i feel like my parents had the best of intentions, after all, who wouldn't want to raise their kids with THE TRUTH!
my family is extremely conservative. i think i totally suffered by being forced to wear 'weird' clothes and such, like, i wouldn't go swimming for years because i hated wearing long shorts and tshirts where everyone else was wearing bathing suits. it really didn't help my confidence or self worth. but, it is what it is, and i'm utterly thankful i saw the light so i don't have to raise my kids in that same shameful environment.
but i do feel very frustrated and angry at how much time and brain energy i wasted on studying the bible and etc. when i was 18 my mom sent me to an evangelism school where i got even more brainwashed than i already was and i really regret learning so much theological jargon and minutia. i wish i could still believe it just because i invested so much into it! so frustrating!
I feel sorry for all you guys who had super conservative parents! Mine at least pretended to be super cool and rad until I turned 15 and they decided to reveal the fact that they didn't want me to have sexual relationships. Lol yes the subject was that taboo to talk about that I didn't ever KNOW that I wasn't allowed to do it before marriage. lol.
I had issues with the daggy clothes but more cause we were poor, haha. I think it's an Aussie thing to swim and wear nothing, but there were definitely some more hard line families at my church that didn't allow swimming on the Sabbath, etc.
Frustration at the wasted brain space is the thing that I'm having the biggest problem with lately actually, too. That tends to come back and slap us in the face when we're all grown up, us ex Sevvie kids.
Yes. My parents really stressed the blind obedience part of advenstism and were strict fundamentalists. They did a good job of scaring us with their warning of "the end times," and had us memorize large portions of scripture just incase we didn't have access to the bible when we "took to the hills." I attended public school for a little while and was a huge outcast, but when I came home crying, my parents were pleased because we were supposed to be a "peculiar people" who are "in the world, but not of the world." They cautioned me not to make friends with any of the other kids and it was a generally miserable time. Finally my mom decided to home school us, but didn't take the academic part as seriously as the endoctrinating part. We read aloud from Ellen White every day and our "schooling" consisted of discussing her work and writing about it. When I finally made it to an adventist academy, I was so far behind in math and science I had to take summer school to be able to graduate. I also worked part time to pay for academy, and my parents were not able to help me at all. This enormous debt delayed college for nearly two years. Do I resent how I was raised? Yes. Besides the educational dessert I grew up in, it saddled me with tons of guilt, a propensity to follow orders, and insatiable need to belong somewhere. The kicker? My parents left the church the year I graduated high school, but still mantain that an adventist upbringing was a good, healthy way to raise us children.
Fuck that's rough. I got that peculiar people crap too but my parents were a little more sympathetic of my need for friends and moved me out of public school into the SDA school, so I went from social outcast to social laughing stock, hah. My mum homeschooled me too but from gr2 to gr6 so it only delayed me by an extra grade seven. She followed the PACE schooling system, not Seventh-Day Adventist, but incredibly insidiously Christian all the same. I'm still behind on science and biology to this day because of the effort my schooling and parents went to to block evolutionary theory from my life.
I too feel inclined to follow but as for a need to belong somewhere, well... I never felt like I belonged in that church anyway or for that matter or with anyone, so I'm kind of used to the unaddressed need of company.
Oh my god yes! I was so angry and an absolute white hot mess for quite a long time. Because Adventism prescribes your entire lifestyle, it fails to create autonomous human beings. I am 5th generation Adventist and it WAS who I was...when I left, I had no idea who I was. It took me about two decades to discover ME...it was painful, even dangerous at times and IT WAS FUCKING WONDERFUL! Education, for me, was the key. And dancing....I found theatre, too, and today I am a high school Theatre teacher...I am married to an Atheist and raised my kids to be independent thinkers; they will NOT be the 6th generation of Adventist! Life is good! :)
It sounds fantastic! Good for you! You know, I hope to follow in your footsteps one day. I'm dating this sweet little atheist gal who I have everything in common with, right down to the glow in the dark dinosaurs we both have on our bedroom walls. Last night we went swing dancing for the first time and we both loved it. It's so great hearing your story. It really gives me hope that one day I can "recover" from Adventism. I know that I've been socially, intellectually, and I would say even morally and spiritually stunted by my upbringing in the church. Since I found the loose ends in Adventism and watchedthe world I grew up in unravel, I've always wondered if I could ever truly make up for time lost. I'm thrilled to hear that, at least in your case, the answer was yes. :)
Sounds like you are young. In 20 years you will be amazed how far you have come beyond Adventism. Enjoy every minute! I don't know if you totally recover. Waves of guilt still wash over me. But now I can just say to my husband, "I feel guilt!" He says, "Why?" I say, "I don't know." He says, "Just breathe." I breathe until it goes away. I can now laugh my ass off about the first 23 years of my life. I love my absurd sense of humor and it was living in such a strange land of hypocrisy that gave me that. I am still pissed about some of it, but mostly I think it is hysterical and I am often just grateful - grateful for who I am because of it - and really grateful I got out.
I'm 23 myself, as a matter of fact! Funny how that works. Thank you for sharing this. I certainly do have things to work through, though guilt isn't super high on the list. E.g., the way I explained SDA thoughts on dance to my girlfriend was that all dancing except line dancing was condemned by the church. A simplification, but basically true. When she asked me if I felt guilty dancing with her, it surprised me. I was having too much fun to even think about it!
LOL....have fun...this life is all there is!
It's such a huge shock to the system, hey. You hear all the stigma about "backsliders" and how it's "easy" to forget about God (maybe because he doesn't exist? Hm?), and then when you actually lose your faith you hit to ground face first.
But what's frustrating about it is everyone you leave behind still thinks you're just a lazy good for nothing back-sliding idiot who can't resist temptation to sin and is apparently willing to turn against God to get their rocks off or some shit.
They say "but in your heart of hearts you always still know God is real!" so do a lot of non-religious older people I've met who say they are "spiritual" come to think of it. I know exactly what it feels like to be them. I wish they would just believe me when I say that.
Still wish I could get the first twenty years of my life back from EGW and the SDA.
Can't have it. I married an SDA boy. We were 20. He was emotionally abusive. Very religious and I could do nothing right. I did all the cooking, cleaning and worked full time and paid the bills as well. He would come home about 4am sometimes. I would forget to pick me up from work and leave me sitting in a parking lot for hours. He would say things like, "People tell me you're pretty. It makes me sick. Who do you think you are?!" He would get furious with me if I said anything that made him seem like he wasn't a good Adventist. Once I accidentally let the cat out of the bag that he had gotten a haircut on Sabbath. When we got out in the car, he really let me have it. I was starting to question the validity of Ellen White and happened to express my doubt once. Oh boy, was he furious. I got my ears pierced. He told me, "Boy, you are really rocking the boat. I don't want you for the mother of my children." Then I found out, he had been having an affair the entire marriage. Even had sex with this gal the night before we got married. My blinders exploded off my eyes. All of a sudden, I saw Adventism for what it was, and there was no going back. There were times I wished I could go back through that door. It was safer, and I had lost an entire community by leaving. But I couldn't. And I can't get any of that time back. I could see it as all a waste, but you know what? I'm grateful in some ways. I'm tougher. Men can't abuse me anymore. I'm a nonbeliever and FREE from Adventism. Had I stayed married to him I would not have come out of it, nor gone to college, nor discovered theatre....I can't imagine!