I'm in a very lonely place right now

Sent in by notabarbie

I began my journey of de-conversion a little over a year ago, although I had had many unanswered questions for years and just buried them; mostly because I felt sinful for even considering them. It has been a long and arduous quest that continues and I'm sure will for a long time. If it had not been for caring ex-Christians on the internet, I don't know what I would have done. They have been as encouraging and honest as they could be and it has helped me tremendously. I hope I can do the same for others once I'm through the really tough parts.

I knew what I would lose when I de-converted, but when I was faced with all the evidence I couldn’t continue on. I'm not very good at faking it and just couldn't do it. It was destroying me. My husband knew of my struggles and questions, but it wasn't until I told him I couldn't go to church anymore that he realized the gravity of the situation. He says he understands and that he has his doubts too, but he continues to go without me and take our kids—that is tough.

I haven't really come out to most of my friends, but just the fact that I don't go to church anymore has caused many to avoid me. Even the friends that are still hanging in make me feel like they are here to "bring me back to the fold." There is a lot of pressure. It's not that I don't understand their motives — I do. I've been there myself and that makes me cringe a little. I have to be honest, I'm in a very lonely place right now, but I'm working on finding new friends and a new community, not that the cyber one hasn't been amazing, but I need a little human contact too; someone I can look in the eyes and pour my heart out to, you know?

Some might wonder why I would bring all this upon myself. Why not just quietly continue on attending church, etc., and just keep my beliefs under wraps? I can't do that and be true to myself or my family and despite the hurt and abandonment I feel at times, I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin before or felt more peace or joy and yes even love for my fellow humans. To do things solely out of caring and desire is so freeing. In the process my children are learning to be free thinkers and less judgmental. That is huge. I could never go back.

My internet friends told me things would be hard, but that they would slowly but surely get better and they were right of course. There are really bad days, but there are more and more good ones and I feel myself getting stronger and stronger everyday. I know I will eventually be completely honest with my friends, but I think that will be more gradual and hopefully less traumatic.

I know this was long, but thank you for the opportunity to tell a bit of my story. It has been very therapeutic.

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