I was approached by a Christian proselytizer this evening as I made my way to my car in my very own driveway. A car slowed down and a young woman got out of the passenger seat with flyers in her hand and invited me to her church. If she had been looking for yard work or trying to sell me a newspaper subscription, I would have simply said 'no thank you'. I was enraged instead. I held my hands up, as in 'keep your distance' and I said nastily, "Oh, no. We don't need religion cooties. Now GO AWAY!!" And I got in my car and slammed shut the door. I was shaking all the way to the grocery store. How dare someone approach me in my driveway with a load of toxic manure!!
Now I don't know what to think of my reaction. Firstly, my children were with me and my response to the young woman was completely out of character. My children are not used to seeing me be mean or rude to anyone. One of my daughters said, "Mommy, I think you were a little bit mean." The other one, who has some little Christian playmates, looked very uncomfortable. What my children don't know in ugly detail is how I was made to fear constantly as a little girl. I was psychologically abused with constant messages of a god who loved me and would also turn his back on me and allow me to be tormented for eternity simply because he created me imperfectly. My every hope and ambition was met with tales of impending armageddon until everything was meaningless and I was afraid to do or want ANYTHING lest I be killed by a vengeful god for wanting. They don't know that my mother tried to have me exorcised for having panic attacks that were caused by the abuse in my family of origin and by her religious nonsense and that I had to get up and throw those idiots out of my house when I was so distraught that I barely had the energy to keep living. They don't know how even as an adult, I was stalked and threatened by my own religiously insane mother and that that is one of the main reasons I have disowned her and can no longer have contact with my family of origin.
I have PTSD and a dissociative disorder from being raised in that garbage. My therapist is on vacation and I have been having problems due to the time of year. Just yesterday as I was driving down the street, I saw something in a neighbor's driveway which I took to be a person in a black robe in my peripheral vision when it was really just a very ordinary thing. And tonight I was triggered by seeing Halloween candy displays in the grocery store. The problems are starting and the fear of punishment is back. I don't understand how this can be, but it is. I know logically that I have as much to fear from this imagined god as I do from Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the tooth fairy, but... I still don't feel good. I'm trying to drown the fear with wine right now, but I know that does not really answer anything. It is a temporary lie and not much different from my experience of god, religion and toxic psychiatric drugs in some ways. I feel like I need help right now and I don't know where to go. My fellow atheists are the only people who could possibly understand where I am right now. Please, if there is anyone out there who understands me, please make yourself known. Right now I am trying to hold on to the strength that is obviously mine. Many would not have the strength to speak as I did to a proselytizer. Or the strength to throw a pastor out of her house as I did when my mother tried to have me exorcised. I am trying to hold on to my strength. Can anyone out there help me? I don't know where else to go.