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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