What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you while being religious?

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you while being religious? 

For me, it has been locked in a closet for asking to many questions about religion when I was a young girl. Yes I was put through a gauntlet of adoption homes. I am going to leave it at that.

I would like to hear your story. If you are brave enough to let others know your plight. I am sure it would make others have a breath of fresh air that they are not alone in this process of terror. I know just letting the world this tiny factoid about me has done me a world of good.

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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.

Thanks for the condolences. I shared that because I'm almost positive that I'm not the only person on this site who has experienced sexual abuse within the hands of someone who was somehow connected to religion. Sometimes the places you feel the safest or think should be the safest are actually the most dangerous. If it helps someone else to know that they are not alone then that is enough for me and I am happy to help someone come to terms any way possible. It's a scar that will never fully heal.

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. 

Kairan I am so sorry to hear of your struggles. You've shared before on TA a little about your journey but perhaps I never fully understood the magnitude of it for you until now. 

While I can't relate to the struggles of dealing with your sexuality, I can definitely relate to your feelings of shame, hatred, self-loathing, disgust, and I can understand what it means to feel hopeless in the world and within social situations. It's easy to cover up how you feel and become something or someone else and it's easy to find ways to escape reality. It's somewhat of a survival mechanism IMO. Now that you are living your life authentically as a lesbian atheist woman, and not being repressed back into the mold that religion would want to put you in, it is only then that we can begin to understand ourselves. Our TRUE selves. I don't know how long you've self-identified as an atheist but you TOO seem to have an uncrushable spirit and you have a powerful and beautiful story to tell to other LGBT woman (and men) to empower them to take the steps you have also taken towards freedom. Your struggles HAVE made you stronger and have defined the person you are and the ever-changing person you are becoming. Those struggles will allow you to help people in a way you may have never imagined. My heart goes out for you.

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. 

K, I'm sure you'll find love one day, on terms that are right for you.  If someone's a lovely person like you then someone will love them. 

Well, I wasn't exactly religious when this happened...In fact I was trying to find a new faith at this time, but I realized I was bisexual (which I now realize is pansexuality, meaning I don't care about a person's gender or gender identity, I love everyone). It was a nightmare. I mean, I knew I liked girls since I was five, but I didn't realize it was "wrong" until I was a freshmeat in my high school (we had 8th graders move to the high school, so we had freshmeat before freshmen), and I was TERRIFIED. I still got a girlfriend in secret, but the school was the Bible Belt of New York, so we had to be CAREFUL...unfortunately, after I moved to a new high school thanks to the bullying, she was in a car accident, and her parents somehow knew about us and blamed me, saying that because I made her a "fag" I had caused her accident, not the drunk driver that put her in a coma...I wasn't allowed to see her, and I didn't know what became of her until a year later...when I found out she did wake up...but she was a vegetable, which was her greatest fear...Her parents basically used her against me, and I don't know if she's still trapped like that or if she is gone, but I hope she is...But...yeah...that's my experience...

This is so tragic. I hope you are somehow able to find out...to have some closure.

Mine would have to be a year ago (when I was 14 years old) in CCD. CCD is a Christian Night School that my parents made me go to so that I could be confirmed. They didn't know I was atheist (and still don't). So, my problem is that I always "challenge authority" by asking questions. We were learning about a man in the Bible who beat his wife for asking a question. It wasn't a disrespectful question, just everyday. So anyway, I raise my hand and ask my male teacher why the husband would dare do that, since this is abusive and completely wrong. He responds with, "Well, women were different back then. They needed to be beaten to understand what the men wanted, because they were not very smart." I definitely wasn't expecting this, so I mumble under my breathe, "Some kind of peaceful religion this is." I did not know he could hear me, and he turned around and said, "Well apparently beating the women didn't work, because one of them is STILL TALKING!" Screaming in my face, he points to the door and makes me say the Lord's Prayer 15 times in front of everyone. This was very traumatizing and scary, and is one of the reasons I, if you would say, "came out" as atheist to my friends. I needed to tell someone trustworthy what had happened and how unjust it was. My friends understood, and actually agreed with me. Let's just say I'm glad to be out of this "religion", even know I was force-confirmed. Oh well, we've all had bad experiences, but I'm never going to forget that one.

Wow Kelli, How DARE he talk to you like that! That is totally abusive! I hope you no longer have any contact with this teacher?? Although it was a year ago I would encourage you to consider telling your parents about what he did to you so that they can help make sure he stays as far away from you as possible. Nothing is worse than having to worry when you might suddenly see the person who abused you again. The anxiety alone takes away all your strength and can have a lasting impact.

Yeah, I cut off contact as soon as I was confirmed. I considered telling my parents, and I still might, but I have a feeling that they would side with him. They hate when I ask religious questions and they would most likely be upset. The reason I share things on here is because I can't really talk to anyone about this. It's sad, but I only have a few friends that listen to me and that are fellow atheists. I will never see this man again (hopefully) since we live in different districts, and I am very glad about that! That CCD Class was a waste of 8 years of my life, and if I could go back in time and convince my parents not to sign me up, I would.


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