I'll be brief. I'm so new to this, I don't really believe it myself. I really mean that. All my [adult] life, I have been obsessed with the pursuit of God, or with God's pursuit of me. Every decision I have every made, I have made as if I knew I was being watched and tested by a cosmic deity. Every single decision somehow had to account for this awareness. Even simple decisions that God certainly wouldn't care about, I had to believe that God didn't actually care about them, for me to freely make them, because he really might care.
I used to be a Pentecostal. When I finally broke myself free from that, seeing it for the craziness it is, I tried other forms of Christianity, and also Judaism. Even though it got pretty weird, especially to my family, it was okay because God was bringing this special plan he had for me into fruition, you see. God wanted me to be Jewish! Of, course! Now I see it perfectly!....No, wait, he's not, it's Pentecostal after all, but he was testing me, "doing something in me", you see. Hey, it's really Catholicism! Makes perfect sense now! I see it all. God had a plan all along!...Okay, never mind. Nothing's changed. I'll be Pentecostal again. But, THIS time, it's really going to happen for me.
Is there anyone else who has gone through these sorts of mental gymnastics, trying to make sense out of the senseless. Trying so hard to "follow" a path in the dark with a very dim flashlight, or no light at all? So hard to break free from all that stuff. Learning things every day. As Dan Barker wrote, I feel like I am emerging from the womb. It's cold. The light is bright. But I'm alive!
Would love to hear from others who have a similar story. I know I can use the support. I feel pretty alone, but I know what I'm doing is right.
Thanks for the suggestion, and I have added both names to my list. :)
Welcome Levi, you are among friends.
I have survived cancer and it's amazing how your relatives think that ought to be something to make you more religious. Just as amazing was a former doctor of mine who once asked me "what if it is cancer?" I told him that was a cheap shot to try and scare me with cancer, and I changed doctors immediately.
My current doctor is from Iran and he is atheist. He was doctor to, and also a personal friend of, a friend of mine who has now passed. He once spent the night in the hospital with our deceased friend, setting by his bedside in a chair. At that time our mutual friend recovered. This is dedication! Some people do not like this doctor but there is a big waiting list for him. I am lucky to have him.
Reading these posts, I am struck by just how deleterious and ugly religious indoctrination really is. It is a sentence to an amazing amount of unnecessary mental trauma.
Dawkins is right: religious indoctrination is child abuse! A child has no defense against this abuse and should not have to experience it.