Leaving Religion: Where Does Anger Go?

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It’s been about seven years since I’ve stopped being a Christian. In all that time, I still get angry at things that evoke my former faith. Maybe it’s a sign offering the empty promise of the love of Jesus, or maybe it’s a Seventh Day Adventist protesting what day of the week other churches meet. The end result is that I react without thinking to my environment.

Changing this behavior isn’t easy without support. It’s one of the ways that cults and cult-like organizations keep control over their members. Stop obeying, and be alone. That is a threat which lingers in my mind.

And yeah, it’s hard to find people who are willing to put up with the repetitive conversations needed to purge the trauma of indoctrination. Losing faith affects different people differently. There are times when I need to rage at the ludicrous idea that a deity can sacrifice itself to itself over something it could have just forgiven in the first place. And there are times when I can casually let the idea slide without much notice or frustration.

Moreover, the search for support is complicated by other things. There are people out there who deny it’s a real problem to have. There are people who are going to just disagree with one’s decision to abandon faith in its entirety. There are even going to be people who take things to an unhealthy extreme when people talk about losing their faith or leaving religion.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a support network.

It might not be consistent, but I can say there are people I’ve met virtually and in person who have been willing to put up with my nonsense when I get angry about what’s in the past. They are a reminder that it’s not crazy to think the Emperor has no clothes. That yeah, sometimes one has to get the anger out before it festers and starts wrecking things.

Sometimes the anger can seem petty or poorly placed. That’s okay, because that’s what support networks are for. They help get a person’s head back on straight and ready to deal with whatever comes next. And it makes people feel less isolated.

Where does my anger go? I try to dissipate it, to share it, and to be rid of it. The burden is lighter with many hands sharing in it.