Bar Weinig introduces himself (wow, third person...)

Hello fellow atheists,

 

Short introduction:

I am a 38 years old Dutchman. I was raised in a Presbyterian (Gereformeerd Vrijgemaakt) family. My parents, three sisters, with two brothers in law are still very fundamentalist Christians and they have at this moment four children with two on the way. My two little brothers and myself are non-believers and I would say humanist. I am very close to my two brothers and to the middle sister. Let’s call her Tina. I am very close to Tina’s children as well, they are both boys, one of 4 and one of 7 years old.

 

Longer introduction…:

I, myself, had a really hard time growing up. I spent, as my parents expected of me, a lot of time studying who God wanted me to be and how he wanted me to behave. However, I failed miserably and frequently. But instead of accepting God’s gift of Jesus blood, I just became depressed and grew up being totally convinced I was a total failure. Not just to God, but also to my parents, my siblings and the entire social world around me. Once premarital sex entered the mix, I condemned myself to hell and quite literally waited to die for about 10 years…

In that time my God-believe slowly crumbled. And when I was about 25 years old, I would have said, I suspected there was a reasonable chance that there wasn’t a God. My conviction, that I was a total worthless piece of (…), took a lot longer to get over though.

About four years ago I completed a looong cycle of many therapies trying to understand the trauma that had made me the man I was (in this whole process religion was barely mentioned). I concluded (albeit not all that formulated) that my trauma was a complete and utter lack of being allowed to have a self-image. The way in which I saw myself was completely based on all missed expectations of a God, my family members and just about everyone around me. This realization led me to start a cognitive therapy in which I started to shut up all the negative feedback I was constantly bombarding myself with. Feedback that had nothing to do with the way I viewed my do’s and don’ts, but were the condemnations I figured others, including God, would have about my do’s and don’ts. Two and a half years ago I completed that therapy and could finally say, that I was able to leave the past behind me.

All this time my religious upbringing had been a sidenote. But, finally free to have my own thoughts about things, the effects of this upbringing suddenly came to the foreground. Seeing my nieces and nephews being raised in the same religion as I had been, became something that hurt me to the core of my being. Seeing Tina just being so proud when one of her boys does some Jesus-thing correctly, makes me cringe every time. I felt extremely lonely in my worldview. I don’t have many friends, most of the people I love are still Christian and I didn’t really talk about these things with my brothers yet. I ended up listening to a lot of atheist podcasts. Slowly but surely, I became more and more convinced that I had to do something. If I didn’t try anything, I couldn’t justify it to myself. Here are four young children being set up for potentially the same 35 years of utter sh*t I have fought through!

 

Knowing that speaking to the boys directly is crazy immoral and will surely end badly, I decided to try and start a dialog with Tina. My intention is to write blog-posts about the discussions we have and my thoughts and questions arising from these discussions. My next blog-post will have a summary of my intentions going into these discussions.

Feel free to comment, including on my writing-style (English not being my native language and all). I will react as I see fit. Thank you for spending the time to read this far ;)

 

 

PS: I go with the pseudonym ‘Bar Weinig’, meaning ‘barely anything’ in Dutch. This is a nickname I got in my puberty (doing puberty stuff), which I immediately used as the name for ‘me, away from God and parents’. It kind of still is that… I might even say, Bar Weinig, is closer to the my real name, than my real name is.

Edit: This might sound negative, but it isn't. It's a badge of honor to me. See comment below.

___________________________________

Contact me via Facebook and messenger.

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Comment by Bar Weinig on March 8, 2019 at 2:02pm

Thank you Micheal, I just published my second blog-post and only then read your comment. I was just writing about these feelings. It's very nice to see you summarize them so aptly...

Comment by Michael Penn on March 8, 2019 at 6:55am

Welcome, and I agree that there probably isn't a god. I also understand your loneliness because once you discover your own critical thinking ability you find that lifelong friends do not seem to have this ability at all. Everyone appears to need the "god club" in some sort of herd mentality. I remain glad to no longer be a part of them. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 7, 2019 at 10:30pm

Welcome, and thanks for sharing.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 7, 2019 at 9:10pm

I meant to say, my name is Joan Denoo. Denoo is a Belgian name. 

Comment by Bar Weinig on March 7, 2019 at 5:40pm

Thank you Loren, I've been listening to Seth for years now! I love the guy and just about everything he stands for. Me and my two brothers have met and talked to Seth and his wife for about an hour at the Dutch skeptics conference. And we do indeed share a lot of family dynamics. I will try and explain my current situation a bit more in my next post.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 7, 2019 at 4:56pm

Greets, Bar, and welcome to Atheist Nexus!

Considering the situation with your family and their belief versus your atheism, may I suggest to you the work of Seth Andrews and the Thinking Atheist Podcasts?  Seth has much the same problem with his family that you have with yours, and you might find some resonance with him.  He's a good guy, very "straight from the shoulder."  I hope you enjoy his work

Comment by Bar Weinig on March 7, 2019 at 4:22pm

Thank you Denoo, I realize I might not have been clear enough: Bar Weinig has become a badge of honor! It symbolized some sort of freedom when I was young. Now it still does. I never thought about it as negative, because it was never used that way.

Btw, I got 2 names at my baptism: (translated) "God is with us" and "gift from God". Names that keep popping up on my passports... You could see my pseudonym as an answer  to my two real names. (justification after the fact ;)

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 7, 2019 at 3:56pm
Comment by Joan Denoo on March 7, 2019 at 3:54pm

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Bar Weinig. May I suggest you start by renaming yourself, "I am enough," or "I stand tall with pride and self-respect," "I matter," "I am able," or "I can," or any other positive and powerful name. A friend told me, "Who you are gives meaning to your name!"

Imagine, if you will, the kind of person you want to be, then do those things that make it a reality for you and for others.

Do you want to be strong, intelligent, kind, compassionate, balanced, resilient, content, flexible, grateful, connected, curious, generous, inquisitive, resilient

or cruel, selfish, over-bearing, un-caring, unstable, not resilient, complaining, stingy, narrow-minded, bored? You decide what you want to be and then do those things that make it a reality. 

I realize the sentence is badly constructed, but the meaning is clear.

Be who you want to be. 

Many of us who grew up in a religious matrix learned to dislike ourselves. We are not good enough or smart enough, or strong enough. We learned we had to be a follower of a man who willingly died for our sins. What utter non-sense. How can anyone pay for the wrongs that we do? I am responsible for what I think and do. No one can erase my mistakes and no one can take credit for my successes. I am responsible for me, not for you!

If you want to be happy, be happy. It is that simple. 

By the way, my name is Denoo, a Belgian name. My goodness, did I ever learn a lot of things that I had to unlearn? Life can be good and full and happy. 

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