sent in by Tracy
This subject is still difficult for me to discuss because it's only been about nine months since faith as I knew it permanently changed.
I got saved in the Church of Christ in 1997 and joined the ranks of college singles in crusading for Christ. I married in early 1998 to a confirmed, non-practicing Catholic and we moved away and had a baby. There were many heated Sunday mornings involving me attempting to get my husband out of bed for church. He had a bigger picture of God than I did at the time, and could see right through my legalistic pleas. I'll never forget something he said to me....."You don't want me to go to church so I'LL feel good, you need me to go so that YOU'LL feel good." Which, to a certain extent, I believe we all look for validation in any faith that we practice. Hence....fellowship, I guess.
Well, shortly after my son was born, I developed postpartum psychosis and obsessive compulsive disorder. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the jist of these disorders is that you have uncontrollable harmful thoughts and images towards your child coursing through your head. Some women, as we all have seen, unfortunately act upon these thoughts. I include this because for a year and a half I cried out to the lord for mercy and answers. I went to various churches, sugarcoated my symptoms and attempted to be "excorcised". Where was God in all of that? I.....was.....a monster at best and the spawn of hell at the worst. Too bad it took me years to realize that a bit of medication would do the trick and that I wasn't a freak of nature.
(*I'm available to any of you who'd like to know more about the subject or are currently suffering from symptoms).
ANYWAY.....fast forward. I met my second husband, who was agnostic, not practicing anything. Things were good for awhile (I was "backslidden" and partying-BLASPHEMOUS) until I was introduced to some of his friends' christian wives. Conviction for living with another man out of wedlock set in due to their meddling, and I left my boyfriend. We would sneak around to see each other and were soon pregnant. I moved back in only to be preached to by another woman at work about "living in sin". I left again....and came back. We married shortly after, but our marriage was hell. Aside from his abuse and control, my christian lifestyle contributed to our emotional distance. I would get upset over anything "sinful" that he would do, whether it be watching Howard Stern or listening to music with explicit lyrics. I was overinvolved with the church and completely uninterested in what was important and interesting to my husband. Christianity is a guilt-trip to say the least. I could not think for myself...I always relied on "wiser, more seasoned" mentors for wisdom. Free thinking.....out the window. Guilt-induced decisions...always at your door.
Over time, I developed a capacity to be an accepting and supporting wife no matter what. After all, I was married, right? As my husband continued to rage on and subtly destroy my heart and mind through emotional and verbal abuse, I prayed harder. I cried out to God concerning my husband, became very submissive......and completely lost myself. My pastors told me that the only excuse I had to divorce was infidelity...or if he left. Pretty fucked up, Pastor. I'm sure Jesus wouldn't want to see one of his own people being dragged through the muck. And I'm almost positive he wouldn't say "That's it, smile like you like it and make sure you don't get anything on his shoes." Days before Christmas of 2004, I got up the balls to leave. I let my husband know my intentions and that I didn't want to leave until after Christmas so that we could spend it together as a family. Unfortunately, his composure deteriorated over the next few days and he became very crazed and.......well, scary. I had to leave without my kids because he threatened my life. I couldn't get to my shoes and purse fast enough to keep him for snappping my car key in two. I had to walk down to the nearest business and frantically call the police and tell them that my babies were with an erratic man....
After staying in a shelter for a week, I took the kids to visit their father for Christmas. He was different. He was calm, composed, and had a very soft look about him. Being curious, I asked him what had happened, and he wouldn't tell me. Come to find out, he had been near suicide and in the confines of our home, had found God through a lightning experience. I moved back in thinking we would live happily ever after as a good little Christian family....psh...yeah.
(I know this is long, but I'm getting to the important part)...
Four months later, I woke up and the "Holy Spirit" was gone. I was very troubled by God abandoning me, but I decided to search for my own truth. I began to really appreciate my genre of music and soon had spiritual experiences with other people that I can't quite explain. Everything in my life since that moment has been pivotal in defining who I am. I gained so much self-confidence and each day has been an amazing experience of learning and growth. Maybe it just happens to some people....their souls just move on to another place and abandon their faith. I even tried to force it back to no avail. I finally finally finally realized that my husband was an asshole, woke up one day and said...."Hmph.....I don't belong here". And I left. For good.
Haha......and our church. Yes....the church. They tried to intervene. I had two women come over to my new place and attempt to tell me I was being selfish for not considering reconciliation. I said to them "Have you ever walked in my shoes a day in that house? No." Once my church caught wind of my decision, I was ostracized by a majority of the body. You know what? I'm not bitter...I just feel sorry for them that they live every day with insurmountable guilt and shame. Always look over your shoulder, dear christians, or you may not see that demon on your back.......or worse, a fellow christian.
What am I? I don't know. I....don't.....know. Still searching, not really concerned about a label. I'm me, and that's enough.
Here's a misquoted joke by Dane Cook, but you'll get the point........He was talking about daytime talk shows and how these people come on and air all of their faults and secrets. So he says something like, "Come on people, I have problems too, but at least I'm a good Christian and I keep my issues at home in the closet where no one can see them."
Well, Dane, you've got a point there. Thank "God" I'm not afraid to wear them on my sleeve anymore.....
Was: Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Calvary Baptist,
Now: Agnostically troubled
Converted because: The Spirit moved me.
De-converted because: The Spirit left me.
email: tcand23 at gmail dot com
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)