Recovering from Religion


Recovering from Religion

Unless you were raised by atheist parents, you probably had some recovering to do when you left religion. The purpose of RR is to provide a landing place for people when they jump from religion. With local support groups throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, and real-time resources accessible to everyone, RR is where to turn when faith has lost its luster.

Location: International
Members: 541
Latest Activity: Dec 3, 2016

Discussion Forum

Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS)

Started by Steph S. Jun 8, 2015. 0 Replies

This is a good website for help in recovering from religion of Religious Trauma Syndrome:• Cognitive: Confusion, poor critical thinking ability, negative beliefs about…Continue

In what way are you still recovering from being brought up religious?

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Richard C Brown Aug 30, 2014. 57 Replies

I was brought up in a fundamentalist family.Anyone still dealing with any issues from religion?Do you fear the result of coming out Atheist to your family?Any thoughts are welcome.Continue

Catholic Family / Atheist Wedding - HELP

Started by Megan. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 31, 2014. 4 Replies

Any one else out there still recovering from Catholic guilt??I come from an extremely Catholic family/upbringing. In 6 days I will be the first person in my entire extended family not to marry a Catholic in a Catholic Church.My biggest source of…Continue

Anyone still deal with anything like this?

Started by Starland Seay. Last reply by Matt Skaggs Aug 26, 2013. 27 Replies

One thing I have noticed is a tendency to "doubt" my new path in life. I still want to reach for the Bible sometimes. I still hesitate somewhat when someone mentions Pascal's "Wager"...LOL! Even though I know that science teaches this and that no…Continue

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Comment by L.Hunter on April 4, 2011 at 4:09am
Shereen, I hope so too. Congrats on entering the world of free thought.
Comment by Mriana on April 3, 2011 at 9:00pm
Shereen, I commend you. That took a lot of courage, esp in a Muslim family. I hope you find a lot of support and encouragement in this forum and see if you can find a RR group in your area too. That could be a lot of help to you too.
Comment by Brian Bridson on March 26, 2011 at 7:25pm
[Philosopher's Haze] New Blog Post: Valid and Invalid Beliefs: The Pope & Other Charlatans.
Comment by L.Hunter on March 18, 2011 at 10:07am

How I miss being a theist!!!! I miss how I followed after pasta' and did everything he told me to do. Maybe I should go back and experience the guilt and shame tactics for money.

Comment by Providence on February 26, 2011 at 7:05am
@Linda- I understand your concern your friend is putting herself at risk by going to a psychologist who is very explicitly Catholic, It could be simply because his services are discounted (as I think these services can often be really expensive)?

About your other friend, I think its so unkind that someone would do that, I don't understand why people can't just let others be regardless of what they decide to believe or not believe?! How could this person then preach at you when you were courteous enough to not do it to her when you were religious? and you had put up with jokes?! As a religious person she should have rather been admitting her fault and apologising for giving you a hard time! I just don't understand why religion makes people act so strangely- these things are just common courtesy!

The friend of mine who I was on about came out with a group of us last night and she kept making comments such as that I would 'jump right in' to hell! Unfortunately I think I may have to break off the friendship as it's getting a bit much now, she is a prime example of this- she preaches love but doesn't do it!

I really really hope that your friend who is seeing the psychologist is ok, if he does his job properly and does not mention religion at all then she will hopefully not be adversely affected by him.

P :)
Comment by Linda on February 25, 2011 at 10:56am

It does seem strange to me that she even knows his religious position-


@ Providence - She knew he was Catholic because he offers his services at a highly discounted rate through the Catholic church. His office is inside the Catholic church. It makes me nervous that she chooses to go that route when you consider her atheism is a huge issue in her life in terms of how it effects her relationship with family members.  It seems like she is playing a dangerous game if you ask me and I've just about told her that (but not in those exact words). 


I am sensitive about this because I have lost other very close friends over religion and another experience like that will upset me very much.


One friend in particular who I grew up with and was a close childhood/teenage years friend actually teased me and made jokes about me when I "got religion" at age 17 and was extremely religious for a few years but as far as I know I didn't come across as the preachy type at all, but whatever, we actually lived in different parts of the country by then.


She was raised Catholic but was never serious about religion in any way. BUT somewhere along the way she and her husband "got religion" and this time it was the Baptist religion and she let me hear about it and got all preachy with me and it just made me want to puke (by then I had left my faith and was done with religion).


I looked at it like this "Oh, when I got religion it was a barrel of laughs for her, and I rolled with it and did not get bent out of shape, but when she "got it" it was time for me to bow down and respect her decision. NO, won't happen, not under those circumstances. Friendship over.


I think it is a good idea you are thinking about not shouting your atheism from the roof top, for now anyway. I know of someone who is a young person who chose to do that in high school and throughout college and is constantly whinning and crying about it on an atheist forum (not this one).


Sometimes I just want to tell her "What did you expect - DUH!" but I don't because many atheists feel strongly it is a good thing to be loud and proud about your atheism so it comes down to personal choice and something that requires a lot of thought.



Comment by Providence on February 25, 2011 at 4:15am
@ Richard, sorry i didn't see your post, the heaven and hell thing is one of the things that helps me reinforce what i think when im feeling like i 'should' go to mass, etc etc. Also the fact that the 'sheol' of the Old Testament was nothing like the hell Christians speak of also helps to see the doctrine for the make-believe that it is!

@Linda, you're right about not telling too many people, I was thinking about it last night and just thought that it might create more problems than solve them as me and my religious friends are never going to agree so i may aswell not even go there as it were!

About your friend, I really hope that psychologist does his job properly, if he does then she will be ok, but if he talks to her about the catholic faith then that would be a case of gross misconduct for which she could probably sue?? It does seem strange to me that she even knows his religious position- if he told her then that is pretty unprofessional and an inappropriate crossing of boundaries, especially as she has no doubt shared things relating to the pain that religion has caused her. i really really hope she is ok.

@Darrel, the book sounds great, I will defo give it a read! I have heard alot of people recommend it! As far as 'friends' are concerned I just think that if people are going to be so closed minded then they are not worth knowing, especially when they are meant to be university educated...It disturbs me that they just cannot accept a different position whether it's Atheism, Islam, Judaism, etc, etc...I mean, why do they care so much??? can they not just let people be?!
Comment by Linda on February 24, 2011 at 6:45pm

You know I'm not really a good one to give advice because I've been lucky in that my close family members are free thinkers like myself.


But I have definitely been through the painful loss of a couple close friends over religion but that can happen with a close friend when it has nothing to do with religion (happened to me also).


I'll tell you what makes me nervous though. A good friend of mine who I have known for a very long time has always been an atheist even though her family are all devout Catholics. This has caused her a lot of grief throughout her lifetime and she is currently seeing a psychologist about this but he is Catholic!


She tells me he is very professional and knows about her sensitivity to the issue of religion and that he would never push it on her but it still gives me the creeps because she swears he is the greatest thing since swiss cheese.


I'm glad if he helps her to feel better about things but I think I smell a rat.


I swear if she gets religion I'll be crying and venting at this atheist forum like a little baby. But only because I know the people here are very supportive when something like that happens.


So I'd like to encourage you to keep posting and sharing your experiences as you go along your path. I will say that I would be careful about announcing to people that you no longer believe in God. 


Sometimes it might be better just to say you want to experiment and try different things or you are having doubts and need time and space to think.


Of course it all depends on your particular situation, what the best course of action is to take. All I'm trying to say is sometimes announcing you are an atheist can have drastic consequences and you need to be preprated for that if that is something you are thinking about doing.

Comment by Darrel Ray on February 24, 2011 at 6:11pm

Providence: Your fears and concerns are very common, though I know that is of little solice. I am not sure you ever get over it entirely but it does gradually get better as you get used to it and others recognize that you have taken a different direction.  I lost a number of friends in the process but looking back on it, they were only friends as long as I totally agreed with them. I realized how restricted my relationships with them were when I reflected on it years later.  I missed them for a while, but gradually realized that it was they who chose to leave.  Read The God Virus, it might give you some insight into what is going on both with yourself and with others and make it easier to deal with the transition.  Welcome to the rational world without invisible friends and glad to see you getting great responses from our other members.

Darrel, founder of Recovering from Religion and author of The God Virus.

Comment by Providence on February 24, 2011 at 4:40pm
@Daniel and Linda Thank you so much for your posts! I've really enjoyed watching the videos and i'll be sure to post any gems that I find on here too-in the mean time thethinkingatheist does some great ones which are hilarious too!

I'm still struggling with the feelings associated with breaking from religion, the desire to pray and to belong along with a fear of what my religious friends might think too has been pretty least im over the fear of hell at least for now!! :)

In the past my questioning has always made Christians see me as the problematic one and the battle between my intellect and those powerful emotions of fear and the 'religious' feeling have made me want to leave religion, feel guilty and so try EXTRA hard to stay with it! (a ridiculous cycle!) At the minute I am gradually 'coming out' to some of my friends- largely because i will feel dishonest if i dont, I do not feel that lying to them and telling them that i attend mass will achieve anything!) One 'friend' in particular has been trying to convert me back 'youll be back in the church in a couple of weeks!', 'just have faith', 'your heading into darkness which will end in eternal darkness' etc etc I was SOOO insulted! aaaah!! I mean, I am terribly sorry that I have started to think for myself!!!! Grrr....

anyway, my apologies folks...rant over!!! :)

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