Image by JenWaller via Flickr
For many decades I felt God didn't like me too much, that there was something wrong with me, there must be. I felt this way from a young child on. I felt let down by God.
I was born during World War II. My biological father was a chronically immature, irresponsible, mean-tempered, nasty, armpit of a man. My Mother couldn't have been more opposite, being sweet-tempered, kind-hearted and loving, putting others before herself.
Neither were religious. I believe my Mother thought there was a God out there, even if he never touched her sad life.
Because of my biological "father" deserting us, my young Mother had to hold down two jobs. Being war years, life was a struggle. I hardly ever saw her during those years, living instead at the homes of whoever was caring for me. My Grandmother told me that my mom used to cry all the way to the bus stop, after having to say good-bye to me.
When I was about four years old, my mom married a sensitive and good man. He adopted me, and was "Dad" to me. Soon, however, he developed a very serious drinking problem. When my brother was born, the family focus took a shift. My brother was the "Prince." Oddly enough, I was never jealous of him.
I remember that when Dad drank excessively, he would tell me I was adopted, but his son was his "blood child." Then he would cry. I came to forgive him in later years, because at his heart he was a good man. (It also helped that he'd stopped drinking by then).
I started kindergarten when I was way too young. (In those years there were few regulations.) I had a hard time keeping up with the other kids. I felt like I was stupid for a long time to come.
When I met and fell in love with my first husband, I felt that
"Yes, Yes, God DOES love me after all ! ! " I thought that "HE" brought this handsome, funny, and intelligent charmer into my life as compensation for the unhappiness I'd known... HA !
To make a long story short, we were married after he'd finished college, and I became pregnant shortly thereafter. When I was eight months along, he decided we should rent a boat and go fishing (never had before) in a remote area of the Everglades. I remember the entire time he wouldn't look me in the eyes. I discovered that this bogus fishing trip was to rid himself of a wife/child/responsibilities. I won't go into details -- too long and too painful for me.
I found out later that he was a serial adulterer. Then I moved back to my home state with no alimony and no child support, in spite of me going through every legal avenue available to me to obtain support. Gee, I guess God didn't love me so much after all, I thought.
We were on Welfare (no fun) and I had gone back to college so I would be able to eventually support us. After college I met a good man (although moody and temperamental at times) who sincerely loved children, AND DOESN'T LIKE TO FISH (no offense to fishermen).
We married, and 11 years later my mom died very unexpectedly. I couldn't understand how if God existed, he could allow this good and beneficial woman to die so young. I was angry and depressed.
Pedaling fast forward now.
After 9/11 happened (more anger, more depression) I became very ill, and had a genuine health crisis. I was 100% certain that I was going to die. For actually the first time in my life, I turned to God. ( I've been doing a lot of reading on this of late, and am finding out that this is a very natural phenomenon ). I said the sinners prayer, joined a church, read the bible 2X, prayed continuously, enrolled in Community Bible Study (known as C.B.S. from now on) plus joined other bible study groups, and watched that self-congratulatory Joel Osteen and his oh-so-high-on-herself wife.
Slowly I improved, little by little, until I am where I am now. Deep down in my gut I knew that the healing wasn't due to " God " and belief, it was due to me being tenacious, and just plain luck.
During those years at church -- reading the bible, attending C.B.S., etc. -- I had had so many red flag moments pop up in my brain. Here's just one quick example: In a sermon at church our pastor was describing "faith" with the story of Abraham & Isaac. He loved relating the story, and had a big fat smile on his face while telling it. I silently sat there while my brain screamed "DAMNED CHILD ABUSE -- ARE YOU CRAZY MAN ?" ( Big red flag ) Instantly my internal reaction was "OH NO, GOD HEARD THAT, OH NOOOOO" ! ! ! Multiply this reaction a thousand times, and you can see I was always under stress, trying to be a believer, yet always knowing that I was falling short.
It was after C.B.S. that the Camels' back finally broke. Ten or so days after the Tsunami hit South East Asia/Indian Ocean, we had our C.B.S. study night. Twenty or so women who I thought were my friends, were all abuzz about the Tsunami. Only there were no words of sympathy for those poor people, no, their attitude was that it was Gods' revenge ! You see "those people" didn't worship the same God that the C.B.S. brainwashed-and-loving-it bunch did, therefore they deserved death and destruction. I remember watching the footage on TV of the toddlers' bodies being thrown on a fire, and crying and pleading children looking for Mom & Dad.
After listening to all of this for awhile, I politely interjected my thoughts. I said a lot, but to condense, I told them that no one "deserves" such annihilation. I said they were human beings just like us, no better/ no worse than any other peoples on this planet.
W-E-L-L-L-L-L you would have thought that I'd suddenly grown a second head, by the expressions on their faces ! No one spoke to me or looked at me for the rest of the evening. I was ignored in stores, etc. by these women (including the `Core Leader'). I was being shunned.
Then came a rush of sanity that flowed over me. I'll never forget the feeling/the realization. I quit everything. No more red flags to drive me crazy. Now I could allow my brain to think again in a logical, normal way, without punishment and guilt from my very own self ! WELCOME FREEDOM ! Freedom from all of the nasty bits in the bible, from the hypocrisy, and so many lies and stunted thinking. No more thinking I was un-loved by "GOD", how can you be un-loved by something that simply does not exist !
My entire family are born-again Christians -- children, grandchildren and most of my relatives. I love my children and grandchildren very much, so I keep my mouth shut, because no one knows that I'm an atheist (proud one at that) except my husband. He's never gone to church, but believes there's a god. He's not too pleased either.
I am very grateful for this site and for webmdave, members, and the people who post/ comment here ... it's great not to feel so isolated anymore.