Lets see. The worst thing was a few of my Catholic grade school teachers. If something didn't make sense of what they were saying or if two things contradicted themselves (teachers vs bible, or bible vs bible) I would always ask for that to be explained more, not as being an asshole but being in grade school I honestly didn't get it. I would get "pray and ask god". My answer to that was usually "he doesn't answer". Then came a detention. I would then ask the principal. Boom Demerit. The pastor was actually very good in the sense he would explain it out and eventually would remove the demerits and said "next time you have a question write it down and come to me after and I will be more then happy to explain it". Funny how the priest was the most reasonable in those situations.
I also remember this very clearly. We would go to confession once a week. Being a young kid it was hard to mess up between getting up > school > sports > homework > dinner >bed, let alone being scared to death to mess up because "god was watching". I didn't go to confession because I didn't have anything to confess. A teacher (one of the ones that gave me detentions in the story above), pulled me aside and, almost yelling, said "Go to confession now! What if you get killed tomorrow? Your going to go to hell because you didn't confess your sins." I was shitting my pants because of that and needless to say I went to confession every other dayish for a few months.
I remember how frightened I was of hell, so frightened I went down to the front of the church often to try to save myself from eternal hell. When I was older I quit church altogether and just tried to forget about it. I was that way until my near death experience. I knew after that hell existed only in the minds of frightened men. I read everything I could get my hands on about religion and spirituality. I feel totally safe now and secure in my beliefs. I help others who are fearful and some that have tried to commit suicide. I wrote a book on NDEs and hope it will help others as I have been helped. Parts of it can be read at KenKatin.com now. I have devoted my life to stop the teaching of heaven and hell in religion. It is not important whether you believe in God of not. What is important that you love.
Being subjected to church EVERY sunday for 1 - 1 and a half hours. Made me feel like killing myself. Not a happy clappy one either.. a catholic one :l
The only thing I can think of isn't really comparable to some of these stories. But the christian school I attended shared a bus with the nearby highschool. I was over-weight, awkward, and obnoxious about my religion. A lot of the high school students would tease me. One kid (who I believe was an atheist, but I'm not sure) would stick up for me when he thought the other kids were going to far. One week after he wasn't on the bus for a few days in a row I found out that he had attempted suicide and was in critical condition in the hospital. I became incredibly terrified that this kid that was nice to me was going to hell. He was gone for a month before I found he was okay and getting help, but during that month I was filled with genuine terror for him.
Man I wouldn't know where to start without giving my life story in all honesty haha. Well as a boy I lived with my step mom and dad while we were in New York. I'll be frank my step mom was an abusive bitch and I remember being beaten if I fiddled and didn't pay attention in church. My dad was never around, no he wouldn't put up with it. But that was a rare thing.
No thats not all that bad I suppose...I think what's worse is in my case even to this day I am constantly going through this vicious cycle of fearing hell but while wanting to live a free life. It's pretty tormenting considering all the friends I have (had?) are all devote Christians and some whom got me more involved in the Church once upon a time. I'm probably rambling at this point. But in all honesty its because of them I stopped believing. After a while it got to the point where this particular church had the "OK U HAZ JEZUS NOW! Now go do your thing" (which is pretty much what most mission trips are, silly silly) in all honesty I questioned the trust I had for my friends considering they seemed to ignore me.
There was also another time I attempted to start a Christian metal band and wanted to use the church as practice but when I asked the youth minister he declared that I was not a member despite the fact I had to work the past 4 sundays. Whatevs, Christian metal sucks anyways.
I think that's really about it. somehow I always think I knew I wasn't born to believe all the bullshit, and it does stuff to a kid when he is surrounded people are (or atleast seem liek they are) very into it, and I am just unable to connect to God in ways they same to be able too. Loneliness in a crowd is the best way I could put it.
Thats pretty terrible though. I never really asked any, I had ADHD bad as a little kid so most of it went over my head. And I've done rounds in foster homes so I know it sucks. They seem to know when were getting smart thats why they do things like shy away from us or in this case lock us in a closet
Fortunately, nothing that bad has happened to me, I never was 'religious' to be honest, but I always felt that religion was imposed on me and that bugged me. I was always a curious kid, once in fourth grade I asked my teacher, "how was the Moon created?". She answered, "god made the Moon." I tried to explain the theory which most scientists accepted, but the whole class burst out laughing. Everyone believed what my teacher, well every student tends to but it frustrated me. I wanted a definite, detailed description of events leading to the creation of our natural satellite but she simply said, "god did it." That was perhaps the worst thing that has ever happened.
As I grew older my curiosity supposedly reached heights, heights as in I began to question the existence of gods in the company of strict, religious, North Indian Hindus. I visited a temple during summer, it was a site which one of the Hindu deities visited. There I asked my mom and her friends, "Do we even know if the history of this site is accurate? Is there a record of any sort? Look at those people who flocked from far off places to here where an avatar of 'god' himself visited - how do they or we even know if there's a god?" I got reprimanded that day and told strictly that I musn't question such things - in doing so, I will upset the gods, lol. It made no sense to me, I'm glad I'm drifted away from religion.
Sorry to hear that
I... I have no words. Only internet hugs of which, fortunately, I have plenty.
Belle, that is terrible. I am so sorry. I hope you had or have supporting people irl who you can talk to about the rape? Thanks for sharing something so difficult. I would never have guessed, because you seem to have an unstoppable spirit.
It's very courageous of you to share about it. Thank you. I think you're right...talking about rape, something still sort of taboo, is important.
The worst thing for me was developing a sense of self while Christian.
I spent the majority of my life hating myself. At least 15 years. Hatred. Loathing. Disgust. Shame.
As a child, I was suicidal because of these feelings. I would not have felt this way had I not learned to think of LGBT people as despicable, unnatural, disgusting, barely human, willful sinners, abominations...
In adolescence and perhaps earlier, I tried to repress my sexuality, to become straight.
I did not date boys (or girls) as a teenager. I taught myself to live without emotion.
I had a breakdown of sorts in college. In the next few years, I had to rediscover my sexuality because it was so deeply repressed. I am grateful that I was able to remain at school given everything I was dealing with.
Since then, I have learned not to hate myself, most of the time. I do not know if I will ever have a healthy sense of self.
I still struggle to socialize and date. I do not know if I will ever have a life-partner. I fear living out an old age and dying alone.
I am a lot better, but I have a long way to go. I am missing age-related developmental milestones. My life is not progressing. I feel like I am not fully an adult.
I wish I had never gone to Catholic school, attended church, CCD, youth group, and lived in such a conservative town. I feel it is a small "miracle" that I did not become a statistic during those painful days in my childhood when I felt God had rejected me because I was some sort of evil perversion of nature, not even worthy of God's mercy.
Belle, that is an amazingly positive way to look at it and I like that. I will try to adopt that kind of attitude! Sadly, I'm sure my experience is not uncommon among the LGBT community. I'm actually "bisexual" or queer...looks like Sami explains the scope of "bisexuality" pretty well below... I've been an atheist maybe 2 years-ish.