Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Recovering From Bad Religion



The battle with God continues, and I am hoping the price of this will not be my faith entirely. You know you got trouble with God when most of your prayers are complaints like, "Why does everything default to bad?" and "Why don't You listen to me and show me a little bit of love?" I was warned years ago that faith can shipwreck on the Bitter Island, and it is a fear, but God's silence and seeming not to care, has worn me down.

Why am I so angry at God? It started with Aunt Scapegoat's death and seeing evil "win". I have spent 10 years trying to claw myself and husband out of a ditch with no success. Maybe it is a midlife crisis married to being worn down by 20-30 years of really bad health or seeing dreams of close Christian fellowship and other ideals dying on the vine. It is hard to explain. It's like Christian ideals hitting a wall of cold hard reality. My life did not turn out. Outside some good online friends and husband, I am almost friendless in this world The idea that "everything will work out" on top of so many broken dreams has not worked.

Already being out of the churches, I have realized many of my beliefs are very different from many evangelicals and others. They already consider me an apostate for leaving and sleeping in on Sunday morning. My renouncement of Trump has made me the "devil's child" among some Christian circles. My old pastor on Facebook seemed to infer I really was never saved, because of doubts I have shared with him. I knew my salvation was sincere years ago. That troubled me a lot! I had negative thoughts about him, wondering what could he know of my life with his boat, mission trips to Africa and 4 children and good health?

[I didn't follow these rules, the no birth control one is absurd and more for the Quiverfuls, but the rest was a given in the IFB]

 One thing I never fit in with a lot of Christian people. I talked about how there was the whole Stepford affect in the churches, where "perfect" people insisted I be perfect too. You know there's a problem when you never saw any divorced, childless, or disabled people in any of the IFB, or mainstream evangelical churches you visited. Many Christians seem to live in a Christian bubble. They only are friends with other Christians, and their families are Christian. In the IFB, converts were far rarer then you'd imagine but I noticed this in other mainstream evangelical churches I visited and attended too. The culture was one I never really fit in. Socioeconomically I did not fit in with most Christian families. How was I to relate to homeschooling mothers? I was a convert in, a seeker that decided Christianity was true, and this seemed to mark me for life, as "other" anyhow.



It seemed like some of them wanted to squash all originality and creativity out of me. They wanted me to "conform", I couldn't if I wanted to.  All curiosity was to be suppressed. I got this repressed feeling like I was trying to be someone I really wasn't when I went to church. Even my desire to explore scripture in depth in the last church was not welcomed. Uniqueness was not tolerated. The pastors always seemed irritated by anything of depth being discussed. My husband just being who he was, offended the last one at every turn.

Sometimes I got the feeling with some Christians, they were trying to fit this idea of what they think a "Christian" should talk about, dress like and act like. It was like they had this idea in their head, and the churches definitely promoted this. Some came across as insincere, speak Christianese. Some phrases bored me like "Bless your heart" and "The Lord has placed it on my heart to tell you..." and worried me that they were just used as silencing and control mechanisms. 

 Culturally I didn't know the "script" or the way of life, I could never afford or emulate, and I faltered massively. While the first church was nice, my eyes didn't really open about how they saw me until later. In the other churches, I was this weirdo, they put up with. My clothes were different too. My husband refused to wear a suit to IFB church like the other men wore and didn't even own one that still fit, well you get the idea. Intellectually I seem to piss most of them off. I imagined deep conversations, close fellowship, and had dreams about having a close "church family".  In the boat pastor's church , they did help some and seemed to care, that was very rare and short-lived. I would learn that church closed from severe in-fighting that Aspie me was not privy to.

I have had some negative thoughts about the Christian world lately that have bothered me.  The perfect storm of spiritual abuse, the present political situation and many unanswered prayers has had me questioning God and religion quite a bit. If my relationship with God is to last, I cannot love an authoritarian God that just seeks to punish and hurt me, who I am afraid of in a bad way. My leaving fundamentalism has affected my life, and sometimes I wonder if fundamentalism was attractive to me because of my abuse history. 

 I worry I became a Christian in the first place via fear of death. Everyone here has read my tales of medical woes where my lungs almost wiped me out and the multiple bouts of sepsis almost ended my life very early. I was a full blown atheist, UU and a "hellbound" pagan, agnostic and atheist by the age of 17.  I had "deconverted" from Catholicism in my early teens.

 I became born again in my mid 30s, the Bible and God's Word really did give me solace when I was very sick. I wanted to find meaning and hope in life, truth and God. I was a strong seeker, I had spent over a decade reading and studying religions. When I was in college majoring in art education, I had a dual education at the same time.  Whenever I had a spare minute, hanging out on the top floor of the college library, I read every book I could find on the religions of the world. I read everything from the Koran to the Egyptian Book of the Dead to Kabbalah writings to the Bible. My seeking was very important to my life. My husband told me when he met me, my fascination with religion intrigued him, and that normal girls didn't think about such deep issues and he liked that about me.

I still consider myself a Christian, but I fit less and less in the mainstream Christian world.I don't want to follow the Rick Warrens of the world with their globalist ideals, that really seem to be just colonialism under a Christian mask, or the "Be positive set" who tell me God has a plan for my life when everything seems to be crumbling, or the Republican world where I am supposed to believe that richer people are "better people".  It's not working for me. I don't fit in the churches, but I know being a Christian has made me feel very alone. A lot of other Christian people are nice people don't get me wrong, but when it comes to me fitting in with them, its like chalk and cheese. I have an edge to me, most will never understand.

[source]

The Christian world for disabled people can be a very dangerous place. Religionists can make hash of disabled people's minds. They will tell us things like standing up for rights is for the evil left, and that are our health problems have risen from some kind of wickedness. In my case there will be no returning to church outside of some government funded charity and a fiction book club, I can't take it anymore. People in my situation who have faced abuse, or who have serious disabilities, or poverty problems, it's a feeding frenzy. The years of pity, false promises, demands for self improvement, conformity and the rest have just worn me out. There's too many who will run victory laps on your head just to show you off, as a broken down human with their derision. Sadly for religious narcissists, stressed, frazzled and frightened people are easier to control, the intellectual repression and denial of the true human conditions and emotions, got beyond my toleration long ago. What purpose is there for me to be in a place where I am told to constant repress my true feelings all the time? I had enough of that within my family.

Even in the non prosperity gospel churches, there is always that belief that God is blessing those whose lives are going well, and if life is going badly well that must mean God does not have favor on you or you are out of obedience or as my spiritual abusing deliverance minister told me, that I must be cursed. Can God handle my real thoughts, emotions and intellectual curiosity even if so many in the churches could not?

I believe religion is a often control matrix. I followed the path of being one of those Christians outside the system, long ago, but then I noticed I was so outside the religious reservation, I was standing outside alone. I wanted there to be a loving God you see, and still do but where is the love in all this control and threatened "beat-downs"? Being a broken down, disabled person in USA society with low-income, I don't need God's representatives beating me up too.



Spiritual seeking and intellectual inquiry, isn't very welcomed in a lot of Christian circles. Even having a discussion disputing whether the Bible speaks of "sheol" and the "grave" instead of a conscious burning eternal torment in hell, got me in trouble with some Christians online. Hell has always been a sticking point to me. At least I found some who questioned these ideas.

One thing that bothered me in the IFB, they always seemed to want us afraid. Afraid of the Apocalypse, afraid of the new world order- I do still believe a cadre of uber wealthy people do abuse a lot of power, afraid of the liberals, afraid of the world blowing up, afraid of the nuclear war. Afraid of going to hell--the big one---if you fall away and don't do God's bidding [to the legalistic ones] you will be burnt like a piece of toast on a spit.



Choose at random any political or news website for evangelical Christians, and notice how fear runs the show. Fear and control, and authoritarianism to the hilt. Trump will save us! "We need more prisons" the evangelicals demand while at the same time writing scary conspiracy stuff about how all the FEMA Camps will round us up. They don't realize how they contradict themselves, after all Jesus got put on the cross at the behest of a overweening state so their worship of power, is even more sickening. The fact most of the churches support our political oppressors, says something. They bow before the eugenics, racists, and the world caste system. If you don't kneel to this power, you are considered a heretic too. The fact the majority are following blindly after Trump, and they don't care if you question the left too. This is enough to disenfranchise many from the evangelical and Christian world. They are so afraid they chose the biggest baddest abusers and sociopaths. There's probably many Christians who see through the political lies, running for the church exits now. These recent events have me rethinking a lot about this world and how God is presented in the Christian world and how religion is used for fear and control.

I had enough to worry about from my own body and trying to stay off the streets, I think I got tired. And how do I explain the disappointment? Scripture promised me loving fellowship and kind hands to pray over me when I was sick. What did I get? Loneliness, and mean churches that made me more afraid and added to my abuse and trauma. Judgment.


[notice how you get abused and rejected and you are the demonized one instead of the abusers?]

I wrote here about my spiritual abuse at the hands of a deliverance ministry. I encountered a spiritual abuser who told me because I was so sick, and had a huge body because I had been cursed. She said it was causing my poverty and other problems. In the IFB, I had been taught I had to be holy or I would not have God's blessings. Deliverance was not frowned upon in the IFB but was promoted to a degree. Deliverance Ministries are total poison. She told me I would die, soon if I was not delivered. I am embarrassed to even have fallen for this crap, and while I thought she was a bit weird, I thought what harm can more prayer do?  So I did the deliverance prayers etc, but she got weirder and weirder and more abusive. She tried to get me to go to her house out of state and stay with her, I refused.  I found out later, from what people wrote online, she had actually manipulated some to go to her house and did more emotional damage to them seeking power and control. I cut her off, as she gave me her "curse" talk. I was done. The goal posts were always moving. I hung up the phone and cut her off for good.

[hereditary Illness? I guess I'm screwed]

In Christianity, I felt like nothing was ever good enough. I may have erred myself in seeking after a doctrinal purity, though I wasn't the type to abuse anyone or boss them around or act like the Church Lady on SNL. I was told God was not blessing me due to my disobedience and rebellion. I was rebuked for keeping so many non-Christian friends and told it was my bad example that was keeping my husband from being saved. I was told both directly and indirectly that God had given me health problems due to my wickedness. I was told in only good Republicans with nice homes and big families counted. Even the "saved by grace" crowd, makes constant holiness demands. I got tired.

My most healthy approach to life, may be just holding on to the ideals that led me to Christianity in the first place but I can't have anything to do with the mainstream or evangelical Christian world anymore. I don't want to go to church not even a liberal church. I already spent over 12 years in the very liberal Unitarian Universalist Association, which by the way is a place many seekers end up. In some strange ways churches are all alike. Even the creedless church had it's ranks, and demands I could not match.

Religion for me became a bad thing. I got tired of being made afraid. The goal posts were always moving. The promises for my life never turned out. My own prayer life has become shambles, as I feel like I am speaking to empty space and God does not answer.  I realize now that my abusive background has impacted my religious yearnings, and my own relationship with God. With God, I got into this mode of being the endless "pleaser", in my mind wrongly or rightly He became just another narcissist that I was never "good enough for". So many of His representatives focused on my shortcomings, I got burned out.


[spiritual abuse]

I care about love, justice and freedom. Maybe God will have mercy for that. A lot of the Christian world scares me and with the march of Trump and his men, the blatant growing brutality in the mainstream evangelical and Dominionist world is making itself known. Some of the Christians will claim those against the right are for the "natural order", they will teach us false obedience while twisting Romans 13. They stress obedience and authority and they worship a "god" in my own mind that has grown more brutal. The worship of power and the uber rich, goes with their slavish devotion to the hierarchical political and religious system. They are the Pharisees of the modern day.

Catholicism,anxiety, depression and coming out of a narcissistic abusive household was a very, very bad mix. Try getting slapped around eating a bologna sandwich during Lent because it's Friday in March and you forgot. It was just freaking psychotic. Beatings, screaming, cussing and then Mass and religious displays, I know all of this formed some weird stuff in my mind. When I became an atheist as a young person, I was called a heathen and condemned. I was HATED for not conforming and that has affected me lifelong. You know life has gone crazy when your mother finds an atheist/freethought/humanist pamphlet in your college book bag, and chases you through the house to hit you. The false piety among all the evil, was a joke. Why would I put up with Christians trying to make me conform and silencing me now when I have put up with some much spiritual abuse earlier?  The family is long gone due to my no contact, but I have no interest in people who will condemn me for inquiry and my own beliefs.

I do wonder if my spiritual and other abuse played a role in me in me going into fundamentalist Christianity. I know I was attracted to a world that seemed more special and holy then this one, and imagined loving and caring people who lived out their values, instead of people wearing masks and making demands. There has to be some conflation with my going no contact from abusers several years ago, and questioning some spiritual and religions edicts and taking a look at my religious journey. 

I have realized a la Paul Walker, I have a very unhealthy fawn, flight or freeze approach to God.  As I got deeper into fundamentalist Christianity, I realized there were overlaps with my childhood abuse and my severe anxiety disorders and C-PTSD [I was diagnosed with PTSD by several therapists in my past]. I don't know where the future lies with my relationship with God and still consider myself a Christian now, although I am in a place of examination and doubt, but I know I can't do the fundamentalist fear thing anymore. I don't know if my faith will survive and I will remain an alternative "out of the church system" Christian or what the future will hold.

 I have had troubling thoughts about God seeming like one of my abusers, with threats of hell for those who refuse to do His bidding, and demands for perfection and holiness.  Even in the salvation by grace system, there still remain expectations of holiness and freedom from sin. I was never loved by my parents and I do not feel loved by God right now, some may say this is due to my own sin, but those kind of people I need to avoid right now, if I am to find God's love once again. There is an abuse trap people can fall into where they seek to "please" God in finding that worthiness their families denied them. Legions of demanding "church ladies" who promised me good health, miracles and more based on "performance", were just a continuation of my earlier abuse in life for "not being enough". Religion and churches can prey on broken people who seek wholeness, but some of them destroy us more and become proxies for our former abusers.

As a past scapegoat, I have been refusing all abuse in my life. This means doing away with direct and indirect spiritual abuse too. This has changed the religious terrain. It has taken me out of fundamentalism. All the bowing and scraping and saying "Please love me", and "seeking approval", I ditched all the abusers I was "never good enough for" and is this spilling out to God? It definitely spilled out to the IFB. So wonder I got the idea that life was all about performance and following rules. So I fell for the idea of religious rules outlining a certainty, trying so desperate HARD to obtain a what was deemed a "PROPER" life and trying to find a place to "fit in" and I never found it.





The biblical Tribulation is no big deal when I had my fear up to the gills in the PTSD horror house I grew up in and took with me into adulthood. I can't have a good relationship with God when I see Him the same as my abusers where nothing is ever good enough and I wonder why my life has been left in the ditch. I do know this, I can't believe in a cruel "god" anymore. I'm out of the IFB forever. I'm done with gaslighting, mindcontrol and being told what to think and feel anymore. It is time to recover from bad religion.

22 comments:

  1. yeah I know Bad Religion was a band name... too LOL but this was best title I could come up with for this one.

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  2. “When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, There's just something about you that pisses me off.”
    ― Stephen King

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    1. LOLOL Sums up my life. Especially all those years seeing all the "blessed types". I do wonder if God decides not to like certain people. Some certain groups in the OT aren't too well liked as the Israelites are ordered to wipe them out.

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  3. Congratulations on escaping the cult! Sadly, this isn't confined to just Christianity as an organized religion. I was in a Buddhist organization,that turned out to be not Buddhist at all, for over 20 years. If somebody claims to have The Answer, it's a long con. IMHO, the toss up is either KNELL BEFORE ZOD or standing alone, looking up at the stars, wondering about the mystery of it all, perhaps that being enough; that the answers we seek come from our individual connection to the mystery. You were too smart for these people and you got away. Sometimes it feels harder and lonely, being on the "outside" but at what cost? Much respect to you, Peep! You're free of the timewasters! OXO

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    1. Thanks.I am done with the cult.The IFB was known for as much abuse as the Catholic church.No more men in suits yelling Republican politics at me. Yeah there can be cults even in other religions glad you got out of the Buddhist one. I agree about the LONG CON. It made me suspicious how being smart and asking questions made them so angry. Thanks anon. :)

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  4. I found this post literally 24 hours after I had written a number of personal theological/existential observations in regards to my current state of "faith". I'm really taking a critical eye towards all organized religion, and especially my previous involvement in Catholicism.

    I wanted you to know that you are not alone in this. I'm literally in the same boat as you (however, slightly more bitter) after a nervous breakdown three months ago. Childhood abuses at home and school that inflicted me with diagnosed PTSD and other psychological isses (you and I could probably share stories that would send chills down each of our spines), the lingering doubts about my "salvation", unanswered prayers, abuses that I even had to endure in adulthood (if escaping my childhood abuses weren't enough).

    Even in the throes of my nervous breakdown, praying and begging for mercy, alone and trying to survive that hellish 72 hours, I was rewarded with additional torture to make my condition worse. Literally, the moment I prayed for something during that window, THE EXACT OPPOSITE result occurred nearly immediately (like within minutes).

    Benevolent God, my ass (if one truly exists).

    I was a devout Catholic to a fault up until my breakdown. However, the hypocrisies I witnessed and endured forced me to continue to question my belief systems. I even went so far as to stop praying for any of my own needs a long time ago (10 years or so) because I felt my unanswered prayers were due to my selfishness. I started strictly praying for others only. Never for me. The indoctrination process as a child really did a number on me. The guilt, shame, fear...all instilled in the name of religion by sick parents and other authority figures with a broken moral compass.

    I don't know where each of our journeys are going to take us from here, but I truly wish you peace sooner rather than later. Both for you, and your husband.

    Sincerely,

    J

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    1. Hi J, thanks for posting. I am glad you are taking a critical eye at organized religion. I left the IFB but I am also an ex-Catholic and know the ins and out of that religion, and the guilt and constant shame piled on. The IFB even with salvation by grace, never let up on the be perfect or else messages. I left all churches and was with Christians, who believed all churches were fallen away online but even then I had that horrible spiritual abuser come into my life. Check this older article out.

      http://fivehundredpoundpeeps.blogspot.com/2016/08/mrs-curses-spiritual-abuser.html

      Organized religion to me seems to be a socio-political control matrix. Just look how they got so many "Christians" to vote for Trump.

      Thanks for telling me I am not alone. I am sorry you are dealing with so much too. I have lost people all over and just discovered a friend of 30 years has absolutely no empathy for me, so understand nervous breakdowns and more.

      I have had unwelcomed thoughts about hell, questioning even if the bible teaches a conscience burning eternal torment, and other thoughts unwelcomed in all but the other fringes of Christiandom. So I have had doubts about a lot, and unanswered prayers too have formed the foundation of my crisis in faith like you, sadly some Christians have told me online, "Oh God is answering just saying No, but there is a point where dumb and meaningless tragedy and loss pile up and you do ask yourself is God even on my side. I had prayers for months asking God why He didn't care and realizing I am afraid of worse squishings, like something happening to husband or finding out another horrible medical diagnosis. It's like the shoes already dropped multiple times and you worry about another one coming. I feel like biblical promises for God's care, and others have been broken. It is like this ideal reality was given to me [loving fellowship in this world, etc etc] and reality itself did not measure up. I had freed myself from IFB legalisms but tired quickly of guilt over stupid stuff like listening to secular music.

      continuing...

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    2. So sorry about your nervous breakdown and whatever horrors you suffered for those three days. I understand what that is like, you pray and beg God for relief and none ever comes. Additional torture. I even a few years ago and prayed, Okay God I accept poverty and I can be happy, but then then it was like I was being tortured night and day. Never left alone, never left in peace, always having these unmet needs [like for decent food or hearing aid batteries] so I understand that. Prayer for me if the scientists took a look actually defaulted to the bad side more then the "answered side".

      I know my faith crisis began with the inability to visit Aunt Scapegoat before she died and the cutting off and narcs winning. Now that my a supposed "friend" of 30 years, has been exposed as a narcissist too, she saw this blog and put it down even, I wonder why God seems hell bent on my emotional and physical destruction and even now spiritual destruction. She was an atheist anyway who mocked me talking with my "imaginary best friend". I guess narc parents did influence me to fill my life with cold unfeeling types.

      Speaking with other Christians while some online are nice, most just judged me. You don't want to know the view of the disabled in the churches. Smiling middle class and above people with huge loving families do not relate life or above. Some got angry at me years ago even for my opinions about churches, false tithing teachings and more. I did the I will only pray for others thing, still in that mode now as prayers for myself were never answered. I ended up becoming scared of God too, it was as He hated me. I sure never felt loved anymore, even though His Word gave me solace for years and years, now my most honest opinion about God, He just doesn't care and seems like just another abuser telling me I am not good enough and that I don't deserve anything. Watching what happened to my husband has been the icing on the cake and sometimes I feel like God is a monster to put us humans in this world to begin with. God Himself doesn't have to fear death [yes Jesus died on the cross but was resurrected] or the other horrors we encounter in this world. Oh I have had terrible thoughts. Hell always has been a sticking point to me. And that one is in the center of my mind.

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    3. I don't feel like God is Benevolent at all a lot either. This sounds terrible, but I am more and more afraid of Him in the bad way. I even have had unseemly thoughts about why Jesus Christ had to do a blood sacrifice in the first place. :o Why is everything so bloody and horrific in this world? I am not thrilled about returning to the daily existential crises I faced as a young atheist, aka you just die and rot, but I am very sad about "Christianity" right now. Some people the few I have let know what is happening, are in shock. I don't know what is going to happen yet. I don't want to renounce Jesus Christ, but then NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE. Christians lecture Romans 8 at me, and that is painful to me.

      I understand facing hypocrisies, I found it in Catholicism but then in the IFB. The lock step march after Trump by 90 percent of "Christian" friends on Facebook makes me want to throw up. Catholicism can lay on the guilt but I got plenty in other Christian branches too. This is going to sound terrible but I got tired of hearing about sin constantly and how "bad" I was and the endless shame and guilt and being told what a terrible and "wrong" person I was.I had repented of a lot for years but the goal posts were always moving.

      My family has hated me for decades for leaving the Catholic church, so I had that piled on me and then I was shamed in the other born again Christian churches for NOT having a family even thought Jesus spoke of division. So yes I relate the guilt, shame, fear all thrown on our backs by sick parents, and evil leaders. "Christianity" has grown more brutal. The "never good" enough messages resounded through my head, and then I faced the fact of a God, who never answered any of my prayers. How can I explain the disappointment and the grief, I even wondered too if He loved my abusers more.

      I don't know what is going to happen to me either. Will I find life as an "alternative Christian", I am so far outside the normal system, most in the churches consider me a weirdo or heretic, will the faith survive? I don't know the future either. I became a Christian as a seeker, being a seeker was why I was in the UU, and I don't even know what to think right now. I ask Why has God allowed this to happen to me too....

      Thinking of you J, thanks for the wishes for peace, I hope things get better.

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  5. Hi Peep,

    I feel you. You are not alone in this faith struggle. Religion is not the answer, never has been. This prosperity, feel good all the time gospel movement they are now touting everywhere does feel like a cult. And like you, I don't want any part of it. However, stay encouraged. The Bible talks about the wicked, that we should not be envious of them. The time on earth is so short compared to eternity. I take comfort in the rich man and Lazarus story. The rich man had family and wealth around him while Lazarus waited outside with dogs. That's no fair as Lazarus was righteous, he loved God. But the tables switched, now in eternity the rich man is begging and Lazarus is being comforted.

    I firmly believe that on earth today there's an invisible battle going on with the children of God and children of our enemy - the wheat vs the tares. We can't tell each other apart. My theory with all these young people killing themselves we hear about, who are being bullied at school, etc, is a direct result of this end times conflict. It's literally light verse dark. Something in you, in us, targets us for narc abuse. They are children of our enemy. Narcs lie because their father is a liar. I recall Jesus said this to the Pharessess when they were trying to set Jesus up with debate.

    ACONS, like you and me, need to change our perspective to better steady our faith. We are gaining inner strength and endurance without even knowing it. We are not alone. Jesus suffered this same abuse and more as did Elijah. Elijah literally ran for the caves in fear of Jezabel, the ultimate female narcissist.

    I totally get that dark rabbit hole of despair you often feel, the unfairness. You, me and so many ACONS were brainwashed that we had family who loved us when in reality they never did love us. I rather know and live in that truth as hard as it is than to be back in that "if I do more, love more, give more, they will finally love me gerbil wheel."



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    1. Thank you anon, thanks for saying I am not alone. I don't know what is going to happen to me now yet, or where I will end up. The prosperity and feel good and think positive junk is everywhere, I'm worn out. It is infused through the whole church system. I have hit a big wall called, "I am tired of being told I am not enough" married to "I am tired of being punished and made to feel guilty for everything bad that happens". It's got me messed up. Today they told me a giant kidney stone may ratchet out my kidney, but they will let me see [a second go around] if the drugs will melt it and told me my uric acid is sky high. We have struggled for groceries and I am wondering if low quality food and stress have added to this equation.

      I got saved reading about Lazarus and figured if some guy with skin diseases sitting on a mat could be saved so could I. Yes the tables got turned for him.

      Maybe the battles are getting worse, the oppression is increasing. Some people are so cold now, it's frightening. I agree about the kids committing suicide and more at school, there are narcs destroying and soul murdering and hurting them.I agree about the enemies against them. Yes the Pharisees are against them.

      For us ACONs, religion often is a place of abuse and the messages of "not good enough" is hurting many. I hope this is a gaining of inner strength and endurance. I do have a lot of fears about falling away. People on "deconversion" websites talk about the process, the fear of hell and more. Here's my problem, I already "deconverted" and became an atheist/UU when very young and became a Christian as a seeker. I can understand many are young people undoing the shackles of false inherited religion and oppression via parents and false churches. I was one of them and relate to them. I am so opposed to what is going on in a lot of the churches, church people consider me an apostate same as most of the deconverted already. LOL. However the me of today, I am not happy or thrilled about a possible God-less future. I feel "Stuck" but I know the religion of the IFB, Mrs. Curses and the rest is loathsome to me.

      Yes Jesus did suffer horrible abuse and betrayals. Elijah, that's interesting how he ran for the caves to get away from Jezebel, I'll have to reread that one.

      Thanks for understanding that dark rabbit hole of despair and the unfairness. Yes we were brainwashed about false love. It was hard to learn they never did care, and in fact in many cases hated us. I don't want to be on the false gerbil wheel either. I am still have to free myself from narcissists even now, long story, pre-NC life I let a lot of them in.

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, I appreciate it.

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  6. Hi Peep,

    One more thing that you might find interesting. I recently was on vacation, and watched the movie The Secret, about the Law of Attraction. It kind of works like faith as well, there are origins of faith there. In short, there are three rules - Be thankful.....write and/or say what you are grateful for. Visualize - really visualize the life you want, actually see yourself in these visions. A lot of people in the movie wanted wealth but that is the least of what I would visualize. In my visions, I'm living in the moment with my family, feeling and expressing joy and happiness, something I learned to turn off in my teenage years. Whenever I expressed happiness, that person or thing would be gone from my life so I began to always be miserable. It seemed to make my Nmom and Nsister happier that way. So in my visions, I'm blissfully happy. I'm surrounded by my small family and true, supportive friends, a table of laughter. The last thing is ASK God, which they call the "universe" for what you visualize and BELIEVE fully that it's already yours.

    It makes perfect sense if you follow Laws of Attraction why many of our Narcs don't have Karma. We become their projections of internal shame and hate, so they can move on lighter and conscience-less. There's a transaction that happens. They seem to take away our good qualities. For example, I loved animals since I was born. In fact, my parents allowed a dog when I was 4 and none of the rest of the kids - 7 altogether - because I broke them down with my pleading. My mother later took on this attribute of mine. But in 1996, when our poodle was dying, she was in the back yard gardening for hours while our dog was gasping for breath. I was in University then, and was sleeping since I also held a job. When I awoke, I saw my beloved dog dying on the front stoop. Anyone could tell she was in distress. I rushed her to Vet ER and she died shortly after. I cried so much. How can anyone not see the distress in our dog. I recently saw on Facebook that my sister got a dog. She hates dogs, has always hated cats/dogs/animals in general. I felt sick seeing her with this dog as I suspect her new relationship has something to do with it. Total fraud.

    Ironically before watching The Secret, I watched a documentary about after the halocaust. Do you know the survivors of mass genocide were treated horribly in Israel and in Europe? A lot of them had PTSD. You would think it would be the direct opposite, right? But that's the way Law of Attraction seems to work. Negative attacks more negative. We have to shift our energy to a more positive vibration. I think that's what having a relationship with Christ, what some call religion, is supposed to do the same thing in the end

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  7. Hello Five Hundred Pound Peep,
    Your post is thought-provoking on many levels. First, there is some overlap in our experiences, as I documented in the first blog I ever wrote, eponymously named TH in SoC: Who Broke My Church? Who Broke My Faith? Who Can Fix This Mess? What I have seen is that modern mainstream American evangelicalism contains many poisonous ingredients, the chief ingredient being the legitimization of oppression against the poor and powerless of the world.

    I am still a Christian, and I believe that God is holy and requires holiness from us. But my understanding of what that means has shifted over the last several years. When I compare Trump, his sycophants, and the American evangelical world to what Scripture says, I can see the outworkings of damnation beginning to propagate throughout the lives of these people. (It's even more obvious when I look at Britain one year after the Brexit vote.) These people will not get away with anything.

    I also see Christians (especially theologians born into marginalized populations) who are working to free themselves from the confusion that resulted from being taught the American brand of religion. Some of these people are pioneering such things as liberation theology. They are coming to see that God did not create them for the purpose of being abused by the powerful, and that they do have Biblical options for resisting oppression nonviolently. I fall into this camp - which is one reason why, especially in these times, I have been praying a lot.

    I also think your recent posts show a healthy shift in your thinking, namely an increased willingness to stand for those who are being marginalized, oppressed and targeted in present-day American society. I am glad especially to hear you speaking out against racism. I think when we open ourselves up to make friends with others who are being marginalized, we find that the burden of our own oppression becomes easier to bear. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

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    1. Thanks TH in SoC, I definitely have to check out your blog, do you go to church anymore and if you do what kind do you go to, if you don't mind me asking. I consider myself definitely more and more disenfranchised from the mainstream evangelical world, I used to visit some of the more mainstream ones, during my time in the IFB and after, bible studies, conferences etc. It's a world I have no interest in anymore, and I believe there are many poisonous trends in it. Even our "liberal" churches in my area like the United Methodists follow many mainstream evangelical trends, like 40 Days of Purpose with Rick Warren, etc. I used to be in a writer's group in a Free Methodist church for around 5-6 years, very nice people though most back then were in the Silent Generation, and I was the youngest member of the group. In small towns, a lot of events can happen at different churches so my contact with other churches probably has been higher then a lot of people.

      Sure I agree the chief ingredient is the joining with the oppression of the poor, that said, I am cautious regarding the LEFT when it comes to liberation theology [lets say the Sojourner's World] while I am in agreement on somethings there is a dark underbelly to the "colonization" of the third world, via American evangelical Christian, right and left flavor. I don't consider the UN to be like the wonderful Federation of Planets on Star Trek--sex abuses, and other scandals, etc. This blog wrote a article on the alt-left, LOL there is an alt-left too where he questions some of the neo-liberalism, but still stands against the oppression, I probably am in more agreement with this blogger to explain my present position.[of course today there are major limitations on all the political labels]

      http://hipcrimevocab.com/2017/04/22/what-is-the-alt-left/

      To be sure thought Christianity and the church system is being used by the powerful and wicked to guide and influence politics and consolidate power, the religious right definitely is a greedy picture of that phenomenon, I wonder how this works in other countries but I know I am limited in knowledge to the American flavor of this.

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    2. I am glad you saw through the whole Trump and religious right game. There is some hard core evil rising, many would even call it Antichrist. Sure there are endless scriptures against the evils being done now. Britain sounds like a mess. I learned more being on disability rights boards for British people on Facebook, absolute horrors. There is growing narcissism and hardness there too.

      America has it's own religion married to Christianity, like an American "City on a Hill" Dominionist, Trump's American nationalism is married to this alt-right fundamentalists. Here I want to suggest everyone read the book, "The Family" by Sharlet, it explains the dark halls of power and even intermingling of Congress with these religious entities [there was another book he wrote that has C Street in the name that was interesting as well.

      I am deprogramming myself from some of the worse of the IFB. I spent years kind of being immersed in the alt-right even by default, which happens in fundamentalist churches.

      . What is odd, is I protested a LOT of IT, telling church members, Dominionism and the seeking of power was wrong but there's some things I have been rethinking. On my Facebook I always protested police brutality and shootings but noticed this seemed to anger many of my old church members, there was some strange points of division I noticed I had especially with old IFB members. With immigration, I have rethought some things, especially as Trump started his crack downs, while I had concerns about Americans not being able to get jobs things were taken to an evil place. Same for a lot of the race issues. I still don't agree with the left there totally but there is some very deep oppression.I live in a very segregated area, [no it's not the deep South either] and seeing this first hand also influenced a lot of thoughts. My husband by the way actually writes for a local black newspaper as one of his jobs. I read these newspapers over many years.

      I am definitely for standing for those who are being marginalized, oppressed and more. I noticed more and more even years ago this was putting me at odds with a lot of evangelicals. Some actually told me in one church, that some of my "wrong" vestiges of being a UU were still in me. LOL

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    3. This blogger talks about the negative aspects of IFB culture, it is almost a world that is hard to understand from the outside.I never really did fit it's culture.

      http://jeriwho.net/lillypad2/

      Definitely in the state I am in as a marginalized oppressed person, how could I ignore or have no empathy for those who are in oppression for other reasons?

      One thing I have an interest in is prisoner rights, I have no communication with prisoners but I post for their rights on Facebook,and I noticed the comments on one video I posted on Facebook, where prisoners were shouting for help because they were literally roasting in a prison with no ventilation on a 100 degree day, it made me sick, how so many people had posted to that, saying "Tough they get what they deserve!" The lack of care too over brutal police shootings I witness too, bothered me very deeply. Why were the rightists and "Christians" always picking the police's side?

      When I came out against Trump [I post pictures of open protesting on my Facebook page---maybe I am crazy for doing stuff like this because around here, that definitely could cost you a job or something if I was a person looking for regular employment]but I noticed the reaction of my old IFB members, it was not GOOD, NOT at all.

      With Christianity, I am not sure where I am going to end up. Gods Word still calls to me but something is very wrong out there. I probably just need time to think. The Christian world has become scary to many.

      Thanks for your post, I will check out your blogs, I have been reading myself on ex-fundamentalists, spiritual abuse, deconversion stories--a lot of those are people leaving parental religions and abuse, and other websites. I think many people are realizing something is very very very wrong with American Christianity and with Trump, it is like a wake up call and a slap in the face, to wake up and get out. This is far more then the Bush days too.

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  8. 1Cor 15:19 that "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

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  9. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2011/11/why-do-christians-leave-the-faith-breaking-up-with-a-god-who-failed-them/#disqus_thread

    "God seems to think He can do anything, allow anything, torture us anyway He chooses and we're just going to smile and say thank you God, please hurt me more.

    He doesn't have to live this b.s., we do! We didn't choose to be born, but then we are held accountable for our decisions. He creates everything about us: our intellect, our emotional personality, our height and weight, where we are born, whether we encounter positive mentors early in life, whether we are healthy or sickly, EVERYTHING. But then, with no choice in those matters, we are held responsible for how we live in response to the conditions which we have no input. And, He claims to love us unconditionally, but then we are punished if we don't love Him or do EXACTLY what He wants us to (so much for free will).

    And other Christians, especially conservative Fundamentalists make it worse with "God has a plan" (His plan for my life has SUCKED), "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (b.s. and not in the Bible), "God won't give you more than you can handle" (also b.s and not in the Bible), "God works all things for your good (NOT!), and "be like Job" (a story which shows how immoral God really is).

    If God physically showed Himself to me right now, I'd punch him out (and I've never hit anyone in my life). He's a jerk and His words about how He "loves" us are meaningless without real action that demonstrates that love. He talks a good game, but his actual performance is pathetic. And then He wonders why people reject Him? Would you really be friends with someone if they treated you the way God treats people? Sorry, not going to happen."

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  10. Is there a greater betrayal than taking the most precious of human emotions, the yearning for the ineffable, and exploiting that to create a multi-level Ponzi scheme where the pay off is after you die?! Sometimes I miss the powerful symbols and architecture but your own home, heart and a loved one is Sanctuary (with your own art, stained glass, music and candles, if you prefer. :)

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    1. Good question....serious about that. I wonder why all rewards come after death too. I get tired of the Christians too who keep posting memes about God "breaking" them as if so many of us aren't getting our butts kicked enough by life alone.

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  11. Hi Peep, I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this, concerning narcissists, sociopaths, and relation to introversion/extroversion. https://www.quora.com/Are-introverts-more-likely-to-become-sociopaths

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    1. Most sociopaths I've known can at least FAKE extroversion, when it suits them.

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