ExChristianDotNet (exchristian_net) wrote in extian,
ExChristianDotNet
exchristian_net
extian

[Testimonies of Ex-Christians] I realized I was an atheist

Sent in by L.S.Some people think I'm lying when I tell them that I just
woke up one morning and realized that I was an atheist, but that's what
really happened.My parents are Christian but they don't go to church.
We stopped going to church when I was about 6 because they disagreed
with how that particular church treated a family with 3 young daughters
who couldn't always make it to Sunday worship. Because of the
hypocrisy, they rejected the idea of organized religion but maintained
their beliefs. They pray at dinner and do the whole Christmas thing and
occasionally will talk about god, but they aren't zealots.It was
because of their attitude that I grew up thinking of god/Jesus as that
distant relative that you know you're related to, people talk about and
you're supposed to love them but you don't really know exactly why. God
wasn't a being to me. God was an idea that I never really understood.I
was a really sheltered child. I (mostly) did what I was told, thought
what I was supposed to think and had few friends who might have
influenced me in negative ways. So I grew up as a christian. Not really
because I understood what being a christian meant, but because my
parents raised me that way.When I was 15, I started realizing that I
was missing something, something important, but I just couldn't figure
out what. So I became extra religious - or tried to, rather. My best
friend was/is a christian and she was the one who tried to answer my
questions because I was afraid to go to my parents with them, fearing
the forced bible studies and trips to church on Sundays. For about 6
months, I tried really hard to be a good christian. I prayed regularly,
though I had no idea what I was doing, and even wrote a couple of
religious poems. I wanted to believe. I really and truly wanted
Christianity to be the answer to my problems, to make me a happy person
again.After 6 months, however, I still wasn't happy. I wasn't fulfilled
in what I was supposed to believe.And then, one morning I woke up, and
realized that I didn't believe it, any of it. I realized I'd NEVER
believed any of it.The relief I felt upon this realization was immense.
It was like shrugging off years and years of repression and guilt. I
felt lighter. I felt free. Most of all, I felt happy.I hid my atheism
from my parents until I became an adult. While I know that organized
religion isn't important to them, having their kids be christian is,
and I knew what would happen if they knew I had rejected that belief
and all subsequent religious beliefs as well. When I finally told them,
at age 18, they were saddened and disappointed but also believed that
it was nothing but a phase. It's been 10 years now and nothing has
changed as far as my atheism.My oldest sister is now what she considers
a Pagan and that two of 3 daughters are not christian is a major
disappointment to them. My mother has admitted that she feels she is a
failure as a parent because we are not christian. I told her that she
should feel pride that we are all individually unique, that we were
taught to use the brains we were born with, and that we each found a
belief, or lack thereof, that we are happy with instead of lying to
ourselves and being miserable with.10 years ago, I was struggling with
trying to figure out what I believed. Once I became an atheist, my life
became better. I've never been happier.To monitor comments posted to
this topic, use .
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