'Does the fear ever go away?' and 'Being and atheist in Brazil'

So, today I was talking to some of my christian friends and religion came up. One of my friends didn't know for sure my position about it and when it became clear that I'm an atheist, she said she was sad for me, and it made me think of my time as a believer, especially when she asked me why I didn't believe, she said "Min, it is so easy, you just gotta believe"... But really, when I was a believer it wasn't "just believing", no. I felt guilty about things that I know now are perfectly natural, I felt so bad I didn't want to wait untill marriage to have sex, that I didn't agree with everything the Bible says, that I thought my gay friend and his boyfriend made a very cute couple and they should be able to marry, well, you know. But mostly, it was about fear. I wouldn't question my religion because of fear I'd end up burning in hell. Forever. Seriously, how can you tell children that and feel good about yourself? This is absolutely awfull. But anyway, I'd fear hell and being judged by god, I'd fear the devil would have my soul and torture me and even now, when I know god, heaven, hell, the devil, etc etc are all myths, that I don't believe in god anymore, I'll still find myself thinking "what if?", and when I wonder why, I realise it's all about fear. Does this ever go away? When you know it's absurd, but still fear it, just a little... It's such a bad feeling to have. I know I'm not the only former christian that feels that way, I know it's pretty normal, but still, I wish I could do something to make this go away for good. Now. Because this feeling makes me so angry, I feel like I'd kill anyone who tries to talk about hell and eternal damnation to my little brother.
Seeking a group of people to talk to, I searched for any atheist group around here, which brings me to my next topic, "Being an atheist in Brazil". People always say it's hard being an atheist here because of people like pastor Silas Malafaia and his followers, but for me it wasn't that bad to "come out" as an atheist, at least not to my friends, and most of my family (only my father and one of my aunts freaked out, but my father decided to ignore it and I don't really care about my aunt). The hard thing about being an atheist here is to find others who share your views, to find people to talk to. The first Nacional Atheist meeting happened this year, and I just wish I could find people easier, but atheists coming up and talking about their views is pretty new here, so I hope that in the near future it will be easier for us, Brazilian atheists, to find each other.

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