It was easy when I first stopped believing for me to get angry about things that I once believed. An almost prerequisite realization for me was that I’d been lied to for my entire life. But it’s more than just being lied to; this anger came from knowing I’d been intentionally conditioned to avoid thinking for myself. I underwent a deliberate process to circumvent my reason. This process took my intellect, used whatever parts of it against me that it could, and then locked the rest in a dark hole.
At meetings, I can kind of feel this anger and frustration.
Deconverts look at it differently than other people who never fully got into Christianity. At some of the meetings I’ve gone to, it gets referred to as a seeming oddity. “We talk about leaving Christianity and some of the problems with it when we get a new person who just left the faith,” is something I hear whenever the subject gets brought up. To a certain extent, I understand why this gets thrown out there; it can feel like rehashing something on a fairly consistent basis.
The thing is, these kinds of feelings often have to get repressed as a matter of course. And they’re also on the level of something that requires professional therapy. If I didn’t have access to therapy for mental illness, I wouldn’t be able to use those coping strategies to be able to deal with navigating the turmoil that surrounds no longer believing.
There’s a lot of conflict between deconverts and believers.
Every evening, I hear people talking to their food. There are paintings of Jesus, bible verses, and even a cross in my room. All around me are the trappings and icons of a system of belief that basically tried to kill me. It’s hard to just let that go. While it doesn’t always grab my attention, there have been a few times I’ve seen it and deliberated on why all this stuff has to be around me.
The worst part of it is hearing the lame excuses and knowing that I can’t do anything about it. I see people having their intellects taken from them, and any attempt to help only reinforces their conditioning. Eventually, when I am able to put some distance between myself and all of this, I fear it’s only going to get worse. Christianity has taught my family that people who don’t believe it are evil, which forecloses on a serious discussion.
Sometimes, I think feeling robbed would be more bearable if I didn’t see it happening again and again.
The cruelest realization I’ve had is that Christianity will take some of my family from me. When they find out that I’m an atheist, they will shun me, scold me, and do all kinds of reprehensible behavior in the name of their deity. This happens for no good reason.
That’s why I haven’t told them. I want to enjoy as much of the potentially good times as I can until I’m thrown away.