I can remember being 26 years old and knowing that if I were to ever function normally in society. I needed professional help. I eventually hooked up with a Psychiatric institute run by a psychiatrist and his psychologist wife. My family was extremely dysfunctional and the reasons for my behavior and responses in society were quite clearly explained to me. One of the things they said that had enhanced my quick recovery was not only that I was bright, but that I was extremely honest and never hesitated to tell them the exact truth. Eventually ( in 5 months) they cured me completely and I started getting laid on a regular basis, invited to parties and became adept at talking to large crowds. (I never could quite manifest a pastrami on rye from thin air but I was quite good at getting cabs when I needed one) (and I DON'T get lost)
The clincher to all this treatment and psychodrama 3 times a week was, and I want everyone to note this quietly; I was told that if I EVER again talked to or visited my family, called them, wrote them, read about them or discussed them with mutual friends: then the deal was off and I would revert back to who I was before therapy. They were right. I followed their advice to the letter. Now, 42 years later I have relented and occasionally talk to a sister that was born after I left home forever. Even so, I still stutter and gag when I do so and she had NOTHING to do with my upbringing. Disowning your family is really not impossible or something "I could never do"...you don't choose your family but you CAN choose one hell of a lot of people that are better than your family...you can bet on that.
I am an entirely different person than those in my family now...I became a chatter box, extended my education, became an owner of businesses, was very successful and am happily retired on my own land in a house I built myself. I traveled the world, was a skydiver for years, worked on merchant ships plying the 7 seas, worked at a huge variety of jobs actually, have had various adventures, experiences to fill a lifetime, have done all the things other men wish and dream of doing and have done everything I ever wanted to do. I have had many girlfriends and live-with female companions, got out of an ill considered marriage after one year and did so unscathed, and generally am happy with my current associations and old friends. Life is good...don't let family interfere with attaining a complete, happy fulfilling life. They aren't worth it.
Hi all! My name is Libby & I am a recovering baptist. =) I am so excited to find this 'support group'! About me... My dad is a pastor of a very extreme form of a baptist church - I mean, no drinking, no smoking, no pants on women, no movies, or you will burn in hell crazy stuff. I went to a christian school and then to a bible college of the same stripe. I met my husband there & we've been married now for 7 years. My husband, having been 'called to preach', graduated and became a pastor himself. A little over a year ago, he came to the conclusion that all was not what it seemed & decided to investigate & see for himself if what he's been taught and believed all his life were indeed, the truth. Then he shared with me his doubts and his findings & it wasn't long before I joined him in the atheistic view. Of course it wasn't as simple as that. There were many hurdles to cross and many questions to answer, but in the end, it was inevitable that the god of the bible, in fact, all gods, are highly unlikely.
Our parents didn't find out about our de-conversion until a few months ago & it's been pretty dramatic all around. His mom is slowly coming to an understanding, we believe, but my parents are pretty adamant that we are wrong & rebellious, and going to send our children(we have 2 kids, ages 4 & 3) to hell. Oh, and we are also the only children & our kids are the only grandchildren(yay!), so it's been quite stressful...
This journey has caused us to pretty much lose everything and everyone we've known and loved all our lives. It was very sad and depressing at first, to be forsaken by pretty much everybody and admitting that the one 'being' whom you thought would never leave me...doesn't exist. But now both my husband and I are very happy to be free. We can now enjoy life without trying to impress the man in the sky, without worrying about the souls of men heading to hell, and without feeling guilty for not living up to a ridiculous standard.
I am really looking forward to getting to know other like-minded people on this site! Thank you to the founders of Atheist Nexus for this opportunity! =)
A fascinating story. As I read it I thought, how many people that I walk past every day are embroiled in some life altering, world shaping event in their life right now...but they just look like another person as I pass them on the street.
I can well imagine the complex, intertwined issues that you and your husband have had to work through. Many would say it takes great courage...I don't know. I think when your eyes are open to such a profound truth it really is impossible not to take the path you did. The one thought that struck me hard is how lucky both you and your husband are. Too many stories like this end with one spouse leaving the other after one abandons their faith.
I too look forward to getting to know you better. And I wish you, your husband, and your children the very best.
I think things could have been different if my husband wasn't wise on how he dealt with the changes in his views. He is incredibly intelligent and has a wonderful way of explaining ideas and concepts so you can understand him. He's also very persuasive - both of which can be quite useful as a pastor. I guess he could have used his abilities to brainwash people, but he was too honest with himself for that. At first it was a little thing about a doctrine, then a few more... Every time he changed his views, he had a good reason and 'proofs' to back it up. So when eventually he discovered that the god of the bible was man-made and that evolution was a better explanation for life, I had no choice but to listen carefully. Of course I didn't like it at first and resisted it, but eventually his reasoning with me won me over. I appreciated the fact that he never pressured me or told me I was wrong. He just presented the facts & the 'truth' pretty much killed my faith.
I am very grateful that we are able to go through this together. I don't know when my folks will realize that we are not going through a rebellious phase but that we have reasons for coming to our conclusions. But meanwhile, they don't want to talk about it, which is very frustrating for us. I guess the fact that we will come right out and say that we don't believe that their god exists and that the bible is a fiction really makes them uneasy.
We have found a couple of atheist/agnostic groups in our area that really helps us through this transition & gives us the support that we need. And of course forums like this are great encouragements & show us that we are not alone. We've lost our church 'family', but now we have a world-wide family - and this family doesn't judge us for not having the same belief! =)