One of the great things about Atheist Nexus is that I have a place to talk about my journey to atheism. Probably nothing new to you all, but I'm still getting used to it. So, I'm putting my toe in the water by writing about my experiences.
I thought I would write about my deconversion. I kept trying to pin down "when" I became an atheist. I suspect I'm not alone in that mine is a long and twisted road that led me here. There was a moment when I realized my nonbelief, but it sure didn't just happen in a moment.
In my early 20s I left the church and haven't been back. I was raised Southern Baptist, but have been through many Christian denominations, new age and alternative spirituality, and have now landed squarely in the atheist camp. Hmm, only took about 20 years! Like many others, I remain surrounded by believers. I don't actually know a single other atheist personally.
My life in the last few years has been very difficult. About two weeks after losing my dad, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. A few weeks later, I lost my job. I got a new one, but quit because I couldn't be with him during treatments, care for him after chemo, and still work. I'm really grateful that he's now in remission, but damn, the job market is crap right now. Especially if you haven't worked in a while. But I digress... during my husband's treatment my disdain for church and believers in general grew worse. I got really sick of the "we'll pray for you" and resentful of the lack of anything helpful being offered. We got a HUGE dose of people using that as a way to make themselves feel better while not actually doing anything supportive or helpful for us.
During this time, I saw Julia Sweeney's "God Said, Ha!" It was good to laugh at the horrible situation. Then I found that she had a show called "Letting Go of God." Watching Letting Go was like the light coming on for me. I began to grasp what I knew was true. I could never find a church or spiritual practice that I could accept, believe, or be comfortable in because I just didn't believe. It wasn't my lack of character or strength, it was my lack of ability to have faith in things I couldn't reconcile with my rational, thinking brain! I started buying books and researching online and haven't stopped yet.
I'm glad to be here. I just moved and hope to soon make some freethought friends in real life. Being surrounded by believers is getting old! Here's to my new life. Now if I could just get a job!