Who is the lamb? Who is the knife?

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So, I took the GRE. And I’m still waiting on my scores. Besides that, I’m trying not to cuss out believers again. It’s really hard when they start calling me a murderer or claim I eat fetuses.because that’s what all nonbelievers do.

So instead of cunt punching folks, I’ve taken two modes of action: posting their stupidity(yes I blur names) or make jewelry. So far, the latter is winning.

What also helps is that I talk to a tight knit group of ex-pk folks. We all have our religious baggage, so no one really pulls the “you didn’t try hard enough” bullshit. Because we really really tried. Hell, if my psychiatric bills point to anything…it’s that I tried too damn hard. But believers don’t want to admit we are out there. Because it blows their whole worldview out the water. If a person can love god so much and after so much time and effort, walk away, where does that leave them? If they weren’t dealing with some gross sin, or bitter, then who is really saved?

If they have legitimate concerns, do we have to listen? And then the fear sets in. will I catch their skepticism? Is this a phase? Are they sinning with their doubt?

And it hurts, because I question myself too. Is this the right choice? Is god really not real? Shit just happens?

As a former Charismatic, it’s hard not to slip into old modes of thinking. I have to constantly remind myself that no one “knows my sin” or is inside my head but me. To think of it, to see the damage, it breaks my heart. Because I inflicted this on myself and others. Just to please “god” and true believers. I wanted, no, craved that acceptance and love. I wanted that assurance that I’d be in heaven and that my broken life had redeeming value. I continually emptied myself because the church said I was just a vessel. That the self was sinful and not to be trusted. I cut myself in two, because I believed that I was sinful, awful, dirty. I was shit on god’s shoe. Nothing I’d do would be good enough.

So I subjected myself to abuse. The pain was my “will being broken” and god getting the glory. Whenever I’d think that I was going too far…I’d rebuke the devil and pray for hours.

By the time I got to where it felt like a literal fight for my soul, I started failing classes, having intrusive thoughts, and nervous tics. I was falling apart, and I did not know how to ask for help. So, I tried to kill myself. I thought that death would be a respite compared to the mental anguish I was facing. I wanted oblivion. I thought I’d be doing everyone a favor, especially my youth church. They got tired of my questioning, my doubt. So they gave me over to “Satan”. Because obviously I was in rebellion. That’s the only reason I could be so sad, twitchy, and not eating..right?

I received their judgement as rejection. And it got a whole lot worse before it got better. I still struggle with self-image/esteem and rejection, but on the flip, I stand up for myself more. I laugh more. I feel more. Yes it’s scary, but it’s a good scary. Therapy and medication are a freaking wonderful thing. That plus good friends has me where I am. I call myself strong now.

Sure I do what ifs, but life is worth living. Not over-guessing. I’m still learning, but I still have hope.

Thanks for staying with me folks,

Noir

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6 responses »

      • Hopefully you will have enjoyed sufficient angst already, will have meanwhile taken up meditation or brandy or poetry-writing, so as to transcend the problem, eliminate the problemee, or learn to shamelessly wallow in sufferings until done. & then to do something else!

        Anyway, from what I gather of your previous religious affiliation… your complaints may have more to do with interpretation than basic Stuff (?) ie, if your image of yourself sucks then your image of God is likely to match, likely to put you through hoops & wringers trying to earn what’s yours-as-a-sentient being. Or worse, to busy you with deploring the interesting misbehaviors of everyone who doesn’t believe God hates sex. (etc)

        That is, I gather you’re disenchanted with religious oppresson — but not necessarily rejecting the idea of God, just the God of Petty Tyrants.

        What about Stephen Gaskin for example? —
        ——————–
        “Here are two things I do for the sake of sanity.
        One of them it to always tell yourself the truth about what you do in the plainest and most unvarnished terms.
        It might not make you like your self but it will help keep you from going crazy.

        Another important one is to never make any important decisions on the basis of second hand psychic phenomena.
        I have seen some stuff and I have heard some stuff, but I never pass on second hand stuff as true.
        By second hand, I mean anything other than my own experience.

        My middle son Paul was very offended by the story of the prophet Abraham
        going to sacrifice his son and the sacrificial goat being found just in time..
        He said “Why wasn’t that child abuse?”
        He said that he would have taken Abraham’s knife away and told that old man that he better hope for a goat.
        The clean eye of a child noticed that there was another actor besides Abraham,
        the goat and God and that the tale acted like the child was not a person.

        Every once in a while you hear of some poor deluded soul
        who does something truly awful on instructions from god.”

        “Assuming Dogmatic opinions as a young person puts one in the position of having receptors for certain ideas .
        When such a person goes into the world, the world that they encounter is pre-conditioned by the idea receptors.
        The Dogmatic opinions are the other end of the receptors.
        Some young people go into the world bristling with opinions like a porcupine
        and promptly get something stuck on each quill.
        At this point all learning stops unless there is some great cleansing of mind.
        All the opinions having met their mate,
        the young mind’s learning receptors are stuffed with things
        which are after all only extentions of opinions already held.
        ——–
        ?

  1. Ah! — Stephen Gaskin. San Francisco State prof when I was across the Bay in Berkeley, mid-60’s. I didn’t hear about him until years later, when I was running a used bookstore and somebody brought in a really weird book, _Monday Night Class_, that reminded me of things I’d experienced back then, when I’d been smoking dope & taking funny pills. He’d had a class in SF State’s ‘Experimental College,’ moved it into a grungy hall in the Haight a little later, informally teaching karma yoga to a pretty large crowd. Around 1970 he led a caravan of hippie buses on a speaking tour of the US, giving dharma talks at various churches along the way. Started ‘The Farm’ in Tennesee a year or so later. Not a systematic philosopher, but good at tickling one’s head.

    Basically saying, ~’There is a “there” there, but you can’t just take other people’s word for what it looks like!’

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