sent in by Wade
My parents took me to church from a very young age. Too young for me to even remember when it started. My earliest memories include going to church, a southern Baptist church. Every adult in my life was telling me this was THE truth. I never even considered the fact it might not be…until over 30 years later.
The concept of hell was introduced from the very beginning. When I was 4 or 5 they took all the boys in a small room and told us about the hellfire, pain and torment. They told us we had to say a prayer to accept Jesus or it would happen to us. They instructed us all to pray right then and there. After we were done they asked us one by one if we had said the prayer. One boy said he hadn’t. They took him in another room to talk “one on one” with him. That was the beginning of my fear based brainwashing that lasted my entire life.
I was never the type to want to “fit in”. I was a xtian because it was the “right” thing to do. I spent my childhood praying, confessing, witnessing and being terrified of god’s wrath. Doing all the things I needed to be saved. I can honestly say I never saw a miracle and never felt anything other than an emotional or coerced response.
When I hit puberty things went really bad. I had so much negativity and condemnation in my mind when it came to anything sexual. So I would do masturbate…feel extreme guilt… confess… pray…do good for a while…then start all over again…a horrible cycle.
In my mind I knew that there could only be one truth. I wanted so bad to do the right thing and not go to hell. So in my teenage years I decided to check out other xtian churches(I live in the bible belt it wasn't too hard to do). I went to dozens of other churches over a 5 year period(all xtian). I even went to charismatic one’s and watched people speaking in tongues, falling down etc. It was this experience that made me stop going to church. But I still “believed”.
I spent my adult years “living in sin” and feeling guilty the entire time. I never stopped praying or seeking out god. I had problems with depression and which was in large part to the amount of guilt I was feeling for not doing the right thing. I had sleep problems and thought at times because of my bisexual tendencies I might actually be possessed by a demon.
After years of dealing with depression I started to work my way out of it. As I started to study psychology, I understood how much my depression had to do with guilt and fear. I started to research where that fear came from. As I was reading an article on brainwashing techniques it all “clicked”. And my entire reality came crashing down. I recognized those techniques!! I saw them in all of the churches I attended.
I started doing research on the net. That’s how I found this place. For the first time in my entire life I actually considered the fact that God might not be real. The more research I did, to more I found out, the more I couldn’t deny the facts. I broke down and cried. Not because I had lost my faith. I cried because I felt like I had been robbed of a lot of happiness in my life due to xtianity.
What was done to me in church by xtians was nothing short of mental abuse.
When I got done crying, I felt a feeling like I had never felt before in my life. I felt free. I truly felt like I was unplugged from the matrix. This life is far more beautiful and far more fulfilling the one I left behind. I have always tried to live life to it’s fullest, which seemed opposite to the living a life of servitude required by xtianity. Now I can live that life without the fear and without the guilt.
I still have a lot of deprogramming to do. After 30 years it’s going to take awhile. But I feel happier and more appreciative of things then I ever have my entire life.
As far as xtianity goes, I can never go back. I have seen too much. I know too much. My reality will never be the same nor would I want it to be.
Became a Christian: born into it
Ceased being a Christian: 35
Labels before: Xtian
Labels now: not at this time
Why I joined: no choice
Why I left: no choice
Email Address: tulsawade at sbcglobal dot net
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)