Saved From Faith

It’s been 8 months since my brain apparently decided to reboot and defragment the drive.

I haven’t had a relapse into a major, lasting depression, in spite of major stressors like an upcoming move and relationship woes.

I remembered the feeling of taking joy in my existence, and experienced it again, not as an echo but as a real, present state of being.

My brain is healing, which is exciting and terrifying. I’m only yelling on the inside, though, outside I’m sedate.

Last year I was 99% certain that depression had become a permanent factor in my life and that I would simply have to find a way to live with it as best I could, and dredge up what enjoyment I could still experience.

I started changing the circumstances of my life out of sheer desperation when I surfaced from another 2-year stretch of major depression, just hoping to cling to the shore for as long as possible, with every expectation that I’d still get swept away.

I screwed up my courage and went to therapy, and as I left an early session I felt something strange and had to sit and think about what that was.

Hope! It was hope, I was feeling hope and I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d felt that.

Later still, after hearing my story and explanation of what my life was like, my therapist said she’d hesitate to make the claim I had a specific mental illness, because the circumstances of my life could easily explain my symptoms.

I was thunderstruck.

I had accepted the circumstances of my life because I’d been raised to believe in a God that expected service and sacrifice and obedience – because I’d been raised to believe that I was born hopelessly flawed and inclined to evil and that the only way I could become a person of worth and righteousness was through suffering.

I must decrease, so that He may increase.

It was bullshit.

I was told that without God, I’d be miserable, and that if I ever lost my faith, life would be a hopeless, empty search for meaning.

It was my faith that left my hopeless. My faith was what wounded me, embedded shrapnel in my soul, reduced me to a dying husk. When I set it down and walked away, shoulders squared, it opened the door for my eventual healing.

I wasn’t born evil. I was born beautiful and innocent.

What happened to me was the result of systemic evil, though.

I asked for a fish and was given a snake; I asked for a loaf of bread and was given a stone. I was a child and a millstone was hung around my neck before I was commanded to wade out into the water and be baptized.

I’m never forgiving Christianity for teaching my own parents to lovingly destroy me and think they were doing it for my own good. I’m never forgiving Christianity for the misogyny and the bigotry.

Christianity can come to me and ask forgiveness 70 x 7 times and I’ll refuse to forgive.

Not until I can see that it’s changed, and that it’s stopped throwing children into the sea with a millstone around their necks. Not until I see it exhibit the love it claims on behalf of its God. Not until I see it stop being evil while calling itself good.

By their fruit ye shall know them.

This song seems appropriate here. (Thanks, Royksopp!)

Happy Pride Month, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Saved From Faith

  1. I suppose I have always glossed over what my parents did in the name of Christianity or what Christianity deluded my parents into believing. It’s good to delineate whether it is you “parent” talking or their “religion”.

    From my earliest memories, I can remember my Mother giving me the guilt trip, that if I didn’t attend Sunday service, that God would hold it against her. OMGoodness, I can’t do that to my mother!!!! Then as you get older, you realize if “God” is going to hold your parents responsibility for your actions… then that’s a jerky god!

    My brother was involved with another “brand” of Christianity. When he had his doubts about that specific denomination, they church tried to turn his wife and kids against him!

    I had my doubts as a child and when I came to my conclusion that a god likely did not exist, I had already been through years of guilt trips and threats. I wonder what life would have been like if I was just honest about my beliefs at the time. I kind of wish I could go back and just admit that I thought it was bunk and stood my ground. I’m sure it would have been met with many, many threats, lol.

    There are many mixed feelings that many people go through when they become atheist or agnostic. It’s normal. 🙂

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    1. I wouldn’t say my feelings are mixed, exactly. I’m entirely at peace with dropping religion from my life – it was a weight off my shoulders. I understand my parents were acting out of their own personal traumas and truly believed they were doing what was best for me at the time. I am angry at a system that encourages traumatizing and brainwashing children in order to control people for an unseen afterlife that can’t be proven to exist.

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