I have been dealing with very tedious, ongoing physical problems and pain and I still hear a "voice" that says, "God is punishing you and asking you to repent by giving you more pain and suffering."

Seems like my worst pains and problems seem to occur after a pleasurable time, such as making love with my companion or a trip to the beach.

My atheist roommate (not my bf) patiently tells me that this is not happening. He says there are coincidences. I was brainwashed over and over again, as an adult and as a child by fundamentalists and "believers" and people in 12 step programs that "God is teaching lessons".

I went to this meeting today and someone there said, "Pain cleanses the body." OMG (goodness)!

I wonder if there are online atheist meeting chats because so far I can only find available online AA-type groups and I need to get away from them!

I can't afford any more reinforcement like this right now.

I understand that my suffering is not about a deity hurting me.

But the echoes of the fundamentalist training are so loud right now.


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Replies to This Discussion

No, you're on to something there, because the mind does affect the body. Some South American shamans believe (see Don Agustin) that fears manifest in the mind and body as demons/spirits/voices that intend us harm. Definitely not something that should be ignored! Feel free to use us as a sounding board.
It is important to recall that Bible’s study itself is the peak point of the church’s brainwashing. It provides a wider range of options and choices for every imaginable contingency.

I think we can identify two general camps or tendencies in the ongoing state of conflict and tension each of which has its own approach to Scripture, each of which sees the other as uninformed and dangerous.

The two main sides can be variously described and are perhaps most easily identified by their extremities. One side might be called the Scriptural Sinatras whose theme song is “I did it My Way.”
The other might be called the liturgical Gestapo, who descend on any violation of Scriptural norms like Gauleiters looking for foreign spies.

These same two general tendencies could be called, on the one hand, the privateers (sailing under their own flag and doing their own thing) and on the other, the vigilantes who have taken the law into their own hands and who see each and every violation of the law of God as equally deserving of tar and feathers.

Still another image might be, on one side, the entertainers, who see Scriptures as something to be tailored according to the changing tastes and desires of the audience and, on the other, the magicians, who see the Scriptures as offering to the leader a thaumaturgic potential which can only be exercised by the exact, unvarying execution of the magic formulas.
Leigh, I am having a little trouble understanding your answer.

On to what? What am I on to?

Am I being punished?

Or do you mean something else?

thank you,

no i think you're correct if you think your physical pain and problems stem from a mental source. I don't believe in a punishing god so of course I don't think you're being smitten by some deity. If you ignore the power the mind has over the body you could do yourself quite a harm. I truly hope you feel better soon.

You mean the power of my "voices" about a punishing God?

There is also something else I've been thinking about.

I have a lot of anxiety about having any kind of pleasure, since I was guilt-baited all the time about pleasure.

Maybe the anxiety is making me sick?

It is certainly more likely to me than, say, (and with no disrespect to your friend) that everything you have experienced is mere coincidences. I neither think it is coincidence nor that god is hurting you, but a message from your subconscious that you still on some level believe what you're doing is wrong. That is probably not true at all. Was there something else you wanted me to explain? I don't know if I got everything clear.
Yes, I always feel like I am doing something wrong.

Maybe it would be helpful to think about releasing these guilty feelings, reassuring yourself that pleasure is not sinful, that all people feel and deserve and desire pleasure, that you can feel pleasure and have it be a good thing and that you are good and still can enjoy pleasure.
ty Leigh.

I still have to tell myself "this is coincidence, not consequence."

No, you are not whacky.

I have an anxiety thing, too.

You are not alone.

ty for your reply.

Try slapping those fundamentalist echoes away as hard as you can. They are a type of posion to your self-esteem.

Fundamentalists don't approve of thinking or freedom of the mind. They promote mental incarceration. I don't think going to meetings where people say things like "pain cleanses the body" is going to be of much help.

We have enough to deal with without religious mental tyranny on top of it.
Can I get an amen in here? lol. I agree.


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