't was just ridiculous to me. It was at that point that everything came together - it was time to dump the guilt, pick myself back up, and put my life back together. I've since stopped taking the antidepressants (per my physician), excelled at my job, and put myself back on the right track. I did that by concentrating on me, right now, right here - I put aside all of the superstitious nonsense and stopped feeling guilty because "the bible says it's wrong", or "it's the doctrine of the church". I accepted divorce as a REAL THING, not a sin, and if I am lucky enough to marry again, it will be outside of any church.

My morality comes from the law and my conscience. If it hurts someone else, then it's probably not good - real simple and I don't need 10 lines to explain it.

I've heard of several people going through a traumatic experience and finding god, but I never in a million years thought I would become a (significantly) better person by finding atheism.

Joined at: Birth
Left at: 34
Was: Catholic
Now: Atheist
Converted because: That is what I was taught
De-converted because: What I was taught was full of contradictions