What happens before we are born?

Sent in by Dana

I was raised Roman Catholic. And I'm sure that many others will understand what I'm saying when I describe how I was constantly afraid of Hell and Death. I knew I had to be good or else I wouldn't make it into Heaven.

However, when I was around 3 years old, I drew a picture and instead of it showing a Christian version of death, it showed what happens before we're born. I couldn't find anything in the Bible that said what happens before we're born. At the age of 3 I started to doubt the Bible, but for the next 12 years I would continue to try to defend it using science, saying that all scientific accomplishments and discoveries only brought tribute to the fact that we could never comprehend God.

I have had Bipolar disorder my whole life, and the hallucinations and delusions associated with my mental condition only continued to frighten me into believing in God. Those voices in my head, they must really be demons! I must really need Jesus Christ to save me from these evil voices and apparitions. However, I found my savior not in the Lord, but through medication.

I had few friends growing up. I was on the whole a confused and angry child.

However, and this is not to sound arrogant, but to prove a point. I have always been a "high-IQ" person. I know that these tests only measure certain types of intelligence, and cannot be relied on as an ultimate assessment of someone's intellect, but that is besides the point. The point is that I'm someone who most people would consider pretty smart, and yet still I was conned into believing in God through fear.

All the while this is going on, I discovered that I am gay. I guess I've known since I was around 7 years old, but I never let myself admit it. I didn't even know what a Lesbian was, how was I supposed to know that I was one myself, and that it was okay, and that I could stop hating myself?

But as soon as I started therapy, and started accepting myself for who I am, the foundations of my Christian faith began to crumble. I found myself needing less and less of the Bible, and less and less of Christ.

Until finally, I announced to my parents that I would not be attending Church on Sundays. Instead, I would spend Sundays doing what I enjoy, be it photographing nature or meditating, or relaxing with friends.

Now, I am emerging as someone who is confident in their views about the world and what needs to be done to change it. I'm still a work in progress, but at least I've progressed to a point where I can rationally understand what is happening to me.

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

My 21 year old daughter was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder with voices a few years ago, and she was told by some people at church that it was demonic. Funny it was medications that stopped the voices, not all their prayers. She found that out after deciding to stop her meds, believing God had healed her, and wound up back in the hospital for several weeks. Why can't people understand mental illness is just that, an illnes. They wouldn't suggest that demons were responsible for diabetes or epilepsy, but mental illness is still fair game.

Joe said...

I understand the challenges of dealing with bipolar disorder. My brother, daughter, an aunt, and several friends have the condition and deal with it in various ways. In my far too small to be scientific sample, it is clear that people deal with it in a lot of different ways. My parents denial of my brothers condition meant that he was not even diagnosed until it was far too late.

Another friend committed suicide shortly after I moved away from the state in which I had lived for several years. During that time, my home was the place she could come and just be accepted. This was before my deconversion, but I was disgusted by the way the church members in a typical evangelical mega-church would pray for her and engage her in small talk during services, as long as she wasn't acting in ways that made her too uncomfortable. The small group that she attended took great pride in accepting her into their group, but she was generally left in a corner, and no one else offered her practical aid. Too damned inconvenient. I was doing freelance translation work at the time, so I was always home, and she could always knock on the door and come in to get out of the rain of her anxiety and disturbing hallucinations. Other church members would interact with her, but in busy suburbia with the lawn always growing and the kids needing to get to their games on time, who could risk including someone in their schedule who might need too much (BTW, all I could offer was an ear, a cup of tea, some music she enjoyed, and a safe place to rest.

Two weeks after I moved, she went to a highway bridge, parked her car and jumped.

I've known other bipolar individuals who have had supportive spouses and communities. One of the people I admire most was a non-xian coworker who once told me that, while he is thankful for measures that science offered in helping his wife to manage her most extreme symptoms, he didn't look for cures. "I love her and wouldn't want to make her someone she's not."

Dana, I'm encouraged by the fact that people are no longer adding delusion and that you have found that self-acceptance. Bipolar minds are a variant on the broad diversity of human minds, with special contributions to make to give society and culture. I wish you all the best in continuing to find your way.

FSM said...

Christ tells me through his voice in my head to burn things. LOL!

Dave8 said...

Dana,
Congratulations on getting away from the clutches of controlling and damaging people. Guilt is one of the most damaging psychological emotions one can endure.
Great to hear that you are now taking care of yourself, hope to see you on the site exploring your intellect.

Nvrgoingbk said...

The fear of death and hell is what kept me hanging on for so long. It's the best marketing tool that Christianity has. The whole Pascal's Wager is continually abused in an effort to appeal to man's fear of death.

I said in response to another post recently, that it is only now that I don't have all the answers and can admit that I don't know what awaits me after death, that I have peace with the whole process of dying. I feared death and the "afterlife" nearly every day as a Christian, and yet I was encouraged to "rest in my salvation?" What fucking salvation? I could never even determine from reading the scriptures if I was even saved in the first place! I used to think that it was just me. Pious Christians would promise to pray for my tormented soul. They understood the scriptures completely and had no question as to their salvation, so they just couldn't understand what my problem was. It wasn't until I found this site that I realized that others were just as fucked up about the issue as I was for years.

Christians think that we deconvert in an effort to go on with a sinful life that we just weren't able to justify under the banner of faith, but my morals haven't changed at all except to say that they have probably become more firm in their foundation. I am not whoring around, doing drugs (does a popular natural herbal remedy count? If it does than I haven't changed a bit since I was a Christian, because I smoked the shit then too). I still think that it's wrong to lie and cheat and steal...and NOT because of any former religious influence but because it's FUCKING COMMON SENSE! I am not afraid of Hell any longer and that seems to really piss of Christians, because they are left with one less argument for my conversion to their "loving" faith.

Telmi said...

Nvr,

I would like to use your post - repost it in toto - with proper attribution, in another forum in which I am a participant. Is this OK with you?

Yours is one of the experiences I would like the theists in my other forum to read.

eel_shepherd said...

nvrgoingbk wrote:
"...and yet I was encouraged to "rest in my salvation?" What fucking salvation? I could never even determine from reading the scriptures if I was even saved in the first place!..."

ROTFL!

With regard to anti-bipolar meds (Better Living Through Chemistry), you'd think that the deity would make an effort to override the medications that are masking the presence of the demons, the better for the person to adopt Xtianity and win the battle against the demons. Doesn't the god _owe_ the patient that much of a fighting chance, and all the misery that would accompany it? Seems the Yahwster's dropped the ball again.

Jamie said...

But as soon as I started therapy, and started accepting myself for who I am, the foundations of my Christian faith began to crumble. I found myself needing less and less of the Bible, and less and less of Christ.

The same thing happened to me. My therapist once said that spirituality and sexuality are two sides of the same coin. I'm not sure it that is true for everyone, but it sure seems to be for me. As I started to accept myself for who I am sexually, I had the urge to figure out who I am spritually. That led to a lot of searching that will continue. It certainly led to my agnosticism, not so I had an excuse to to be gay, but because the actual logic of the arguments for believing in the bible was flawed. Once I started to look at my beliefs as an "outsider" the speed at which I went from believer to unbeliever was dizzying.

Anonymous said...

I suffer from bi-polar and have learned to control it thru meds and a healthy lifesyle,(diet and exercize etc).

During My 20 years as a fundie, I must of had 50 deliverance sessions.I heard god talking to me all the time and have the journals
to prove it. I was nuts!

Funny thing,...I fit right into the charismatic movement,and was a successful lay minister.

I believe many ministers suffer from bi-polar. *This explains the double life many of them live.

Thanks for your post,freedy



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SpaceMonk said...

Thanks for your story Dana, I'm glad you're progressing confidently.
Yet I'm also curious, what was it you drew/saw about what happens before we are born, that made you doubt the bible? (if it's not too personal...)

Anonymous said...

Great post, Dana. Enjoy your new-found freedom and use that intelligence of yours to explore all the possibilities that this ONE life has to offer. Best of luck !

JJ

Nvrgoingbk said...

Yes telmi, that is fine, but I am sure if you search the archives and different threads of this site, you can find more insightful comments from me. I hate it when I use such profanity, but then I'm 115 lb. fiesty Cuban, and Christianity gets my Spanish blood boiling.

Telmi said...

NVR

Tks. Appreciate the permission.

Anonymous said...

To all who are interested in reading a poem from Nvrgoingbk click on the link and then go to the Brainwaves section. Here is the link: www.freefish.us.

Enjoy, Jim Earl

imaginary sky daddy said...

Nvrgoingbk wrote:
The fear of death and hell is what kept me hanging on for so long. It's the best marketing tool that Christianity has. The whole Pascal's Wager is continually abused in an effort to appeal to man's fear of death.

It was the same thing with me. I think that's what it is with many people. They can see the foolishness of the buybull, but yet they think that if it is true then they're hell bound. It has such a strong hold on them. Because of that, I see christianity and all these other religions that push this hell propoganda being with humanity forever.

Wiseman27 said...

Since de-converting have become Pagan/Buddhist. I don't go out prostelyzing so no one tell me to shut the hell up(please), this is just where I am at now. I used to have chronic depression and was on Cellexa, but I still have this nagging fear of dying despite my common sense telling me that no one really knows what is going to happen after we die, we still don't fully understand life and for that matter any conception of God is inaccurate to say the least(I don't care how pious a Christian is, they say that this or that is the "absolute" truth, they have then made themselves out to be bold faced liars). I do still believe that there is a god up there, but even my own belief is inaccurate, it is merely my conception to the interconnectedness of the universe, more power to me. But how do I totally rid myself of this curse that is like a damn drug addiction? It is really driving me crazy(and I already tried the "atheist" approach). Please, no smart ass remarks about this, even in my religion(s) I don't claim them to be the end all solution to all problems and again I am not prostelyzing.

freethinker05 said...

You know wisman27, Even after becoming athiest to biblegod i still had this fear of death and hell, But like i posted today, i'm at ease with death now,just knowing even how silly that a supreme being to create such a place.This site, and my own studies of biblegod has finally released me of the fear of such a place as hell, in the which like i posted today, that i'm absolutly convinced there's no such place as hell. Hang in there,it will get better...Peace, Roger

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