From Pastor's wife to Atheist

sent in by Michelle

Even as a child, I remember sitting in the pew thinking, "no thinking person would believe this stuff". As a pastor's wife, I was embarrassed to think that other's wouldn't believe the shit that I did. I pushed those thoughts down deep, because I really thought my life depended on my willingness not to think. Now I look back and see I was transferring my own disbelief onto others.

Anyway, my story is much like many of you. So, I won't go into details too much. I was raised in a minister's home in the south and taught from birth fundamental evangelical hell-fire and brimstone. I was so burdened with hell...for my friends and family members...and for myself...I was never quite good enough and went to sleep at night afraid of hell. I remember my sister at age 4 or 5 asking me to pray with her because she was afraid of going to hell. Anyway, I went to a christian college, married a christian man and we went into ministry for 10 years.

I began questioning right after leaving home, but never questioned far enough out of christianity until I found the courage to do so after my grandfather died. I have never stopped questioning anything sense and look forward to the day when I can just be present and not question everything anymore.

NOW...can you please help me through some issues I am having?

My family...all my family are fundamental christians. Not only do I have to deal with this when I see them, but my father molested me as a teenager and I reported him a few years ago...he lost his credentials and I have lost closeness with my siblings because of it.

I want to let my family go completely so I can move on. I live in Michigan and don't see them very often, but when I do visit, it seems it takes me months to find my equilibrium again. I don't take care of myself...I kind of go into a depression...Every time, I think "this time will be different"...but he guilt of letting them down...being different...the whole experience when I am with them leaves me in knots.

They say they love me and will pray for me. I'd rather just not see them anymore.

But, I don't want to hurt them. I know they love me as much as they know how to...and I don't want to cause them more pain...more hell than they already experience.

Have any of you had to distance yourself from family, and can it be done without losing yourself after leaving a cult that your family is still in?

I really want to move past this. Any suggestions?

How old were you when you became a christian? 7
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? Evangelical Christian -32, Agnostic New Age Christian 6 months
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? From Fundamental Evangelical in the South, to New Thought churches in the midwest after 30 years old.
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Atheist
Why did you become a christian? FEAR for self and pity for jesus
Why did you de-convert? seeking, it wasn't working, and education
email: chellebelle69 AT gmail DOT com

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